"Strange thoughts brew in your heart when you spend too much time with old books." (Aravind Adiga, The White Tiger)

Friday, December 31, 2010

Anorexia and the Death of Isabelle Caro: let's talk about self love and not just about The Media

Another high-profile anorexia-related death was just announced:
Isabelle Caro, a French actress and model whose emaciated image appeared in a shock Italian ad campaign and whose anorexia and career were followed by others suffering from eating disorders, has died at the age of 28. (CBC)

When people talk about anorexia and models (Eg. in the comments to an article like the one above) sometimes they focus too much on the mainstream media focus on thinness. First, anorexia is considered a mental illness, and is tied into issues of control and such. Second, even for non-anorexic women (and men), I feel like there are bigger issues to be considered, relating to self-worth.

Granted, the more ubiquitous an Ideal is, the harder it is to resist it. But I think if you're a parent, or educator or such, the best way to help a child is to make them feel loved, smart, interesting, wanted, etc. The effects of feeling unlovable or unworthy or stupid or useless or worse than everyone else are pretty devastating, and will affect how porous a child is to societal pressure.

Not a particularly deep thought, but for some reason not talked about enough re. this topic. Peace out.

Thursday, December 30, 2010


Just to let you know, Haley's fever finally went down, and her tests returned clear. I took her home and she ate right away, and now she's dopey and sleeping. Provided she eats again the next time I feed her, things should be well.  :-)

Chris Brown + Twitter War + Homophobia = Unclear on the Concept

I'm sitting around just waiting for news about the kitty. Apparently if I'd stayed up later last night I would have had an easy thing to post about.

Singer Chris Brown and some ex-boy-band fool had a twitter war last night that went something like this:

Raz B - How could Chris Brown hit someone as intelligent as Rihanna?
Chris - You're so gay!
Raz B - I'm not gay, you're gay!
Chris - I'm not gay, you're gay!
Raz B - I'm not gay, you're gay!
Chris - Well at least I'm not a nobody who got raped!
Raz B - I wasn't raped I was molested and you're a homophobe!
Chris - Apologies to all my homosexual fans.
Raz B - Apologies to all my homosexual fans.

(You can see it here:NecoleBitchie.com)

There are so many things wrong with this series of twitters, it's hard to know where to begin. Well I guess at the beginning...

1. Raz's first post: Im just sittin here Thinking how can niggas like @ebenet & @ChrisBrown disrespect women as Intelligent as @HalleBerry11 @Rihanna

--> So if they had beaten stupid women Raz would understand that?
--> Before this phrase, he'd creepy-tweeted around 20 times about how much he loves Rihanna and wants to get with her. "@ Since I first seen you AT THE Beverly Center this is how I been Feeling -- Zapp & Roger - I Want To Be Your Man"  --  "@ I promise to hold you like a pillow and make you feel right!!!!!!" 

2. All the following statements:
- Dick in da booty!  [Apparently means a not-nice person, but sounds like it originated as a homophobic slur]
- Why when the money was coming in u won’t complaining about getting butplugged! #homothug!!!
- I’m not homophobic! He’s just disrespectful!!!
- BTW... i love all my gay fans and this immature act is not targeted at you!!!! love

- Ur not homophobic, ur juz homosexual on the low!
- Do you hit your boyfriend @andre_merritt like you do your women?
- yo @chrisbrown i heard about all yo BoyFriends
- ur a homophobe, ur on the down low
- @chrisbrown and his BOO.@AndreMerritt http://twitpic.com/3kz55c
- hey followers.... i want to apologize for fostering homophobia tweets.. this has nothing to do against my followers...
- Dude you must really like Dudes!
- Is this your way of coming on to me???? Dude im not Gay! i was molested! stop disrespecting the LGBT community!

--> What we have here is a classic case, on both sides, of Unclear On the Concept. When you're insulting someone by accusing them of being gay, you are implying that being gay is a negative thing. Therefore: You are insulting gay people, EVEN THOUGH your phrases were directed at some other specific person, namely Chris Brown or Raz B, and not at gay people. You can't claim that "it's not about my gay followers" and therefore isn't homophobic/insulting.
3. Chris Brown: "merry christmas.i just gave you 20 thousand more followers.. u shouldve did this first instead of telling the world you got raped."

--> Raz B. has alleged that a former manager molested him. Whether you believe it or not, it's not really appropriate to use this information in a flame war. I suspect Chris Brown knows this because as far as I can tell he has deleted that tweet.

Oh my days. You know, Chris Brown had finished his domestic abuse course (once per week for a year), received praise from his judge, and nice words from Rihanna. He was about as close to being forgiven by the public as he's likely to get. And now, thanks to the immediacy and permanency of social media, he's a dick again. Meanwhile the Raz-nobody is thanking all the new followers he got, and for being a trending topic. Why you'd be thankful that you trended up as Homophobic Idiot I don't know, but there it is.

Here are some ironic phrases from a February People article:

Adds someone close to the singer, "He has matured a lot in the last year and people will see that when he re-emerges."
"He's learned that when you're a celebrity, public perception is fragile," says Calloway. "But I think he'll recover. He's a good dude who made a big mistake."  

It's not that CB is the only homophobe in hiphop--ha!--but he's one of the only Homophobes in Hiphop Who Needs to Watch His Image. Ohhh le sigh.

Day Break

Please forgive me if I don't post today. Had to take kitty-Haley to the vet for the night, and though we think she'll be okay, I'm feeling a bit down. Will you settle for a picture of Haley so you can bask in her beauteousness?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Sir Alex and the Snood (sounds like a children's book!)

This man is a snoodist. Sir Alex Ferguson is the manager for Manchester United, and has taken exception to his footballers wearing the little neck warmer called a snood. This fashion item popped up when England went through an unseasonable cold snap in December, but it's also seen as a fashion accessory.

I'm not sure whether Sir Alex objects because footballers should be tough and endure the cold, or not be into fashionable fripperies, but he reportedly said: "They're for powder puffs. Real men don't wear things like that. Get them off" and banned them (The Sun).

The machismo and homophobitude in football is just lovely, isn't it? Maybe they could switch to wearing glove hats instead, like Mario Balotelli.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Fashionista Series: Lady Gaga in White

Sorry I'm late. I went out late last night, and then had something on my mind when I got home that put bloggy out of my brain.

Today I'm just going to share some Lady Gaga pictures. In November Vogue had a Best Dressed of 2010 contest, and readers overwhelmingly voted Gaga as #1:

Lady Gaga dressed up—way, way up—in lipstick-red latex to shake hands with the Queen, and as a sequin-suspendered Larry King to be interviewed by, well, Larry King. She turned heads in towering headdresses; she wore a hat made of her own hair, a metal bikini at the beach, and, in a look that managed to be both rare and well-done, a dress made of raw meat. Her sense of style thwarted the predictable—it was theatrically avant-garde and wildly, irreverently witty, returning a much-needed sense of humor and unbridled imagination to fashion. (Vogue)

I love this outfit she recently wore in Paris:

I really like a lot of her white/silver costumes. Let's just enjoy a Gaga Moment...

This one's really beautiful!

That was fun. Let's look at another fashionista next week. :-)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Any New Years' Resolutions? Mariah says give yourself your 100% per cent

So have you guys started thinking about New Years' resolutions yet? I tend to get the remake-my-life feeling in the summertime, rather than mid winter. Mid winter for me is about hunkering down and surviving until spring.

But if you are thinking of change, here's a Mariah song to help you along your way. :-)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

Mr. Pickwick's Christmas (A good-humoured Christmas chapter, containing an account of a wedding, and some other sports beside, which, although in their way even as good customs as marriage itself, are not quite so religiously kept up in these degenerative times.)

For your Christmas listening pleasure I've uploaded the Christmas chapter from The Pickwick Papers, where Mr. Pickwick and his friends pass the day at Dingley Dell. Since Mr. Pickwick showed no embarrassment appearing in silk stockings, I think he deserves a spot on our little site here.

If anything could have added to the interest of this agreeable
scene, it would have been the remarkable fact of Mr. Pickwick's
appearing without his gaiters, for the first time within the
memory of his oldest friends.

'You mean to dance?' said Wardle.

'Of course I do,' replied Mr. Pickwick.  'Don't you see I am
dressed for the purpose?'  Mr. Pickwick called attention to his
speckled silk stockings, and smartly tied pumps.

'YOU in silk stockings!' exclaimed Mr. Tupman jocosely.

'And why not, sir--why not?' said Mr. Pickwick, turning
warmly upon him.
'Oh, of course there is no reason why you shouldn't wear
them,' responded Mr. Tupman.

'I imagine not, sir--I imagine not,' said Mr. Pickwick, in a
very peremptory tone.

Mr. Tupman had contemplated a laugh, but he found it was
a serious matter; so he looked grave, and said they were a
pretty pattern.

'I hope they are,' said Mr. Pickwick, fixing his eyes upon his
friend.  'You see nothing extraordinary in the stockings, AS
stockings, I trust, Sir?'

'Certainly not.  Oh, certainly not,' replied Mr. Tupman.  He
walked away; and Mr. Pickwick's countenance resumed its
customary benign expression.

For your listening pleasure, side B of...

Thursday, December 23, 2010

5 Reasons to Love Dickens' Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol is one of my favourite stories, and I think fitting for this blog. So here are the reasons why I love it...

Reason #1 - Scrooge is a great character.
Oh!  But he was a tight-fisted hand at the grind- stone, Scrooge! a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, old sinner!  ...  He carried his own low temperature always about with him; he iced his office in the dogdays; and didn't thaw it one degree at Christmas.
Dickens has to set him up as a total crapitude so that his transformation at the end is all the more entertaining. He mistreats his employee, he doesn't care about the poor, and he has money but he doesn't share it, even with himself. In western mythology someone who hoards gold is a dragon, and must be slain. Scrooge is a classic dragon, but he's going to slay himself. ("And where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves.")

2nd Reason: The baddie is thoroughly redeemed. I love redemption stories.

3rd: Considering that Dickens originally wanted to write a political pamphlet on the subject of the country's poor (especially the children), it's amazing that the story doesn't come off as preachy or didactic. The story contains lots of humour so that the touching parts can touch, without being treacly.

Scrooge's transformation at the end is touching,

but is also great comedy.

(Okay that Mrs Dilber joke has to be credited to screenwriter Noel Langley.)

4th: It's a classic hero journey, but where the symbolism is made manifest. Scrooge journeys into his own psychological makeup and then is called upon to do the hardest thing: To change.

5th: The story contains the idea that you hold the power to be the person you want to be--as evidenced by Marley's chain:

The chain he drew was clasped about his middle.  It was long, and wound about him like a tail; and it was made (for Scrooge observed it closely) of cash-boxes, keys, padlocks, ledgers, deeds, and heavy purses wrought in steel.  ... "I wear the chain I forged in life," replied the Ghost. "I made it link by link, and yard by yard; I girded it on of my own free will, and of my own free will I wore it.  Is its pattern strange to you? Or would you know," pursued the Ghost, "the weight and length of the strong coil you bear yourself?  It was full as heavy and as long as this, seven Christmas Eves ago.  You have laboured on it, since. It is a ponderous chain!"

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Fashion: Your exclusive what-to-wear guide

(Sorry I'm late--forgot to post before going to bed.) In my continuing effort to be positive this week, I've put together a handy guide to help you get dressed for your Christmas parties, with Christmas themed clothing, helpfully categorized by Tacky, Tasteful, Hipster, Fashionista. Just figure out which you are, and go shopping!



(Hermes tie)








(though apparently safe!


You don't want earrings in this case, but a cheap vintage pin.



 There are no tasteful Christmas sweaters for men, so I recommend you dress up the dog instead. They make anything look good.

Wearing Christmas sweaters ironically has become so ubiquitous, I'm tempted to make a new category called Passé.

The key to carrying off the hipster Christmas sweater is 'tude. Strike a pose.


For men, the only way to differentiate yourself from the hipster is in what you wear with the sweater. A nice pair of plaid shorts for example.

And for women, you'll have to go all out.





This one is only Fashionista if worn with the hat. Otherwise it's just tasteful.

And my favourite:

Taking holiday glamor shots of you and your family, as the Kardashians did.


Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love
Les années douces : Volume 1
Back on the Rez
My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey
Stupeur et tremblements