Saturday, November 29, 2008


My family's decision to draw names for the xmas gift exchange comes not a minute too soon. I have never been so disorganized for xmas before. I'm usually planning and plotting and starting holiday presents in September!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

the Antiheroine

Having finished season 2 of the Tudors, I've been looking to start another series on DVD to fill my pathetic lonely evenings spent knitting in front of the TV. A friend from work lent me "Californication", a series about a writer, Hank, who muddles through his miserable life of trying to win back his ex-girlfriend who is now engaged to a successful albeit dull shmuck. The series essentially follows Hank's day-to-day life of alcoholism and recklesshedonism, as he drinks incessantly, and screws everyone and anyone he lays eyes on (usually at the bar, where he spends every other scene).

What makes this show bearable is Hank's sardonic wit, which permeates every scene and gives an otherwise morbid setting an air of... what's the word? Humility? Hank is a total asshole, but his sharp tongue and his unfailing ability to defeat/humiliate his opponent (no matter how drunk/stoned/naked Hank may be at the time) is always entertaining and often hilarious. He admits to drowning in alcoholism and a "sea of meaningless pussy". I would object to this dehumanization of women's genitals, but the I cannot argue with the way women fall to Hank's feet. But I digress. Hank's behavior puts him in a rather interesting archetypal character that has been popping up everywhere in popular fiction these days; the antihero whose behavior is reprehensible, but who remains nonetheless endearing and likeable.

You might recognize this character. He is Jack Bauer from 24, Henry viii from the Tudors, Tony Soprano and House. Men who unabashedly and unapologetically spit in the face of conventional behavior and respect for authority, but who nonetheless emerge in the right (or, in the case of the Tudors and Sopranos, on top). The sociologist in me wonders at this antihero and at his implications for 2008 North American ideology. Are rules and procedures no longer necessary? Do ends justify means? Futhermore, are we to "lighten up" over political scandals and mishaps?

It is not surprising that this antihero can only be male. Women who ignore or resist social conventions are not so celebrated. Carrie Bradshow comes dangerously close to subverting the archetypal woman with her ambitious career and open sexuality, but she stays within social bounds with her materialism and pervasive longing for the love of her life. Not to bash the show; I am a huge fan of Sex in the City, and think Carrie Bradshaw is an important step in the right direction, but she will never be able to get away with what her male counterparts do.

I dub this phenomenon "Courtney Love syndrome" in honor of another woman who is continually lynched in the media for her inability or unwillingness to conform to normative standards of womanhood, wifehood and motherhood. Although her behavior does not differ significantly from her celebrity male colleagues, such transgressions are evidently not acceptable for a woman. To be continued...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Photos of my costume to come! I think?

My Halloween was not a disappointment this year because my expectations were low to begin with. I usually get really excited for Halloween and then get so annoyed with the stupid, stupid costumes. I'm sure you've all noticed that Halloween has become an excuse for a certain portion of the population to "skank out".

"I'm being a cop... a sexy cop."
"I'm being a fireman... a sexy fireman."
"I'm being Gilles Duceppe... ok, that one was good."

But I know you know what I mean. Halloween costumes has become overrun with sluttified occupations and sarcastic jabs at popular culture. Amy Winehouses and Gwen Stefanis galore. What happened to Halloween being scary? I gladly overlooked the zillion Heath Ledger-eqsue Jokers because at least the Joker is villainous. The Halloween parties I've been attending for the past few years have beein sorely lacking in classic vampires, ghouls and goblins (not counting the "sexy" vampires, of course. There's always a few Elviras.)

It certainly wasn't my first Halloween dressed as my favorite undead character, but this year, I outdid myself; for example, I wore white-colored contacts that made me stumble through a cloudy haze all night. I also wore a flesh-colored bodysuit that was so matted to my chest with fake blood that I had to wear my costume into the shower to peel it off. I. was. SCARY.

People didn't recognize me, and once they did, they didn't really want to chat. It actually became annoying. This is the reason, dear readership, that I don't have a gallery of glossy and photoshopped pictures for you to enjoy. I swear that I didn't avoid the camera as I usually do, I simply wasn't approached for photos. In the end, I consider it a testament to the effectiveness of my costume.