Wednesday, April 30

A little more on I am Legend..

Ok, so I did want to go back and write a little more about I am Legend, mostly because I was really excited to see the movie after reading the short story. So much wasted potential!

My biggest problem with the movie was the dark seekers. I think they made a real error when they decided to use CGI instead of real people. A lot of the tension in the book centers around Neville's crushing loneliness, which is aggravated by the taunts of the infected. He finds it particularly difficult to keep his sexual urges under control, even though the 'women' taunting him were basically the living dead (ew!).

The movie also totally erases the distinctions between the verbal/thinking infected and the mindless monster types. Not only were the CGI Dark Seekers NOT SCARY AT ALL, they made the movie into a monster flick. The whole point of the original story was the Neville became a legend to the 'thinking' infected--a scary, larger than life figure who stole through the night and staked them in their sleep. Although Neville did not understand the difference between the types of infected, it became clear at the end of the story that those who could still think had re-organized human society to function at night and Neville had been killing human beings. The intricacies of the story are thus lost when all of the infected are the dark seekers and are little more than mindless animals.

Also, I HATED that the Dark Seekers in the film kept roaring at him.. it looked ridiculous and really reminded me of The Mummy.

Sunday, April 27

I Am Legend

I just finished watching I am Legend. I'll probably end up writing more tomorrow, but overall I was disappointed. I read the original short story several months ago and thought I knew the general plotline. Sadly, the movie shares almost nothing with the story other than its title. I say sadly because the short story was interesting sci-fi reading, and the movie was more like The Mummy meets Will Smith. :(

Biking for Justice

I've been really busy at work lately and haven't had time to blog. I realized that maybe this is something I SHOULD be blogging about though--it's definitely feminist related, and would be a disaster if I were involved directly! Luckily, I will not be doing any of the biking, I'm just helping with our fundraising efforts. Instead, by boss Becky will be riding her bike over 1800+ miles from New Orleans to New York this summer. A staff member from the Pro-Choice Public Education Project (PEP) is coordinating the ride and they will be stopping along the way to meet with other activists, and reproductive justice organizers. Anyway, I've been crazy busy trying to find sponsors for the trip and getting pledges for a mile/mile fundraiser. Since I'm shamelessly self-promoting a work event, you might as well check out the website:


Tuesday, April 22

The Last Ship

Most of my disaster posts have been about movies, but I just finished reading The Last Ship by William Brinkley and felt the need to blog about slogging through (what felt like) a billion pages! Even though Brinkley could have used some serious editing, I got to the end of the book and promptly got on the computer to see if he wrote a sequel. The book follows the crew of the USS Nathan James in a post-apocalyptic world. Although most of the world and its inhabitants have been either annihilated by the nuclear bombs or slowly dying of radiation poisoning, the 300+ people aboard the ship remain safely out to sea. They have limited amounts of food and fuel, however, meaning they must find some safe place to land. I won't turn the post into a book report.. go read the ridiculously long book yourself if you want to find out exactly what happens.. but I will point out:

1) I was surprised to see that the book was published in 1988. The way the book was written, I was expecting a more cold war-era date. Especially in its approach to surviving nuclear war, it reminded me a lot of Alas, Babylon.

2) The captain of the USS Nathan James spends a lot of time thinking about the fact that his Navy ship has women aboard. While this fact ultimately plays a large role in the plot and the future of humanity (for practical reasons), I felt like some of his opining was Brinkley's way of discussing gender roles and the place of women in the military. In some ways, the captain/Brinkley's mostly internal debate about women and warships is pretty nuanced. While he admits that he originally had reservations about women serving, he also then spends a good bit of time discussing how the women on the Nathan James are superb if not superior sailors. Not surprisingly, he seems unable to move away from a rather reductive understanding of gender differences (i.e. women are cunning beings who recognize their sexuality as their ultimate power), but at least both men and women are portrayed as equally likely to be good/bad etc.

3) A lot of the book ends of being about the fate of humanity. With women aboard the ship, the Captain realizes they may have the unique opportunity to replenish the earth (or at least an island or two). Ultimately the book raises some really interesting questions, such as: should we actually try to reproduce given the destruction already brought about by human beings, and given 20 or so women and over a hundred men, what kind of society or system would be built? I'll let you read the book to find out.. but I think that the type of social and sexual system created in The Last Ship seems a little too male-fantasy driven. Or perhaps it really is just the most practical option given the situation. Either way, it was really interesting to see a male writer's take on human sexuality and reproduction in a post-apocalyptic novel.

2000 Miles for Justice!

This summer my boss, Becky, will be riding her bike from New Orleans to New York! Considering my fitness levels hovers somewhere between 'pathetic' and 'ok,' I think it's pretty cool that Becky and 19 other people will be riding 50+ miles a day. Since part of my job between now and her return will be to help coordinate the fundraiser that we've built around the ride, I felt like this would be a great place to do some shameless publicizing!

Go visit the website the fabulous Kristy Blew created and feel free to pledge some of your hard earned money to a great cause!!

Friday, April 11

Decision on the mish-mash..

I've decided to keep blogging about disaster movies, and generally speaking other things that make me want to write.. so expect some feminist leaning links & some cooking posts in the future!

So angry and disgusting..

I have a not so secret addiction to celebrity gossip, which I try to temper by reading real news and other non-trashy sites. One place I often visit is dlisted. The guy who runs/blogs on the site is really snarky and also pretty gross.. but that's what guilty pleasures are for! Anyway, he had a link today to another site called DrunkenStepfather, and after I followed the link I literally wanted to throw something. While the dlisted guy can be gross, rude, etc. he's usually an across the boards insulter--he writes things about celebrities regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation etc.-- real egalitarian offender if you will. I was really surprised then to see that he linked to the DrunkenStepfather article about Miley Cyrus, because it goes WAY beyond some sexist banter into a full on assault of a teenage girl.
The first few lines of the post are:
" I am from the school of thought that thinks if a girl dresses like a slut she is askin’ for it. I am also from the school of thought that if you get turned on by this 15 year old piece of shit, you’re not a pedophile, you’re just have bad taste."

The comment about her dress is in regards to a black jumpsuit Miley is wearing at some Nickelodean event. While I find her outfit unattractive and maybe not what I would consider appropriate for a 16 year old girl, I think it is disgusting to equate your dislike for an outfit with a justification for rape. Pedophilia is also not something that you joke about, even in the context of insulting a young celebrity. The poster then goes on to discuss the Jonas Brothers gang-banging Miley Cyrus on her tour bus, and how since he's from Canada she's not jailbait and he can talk about "bangin" her as much he likes.

I don't even know how to fully respond to this man's complete and utter disregard for basic decency, and his totally misogynist attitude towards women's bodies and behavior.

Basically, just awful! Feel free to post a response to his article telling him how inappropriate you find his comments!!

Thursday, April 10

A mile wide and inch deep..

I've been debating about the future of my blog! During a recent office conversation, I mentioned that I love my current blog topics: disaster movies and feminist 'stuff.' The problem is that I also really like cooking and spend a good deal of my time reading food blogs, recipes sites, and cookbooks. I wish there was a comparable "renaissance man" term for women--but I couldn't think of anything that fit. If I start writing about food here too, I'm worried that the blog will become such a mishmash that my lovely byline (feminist leaning disaster movie junkie) will be totally meaningless. Of course, there's nothing to say that writing about food isn't something that a feminist leaning disaster movie junkie would write about.. but again, I don't want to force it all together in one place. The three options would be:

1) Change the byline to include my mild foodie obsession
2) Keep the byline and simply add the recipe and food blogging
3) Keep the byline and stick to disaster movies and my slightly rant-y but hopefully interesting posts about things I categorize as 'feminist' related.

What a conundrum!

Wednesday, April 9

I hope someone hacked their site..

Feministing is part of my morning routine; I drink my coffee at my desk, read the news, and read the blog. It's a good way to get fired up for the day! Usually I wouldn't bother reposting someone I found on the site.. but one of this morning's links was extra worrisome. I followed the link to see if it was a joke or a mistake, and it's all true! If you go to and type in weaker you get:

2 results for: weaker

1-2 of 2 results

Roget's New Millennium™ Thesaurus - Cite This Source - Share This
Main Entry: female
Part of Speech: noun
Definition: woman
Synonyms: amazon, babe, beauty, broad, cheesecake, chichi, cupcake, cutie, dame, doll, dowager, duchess, femme, filly, fox, frail, gal, gentlewoman, girl, hussy, kid, lady, madam, mama, matron, old bat, old lady, old woman, petticoat, piece, pinup, seductress, she, she-stuff, shrew, siren, sis, skirt, temptress, ten, tomato, weaker sex*, wench, wren
Antonyms: boy, male, man
Source: Roget's New Millennium™ Thesaurus, First Edition (v 1.3.1)
Copyright © 2008 by Lexico Publishing Group, LLC. All rights reserved.

* = informal or slang

Roget's New Millennium™ Thesaurus - Cite This Source - Share This
Main Entry: lady
Part of Speech: noun
Definition: woman
Synonyms: adult, babe, bag, baroness, bitch, broad, butterfly, contessa, countess, dame, doll, duchess, empress, female, gal, gentlewoman, girl, little woman, mama, mare, matron, missus, mistress, noblewoman, old bag, old lady, old woman, petticoat, princess, queen, queen bee, rib, squaw, sultana, weaker sex*
Antonyms: man
Source: Roget's New Millennium™ Thesaurus, First Edition (v 1.3.1)
Copyright © 2008 by Lexico Publishing Group, LLC. All rights reserved.

* = informal or slang

I hope that someone hacked their site and changed the entry. Otherwise, should be ashamed of this incredibly demeaning and misogynist definition.

Wednesday, April 2

Aiport 1975

I wasn't feeling well last night and kind of hurried my way through the last bit of Airport 1975, so I can't tell if my 'eh' feelings about the movie are due to the stomachache or the film. Overall, I was pretty impressed with the cast, which included Charlton Heston among others, but underwhelmed by the plot and the disaster aspect. Even though both Airport and Airport 1975 were made pre-CGI, I felt like the original movie worked with the bad special effects and relied really heavily on a great cast and script. This movie seemed to coast a little more on the 'effects,' which were pretty bad!
I also did not particularly like the dynamic between Alan Murdock (Heston) and his girlfriend, head stewardess and semi-saviour of the plane, Nancy Pryor (Karen Black). I found it frustrating that Nancy's hysteria after the plane's mid-air impact was portrayed as somehow unwarranted. Murdock yelled at her several times, and kept calling her honey in a really syrupy patronizing voice. Stuck on a damaged plane with a badly hurt captain and recently killed crew members I think I would be pretty hysterical too! Despite her panic, Nancy is able to maneuver the plane through some turns, and keep the other stewardesses and passengers calm despite the danger. Instead of having Nancy then land the plane (or engage in some other fantastic B-movie sequence), Heston's character has to literally jump in and save the day.
Although this movie is supposedly the 'funny' one of the four, I think I am more excited for Airport 1977 where a plane crashes and people are trapped the Bermuda Triangle. I think that one sounds like a good unabashedly crappy B-movie fun-fest!!