February 14th, 2010


another day of news and olds

Lucille Clifton died. I will revisit some of her poems. Wonder whether Sandi's heard. She had her as a teacher.

Also yesterday a biology prof in Alabama, apparently a full half an hour into a department meeting, shot up much of the faculty that had denied her tenure. That first bit of that meeting, with her handgun calmly in her, what, briefcase?--- that first bit of that meeting is the part of it I keep thinking about.

Also yesterday "SouthWorst" Airlines, as Marilyn called it on in her facebook post, threw a fairly famous fattie off a flight for the safety hazard his girth was decided, by the pilot, to represent to the aircraft and its other passengers. Or so the story goes. It was Kevin "Clerks et al." Smith. Silent Bob. He's not silent in twitter. In fact he's doing the continuing multiple-tweet post, such as I saw in the case of clueless John Mayer the other day: when you run out of your 140 characters, you just continue to the next message. With all the coverage various forms of self-publishing and "social" media get these days, I'm a little surprised I haven't seen anyone talk about that yet. The twitter string.

Kevin Smith, I was surprised to see at the end of the trailer (also yesterday), is the director of the forthcoming Cop Out, with Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan. I saw that trailer before The Blind Side, the kind of heartwarming-drama flick my not-a-date date last night loves. That it is based on a true story saved it from at least some measure of my squickiness about what I really can't avoid seeing as its troubling assumptions about race and class. But that I wanted to avoid concentrating on that speaks to me of my fondness for my not-date. The movie pleasing her made me cut it some breaks. How much that's a flaw of character in me, or of some political and critical integrity, I don't find as interesting as I do that I had that impulse in that company.

It's definitely a movie that holds the hand of the viewer and walks her through every bit what it's telling, lest you miss any of its unsubtleties, like you're taking in one of the one-step-beyond "I Can Read It All By Myself" books the protagonist introduces her protégé to. But seeing how different Sandra Bullock comes across in her stiff blond hair and weird make-up was entertaining. And I was glad when we finally got to see the football parts, though they were disappointing. More than any of that, though, I saw this smart woman with me able to lose herself in that story and enjoy it, and remembered again both the conversation I once had with Lorne about why I was resisting rarified tastes and the sequence in Henry and June in which the guy tries to warn Anaïs, upon the occasion of her first forays into "variant" sexuality, that moving beyond the vanilla will kill one's taste for "normal" pleasures.

Ironic, perhaps, that at this time in which I embrace more and more my fellow-ly regular-human ordinary mundanity, and really see glimmers of joy in going beyond the mere acceptance of that presumption to some kind of transcendence within it, I also now know, without a doubt, how full of crap is that fear of losing simple pleasures with the acquisition of the sweet, layered, delicate, fleeting and mercurial exquisite. That's cuz, when you've touched it, when its sublime flavor has flashed across your palate and you've known what you just tasted, it's like the twinkling of a moment of feeling oneself given over to the unguarded, full-on love that the smart lovely woman does not want to see about maybe having with me. It's at once the most raw and the most refined. You meet the stripped raw through the complicated combining of experience and attention. And what an artist does, sometimes, a real artist (or, like in film, a collaboration of artists), is take us, through some form of show & tell, to such a moment.

It's like love. Is there anything else so like love?

There is, maybe, in being in what we call nature, I think now, looking out at it through some glass on the side of my home, my shelter, my encampment, my protective structure. Caroline down the street's already getting her trash out, maybe the last of her Sunday chores done. I had Sunday chores in mind, and will find them again with coffee, I imagine. And oatmeal, I believe. Oatmeal is a simple pleasure I enjoy. I've also enjoyed this thinking about pleasures. Calling them to mind, via how it is they're sometimes called up, produced, by art.

And I'll enjoy seeing Kevin Smith politicized around fat, if that indeed goes down, as it seems as if it may. A few years ago he was quoted broadly about the fat "wake-up call" of having broken a friend's toilet. He was praised for this new "self-awareness" in the "challenge" all the rest of the world knew he oh-so-obviously should have been engaging in all along, and now he seemingly did too. As daunting as it can be to deal with personal physiological and psychological issues of body, food, movement, related self-image, self-care and health, it is every bit as daunting, and sometimes I'd say even more dis-spiriting, to negotiate and bear the blows of cultural demonization and the targeting of the war on obesity. It is oppression, full-on, and those of us out to resist it have heroes in, for instance, Kate Harding writing Michele Obama about the part of her "campaign" that's off-base, not helpful, likely to be harmful. The broader the set of sensibilities we have in the effort, the more luck we'll have. Kevin Smith, bless his fat ass, could have a part in those expanding sensibilities.

(Speaking of blesséd fat asses, if you haven't seen the report of Charlotte Cooper's Dame-ification, check it out.)

It might be a bit of an overstatement to call my financial situation "dire," but it's close enough to it that it would surely be fiscally foolish to attend NOLOSE this year. And that sucks, cuz NOLOSE this year is about Fat Panic. It's about fighting back. That's more enticing than the private pool, and the private pool is very enticing.

Today, however, it's a day at home, with perhaps a little venture out to buy Girl Scout cookies. And one right now, throwing on my purple rubber boots, to go pet that Zach dog I see out there, who's on his second walk since I've been sitting at this computer today.
felix floor blur

As I do some taking care of business on the computer tonight,

I've been listening to Kevin Smith's "Smodcast" about his experience with Southwest Airlines. It's pretty hard to listen to, the way his wife, in the sidekick role, keeps chiming in to agree with and underscore everything he says. Sometimes she's says "uh-huh" or "yeah" or "wow" a little early, before he's actually made another point. The number of "mm-hmm"s and "right"s and "exactly"s boggles the brain. He bulldozes over most of her constant variously worshipful and affirming sounds. At one point she does briefly take one non-affirming stance, suggesting he not "bring the gender thing into it," when he's saying it's worse when the stewardess takes aside a fat woman, cuz that's a woman attacking another woman, which is worse, but he dismisses her instantly and goes right back to how it's worse, and she flips in a heartbeat to go right to agreeing, as he rants on, including his "Do you know how hard it is to be a woman?"

Maybe he is getting politicized about fat, and maybe he'll bring some power to the airline issue, with his fame. But that rambling Smodcast in which he lays it out and rants on is some creepy-cringey audio. That sidekick wife: holy freakin' moly.

At least twice there's the thing when she says "I know what you're saying" and then he says right after that "You know what I'm saying?" That thing makes me crazy. Yes, Kevin Smith. She just SAID she knows what you're saying. And now she has to say it again.

But that's pet-peeve crazy, the crazy that thing makes me. The dynamic between that guy and that woman in that conversation--- it's disgusting crazy. I don't think it's necessarily got a lot to with how he has money, but it is about him having power. And intoxicating substances in the mix might be ramping it up while dragging it out.

I despise that dynamic. I've been spat at in angry pseudo-conversation monologue like that too much, asked to serve that role of witnessing and validating ranting rage, on & on as if it can never be satisfied, only play itself out with exhaustion. And I'm not even partnering with anyone who does it. However political this moment for him in his situation as fat in our culture, the glimpse into the life of that couple is horrifying, in a triggery way, and a great Valentine's Day reminder of one of the many relationship situations I'm so much better off not to be embroiled in.