Friday, May 18, 2018

Umbrella Friday

I admit, watching lip sync battles is one of my distracting pleasures in life.

Now, I can't say I've ever had a particular interest in Tom Holland, but damn, he looks good in drag and has some impressive dance moves to boot.

In the clip below, the best part begins around minute 2:15, but before that, Zendaya also does a good Bruno Mars impression. And yes, I'm an old, so I had to look up who Zendaya was.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

The Precedent of Donald Trump's Rigged Election

Yesterday, The New York Times ran an article about the FBI's investigation of the Trump campaign's ties to Russia, codenamed Crossfire Hurricane.

It's worth a read, but what's striking to me is just how destructive Donald's pre-election claims about Clinton purportedly "rigging the election" were and continue to be, particularly to our democracy.

The piece discusses the disparate treatment of the FBI's investigation into Hillary Clinton's email server, in which James Comey announced the reopening of the case immediately prior to the 2016 election, compared to the FBI's silence over the fact that multiple Trump contacts were under investigation for ties to Russia at the time:
"[U]nderpinning both cases was one political calculation: that Mrs. Clinton would win and Mr. Trump would lose. Agents feared being seen as withholding information or going too easy on her. And they worried that any overt actions against Mr. Trump’s campaign would only reinforce his claims that the election was being rigged against him."
Donald Trump played the FBI, which so overreacted to Trump's claim that the system was rigged against him that they took action that had the effect of rigging the 2016 election for him.

"Mr. Comey has said he regrets his decision to chastise Mrs. Clinton as “extremely careless,” even as he announced that she should not be charged. But he stands by his decision to alert Congress, days before the election, that the F.B.I. was reopening the Clinton inquiry.

The result, though, is that Mr. Comey broke with both policy and tradition in Mrs. Clinton’s case, but hewed closely to the rules for Mr. Trump."
Chastise the qualified woman, play by the rules for the male authoritarian incompetent. Sounds about right.

I'll also add that, quite frankly, Trump largely played the political press who continually let him make a rather weighty claim about the legitimacy of our electoral process without challenging him on it much or demanding that he back it up. The press also did this, and continues to do so, with respect to the "rigging" claim of the Bernie Sanders camp, a claim which will likely reoccur in 2020 if Bernie runs in the Democratic primary and, in particular, if he loses again.

This is now standard operating procedure for our presidential elections. Candidates claim that the election is rigged against them even if it's not, and sometimes, but only sometimes, it's actually true. Like a man expressing fantasies of locking up his political opponent, the Overton window has shifted so much that it is no longer all that newsworthy for a candidate to fictitiously claim that an opponent has rigged an election and, in the process, undermine the electoral process itself and any result that he finds unfavorable.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Anti-LGBT Group Changes Tune on Role of Judiciary

Over at Shakesville, I have a piece up regarding the National Organization for Marriage's (NOM) apparent new strategy for overturning same-sex marriage.

After years of railing against the judiciary and "unelected judges" supposedly overturning "the will of the people," it seems they're now banking on a conservative replacing Anthony Kennedy on the US Supreme Court so that person can eventually help overturn Obergefell.

Head over to Shakesville to read the whole thing!

Thursday, May 10, 2018

A Note On Abusive "Feminist" Men

In reaction to the latest man on the left side of the political spectrum to be accused of abuse and misogyny, I shared some thoughts on Twitter last night:


A problem with abusive "feminist" men is that their existence often causes conservative women to perceive that conservative men, and thus conservative causes, are a better alternative to what feminists, and more broadly, the left are fighting for.

This observation should be included in any piece examining why women vote against their own interests as women. But, it's rarely offered as an explanation.

Misogyny and abuse exist along the political spectrum and are not limited to the right or conservatives. Many commentators and activists treat women as stupid dupes who can be "tricked" into being a member of a particular movement.

When, the truth is, we are all making choices in a flawed system that's rigged against us, within male-dominated movements where we're then expected to perform low-status, unpaid political and emotional labor centered around a charismatic man.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Femslash Friday: Birds of Prey

So, I'm a big dork and have been watching the old Birds of Prey TV show that lasted one season in 2002.

Has anyone watched this?

It's actually been entertaining and I wish there was more of it to watch. You just have to get past the early aughts special effects and hair/fashion choices. In fact, starring as it does three crime-fighting women, I think it's about ready for a reboot now that superhero shows are all the rage, yeah?

In the original, none of the main characters were overtly queer, but that could easily be remedied in a reboot. At the same time, the queer-baiting/subtext was pretty off-the-charts. A reasonable viewer could interpret Barbara (Oracle) and Helena (Huntress) as a couple, with Dinah being their adopted daughter.

Alternatively, Helena and Dr. Harleen Quinzel (Harley Quinn) were definitely an item.

Check out this over-the-top scene from the finale, featuring two 100% hetero women interacting with each other in a completely hetero fashion.