A Short Post on Taylor Swift as Feminist Musician Jilted Lover Person

First thing’s first, normally I have Fridays off, and therefore write and/or finish up these posts then. My co-worker took a trip south of the 49th parallel for some American holiday or other leaving me to cover for her. Such is life, and also why this post may be shorter than most. Second thing’s second, which is that I have, improbably, actually blogged about Taylor Swift on two prior occasions.

In December of 2012 I spent some time discussing the interpretation of her work, particularly in light of those championing her hit “Mean” as an anthem for the myriad forms of persecution they were facing. Over half a year later I did my best to shame those who thought that voting for a 39-year-old to win a contest and thereby smell her hair would be funny [because it’s not]. One topic has continued to be so very, very relevant while the other has more or less turned out to be a one-time thing. Here’s a hint, it’s the one that has to do with how she’s perceived in the public eye-

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5 Major Issues that Contributed to the Burnaby Mountain Protest

Canadians have a really bad habit of patting ourselves on the back. We see violent clashes between citizens and the state, like what is continuing to unfold in Ferguson, and we tell ourselves that would never happen here in Canada.

In light of the recent Grand Jury decision in the Ferguson case, I would encourage you to check out what Gordon, our resident American, has to say on the topic.

While the dispute in Ferguson may be drawing our attention, here in British Columbia we are actually experiencing our own clash between citizens and the state.

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2 Broke Girls, S4E5 “And the Brand Job”: A TV Review

brandjob

Consider the placard in the image above to be fairly representative of my views of this episode: things are looking up for 2 Broke Girls. No, this episode didn’t feature Han gloating over his ability to both ride a bicycle and maintain an erection [no easy feat], but it did bring the focus of the show back to what it ostensibly should be. That’s right, we’re finally back to watching Max and Caroline try their darndest to make some money.

That’s always been one of my favourite things about the show, because, well, the struggle is real. Now granted, I say that as someone who had free room and board at his grandfather’s while he spent months unemployed, but I bought gluten-free pasta recently because it was on sale for cheap and that stuff is not good. My personal financial state aside, the journey of two young women doing their best is a compelling one, plain and simple.

Now you’d think that upon discovering that she’d been shanghaied into attending a seminar called “Business Bump” Max would-

-leave forever, never to return-

- right after making a joke about teen pregnancy, and you’d be half right.

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When Life Gives You Don Lemon

By now, most of you are probably familiar with the recent scandal involving CNN anchor Don Lemon’s comments to Joan Tarshis, an alleged rape-victim of Bill Cosby. Lemon had blindsided his guest with the question of “Why didn’t you resist”, which beyond being a shockingly insensitive thing to say to any assault survivor, carries with it a host of the most vile, victim-blaming myths imaginable. Time already has an excellent point-by-point take-down of Lemon’s statements, none of which needs my repeating here.

See, I started off writing this post with the intention of revealing the man as nothing more than an inept clown, motivated by bumbling ineptitude rather than malice or spite. The more research I did, however, the less I found myself able to support that idea. There’s nothing innocuous or innocent about Don Lemon.

While many of us were probably unaware of Lemon until his “don’t get raped” comments (or his bull**** non-apology, which we’ll get to in a second), I actually recognized him the second I saw him. Back at the end of September, Lemon, along with co-anchor Alisyn Camerota, had an interview with Islamic scholar Reza Aslan.The “interview” (the whole thing seemed more reminiscent of a McCarthyist witch-hunt) swiftly degenerated into an agonizing fear-mongering session- the very memory of which still makes my blood boil. I’ll let the ever-entertaining Cenk Uygur (of “The Young Turks”) break the debacle down for you.

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John Cho is Hot on Selfie, and Why It Matters

Roughly six years ago I sat in a guest house in London, England, and complained to a Korean friend about not being attractive. It’s funny seeing it typed out now, and it wasn’t so starkly apparent at the time, but that’s exactly what I was worried about. We were studying abroad with a group of mostly White classmates from a predominantly White liberal arts college, and as an eighteen-year-old I had dating on the mind. That, and the beginnings of the idea that things might not be so easy for me given the colour of my skin.

And unlike John Cho and his suit, my skin does not peel away to reveal more equally-good-looking skin underneath.

My primary source was media and pop culture, and how interracial relationships weren’t showcased much, if at all [not much has changed, 2009!]. I suggested that this might create a life-imitating-art situation, where young non-hyphenated-American women might not be as open to the idea of getting together with an Asian guy due to never seeing it on screens small or large. He brought up that he’d had no problems in the past [being musical, and with that bone structure?], as well as the more damning evidence that neither had I. With that I left the topic of conversation alone, not entirely convinced or at peace with the whole thing.

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My First Time LARPing (Live Action Role Playing): A Culture War Report

One of the things you may not know about me is that I have some of the coolest nieces and nephews out there. Recently one of these very cool nephews invited me and John to join him and his friends for some LARPing.

According to the Urban Dictionary, LARP, or Live Action Role Play, is

“a type of game where a group of people wear costumes representing a character they create to participate in an agreed fantasy world. [They] use foam sticks as swords, foam balls as magic and other props to create the games world.”

The first time John and I visited Dagger Deep, the massive Heavy Action Roll Playing arena here on Vancouver Island, we figured we’d just take a look around. That was when we realized that LARPing was one of those all-or-nothing sort of things; we were, of course, denied entrance at the gate. Apparently, jeans just don’t cut it in the medieval world.

This photo was borrowed from the Pictures of Medieval Chaos page on facebook. Check out this photo and more by clicking here, or on the photo itself.

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2 Broke Girls, S4E4 “And the Old Bike Yarn”: A TV Review

oldbikeyarn

I’m not going to lie to you [and honestly, I don’t think I never have in these reviews], but this episode was as shaky as Max’s first attempts to ride a bike for the first time ever. Luckily for you, and for me, if I’m being honest, I can see the silver thread of yarn in every horrific knitted street art installation. With those very appropriate references aside I actually think this marks a positive turn towards giving the secondary cast a little more of the spotlight.

Max and Caroline’s plot revolves around the latter trying to teach the former how to ride a bike, and like I said in the first sentence it is rough. Running with the idea that deliveries will help them add an additional surcharge to their $5 cupcakes [already pretty steep, if you ask me], Ms. Channing steals a bike from out front and puts her plan in action. It’s when she realizes that she is sweating-enough-to-smell-like-Greek-food-out-of-shape that she realizes she needs to instruct Max in an important life skill. Regardless of how I chose to describe it, it’s far from riveting stuff. Continue reading