zeppelin: (Default)
I found some stupid essays about the Firefly 'Verse. So I'm ranting.

River Tam is also a deeply problematic character. She shares a lot of similarities with the Actives in Dollhouse, of course, which would suggest that Joss may be working through some unresolved issues of his own. She’s the idealized woman in many ways: graceful, fragile, classically Hollywood beautiful. But she’s also unpredictable and extremely dangerous, a metaphor for the violent mood swings women are supposedly subject to, and she feels almost like an object in many of the episodes, not a person.

"She feels almost like an object in many of the episodes." Yup. She does; that's the fundamental conflict (weapon or girl?) that has to be worked out. The government views her as an object, treats her as an object, and has an official policy designating her as an object to be sold back to them. She also doesn't talk much, has been written off as Resident Crazy Girl, and she behaves in an exaggeratedly passive way most of the time (I think she's doing this deliberately, to protect Simon). Even she's not sure what, not who, she is. That's not about sexually objectifying women, that's about (if big themes must be brought in) the government objectifying its subjects.

She's "unpredictable and extremely dangerous" because a fascistic government fucked up her brain, not because she's a girl. Schizophrenia is not a metaphor for PMSing. And you're really dumb. NEXT?!

in which having a courtesan as a respectable character is close-minded, Zoe is too subservient, Kaylee is too unfeminine, River is too sexy, Saffron is a spunky feminist, and I wish I were making this up )

AD Hope

May. 11th, 2009 10:11 pm
zeppelin: (Default)
A.U.C. 334: about this date,
For a sexual misdemeanour which she denied,
The vestal virgin Postumia was tried;
Livy records it among affairs of state.

They let her off: it seems she was perfectly pure;
The charge arose because some thought her talk
Too witty for a young girl, her eyes, her walk
Too lively, her clothes too smart to be demure.

The Pontifex Maximus, summing up the case,
Warned her in future to abstain from jokes,
To wear less modish and more pious frocks.
She left the court reprieved, but in disgrace.

What then? With her the annalist is less
Concerned than what the men achieved that year:
Plots, quarrels, crimes, with oratory to spare-
I see Postumia with her dowdy dress,

Stiff mouth and listless step; I see her strive
To give dull answers. She had to knuckle down.
A vestal virgin who scandalized that town
Had fair trial, then they buried her alive;

Alive, bricked up in suffocating dark;
A ration of bread, a pitcher if she was dry,
Preserved the body they did not wish to die
Until her mind was quenched to the last spark.

How many the black maw has swallowed in its time!
Spirited girls who would not know their place,
Talented girls who found that the disgrace
Of being a woman made genius a crime.

How many others, who would not kiss the rod,
Domestic bullying broke or public shame?
Pagan or Christian, it was much the same:
Husbands, St. Paul declared, rank next to God.

Livy and Paul, it may be, never knew
That Rome was doomed; each spoke of her with pride.
Tacitus, writing after both had died,
Showed that whole fabric rotten, through and through.

Historians spend their lives and lavish ink
Explaining how great commonwealths collapse
From great defects of policy - perhaps
The cause is sometimes simpler than they think.

It may not seem so grave an act to break
Postumia's spirit as Galileo's, to gag
Hypatia as crush Socrates, or drag
Joan as Giordano Bruno to the stake.

Can we be sure? Have more states perished, then,
For having shackled the enquiring mind,
Than those who, in their folly not less blind,
Trusted the servile womb to breed free men?

AD Hope

May. 9th, 2009 10:10 pm
zeppelin: (Default)
Imperial Adam, naked in the dew,
Felt his brown flanks and found the rib was gone.
Puzzled he turned and saw where, two and two,
The mighty spoor of Yahweh marked the lawn.

Then he remembered through mysterious sleep
The surgeon fingers probing at the bone,
The voice so far away, so rich and deep:
"It is not good for him to live alone."

Turning once more he found Man's counterpart
In tender parody breathing at his side.
He knew her at first sight, he knew by heart
Her allegory of sense unsatisfied.

The pawpaw drooped its golden breasts above
Less generous than the honey of her flesh;
The innocent sunlight showed the place of love;
The dew on its dark hairs winked crisp and fresh.

This plump gourd severed from his virile root,
She promised on the turf of Paradise
Delicious pulp of the forbidden fruit;
Sly as the snake she loosed her sinuous thighs,

And waking, smiled up at him from the grass;
Her breasts rose softly and he heard her sigh --
From all the beasts whose pleasant task it was
In Eden to increase and multiply

Adam had learned the jolly deed of kind:
He took her in his arms and there and then,
Like the clean beasts, embracing from behind,
Began in joy to found the breed of men.

Then from the spurt of seed within her broke
Her terrible and triumphant female cry,
Split upward by the sexual lightning stroke.
It was the beasts now who stood watching by:

The gravid elephant, the calving hind,
The breeding bitch, the she-ape big with young
Were the first gentle midwives of mankind;
The teeming lioness rasped her with her tongue;

The proud vicuna nuzzled her as she slept
Lax on the grass; and Adam watching too
Saw how her dumb breasts at their ripening wept,
The great pod of her belly swelled and grew,

And saw its water break, and saw, in fear,
Its quaking muscles in the act of birth,
Between her legs a pigmy face appear,
And the first murderer lay upon the earth.
zeppelin: (Default)
I'm posting this here because it took me a goddamn HOUR to find who voted for the 1994 "assault" weapons ban and I refuse to let this information go to waste (Y HALO THAR JOHN MCCAIN).

Someone accused "female politicians" of emasculating healthy red-blooded American men making some guns illegal because they look all scary and Gawd knows that sort of thing turns ickle girls' heads.

Now, even though I'm the sort of girl whose father says, "Honey, where did the 30 round magazines all over your bathroom sink come from?" and who is keenly aware of the fact that female gun ownership is increasing at such a rate that the male Brady Campaign activists are pissing themselves, I have to admit that this is true.

Women like

Alan Simpson, Malcolm Wallop, Herbert Kohl, Robert Byrd, John Rockefeller, Slade Gordon, Charles Robb, John warner, James Jeffords, Patrick Leahy, Robert Bennett, Orrin hatch, Phil Gramm, Harlan Matthews, James Sasser, Thomas Daschle, Larry Pressler, Arlen Specter, Harris Wofford, John Chafee, Clairborne Pell, Ernest Hollings, Strom Thurmond, Thomas Daschle, Larry Pressler, John Glenn, Howard Metzenbaum, David Boren, Don Nickles, Robert Packwood, Richard Bryan, Harry Reid, Judd Gregg, Bob Smith, William Bradley, Frank Lautenberg, Jeff Bingaman, Pete Domenici, Alfonse D'Amato, Daniel Moynihan, Duncan Faircloth, Jesse Helms, Kent Conrad, Robert Kerrey, Thad Cochran, Trent Lott, Christopher Bond, John Danforth, MAx Baucus, Conrad Burns, Paul Sarbanes, Edward Kennedy, John Kerry, Carl Levin, Donald Riegle, Paul Wellstone, Wendell Ford, Mitch McConnell, John Breaux, John Johnston, William Cohen, George Mitchell, Daniel Caots, Richard Lugar, Charles Grassley, Thomas Harkin, Robert Dole, Paul Coverdell, Samuel Nunn, Daniel Akaka, Daniel Inouye, Larry Craig, Dirk Kempthorne, George Brown, Ben Campbell, Christopher Dodd, Joseph Lieberman, Joseph Biden, William Roth, Bob Graham, Connie Mack, Howell Heflin, Richard Shelby, Frank Murkowski, Ted Stevens, Dennis DeConcini, John McCain, Dale Bumpers, and David Pryor

simply can't be trusted in office.

(Here is the house record. Similar stuff; every woman votes for it! All, like, three of them.)

It is true, by the way, that "assault" weapons are an arbitrarily defined category made up of weapons with accessories that someone decided are scary--30 round magazines included. It is also true that there is a Vagina Conspiracy devoted to destroying all men. But, as a card-carrying member of the conspiracy (it comes at birth: the card is embedded in the left ovary), I can certify that making up random categories of rifles so you can ban them is not part of it.


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