when the status quo frustrates.

In Honor of Halloween…

Friday, October 31st, 2008

…my historically favorite costumed superheroines. Well, sometimes supervillainesses; most of ‘em are ambiguous…or worse…at times.


Clockwise from top left: Lady Deathstrike, Emma Frost, Supergirl, Psylocke, Callisto, and Zarana.

Updated to add, thanks to Ginger’s reminder: My very first heroine, of the sword-and-sorcery variety (I was eight! Thanks, Dad).

Red Sonja

Additional note: Anybody who enjoyed the original Red Sonja character as conceived by Robert E. Howard should read his two novellas about Agnes de Chastillon, who is about 1000x awesomer than Red Sonja. However, read only the two Howard stories, “Sword Woman” and “Blades for France.” Do NOT read the story some other dude wrote about her. It’s incredibly stupid. One wouldn’t normally think of Howard as a feminist writer, especially given the time frame in which he wrote–Howard died in the mid-1930′s–but from a review of this work:

In the introduction to the original Zebra paperback of The Sword Woman (there was later a Pocketbooks edition), the late Leigh Bracket — one of the handful of women who achieved great success as pulp adventure writers — pointed out that the title story holds one of the most eloquent statements written on the subject of women’s freedom and individual pride. In this scene, a captain of mercenaries has turned down Agnes’ offer to ride with him as a soldier. He says, “Don thy petticoats as becomes a proper woman. Then, well — in your place I might be glad to have you ride with me!”

Livid, Agnes threatens him, saying:

“Ever the man in men! Let a woman know her proper place: let her milk and spin and sew and bear children, not look beyond her threshold or the command of her lord and master! Bah! I spit on you! There is no man alive who can face me with weapons and live, and before I die, I’ll prove it to the world. Women! Cows! Slaves! Whimpering, cringing serfs, crouching to blows, revenging themselves by — taking their own lives, as my sister urged me to do. Ha! You deny me a place among men? By God, I’ll live as I please and die as God wills, but if I’m not fit to be a man’s comrade, at least I’ll be no man’s mistress. So go ye to hell … and may the devil tear your heart!”

Intense, pointed, true — Agnes has sworn herself to celibacy, aware that even to share a bed with a man, in her society…is to be bridled. Howard captures the essence of a politic few men dare realize — a concept usually dismissed by men as the madness of man-hating lesbians, or whoever else can be blamed for men’s own limited comprehension. This aspect of Agnes’ character is important to both of the stories Howard wrote, so one would guess it a concept Howard was consciously exploring.

I also have to recommend Howard’s poetry; it’s beautiful, and haunting.

Happy Halloween

Friday, October 31st, 2008

Me and a pal have been working our way through all the old Muppet Shows. Completely by chance– honestly it’s the truth– the episode we got to tonight was the one guest-starring Vincent Price. Spooky, huh?

Punkass Marc, don’t know if you’re “back” now or not (or whether I am, for that matter), but… this one goes out to you.

Going Rogue: A Silly Election Short

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

Miss America

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

The McCain campaign has refused to give up Heart’s “Barracuda,” in spite of the Wilson sisters’ very vocal protests, as Sarah Palin’s theme song.

I think this 70′s song suits her much, much better. Maybe someone should give the McCain campaign a head’s up? :)

Lyrics below the fold, for anybody interested.


“Idiot Wind!”

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008


Gov. Sarah Palin on Wednesday said Sen. Barack Obama has ties to a Columbia University professor who she said is “a former spokesperson for the Palestinian Liberation Organization.” Palin said her assertion “is not negative campaigning to call someone out on their record.”

“It seems that there is yet another radical professor from the neighborhood who spent a lot of time with Barack Obama going back several years,” Palin said at an event in Bowling Green, Ohio.

Khalidi is a leading scholar of Middle Eastern studies at Columbia, and he was a contemporary of Obama’s while on the faculty of the University of Chicago. Khalidi has been a harsh critic of U.S. foreign policy toward Israel and has accused the country of “occupying” Palestinian territories. But he has denied acting as a PLO spokesman during a seven-year period in the 1970s and 1980s.

Khalidi said Wednesday, “I am not speaking to the media at this time, and certainly not until this idiot wind passes.

That’s just awesome. I wish I’d thought of that. How appropos!

The paper reported that a young Palestinian-American woman recited a poem at the farewell party that accused the Israeli government of terrorism for its treatment of Palestinians and was highly critical of U.S. support of Israel.

Being critical of U.S. support of Israel + being connected to anything associated in American pop culture with Muslims = terrorist ties. Which means that since I am friends with a Lebanese dude, I’m probably a “Hamas spokesperson.” And we’d best not go anywhere near what my OTHER friendship with an Iranian dude named, of all things, Hossein says about me. I should probably stop fighting the exposure trend, haul my dynamite-lined burqa out of the closet and just openly wear that bitch with pride.

The McCain campaign accused the Los Angeles paper of “intentionally suppressing” a videotape it obtained from that dinner and demanded that it release the footage. The Times said it won’t release the footage because a reporter promised a source that the video would not be made public.

Asked why the McCain campaign was bringing the matter up six months after the article appeared, an aide replied, “Because we are one week away from potentially electing Barack Obama.”

Heee! You KNOW it’s bad when they’re openly admitting it’s an act of last-minute desperation.

Earlier Wednesday, Palin delivered her second policy address of the campaign season.

Leaving it a little late, aren’t you, Sarey? Or maybe we shouldn’t even open that can of worms right now…

Palin pointed to her experience as governor as evidence she can help the U.S. achieve energy security.

“Whatever the good ol’ boys are running these days, I know it’s not the state of Alaska,” she said in Toledo, Ohio.

Er,Ted Stevens? ….Ted Stevens….Ted Stevens..?

The Alaska governor stressed expanding drilling, using nuclear power and tapping into the “American ingenuity” to solve the energy problem.

Tapping into the “American ingenuity” as a domestic self-sustaining energy source!

Well, it’s a thought, but I think the movie pretty much proved that it isn’t really that good an idea in the long run.

I can’t read any more. Teh stupid, it burns!

Negative Ads

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

Hey, I’ve posted another graph at my place about the campaign ads. Come on over and have a look.

PS: I’m less likely to let rude, dismissive, or annoying comments stand at my place. My blog is like my home: I don’t have to let everyone in.

(waving hand wildly in the air) Me, me! I have one!

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

From MyRightWingDad:

Subject: Fwd: Father/Daughter talk

A young woman was about to finish her first year of college. Like so many
others her age, she considered herself to be a very liberal Democrat, and
among other liberal ideals, was very much in favor of higher taxes to
support more government programs, in other words redistribution of wealth.
She was deeply ashamed that her father was a rather staunch Republican, a
feeling she openly expressed. Based on the lectures that she had
participated in, and the occasional chat with a professor, she felt that her
father had for years harbored an evil, selfish desire to keep what he
thought should be his.

One day she was challenging her father on his opposition to higher taxes on
the rich and the need for more government programs. The self-professed
objectivity proclaimed by her professors had to be the truth and she
indicated so to her father. He responded by asking how she was doing in
school. Taken aback, she answered rather haughtily that she had a 4.0 GPA,
and let him know that it was tough to maintain, insisting that she was
taking a very difficult course load and was constantly studying, which left
her no time to go out and party like other people she knew. She didn’t even
have time for a boyfriend, and didn’t really have many college friends
because she spent all her time studying.

Her father listened and then asked, ‘How is your friend Audrey doing?’ She
replied, ‘Audrey is barely getting by. All she takes are easy classes , she
never studies, and she barely has a 2.0 GPA. She is so popular on campus;
college for her is a blast. She’s always invited to all the parties and
lots of times she doesn’t even show up for classes because she’s too hung
over.’ Her wise father asked his daughter, ‘Why don’t you go to the
Dean’s office and ask him to deduct 1.0 off your GPA and give it to your
friend who only has a 2.0. That way you will both have a 3.0 GPA and
certainly that would be a fair and equal distribution of GPA.’

The daughter, visibly shocked by her father’s suggestion, angrily fired
back, ‘That’s a crazy idea, and how would that be fair! I’ve worked really
hard for my grades! I’ve invested a lot of time, and a lot of hard work!
Audrey has done next to nothing toward her degree. She played while I worked
my tail off!

The father slowly smiled, winked and said gently, ‘Welcome to the Republican

If anyone has a better explanation of the difference between
Republican and Democrat I’m all ears.


Good God, who is this guy?

Monday, October 27th, 2008

If I wasn’t already with the man in the world best suited to me personally, I would definitely hunt him down.

Okay, I wouldn’t; that’s WAAAAY too stalker-ish! :) But I would wish strenuously that I did know him.

Saddest part of all: the reason I’m so wildly impressed with this guy is that he writes a page-long essay detailing how to treat women as if they were people (like men are!), instead of ambulatory vaginas that he might possibly get a chance to wriggle into if he waves the right combination of money and ‘tude at their tits.

(Hat tip: Redheaded Freak Magnet)

False Rape Accusations

Sunday, October 26th, 2008

I’ve been insanely busy with class and work lately (UGG! My finals are in a MONTH!), so in an effort to contribute to my duties as a blogger and still keep my life spinning, I’ve decided to do a cop out post. This post will not be moderated, beyond the automatic spam (or if you are REALLY bad).

False Rape Accusations, while unfortunate, are not on the same level of rape. The current system that we have in place is sufficient to dissuade people from filling them, and false rape accusations should not have penalties beyond any other false reporting of a crime.


Light bulbs, possibly an allegory.

Saturday, October 25th, 2008

How many feminists does it take to change a light bulb?

The question is problematic, as it contains a number of coded assumptions that make it both inadequate and harmful as a means of developing social justice.


Sarah Palin Draws Large Crowd in Beaver

Friday, October 24th, 2008

I tried. Really, really hard, I tried to stop myself from reproducing the above actual real, live news headline here. As you can see, I failed utterly.


While we’re on the topic of bizarre Republican presidential campaign news items, the cops apparently finally noticed that the “B” cut into this broad’s face was backwards, making it extraordinarily unlikely that anybody other than herself inflicted it, and she has confessed that no, no large black man actually mugged her and then assaulted her because she had a McCain bumper sticker. (via) It’s funny how people adapt their personal mental illnesses to their situation. I actually feel sorry for the McCain campaign, being used by this person who clearly needs professional help and lots of it, pronto. Then again, since the McCain campaign is not too interested in health care reform, maybe they deserve it.

And unsurprisingly, the voting is already all effed up. Sigh…

The “Derailing” Train Stops Here, Folks; or, How to Get Banned From Commenting on Lisa’s Blog Posts

Friday, October 24th, 2008

Did I mention in a previous thread that I’ve never been drawn to the field of child care? I should throw “teaching” in there too. I don’t mind tutoring, and have done a fair amount of that since my high school days, but as far as attempting to control an unruly class of children or adolescents day-in and day-out, MEH! No thanks!

Yet I find myself somewhat in that situation now. And I’m not even getting PAID for it. Talk about rubbing salt into the wound…

Now, on the off-chance that all the out-of-control behavioral issues we have all been witnessing over the past few weeks in the site comments genuinely springs from ignorance of the non-willful variety, I am going to lay out a set of guidelines for commenting on all my posts in future. Should a commenter violate them, he or she will be politely or snarkily, depending upon my mood at the moment, reminded to re-read this post and amend his or her behavior. Should a commenter then continue to disregard this, he or she will be banned from that comment thread. Should a pattern of behavior emerge on multiple comment threads, he or she will be banned from the site, period. These guidelines can be revised at any time, depending upon my whim; any attempt to argue with me about the unfairness of any part of it will most likely be ignored and also tip the scales of justice out of favor of the arguer. This ain’t a democracy, folks; it’s a blog.


What is thread-jacking? It’s when you insistently refuse to discuss the subject of the blog post you are commenting on. The subject that you are attempting to force the author and other commenters to discuss instead may or may not be related, superficially or otherwise, to the blog subject; that is irrelevant. Sometimes a set of blog comments flows naturally into humor or discussion of a related or even unrelated topic; that can be perfectly fine, or it can be thread-jacking. What distinguishes the two situations tends to be the attitude of the person penning the off-center comments. I am quite capable of discerning the difference between constructive exploration of a sub- or side-topic and a flat refusal to discuss the topic at hand for personal or ideological reasons, and I will not hesitate in future to exercise that judgement and cut any non-constructive explorer off at the knees. So, engage in this at your commenting peril from here on outward.


What is tit-for-tatting? It’s when you take every issue that a blog writer tries to discuss and reorient it to apply to your personal life or crusades. This can be summarized as the No one has suffah’d as I have suffah’d! mindset. Now (gently, as to a small child): Nobody is suggesting that you, Joe Schmoe, have not suffered. Nobody is suggesting that your suffering doesn’t matter. Perhaps, Joe Schmoe, you can start your own blog to address the issues that you have suffered through in the past and/or are currently suffering through today, or the issues of whatever subset of humanity you are most interested in. However, Joe, we do not respect your laziness at attempting to save yourself the trouble of doing so and just vent over on our blog that we are taking the time and energy to create and maintain. Whatever the issue is and the subset of humanity it is described as affecting here at Punkassblog, that is the subject of the blog and that is what will be discussed. Again, as in Rule #1, that does not mean that we can’t veer off-topic in the slightest; however, as stated in Rule #1, I am quite capable of distinguishing between humorous or constructive exploration and pendantic or destructive obsfucation. I will call you on it, and if you don’t desist, you will be gone, first locally, then globally.

Feel free to question the dictator further on this thread, if you need or want clarification.