Thursday, May 27, 2010

Classroom Sex. . .Let's Get it On!

In class last night we were discussing how to bring up topics of sexuality, specifically homosexuality in the classroom. We had read this article about teaching LGTBQ, and we had also watched the documentary It’s Elementary which shows teachers bringing up the topic to tackle ideas surrounding discrimination, stereotypes etc.


In any case, I brought up this idea and just got blank stares, followed by a change in subject:

I believe that the institution of education hinders the growth, understanding and development of our sexuality. Why? Because it does not allow us to choose what we want to do but tells us we must be in a certain place for a certain amount of time and only learn about the topics someone else thinks is important for us to know. It gives us lack of choice, and the topic of sexuality is almost only talked about through students interacting with other students, neglecting any mature discussion or informed experience.


What I am suggesting is a more open environment to learning. How many times in jr. high and high school did you sit at your desk day dreaming of other things, even sexual things?

Why can’t we learn when we want to learn, have sex when we need to have sex, get our spirituality on when we want some more spirit instead of always conforming to a 9 to 5 mentality that forces us to do things that we may not be entirely interested in doing at that time period?


Am I crazy?


Am I the only one who can see past the institutions that have so ruled our lives? I mean obviously not since that’s one of Foucault’s main points. And yet we still have done little about changing that—our prisons, our schools, our work schedules all run on very similar patterns and structures. This is a major issue. An issue that I would put on the same problem level as patriarchy and all the interlocking oppressions that hinder our ability to reach our full human potential.


And that is my main goal in life—helping others (and myself) do all we can to reach our full potential—whatever that may entail.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

When and Why Did We Stop the Riot?

In 1993 when riot grrrl was at its “peak” I was in 3rd grade. I knew nothing about them and didn’t really discover the movement until it was technically over—my first year of grad school. I still fell in love. With the ideas, with the music, with the zines. With “Suck My Left One.” (click here to watch a clip)


Saturday I went to a riot grrrl cover show and it blew my mind. Finally I was able to see all this theory, all this music come to life (in a very post-modern fashion).


It gave me great pleasure to at last see so many angry women in a room channel that anger into a creative outlet. I was captivated. And it all honesty it helped release some the anger I’ve had built up for a while. I now feel a sense of calm.


Why? Because I got to witness other women making it happen. And maybe it’s my fault for being poor and not being able to go to shows all the time, but I feel like finding badass women in the music scene is a challenge in itself and then making it to a show on top of discovering them is even more difficult as they seem to be few and far between.


What is the deal? Why can’t we revive parts of the movement and start out own? I feel a major disconnect, I feel a lack of community, where are you all? Do you want to help me make it happen? Connection, Community, Creativity.


I’ll be out here, doing what I can and I would love for you to join me, let’s channel our anger, our happiness, our fears into elements of transformation. Let’s get this moving again. What do you say?



Saturday, May 22, 2010

I love me a Riot, Grrrl!


Riot Grrrl Cover Band Show

Tonight!

Start:
Saturday, May 22, 2010 at 5:00pm
End:
Sunday, May 23, 2010 at 12:00am
Location:
Locked Out Collective Space
Street:
3951 West Fullerton ave
City/
Chicago, IL


Description

The Bloody Rag Collective will be hosting an awesome riot grrrl cover band show to raise money for the Chicago Women's Health Center!

Who:10-15 bands covering songs from Bikini Kill, Go Sailor,Sleater Kinney, Heavens To Betsy, Slant 6, Huggy Bear, Bratmobile, Excuse 17, and more!

Where: Locked Out Collective at 3951 West Fullerton ave.

Date: May 22 at 5pm - 12:20 am!

If any bands are interested in playing, please contact us at bloodyragcollective@gmail.com. Max 5 songs per band. Bands need to confirm by April 16th. We have a practice space for you and most of the equipment - just show up with your guitars!

Come out and support the Chicago Women's Health Center - Healthy Vaginas for everyone!

http://www.chicagowomenshealthcenter.org/

Friday, May 21, 2010

TONIGHT!!!! DON'T MISS IT!


More than Your Doily: A Visual Examination of Intimate Spaces

Date:
Friday, May 21, 2010
Time:
5:00pm - 9:00pm
Location:
5202 N. Damen Ave Chicago, IL 60625

Description

The Feminist Creative Alliance hosts a one-night-only art exhibit featuring arousing work from artists reacting to gender and identity within intimate spaces. A discussion with artists will start at 7:30.

Featuring Artists:
Stephanie Cristello
Angela Davis Fegan
Katie Netti

When: TONIGHT!!!!
Friday May 21, 2010
5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Avram Eisen Gallery
5202 N. Damen Ave
Chicago, IL 60625


http://feministcreativealliance.org/
http://www.avrameisengallery.com/
www.stephaniecristello.com
http://angeladavisfegan.com/
www.wix.com/KNetti/Home

Thursday, May 20, 2010

More on our Danged Border Land. . .


This article discusses ways you can really boycott Arizona:

click here to read

The 3 on the top of the list:
Don’t book a flight on U.S. Airways,
Don't get a domain name through Go Daddy
Don't rent a U-Haul truck.

These are all major companies based in AZ.

And I can definitely do these. This is really good to know because in a few months I will be moving and now I know where not to reserve a truck from--so, sorry U-Haul you are to be avoided.

The concept is pretty interesting as capitalism is so closely tied to politics. Does boycotting businesses in AZ actually make a statement in regards to our anger at their immigration policy? Will corporations start backing their customers instead of the politicians? It doesn't hurt to try, that's for sure.

Also--in regards to immigration did anyone see the McCain TV ad (click here to watch) about getting that danged fence built? WTF? Why don't we spend money on building our danged relationships with people, with opening our danged minds a bit, instead of building some sort of barrier that people are just going to get over one way or the other; because seriously a wall is a wall is a wall you can climb over (or under).

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

It has Arrived!

Today. I finally received my first of two diplomas from DePaul. And they spelled my name right and everything, YAY! I now officially have a master of arts degree, and a $40K piece of paper to prove it. Look out world, here I come. Get ready for some amazing shit, that's is all I am saying.

Monday, May 17, 2010

To Done: Bahai Temple

This temple was amazing in it's design. It even had a concept I could almost dig: there core principles include: elimination of all forms of prejudice, equality between men and women, harmony of science and religion, world peace upheld by a world government, spiritual solutions to economic problems and universal education.

Their main concept is that God has revealed himself and his teachings through a series of divine messengers--the main prophets you often hear about. At the temple they have devotions where several people read text from different forms of religious scripture, so there are bible versus and Koran versus etc. There were no sermons or requests for donations.

So in a way it was nice. But do not get me wrong. It still rubbed me the wrong way. Here are the two reasons why,
1) They still assume god as a patriarchical figure, as only the masculine pronoun is used in relation to their beliefs.
2) They talk on and on about unity. They say that we're all connected, but then they contradict themselves by saying that God is all-powerful, that God is an individual, instead of God being part of the connection.

No wonder humans are confused and lack spiritual enlightenment. Or I guess I should say, no wonder it took me so long to see our connections with one another--God was getting in the way. The God that controls us like we're puppets. It doesn't work like that, not for me.

The only way I can see god is by seeing god in everything and realizing that what is god, is us, is our connections, our unity. Yet, we are not united and that is why there are so many problems: hate, discrimination, murder, spite-- because we can not get over individuality. If we could find a way to balance ourselves with each other I think we'd all be much better off. But who am I? I am definitely not a preacher, just a person looking for peace.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

I went, I saw, I conquered: The Cubs

Yes, kids. It's true. You can see it in my eyes. I made it there, I watched the game, I stayed calm and no one got hurt. There was only one asshole around the whole time, he made some comment about a cubs player needing to "go back to Cuba" even though that player was born and raised in Louisiana, it was amazing. There was also some badass crazy sellers, like the intensely insane "LEMON GEL, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD" yeller. I almost peed my pants because of him.

The beer was too expensive, but I drank it anyway, hence why I almost peed my pants.

And I actually paid attention to what was going on on the field, for the most part.

Most people know I'm not too much into sports. And most people know that I, in particular, think that most cubs fans are complete and total morons. Just an example, the other day on the train, a little old lady got on at Belmont after the train had gotten bombarded with cubs fans. They just stood there and didn't even move to let her through. Then the people sitting just sat there and looked at her. I told her she could sit where I am, but then the stupid ass cubs fans won't even budge an itch to let me get up. It was unbelievable. So, eventually she gets seated and I get up, but I don't have any footing because the assholes won't let me stand anywhere, I am falling all over the place, flailing about like a half-dead fish, I end up stepping on the old ladies foot, I end up half landing on her. Thus her attempt at getting seated so she doesn't get hurt was futile. I wanted to punch them all the face. I then try to get off the train at the next stop, and the fuck faces won't even let me out the door. I had to push them out of my way.

That is why I do not like cubs fans. But that doesn't mean I hate drinking beer outside. So I went to the game because I got super cheap tickets and I checked it out. I'm glad to have seen the inside of the stadium, to have experienced all the wonderment of men running around in a field. I can check it off my Chicago to do list and move on to other excursions. For example, tomorrow we're probably going to check out the bahai temple. I'll get my spirituality on! Word up.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Chicago Politics, Another WTF

I saw on the news that Scott Lee Cohen is attempting to run for governor; the story topic covered the fact that he first has to get so many people to sign his petition to be on the ballet this fall. That was the entire story. They forgot to mention that Scott Lee Cohen was the dude who got elected to run for lieutenant governor during this year’s primary. They also forgot to mention that he was the same dude who backed out of the nomination because that very same news leaked a story regarded his personal life. One that included the fact that he pulled a knife to a woman’s throat (his gf at the time) and threatened to kill her. But now that he is aiming to become the governor I guess we can forget that he’s a piece of shit. I guess we can just sign his fucking petition because what’s another scum bag, abusive, fucked-up douche in Chicago politics?

I can just briefly make a parallel to the book 1984. In it, the main characters job was to change the facts in newspapers, so that whoever they were at war with at the time were the people they were always at war with. . .etc. Now, why is that OUR “real” news seems to do the same type of shit? Just a few months ago they revealed what a fuck-up this dude was, but now they’re almost defending him. They are hinting that he should have the right to run. The news source is not even mentioning all the stupid things he’s done in his past that directly related to how he’s going to try to run the place, so they’re being compliant and accepting of his actions.

Personally I do not want any guy who’s willing to pull a knife on a woman to be making decisions that affect my life. He seems to think it’s okay and people who sign that petition are basically signing that it is okay to abuse other people. And we’re just cycling patriarchy and oppression over and over again. WTF.



Can I just mention my fetal alcohol syndrome theory again, I mean look at these guys!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Another Existential Crisis, Averted.

For the last week I’ve been going through an existential crisis. To be honest, it’s really difficult for me to talk about, mainly because many of the issues and ideas I’ve been feeling don’t correlate to the English language, but also because it’s been scary and exciting to personally work through this.


I first want to try to explain part of what I’ve been going through. For a long time now I have had the idea that we are all connected to one another, and I’m sure many of you believe that as well. But for me, it has always been an idea, a concept, a theory. One night coming home on the train, I suddenly felt it. I closed my eyes and I saw everything around me deconstruct, lose its meaning and just become.


I started to really freak out. I realized at that moment that everything I have ever known has been because of what I have learned from other people: language, emotional reactions, knowledge, social responses, etiquette, love etc. In theory it is easy to see how that works, but to feel it is strange.


I started to feel how disconnected I have been all my life. I started to get really upset about issues from history that I have no control over such as slavery, concentration camps, immigration and life in the U.S in general. I couldn’t (and I can’t) understand how people could be so cruel. How people couldn’t defend themselves because the evils was so unforeseeable, so unimaginable that it came as more of a shock than a type of battle.


After about a week of trying to work through all these thoughts on my own I finally brought it up to Ryan, who was overly excited that I have finally had an “awakening” so to speak.

We discussed the concepts of authenticity and how in the United States we haven’t felt connected to anything. And when I started thinking about it deeper I realized that our heritage, our culture, is the culture of consumption. Why? Because our entire lives we haven’t had anything (ritual, ideals or otherwise) to hold on to so we hold on to stuff. We consume in order to feel something. But no matter how much we buy, eat, drink, we will never feel complete because it isn’t stuff that we need it’s each other.


We talked about an innate spirit that all creatures possess; we discussed why I ended up on the path that I did as opposed to other people who grew up similarly situated. How each moment, each image, each thought or idea we receive helps to pave the road we take, but how we inherently have feelings on where we want to go and what we are supposed to do with our lives. It goes deeper than nature versus nurture because our lives cannot be divided upon such rigid binaries. We also have to consider our spirit. What we have inherited from our ancestors, because how they worked, what impacted them, affects us more than most of us realize.


I guess what I have been struggling with the most is disconnect and connection. I finally feel how we are all connected, but it hurts because I know so many others do not feel it. And they make the world dangerous.


In an article I just read for class the author writes that “the price of individual freedom is constant competition with others, and all the consequent problems arising from that competition.” And it is so true, even if you take a basic concept such as love. In our culture there seems to be a limited supply of love, you can only love one person at a time, you can only give so much love in a lifetime. Well, that is false. That is a concept based on a commodity culture; the idea of scarcity—get it before it runs dry—as if love was a physical resource that we can purchase at wal-mart.


In the end, it’s still difficult to try to communicate. I know some people may know exactly what I am talking about, and how others will think “duh, I’ve known that all my life” while others may be left in a state of pure confusion. I have just feel that it writing about this was an obligation; I felt this sort of enlightenment so to speak and it’s more of a priority to explain it to others than to just keep it to myself; because what is this self anyway but another piece of this earth puzzle anyway . . .

Monday, May 10, 2010

Cubs fans, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and Forever 21

Post-Apocalyptic Hoping: Octavia Butler's Dystopian/Utopian Vision

Three things that may seem to have nothing at all in common, but I tell you they do. What could it be you wonder? A bunch of people who like baseball, chicken wrapped in a grease bath, and a clothing store for "hip" women… hhmm. It doesn’t seem like they have anything to do with each other, but wait! What they all have in common is that they utterly piss me off. Oh my! Here is why:


1) Cubs fans. This is not intended for all cubs fans. My pissed-offness comes directly from Cubs fans who think they need to ride the train. I have a suggestion: that area in between the seats, guess what? You can stand there! It is not designated for empty space, in fact, when more and more people are getting on the train the best thing to do would be to get out of the way of the fucking door. Trust me, you will have enough time to get out and get to your precious little sporting event. The train conductors actually wait until you’re all off just because they know you’re a bunch of baahhing sheep.


...Just a side note, I will be going to my first and last Cubs game this Friday… needless to say I am wondering what I am getting myself into and also wondering if it would be a good time to start an addiction to Valium. But, there is the potential for a really good time (because the people I'm going with are cool), so I’m going to go in with that mindset instead of the mindset of wanting to destroy all the drunk Cubs fans who still after ALL these years haven’t figured out the etiquette of the El.


2) Kentucky Fried Chicken. Is it just me who is completely disturbed by KFC’s breast cancer awareness campaign? There is only slight humor in the fact that KFC sells “breasts” but that isn’t what pisses me off. KFC promoting a cure for breast cancer is like all of those Phillip Morris advertisements about smoking being bad. It’s really quite disgusting. KFC has been known to use hormonally shot-up chickens which have been equated with the rise in breast cancer and now they want YOU to go and buy a bucket of it so the proceeds can go to some non-for-profit, wtf; Race for the Cure? It’s hard to get anywhere when the people supporting you are the one’s setting you back. I am not post-modern enough to find that even slightly tolerable.


3) Forever 21. The name of the store itself suggests that the clothing inside will keep you at your “peak” youthful age; it’s unfortunate that when I went in there all the clothes looked like they were made for a 2 year old girl instead of a 21 year old woman. This was another case of being utterly disturbed. Everything in the store was like an advertisement to retreat to girlhood (which underlying means giving up whatever self-authority you have). On the first floor alone the clothes were covered in cartoons and smiley faces (aka 6th grade). The basement and upstairs looked like Blossom + Six, Madonna + Cyndi Lauper, Farrah Fawcett + Cher got into a huge cat fight, tore each others clothes off and then mass produced them.

Why are the 90’s coming back? And why do they have to feminize it even more than before? One whole section looked like the mannequins had eaten packs of bubble gum, followed by big sticks of cotton candy, gulped down by some grape juice, followed by some strawberries, chased with some pepto bismol; and then the mannequins decided to vomit on all the dresses, which they then tried to cover up with jean jacket vests.


So it’s true, I am not forever 21 I am in fact 25 but no one should want to wear that shit. Sorry. It’s physically ugly and mentally demeaning to think 20 year olds want to dress and act like they’re 2. It’s not cute. It’s fucked up. We’re not your fucking dolls. We are real women, with real confidence, with real assertiveness and it will take more than a tutu and a smiley face shirt to trick us back into submission. Word to your mother.

To Done: Celtic Festival

The Bean in all its shiny glory.
Me, soaking up what sun there was.
Dancers.
Bagpipers.
Ryan being zen.

Saturday, May 8, 2010



Hey Folks, Just wanted to share with you today a Chicago music-activist group, ACTOR SLASH MODEL. There recent album is titled "Things you can't keep" which I got the privilege to see them perform yesterday at GenderFork on DePaul University's campus. They mix together both modern and traditional folk and western styles while diving into gender politics and performance--and are well worth checking out:

www.actorslashmodel.com

www.riotfolk.org

You can also find them on Myspace. Enjoy!

Friday, May 7, 2010

We can poop together.


Sex, Potato Chips, and Media Literacy

Gender neutral bathrooms. This is what kept the Equal Rights Amendment from passing. People were afraid that big cocked perverted men may pee on their little tiny daughters, and well that could just not fly. So, the bill did not pass. (And still hasn’t passed for all of you who think we are at some post-feminist time or some bullshit like that.)

But gender neutral bathrooms. Tonight. I will attend a concert at DePaul’s campus. A concert by GenderFork. A concert made specifically to raise awareness and cause DePaul to change its policy and offer gender neutral bathrooms.

Are people still freaked out by this? How many places have we been to, be it a bar or a gas station or a person’s personal home, where there were just bathrooms, not a woman’s bathroom or a man’s bathroom? Doesn’t seem to be any more of a problem than any other bathroom.

And let’s be honest. A bathroom (unless you’re a total and complete perv) is the last sexy place on earth. People SHIT in bathrooms, in case you were unaware and don’t happen to do that yourself. That is right, people poop in toilets. They extract waste from their bowels. Now, don’t you think that if we had gender neutral bathrooms ALL of the sexes would understand each other a bit more; there would be less mystery, less puritanical bullshit surrounding sex, more comfort with one’s own body as well as a understanding that every body is different and that is okay and that is beautiful (well, most of the time).

IDK. I guess I don’t see the big freaking deal. But people like to make them out of simple situations all the time. They must like to because it distracts them from bigger issues and can give them something easy to complain about. A bathroom is a bathroom is a bathroom. We shit. We all shit. Now let’s shit together. (Not literally, see, a bathroom generally has stalls; that’s why it shouldn’t matter if a man or woman or trans wants to go into it).

But alas. There is a concert tonight at DePaul. In the quad from 5 to 9. I will be there (unless it’s still raining), you should come too.





Thursday, May 6, 2010

I can READ sexy like!!!

Here is another one!

I hope you find it as enjoyable to listen to as it was enjoyable to read...

Click here

I can READ!!!

Check me out on youtube reading the Chicago Reader personals

Click here

It's funnysexy