June 16, 2007
Saturday night roundup
Good stuff from the blogs I read, posted over the past week or so. As usual, I’m posting excerpts, but the full posts are well worth reading. Enjoy!
On the 40th anniversary of Loving vs. Virginia:
- Mildred Loving’s statement via Dispatches:
Surrounded as I am now by wonderful children and grandchildren, not a day goes by that I don’t think of Richard and our love, our right to marry, and how much it meant to me to have that freedom to marry the person precious to me, even if others thought he was the “wrong kind of person” for me to marry. I believe all Americans, no matter their race, no matter their sex, no matter their sexual orientation, should have that same freedom to marry. Government has no business imposing some people’s religious beliefs over others. Especially if it denies people’s civil rights.
- TerranceDC at Pam’s House Blend:
I went [to a press conference and a reception celebrating the anniversary] because I live in a state where forty years ago I could not marry the person I love, because he is white and I am black. I went because today I live in a state where, forty years later I still cannot marry the person I love because we are two men.
On the problems with puppy mills: Christie Keith: When you want a puppy and you want one now… why you should wait:
A lot of people seem to have itchy fingers when it comes to ordering up a puppy on the Internet these days, and can’t resist popping a furry little bundle of joy into their online shopping cart, just like it was a book or an electronic game.
The thing is, that mass-produced book or piece of software doesn’t have a mother living her entire life in a cage only a few inches bigger than she is, being used to crank out litter after litter for the puppy mill industry. And your “no questions asked” puppy does.
Every so often, outfits like ACTA put out these “studies” in which they “demonstrate” that (a) professors hate America, (b) Ward Churchill is everywhere, and (c) professors hate Shakespeare. I am not exaggerating (very much), I assure you. One of ACTA’s recent pamphlets (published in May 2006) was indeed called How Many Ward Churchills? (.pdf) You’d think they would milk the suspense — dear me! just how many Ward Churchills are indoctrinating our impressionable little children? — but apparently ACTA didn’t think its readership would have much of an attention span, since the pamphlet starts on page one with the heading “How Many Ward Churchills?” and proceeds to conclude on page two of a 50-page booklet that “Ward Churchill is Everywhere.” You know, sorta like Elvis.
This year, they’ve come up with a new “study,” The Vanishing Shakespeare (another .pdf). Now, in order to appreciate this kind of work, you have to consider its intended audience. (I’m told that the original title was ZOMG! They Are Killing Shakespeare OH NOES!!, which I think captures the spirit of the thing.) The primary audience, of course, consists of people who know nothing about English literature (or college courses in English literature) except that Shakespeare was America’s greatest writer and that Hamlet’s soliloquy from Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is truly sublime.
On engagement rings and other patriarchal institutions:
- Jessica at Feministing (emphasis in the original):
It’s always been the consumerism behind engagement rings that bothered me most. As if you can’t really be in love without spending a substantial sum of cash. I guess it just always struck me as..well, unromantic.
- Amanda at Pandagon:
I wore an engagement ring for a few months when I was 23 years old, and it was one of the more surreal times of my life, albeit for various reasons. People really act like you’re a different person than you were before you were engaged. You’ve been Chosen. You count as a woman now. Like I said in the comments at Feministe, I hated having my friends grab my hand and wag my ring at people with this odd mixture of envy and pity, and I reacted with an odd mix of pride and revulsion and mostly humiliation. Being Chosen kind of sucked; I found myself dressing more conservatively and I quit dying my hair crazy colors and took out my nose ring. Some sort of evil engaged monster took over my soul, and I eventually came around to deciding (after the relationship ended) that I never wanted to be in that situation again.
And finally, on a student-authored play in Connecticut: Once Upon a Time: The Play’s the Thing — Especially in Stepford, and Especially About War:
But even as 15 student actors were polishing the script and perfecting their accents for a planned April performance, the school principal last week canceled the play, titled “Voices in Conflict,” citing questions of political balance and context.