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cindymayweather:

Comedian Hari Kondabolu on David Letterman (x)

Okay, so I totally understand where this guy is coming from, but this clip illustrates a tiny vocabulary pet peeve I have regarding how society has changed our understanding of the word “tolerance" from being a totally admirable virtue to the mildest form of bigotry.

Nowadays, tolerance is considered to be something terrible. It is a brooding kind of prejudice that is restrained only by a thin chain of political correctness, or some other flimsy social tether. It is assumed that the person who tolerates something is reluctant in their permissiveness. They behave in a liberal way, but only begrudgingly.

Take a moment to actually look the word up in a dictionary (I used Dictionary.Com). The first three entries listed there are:

1. a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward those whose opinions, practices, race, religion, nationality, etc., differ from one’s own; freedom from bigotry.

2. a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward opinions and practices that differ from one’s own.

3.interest in and concern for ideas, opinions, practices, etc., foreign to one’s own; a liberal, undogmatic viewpoint.

Those first few definitions talk about fairness, objectivity, and open-mindedness. There’s nothing in there that mentions “putting up” with something or someone that you hate. The focus IS on people and ideas that are different from your own, but there’s nothing there that implies bitterness or restrained hatred on the part of the tolerant.

It really doesn’t seem fair to misrepresent this virtue by making it out to be a tacit form of bigotry. I realize that language changes and the connotations of words change, but our new “understanding” of the word really does deviate a lot from the spirit of the original meaning. 

There’s actually lot that we can learn from these old definitions. For example, rather than pressuring people to love those who are different from them, maybe it would be helpful to focus on the fact that no matter what our differences are, we should be able to agree that the rights and privileges of all people should be protected, no matter who they are or how they live. 

Granted, I know this might upset some people because love and acceptance seem like the nobler goals to aim for. But are those really the best words for us to use when we describe what we’re fighting for? When I talk about legislative changes that can empower or protect marginalized people, I’m not really asking for laws and policies that encourage people to love me. I’m talking about laws and policies that promotes fairness and guarantee my individual civil rights.

I don’t really care about whether or not my boss will love me or hate me because I’m a person in a marginalized minority. What I care about is that no matter what he feels about me, he won’t be able to fire me unjustly or discriminate against me in the workplace.

I like the notion of love. I like it a lot. I would love to be loved and accepted by everybody, but more than love, I want respect. I want respect and the retention of my basic human dignity.

I think tolerance is a better word for us to use when talking about this sort of stuff. Civil rights battles seems to have less to do with “love,” and more to do with (denotatively speaking) tolerance. Love is such an emotional word. It feels like it’s bound together with passion, preference, and a general haze of bias. All those things are actually the enemies of objectivity, fairness, and impartiality.

Love isn’t something everyone can connect to or access immediately when thinking about the rights of strangers, but fairness might be the crowbar that opens up the door to respect. And respect can lead to love.

It seems to me that when people talk about marriage equality and equal pay, of wanting more media representation for people of color, the elimination of rape culture and cultural appropriation…they’re not really talking about love and acceptance.

They’re talking about tolerance.

(via lgbtlaughs)

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A Guide to Summer in San Antonio

Summer is a great time of the year to try something new, especially when you live in a place that’s as culturally diverse and community-centered as San Antonio.

If you’re looking for ways to stay cool or have fun in our city, consider adding one of the following activities to your summer itinerary.

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1)  Water you waiting for?

The 2014 outdoor pool season runs from June 14 to Aug. 16. The hours of operation at the majority of the Parks and Recreation Department’s 24 outdoor pools are Tuesday through Sunday from 1 to 7 pm. Some are open from 2 to 8 pm instead. For indoor swimming, you can check out the San Antonio Natatorium, located at 1430 W. Cesar E. Chavez Boulevard.

Kids don’t know how to swim? The Parks Department has that covered too. They will be organizing the “World’s Largest Swimming Lesson” on Friday, June 20th at 10am. The activity will be available at nine different pool locations. Children ages 4 to 12 are invited to participate so that they can learn the basics at this (free) Guinness Book of World Records sanctioned event.  

Call 219-207-3299 or check the Parks and Recreation website for more details regarding any pool-related inquiries you might have.

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2) Take in a show.

Movie theaters generally have two settings to their air conditioners: “Off” and “Arctic Blast.” This chilly tendency makes the cinema a great destination for those seeking refuge from the oppressive summer swelter. But if standard movie-watching isn’t engaging enough for your tastes, try visiting the Alamo Drafthouse.

At the Drafthouse you can watch the latest releases or pick something you’ve always loved and experience it in an exciting, new way alongside other hardcore fans. For example, two events that are coming up at the end of May are a Beetlejuice Quote-Along (with conga lines scheduled during the movie’s music numbers), and a Kanye West music video sing-along/dance party complete with glow-in-dark props. Their offerings change every month though, so make sure to check their website for new events and special promotions.

If you’d prefer the vibrant splendor of live theater, The San Antonio Playhouse will be offering three different shows this summer: “Dead Man’s Cellphone,” “Funny Girl,” and “The Who’s Tommy.

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3) Cold Comforts

When it comes to frozen confections, most San Antonians agree that El Paraiso Ice Cream on Fredericksburg is practically a city landmark. If you’re a local who’s never tried one of their paletas (or “ice pops” for the uninitiated), that’s almost as blasphemous as saying you’ve never visited the Alamo.

Fresh, flavorful, and reasonably priced, there’s really no bad choice to be made at El Paraiso, but if it’s your first time consider the pecan or chocolate bars if you’re in the mood for something creamy and the lemon or strawberry fruit bars if you’d prefer a more refreshing treat.

I’m sure crushed ice has its place in the world, but for my money, when snow cones are involved, it’s either shaved or nothing at all. For smooth ice and sweet treats with a decidedly Mexican edge to them, try visiting Chris & Kids Snow Cones on General McMullen. They have mangonadas, piccadilly raspas, and changos with vinegar, pickle juice, chili powder and chamoy. Another great place for light, refreshing desserts, including great fruit cups and aquas frescas, is Fruteria Las Gueras, located on Evers Road.

If you’re in the mood for something more indulgent, check out Brindles Awesome Ice Creams, an independently run ice cream shop that features a variety of specialty flavors. Two popular ones newbies might consider for their indoctrination are “Azteca” (a fusion of chocolate, cinnamon, and vanilla) and “Bacon Walnut” (self-explanatory). For extra fun, ditch the cup and ask your server to build your treat inside one of their new waffle cone tacos instead. 

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4) You gotta call ‘em like museum.

From June 7th-8th the Institute of Texan Cultures will be staging the 43rd annual Texas Folklife Festival. The celebration will feature the music, dance, and cuisine of more than 40 cultural groups that have influenced our Texan heritage. Admission for children is $5. Adults can pay $12 at the gate or $10 in they buy their tickets in advance. The institute also offers free admission to their museum the second Sunday of every month. Make sure to stop by so that you can check out their Texas Contemporary Artists Series or Folklife in the Piney Woods of Texas exhibits.

The Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center will offering a five week circus camp June 9th – July 18th where children they can learn about juggling, acrobatics, the art of clowning, and the history of Mexican American “Carpas,” or traveling circuses that used to tour the southwest in the first half of the 20th century.

The circus camp isn’t exactly a frugal choice, but if you keep your eyes peeled, you’ll find lots of budget-friendly activities available for children throughout the city. For example, Ser Padres Magazine and the San Antonio Children’s Museum will be sponsoring a free admissions and programming day Saturday, August 16 from 9am - 1:30pm.

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5) Heed the call of nature!

Got a beautiful day on your hands with nothing to do? Why not visit the San Antonio Botanical Garden? If the flora isn’t enough to entice you, the Garden will also be hosting a Shakespeare in the Park performance of Hamlet May 28-31 (courtesy the Magik Theatre) as well as a “Dog Days of Summer” event August 2-3 where there will be a wealth of activities to entertain both human and canine visitors.

If you’re interested in getting your thumb green, you might want to attend one of the free “Gardening 101” classes offered by the San Antonio Food Bank. They take place at 2pm on the fourth Friday of the month at the Spurs Community Garden. You must call 210-431-8347 to register at least one week before the class you’d like it attend.

Children who are intrigued by all things creepy, crawly, or fluttery will likely enjoy the Parks and Recreation Department’s “Bug Bonanza,” “Butterflies of South Texas,” or “Slithering Serpents” events. They’re all programs that have been organized so that kids can gain exposure to these animals and cultivate an appreciation for them. Check out the Parks and Rec events calendar for times, places, and registration. The calendar will also give you the low-down on lots of other nature-centric, city-sponsored activities that will be occurring throughout the summer.

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6) Express yourself.

If you’d like to stretch your artistic muscles, but don’t want to sign up for an entire semester’s worth of classes, consider Painting with a Twist. You can spend a few hours relaxing while you paint under the guidance of professionals. They provide all the necessary art supplies and instruction so that you can focus on the act of creation. At the end of your session you’ll have a finished piece that’s ready to hang on your wall. The “twist” is that you can bring wine (or any kind of beverage/snack) to enjoy while you work. Invite some friends to come along so that you can admire (or mock) each other’s masterpieces!

Those who prefer to mark their parchment with words might try visiting Gemini Ink this summer. You can participate in their writing workshops or attend one of their readings to get inspired. The workshops are available for a variety of ages and many of them are free.

If you’re looking for a family-friendly activity, consider stopping by Gemini Ink’s Paletas y Poesia event on Saturday June 7th from 4-9pm. There will be art, music, poetry, and, of course, paletas for everyone.

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7) Book ‘em, Danno.

You say you’re bored. You say you’ve completely exhausted all your media; you’ve read the same books, watched the same movies, and listened to the same music over and over again. Well you’re not out of luck yet. Have you considered visiting your local library?

The different branches have an abundance of resources and activities to suit your needs. There are books of course, but also DVDs, CDs, ebooks and audio books. The library also offers a summer reading program for adults. You can register, start a log, and enjoy one of their closing parties at the end of the summer when the program finishes.

Your branch should have plenty of options available, but if you’re still looking for something new (or if you just want to rub elbows with San Antonio’s literati) you can swing by the Book Swap Happy Hour at the Liberty Bar.

If your love for the written word requires no incentive, perhaps you’d like to help foster the next generation of readers by becoming a Reading Buddy with the San Antonio Youth Literacy Program. The program is dedicated to promoting literary skills in elementary school kids who are reading below their appropriate grade level. 

The last available training session for the Summer Program is June 3rd, so make sure to sign up soon if you’re interested!

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8) Release your inner foodie.

The Culinary Institute of America in SA is sponsoring a "First Taste" program where people can watch cooking demos, taste what’s being made, and then take home recipes so they can practice what they learned at the institute.

One tip to help you beat the heat while you eat: Though it may sound counterintuitive, spicy dishes made with chili peppers might actually help you cool you down. The capsaicin in the peppers increases your blood circulation without increasing your body temperature, which makes you sweat more. When your sweat evaporates, you should be left feeling cooler than you were before.

And since summer is the time to be adventurous, why not get your bold, spicy fare from a food truck? Here are three otpions that should satisfy your appetite for the piquant: 

The DUK TruckThe Institute of Chili, and SAbores

Use the SA Food Truck Finder website (or app) to locate them and discover other exciting edibles!

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9) Feel the rhythm.

If a Sunday afternoon heat wave has ever left you burning for some cool tunes, consider attending the McNay Art Museum’s Summer Jazz and Lunch Series. You’ll get to enjoy a gourmet boxed lunch and jazz music for only $15 per guest. Seating is first come first served though, so make sure to get there early.

All throughout the month of July, the Parks and Recreation Department’s Fandango and Alamotion Dance Troupes will be sponsoring “¡BRAVO! An Evening of Song and Dance” at the Arneson River Theater in La Villita.  This year it will feature dance and musical numbers from Mexico, Hawaii and the Caribbean. Admission is free, but donations are always appreciated. Check the Parks and Recreation event calendar for performance times and schedule updates.

Another great recurring event for audiophiles is the County Line Music Series. Admission is free when you bring in canned goods to donate to the San Antonio Food Bank. Enjoy some barbecue, listen to some great live music, and help your community out all at the same time. What’s not to love about that?

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10) Take care of yourself.

Health and wellness tips may not be the “sexiest” part of this list, but they’re still absolutely crucial to heed if you want to be safe and have fun this summer. Nothing will take the wind out of your sails faster than suffering from heat stroke or getting a sun burn.

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If you’re going to be outdoors for an extended period of time, especially between the hours of 10am and 4pm, make sure to use sunscreen with an SPF rating of 30 or higher. Consider reapplying every two hours, especially if you’re swimming or sweating profusely. Seek shade whenever possible and stay hydrated by drinking non-alcoholic fluids, preferably those with little to no sugar, caffeine, or carbonation.

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Don’t forget to bring your sunglasses (ideally those that wrap around) and a wide-brimmed hat to help shade your face, neck, and head. Wear lightly-colored, light-weight, loose-fitting clothing.

Heat-related illness claims the lives of hundreds of people every year, so now is not the time to get precious about style points. The fleeting mortification of a potential, fashion faux pas is nothing compared to the hardship of skin cancer. So even if the hat is ugly…WEAR IT.

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There’s a wide range of resources available for San Antonians who want to be healthier this summer: You can get exercise while simultaneously helping the environment by renting a B-cycle for your daily commute or a casual ride through the park. You can take your kids to the H-E-B Body Adventure exhibit at the Witte Museum where they can improve their health IQ, gain a better understanding of anatomy, and practice meditation and cooking techniques.

If you’re not quite sure how to start a workout regimen, the Parks and Recreation Department’s Fitness in the Park program offers a variety of classes and activities for people of all ages, skill levels, and interests. They have almost anything you can think of, from cardio kickboxing to yoga, and even hula dancing. Find something fun and dive right in!

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If you’ve ever wanted the perfect excuse to wear neon sweatbands, you should definitely check out the “Totally Awesome 80’s” themed Fit Pass 2.0 Program, starting June 14 with the kickoff Fitnessthon 5k and Expo event at Ladybird Johnson Park. It is a free, interactive scavenger hunt that challenges people to live healthier by participating in different wellness activities taking place throughout the city. The expo will offer swimming, running, Zumba, exercise classes, door prizes, a best 80’s-inspired workout ensemble costume contest, and much more.

What is your damage, Heather? Like, just sign up already!

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No matter what you decide to do this summer, make sure that you’re safe. Plan ahead! Buy the tickets in advance. Don’t forget to pack water and other necessities a few nights before your road trip so that you’re not rushing at the last minute.

Take all the necessary precautions so that you can optimize your time and make the best possible memories with your loved ones.

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This is actually one of those weird characterization things that genuinely puzzles me. Like, on the one hand, I think it’s hilarious for Cap to act like a tired ol’ grandpa because he’s technically been on earth for almost a century. But on the other hand, would a young man really feel older just because he’s living in the future? Like, you would certainly feel isolated/alienated because the world around you is so different from the one you once knew, but I’m not sure if you’d actually feel antiquated. Is it possible for a person to feel “old-fashioned” if he doesn’t experience the change in generational values/customs in real-time?

For example, hypothetically speaking, let’s say Steve opens the doors for women because he considers it part of being courteous. Some modern people might perceive that custom as being “old fashioned.” They might ask him to stop. But after being told to stop, would Steve perceive himself as being old-fashioned? Wouldn’t he just see it simply as a difference in culture rather than the imposition of “modern” life?

Is what he’s experiencing better understood in terms of culture shock rather than generational conflict? He feels different from other people for sure, but does he actually feel older?

Calling someone “son” implies that you don’t just feel older, it also suggests that you see the addressee as being younger/more naive than you. Maybe Cap feels older than he is because of all he’s had to endure. Maybe he thinks that his experience is enough to give him the “respect your elders” card…

Or maybe he’s using “son” the way we do nowadays? Like when people of contemporary age tell each other: “Step off, son!”

Or maybe this actually a 40’s-era accurate way of speaking? It’s a nod to authentic slang Steve would know?

I dunno. I’m tired of thinking about this. Stopping now.

(Source: hollends, via bifrostbite)

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Hey look! I wrote a thing!

It’s about unemployment/underemployment, specifically among college-educated millennials.

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zvcruvolo:

He just shit on your whole life, bitch.

Can we talk about this for a sec?

This exchange was really important to me because I think Nina’s attitude here illustrates a HUGE problem with modern pop culture criticism.

Feedback regarding any work should always be delivered in a constructive way. The goal of any kind of evaluation is to point out what went right, what went wrong, and do so objectively, without bias, so that the recipient can improve himself/herself. Ideally, there should be no prejudice and (to a certain degree) no emotional attachment to the work being evaluated. 

While the aesthetic value of a creative work is most certainly subjective, and the passions it evokes can also vary from person to person, the expression of a critic’s reaction to a work should be divorced from the emotional response he or she first received from that work so that the work can be examined within larger context, one extending beyond the scope of the individual person. 

Reality TV has encouraged a style of criticism that rewards short-sighted snark and imprecise hyperbole over substantive commentary and fair-handedness. I’m thinking about Gordon Ramsey-style emotional outbursts where there’s cursing or violent shouting. I’m thinking about nasty rounds of Simon Cowell-brand sarcasm, where cute quips and degrading put downs become more important than delivering truly accurate, well-rounded criticism. I’m thinking about those judges who just scream and shout or clap their hands wildly or dance or throw out tired variations of “you killed it” or “that was the bomb” without really providing examples that illustrate what choices the artist made that were truly distinctive or superior. And frequently, when judges DO offer well-rounded criticism, they usually get booed for it by the audience even when it’s polite and accurate (I’m looking at YOU, Dancing with The Stars audience members!!!)

There’s no need for cruelty when providing a negative evaluation. And a positive evaluation needs more than exuberant gushing to be helpful. Both these styles lend themselves to emotional exhibitions that lack real, critical content. They may be better for TV ratings, but I think they also diminish the art of criticism. They perpetuate a culture where people listen to those individuals who are shouting the loudest, not those who might have the best ideas or clearer insights. It’s true that sometimes a pithy piece of snark can be insightful or clever, but most TV judges are a far freaking cry from Oscar Wilde!

In Nina Garcia’s case, she had her chance at express her scathing criticism in this clip, but she was so hell-bent on being as devastating as possible in her delivery that she could not even accept a humble “thank you” from this PR designer.

I don’t know what was going through Chris’ mind during this evaluation, but I believe his reply was meant as a subdued form of polite acceptance for Nina’s criticism. Even though Nina gave him this elaborate negative comment, he still respects her enough as a professional to take what she is saying constructively (even though it was never offered in the spirit of edification). 

Nina doesn’t like his graciousness! She goes out of her way to make sure he feels insulted: ”That’s not a compliment.”

Chris responds with a curt, clarifying reply:

"I didn’t take it as a compliment."

Now THAT is my favorite kind of smackdown. It’s understated, subtle, humble, and completely turns the tables on the person who is supposed to have all the power.

I don’t know about other viewers, but after this interaction I was left with the distinct impression that it was not Chris’ understanding of Nina’s criticism that was lacking, but instead it is Nina’s authority as a critic that suddenly became questionable (at least in this one exchange). 

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Work it, Chris!

(Source: , via whiskeybeard)

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An Open Letter to Dan Harmon

Dear Mr. Harmon,

Hello! I’m one of those Community fans who was completely horrified by the comments you made in your podcast in which you liken the experience of watching Season 4 to “flipping through Instagram and watching your girlfriend just blow everyone" and "watching your family be raped at a beach.”

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Some people have defended you by saying things like: “He didn’t mean it the way it sounded!” Or “That’s just the way Dan is!” It’s painfully clear to me that these fellow fans are missing the whole point of why we were outraged by your behavior in the first place.

I mean, why did you stop with rape and infidelity? S4 was so much worse than that, Dan! Don’t hold back. Wasn’t watching S4 about as bad as living through the Holocaust? Or Hiroshima? Wouldn’t you say the holiday episodes were AT LEAST as bad as Newtown?

But then again…isn’t that a stretch? Metaphorically speaking? And doesn’t it feel a little demeaning and dehumanizing to compare the decline of an NBC sitcom to genocide? Perhaps, in that light, it’s no better for you to compare Community’s fall from grace to the rape of your loved ones, right?  

Don’t get me wrong, Dan. S4 was terrible. But I don’t need you to tell me that. I watched the entire crappy season out of a sense of loyalty to you, the characters your crafted, and the vision you had for the show. And I look forward to you turning things around for S5. BUT my enjoyment and support of your show does not require me to support *you* as an individual. And any success you have does not entitle *you* to spout off these gross, insensitive comments.

I realize that having one’s art disfigured into something you barely recognize anymore is terrible, perhaps even traumatizing. But rape? It doesn’t matter if it wasn’t intended to be offensive. It doesn’t matter if you’re the smartest guy in the world. Casually referencing rape only contributes to rape culture. You are a role model, dammit. You may not know it, but there are people out there who are stupid enough to posture themselves after you. They might internalize your comments so that they think rape is something minimal; that it can be treated with the severity that one would handle *any* minor disappointment. And yes, Dan. I do think that getting axed as showrunner and forced to watch your characters become diluted shells of themselves qualifies as a “minor disappointment” when compared to being raped. 

We expect better from you, Dan. That’s why it hurts so much to hear you say things like that. That…and follow-ups like this:

I like making stuff that pleases people, I like being honest about my feelings but I hate hurting other people, especially community fans.

- Dan Harmon on Twitter

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You know what I hate, Dan?

I hate that, in your non-apology tweet, you hid behind the veil of “honesty” regarding your comments. There is nothing sincere about casually referencing rape or objectifying women. That wasn’t “honesty” that we heard in your podcast, that was thoughtlessness mixed with hyperbole and misogyny.

Say what you will, but OWN UP TO WHAT YOU SAY. If you’re sorry for it, apologize for it directly and say it was wrong. If you’re NOT sorry for it, then don’t be wishy washy and talk about how you “hate” hurting Community fans. If you hate it so much, DO SOMETHING about it.

When your family *actually* gets raped or when your girlfriend *actually* blows everyone on Instagram…perhaps I’ll feel there’s some legitimacy to your analogy. But until then, whenever you feel like expressing something that’s objectionable or hurtful…here’s a crazy idea: 

Find a better way to say it!

You are a writer after all, right?

If you think so highly of yourself in terms of being a creative individual, the “genius” that you proclaim to be, then perhaps it isn’t asking too much for you to find a less degrading, MORE ACCURATE way of expressing yourself.

Respectfully yours,

Questionableliterarymerit

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Dianna Agron for Nintendo 3DS and Art Academy

”..and I’m not a gamer. With my 3DS, I’m an artist.”


Okay, I love Dianna Agron with a burning passion but what exactly is the message behind this ad campaign? Why is there a need to distinguish between being a gamer and being an artist? I wasn’t aware this binary existed or even that it was a polarizing issue. Why can’t we be artists and gamers? Why can’t we like Andy Warhol and Sonic the Hedgehog? 

Are budding artists the ONLY people who would buy this product? What about those novices who might also plug in a Mario cartridge during their downtime? Are the “artsy” people who play Art Academy somehow NOT “gamers?”Are those people so sensitive about being considered “gamers” that we need to erase that label in order to avoid alienating them? Is “gamer” somehow exclusionary?

The other ad I’ve seen with Gabrielle Douglass does a similar thing. She insists that even though she plays Super Mario Bros. she’s not a gamer, she’s a “coin-collecting champion.” 

When did “gamer” become an offensive term? 

Is it like Trekkie now, or something? 

This is just such a strange ad series. It’s like those people who say “I think that women should receive equal pay and have reproductive rights, but I’m not a feminist.”

Honey, if you be operating a Nintendo brand product, I’m sorry to break it to you BUT gurl…you a gamer.

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"Proud Mary Keep on Burning" - Negative Gender Tropes and Feminist Criticism Related to Supernatural

Note: My tumblr refuses to update the tags on this post, so I’m RE-posting it and adding the tags MYself. Apologies for the rerun! - QLM

In one of my previous posts, I reblogged some excellent videos that Anita Sarkeesian from the Feminist Frequency did regarding media tropes related to the portrayal of women in pop culture sources ranging from comics to movies and television (see list below for links to these tropes and their corresponding videos).

After watching the videos, I immediately started thinking about my new favorite TV show, Supernatural, and how, sadly, it’s guilty of perpetuating a lot of these negative tropes.

The Evil Demon Seductress

One word: Ruby. But also, pretty much every female-gendered antagonistic entity the show has ever depicted. Granted, Lucifer got fresh with Sam that one time, and Crowley did french Bobby, but still… the sexualized bad girls far outnumber the sexualized bad boys. Ruby, specifically, is the quintessential example of lady baddies using sexuality to elicit sympathy and/or manipulate others because of her long term relationship with Sam that ended in complete betrayal. 

Actually, besides, Crowley, are there any lower tier characters that have regularly antagonized the boys that aren’t female? Ruby. Bela. Meg. All variations on the same femme fatale theme. Even Anna, the only female-gendered angel in the show (who was actually pretty progressive to start), ultimately became an antagonist when she was reprogrammed by Heaven’s patriarchy and decided to uproot the Winchester family tree. Her sexy times with Dean was pre-fataleness though, I think.

LilithEve. On Supernatural, it seems as though evil is most frequently characterized as being female. I think this is a side effect of the show’s biased male gaze, yes, but more specifically it might be also be latent homophobia.

In order for evil to be effective, it has to be intimate. It’s safer to have sexualized female characters get closer to the boys because a) sexy bad chicks are good for ratings and b) sexy bad boys would offend subconsciously homophobic viewer/creator sensibilities. Having all these antagonists constructed as women allows the writers to play with themes related to evil in terms of temptation and carnality without things getting too “gay” in the process.

Of course, those creative decisions certainly haven’t stopped the show from reeking of homoerotic sexual tension anyways. *cough* Destiel! Wincest!, *uncough*

The Mystical Pregnancy

Ah yes. Mary Winchester and the Faustian bargain that resulted in Psychic!Sam. Mary had to go through A LOT of shit on the show, and all her suffering stems from the fact that Hell wanted to use her lady oven for demonic occupancy. The Mystical Pregnancy is damaging partly because of the way it depicts a wholly natural biological process, but it also diminishing because it reduces female characters to their reproductive functions and domestic roles. Mary, specifically, is most frequently understood only within the dimensions of wife and mother. Thankfully, the time travel episodes provide us with the chance to see her in more of a three-dimensional light, as a skilled hunter, rather than just a motherly martyr.

I love Mary but from day ONE she has been there primarily to pull on our heartstrings and move the plot forward for her menfolk. Which brings us to the next trope…

Women in Refrigerators

Mary Winchester again, but, more specifically…Jess. We didn’t really get to know Jess as much of anything outside of a martyr figure whose death was used for a purely functional purpose in the pilot: To motivate Sam to take up arms with Dean and go a-questing for ol’ yellow-eyes. For these reasons, Jess is more so an idea worth fighting for instead of a real, three-dimensional person. 

Jo and Ellen might also be seen as characters who edge on this trope, but I think they were a little more well-rounded than Jess. Still, the fact remains that their collective death was both oddly sudden and certainly ineffective in terms of resolving any crucial story conflict for that season. Their deaths really only served to create a sense of urgency in Sam and Dean by upping the “end of days” ante.

Again, women are used as plot-fodder. Eesh.

The Manic Pixie Dream Girl

I think Lisa fills the function of this trope for Dean, but in a different way than the standard Pixie Dream Girl. Rather than comforting her man with wide-eyed, dreamer sentimentality, Lisa embodies the mundane for Dean; the luxurious ideal of “normalcy.” The end result is the same though. Lisa is likewise reduced to representation; a mere symbol of the life domestic and nothing more. That’s why she’s not relatable or particularly interesting. She’s not even a real person; she’s just a lifestyle that Dean eventually discovers he can never have. This is best embodied, again, through her ovaries, when Dean discovers Ben is his progeny.

Lisa is defined by this motherhood role (even if she is not specifically motherly to Dean). Would Dean feel so attached to her if it were not for Ben? Would her role have expanded past one episode if she hadn’t reproduced? Give me a break!

The Smurfette Principle

The Impala. She is the only recurring feminized entity on the show. And the poor gal is always being objectified and infantilized by Dean.

"My baby! Nobody touches my baby!"

Dean Winchester (Every other episode)

Just kidding, but not really…It’s worth noting that there’s not a single female regular in the series, so this is a trope Supernatural avoids only because it isn’t even eligible for consideration. It’s hard to expand upon gender disparity in a given show when one gender isn’t even really represented.

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Okay, show of hands-

dumbthingswhitepplsay:

peroxidepirate:

fattypolitic:

How many people by now have no idea that eating more fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and drinking plenty of (unpolluted) water is better for you than processed food?

I know it. Everyone knows it.

What these arrogant shits who keep aiming to “teach low income people” is not something we don’t know. 

If you want to “teach” me something about food then teach me how to make $30 a week for three people stretch without processed meals.  

Or how about you stop assuming we are ignorant of the fact that fresh foods are better for us than hamburger helper and look at the root of WHY we have to buy the shit.

Once again, it’s just easier to assume ignorance and laziness than it is to apply any critical thinking or empathy.

WORD.

Seriously, nutritionist classes are all well and good, but most people can fucking make educated guesses.

Whether they can AFFORD those educated guesses is much different.

I would never make the argument that lower income families can adjust their diets just as easily as those families who have plenty of money at their disposal. It has been (and always will be) harder to be healthy on a budget. However, I do think that the widespread distribution of obese Americans across class lines demonstrates that this problem truly is an epidemic. Regardless of what income bracket they belong to, it seems as though the average American has NOT been capable of making healthy “educated guesses” regarding their dietary needs these past few decades.

Of course, people shouldn’t be making educated guesses when it comes to their health. They should make informed decisions. It’s tempting to dismiss dietary choices as “common sense,” but to do so is presumptuous. What is considered common sense to one person might seem arcane to another. For example, “everybody” knows that drinking soda in excess is unhealthy, but what a lot of people don’t realize is that drinking the same amount of fruit juice can be just as bad because it contains just as much sugar. Freshly squeezed organic orange juice might be nutritionally superior to a glass of chocolate drink mix, but that doesn’t necessarily make it the healthier option for someone who is pre-diabetic.      

Additionally, a huge component of the obesity epidemic is related to the increasingly sedentary nature of modern living. Here, the rich are also at an advantage because they can afford gyms, personal trainers, and can work out in private gated communities. However, with the proper guidance and support, low-income families can also find ways to exercise and stay healthy. Events, like community fitness fairs and jogging groups, can be organized with the assistance of these health awareness advocacy groups. It is vitally important that programs about health and wellness be made available to low income families so that they also have a chance at living healthier lifestyles. And that’s what it is, really: a lifestyle. Not just a diet, but a far-reaching scope of behavior modification.

The average consumer is bombarded with thousands of confusing messages related to  food every day of their lives. Sugary cereals advertise their whole grain content. Soda makers add suplements to their drinks to create the illusion that they’re good for you. Even if it’s only to pick between the lesser of two evils, every scrap of information people have at their disposal gives them a better chance at making better decisions for themselves and their families.

I am NOT arguing that assistance programs to help low income families should be abolished in favor of health awareness programs. Poverty is not an isolated problem that is entirely separate from the obesity epidemic. However “fixing” that problem will NOT, by itself, also fix the obesity epidemic. Even people with money are making horrible health choices these days. It worries me then, for the sake of all Americans, to see health awareness programs being discouraged, to any degree.

I can understand the frustration that people must feel, if they have the information necessary to make good health choices but not the means to optimize those decisions. Yes, that is frustrating, but we must remember that there are thousands of other people out there who have not been so fortunate as to receive the benefit of that information.

Having all the resources in the world won’t matter if they’re not utilized properly. 

I’m just saying…

(Source: creativeconflagration, via strawberreli)

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Four Random Observations Regarding the Winnie the Pooh Reboot Movie…

Note: My tumblr refuses to update the tags on this post, so I’m RE-posting it and adding the tags MYself. Apologies for the rerun! - QLM

The Winnie the Pooh movie was all kinds of disappointing. Granted, there were a couple of hilarious “who’s on first”-type misunderstanding moments, but aside from a handful of decent gags relying on wordplay, the story itself fell flat on its plush ASS. 

The plot in a nutshell? Eeyore loses his tail, the gang thinks Christopher Robin has been abducted by Latoya Jackson (because Owl can’t read his poorly written letter with bad spelling that says he will be back soon), and, of course, Pooh just wants his goddamn honey already, fuck you very much!

Maybe it’s because I grew up with a different generation of Pooh, but these characterizations always felt slightly…off. Ex. Piglett always bitched about stuff before, but this time around he seemed to be particularly whiny. And stupid! Piglett may have been overly anxious at times but he was never stupid. Similarly, Movie!Rabbit always sounded like he was seriously about to lose his shit. Rabbit’s always been tightly wound, but Movie!Rabitt definitely wanted to shoot people in the face at one point in the film. I won’t get into the details because it’s not worth it. The whole affair was just, grrrr, a major let-down on several levels.

The animation was great though! I can’t tell you how nice it was to see the scratchy hand-drawn style make a triumphant comeback. But yeah, I dunno. I just feel like the film was constructed specifically to appeal to families with small children (infants, bleh). Everything felt diluted to look cute or get cheap laughs. There really wasn’t a whole lot of sentimentality or sweetness or ingenuity or anything. I remember Christopher Robin’s relationship with Pooh being really tender in the books and older movies. I didn’t really pick up on any of that here. Same thing with the Pooh/Piglett relationship and Tigger/anyone. This group just felt like a random ship of fools.

And there were no Pooh SticksI loved Pooh sticks! What the fuck is the point of a Winnie the Pooh reboot without fucking Pooh Sticks?!!!

Let me put it this way:

If Bobby Singer had been watching this movie, his voice would be hoarse by the end from muttering “Idjits" every five minutes.

In case you were vaguely curious about the film, I’m compiled a list of four random ass observations that I made while watching. Are they relevant to analyzing the movie? Hardly. Are they critical points of interest? Barely.

Are they funny?

Hell if I know! You be the judge. 

1. JESUS CHRIST! Zooey Deschanel is f*cking EVERYWHERE.

I turn on the TV, there’s Zooey on New Girl. I walk into another room and someone is watching Elf. I go to the store and I see the She and Him Christmas album. She’s on SNL! She’s on the red carpet! She’s asking Siri to order her some goddamn tomato soup because she’s too busy not cleaning her house to get her ass out of her pajamas.

As soon as I popped in the Winnie the Pooh DVD, the FIRST thing I hear is Zooey Deschanel belting out the fucking Winnie the Pooh theme song.

The worst part is that it actually didn’t sound that bad.

Zoey’s voice lends itself quite naturally to the lullaby-esque feel of most Pooh songs. She recorded several tunes for the film and, it pains me to say this, her contributions were the most memorable music moments of the film. The original songs composed for the film, the ones that the characters sing to move the plot along, were so lackluster! Not a single one stuck in my head afterwards!

What the fuck, Disney!? You’ve made a fortune on animated musicals. You didn’t have ANY contacts that could have breathed some life into your Winnie the Pooh reboot? I’m not asking for “Under the Sea” but I’m sure SOMEBODY from the High School musical franchise needed work. C’mon!

Zooey sounds clueless in this interview. Thank God she’s pretty.

2. Eeyore is so sexual! (See photo below) They have him do this, like, at least twice in the film. It’s kind of dirty and veeeery Showgirls.

Heeeey. Wanna see me do my ping pong trick?

No? Ohhhh well. Time to go sell my body at the red light at Pooh Corner… 

Hilarious! And shameless.

3. I am NOT comfortable with us seeing the white of Christopher Robin’s eyes.

Exhibit A: 

Christopher Robin THEN

Exhibit B. 

Christopher Robin NOW

For a split second, while watching the movie, I thought CR’s hat was a yamulke and that they had made him Jewish. The Hebraic background is questionable, but I know for sure that they made him sound four freaking years old and way more British than he should be. I mean, I know Pooh is a British export, but CR almost had a freaking cockney accent in the movie…

I half-expected for him to start babbling on about the Artful Dodger or where I can find “the worst pies in London.”

4. Winnie the Pooh has an unprecedented, schizophrenic lust for honey in this movie. He’s always loved it, but in this film his hunger overtakes his senses and he actually begins to like, Sybil-hallucinate over the foodstuff. Like, at one point, all the dialogue he hears replaces regular words with the word “honey,” so it’s shit like:

Oh honey! I can’t wait to honey over to Christopher Honey’s house. Do you think our plan will work, honey? I sure honey so. Honey? What do you honey? Honey honey, honey-honey honey!!

The honey-cravings also make Pooh see his friends as talking honey pots! Think back to those old Tex Avery cartoons that depicted people starving on deserted islands. Remember how they’d look at each other, fuzzy lines would appear, and suddenly a foot became a hot dog or face started to resemble a hamburger?  

Pooh’s food-delusion is a lot like that, except everybody’s head becomes a faceless honeypotTotes creepy.

Fun Fact! There’s actually a charming TV trope for this, called Meat-O-Vision!

Pooh’s addiction is what inspired this photoset:

Winnie Houston’s Interview With Diane Sawyer

Diane - Do you know what this is?

Winnie Houston - No. What is it, Diane? Tell me. I’m a bear of very little brain. Do you know? Do you really know? Do you know? Let’s get one thing straight: Honey is cheap. I make too much money to ever do honey. Honey is wack!