Stupid Girls

Thursday, October 21, 2010

for straight people who complain we're not trying hard enough

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you don't know how hard Queers work. That's a pretty arrogant, self important thing to say. WE have to LIVE this, EVERY DAY! That is a tremendous, stressful and painful burden. If you want to do work around homophobia, fine. But to COMPLAIN about how much BETTER you do it than Queers do, that's condescending, patronizing and just as heterosexist ans anything the Queer bashers do! 
Are you familiar with the term "intergenerational trauma?" Look it up. Since the Roman army decided soldiers should be replaceable parts & should not care about their fallen comrades, heterosexism has been institutionalized in Western That's longer than the after effects of both slavery and Indigenous genocide. Look at the high level of alcohol advertising in the Queer community; it's higher than "ghetto" billboards. We self medicate, self abuse, isolate . . . these are classic symptoms of intergenerational trauma. Our elders teach us dysfunctional behaviors that are even considered "cool" within our culture. Few of us know ANYTHING about our history, our accomplishments, role models, etc. We learn to objectify our bodies, to try, any way we can, to look cool, healthy, macho, be acceptable. We struggle with what I call necessary narcicism: where one is so at risk, ALL one can focus on is one's own abilities to pass, to survive, at the exclusion of being able to form real, intimate bonds with anybody else. We cannot marry. It is difficult for us to parent/foster/adopt. We cannot serve openly in the military. We are always in danger of beatings, being fired or evicted and even having our kids taken from us. We are encouraged by pop culture to be silly, frivolous, decorative and superficial. In most towns in the US, the ONLY places we can meet each other are bars and bathrooms! We lurk in parks and shadows. We are infested with messages that we are sinful, sick, diseased, depraved and dangerous to children. EVERY DAY. Now, if you can't cope with the fact that ALL THIS multigenerational trauma has left us a bit weakened, unfocused, confused, self abusive, self destructive, self obsessed, etc., then you are demanding, unreasonably, I would argue, that we conform to YOUR experience of what courage, hard work and organizing are. Sometimes, and I so know this from personal experience, sometimes, the bravest, most difficult thing in the world is to just get out of bed and face the world ONE MORE TIME with such a broken heart, all you want to do is die.

I can "throw whatever facts" at you, but you'll ignore them (I refer to a previous post when you dismissed what I said with, "regardless..."). If I keep telling the truth, about what we need to heal, we can heal it. We'll always have problems if we IGNORE THE DAMAGE! We are NOT like YOU! And we ARE STRONG! So stop being so damn judgmental and arrogant and LISTEN, have some humility for a minute and LEARN something, instead of running your mouth about how wonderful you are compared to a 'lot of homosexuals you know." To give you an idea how LITTLE you actually know about our history and culture, we don't LIKE being called "homosexuals," because it makes us sound like the stereotype: that we only care about sex, that we're hypersexual, that we're savages and beasts that can't control our own impulses. WHY are we not called "homoamorous:" people who LOVE our own genders? Because LOVE and self esteem and dignity have been stripped from us for thousands of years, to benefit the dominant culture, because if you breeders EVER learned to LOVE each other, the whole fucked up system would crash down around the bosses' knees and we'd all be free! You could have learned something from me, but you're too busy grinding your goody two shoes axe to hear. YOU are part of the problem WE must overcome. Lead, follow or GET OUT OF THE WAY!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

define queer

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 For me, Queer is reclaiming a word of power. Formerly, it was power against us. One of the most devastating things a normy (or pod person, as I call them, when they point and scream) could do to you was "out' you. And I think a lot of people, in a variety of subcultures/identities/orientations, began adopting this word: we're here; we're Queer; get used to it. And we ARE Queer, by social norms, although, I suspect, there are a whole LOT of normies who are really Queers, whether they know it or not, and passing. So, I like to see the human race as Queer in latency. i think, some day, none of this bs will matter any more, or, at least, that humans have that potential. Women can control our reproduction now; bodies can be modified, by surgery or hormones or . . . There have always been Queers; universities now offer MAJORS in Queer Theory and Studies! god, to be a kid again! People of my generation, and older, still have issues with the word; we wee beaten, fired, raped, killed, had our kids taken away. . . and that word was all the ammunition they needed. So, like a certain racial epithet assigned to dark skinned people of color, I'd advise caution and context. And I can't speak for other Queers. Some folks prefer that alphabet soup: LGBT and some ad Q for questioning and even fewer add I for intersexed. But I'm dyslexic, so letters get me confused. Also, LGBTQI sounds like some academic attribution, like PhD, or something: it's too formal. It used to be a stone insult to call someone Black; colored was considered more genteel. Same kind of thing, i think. I'm no expert; can't afford a university degree in Queer Studies. So, I may be talking out my @$$, but it wouldn't be the first time, would it? LOL

define pansexuality

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  • I am pansexual. I choose people to love based on a lot of criteria, but genital configuration is not one of them. I suppose one could say I choose, but I did not choose to be pansexual; it's just how I came. Learning to BE pansexual in a bl...ack/white/male/female/top/bottom/gay/straight/good/bad/saint/sinner world has been a challenge, and i dd not go through it without a few scars and traumas. But I must say I would choose this orientation, if I had the option. I hope we're going in a direction where sexuality doesn't have to be so traumatic for younger people...if I knew then what I know now, I could have saved myself a lot of self abuse, self hatred, self medicating and self denial. 'course now, i'm too old and ugly.
  • there's a wiki, but not very complete, here

    I would say that, as we become more conscious that there are more than two genders, that gender need not be predicated on genital configuration,, even within such self definitions as intersexed, transexual, etc. there are multiple potentials for self expression/identity, etc. the limiting term of "bisexual" has, in some cases, expanded, as well. True, many bisexuals may never be comfortable with or attracted to gender queers, for example, or intersexed people or transexual people. For them, the "opposite ends of the spectrum" will always be what attracts. I don't know if this is cultural, biological, a product of Madison Ave. I have no clue. I know my own eroticism has been corrupted by culturally, usually commercially, encouraged "ideal" body types. I have unlearned most of that, now that I'm five years from sixty.
  • But I also know, not believe, know that self defining as bisexual is just as limiting, dangerous and repressive to me as my former attempts to conform my sexuality with cultural demands. I, of course, tried very hard to be heterosexual as a... teen; I ended up suicidal. i then attempted to identify as lesbian, in the seventies, in los angeles, surrounded by the lesbian feminist movement. I felt tremendous guilt for any encounters with men; I felt like a traitor. I drank myself to near alcoholism. Finally, embarrassed but too tired not to be humble, i admitted I was bisexual. I was relieved and very grateful when Queer became an inclusive identity. Bisexuals are branded as sexually immature, promiscuous, confused, incapable of commitment and even dragging STDs back to the Queer community. I was having a hard time dealing with other people's assumptions about my abilities to be responsible, when they learned I was bisexual. Queer brought me back to my more radical and flamboyant roots of the seventies. And then, the Amazing Thing happened.
  • I met, and fell in love with, one of the most unique people on the planet. And i'm not using that phrase in the ordinary, I'm in love and isn't she wonderful way. It was actually terrifying: I had ABSOLUTELY no road map in how to relate to ...this person, and this person couldn't really tell me, either, for several reasons; first, her situation may be unmatched, anywhere. second, she was very traumatized around gender and sexual identities and orientations. third, people of alternate genders/identities sometimes experience what i've come to call Necessary Narcissism. just to be able to survive, to pass without attracting harassment, to get where they need to be in their own lives, they have to concentrate their total focus on only what it is they need. I have seen indications of this among a wide range of Queers, for all kinds of reasons. in most cases, it is an acute condition, which eases and passes, once the crisis of establishing one's place in the world is accomplished.
  • But this particular human being had multiple, deep, heart wrenching crises and traumas around body image, gender identity, sexuality, sexual orientation, etc. this person was born intersexed, but forced to be a boy. in adolescence, she cast...rated herself. in young adulthood, she began living as a woman and soon had sexual reassignment surgery. basically, this person has identified herself to me as intersexed, eunuch and transexual. in addition, because of her unique genital configuration, her reassignment surgery was not standard, and mistakes were made. Can you see why i was scared? I had no idea what to do, how to proceed, except to follow my gut and my heart and try very hard not to hurt either of us too much.
  • i do not feel the termination of the relationship to be a failure on my part. i feel it was one of the bravest, most honest, most profound and most liberating experiences of my life. I will always be grateful for the experience. but, becaus...e of my own behavioral health challenges, and because she really is very self absorbed, the relationship could not maintain. This is how i know that configuration of genitals is no issue for me. i broke through the ultimate barrier of human sexuality, in my experience, and just loved somebody, no matter what. i know it's possible, because i did it, for years.
  • i always thought something was wrong with me, when i'd get the hots for a drag queen, or an older woman when I was much younger, or a biker dude, or a very femme ballerina Lesbian. I thought i should choose, settle down, make a commitment. Now, I see, I did choose: I settled down to the realization that human beings can just put me in awe. i have made a commitment to that. That is my choice.
  • Am I sorry I have nobody to grow old with me? yes. But this isn't a perfect world and my reality just isn't the norm. Add to that my behavioral health challenges, and a life partner would either have to be in a coma or absentee to live with me for decades. I know i'd be more financially secure in a partnership. I might have a home. I might even have children. And oh, i wish those things were true.
  • but, I guess, I'm the Forest Gump of the Queer rights movement; i was always around when things happened, but they never really happened to me; I was an observer, a supporter. And, regarding my sexual identity, it's cliche, cuz it's true: life is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you'll get.

Monday, August 09, 2010

MOVIE: "Red without Blue"

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Here, again, is that necessary narcissism that makes identifying with the subjects so complicated: are they privileged people, self obsessed, whining or are they truly persecuted, disrespected, misunderstood and damaged? The answer is probably yes. Just coming out in a cowboy state has got to be torture. Yet, it has got to be easier than being a low income person of color in an inner city hate fest, right? Who knows? They feel what they feel. I do not live in their skins. I know the film makers were committed to telling the story of the twins. But I would have shifted perspectives the minute I found out about Mom and her Boston marriage to her best friend. I think the entire story might have been more compelling, had we watched the twins through the eyes of their mother and heard her evolution from presuming her kids were no trouble to ignoring them unless they had a crisis or needed a ride to total shock feeling she failed them to denial about their life choices to resolution, absolution, acceptance and healing. THAT would have made the film MUCH more compelling! I loved the music. I did not mind the edits with home movies, but there was too much repetition of images. I loved the trans skeet shooting, complete with cussing; you can take the boy out of Montana, but you cannot take Montana out of the girl! I would like to know what happened with David in Paris. Dad was too distant, but that may be the actual role he plays in the family: passive provider who avoids arguments and just pays the bills? If Clair is a psych major, why are people wanting her to be a fashion consultant or airline steward? Why must every conversation about MtF trans people involve such rigid gender roles? Sigh. Yes, they brood too much; they are young people. Angst is second nature, especially in this modern age of SO many options: it can be paralyzing in its complications.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

MOVIE: "Guardians of the Frontier"

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While the main characters in the fil are female, the primary focus is phallic and, largely, associated with the potential of men to rape. Weiss says, on her web site, that the film is rather autobiographical; she does not elaborate. I was excited about this film because it was a first female director for the region, and because the modern story incorporates ancient folklore. But it is too male identified, and not in a good way: women seek approval of, protection from and validation by men throughout. Slavic folklore is full of powerful, female Goddesses; none appear here. Many are far more fierce, cunning and important than this so-called king of the forest (who has not appeared in an hour of online searching as other than a footnote). If the forest protector & potential threat to the women had been Baba Yaga, for instance, we would have had a fierce and intense story. She seldom assists the lost, is very threatening and lives in an ancient style of small cabin with no windows or doors (she flies out the chimney in a mortar with pestle & broom). She is an ancient and pervasive figure in many countries and is the inspiration for the classic Halloween witch. THAT would have been a powerful movie! I get the examination of boundaries: nations, genders, gender roles, modern vs. traditional, class and even race. But the neoFreudian symbolism & emphasis on potential danger of men is unexamined on more than a superficial basis. No virgins were harmed in the making of this movie.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

MOVIE: "Marilyn Hotchkiss' Ballroom Dancing. . ."

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Share |I dont think Ive ever seen a movie John Goodmans in that I dont like. Its not that hes a brilliant actor, its just that he has such great taste in scripts. Until now, that is. With this performance, I can say Goodman is a brilliant actor. I could FEEL him, every time he spoke. It hurt my belly to watch this. As per the usual Goodman choices, this is not the same old boring formula writing. Its unique and off center and really interesting. Hurt like the dickens to watch and so encouraging!

MOVIE: "Ladies in Lavendar"

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Sometimes, if youre very lucky, something shows up in your necessarily restricted life. It is stranded and weak, but you know, without any doubt, that this is extraordinary. You know it without language or history or experience. And you find yourself loving this: quietly, personally, intimately. When it has recovered its strength and shows its true talents, the world comes clamoring and pushes you aside. You watch, fearfully, as it gets pulled farther and farther from you. Now, you are, again, alone and think yourself even worse off than before, because this beauty you loved has been taken from you and the loss is an aching grief. Now, just as you have found true love, it has gone. If you sit very still with yourself and if you truly love this beauty, you will work past your personal loss and realize how magnificent it is that this love you gave has helped the beauty blossom. Its as fulfilling as romance, marriage, parenthood and career -- none of which youve ever experienced. And it is the best gift you have for the world. That is enough.

MOVIE: "How About You?"

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Go back & look @ that stunt sequence again: a LIVE actor steps toward the edge, jumps, lands on what appears to be hard concrete, camera moves forward; you would SWEAR there is no padding, THEN break to close up of lead actor on sidewalk! THAT was a GOOD SHOT! I like how the film shifts sympathies from the lead actor to the ghost; I do not think I have ever seen that in Asian horror before. Single motherhood is terrifying. Add to that spirit beings who reincarnate in, well, a very intimate fashion, and the fact that you can SEE it! Add to that what you have always been taught about ghosts being bad or creepy. Now, try to reconcile yourself that your own baby will be a reincarnated being? I can see the stress in this. In a single-child China, I can understand if the film makers might have some regretful, whistful thought on the accessibility of abortion and want to linger in a medium close up pan of newborns. I really can. I WISH a film like this would be rewritten, directed and produced by WOMEN, though. I think we have more depth in the matter, frankly. I have to say this to another viewer/reviewer: saying you do not believe in Buddha is like saying you do not believe in George Washington. They are both historical figures. And I am pretty sure Buddha does not have much faith in you, either.

MOVIE: "Akeelah and the Bee"

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I thought this would be the story of Ashley White, from the documentary SPELLBOUND. It was not. The white script writer was inspired by Ms. White, who had none of the advantages of more affluent competitors in her bee, but this is a fiction, not biography. I suppose one could say this is an exploitation of Ms. White, as she received no benefits from the film, as those in the film have received from the story of Ms. White. It is very idealized. The most moving aspect of the story for me was seeing the community pitch in to help Akeelah study. I thought, oh, good. Finally, the African American community is remembering its deep roots in community cooperation for survival, achievement and success! We are all so much stronger when we work together, rather than competing and tearing each other down to get on top. I do not know if Ms. White had such supporters. I think not. She ended up a homeless, teen mother. Now, however, she is attending Howard University, with the help of newspaper readers who heard her story. After graduate school, she wants to work with chldren to help those who have been where she has been. I think the story of Ms. White deserves a film. I would have given this movie five stars, if it had been a more honest and less sugar coated portrayal. I just do not thing this is honest. The cast is magnificent, particularly KeKe. A real spelling champ has a small role, and worked as consultant to the film. He says a bad word, though. It is an excellent film for all young girls, struggling to accomplish SOMETHING besides capitulating to the unrealistic Barbie/ho gender roles popular culture demands. It really is ok to be intelligent, inquisitive, strong, opinionated and studious, you know.

Coolest part of the film:
50,000 Coaches (video)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

MOVIE: "Suicide Club"

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Watch it HERE
It is not a suicide club, and the name of the film is actually SUICIDE CIRCLE. This is about fads, about corporate marketing to kids as young as 2 years old, about utilizing modern forms of media to manipulate children. The problem arises when it is the children who begin to manipulate back. The writer/director is also a performance artist & poet. He staged massive poetry readings & art exhibits in Tokyo subways by advertising on the net, by cell phone, etc. It was an early mob event. Tokyo police did not know what to do and the events continued for several weeks. This is his answer to the question, what if the kids used new media today and sent the message, are you connected to yourself? There is no criminal to which anybody can point, because we are all complicit in this crime: we are murdering our young. This is pure art. I do not understand all the symbolism (butterfly tattoos, baby chicks), but I wonder if I need to, if it is because I am not urban Japanese or if I am just too old to get it. I will tell you this: SUICIDE CIRCLE should be shown in every Urban Planning, Psychology, Womens Studies and sociology class in the USA, let alone Japan. A website is mentioned near the beginning of the movie, by The Bat. That site is active. I joined today. Girls are talking. It is called jikennews dot com There are other, semi-hidden sites on the net. It takes little investigation. The circle is there. So are the dots.

MOVIE: "Thousand Pieces of Gold"

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This story continues today: women are brought to this country, or kidnapped here, and forced into slavery and prostitution. I honor the woman of this story for having luck, good fortune, intelligence, a network of alliances to avoid some of the worst pitfalls. I do not, however, for one second believe that a tiny woman who would wield a huge knife at a big, drunk white guy who just paid two hundred bucks to rape her would be afraid to tell a Chinese guy that she has set his cap for him. I also wish stories would be told of Chinese women who managed to survive and flourish in this historical period without the protection of a romantic alliance with a white man. I have no qualms with the story of this woman. I do, hovever, think it feeds a stereotype that we all need the protection of a white father to survive. The male/female gender relationships are revisionist history: folks just did not act that way back then, esp. Chinese & white relationships. It is as bad to revise history in a liberal bent as it is to revise it so that folks wearing Confederate flags on their hats would look like sanctified homeboys who loved their Black neighbors, ignoring the legacy of slavery and lynching. I am disappointed, but give three stars for acting & attempt at Chinese American history of women.

MOVIE: "The Eye 2"

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Go back & look @ that stunt sequence again: a LIVE actor steps toward the edge, jumps, lands on what appears to be hard concrete, camera moves forward; you would SWEAR there is no padding, THEN break to close up of lead actor on sidewalk! THAT was a GOOD SHOT! I like how the film shifts sympathies from the lead actor to the ghost; I do not think I have ever seen that in Asian horror before. Single motherhood is terrifying. Add to that spirit beings who reincarnate in, well, a very intimate fashion, and the fact that you can SEE it! Add to that what you have always been taught about ghosts being bad or creepy. Now, try to reconcile yourself that your own baby will be a reincarnated being? I can see the stress in this. In a single-child China, I can understand if the film makers might have some regretful, whistful thought on the accessibility of abortion and want to linger in a medium close up pan of newborns. I really can. I WISH a film like this would be rewritten, directed and produced by WOMEN, though. I think we have more depth in the matter, frankly. I have to say this to another viewer/reviewer: saying you do not believe in Buddha is like saying you do not believe in George Washington. They are both historical figures. And I am pretty sure Buddha does not have much faith in you, either.

MOVIE: "Beautiful"

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Beautiful is amongst the first projects in the world to use the new Sony F23 CineAlta HD Camera, this has enabled us to shoot HD with the flexibility of film, says Smith. We are projecting daily rushes that are exciting to watch, given the superior full resolution images we are seeing. INSIDE FILM Now you know why the tight close ups of dew-dripped roses, spider webs and road kill look so sharp and crisp. I hope this film is to Sebastian Gregory what BACHELOR PARTY was to Tom Hanks: a way to get face time and launch a decent career, but a piece of his filmography he will never mention on The Tonight Show unless someone else brings it up, and even then, only with mortification all over his face. This film has about the same substance as BP: manipulation of audience, as much profundity as a drying puddle and a nearly pathological fear of conventionally good looking blondes. It is as full of cheap tricks as a half=drunk illusionist in a bad cocktail lounge in Las Vegas. It is all smoke, mirrors and misdirection (I mean the latter literally). There is, as Gertrude Stein said, no there there, as can be perfectly exemplified by the ending. Who cares who worked on the film? Not the director, for sure. I did not much care for this mov

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

MOVIE: "Adam and Steve"

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This MAY be the FUNNIEST Queer film I have EVER seen! It is funny because it is HONEST, SMART and REAL. It is not self consciously trying to be clever, cool or hip. In fact, it is pretty much just the opposite. Most of us are just regular schmoes, trying to get through life without utter humiliation or breaking every bone in our bodies. We do not have time or energy to primp in front of mirrors, except to make sure we do not go into public with a big, green booger hanging out our noses. In this plastic fantastic world of plastic surgery and hair highlights, how in the world can we keep our heads screwed on right, let alone find someone to share our lives with? Under normal circumstances, I DETEST that particular song from the MOVIE of SOUND OF MUSIC, because it was padding, not part of the original score. But here, only here, and only under these circumstances, yeah! For those of you who like to send bright, shiny objects on to friends, the song, S*it Happens, is available as a UTube video. I already have it on my Facebook page. I am female, so I have no romantic agendas here. I just TOTALLY wish Adam and Steve were friends of mine! I could pich their cheeks. . . as long as nothing squirts.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

MOVIE: "Spitfire Grill"

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I am sick to DEATH of so-called christian men telling women we must be perpetual victims and QUOTE sacrifice END QUOTE for the good of the community! As a survivor of child sexual assault and abuse, I can tell you: prisons, mental hospitals, homeless shelters and the streets are FULL of women who were human sacrifices to the hubris, arrogance, violence, ignorance and tyranny of evil men, some of whom write screen plays to promote their religious agendas that perpetrate the same. 
 The problem is, most of us are not as cute, soft-spoken, wide-eyed, quaint and sweet as Percy; the traumas of our lives have left us rather unattractive, so we can rot while filmmakers bring in big bucks off of our suffering. 
THIS IS NOT A FILM BY, FOR OR ABOUT WOMEN! It is a film about a sad misinterpretation of sacred texts, superstition, condescension toward women and people with behavioral health challenges. 
Some proceeds from this film went to a religious kindergarten, so more suckers can be indoctrinated into the propaganda that the only good woman is a suffering woman. 
And TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD did a MUCH better job with Boo Radley! You even stole the MUSIC! That was very christian of you! 
If you want to help abuse survivors, stay out of our way! Do NOT speak FOR us; LISTEN to us -- and NOT with dollar signs in your eyes! 
This is a tear jerker only to those arrogant and ignorant enough to PITY us, rather than RESPECT OUR DIGNITY (because THAT, of course, would mean they might actually have to DO something to CHANGE THINGS!) 
Family values, my right mammary gland!

Sunday, July 04, 2010

MOVIE: "Requiem

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Fictionalized biography of Anneliese Michel, source of films, THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE and THE EXORCIST.

MY SUGGESTED THEORY OF WHAT REALLY HAPPENED: This film is a testiment to the sadistic, sexist domination of a corrupt, greedy church that encourages believers in blind obedience & superstition, in order to maintain power. Devout, young girl, knows no alternative to religion, sexually molested by parish priest who blames girl for tempting him to damnation (see story of Eve). Girl is epileptic; blames seizures on what she thinks is her sin. Begins penance for wayward priests, sleeping on bare floors, even in winter. At puberty, begins self-abuse & anorexia. Girl escapes to university, despite controlling mother. Sexual relationship with boy triggers repressed memories of sexual assaults by priest as voices, visions; cannot pray, touch crucifix. Feels shame & guilt for sexuality; consults priest, who touches her too often & encourages identification with saint who suffered similar symptoms & died young, martyred. She cannot identify, totally, with Katherine, as she is not virgin: more shame, guilt. Katherine tortured and killed when she could not persuade Roman Emperor to stop torturing Christians, but converted Empress. Katherine held as role model for Catholic femininity: the chaste martyr. Priest suggests Katherine's suffering a good thing; does not suggest medical attention. Friends try to help, but boyfriend returns her to source of trauma: family home & parish, afraid of stigma of hospital. Parents, priests gang up, feed delusion of supernatural possession; confine woman to house; ignore medical alternatives; constantly suggest demonic possession; allow woman to starve. This is not a horror film; it is a biographical drama. Every survivor of child sexual abuse can see what really happened here. Props to her school friends, who tried to support her to leave her madness & heal.

Film available on NetFlix and elsewhere with English subtitles.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

please use emoticons

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 ok, tease me all you like. just know that you were not very playful with me, back in pg, so I'm not used to the concept of you being silly.

In order to help me wrap my head around the concept, it might be useful if you threw in an emoticon now and then, since I can't see your face. Some of the Japanese ones are rather complicated, so I'm not recommending them, but the standard, US happy face, etc.: those are pretty simple. I got so good at ascii imaging in chat rooms and forums, I could make animal faces and human body parts. yes, I could, and yes, I did.

I FINALLY watched Lugosi's Dracula! It took THREE DAYS to get through it. It has been very interesting to me to see how the indoctrination of my Southern Baptist childhood has completely disappeared! Things that I took as absolutely true, all they way into my mid 20s (long after I'd left the church) seem as fanciful as fairy tales, Santa or the idea that money really IS something.

It's no wonder people think I'm crazy. I'm not, of course. But my perceptions of reality are so DIFFERENT!

My foundations are rooted in entirely different soil now. Except for one thing: I have an inarticulate, but profoundly tender, memory of Jesus as my only friend, and of such phrases as "consider the lilies," "whatsoever you do unto the least of these," etc. Those values still hold in me. I did not throw out the baby with the bath water when I escaped, I'm proud to say. But I came very close!

So, Mr. Lugosi was very interesting to watch. His very expressive side kick was funny as hell and I'll bet a dollar the actor was gay. I now know that it was Mina, Dracula's victim in the film, who had scared me the worst. Subconsciously, I was terrified I would become like her: a slave to my midnight, bedroom visitors.

I get my terror now. I can protect myself, seeing I didn't turn out to be a victim. And I can comfort that little girl who was so scared.

MOVIE: "Beyond Belief"

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OH! The arrogant opining of NettFlicks viewers! And how many of them have set an Afghan woman up with a micro-business, I have to wonder! The Afghan woman who said 5 stories burned? To her five stories IS a tall building! She can not even imagine anything as tall as the trade towers! As to all the self-endulgent, self-interest of the US women who started the organization? Really listen to them: out of everything they say, maybe, MAYBE they speak of themselves one twentieth of the time! The rest, they talk about family, their lost husbands, the organization and its plans, the futures of those they love, the futures of Afghan widows they have yet to meet. Ninety nine percent of the ideas that come from these women are positive, productive, accepting and tolerant of others, life-affirming and pro-active, unlike viewer reviews at NettFlicks. Those who can, do. Those who cannot, criticize those who do. For a single mother of small children to get on an airplane -- after her husband died in one -- and fly to a country that has been at war longer than she has been alive, even after an aid worker there was held prisoner -- to assist widows in starting businesses and getting out of abject poverty? How can ANY of us criticize that, question her motives or grumble that this documentary is not polemic enough? They are replacing hate and fear with love and dignity. What more can anybody do?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

MOVIE: "Avatar"

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Great White Father has finally incorporated the most elusive power indigenous peoples had left: sympathy for the exploitation of the oppressed. He has learned that, by representing compassion for people who live in balance with their planet, and for that planet, itself, he can rake in billions of dollars from viewers of his film. And he doesn't need to spend a dime of those profits to benefit indigenous peoples or the environment. It is the Ultimate Exploitation and psychic rape of all our ancestors and of Earth.

I've heard people say they want to live on Pandora. Guess what? We already do. Every feature of every "living" thing on that planet  exists right now, on Earth, but in its authentic and viable (not fantastic and biologically impossible) configuration. We can see them on nature programs. We can see them in our yards, in our trees, in our ponds in our seas. They are here, right now. Real hammer headed animals are in danger of extinction today. They need our love and adoration, not a cartoon! Cameron rips off the interesting features of real and threatened beings right here. Nothing in this film is original.

The network of energy on Earth is well documented. In science, it is called Systems Theory: nothing exists without interdependence on everything else. The Gaia Principle goes so far as to posit that Earth is actually a living organism: self organizing, conscious, capable of reproduction, capable of death.

We don't need a fairy tale. We need to see what is around us.

The exploitation of the indigenous is so obvious to anybody who will just look. Remember apartheid in South Africa? Do you think that may have had anything to do with the white minority needing a cheap labor force to mine gold and diamonds there?

Ok, so the film lets us know that indigenous peoples have wisdom, intuit their natural surroundings and revere the sanctity of natural life. And the viewer should sympathize.

The viewer is blatantly told there is nothing we can do to protect and defend such peoples here, nor the planet here. Earth appears not to have a deity who will respond to prayers for help, rally the beasts and save us from ourselves. Therefore, it is useless to try. We are only humans. We cannot make a difference without divine intervention.

The second, most important, message of the film? We must use tactics of violence to force our will on others -- "tree-huggers" or not. There is no option.

We have a planet where trees can heal living beings, where beings can speak to divinity through plants and speak to other beings through a literal connection to them. Why, then, cannot that deity restore balance to her planet without explosions, blood shed, fire, agony, terror? Because we cannot let the feminine goddess principle have any real power?

Another toxic message of this film is that native peoples cannot protect, defend, nurture themselves without the interference of the Great White Father. Who organizes the indigenous population: one of their noble lineage of leaders, holy people, hunters? No. They needed a U.S. Marine to get them together, organize the charge and save them! They couldn't possibly do it without him, right?

The fact is this: violence will never heal our planet. Revolution is simply a turning of the wheel of suffering: those on the bottom revolve to the top, using the same tactics of domination, threat, xenophobia, cultural entitlement, cruelty as the former oppressors. This old and tired paradigm no longer works.

The goddess of the planet could easily have sent weather to make flight impossible. She could have made electromagnetic fields so intense that machines couldn't fly. She could have allowed a fungus or other microbe to eat the seals of the air masks the humans must wear. She could have corroded circuitry with fog. There are a million things she could have done to end this exploitation. Instead, she sent the animals to war with the human invaders? As air ships explode, flora, fauna and native peoples die, the air fills with smoke, fuel pours onto ground and into water, THIS is how a planetary goddess would "restore balance?"

We don't need any more magical thinking about the crisis of Earth. We don't need any more messages about how powerless we are to change anything. We don't need Great White Father to rescue us. We need hope. We need to be challenged to participate in our own lives, right NOW, to restore balance.

A planetary goddess, the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus nor anybody else will save us from ourselves. Only WE can do that.

I would suggest we become more like the natives were before contact with the humans, not make the natives more like us.

This was the most dis-empowering piece of cinematic propaganda I've seen since "Birth of a Nation."

Let us get back to Earth. And get to work. Now. 

Mother's Fight to Prove her Daughter Innocent: Mother Fights to Prove Daughter Innocent! Please E...

Mother's Fight to Prove her Daughter Innocent: Mother Fights to Prove Daughter Innocent! Please E...: "E-MAIL Washington State Governor Gregoir : h Tell her that Emily’s Darguzhytes, arrest and..."

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Thank you for sharing your concerns about a person you identified as a
patient at Western State Hospital.  Due to confidentiality and privacy
laws, I regret that I cannot speak about specific patients, nor can I
confirm that the person you are inquiring about is a patient here. 

Washington State is governed by very strict involuntary commitment laws,
RCW 71.05 and RCW 10.77.  I recommend a review of these laws if you wish
to examine further the reasons a patient might legally remain under
detention against their will.  The law also addresses how and when
forced medications can be administered if needed.  In addition to
abiding by state law, Western State Hospital is accredited by the Joint
Commission and abides by its standards of quality care. 

Western State Hospital takes every complaint very seriously and makes
every effort to ensure each patient receives the best care possible.
Might I also add that the website from which you received information
refers to "inmates" at Western State Hospital.  Patients at Western
State Hospital are not "inmates" and are in no way serving a sentence.
Patients receive treatment for their mental illness, with the ultimate
goal of returning to the community as soon as they are ready. 

Thank you for interest.

Jess Jamieson, PhD
Chief Executive Officer
Western State Hospital

Monday, June 28, 2010

why I'm watching horror movies

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Well, "Teeth" is actually a very dark comedy. Personally, I think it is miscategorized, but I bet they did it because of graphic imagery -- not of the actual biting of male members, but the after effects. I like Teeth because you can't smirk at Dawn for being one of those Abstinence Only people; her reasoning is sound, and has nothing to do with vagina dentata which, at the beginning of the film, she doesn't realize she even has. Dawn only bites when frightened or severely startled. Her gynecologist, for example, was actually molesting her. It's a very well written philosophy of women's right to control our bodies, destinies and souls, couched in this totally ridiculous, humorous and actually dignified point of view. The audience isn't just rooting for Dawn to survive, but respecting her decisions. It's really celebratory; we
laugh because we're happy for her.

There's something about Austin, Kate. I don't know what it is, but a lot of the stuff I find very interesting comes from Austin. Like, once, I met this group of sideshow performers. They actually call themselves freaks. They're people with physical differences and they put on SUCH a good show! It's very amusing and it also introduces people to the liberation of the physically different. Here's their website:

The more I learn about Austin, the more I'd like to see it.

Back to horror. I've seen some interesting Japanese horror, mostly ghost stories, set in period. I've seen some really good Korean and Chinese stuff, too. Most of it is more like the Twilight Zone. Some has gore, but it's not the point of the story and could easily be left out, in my opinion.

I also saw this German flick "Otto, or Up With Dead People," which is commentary on Queer bashing, AIDS,
homeless youth, behavioral health challenges and the degradation of the environment. Otto is a zombie and gets a role in an experimental film about Gay zombie men, organizing for civil rights. It's very gorey. Again, that's more for shock value and is unnecessary, in my opinion, and those of quite a few viewers on NetFlix, too. Still, it's a very poignant film. I guess I can relate because I was a lot like Otto when I was a teen runaway.

Today, I watched The Exorcist for the first time since I saw it as a new release, when I was in high school and still caught up in fundamentalist Christianity. I am AMAZED at how differently I see that film now, and what it tells me about guilt, shame, fear of punishment, etc. heaped on people by hierarchical religious institutions! I no longer believe any of the things that made that film scary back then! Now, it's just sad, and a lot of hard work to watch.

What I'm learning from horror is how to think outside the formula of story telling. I'm also learning what works for suspension of disbelief, and what is just too irresponsible to use as a foundation for a fantasy story. In horror, anything can happen. Most conventional dramas and comedies stay too grounded in mundane life and don't go to that other place. Exceptions would be "Beloved" and "The Green Mile," but those are often not very popular because they're too complex for the viewer to grasp or because the "paranormal" aspects look like a cheesy, cheap plot resolution after over an hour of the viewer wondering what the heck is going on.

I'm trying VERY hard not to fall into either trap. Don't get me wrong: Beloved is brilliant, even the film. But the ordinary audience member has too little background in African American history, in poetic metaphor, psychology of trauma and indigenous spirituality to have references for it as a film.

By the way, Marianna Dengler paid for tickets so I could take the local girls in the 'hood to the opening of Beloved at the fancy theater here. THEY understood it, with barely ANY experience in any of the above subjects, except what we'd discussed from films they'd seen at my home. But they got it, just like my illiterate, hillbilly grandma was the ONLY person who understood the e.e. cummings poem I read at my father's memorial!

I think we learn too much stuff and that's how we lose intuition and native emotion.

So, by watching horror, which is a huge genre of multiple sub categories, I am learning how to think for my self, not by rote formula, and still tell an effective story.

I'm also so appreciating cinematography, SOUND and music, etc.

I'm not interested in snuff, violence, etc. I'm interested in story telling. I've even learned some interesting stuff from Ed Wood. He's not as awful as people think, writing wise. His thinking and storytelling were interesting. I loved "Glen or Glenda" and am now trying to wade through "Bride of the Monster," which has some decent writing in it.

There's a film called "Matinee" with John Goodman. He's bringing a B horror film to a theater in the Florida Keys. It's called "Mant," about a mutated man/ant, product of nuclear radiation. Problem is, he's doing it just as the local sailors are on stand by from the Cuban Missile Crisis. It's a great discussion of nukes, the effects of Cold War propaganda on civilians, etc. But it's VERY funny and VERY scary, but not for horror reasons. It doesn't preach at all and it's really entertaining.

I first watched James Whale's Frankenstein with a new eye after Vito Russo's book Celluloid Closet, which taught me how to really look at movies. I've never been to film school, you see. I began to see all kinds of interesting stuff in Frankenstein: subversive ideas, sexualities, abstract art, metaphors, etc.

So, I'm learning how to write my story by watching other story tellers of unusual tales.

ALSO: It is very gratifying to me that I am unliving some childhood trauma. I was TERRIFIED, as a child, by the film, Them, which was the original, nuclear mutant ant film (and filmed in places I frequented, like Joshua Tree and the Los Angeles River).

That's why I rewatched The Exorcist today. I'm thinking of revisiting other films onto which I'd projected the terror of my childhood, as well.

I'm still flirting with Lugosi's Dracula, by sneaking up on it with those bad Ed Wood movies. I've developed a genuine affection for Lugosi as a result, but still can't bring myself to watch Dracula.

Dracula symbolizes the late night visits to my bed by my parents, you see. I'll get there, just not yet.

But I could hug Lugosi now; back then, I can't tell you how frightened I was of him, or anybody with an accent like his. Our neighbors were Czech, and I was convinced he'd jump the fence with a knife in his mouth and kill us all in our sleep (effects of Cold War stuff here).

I do not remember most of my childhood. Dracula may bring some stuff back, given how resistant I am to viewing it.

But, I made it through The Exorcist today without any traumatic memory associations, so maybe it's time.

Seeing Lugosi now, knowing how painful, lonely and frightened his life was in addiction, I feel myself want to cry. I learned this from the movie, Ed WOod, and then looked Lugosi up. He was a sad old man, desperate and broke, with no other talent besides being the bogey man. sigh.

See, a lot of stuff gets classified as horror just because nobody really knows what else to do with it. It's the weird independent films, the real artists, the backwater messages and ideas.

What passes for horror these days is just pathetic. Some of this older stuff, the foreign stuff, the low budget stuff, though, is really interesting.

There's a film called Horror In The Wind. A drug gets accidentally released on the population. It was SUPPOSED to keep people pacified. It was an experiment of the theocratic government of the USA, under President Pat Roberston. But something goes horribly wrong. Instead of making people passive, it just reverses sexual orientation: all straights are now Queer and Queers heterosexual. The CONVERSATIONS about this are PRECIOUS. It's a TERRIBLE movie, but it should be a cult classic. I call it the Attack of the Killer Tomatoes for Queer Nation. It's a lot of fun. That is categorized as a horror movie!

MOVIE: "The Exorcist"

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As a former thumper, I can tell you why it was terrifying. We knew nothing of Islam, except that we believed it was a false religion, superstitious, and a road to Hell. We knew nothing of ancient cultures of the Fertile Crescent, but knew Biblical condemnation of others. The demon is based on a real, pre-Islamic deity, not associated with evil locally, but only by Christians. The audience is already set up, thrust into a culture about which we know little beyond superstition and stereotypesl Coincidental happenings, such as a dog fight and a carriage coming out of a blind corner, as omens of interference by demonic forces. Also note: disabilities will be targeted as evidence of evil. Specifically, the black smith with a cataract in his eye. All fundamentalists are warned away from dabbling: by playing with such items as Ouija boards, we open a gateway through which evil can manifest. As a person with a brain injury, I sincerely resent the linking of behavioral health challenges with evil or demon possession. Fear of female sexuality is a prime factor in this story; Regan exhibits symptoms just after her twelth birthday: onset of menses? So called witchcraft, indigenous faith practices, are not synonymous with satanism; that's Christian propaganda. Props to two actors who were uncredited: Carlotta Mercedes McCambridge, who had to sue to get credit as the voice of the demon and Eileen Dietz, who performed the demon, particularly in problematic scenes. Props also to sound engineering. At the time, the innovations in sound and music were extra terrifying, as these were relatively new and unheard techniques (Tubular Bells became a huge hit, as a result). I am very grateful that I am no longer victimized by the guilt, superstition, fear, shame and smallness of a religion that needs to resort to parlor tricks to keep its victims – congregation – dependent. Seeing this again, I see the only power the church has is from the ignorance of its followers.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

MOVIE: "Teeth"

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First off, mad props to the old guy in the red Cadillac (Doyle Carter). I just pray he was as embarrassed acting his role as I was watching. I've met creepy leches like his character and, yes, they are that ugly. Sorry, Mr. Carter, bu that means you did a great job. Quoting the Austin Public Library here, QUOTE Doyle has been an extra in over fifty motion pictures with speaking roles in several movies and commercials. . . . He tells Texas Ranger stories, circus stories, and performs a one-man show on Will Rogers. Doyle is a member of the Screen Actors Guild, The Tejas Storytelling Association, Central Texas Storytelling Guild, and the Wild Western Arts Club (Trick Ropers Association). END QUOTE The more I learn about Austin, the more I suspect I should be living there. Next, the sound track is as good as anything Danny Elfman ever squeezed out. This film had a 2 million budget, and is darn near flawless. Please note the name of the dog owned by her half brother, Mother. This movie is fascinating on at least fifty levels. And now a word about the lead actor, Ms. Jess Weixler, a Julliard graduate and Louisville, KY homegirl. I foresee the next Helen Hunt here. What range! The grotto scene? It brought tears to my eyes, as it begins to dawn on her character what just happened. I once laughed, while making love to a guy. I saw a look of terror and pain cross his eyes. I will tell you, from first hand experience, that this primal fear some men have of the vulva is very real. And all I did was laugh. Speaking of laughing, this film totally cheered me up! I scared my cat twice, guffawing loudly. It's only horror to boiz who can never be men!

MOVIE: "The Girl Next Door"

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My genitals are mutilated; my mother tried to pull them off with her fingernails.

QUOTE Likens attempted to escape a few days before her death after overhearing Baniszewski's plan to have her dumped in a wooded area nearby, but was caught by Baniszewski as she reached the front door. As punishment, she was tied in the basement and given only crackers to eat. On October 26, 1965, after multiple beatings, burnings, and scalding baths, she died of a brain hemorrhage, shock, and malnutrition. END QUOTE


Every dime of profit from the story of Ms. Likens should go toward ending child abuse. Nobody, not the actors, the director, the novelist, the miriad other knock-offs of this story, not the police, the judge, the prosecutor, the defense attorney, the undertaker or NotFlux -- should get a single penny of profit for this story. It should all be donated to keep it from ever happening again.

According to US federal law, this film is child pornography. Depiction of full frontal nudity of a child being tortured is inexcusable. It makes this film lolicon manga, which is even illegal in Japan. It is the ultimate violation of Ms. Likens: what her torturer could not finish in the way of humiliation, objectification and complete dismissal of her rights as a human being has bee expertly accomplished with this film.

MOVIE: "Otto or Up with Dead People"

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The only thing truly pornographic about this movie is the fact that modern culture has decayed to such a point of indifference, hostility, greed, lust and cruelty as entertainment that such a film needs to be made. Sound engineering, composition, camera work were very, very good. Some locations were quite visually striking. I am sorry Medea is such a ridiculous characture, as nearly everything she says is true, but spoken in the shrill polemic of the self-righteous and, therefore, influentially impotent. I suppose she speaks for modern, post-industrial culture, which is eating its young. For me, the movie began as side-show camp, degenerated into a revolutionary manifesto and, just as it began to tail spin toward Earth, pulled up at the last moment to become deeply moving and poignant. I know Otto. I was Otto. Cans of gasoline were never far from my consciousness. Feral children seldom have many options; control of the individual body is one of the only ones available. This is a love story to the lost children and a wake up call to us smug, complacent adults who live in denial as we bequeath squalor and filth to our offspring.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

MOVIE: "Female Misbehavior"

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I am beginning to see a common thread among gender benders, defiers, outlaws and cyborgs: survival narcissism. We are so shunned, derided, stigmatized and persecuted, we tend to retreat into ourselves. This can manifest as a sense of superiority, self aggrandizement and blaming everybody else for the fact that we do not fit in because, obviously, they are idiots. That is a slur against people with behavioral health challenges. Stigmatizing the most vulnerable among us to make our point just makes us look crass. Or, we can mask our fear, loneliness, self doubt and anger with an artificial persona that, embarrassingly, screams and pleads to be recognized, loved and appreciated, even though we have limited real talent and can only expose our genitals in public in order to get attention. Or, we can encase ourselves in armor and devote an inordinate amount of time, money and energy on putting layers of steel and leather between ourselves and those we desire. Or, we can honestly embrace the fact that we've HAD to be self obsessed, in order to survive our transition from being fundamentally uncomfortable with ourselves, speak honestly, in a calm, friendly, relaxed and self loving manner about our past journeys and hopes for the future. Almost everything Paglia said is true, but she is shrill, self righteous and undeservedly haughty. Sprinkle is vaudeville gone tragically wrong. No offense, leather woman, but I know a lot more interesting people in the life than you. Max, you are just lovely! Your insights into changes in your feelings as a result of hormone therapy really got me interested in what that really means about gender, and I'm a feminist. You were a cool drink of calm, after the shrill and shiny three before you. All four of you, I wish you peace, humility, joy, love, patience, respect and dignity.

Friday, June 25, 2010

MOVIE: "Gendernauts: A Journey Through Shifting Identities"

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These folks do not owe anybody a dang thing. They took the time, energy and risk to invite us in to their circle. And NotFlux users whine that they are too nineties, whatever that means, too San Francisco. What? Is it a trans person here who implies they set a bad example "for the rest of us," like it is their job to dress like Barbie or Ken to make the larger society comfortable? Excuse me, Barbie and Ken have no nipples or genitalia! Who wants to live like that? Better living through modern surgery or chemistry may be the thing for some people. Fine. Why is it such a threat if some other people do not choose to participate in gender segregation? Reading reviews here, I was afraid I was going to see a bunch of immoral, drunken circus freaks, living in mansions and copulating with alien artifacts! Ok, maybe I did see more of Ms. Sparkle than I would have preferred (with or without clothing). Maybe the interior design, landscaping and architecture are too upper middle class for my change purse. I agree the homogeneity of skin color got tedious. What we miss by marginalizing and silencing other humans! Regular people are dull in this modern, prefabricated age. Yeah, they move rocks, waggle dongs, make inscrutable vid poems and shoot their friends in the rump with a needle, without alcohol. Stop clucking your tongues! Someone is clucking at you, too. Let us all silence our inner chicken.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

MOVIE: "Irina Palm"

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In order to see how funny this movie is, must it be absolutely necessary that one be a dowdy, fat, middle aged woman? I cracked up through the whole thing! Most of the humor is in how humorless others are. Look, I just wish somebody ever loved me enough to do what Maggie did! I would do it, if someone I loved needed me. It is hard, after fifty, for me to see myself as still worthy of love and respect. We live in a culture where the value of a woman is still, far too much, based on her ability to please men. Maggie found a work-around. It may have made the heads of those around her pop like a tick, but that is not the responsibility of Maggie. I am so glad to see scripts being written for real women, going out, timidly, into the big, bad world and shaking it, quite literally, in this case, to its knees. Brava!

Monday, June 14, 2010

MOVIE: "Tadpole"

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Since when is a fifteen-year-old child QUOTE old enough to make your own decisions END QUOTE ?? I agree with another viewer review here: if this were a girl, being seduced by a forty-year-old man -- Oh, but I forget: there is a film here on NotFlax called THE LOVER. In it, a fifteen-year-old girl is beaten and raped by a thirty-five-year-old man. The scenes are graphic. It is child pornography, legally; it does not matter the age of the actor portraying a child. Yet, NotFlax viewers RAVE about what a great film it is! Soon, we will catch up to Japan and lolicon. Our daughters will turn tricks in their school uniforms; toddlers will pose provocatively on magazine covers. Porn sites, accessible in the USA, already depict grown men raping babies. This movie is NOT FUNNY. Were the lead an ADULT of eighteen years or older, it MIGHT be funny. But this is a child, completely drunk, statutorily raped by a forty-year-old. When I see a child drunk, I alert the family. If the family is to blame, I call child protective services. I do NOT RAPE HIM!

TADPOLE? Why, he is barely a SPERM!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

MOVIE: "Secret Society"

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Wow! I SO wish we had a Sumo club where I live! I would SO be there! What a positive, funny, honest film! I wonder how they got any male rikishi to perform in this film? Sumo is pathologically sexist and xenophobic. Women are not allowed to TOUCH the mat. Only one foreigner is allowed in any Sumo stable, and naturalized Japanese citizens are not even permitted to participate, as they are born outside of Japan.

HOWEVER! I do think Sumo could be a GREAT way for fat women to bond, learn self discipline, find the beauty in their strength, kick some skinny @$$ and generally cause a lot of chaos! I could not stand the regimen of actual Sumo, and I doubt a lot of non-Japanese could. I doubt a lot of Japanese could!

But this film was SO FUN!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

MOVIE: "Lilies"

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With all our wealths of talent, technique, equipment, production funding, script writers, engineers and even locations, why cannot US film makers produce something worthy to even stand in the shadows of this piece? What a cast! The lighting! The sound track! The acting! The interpretation of the play and the play within it! And the play within that! I will always remember this film, and I cannot say that about many. Some here called it QUOTE boring END QUOTE and I cannot imagine it! I needed to eat and kept saying, after this scene, I will pause it. It never happened. I did not want to interrupt it and was constantly on edge to see what happens next! It is finally over and I am FINALLY eating! So, if you are hypoglycemic, I suggest you prepare a meal in advance: something easy to eat without looking at it, because you will not be able to take your eyes away long enough. This is brilliant.

Monday, June 07, 2010

MOVIE: "Last Chance Harvey"

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You think you have done an ok job with your life when suddenly, everybody you know angrily, impatiently informs you that you are not welcome, you cannot be trusted, you are no longer needed and you are a bit embarrassing.

The pain of that, the humiliation, the sense of helplessness, the grief and the regret can quite literally kill you. I have some experience in this, so I could relate.

Now, through some fluke -- or is it just enough wisdom to answer Opportunity? -- you recognize that your life has shifted, the old rules no longer apply and that you have choices you have not experienced since you were a very young person.

Do you scamper to pick up whatever shards of your life you can patch together, or do you take this last chance?

I have not been charmed by Dustin Hoffman like this since MIDNIGHT COWBOY, quite frankly. Emma Thompson is uncharacteristically passive, but even that performance is powerful, as it is a conscious choice to not resist this phenomenon that quite literally just sits down next to her and will not take no for an answer.

The sound track was awesome: evocative, but light, timeless but fresh like a dry, white wine.

Quite frankly, I had no idea London was so beautiful and bright.

I think James Brolin is a jerk and, therefore, perfectly cast in this film.

The nobility of a misguided person, dusting off the delusions of a rote life, making amends and moving on: it is a classic tale, on a humble scale.

For those of you who hated this film, wait until the disappointments and regrets of later years and view it again.

For those of you who think it an ill match, Thompson played opposite Hopkins, who shares the same birth year with Hoffman. Nobody objected then, so let it be now. Perhaps Thompson is too timeless and too wise for men her own age? Perhaps Hoffman is too full of life to be old?

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

MOVIE: "Latter Days"

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Wow! There are some CRABBY people watching Queer films on NetFlix! Whew! Maybe it is because I lived in Los Angeles back in the seventies, when we did not HAVE any protections, sympathizers, supporters, etc. So, to me, this movie is profound in that, here we are, forty years later, and the SAME issues of persecution, self hatred, condemnation and electroshock are still in the conversation! Yes, you should probably know a bit about Mormons to really appreciate what that kid is giving up. I also liked that the Mormon is not portrayed (in fact, none of the missionaries are) as some backwoods, awe shucks, naive doofus. In fact, our hero is actually thoughtful, articulate, meditative, funny, philosophical, tender, tough. He walks in to this with eyes wide open; he knows the consequences and he is true to himself. Mr. Superficiality is not a factor of being Gay as much as it is of being a wanna be artiste in Los Angeles, waiting tables. I'm sorry boys so young still act so silly in this day and age. I had hoped we might evolve beyond that by now. Something nobody has mentioned: this film has a wonderful sound track. I did not look up artists, etc. I am just telling you what my ear heard. I liked these people, except broke arm mormon (get it?), who was an intentional arse hole. Technical question: is that filmed in an old mansion, used to be pink, converted to apartments, down on 4th street in Santa Monica? I used to stay there with a friend who rented the gardener shack. Made me home sick. I liked it, but then, I am an old woman who still remembers when kissing a person of the same gender in Los Angeles County was cause for lewd conduct arrests. The boys were pretty. The girls were, too. Fun dialogue: dots and peeps. I was eating peeps while I watched, by coincidence.

MOVIE: "The Stepford Wives"

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Ok, I would have given 4 stars, except I do not think blaming it on a woman is any indication of so-called liberation. Sorry. Where can you hide a whole town of robots? I suggest Fort Sumner, New Mexico, from which I barely escaped with my life last year. A Christian cross, 4 ft. tall, hangs in the public high school office. All the women look, pretty much, like those in the movie, except tight jeans, cowboy boots and hide purses with giant Christian crosses made out of nickel- and quarter- sized rhinestones are allowed. I realized the similarities during the Senatorial candidate announcement and actually started to cry. Only local cell phones work. There is no over-the-air television, even with converter boxes. There are 2 radio stations; one IS public radio, but they broadcast -- and I mean this literally -- elevator music from 10am to 4pm, weekdays. It is not as affluent as Stepford, for the most part. But the men are terrified and the women are passive and on prescription anti-depressants. Speaking of drugs, Glenn Close is a spokesperson for Mental Health America, which is a front for big PhRMA lobbying; they want everybody on drugs, even toddlers. So, I would have to say this is really happening and so quietly, with our own permission, that I do not think anybody can stop it now. They even have a real drug now called Soma. Enjoy your cupcakes.

Monday, May 31, 2010

MOVIE: "For Roseanna (Roseanna's Grave)"

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Silly Americans! This is an homage to Fellini! Of COURSE, there are bad, Italian accents! Have we ever SEEN a Fellini film, made for distribution in the states? Fellini, himself, did some of the voice over work in his films! Your FIRST clue should have been the circus folk, then the angel on a bicycle, then the clown posters and on and on! These weren't even heavy accents! I am beginning to think we live in a world now where media are so narrow cast, people can go through life never hearing another dialect! I have even read reviews at NetFlix where viewers whine about English (and sometimes they mean Australian) and even AMERICAN accents as being too thick to understand! My God, people! Get out of the MALL once in awhile and expose yourselves to LIFE! My only problem with this film is that Ruehl does not get enough dialogue and face time. This centers on the antics of the husband of her character far too much. But, it is his buffoonery that makes the film funny. And I did laugh out loud, which is unusual for me, on several occasions. She is the archetypal Virgin Mary tragic figure, which is rather a shame, as Ruehl is so funny, when she gets a chance. This is a dish of perfectly prepared pasta and a glass of wine from the local vineyard. The only people who could POSSIBLY object to this film eat too many burgers with fries, and will die never having lived. Bravissima, Ms. Ruehl! Molto bella! And the ending? Ah!

on cigarettes, sexuality and consciousness

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Well, I fell off the wagon when Nilly died, but I don't give up hope. Not going to force myself right now, though. I'm handling a lot of loss and stress.

I am not strong enough to bury Nilly properly. Dogs dragged her from her grave yesterday. Fortunately, these are eating, not playing, dogs and they cleaned her neck and head very well. But they pulled her whole body from the grave to do it. So, I dragged her back, covered her with some thin foam rubber I have and shoveled dirt over her again, just to reduce odor.

The problem is that the smell is attracting scavengers and predators, primarily stray and wild dogs. Some are pets; I can tell. Yesterday, I woke to find all my ducklings and goslings dead, not eaten. That indicates a house pet who is hungry, can kill, but doesn't know how to eat a kill.

Last night, there was a ruckus under the house. I saw a muzzle stick out a vent hole and threw firewood at it, which was stupid, as now, the dog was afraid to exit. So, I shifted into "nice dog" voice and a weird, little black and white thing with a long snout, like Patton's dog, came out. It has a body like a small pit bull. It's less than 2 feet long. It looked terrified, sad and remorseful. It had collar and leash, both old and faded.

As I was organizing her, another muzzle poked out. This is the same size, shorter, wooly with a face rather like an Irish setter. She's so old, her eyes are bleary. She, too, wore a faded collar and leash. They were chasing chickens under the house.

I wanted to hurt them, to kill them. But I saw the faces and knew, immediately what I had. The younger is a bitch in heat and the older is just an old bitch. It's obvious they had little care where they lived, judging by the condition of the shaggier one's coat. They aren't skinny, so I know they were dumped out here just a short time ago. Whoever had them just didn't want the inconvenience of them any more, put them in the car, drove up here and dumped them, leashes and all. They can't have been here more than 2 days. Nobody up here has seen them before.

I know they're the ones who killed the ducks and geese and probably my old rooster, too. I jerry rigged a tether to the front porch over night and got them food and water.

This morning, I made 2 tethers, running the width of my back yard. They have shelter under the back porch for now and a bucket of water. I'll put more kibble out, later.

They're close enough to goats and chickens to see them and get used to them, but can't hurt them. The younger is a pretty good barker, but only sounds off if there is actually something out there. They'll make good outdoor dogs. Weasel hates them; he's jealous and sticking to me like velcro.

Rachel has apologized for some of what she put me through. She can never have a normal relationship; I see that now. Her intersexed childhood, hiding her desire to be female, began her journey into secrets and hiding herself. I imagine the castration at 13 was far more of a trauma than she will ever acknowledge, and I expect her psychological development is partially stuck at that age. Many transsexuals go through long phases of self obsession. They are forced to become almost obsessively self-conscious about "passing," "living in stealth" and blending in. Rachel was never one of those people who became obsessed with makeup, hair, etc. to the point of looking like a drag queen. She is sensible about her appearance and wears functional clothing and shoes. But she was fat and has an eating disorder. She's in a recovery group now (at my persistent insistence) and weighs about half what she did when we met. She also had facial feminization surgery soon after we began living together; she'd been saving up for years.

The cumulative self-obsession and self-consciousness, combined with the role modeling of her dad's cruel mental illness, have left her with a bad case of narcissism. Everything outside Rachel's skin is only important if it benefits Rachel. Anything that interferes, even temporarily, with Rachel's agenda must be ignored, attacked and eliminated. This includes me.

She is an excellent mimic. She used to entertain school chums with her cartoon voices. She loved making her voice high. She is a sometimes stand-up comic. She works in radio. She can parrot others' philosophies, emotional perspectives and mannerisms very convincingly.

I fell in love with what she wanted me to believe about her. I'm not a chump; this happens to many who love narcissists. They are VERY good at manipulating people to care about them. But they cannot sustain it, of course, and that is what happened with us. The more I requested that we have an honest relationship, the more hostile she became until she became physically abusive.

The odds of a narcissist healing to some semblance of "normal" psychology are really bad. They have no interest and the process of facing oneself honestly is too threatening. They stay, forever stuck, in a world with themselves at the center, alone.

This grieves me, of course. Rachel is, basically, a very good person. She is funny, creative and even compassionate at times, when it will make her feel good about herself. She is very good at reading others, but, again, only to satisfy her own needs. She is living in the basement room she was in before we started dating: one window, dark, cramped, all alone. She likes it like that.

When an animal has been tortured its whole life, it is very difficult to gain its trust. It's nearly impossible to make it safe to be around. In Rachel's case, this last is especially true. She will always be dangerous, as long as she ignores what she needs to do to heal. Her damage is profound.

At the same time, I have a lot of respect for her. She has survived some very hideous experiences. She lives a relatively full and productive life. She finds little pleasure in anything, but seems somewhat content with the choices she has made.

I believe she senses the extent of her damage. For many years, she actually lived as though she were a cyborg; a human body with artificial intelligence and sensory apparatus. I believe she has retreated to that place again.

Being with me was too terrifying: I'm too out there, too expressive, and I attract too much attention. Rachel spends a lot of effort on being invisible, when not on stage.

So, I'm done being angry about Rachel. She cannot do what she cannot do. She cannot love me. She cannot see me as an equal or a partner. She cannot give without strings and hidden agendas. She cannot receive, for the same reasons.

We have 3 1/2 years' personal history together. We each know the other better than probably any other human on Earth, because we told each other stories we never told others. We know how each other operates in the world. I do not expect, given Rachel's path, however, that she will ever be able to understand or support me. To do so is a threat to her defenses and protections.

But, when I am in a crisis in some way to which Rachel can relate: the animals, the radio station, etc., I do contact her. She never does likewise, of course. She is a cyborg; she needs no one. She takes no risks, nor forms any attachments, which might cause her to feel anything that might hurt some day.

She lives in a world of film and radio. She is a geek with electronics and computers. She studies martial arts, not as a meditation, but as self defense. Rachel is all about self defense.

I love her as much as I can. She cannot love, but accepts me as much as she is able.

To expect any more of Rachel would be like demanding a quadriplegic go ballroom dancing or ice skating with me, being angry and accusing her of not loving me enough because she can't and won't bother to try.

Rachel is what she is. She survived her childhood. She is a woman now. By all outward appearances, she is a success. She fooled them all, even me.

Rachel is one of the most profound experiences of my life. But it's a lot like having to watch and smell Nilly as she rots. Who I loved is not there.

I have a lot more to say about bodies, consciousness, etc. but will save them for a further email. It even involves synesthesia (smelling words?), preverbal communication, the misconception that we can only think if we have words, senses as communication and experience, etc.

I don't know your opinion of this whole "born a woman" argument. I'd like to. I think Sonia Johnson and her partner were very ignorant and very wrong to refuse to accommodate Rachel as an intersexed eunuch who is now female.