Category Archives: Rants

A Sex And The City Criticism Backlash Rebuttal….

In response to my good friend AJ’s reaction to some of the criticism leveled at the Sex and the City movie, I left some of the following as a comment on his blog, but as they do in Congress, I would like to revise and extend my remarks, to wit:
I understood Karina’s tongue-in-cheekness when I read her post and I’d like to point out that in my post I was actually angry about what I perceive as the film’s anti-woman aspects (well, I can’t say the film exactly because I haven’t seen it, but I do know the show). You even quoted my point for me, AJ. I think the franchise is anti-woman and offers if not a completely unrealistic portrayal of “life in the big city,” than an unbelievably shallow one.
I completely disagree with Kim Voynar’s POV (mentioned in AJ’s post) but that’s fine. Plenty of people have strong, differing opinions on issues, films, books, etc but to dismiss the male film critics who are criticizing the film in toto because we wouldn’t understand a movie that’s not about us? Talk about a hypocritical generalization.
When she writes: “SatC has never been about fashion or a credit card lifestyle if you look beneath its surface. It’s about a group of smart, independent women who, successful as they are, still struggle with figuring out love and relationships and how to have and maintain a relationship with a man without losing who you are as an intelligent woman with a career and life of your own.”
Ah, if it were only so.

Continue reading A Sex And The City Criticism Backlash Rebuttal….

Thank God I Don’t Have To Write About This Dreck….

Karina Longworth has already done your work for you. No need to read the reviews of Sex and the City. Karina’s fallen on the grenade for all of us and you can read her excellent post, here: 5 Ways to Dismiss The Sex and the City Movie.
Personally, I never had even a nanosecond’s thought of seeing this culturally, politically, emotionally and cinematically bereft film. Save yourself the pain and re-watch season one of BSG or a Tracy-Hepburn movie. At least you’ll be getting a full dose of strong, well-rounded and developed female characters and not four nauseating ersatz women.

Why I Voted For John Edwards

1167608823_6678eb4026.jpgEver since my choice for the democratic nomination, John Edwards, suspended his campaign, I have been besieged by friend and stranger alike, urging me to vote for Barack Obama. Literally no one I know has approached me about Hillary. Maybe that says something about my friends or Hillary or maybe it says something about me. It doesn’t matter, because the only way I hold my nose and vote for her is if she’s the nominee in November. The thing is, I couldn’t bring myself to vote for Obama, either. Many of my friends are somewhat incredulous at my recalcitrance, but I have my reasons.

First a little background. My mother was a proud and politically active woman of mixed ethnicity but I think she identified most often as black. She was a filmmaker, author and journalist and paid close attention to the goings on of the day. She was deeply involved in the Civil Rights movement and I was raised in an politically aware home. But let’s be honest, unless you know me or are very race conscious, you wouldn’t know I was anything but Caucasian (or maybe Latino. I get that on the streets of NYC all the time). That said, I was raised in a multi-ethnic home and am myself very conscious of my heritage.
I am a feminist and a civil rights activist and I would be more than happy to see the first woman president or the first black president. The thing is, I will not and cannot sacrifice my overall political beliefs and I flatly refuse to do something so base and crass as to sell my vote for race or gender. This year’s race for the democratic nomination has been framed by the media for over a year as Clinton vs. Obama and as a result, the candidate most committed to the wellbeing of the people, John Edwards, was marginalized from the start. He really never had a chance and for that, the mainstream media should be ashamed. It’s clear, at least from my perspective, that John Edwards preached what was fair and good: An end to the dominance of Big Pharma and the insurance company lobby, the return of the government to the people, the end of corporate media dominance…oh…. Ooops!
So, John Edwards was, for my money, the most progressive, committed and honest person in the democratic race and he got my support. When he dropped out, I fully expected a switch to click in my head and start to get excited about Obama, but you know what? I couldn’t do it. I don’t like his heathcare plan, he strikes me as an appeaser, I don’t fully trust him and he never says anything. It drives me nuts. His speeches are like revival meetings and while I love a good call-and-response, “Yes we can” doesn’t really say much besides, well, “yes we can.” Besides, I’m loyal. When I support someone, I support them and in the absence of an endorsement from Edwards, I felt no compelling urge to vote for Obama.
The thing is, it’s all about November, for me and who can beat John McCain (for he’s clearly the likely nominee). Unfortunately, the only candidate who was the clear winner in that contest is no longer in the race. In poll after poll, you democrats all over the country named Edwards as the candidate you thought could most beat the republicans in November and in poll after poll you named Edwards as the candidate who most cared about people. And what did you all do? You voted against your interests and against the interests of the country as a whole. I just don’t get it. If you really thought Obama or Clinton were more likely to win, the results would make sense, but you didn’t. You said Edwards was a better candidate and cared more about you and then you went out and voted for someone else. Shame on you.
Photo of John Edwards by George P. Stern

When Is A Club Sandwich Not a Club?

I have, in the not so distant past, been accused of being a bit of a stickler when it comes to the “proper” way to do certain things, be they cooking, dressing or behaving. While I’m not a total bastard about it (I think the “no red wine with fish” rule is largely pointless and have been known to wear white after labor day), there are indeed certain rules that are important, some more than others, of course. They help society get along at a small, personal and individual level. One of these rules is the naming of foods or dishes on a menu. It’s important, I think, for the diner to know what he or she is getting when ordering. For example, a martini is gin (as opposed to a vodka martini) and if you order penne puttanesca, you should be comfortable in assuming it won’t contain cream or meat…or shoe leather, for that matter.
The same goes for one of the all-time classic sandwiches and one of my favorite guilty pleasures, The Club. Without a doubt a guilty pleasure due to the presence of both mayonnaise and bacon, but a pleasure, nonetheless. The Club has endured since the late 19th century, the origin in dispute, with a tried and true recipe, one with very little room for interpretation. The classic Club is: a regular or triple decker (there is question on this point) creation of turkey or chicken (roasted, not smoked), crispy bacon, lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise on toasted white bread, cut diagonally into quarters. Acceptable deviations include chicken instead of turkey and if you twist my arm, avocado (maybe a “California Club”?). That’s not to say adding lobster or cheese might not taste damn good, but it would NOT be a Club.
The following sandwich on offer at the café at the Arclight cinemas (home to AFI Fest) and billed as a Club is most decidedly, NOT: Roast beef, bacon, turkey, tomato, provolone, mozzarella and garlic aoli on toasted bread. Yes, it contains turkey, bacon and tomato, but so would a liverwurst, sea urchin, limburger, mustard, turkey, bacon and tomato sandwich, but I wouldn’t call that one a Club, either.
Here endeth the rant.

A Buffet? Seriously?

An article on the front page of today’s print edition of the New York Times entitled: “Rebel Unity Is Scarce at the Darfur Talks in Libya” has the following photograph accompanied by the caption: “A Darfur rebel took in the buffet lunch at his hotel in Sirte, Libya. Many rebel leaders did not show up for talks called in an effort to end the bloody conflict in Sudan.”
Photo by Jehad Nga for The New York Times, © The New York Times

Hmmmm, didn’t show up, you say? Well, were they told that there’d be cake? I find cake is often an incentive to gather warring factions all in one room.
I also find that a picture of starving, brutalized people is a far more effective means of getting the message of genocide out than a picture of a rebel in a tracksuit eating more than most people in his country get in a year.
Photo from Wondering of a Wanderer
Just a thought.