if you tolerate this

  • May. 22nd, 2011 at 5:31 PM
neomeruru: (Default)
I just re-installed Sim City 4, and apparently this game came with a hint card? Well, cool! I'm a pretty decent mayor, but let's see what it can tell me:

- "Place your power plants and landfills in neighbouring cities..."
- "Place dirty businesses in a different city than your clean zones. Pollution does not travel between cities."
- "Put your power plants and landfills in the dirty city. This way you keep all your polluting buildings in one place, away from your residential areas."


It's called environmental justice, EA Games, and it means that no group of people suffers for shouldering the environmental burden of neighbouring utopias. It means that the poorest people do not have to deal with rich people's shit, literally, not only locally or regionally, but internationally as well.

In a time when we ship our electronic garbage to China so entire families subsist on sorting through corrosive, mutagenic compounds for rare metals, and we bring in wood from forests cut down for cattle-farm-driven land speculation in the Amazon, and we put leaky polluting industries next to ghettos, it really bothers me to see it actually portrayed as a winning strategy in a video game. I'd hoped we were better than that.

So, yeah, that's why I'm a geographer. I'm really wrestling with whether I want to replay this game or not, now.

i need matching canucks pepper spray

  • Apr. 16th, 2011 at 10:33 PM
neomeruru: (stfu)
So Husband and I bought our first hockey jerseys! It is very exciting. I would still give up a finger for playoff tickets, but they already took two for the jerseys, so maybe I should stop before they start going after the important ones!

I have been wearing my jersey with all faithfulness on game days (#1 on the roster and in my heart, Luongo), but I've noticed something distressing: wearing my jersey means that men shout at me on the street.

This is a new occurrence for me! I am not really the kind of woman who gets shouted at on the street, generally; always in jeans, short messy hair, dismissive look.. yeah. Not really the wolf-whistling kind. So this is new. And I hate it, oh my god.

I mean, there's the cheers and smiles from fellow fans, and that's cool. Am I waiting in line at the bank? Maybe more likely to talk to strangers. But on the street, no. I am walking somewhere, and frankly I have enough to worry about with just the act of walking itself, I really don't want to add listening to people to that burden.

And if I have my headphones on and I see someone flapping their lips at me, especially with a negative look on their face, fuck, that's not cool either. Neither is the creepy guy in the alleyway who awkwardly stopped me to talk shit about my team. What the fuck, man, why are you stopping me as I pass an alleyway to talk smack?

I have a really sensitive Predator Alarm, okay. Maybe it's a little too sensitive, but I have been hurt by men, and that's my choice and my right to make it as sensitive as I damn well please. And, okay, you, creepy man, stopping me as I am walking, glaring at me with hatred, that is ringing it.

Ugh. Ugh, ugh, ugh. It's enough to make me stop wearing my jersey. It makes me feel dirty. Why do you have to make me stop enjoying hockey too, rape culture. So uncool.


  • Apr. 1st, 2011 at 12:49 PM
neomeruru: (shut your bitch mouth)
So here is my Suckerpunch review. It's long, and doesn't talk about dragons or Bjork at all, but it's really important. I want you to read it if you like movies at all.

You know that scene in the Watchmen, where the Comedian is attempting to rape Silk Spectre I? You know how the camera lovingly caresses the violence, slowing down to fully capture every punch, every shove? It was the bullet-time violence we knew from 300, but worse, turning its unflinching eye on sexualized violence and that made it different. Harrowing.

You know that feeling you got when you watched that scene, like it was too intense, too vulgar. Like you wanted to turn away, but Snyder had captured every synapse in your brain with the music and the time dilation and the story, so you just sat there and watched it and felt uneasy, because it was a terrible scene, and you just felt, you dreaded, that it would never stop, that it might go all the way, and you barely even had time to prepare for it, to decide to look away, so you just watched.

You know that feeling?

That was basically Suckerpunch, from beginning to end. From the first lecherous look over the mother's coffin to the last scene I won't mention for spoilers, that feeling never went away.

Let me sum it up: Zack Snyder has a Rape Problem.

This is long and angry. I want you to read it. )

about body image

  • Jan. 28th, 2011 at 5:47 PM
neomeruru: (fuck this shit!)
Here's a life lesson for today:

Hating on other women for being skinny comes from the same place in your head that hating on yourself for being fat does. Because really, you're not hating them for being skinny; you're hating them for being better than you at conforming to ideas like 'ideal body shape' and the general feeling that skinnier = healthier, more interesting, smarter, more attractive, and normal. Both hatreds stem from the idea that skinny people are better people.

Conversely, realizing that the bodies of other women are not there for your judgment will free you from the desire to judge your own.

I'm not, like, an expert at being totally at ease in my skin. As [livejournal.com profile] momiji12 can attest, I have hips that simply cannot tell a lie. Seriously, they do not quit. On my tiny frame, my hips could quite frankly balance three small children. I have written angry letters to coworkers because they called attention to all this junk, all this junk inside my trunk. WHAT I'M SAYING IS, I have body image Issues just like anyone else. But what I'm also saying is that I am sick of hearing my female friends bitch and complain about skinny women, especially ones in the food industry.

I feel like telling them: if you're going to hate on Giada de Laurentiis, do it because she presents a totally unrealistic image of how making awesome food would immediately result in all your beautiful friends adoring you and enjoying chic cocktails on your pool deck overlooking LA. But don't hate on her because she eats great food all the time and still weighs like a hundred pounds sopping wet. It's unfair to skinny women, especially when their slim figures are probably the result of hours of exercise and more body discipline than you have in your left hand, and it's unfair to you because you're not actually making yourself feel any better.

Also totally sick of these same friends hating on weight loss commercials, especially those with celebrity endorsement. Look, Kirstie Alley does not need to stay a certain weight to make you feel better about yourself. You're not part of some secret sorority of fat chicks. She is not selling out or betraying the pack for wanting to lose weight, even if she goes on television to talk about it afterwards.

Also related, a little while ago my female family members were reposting a statement on their Walls that sounded a little something like this: "Inside of every woman, there is a skinny woman that wants to be free. Luckily, I shut that bitch up with a cookie!" (only, you know, with more improper grammar and punctuation, because I am clinically unable to purposefully make a mistake.) But my point is, LOOK PEOPLE, you are only making yourself feel worse by making your weight something to take solidarity in. You are letting it define yourself even as you are saying you don't care. That is not solving your body image problem, that is telling your body image to fuck off because you can't deal with it.

Yeesh. So. Let's just altogether stop talking about other women like they are better or worse for their body shape or size, no matter if they are above or below average. I think the world will be better for it.

more on class

  • Jan. 23rd, 2011 at 2:08 PM
neomeruru: (Default)
Continuing on a little bit from my earlier post about class hierarchies and conspicuous consumption, let's talk a bit about habitus as well. Your habitus is basically the toolbox of cultural signifers you use to convey information about the person you are to others, including your style of dress, your diction, your gestures, and basically everything else that makes up your external presentation to the world.

habitus: "aspects of culture that are anchored in the body or daily practices of individuals, groups, societies, and nations. It includes the totality of learned habits, bodily skills, styles, tastes, and other non-discursive knowledges that might be said to "go without saying" for a specific group" (Wikipedia, allegedly from Mauss, for clarity)

Where do we learn habitus? It's not consciously learned, but rather acquired from those around us. This is why it is such a big deal when one tries to pass as a member of another class (i.e. any movie where someone makes a joke about which spoon to use).

Take, for example, these two children reacting to music:

What do their gestures tell us about the world they live in and their projected social class? And more importantly, how is it that we recognize this and immediately make those assumptions?

musings on class

  • Jan. 23rd, 2011 at 12:16 PM
neomeruru: (you should have seen me reading dunhill)
With big props to my homeboy, Pierre Bourdieu.

An ex-coworker who left to go to law school has finally graduated, and to celebrate her skyrocketing into that new sphere of cultural capital she has bought her first pair of Christian Louboutin pumps, with a five-inch titanium stiletto heel and the trademark red sole.

I want to tell her that her conspicuous consumption is showing, but you don't do that to a friend.

On one hand, I am proud of her and happy for her, because I can acknowledge that these shoes do carry some significant amount of cultural capital. It's a big deal to have enough money to buy authentic, and having enough knowledge to know that these shoes, with their red soles, are a widely understood way to convey that fact. Her cultural acumen will serve her well in the legal world.

On the other hand, I have nothing but contempt for the concept of class hierarchies and the idea that what we purchase and display is somehow intrinsically linked to our tastes and therefore our position in such a hierarchy.

Let's move this discussion to a comparison of two kinds of vehicles from Ford: the 2011 Lincoln MKX and the 2011 Super Duty (and one for the 2011 F-150). A few commercials under the cut to illuminate what I mean when I say their product advertising utilizes this semiotic language of class hierarchy.

john slattery is old enough to be my grandfather, hot damn )

So, friends, have you ever bought anything because you knew it said something about your class? What was it? How did it make you feel?