Saturday, April 28, 2007

Weekend Update

Is it just me or do you feel kinda creepy supporting Yahoo via creating content for them while they turn in Chinese dissidents? I am too old for Myspace and Facebook. I do have my own blog I could return to or one of the other blog communities, but I would miss my buddies here. I would want you all to come with me. Yahoo really does bother me though that they would sell their souls so deeply to get marketshare in China. How do you guys sleep or is Kurasawa right, "The Bad Sleep Well?" Speaking of "The Bad Sleep Well" you should know that this is a worthwhile piece of cinema by Akira Kurosawa. It is based on Hamlet and is set in post-WWII Japan. Like the original Hamlet, it doesn't end on a happy note.

Girlfriend's Guide to Oppression

There are two books I highly recommend and I find them oddly complementary as they both have female protagonists who have been around long enough to remember time when women had freedom. One is a memoir and one is a novel. The memoir is Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi. The other is The Handmaiden's Tale by Margaret Atwood.

Reading Lolita in Tehran is a memoir by Azar Nafisi that is so good on so many levels. On one level it is a meditation on the value for fiction for its own sake and the role of fiction in an oppressive society. There is romance and comfort in a rebellious act of reading literature when the world around you is chaotic and brutal. The rebellion is reading things that cause discomfort and seeing shades of grey in a world that only sees black and white. Instead of having students who groan about reading literature you have people try to seek out copies, read, discuss, write, and argue over books -- people flock to classes even if they don't belong to the school. It offers a look into Iranian society through the experiences of a wide variety of women -- women who risk losing their identity from freer pre-revolutionary time and women who never knew they had the right to a seperate identity. The book also goes into what it feels like to feel lost in your own homeland and what reasons we cling to stay and try to change things and what reasons we finally give up and go into exile. Some live in exile in their own country.

The Handmaiden's Talewas written in 1987 and is a decidedly darker fictional account of America under a neo-puritan society where women have no rights nor are allowed to read. Atwood leaves the circumstances of this transformation vague. Eerily she suggests that some sort of event --perhaps a nuclear attack -- in the Autumn (9/11?) leads to this regime that controls women and their reproduction. Like Reading Lolita, the husbands of the lead characters are sympathetic to their wives, but do not feel the full weight of the oppression the women in their lives feel and have an easier time adjusting to the change.

Tip of The Day For George W. Bush

Replace Attorney General Gonzales with Sanjaya. After Ashcroft and Gonzales it never really was about qualifications, was it? Can you imagine Sanjaya's famous hair against the Judiciary Committee? How could they NOT confirm that after confirming men who defy sanity and logic?

Quote of the Day

"The trouble with Eichmann was precisely that so many were like him, and that the many were neither perverted nor sadistic, that they were, and still are, terribly and terrifyingly normal. From the viewpoint of our legal institutions and of our moral standards of judgment, this normality was much more terrifying than all the atrocities put together. "
- Hanna Arendt

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