Sunday, February 28, 2010

A Foreign Perspective

Ho-lee shit. I'm watching this British miniseries called The State Within starring Jason Isaacs. If this movie isn't evidence of how the rest of the world must have viewed the U.S. during the Bush Administration, I don't know what is.

Example: a British Muslim detonates a bomb on a U.S. airplane, and in response, the governor of Virginia rounds up and detains every British Muslim in the state. The President, Congress, and the Secretary of Defense all support that action.

Wow.

No Regrets

After doing a project on diagnostic method patents, I've decided that I'm glad I never really seriously considered going into medicine. Between insurance companies telling doctors what they can and can't do, patents limiting (some of) what doctors can do, and pharmacists that decide not to fill a doctor's prescription because of their own moral objections, being a doctor must really suck sometimes.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

STFU Potheads

Jezebel is a website that often features articles that I find interesting but features comments that drive me bonkers. The other day an article about anti-obesity advocate Meme Roth was posted. Apparently this wacky lady says that the number of calories a person eats should be equal to ten times their goal weight. So, if I want to weight 135 pounds, I should eat 1350 calories a day. In the comments someone posted that they were 234 pounds and eat around 1500 calories a day but are not losing weight.

And then it begins.

"Just a heads up - we don't post stats here (weight, BMI, hip size) as for some people, they can be triggering."

Seriously? So we're all supposed to be comfortable with our bodies, but we're not supposed to ever mention our weight because it might cause some people mental distress? Get a grip, you fucking wimps.

This is just one example of how Jezebel commenters like to remind everyone that they are way more socially sensitive and PC than the average person. More often that not, I find Jezebel commenters to be really annoying and incredibly fond of themselves. "Smug" comes to mind.

That's why the comments after this post on women who smoke marijuana annoy me so much. The tone of the comments is clearly "smoking pot is sooooo cool!" (Same goes for this older article.)

I am so fucking sick of people being all self-righteous about how socially aware they are and then bragging about how awesome they are because they smoke pot. I liken it to the kind of people who can't let a picture or mention of a diamond go by without making sure the world knows that they would never own a diamond because they don't want the blood of Africans on their hands. Conflict diamonds! Anyone who wears a diamond is soooo socially unconscious!

Guess what, assholes? Marijuana doesn't just materialize out of thin air. There are a lot of people whose lives have been destroyed because of the illegal market for marijuana. I've met them. I've sat in a small jail room across from Mexican immigrants who came to this country hoping for a better life, got down on their luck, and were taken advantage of by those who run marijuana operations. These are the little guys, the ones who are approached and asked to water and guard the marijuana grow that's up in the forest. These are the little guys who camp out in the forest, surviving on jars of mayonaise when the person who is supposed to bring them supplies doesn't show up. And these little guys are the ones that get caught. They're the ones who are charged with conspiracy, trafficking, etc. They're the one who, even after they've served their time and are deported, face exponentially higher sentences on illegal re-entry charges after they come back on account of that prior conviction. Their wives and children are the ones that suffer because their husbands and fathers were enticed by the chance to make good money for watching a patch of plants on the forest. I know that marijuana can come from many sources, but this kind of thing wouldn't happen if there weren't such a demand for an illegal substance.

Yes, chemically marijuana may be a "harmless" drug, but it's not harmless. It's not illegal because it's harmful, but it is harmful because it's illegal. So stop with the double standards, already. Smoking pot doesn't make you cool, it makes you partially responsible for the lives that are destroyed on account of the illegal marijuana business. I'm sick and tired of entitled, middle-class white people bitching about how marijuana doesn't hurt anyone and then getting their panties in a wad over conflict diamonds.

Friday, February 19, 2010

MEN'S FIGURE SKATING EXTRAVAGANZA!!!

If any of my blog readers follow me on Twitter, then you know that I got pretty excited about men's figure skating at the Olympics this year. I don't know what happened to me. Usually I'm all about the women's figure skating and couldn't care less about the men. NOT SO THIS YEAR

First off, Johnny Weir. Why, WHY have I not been following him all along? He captured my heart. I love this guy. He's good at what he does, athletically, but he makes it fun enough that you don't feel like a dork for watching men's figure skating. Have you seen this?:

You're welcome.

I mean really, what is not to love? JUST LOOK AT HIM.



Hearts. (UPDATE: It appears the abiliy to think to that pic has been removed. So here is the link to the site where the pic came from. Adorbs.)

As for Evan Lysacek, I'm glad he won. Nothing brings out my fierce nationalism like the Olympics. But there's just something about him that does NOT appeal to me. As someone on Twitter pointed out, he looks like he just stepped off the cover of a romance novel. That's not really a compliment...

But did you see his post-win interview with Bob Costas? What a classy guy. He had not one negative thing to say about Plushenko. In fact, he took every opportunity to say something nice. And you know what? I honestly think it was genuine.

What a nice thing to see. It made me think of Paul Hamm back in Athens when he won gold, and then everyone realized that a South Korean gymnast had been given the wrong start value, etc. I remember how Hamm pretty much just said "I won, I won" over and over again. I don't recall ever hearing him give props to the other guy. (Maybe I just didn't hear it.) I know this is a different situation, but still. For Lysacek to go out there and (credibly) say that he would have been happy no matter what happened and to compliment the guy that has pretty much been talking shit about him, well, it made me like him despite the orange skin and greasy hair.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

On American Supremacy

I just spent about half an hour searching the Internet for the text of Art. 28 and Art. 30 EC. Only now do I discover that the Treaty of Lisbon, adopted in December, amended the Treaty establishing the European Community and renamed it the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

There is a reason we are a super power and they are not, I've decided.

One constitution. Since 1789. I like it that way.

Feminism Thoughts Part II

(To avoid a long post, I'm splitting this up into two.)

The second thing about feminism that I will never be comfortable with is my own struggle between respecting the differences between men and women and fighting the propogation of negative stereotypes.

Just as an example, when I read this article about the pregnant Canadian curler, my immediae reaction was to think of the time I sat in and watched voir dire before a jury trial. I remember there was a woman there who used the fact that she was pregnant (first trimester) to get excused for cause. I thought to myself, "Geez, this lady can compete in the Olympics pregnant and that wimp couldn't even sit on a jury."

I realize that I really can't talk about this issue since I've never been pregnant. And not only that, but every women seems to have widely different experiences during pregnancy. That being said, as a woman trying to make a career in a still male-dominated field, things like what the juror did really bother me.

I think that white men are probably the only group of people in America who have the privilege of making their own choices and expressing their own opinions without the world assuming that they speak for all white men. What do I mean? Well, I first became explicitly aware of this in law school. One of my best friends was Mexican-American, and not only that she was the only Mexican-American in my class. She told me once that when she spoke, she was not only worried about making herself look stupid, but making all Mexican-Americans look stupid. I've heard black law students say the exact same thing. And when I think about it, the same is often true with women. When I'm in an all-male group, I am consciously aware that the others might think that I'm speaking or acting on behalf of all women. On other words, if I screw up, I don't want them thinking, "Women just can't do X or Y" instead of "Litigious Mind just can't do X or Y."

And this is why I get so upset when I see other women propogating negative female stereotypes. I hate it when pregnant women talk about how their hormones are making them crazy. I hate it when menstrauting women talk about how their hormoes are making them crazy. I hate it when pregnant women talk about "pregnancy brain." I hate it because I have had conversations with men who have used those things against women, who have used them as a means of justifying their own hormonal excuses such as "men can't help it that we can't focus around beautiful women because we're hormonally programmed to think about sex all time." I hate it because women really don't need to give men any more reasons to think that we're weak and irrational.

But is that fair? Objectively, I know that it's not. It's not fair that women should have to hide or mask biological changes that their bodies go through. And really, who do I think we should hide these things from? Sexists! Decent men aren't going to look at one woman and think all women are just like her. Decent men aren't going to use female stereotypes as a way to justify their own stereotypes. So why should I expend all this time and energy to try to placate a bunch of sexists? Am I really helping progress the woman's cause if I think women should try to mold themselves into what sexists think we should be? No.

This is the tension I constantly feel on this issue. I know it's not fair, and maybe not even helpful, to expect my fellow women to keep their weaknesses to themselves, but I just can't get away from it. Because the sad truth is that men still control much of the world that I'm going to enter in my career. And among those men are a fair number of sexists. (Trust me, I've met them.) So in the end I guess I still wish that my sisters out there would help me out a bit. But once we rule the world, we'll let it all hang out.

Thoughts on Teenagers, Taylor, Twilight, and Feminism

There are a lot of things about feminism that I fear I will never understand or be comfortable with.

First off, for the life of me I will never understand why teenagers and young women should be trusted to make their own sexual choices but cannot be trusted to listen to music or read books without mindlessly absorbing any subliminal messages in said songs or books. I mean really. Tayor Swift is a feminist nightmare? Taylor Swift? I don't know about you guys, but I'd much rather my young cousins emulate Taylor Swift than Britney Spears or Lindsay Lohan. Yes, all Taylor sings about are boys, but that makes her music boring to most adults. It doesn't make her a feminist nightmare. I suggest that these feminists watch the ABC special on Taylor. That girl (now and when she was still a teenager) pretty much manages her entire career, including all the details on her mega-selling tour. To me, that's something to cheer, not denigrate.

And all the Twilight backlash? It drives me nuts. At a New Year's Eve party last year I got in a discussion with a guy who insisted that the Twilight books were sending a horrible message to girls. I said then, and I will continue to say, that women are smarter than that. Give us a little credit, please. We know these books are about vampires and werewolves. We know they're not real.

I'm particularly amused by the criticism that Twilight encourages traditional gender roles and purity, etc, etc. Seriously? I'm pretty sure that most of the young girls reading those books would jump Edward's bones in a heartbeat, i.e., they're not real concerned with the supposed purity message. The appeal of these books is largely sexual, so getting all up in arms about girls believing that having sex with a boy will almost kill them is... missing the point. Nice try, feminists.

Futhermore, what we read and listen to certainly doesn't dictate who we are. As I told the guy at the party, the kind of girl that's going to base her life decisions on what she reads in a YA vampire novel is the kind of girl that's easily swayed, whatever the influence. It could be TV, friends, or books. The problem is with the girl, not with what she's reading or listening to. The converse is also true. The kind of girl who knows herself and knows what she wants can read a silly book without thinking that she should be just like the characters in the book.

Finally, I just don't understand why it's so hard for some feminists to remember that who we are as teenagers is often NOT who we are as adults. To me, that's what is great about Taylor Swift's song "Fifteen." Sure, her writing isn't real original, but what's so bad about this message:

In your life you'll do things greater than dating the boy on the football team.
I didn't know it at fifteen.


or

Back then I swore I was going to marry him someday then I realized some bigger dreams of mine.

Maybe some women can't relate to that, but I absolutely can. That was me at sixteen. I was ready to forgo thinking of any of my own life dreams and settle for attending the local college just so I could be near my boyfriend who was a year behind me in school. That's a far, far cry from who I am today. Like Taylor says, I realized some bigger dreams than dating the boy on the baseball team.

So feminists of the world, let's cut the teenage girls of the world some slack. They're not as dumb as you think they are, and they're not done becoming who they're going to be.

Monday, February 15, 2010

More Ramblings About North and South

I'm such a dork. I watched the ending of North and South again. When I like a movie I tend to watch it again and again. Have I convinced any of you that you should watch this awesome miniseries yet? Here's a YouTube video to speed along the convincing:


Also, the music in this miniseries is really good. Here's a sample of the main theme:

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Ugh

Okay, let me be clear. Kendra looks good in this picture. But it ain't this. We've got eyes, OK! Magazine...

Friday, February 12, 2010

Random Thought

Have you ever seen something that is a pop culture reference, but you didn't know it? And then when you see the original thing, all you can think of is the reference?

I was watching "Cape Fear" (Robert de Niro version), and when Max Cady rides under their car, all I could think of was that episode from The Simpsons where Sideshow Bob stalks the family and rides under the car.

Then it just dawned on me that that episode was a spoof of "Cape Fear." Haha.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Freebie Fives!

Lainey over at Lainey Gossip is cracking me up today with her talk about Ryan Gosling potentially filling the last spot on her Freebie Five list:

[R]espectfully, hell no. The Five is a one-shot deal. And you want it that way. Is there a reality, alternate or otherwise, in which you would be satisfied with Ryan Gosling for less than a lifetime? Please.

She makes a great point. Haha.

Baby Discrimination

I realized today in Baby Gap that the chances of someone getting a baby gift from me go up exponentially if the baby is a girl.

I went into the baby section to look at baby boy clothes...

...and quickly diverted to the baby girl section where I spent the rest of my time. Baby girl clothes are so much cuter! Thank goodness I have a niece on the way. I'm a poor student; if I'm going to spend money on baby stuff, I should at least keep it in the family.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Children Should Be Neither Seen Nor Heard

So, am I crazy and out of my mind to think that you shouldn't bring your children to law school? I swear, there are a lot of people who bring their small children here on a regular basis. For instance, right now I'm sitting at the cafe area, and I can hear a woman baby-talking, saying, "That's not the right table, silly goose! You don't like Westlaw!" (She's chasing a toddler around the hallways.)

And then there are the two class periods I had to sit through while someone was in the room next door with a screaming, crying baby. Everyone in the class was looking at each other thinking, "What the hell is that noise?" Finally we figured out that someone had a baby next door. One classmate said, "What are you going to do?" I felt like an ass when I suggested, "Take the kid outside so the rest of us don't have to listen to it."

I'm sure this is going to make me sound like a huge bitch, but I just don't think you should bring your kids to law school. I was a kid when my mom was in grad school, and I can remember being brought to school with her on only one occasion. (And, my sister and I were old enough that we didn't make noise. In fact, we sat patiently in the lobby area when she was in class.) Furthermore, I went to law school with a lot of people who had small children and they all somehow managed to make other arrangements for their children. Personally, I think it's disrespectful to the student parents who have to bust their asses to make arrangements for their kids when some other parent just drags theirs along and makes the rest of us listen the little darlin'. I'm sure going to school while parenting small children is really tough. But if you can't make it work, then maybe you should have gone to a school with a night program, hmm?