Monday, January 7, 2013

The Good, the Bad, and the Curious

After three weeks of winter break, I'm back to work today. I'm not loving the early mornings (as soon as I give my body any sort of chance, it reverts to the sleeping patterns of my 15-year-old self: up at 10am, asleep at 2am), but I am excited about a fresh semester and new students, and I'm glad to get back into a schedule. Also, this semester will be my last grad class. Ever. Scary.

Anyway, here's what I've been reading recently that made me smile (The Good), cry (The Bad), and think (The Curious). What about you?

The Good

A lot has been said about Django Unchained, but this post by Amiyrah is the only one I've seen comparing the lessons in it to motherhood. 

Hobo Mama shares some very practical advice and cute examples about how she gets her kids to behave by making rules hilarious

See those pageviews on this video of Frank Ocean's song "Wise Man"? About 1000 of them are me. 

This post about tidying houses for guests definitely made me smile, and--yes--that's because my house is a mess, right now, as I type this, not cleaning it:
I don't know why, sometimes, when you go to someone's house, they say "Sorry about the mess," when their possessions are lying around. Why are possessions called mess? Why are they apologised for? They are evidence of living, of doing, of being, creating. They are nothing to be ashamed of. Unless there's like a dead body under it all and the laundry has been carefully arranged to hide it. 
In impeccably tidy houses, I feel incredibly uncomfortable. I'm never sure if I'm allowed to sit down and relax. I feel I'm messing the place up just by walking through the front door. If my mug is whisked away and scrubbed the minute I finish my tea, I feel it's not okay for me to be there. Maybe it isn't.
This wonderfully delivered comedy bit about Julia Sweeney honestly answering her daughter's questions about sex and accidentally introducing her to the idea of internet porn:

Dani at Crooked Neighbor, Crooked Heart has a beautiful post about accepting the body she has

The Bad

This Washington Post article takes a look at just how dismal American gun culture is--compared to practically everyone else. 

Bitch Magazine has put together a collection of links about the Steubenville rape case, a horrific look into how our rape culture unfolds. 

At the Concord Mall in Delaware, security guards asked breastfeeding mothers to stop and then harassed them until they left. When someone took issue with it on their Facebook page, they responded that breastfeeding was like having a man "suck" on his wife's "tit" in public. Then they took down their Facebook page, denied ever having it (despite there still being a logo for it on their web site), and disabled their contact information. Smooth. 

This sign in a park (also in Delaware) has an English-language section that tells children to only play with adult supervision and a Spanish-language section that says they police will be called on anyone without a permit. The signs have been in place for a year, but--thanks to the backlash, I'm sure--they're now being removed. 

The Curious

Comedian Jamie Kilstein discusses the hateful reactions he got when he had the audacity to say "rape is bad" (some NSFW language and lots of mentions of rape):

On a somewhat related note, Lauren at Mama Nervosa has an overview of the "post-ac" movement.

Racialicious has a post on Kanye West's lyrics and the signs of mental health issues screaming from them:
As often as Kanye West talks about the state of his mental health, one would think that we’d be having a national conversation on mental health–kind of like the way we had a wave of conversations about domestic violence in the wake of the Chris Brown-Rihanna incident.
Hobo Mama has a great post on how stuff does not equal memories, and it made me reflect on how I place value on things:
I don't need to know what I ate for breakfast every day on a vacation — just a general impression that I tried sushi for the first time. I don't need to know what grade I got on every math test my sophomore year of high school — I can just remember the fun the other nerds and I had in Math Club.
xoJane published a great piece about Willow Smith, "acceptable" black parenting, respectability politics, and the American Dream.

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