Professing * Reflecting

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Random Bullets of Women, Mothers, and Beauty (and some links and an apology)

  • I apologize for last night's melodrama. I am in the throes of something and, as I warned in an earlier post, I will be letting almost all fly here. Mix the throes of something with a few generous glasses of red wine and "almost all" flies out the window and you get a post like last night's.
  • Lina has written an excellent post on Camille P . . .'s breathtakingly abhorrently increasingly poor attempts at theoretical analysis. I am glad the clear-headed Lina was able to put into words what I felt but was too blinded by rage to come close to articulating. I haven't been able to speak (or to type, apparently) CP's name for a full two years, ever since one of my students insisted on using only CP and none of the feminist critics we were studying to do a "feminist reading" of something or other. This student brought up her admiration of CP early in the semester, and I had to spend much of my time resisting the urge to leap across the room and strangle her.
  • Continuing my zealous devotion to bad movies on the newly acquired HBO, I watched Flightplan night before last. This is one of those 9/11 movies not about 9/11 but that reference 9/11 (e.g. Reign Over Me, 25th Hour) in weird ways that force the audience to draw comparisons between 9/11 and things like anal rape. Flightplan draws a connection between post-9/11 racism and the collapse of "family values," essentially making the claim that Americans (and German pilots, of course) hate mothers and children and should be more ashamed of this than assuming all Arabs and Muslims are terrorists. In sum, post-9/11 hysteria is represented as less dangerous than the dissolution of the traditional family. The best things about the character--a working mother, an engineer no less--are actually criticized as she suffers all manner of punishment for not being a typical mother. I had a moment when I blamed Jodie Foster for not being a poststructuralist radical feminist film critic in choosing her movie roles. Then I thought that if she does indeed choose movie roles for political reasons I could see why she might choose this one: strong working mother who designs planes is targeted by terrorists and kicks some ass and shames some stupid conservative racists as well. But it goes all wrong, Jodie. Don't you see? Then I realized if I was Jodie Foster and anyone told me that I should chose my movie roles according to what might happen on any level as a result, I would tell that person to fuck right off. Then I realized for the umpteenth time that I am not the preferred audience for this movie or any, for that matter, that I have been watching on the newly acquired HBO. But then again I am, because I was riveted and I am not uncomfortable watching them or at the very least I am comfortable with my discomfort. And, like it or not, I have HBO now. So really only the people who are made potentially uncomfortable are the people who have to listen to my half-baked ideas about the shitty movies I watch on HBO. And, honestly, these are not really the same ideas I talk about and write about for a living. Those are fully baked, of course. No, here I am much more like Ignatius J. Reilly in my movie critiquing style. By the way, I am reminded of dear Ignatius as I read one of my new favorite blogs, the new and truly brilliant Korncrake!. If you have not checked it out, you must--especially you medievalists.
  • I have a beauty recommendation, a beauty warning, and a beauty question.
    • Recommendation: This at-home facial peel by Oil of Olay really works. I wasn't particularly worried about wrinkles--have very few and like the ones I have--but my skin was looking a little dull to me. After using this once, my skin looks perfectly radiant and plump and beautiful. I also have the most sensitive skin known to man, and this was not at all irritating.
    • Warning: I was on my way to get a haircut the other day, and I met a very confused looking and acting woman in the elevator to the salon. She was about 60, perfectly coiffed, and in very stylish casual wear. She was talking to herself, expressing great concern about which floor she needed to get off on. I was headed to the fourth. She pushed buttons for the second, third, fourth, and fifth. At each floor, she would peek out and look down the hallway. She got off on the fourth floor with me and walked into the salon in front of me, blocking the doorway. The receptionist said, "Third floor, ma'am" and she turned around and nearly knocked me over as she rushed babbling back to the elevator. In response to the WTF? look on my face, the receptionist said, "She does it every week. She's looking for her manicurist on the third floor." I replied, "A bit off, isn't she?" My receptionist then revealed that no, not exactly: "She's just wicked senile. Looks great, doesn't she? She's like 80 or something. A lot of work done, by the best too". I am thinking that this is going to become more and more of an issue--getting a totally different read on people who are actually behaving somewhat appropriately for their age because said people are plasticized. I remember having a similar worry when people starting walking around talking on their pocketed cell phones with their Bluetooth technology, and I could not really distinguish them from the raving mad people roaming the streets talking to themselves (except the Bluetooth people tended to be saying much less interesting things). Pretty soon we are just going to assume all the crazy people have just had face lifts and/or are on the phone.
    • Question: I am seriously considering going off the Pill, largely because I want to lose 15 pounds. Here's the thing, I don't really need to lose 15 pounds and I of the amazingly fertile women people in my family will very likely get pregnant if I have unprotected or condom-breaking sex. I gained 20 lbs. after I stopped smoking and went back on the Pill. Before that, I was pretty significantly under a normal weight, because I had crazy sinus infections and had been on antibiotics for nearly a year, so I needed to gain anyway--just not 20, I think. I have lost 5 since I gained the 20 but no more will come off and I am certain it is because of the Pill. Everyone tells me I look great, better than my thinner self, and I sort of agree. I definitely like the curves. I don't necessarily need to lose all of the rest, but 5-10 lbs. would make me much more comfortable and have me fitting back into many fabulous clothes I can no longer wear. I also kind of want to go off because I feel different when I am on the Pill, but mostly if I am honest with myself it is because I am vain vain vain vain. Thoughts?
  • Since I began writing this, I have heard from ETF, who now is not leaving until later in the week. Seems the cosmos will not let the throes of anything get in the way of its need for irony.

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