Why redneck women are so hot: the theory of Natural Light selection

I whiled away my teenage years and much of my twenties in Northwest Florida where rural communities are plentiful as are the redneck women and men who inhabit them. And a question that came up again and again was: Why are there so many beautiful women living out in the middle of Bumfuck Nowhere? I mean, you stop in one of those towns where the gas station is also the general store–you go inside and it’s like a mini Walmart/redneck petting zoo–and this mud-caked pickup truck pulls up beside you, and out hops this gorgeous woman with long, flowing hair, a golden tan and a six pack that Ciara would muff-dive Monica for; and she’s wearing camouflage and hunter orange; and the guy riding shotgun has a beer gut, neck hair and a half-empty Natural Light can for a spit cup; and you think: What the fuck? Continue reading Why redneck women are so hot: the theory of Natural Light selection

Rise of the professional troll

Jaime Cochran aka @asshurtmacfags
Jaime Cochran, aka @asshurtmacfags, on HuffPost Live in 2012

I’d never heard of professional trolls until I watched a Kali Muscle video on YouTube recently. After his antics ended, YouTube made its usual “you might also like” suggestions. I clicked on one purporting to be about how nobody should take Kali’s exercise advice. But the video wasn’t about that. It was just some twenty-something guy doing a voice-over to a video by the person I’d just watched, talking shit, making a lot of ad hominem remarks, but saying nothing instructive or constructive–basically, a shitty imitation of MST3K  schtick. I’d stumbled upon a professional troll. Continue reading Rise of the professional troll

Gender socialization, resocialization & multiplicity

Borghese Hermaphroditus
Borghese Hermaphroditus

Sex and gender seem inextricably married for most people. Many do not even know the difference between the two. This paper will explore those differences, the problems that arise when one comes into conflict with the other and possible solutions for those who face such problems. First there is a brief overview of some of the more prominent scientific approaches to sex and gender studies, next is an enumeration of some of the more common variant genders, then an analysis of the process of re-socialization for the individual whose gender identity conflicts with their designated sex, and finally we will conclude with three hypothetical and hopefully positive outcomes for the transgender community as a whole.

Continue reading Gender socialization, resocialization & multiplicity

Real world events that NCIS predicted

Anybody who’s been reading this blog for a while knows that I like the the CBS TV series NCIS. And, while the show may be a bit corny, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t occasionally hit the nail right on the head. Here are some examples of NCIS episodes predicting real world events. Let me know if you have examples I missed.

A sniper targets a Marine Corp recruiter in NCIS S1E13
A sniper targets USMC recruiters in NCIS S1E13

Continue reading Real world events that NCIS predicted

Kathryn Steinle: a DIY guide to exploiting the dead

Bill O'Reilly
Bill O’Reilly

I don’t have cable. I can’t bear witness to the bobbleheads on Fox News, CNN, MSNBC and the rest spewing bunkum into the universe. Unfortunately, sometimes some of it seeps through my filters and reaches me. That happened with the Kathryn Steinle case. Continue reading Kathryn Steinle: a DIY guide to exploiting the dead

Thelephobia & the problem of the nipple

Female cadaver, NCIS S2E4
Cadaver (Mariela Santos), NCIS S2E4

While watching old episodes of NCIS recently, I was surprised by how fake one of the cadavers appeared. Usually, props and makeup on the show look pretty realistic considering it’s an older program. Then I realized what made this body look so artificial: The woman had no nipples. That’s right: no nipples, no areolae–just pale, bulbous blobs protruding from a patulous thorax.

Continue reading Thelephobia & the problem of the nipple

Tania Bruguera: discomfort artist

tania-bruguera
El Peso de la Culpa, Bruguera, 1997

Tania Bruguera is a controversial performance artist of international acclaim. Born in Havana, Cuba in 1968, Bruguera grew up in a time when Cuba’s relations with the global community, and the United States in particular, were strained. Receiving degrees from the Cuban Instituto Superior de Arte and the American School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Bruguera would eventually establish residences in both Havana and Chicago, travel the world, and receive awards and academic acclaim both for her artwork and for her efforts as a public speaker, political activist, and founder and director of Arte de Conducta, the first Cuban performance-art program.

Continue reading Tania Bruguera: discomfort artist

Beauty that inheres

Lauryn Hill & Meg Ryan
Lauryn Hill | Meg Ryan

Hair is political

“Hair is political” has become a commonplace statement in black feminist circles. I don’t know that Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is responsible for popularizing the phrase, but she certainly seems to be the person saying it most often these days. The first time I can recall hearing someone discuss the racial-cum-gender politics of hair was at the 2011 Annual Women’s Studies Conference in Pensacola, Florida. The speaker, Aphrodite Kocieda, described the straightening and lengthening of hair—and white mimicry in general—as a tool black women use to obtain visibility in a “racist, sexist, patriarchal society.”

That was a long time ago, but all this talk about racist hair and political hair lately has me wondering: What about white folk’s hair? If the straightening of black hair represents racial sublimation and an attempt to conform to other groups’ standards of beauty, then what does the curling and perming of European/white hair signify?

Continue reading Beauty that inheres

Mechanical eyes, digital bodies

ISBNThis is a quasi-review of Practices of Lookingby Marita Sturken and Lisa Cartwright. Instead of reviewing the entire book, I’m just going to provide my take on one chapter. This should give prospective readers/instructors/haters a better idea of what to expect from this somewhat aged text.

In the chapter titled, “Scientific Looking, Looking at Science,” the authors discuss the give-and-take relationship of visual culture and science, stating that “knowledge itself changes with [the] shift in the mediation of knowledge [from verbal to visual.]” Beginning by outlining the early history and effects of photography and x-ray in science and biomedicine, the authors continue to modern times and the influence of sonograms and digital imaging on how human’s perceive themselves.
Continue reading Mechanical eyes, digital bodies