Tuesday, March 30

In other Bizarro news...

I'm a writer. I write for Dyxieland. I write my own stories/poems/essays. I'm in workshops. I'm majoring in creative writing. I take classes. I plan on going to grad school for this. I read. A lot.

And yet James Franco thinks he can just do everything creative. He has a short story published in Esquire Magazine. I feel like James Franco is stomping on my life with this. Because if you read it, and I couldn't even make it through the whole thing, it reads like some stoner High School senior's creative writing final paper, or some left wing liberal arts college freshman's Intro to Creative Writing thesis. And he has a short story collection called Palo Alto (SO WEST COAST) coming out in October. Thanks, Scribner for bringing this to us. It's something I really want to read. I feel like I'm going to read it and just hear that weird James Franco voice where he focuses a lot of his syllables' stresses on the back molars and doesn't use his tongue enough when he talks so the result is this weird throaty gravely lispy thing. He also won't open his mouth enough.

No, I'm not bitter. Thanks for asking. The one thing that makes this all better is that the University of Iowa's Writers Workshop (THE Graduate Program for Creative Writing) rejected his poetry application so he settled for General Hospital. SUCK ON THAT FRANCO!

Side Note from Katie Dee, because my stupid computer won't let me just make a comment: It's so "Jewel's book of poetry" from the 90's.

From CK: IT IS SO JEWEL'S BOOK OF POETRY. Which I may or may not own... she talks about her boobs a lot...

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Monday, March 29

In other glorious gay news...

Hey you gays! We've got another one on board to count as one of our own. I didn't see it coming. I had never expected this one. It's such a shock to society that I'm pretty sure the world as we know it is going to implode.

Ricky Martin is gay.

Who's next to shock the world with their sexual orientation, Anderson Cooper?

Update 3/30/10: After thinking about this a bit more, I've decided I'm dissapointed in Ricky. I mean, way to come out now, after your intense period of relevancy in the 90's, instead of being out and unapologetic the whole time. You still would have been successful and your song choice would have been different instead of just signing "She bang" over and over again. This feels like a publicity stunt to get work again, Ricky. Unless you have some hidden nonprofit up your Latin sleeve or you were the silent partner in the production of "Milk," I'm dissapointed that you didn't come out when it would have meant something. Instead of now, when all anyone has to say is "duh" and moves on with their thoughts. Dare I say a bit cowardly?

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Change, While Never Easy, is Always Possible

President Barack Obama visited Thursday to give a speech pertaining to the newly signed healthcare bill. I attended, not because I am an avid supporter who acts like John Lennon just walked into the room, but because here in Iowa City, American history was made. Right at my feet. Right in front of my eyes. Why WOULDN'T you go see your country's leader speak? Now I know we aren't famous for unbiased political opinions here on Dyxieland. But what can I say? Dorothy Anne's a feisty little cowgirl. So I want to focus on the importance that March 25, 2010 has in the context of American history, not political beliefs. I've sort of come to the conclusion that my political beliefs are so all over the place that I'm almost off the charts, almost an anarchist who prefers to be labeled as an "individualist," almost still stuck in this apathetic thing our generation has going on, but definitely someone who will never stop advocating for anyone's right to think or feel or say what they want as long as it is not a detrement to their fellow living being.

So with that, Iowa City was buzzing with protesters, with supporters, with press, with secret service (who have been here for 3 weeks without a majority of people knowing and that makes me uncomfortable.), with organizers. It was like Game Day at Iowa. The hotdog stand on Burlington that is generally packed with people in Black and Gold but instead was packed with red and blue and signs, has a banner that read "US Presidents eat 4 free." It normally has the perenneial I-O-W-A written on it. I managed to get a ticket to the speech. One with a red stripe on it. I was volunteering for Roxanne Conlin and am now an official Roxstar. Well, this red stripe got me into the official fenced off area that was about 20 feet (ish) (i dunno) closer to the stage where Obama was speaking. So that was super awesome. The ticket looks like this and is going to either go into my folder of things I want to keep and remember forever, or framed because I think it's just that cool:

It was so damn hot in the fieldhouse. That's one thing I don't ever understand about venues that KNOW there are going to be lots of people. They STILL won't turn the air on. Maybe Iowa's filedhouse isn't airconditioned. It is a possibility, I mean, my house doesn't have A/C and I'm kind of nervous about this summer... But let's be real. Some air would have prevented the man standing about 4 feet away from me from collapsing. Aaaaaaand segue into one of my favorite moments of the speech: Upon noticing this man who fainted, President Obama calmly points it out so the paramedics can help him, says "It happens, he'll be ok" and moves on. I thought this was really classy of him and exactly like the leader of a nation should act, as if he is watching out for his people. This is one of the first presidents that I've experienced in my short life that seems like just a dude. Just a person. I could see him walking down the street and it'd be totally normal. It's a relief that he isn't this weird "othered" politician-man-boy-thing. He's just a dude. With a wife. And some kids.

What I got out of his actual speech was that he recognizes that the bill is imperfect. He took into account some reasons why and the big one was that people (republicans) are unwilling to work with him. But my favorite quote of the whole thing was this: "Change, while never easy, is always possible." WHAT A DAMN GOOD SPEECH WRITER HE HAS. This bill takes America in a historically new direction. And that's exciting. My friend, Southern Gentleman, linked me to this really great chart that sort of explains everything about this new direction. I can't post it here, becuase the quality is pretty shitty, but here's the link to the article from the LA Times. I'm surprised Southern Gentleman came through with this link, I was expecting Dinosaur Comics or something equally as silly and nonsensical.

Anyway. History. I had friends on stage behind Obama. Those pictures will most likely be in history books. I ill know those people. So if your kids ever need any help with research papers or have to do an interview or something, tell them to call Gay Aunt Chatty. Because in my 3 years in Iowa, it's been the place to be. From gay marriage, to the caucus, to Obama. I've totally got the first hand goods. The protesters were also a very interesting part of the whole day. I also knew some of them. While obnoxious, they were fascinating. My favorite was this chick with an Obama shirt on and a sign that said "This Lesbian is for liberty." FASCINATING. And SO contradictory. But hey, you go protest your contradictory political views and entertain me for 5 minutes.

Then my highlight of the day was finding out that after name-dropping Prairie Lights Bookstore (our awesome local, independent bookseller where I've seen the likes of Tom Piazza, Junot Diaz, and Francine Prose and read.) he visited and bought books. I am no where near over that yet.

I think I've got everything covered. Thanks for putting up with my inability to stick to a schedule. I promise to be back on track this week.

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Masculine Monday: Joshua Radin!

So I've recently, thanks to My Sister, become a big Joshua Radin fan. I think his voice is nice and his songs are pretty and mostly I think he's really bold for writing consistently sweet, unapologetically romantic love songs. Yeah, you can call it sappy, you can say that he's not particularly "masculine" for being so in touch with his feelings - but I say that for him to over and over again say, "I'm going to write a song that puts my fucking heart on the line, and I'm doing it with pride, and I'm doing it well," takes guts. So kudos, dude.

The thing about Joshua Radin, though, is that while I like his voice ok on its own, I am not a huge fan of his solo songs. I mean, they're fine. They just lack some oomph. If you want oomph, though, look no further than one of his many couples songs. Not since Damien Rice have I loved guy/girl duets so much, but Joshua Radin does it in a much less want-to-slit-your-wrists sort of way. So while of course this is a MM and I do want to give Josh his due, I also tip my hat to the lovely ladies he sings with in these videos: Ingrid Michaelson, Priscilla Ahn, and Schuyler Fisk. You should probably buy all of their albums. Enjoy some of the videos; my favorite song is "Paperweight." (BTW the video quality is crappy - they were taken by people at concerts. Apparently Josh doesn't believe in music videos. Luckily they don't do much on stage, and you can still hear the songs just fine!)

And this is just the cutest thing ever. Not his song, though.

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Wednesday, March 24


For the record, I am totally not tipsy-blogging. TOTALLY NOT. And anyway, whatever the fuck if I am - it's my birthday.

Anyway, as someone who has had many, many gay friends in her life (more than admitted so at the time, for sure), I can appreciate the influence and love a "sassy gay friend" can bring to an otherwise dull and meaningless existence. My very own sassy gay friend, Chatty Kathy, shared with me a great video on my wall (KATIE DEE HAS A FACEBOOK, YOU SHOULD BE HER FRIEND) and I will now share it, as well as a video I found through its link (THANKS YOUTUBE), with all of you. You're welcoooome. The videos are a postulation of what would have happened in various literary classics if the heroines had had a "sassy gay friend" to talk them through some of their tougher moments. First, we have the video CK shared with me (of the SGF talking to Hamlet's Ophelia):

And as if that weren't great enough ("Ophelia, he stabbed your dad through a curtain.") we have the SGF talking to Juliet. I love this, because I have always thought Juliet was an idiot (and it's not just her - Romeo's a fickle asshole), and this is everything I ever wanted to say to her.

"I think you're 14, and an idiot. You took a roofie from a priest." SPEAK THE FUCKING TRUTH, SGF!

And on this holiest of days, I wish that all of you have SGF's to help you through all of life's turbulent moments.

In parting, I leave you with a spontaneous song, inspired by my birthday BECAUSE I'M TWENTY FUCKING ONE YEARS OLD:

Happy birthday to me,
I know that I'm great,
I haven't felt this good
Since I turned the big one eight;
Happy birthday to me,
I'm awesome, I know
And now I can buy alcohol
Anywhere the fuck I go!

On this, the national holiday of my birth (and, all credit for this knowledge to a tip a friend gave me, the anniversary of the death of Queen Elizabeth I - RIP RIP), I bid you all a good night, and I wish you would all have a drink in my (and the Queen's!) honor. PIP. PIP.

Side Note From CK: And I was linked to this video by The Stranger in Acadiana! THANKS TSIA!!!

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Tuesday, March 23

WTF Happened To... EDUCATION!?

This also doubles as a Tuesday... COMICS! feature. Thanks Entertainment, etc. for coming up with the idea so that I can steal it and revamp it for my own political agenda. (P.S. Ronfire99's blog moved from a blogspot host to a wordpress host. So if you've started following him because we talk about him all the time, the link above is the new URL.)

I'm a big fan of politcal comics. HUGE. Some of them have changed the way America thinks. It's amazing what a little bit of humor can do. Well, since I'm highly caffeinated and at my boring-ass campus job where I answer a phone that doesn't ring and pretend to half-listen to my boss (who is a lovely lady that sends me cat videos via email) I've been reading Salon.com. Tom Tomorrow does a comic that's posted there called "This Modern World." I love it so much that some of his comics have made the facebook profile picture cut for my real-life profile. Not my internet-life Chatty Kathy facebook profile. (Which exists!) Today there is one posted called "You Can't Make This Stuff Up." It makes fun of the Texas Board of Education and Glenn Beck (ALWAYS FUNNY) and how they've changed the Texas social studies curriculum to remove Thomas Jefferson from the list of world thinkers who inspired 18th and 19th century revolutions. So says a New York Times article “Why Is Texas Afraid of Thomas Jefferson?” the History News Network asked, referring to the board’s recommendation that Jefferson, who coined the expression “separation of church and state,” be struck from the list of world thinkers who inspired 18th- and 19th-century revolutions."

So Texas OBVIOUSLY has it's shit together and is OBVIOUSLY the BEST STATE IN THE UNION and I am SO PROUD to be a Native Texan and carry around the state's driver's license so that when I drown myself in alcohol people know half the reason just by checking my ID. Which, the local corner grocery does not do anymore because they know me and I buy beer from them too often.
But that's a different blog post. On to the comic!

When read with a Texas accent, which is hard not to do, this comic gets about one billion times better. It's also no wonder people are shocked when they learn I hail from this state.

Also, Obama is coming to talk about Health Care at the University of Iowa on Thursday and there are helicopters and suits EVERYWHERE. It's rather terrifying. Big Brother is watching.

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Monday, March 22

Masculine Monday: Lawrence O'Donnell

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

So recently, as you may have noticed, I have been attempting to educate myself on the Health Care Bill, which Yahoo!News informs me has just been passed yesterday. So well done on that, Democrats in Congress, you actually got something done. Anyway, in doing this I've been spending a lot of time on the MSNBC website (don't worry, I'm also getting out and enjoying London. This is just when I'm crashing from exhaustion at the end of a day of walking EVERYWHERE with our astounding tour guide/cultural activities coordinator, Tony, who is a walking British encyclopedia of everything from London history to the medicinal properties of moss. You know what? Tony gets an MM too!)watching recent (since March 3rd) episodes of Countdown with Sadly Not Keith Olbermann because of his Dad's Recent Illness and Passing, and standing in for Keith is the stalwart Lawrence O'Donnell. Now, my immediate reaction to anyone hosting Countdown who is not Keith is "YOU'RE NOT KEITH," followed by pouting, but Lawrence has wormed his way into my heart. This speaks to his journalistic abilities, his excessive liberalism, and of course his affection for Jon Stewart. While there is no one who could replace Keith, Lawrence doesn't try to - he has his own style, which, while somewhat more reserved, is actually quite fiery and something that I can truly appreciate. He's going on my list of Older Dudes I'd Tap, I think. Congratulations, Lawrence! Oh, and the above clip is Lawrence giving some love and tenderness to Jon Stewart as he mocks the truly mockable Glenn Beck.

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Whiny, Whiny, Why?

The title and contents of this post are taken from my friend, Argumentative Guy, in what was a Facebook Status but what he changed (THANKS TO ME, IT WAS MY IDEA, HE MENTIONS ME) to a Facebook note. You'll see where he gets his nickname in a minute, but you'll also see a well-thought-out and well-researched, if foul-mouthed, argument for why people should NOT just assume that the government will fix all their problems immediately OR just assume that the government will ruin their lives - that maybe people should just sit their asses down for a bit and wait for change, which can be a slow process, to come about. This is not to say that action is never necessary - for instance, when it comes to voting - but it is to say that not everything takes one of two properties of a Big Mac: either apocalyptically bad for you on the one hand, or ready in five minutes on the other. SOMETIMES THE CHOICE IS NOT A BIG MAC AT ALL, IT'S A SALAD. Below is his post.

"This began as a status update, but I was advised to turn it into a note for better future reference so I am:

I am sure I must be out of my fucking mind given some of the crackpot arguments about "socialism" and "liberty" I have heard today. Guess what? John Locke said health was an inalienable natural right alongside liberty and property, and that a person's liberty to accumulate wealth was limited to only that which does not harm others or leave others with insufficient ability to prosper themselves. So to all you "conservatives" who think that the Constitution gives you the right to become rich off the backs of the poor and then refuse to pay your fair share can go choke on your own privilege while masturbating to Ayn Rand.

You will only have credibility to talk to me about personal and community responsibility for the poor and uninsured only when you can show me that you and your community/church/etc. actually have taken care of all of their members, and sorry assholes, even the churches and groups who spend the most on charitable works have still left 45 million people in this country uninsured [1]. Furthermore, for people who identify themselves as Christians to say that we should leave a situation which allows 45,000 people to DIE every year from LACK OF MONEY [2] up to charity is diametrically opposed to everything I was taught about Christ. Jesus engaged in and advocated charity because government was abusing the poor and leaving them to die in the streets, he was not against government helping them.

And finally, to those of you with confused notions about history and economics... first, last night's bill has absolutely nothing to do with socialism. We should be so lucky. Second, please read a book or two not authored by Rush Limbaugh or Glen Beck before you talk about "central economic planning" or "Communism" or (especially) "numbers." Government run, single-payer, not-for-profit healthcare has not led to the decline of Canada, France, the UK, Switzerland, nor any of the 36 countries that have better healthcare than we do [3].

And since this is facebook and no fun without some good ol' invective...seriously you racist [4] teabagging fuck-sticks, I have spent a lot of time delving the depths of the internet for some of the most vile and offensive people and their creations and I have still not found anything which offends me as much as your ignorant [5] hate-filled rants. We liked you better when you were wearing your white hoods.

1) CBSNews.com
2) Harvard Journal of Medicine
3) Photius.com
4) Washingtonindependent.com
5) Forbes"

Sidenote from CK: My personal favorite line in this whole thing is "go choke on your own privilege while masturbating to Ayn Rand." I knew I always liked Argumentative Guy.

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Sunday, March 21

So, I spent my Spring Break in the ICU.

Sorry I've been MIA. I was on spring break. One of the most emotional Spring Breaks of my life. And since Katie Dee set the tone with her impeccable trans-Atlantic blogging, I wanted to continue to focus on what our government is trying to change this weekend. The health care system. I know it needs a change. I think everyone knows that. Even the people it took forever to convince. Maybe Obama's plan isn't the perfect one. Yeah I get that. But I do know, especially after this weekend, especially after watching Keith's rant (Praise Keith), that our health care system needs some kind of change. And since that's what got Obama elected, his promise for change, let's let the man do what him and his team have been trying to do since he was elected. It's not my fault republicans can't handle change. And again, I know this isn't the pinnacle of impartial journalism. Did we ever claim we were impartial, Dorothy Anne, did we? No.

This is in part a rant on how the hospital system works, how the doctors are unavailable when you need them, how pharmacies make pills to fix a system and make money; and, part a Feminine Friday Tribute to Intensive Care nurses slash my favorite nurses from this week. Background info: My BFFAEAE was hospitalized for going on 12 days. 6 of those spent in the ICU. She's basically a mutant and all you need to know is if you ever see her fall and cut herself, call an ambulance right away. The girl is going to be on some kind of blood thinner for the rest of her life. Coumadin. Which Boy Roommate's Momma called "rat poison." The phrase "major bummer" cannot begin to describe the situation but is the only one I can think of because it's concise enough.

The ICU staff at the hospital was amazing. They allowed us to break every rule except for the small child and animal rule. Team BFFAEAE consisted of about 6 people rotating their presence with one constant, SuperBoyfriend. Nurse Tara was outstanding. She worked around us taking up too much space in the room, but understood that the 20 year old with tubes all over her body needed and wanted her crew there. She complained not once about how needy we were, even though I'm sure we weren't that needy. Just emotional. We owned that ICU to the point of planning a cout de etat.

It's this sensitivity of the nursing staff that the current health care system does not incorporate. It does not take into account the people it serves, just the people who serve. If we needed a doctor, we would have to wait until their schedule was free and that generally happened at the end of the day, because when they came by to actually talk to the patient, it was at 8am while she was just waking up and loopy and alone and realizing she was still in the ICU with a tube up her nose. Try and ask questions and absorb information in that state. The nurses however, took the time to find out information for us, to translate what the doctor was saying into words we could actually understand, and really took into account what the patient needed.

So, I guess what I'm trying to say is that I may not be the most educated on the details of Obama's health care bill, and my response to the hospital may be highly emotional and biased. But, I do know that the way the system works now, the fact that the "minions" for the doctor, the people the patient and family most see are so under-appreciated and that the system currently encourages that. The pills BFFAEAE are going to be on for the rest of her life, and the people who make them do not take into account that there is a life being lived attached to this pill. So yeah, the medicine fixes the system, the mechanics of the human body, but the side effects on the life the system lives are unreal. And they are not taken into account.

The change we need is to flip the system so that it works for the people and not for the doctors and insurance companies who currently run it. Why does the medical community operate under the Capitalism Oath instead of the Hippocratic Oath?

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Friday, March 19

Health Care Reform, Keith Style

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Hey all from London town where I have finally settled for my study abroad. Despite my distance from "The States," I know there's big political shit going down, and even though it's not about gay people I wanted to stay informed because health care affects everybody. With that in mind, I went over to msnbc.com to watch Countdown. Keith Olbermann wasn't in the most recent episode, but they did talk health care, and Dennis Kucinich, Argumentative Guy's favorite person, was a big headline because he finally agreed to vote yes on the health care reform bill (he previously was going to vote no because he didn't think the bill did enough). Anyway, after I watched that I went over to the Special Comment part of the site, where I found the above video clip. It's not particularly easy to watch; in fact, it made me cry. But it's worth seeing. It's a discussion of Olbermann's father and his recent health care struggles, "death panels," and insurance companies. It's from quite a while ago - February 24 - but with the vote so close I thought I'd post it. Also below is the hour-long Special Comment on health care that was replayed in memory of his father, Theodore Olbermann, who passed away on Sunday. I know these videos aren't examples of impartial journalism, but I love Keith's passion and I agree with a lot of what he says.

Also, on a personal note, my Great-Aunt Ruth died about a week ago, while my sister and I were abroad. I hope very much that her end-of-life care was as good as Keith's dad's.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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Tuesday, March 16

Masculine Monday: Jay Z!

Man, my MM's are all over the place recently. And you're correct in guessing that I know almost nothing about rap. But I've still got something to say!

So this MM I'm still gallivanting across Europe with my good friend The Bro (My Sister just went home, very sad) and maybe, just maybe, I'm a little bit homesick for the dear, sweet company of CK, J Bear, and Boy Roommate. I think that's where this MM comes from. See, after watching the video CK posted of Lady Gaga and Beyonce's Telephone 5 times (that is a 9.5 minute video. That is a lot of minutes.) I decided I should compare and contrast it with the artists' former work, to see any patterns or interesting differences, so I then watched Video Phone (their other collaboration) and what I considered to be the pinnacles of their personal video-making forays: Single Ladies (ONE OF THE BEST MUSIC VIDEOS OF ALL TIME YELLS KANYE) and Bad Romance, which made everyone's (ok, my) fingers curl up like monsters in delight when they saw it. All three videos are posted below.

Beyonce - Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It) [Official Video]
Cargado por Yannicklord. - Videos de música, entrevistas a los artistas, conciertos y más.

(Sorry the video quality isn't great. Beyonce is apparently into disabling embedding on her videos, and I'm not savvy enough to figure out a way around that. Go to YouTube and watch the official ones if you want better quality.)

So then on my video hunt I got super nostalgic for the old days (11 days ago) when my roommates and I would sit in our living room for hours, drinking Franzia, watching videos, talking, and listening to the same songs over and over and over forever and ever amen. And recently we'd been watching/listening to a lot of Jay Z. So obviously I had to pull up and watch four times On to the Next One. Here it is.

Right before my trip I was getting Jay Z'd at from every angle - both from the fact that everyone in my house decided to listen to it and it was played at my work - and I was upset because fucking homeshare wouldn't work (stupid Apple products) so I couldn't take any before I went. I mean, I could solve this problem by buying some of his songs. But who does that? Anyway, Jay Z seems like a nice enough guy and he is very in love with Beyonce, plus I feel like they're both brilliant business people and I think they're a cute power couple, and it doesn't hurt that his songs are pretty great too. So for all of the above reasons, whether they make sense to anyone else or not, this Masculine Monday goes out to a guy who has never had a problem with a bitch, 99 other problems though he may have had, and who is from the Empire State of New York, and who would like you to bring him back some money, please. Kudos!

Oh and then obviously because I'm crazy and love YouTube I found this video of him talking about Beyonce. He has a really dry sense of humor, which made me like him even more (because I communicate mostly using sarcasm). PLUS his interviewer is British! What could be better?

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Sunday, March 14

In Other Great Re-thinkings of Music Video News...

So I thought that gayed out version of "You Belong With Me" from last VVW was pretty great. I'm sure Tay (Taylor Swift to her not-as-close friends) would love that video as well. I feel like when YouTube videos are done in fun and with a fair amount of respect to the original, the artist would probably appreciate the people doing the re-make, rather than being pissed about it. This is, I'm sure, how Ke$ha feels about the video I'm about to share with you.

I have a love/hate relationship with Tik Tok, the virus of a song that Ke$ha released into the unsuspecting world. On the one hand, it has a catchy chorus. On the other hand, I hate every other part of the song, and I get it stuck in my head all the time. But this video rethinking is a work of pure genius.

This child is a badass; Sleeping Kitty Productions 4 lyfe.

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On Body Image

Hola from Espana! Get ready for a rant.

So whilst abroad, many "pop culture" things have escaped my notice, but one of the Yahoo! articles from yesterday caught my eye. The title was, "Thin Is Not In at Paris Fashion Week." I thought to myself, what's this? The models on the runway at Paris fashion week might show different body types? They might not be emaciated? They might look like real people? I'll give you an excerpt.

"After many years of international criticism over the apparent unhealthiness of the skinny models chosen to walk the runways at the fashion world's most elite shows in New York, Milan, and Paris, designers seem to finally be coming around to the idea of diversity in who models their clothes. While the ethnic diversity barrier has been eroding for some time now, it seems a diversity of body types has had an even tougher time making it into the modeling world.

This week, several models known for their Victoria's Secret modeling -- most of whom have curvier figures than traditional catwalk models -- were welcome on the Paris Fashion Week runway for the first time."

Oh, Victoria's Secret models were allowed on the runway? This is the major change in the modeling world? These are the "fuller-figured" women we're reading about?


Alessandra Ambrosio and Adriana Lima, the two VS models who were featured in the shows, are many things. They are lovely women, they are great models, and I'm sure they're very nice people. You know what they're not, though? They're not fucking CURVY. Let's do show and tell, shall we?

In the above pictures are the models in question. They look very pretty. They also look very thin. These women cannot be larger than, say, a size 2. I'm saying nothing negative about their personal eating habits or health; for all I know, this is all genetics. But I know curvy women - hell, I know normal-sized women - and these ladies do not fall into either of these categories. If I can see your well-defined abs, you're not curvy. Sorry. Yes, Adriana has bigger boobs than the average supermodel. She's still a tiny, tiny woman.

Maybe I'm complaining too much - maybe it should be enough for me that these slightly-less-emaciated women are allowed the right to be praised as goddesses of style and beauty along with the other bone-thin women - you know, as I write this, no. I'm not complaining too much. This is ridiculous. Fuck you, Paris fashion week ready-to-wear designers. Fuck you, industry that supports eating disorders over any sign of normal human proportions. And fuck you any man or woman who expects that normal women look like this, or else decides that they are "fat."

I've been having issues recently with the media decision - not that this was a recent decision, I've just been thinking about it lately - that any sort of body fat is 1. ugly and 2. undesirable, and that anyone who has any sort of body fat is 1. ugly and 2. undesirable. I see ads all the time telling me diet tricks, telling me how to get a beach body, telling me how to get rid of my belly. You know what? Maybe women (and I realize that men have issues with this too) wouldn't have so much of a problem with their bellies - maybe I wouldn't have obsessively counted calories in high school - if I wasn't being told from commercials, internet ads, magazines, films, basically all media, that it was something to be ashamed of. When did we decide that curvy women should try their hardest to lose their natural curves? Biologically, we need fat, we need hips, we need breasts, to be able to support the children we've been designed to carry, deliver, and feed. Why are we constantly encouraged to fight our body's natural design in exchange for a six-pack?

Examples of internet ads telling me to get rid of my fat:

Ok, and then as if that isn't bad enough, there's the other side of the coin - push up bras, breast augmentations as high school graduation presents, and now this commercial for a new ridiculous idea:

Great. So I'm allowed to have fat on my boobs and my ass, but not on my thighs, sides, stomach, or anywhere else. Good to know, I'll tell that to my metabolism. Oh, how I wish there were just a giant mold I could lie in that would shape my body to the exact specifications that were desirable by men and fashion alike.

Maybe I wouldn't have so much of a problem with this modeling article - which, granted, admits that Adriana and Alessandra aren't exactly heifers - if it had a different title. The title implies that they are not thin, and if we "unpack that" (shout-out to CK, TRL style) we're saying that women who look like Adriana and Alessandra are also not thin, and that women any bigger than that are basically obese. I'm very happy that these ladies are allowed to walk in fashion week, because (pitiful though it is) this is improvement. I'd be even happier if some ladies with fuller figures were allowed to do so, as well.

Let's face it, fashion and the media show us what's supposedly "normal." That's why we here at Dyxieland go nuts when a gay couple is featured in a commercial or on a game show - because the more you see something, the less it is "othered," and the easier it is for people to accept it. We're not seeing full-figured women in magazines anywhere (very few exceptions. Very few, and none come to mind.), and even less in high fashion. You know what? Looking this thin ISN'T normal for most people. That's why models get paid so much to keep their bodies so svelte - it's hard work. It's their job to look that good, and most people don't have the time or the energy to do that. It's the best that most people can do to stay healthy, and that doesn't always mean model-skinny (in fact I'd wager that to be really healthy, most models could stand to put on a little weight).

Oh, if only we could photograph healthiness, so that we could encourage that instead. Or joy. Or if only I could live in a rainbow, surrounded by puppies. Or if I could be a mermaid! Or if I could have wings that extended from my back when I wanted them! Or if Lady Gaga were president! Or if Fox News could be Fair and Balanced!

Impossible dreams...

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Friday, March 12

Once You Kill a Cow, You Gotta Make A Burger.

Lady GaGa, my heart of hearts, my goddess, my queen, you've done it again.

If you're a consistant reader, I think you know how much we love Lady GaGa at Dyxieland. I mean, you can track my beginning doubt, thinking that she was just using sex to sell records. But now I realize she's not just using sex to sell records. She's using sex to CHANGE THE WORLD.

I was not a huge fan of Beyonce and Lady GaGa's Videophone collaboration. In fact, I still think they are a jankity collaboration team. I mean, Beyonce will never ever be as avante garde as Lady GaGa is and Lady GaGa will never ever be as cool and hip as Beyonce is. Even though she does deliver one of the sexiest adresses of Beyonce I have ever heard in...DUHN DUHN DUHN.... the new Telephone video.

This shit has been hyped online for months now. It finally premiered last night and everyone was trying to watch it online. Every site that posted it basically crashed. I'm going to go ahead and say it now, but nothing has been this anticipated or as big of a pop culture event since Michael Jackson's Thriller. So, here, for all of your viewing pleasure, is Lady GaGa's Telephone Video.

So I was scouring the interwebs to watch this thing and I want to personally thank Nawlins Luvah for sending me a link. It didn't work, as it was one of those sites crashing, but here I am to tell you what I think.

I watched it and at 1:11 the OMGOMGOMGs commenced. Thus, forcing J Bear, who was off galavanting with Boy Roommate to come running into the room. And guess what... it was her and not me who was the first to say "This is the queerest thing I have ever seen." Everything about this video is super queer. From the ultra feminine drag persona of GaGa herself to the butch prison guards, to that genderfuck inmmate she makes out with (hot) in the prison yard. The leather and studs. GaGa fronting the camera, challenging you to accuse her of having a dick again. ("I told you she didn't have a dick." "too bad...") Can we also talk about the cigarrette glasses? EPIC.

She doesn't even start singing until 3 minutes into the video. Hence, the Thriller comparison. Then, she continues her whole image, her whole gig, the whole IT thing, with the caution tape sequence. The style and video effect of that scene is exactly what the video montages in The Monster Ball looked like. I've also never thought a Honey Bun so sexy. And that makes me uncomfortable.

The only thing I really like about Beyonce in this video is that Lady GaGa refers to her as "Honey B." So don't hate me for not talking about Beyonce that much. To me, they just don't work together and Lady GaGa steals the show. Beyonce all jerky and remixed just does not work. However, if they could wear more American Flag outfits, I'd be ok with that. Also, I find it fascinating that Lady GaGa's use of the word "motherfucker" does not get bleeped out, but Beyonce's does. So, basically, you're telling me Beyonce doesn't curse, and therefore she obviously doens't poop or fart or eat. Thanks, everything makes sense to me now.

The product placement in this video also blows my mind. From Miracle Whip to Verizon Wireless. I was so annoyed at first becuase it is so obvious. But I think that's the point. GaGa realizes she is capable of crashing the internet by releasing this video and she realizes that companies want their shit to be a part of network-crashing video releases. So I think, I hope, that the blatant product placements are on purpose and are tounge-in-cheek and are completely self-concious. I freaked when I saw the coke-cans-in-the-hair-outfit. Then I realized oh, those really are Diet Coke cans. Oh man, I WANT A DIET COKE. Salon.com has a quick article labeling Telephone as one giant commerical, because shit won't pay for itself these days. But GaGa also endorsed a line of chic, designer condoms. Exactly. Using sex to change the world. (See how I brought that back?) Salon.com also has an article on this. So, I think she's aware of the power she has and the fame she has, and if you revisit some of the themes we talked about in our Monster Ball posts, I am of the opinion that the Telephone video as giant commerical is actually rather subversive and tounge-in-cheek because it is so blatant.

And closing remarks: "OMG. Are they going to drive off a cliff?"- J Bear.

If they do, I hope I'm packed in the trunk. Because I am still all about it.

Side Note by Katie Dee:
So while I watched this video and took extremely detailed notes on it like a week and a half ago, I'm just now getting them up here. I'm sorry. I hope it's worth you checking the post every hour on the hour up until right now!

Thoughts on Telephone (this is sort of like what I did with the Grammy's, so if you want to follow my crazy thought train, having the video playing in a window next to the text would make that easier):
1. I feel that this is an inaccurate portrayal of prison - although, I notice, it is "Prison for Bitches."
2. Gaga is the most extreme Pink Lady ever with Coke cans in her hair.
3. Monster hands!
4. They are so channeling Michael Jackson. And Moulin Rouge.
5. Whatever brand of lipstick they use, I should buy it, because that shit doesn't move.
6. I love Beyonce.
7. Why "Let's Make a Sandwich?" Don't care, that dance is awesome. I love the bites. And claps. Claps and bites!
8. See, I don't think the bleep of B's "motherfucker" signifies that she's supposedly "pure." I just think it's a way t show their personalities. Gaga is so in-your-face in every way, and B is slightly more reserved. But will still poison your food if you fuck with her.
9. Why is this in German?
10. The american flag outfits are genius. How did Gaga get Beyonce to go along with this?
11. Any time Gaga sings "sippin that bub," I'm super amused.
12. Pussy Wagon? Hahaha!
13. And it exits with the female symbol. Be still, my feminist-ass heart!

So that's my flitting thoughts; over all, I liked the video, and I thought both women did well, and although I agree with CK that they're a jankity pairing, I don't know that I think that's a bad thing. I love Gaga's continued playfulness - the full-frontal at the beginning was very funny, and I really hope nobody still thinks she's a man, though I know as I type this that some people do - and I'm happy that she's just, as far as I see it, doing what she wants with her music and her videos. I didn't see the video as all that queer, per se, but I did see it as super-feminist. Of course, sometimes these ideas overlap, and Gaga is both, so it probably just depends on the perspective you come into it with. And my perspective is ALWAYS "So what does this say about women?" And this video says that women are, to quote someone who wrote on our wall, "Stone-cold badasses."

Also, because I'm currently obsessing over Pomplamoose (they have a new CD on iTunes which you should all buy which is just covers of famous songs. It's very fittingly called "Tribute to Famous People." BUY IT.) here is their video cover of "Telephone." I like it!

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Thursday, March 11

WTF Happened to... PROM!?

After yesterday's Viral Video Vendsday hingeing on the content of The Huffington Post, I began reading again. I was perusing today at work and found this article headline: "Mississippi Prom Canceled After Lesbian Date Request." Ok. So. That still happens. Ok. Alright. Reality Check.

Apparently, Constance McMillen, an 18 year old student at Itawamba County Agricultural Highschool in Fulton, MS (p.s. that sounds like the most terrifying place ever.) requested from school officials for the ability to bring her girlfriend to their prom, who is also a student at the school, and wear a tuxedo. She did this just before the school issued guidelines for prom attendance and dress code. One of those guidelines was that dates must be of the opposite sex. The ACLU is involved and students seem to be rather apathetic about the issue, according to this HuffPost article. One student is quoted as saying "I am a little bummed out about it. I guess it's a decision that had to be made. Either way someone was going to get disappointed-- either Constance was or we were... I don't agree with homosexuality, but I can't change what another person thinks or does." Honestly, this sounds like someone who just wants a damn prom. Now, all of the students at ICAHS are banned from an American rite of passage. Prom is a milestone. Why? I don't really know. Big gay homo over here didn't have a date and wore tennis shoes under my dress. But I looked fabulous. But for some people, senior prom is a culmination of 4 years of social climbing. Or, the culmination of 4 years of social subversion. Talk to John Hughes (RIP RIP) and I think he'd be able to fill you in.

First off, isn't what Constance requested a basic right of humanity? Not a privilege or special treatment to bring the person you are in a relationship with to an event? I have a general problem with authority, it brings out the bully in me and my stubborn side and my subversive opinions and a major attitude problem (wait... that's always...). But this is really unfortunate. My knee-jerk reaction was to use the word "obscene" but when I really think about it, it's not obscene for a collective of people to rally for something they believe in, but let's be real, when the administration of a school's main goal is to have the best educational interests of it's students in mind, canceling prom is not one of them. The administration is quoted as saying "We feel that it is in the best interest of the Itawamba County School District, after taking into consideration the education, safety and well being of students" for the reasons why they canceled prom after reviewing Constance's request.

They could have dealt with this problem in a much more understanding, level-headed, LAW ABIDING manner than flat out canceling the prom. For example, they could have just let Ms. Constance McMillen wear the damn tuxedo and take her girlfriend to prom. Because, honestly, what other education on self-identity are those kids going to actually get?

In conclusion, Dorothy Anne the Dyxieland Cowgirl, will you go to prom with me?

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Wednesday, March 10

Let's queer things!

OK so it's time for me to do my favorite thing ever. QUEER SOME STRAIGHT MEDIA BITCHEZ!

I do not like Taylor Swift.

Huffington Post, in all it's glory, posted today a video that the University of Rochester acapella group The Yellow Jackets created. It's an all-male acapella group and they parodied the video, making T-Swift's "You Belong With Me" a same-sex love story. THIS IS HOW IT ALWAYS PLAYS IN MY HEAD.

After some clicking around, I found this video that is the original performance instead of the one on HuffPost, which plays Taylor Swift's original track over the video.


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Tuesday, March 9

First International Post! And It's Masculine Monday!

Buongiorno de Italie! Or however you would say that in a grammatically correct fashion; I am not Italian and I only took French in school. My sister and I are doing our best, though, and usually when we try our pitiful (PITIFUL) Italian, the nice locals will respond in English to make us feel less stupid, and to help us buy their products. Good business sense! Anyway, I'm currently in an Internet Café, and it's our second day in Florence. On our first day, we got lost looking for the fancy restaurant we had reservations at, and ended up in this tiny pizza place. At first, we were disappointed. Then we tried the food and swore off all American pizza forever and always. IT WAS AWESOME. Apparently in Italy, even the tiny, 5 Euro pizza joints serve AMAZING FOOD. If you ever find yourself in Florence, stop by La Ghiotta (Via Pietrapiana, 7r. I don't know what that means; I believe it's an address. It's on their card.). (Also, my favorite moment of the evening was when my sister got her food like 10 minutes before me, then finished it, and I still didn't have my pizza. Then our waiter walks by like four times. On the fifth time, he stops, looks at the order that he had written out and placed on our table, and shouts "He forgot your pizza!" I DIED.)

Anyway, so the first MMer is a guy we met on the plane: Matteo. He is an Italian guy who had just lived for a year in London "to improve his English," but also because after that he got a job working as an internet marketing person. He talked to us for the whole plane ride and taught us how to pronounce basic Italian words, and he wrote down the names of foods we needed to try. He was very adorable and he had a straw hat on that said Mad(rid) About You! and he was wearing an inexplicable fanny pack and was super nice. We taught him about the American education system and he taught us that Italians value cars so much that sometimes they will spend all their savings on them. He also said that it was strange, to an Italian, that we didn't live at home anymore, because for them it's difficult to leave their mamas' good cooking. We said it was difficult for us too, but that was just how American culture worked. He seemed a little sad for us.

So to sum up, Thanks Matteo, we would be much more pathetic without you!

Ok. So to have a second MMer that goes with the theme of past ones (aka is not just some dude I met), but because I am not tied into pop culture right now, as the hotel I'm staying at is, let's say, quaint (cute and cozy, but not so much with the technology) I'm going to pull out an old favorite and give him some new credit: Paul Rudd. Paul Rudd is Joogly Bear's favorite person; she is in love with Mike, Phoebe's husband from friends. Paul is the star of many great movies, including Clueless, I Love You Man, Role Models, and the movie he was in with Jennifer Aniston which no one has ever heard of except me, The Object of My Affection, in which he plays a gay dude who Jenny is in love with. GREAT FILMS. In Paul's honor, please go rent or buy or steal one of his movies. And here's a clip of him on Jon Stewart for your viewing pleasure. Ciao!

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Paul Rudd
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealth Care Reform

Oh and fun extra treat I found on the daily show website: Paul's back, and he has a NEW DANCE!

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Paul Rudd
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealth Care Reform

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Wednesday, March 3

Viral Video Vendsay: Hoomans take ovah.

Today's viral video is based off of something I posted about earlier. Remember drunken reversing box-headed cat? Well, J Bear thought it was just to DIE FOR, so we made a human version. Here it is!

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Tuesday, March 2


So I realize that it is no longer Monday but I am no longer in Iowa City; yesterday I made a 9 hour drive back into the humid comfort of the South and Thursday - which is far too soon, given everything I have to finish up - I will be leaving the country to "study" abroad. Basically, Katie D.'s taking a three month field trip to Europe! I'm very excited, and I plan to continue writing from the other side of the pond, but this is my long-winded explanation for why I didn't post yesterday. In short, shit was nuts. But I'm here now, and I'm going to talk about sports. Prepare yourselves.

Now if you know me anything better than as a stranger, you'll know that my knowledge of sports is, let's say, "not extensive." When Boy Roommate told me that I'd be missing March Madness by going abroad, he needed to explain what sport that meant (basketball). My ex, who is from Chicago, used to get angry at me when I could never remember who Mike Ditka was (I believe he has something to do with football). I'm not sure what "bracket" means. The only basketball players I know by name are retired (aka I only know them because they were in Space Jam). I think you get my point.

Anyway, in a burst of roommately affection and tenderness (and because it was Boy Roommate's birthday - HAPPY BIRTHDAY BUDDY! TAKE A SHOT!), last week I decided to watch the U.S. team play hockey in the Olympics with BR and CK. Of all the sports I could watch, I actually enjoyed the hockey. For one thing, it reminds me of the Disney movie Miracle, which I like very much. For another thing, it's not ridiculously complex, or at least I could still understand the gist of what was going on even if I don't know the actual technical rules. (Puck in net = goal. No puck in net = no goal. Plus they have a big buzzer that goes off when you score, just in case you missed it!) Also, it's sort of pretty. They move very gracefully in a big, burly, knock-people's-teeth-out way. And finally, it moves at a very fast pace and there aren't a lot of breaks, which means I'm much less likely to be bored than with some other sports (I'm looking at you, baseball, football, and golf!).

So while we were watching these Olympic games, I noticed one player in particular, who I can ACTUALLY NAME OFF THE TOP OF MY HEAD WITHOUT LOOKING IT UP: Ryan Miller. He was the goalie (goal keeper? Keeper?) for the U.S. team, and he was a BADASS. In the first game against Canada he faced 45 goals and blocked 42 (ok, so I looked up the stats. I'm not a machine. I'm still proud I knew his name). That's a lot of shots on goal to face - in comparison, he only faced 11 against Norway and 18 against both Switzerland and Finland. Clearly Canada's offense was also full of badasses, but even in the face of this Miller blocked 93% of their shots. THAT'S RIDICULOUS. This impressed me. I was more impressed when he continued to kick ass and take names in the following games that we watched, even though we didn't ultimately end up victorious. He, though, was named MVP for the tournament. For this badassery, Ryan Miller, even though you guys didn't get the gold, in addition to your MVP status I award you one of the coveted spots as a Masculine Mondayer. Congrats on being the first sports-person here. You may not find yourself in good sports company. Now excuse me while I go watch a musical.

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