April 30, 2008

It's official: McCain really IS a douche

Dude, screw John McCain.

McCain blames Minnesota bridge collapse on wasted money

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - Republican John McCain said Wednesday that the bridge collapse in Minnesota that killed 13 people last year would not have happened if Congress had not wasted so much money on pork-barrel spending.

Federal investigators cite undersize steel plates as the "critical factor" in the collapse of the bridge. Heavy loads of construction materials on the bridge also contributed to the disaster that injured 145 people on Aug. 1, according to preliminary findings by the National Transportation Safety Board.

"The bridge in Minneapolis didn't collapse because there wasn't enough money," McCain told reporters while campaigning in Pennsylvania. "The bridge in Minneapolis collapsed because so much money was spent on wasteful, unnecessary pork-barrel projects."

The bridge collapse was an unfortunate tragedy and to use those deaths as a sound bite for a presidential campaign blows.

April 28, 2008

Let me just babble on for awhile about my academic interests

As you must have been wondering, I DID get my paper and annotated bibliography in on the original due date... woo hoo!

My paper was on Scorsese's The Last Temptation of Christ and his use of Catholic iconography - specifically the scene where Jesus pulls his heart of his chest in a morbid mock-up of the Sacred Heart. Then it magically becomes an axe out of no where... It's a messed up scene that's largely ignored by critics, so I wanted to put the history and meaning of the Sacred Heart of Jesus iconography next to the scene and see if/how his alterations change the meaning of the iconography.

Needless to say, it does change the meaning by taking an image representing Christ's divine love for humanity and turning it into a message of violence. The original image acts as a mediator to Christ's humanity, to ponder over Jesus' heart and his love for us. By changing the imagery, Scorsese takes this image of divine love and manipulates it in a way to cut off that access to Christ's humanity. Scorsese wanted his film to explore the humanity of Jesus, but it seems that everything he does stops that - including his manipulation of this Sacred Heart iconography. Scorsese tends to deconstruct himself again and again - what he wants to do is subverted by what he actually does.


I have three papers coming up in the next few weeks - two next week and one on May 24. I'm going to write one on Spike Lee's 25th Hour, based on David Benioff's book The 25th Hour. That's for my Christianity and Culture class, and I really don't know what I'm going to say yet. The paper for my Theology and Cinema class is about Saved! but the paper really is more of a project. We have to write about how we'd use a film in a ministry setting or professional setting (I suppose he really didn't account for people who want to teach film, and thus use film all the time... although maybe it'd be easier that way).

My paper due on the 24th is my Cinematic Spectacle course, and that's 15 pages - my longest so far (not counting the bibliography/pictures from my last paper). I have to give a 10 minute presentation on this tomorrow, so that's what I'm procrastinating from by writing this post. I'm planning on saying that The Ten Commandments invites participation from viewers on several levels - originally through it's widescreen proportions (a novelty when widescreen was released, promoted as engaging viewers) and then through it's yearly showing on TV, becoming a ritual in and of itself. Not only is the viewing a ritual, the film depicts the beginning of ritual - the original Passover. However, the movie isn't made for a Jewish audience, in fact it's often stripped of it's ethnic Jewish markers. It's Christianized (which is why it's shown at Easter) and Americanized in a Cold-War period. I'm still working on this, and I'm planning on starting to write the paper after my other work is done, so this presentation kind of conflicts with that. I wasn't even planning on looking at any of the material until those other papers were done, so that I have to put together this brief presentation is kinda annoying.

Anyway, after those two papers are due on the 7th and 9th, the Spectacle paper isn't due until after I leave for WI so I should have some free time after finals week to pack up my apartment and finish that paper. I have to move my stuff into the Catholic House (where I'm living next year, a intentional community living house) before others move out after graduation, so my stuff will be around the house until I come back at the end of summer. It's a big house and they have three floors, so it shouldn't be a huge problem. If anything, some of my friends are offering to store things in their rooms since they'll be gone for the summer too. Aside from moving and finishing that paper, I just have lots of drinking to do. I mean, spending time with friends. I'm actually really excited about it.

I posted before that I've started writing on a feminist blog Female Impersonators. Lately there have been some commenters who just don't get anything about the pro-choice movement. Their comments have been super frustrating and at times insulting (I stop commenting back when they do that - I'm a lady). Just today someone posted something along the lines of "but you deeply believe that all women should have abortions"... Yeah, because I'm so pro-choice that I think women shouldn't have any choice at all and just vacuum those babies out of their wombs. That's problematic enough, but the fact that someone wrote telling me what I believe? I told them they should come over and tell me what to have for dinner. Anyway, if you want to check some of it out, the particularly heated debates are in the Jessica Rabbit post and the Oklahoma legislature requiring ultrasounds before abortions post. There's also a really interesting link to a report about how scientists have been able to use menstrual blood to make similar tissue to heart tissue. It's really fascinating.

Here's some music I've been listening to these past few days:
Sweet Honey in the Rock - Wanting Memories (****)
Sia - Breathe Me (****)
Yael Naim - New Soul (****)
Tilly and the Wall - Bad Education (****)
Tilly and the Wall - Beat Control (****)
Hem - Half Acre (***)
The Poozies (hehe, Poosie) - Another Train (***)

Erich reminded me I haven't played Risk all year, and I'm jonesin' in a bad way. Riiiiisk. I miss it, especially LOTR Risk. Such an interesting board...

All right. Presentation planning time. I figure I can waste a couple minutes talking about the state of film in theological academia. All right. Bacher out.

April 24, 2008

Quote of the day

"Often times people ask me, 'Why is it that you're so focused on helping the hungry and diseased in strange parts of the world?' "

— George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., April 18, 2008

April 22, 2008

Procrastinator away!

Spring is in the air, so of course that means finals! Not only is it finals time, it is high time for procrastination... so another post about how I should be doing work but I'm not.

The work in question this week is my annotated bibliography for my Visual Cultures of American Religion course. I finished the paper for the class over the weekend, spiffied it up with a cover page, bibliography, even pictures. Both of these were originally due on Thursday, so I wanted to finish the paper before I finished the bibliography (since I figured that was more important than the biblio). However, my professor said since she wasn't going to get around to reading things until next week anyway, we have an automatic one week extension. So kinda nice, but then it gives me room in my mind to fuck around.

All of my papers were nicely spaced out and I had time to move from one thing to the other, but with this extension, it's not as necessary to finish my biblio by this week. I still want to get it done by Thursday, but knowing that I don't have to kinda sucks and rocks at the same time.

I finished annotating all the books and articles I used for my paper, now I have to go back and annotate the readings we did over the course of the semester. Of course, if I had been smart, I would have annotated things as I read them - the material would have been fresh in my mind and I'd have had more time back then. But of course, I didn't.

I'm at 12 pages right now, so this is going to be a monster collection when I'm finally done. My paper is about 14 right now, including pictures and cover page and biblio - about 10 pages of actual writing. My mom liked it, so that's good.

I should get back to my annotating. I've only got 20+ books and articles to go so, you know, piece of cake.

April 15, 2008

Bush approved torture

From the ACLU:

WASHINGTON – In a stunning admission to ABC news Friday night, President Bush declared that he knew his top national security advisers discussed and approved specific details of the CIA's use of torture. Bush reportedly told ABC, "I'm aware our national security team met on this issue. And I approved." Bush also defended the use of waterboarding.

Recent reports indicate that high-level advisers including Dick Cheney, Condoleeza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell and George Tenet were part of the National Security Council's "Principals Committee" that met regularly and approved the CIA's use of "combined" "enhanced" interrogation techniques, even pushing the limits of the now infamous 2002 Justice Department "torture memo." These top advisers reportedly signed off on how the CIA would interrogate suspects – whether they would be slapped, deprived of sleep or subjected to simulated drowning.

"We have always known that the CIA's use of torture was approved from the very top levels of the U.S. government, yet the latest revelations about knowledge from the president himself and authorization from his top advisers only confirms our worst fears," said Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the ACLU. "It is a very sad day when the president of the United States subverts the Constitution, the rule of law, and American values of justice."

Romero added, "It is more important than ever that the U.S. government, when seeking justice against those it suspects of harming us, adhere to our commitment to due process and the rule of law. That's why the ACLU has taken the extraordinary step to offer our assistance to those being prosecuted under the unconstitutional military commissions process. We unfortunately can't erase or make up for what has already happened, but at least we can attempt to restore some of the values and some semblance of due process that the Bush administration has squandered in the name of national security."

The American Civil Liberties Union is calling on Congress to demand an independent prosecutor to investigate possible violations by the Bush administration of laws including the War Crimes Act, the federal Anti-Torture Act, and federal assault laws.

"No one in the executive branch of government can be trusted to fairly investigate or prosecute any crimes since the head of every relevant department, along with the president and vice president, either knew or participated in the planning and approval of illegal acts," said Caroline Fredrickson, Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office. "Congress cannot look the other way; it must demand an independent investigation and independent prosecutor."

Fredrickson added, "Congress is duty-bound by the Constitution not only to hold the president, vice president, and all civil officers to account, but it must also send a message to future presidents that it will use its constitutional powers to prevent illegal, and immoral conduct."

The ACLU's letter calling for an independent prosecutor for torture crimes and any criminal cover up is available at:

ABC's recent news story is available online at:

Take a minute to send a letter to your congressperson demanding an independent investigation here.

April 14, 2008

You're tacky and I hate you!

I'm tried to find a video on YouTube that explained exactly how I felt about one of my classes, because it summed up my feelings better than I could... but I can't. So I'll just describe it.

It's a scene from School of Rock where Jack Black teaches the kids how to write a song.

Dewey Finn: Now, what makes you mad more than anything in the world?
[sees Billy who has his hand raised]
Dewey Finn: Billy?
Billy: You.
Dewey Finn: Billy, we've already told me off. Let's move on.
Billy: You're tacky and I hate you!
Dewey Finn: Okay, you see me after class!

I'm Billy and my class is Dewey.

I had to leave class early last week so I could help out with Admitted Students Day at YDS, but thank god for that. I was dying from boredom and a lack of interest. He sent me an email asking me why I had to leave (I didn't mention it before class), but how do you tell someone they're tacky and I hate them? I went with the real reason, but I reaaaally just wanted to send back an email that only said "You're tacky and I hate you!"

At least there are only two class periods left. For some reason, he thinks they last 2 hours and 5 minutes when in reality (according to the schedule), they're supposed to last 1 hour 50 minutes. To someone who thinks she's going to die in the class, those extra 15 minutes are more painful than many things in my life right now. Anyway, because of his confusion, we have to come in early so we can leave on time. Needless to say, it means I have to be out of the house a whole half-hour earlier than before.

Only two more class sessions... only two more class sessions...

April 10, 2008


I posted earlier in the year about the people riding their bikes up the hill in front of my apartment building. It was ridiculously nice out today, so I had my window open. Another person rode their bike past my window. Instead of riding the slow ride up, a guy whizzed by on his bike going downhill and as he got to the big incline of the hill, he shouted out "WHOOO!" I thought it was great. Although he should have been wearing a helmet.

I've started contributing to a feminist blog! I'm very excited, since a lot of the feminist blogs I read were kind of the reason I started this blog in the first place. It helps to keep in touch with my family and friends, but also I wanted to work through issues I was concerned with. Now I have a more specified way to do so! Anyway, check it out: www.impersonated.blogspot.com.

I sat outside and read today, wearing my sunglasses. It was beautiful. Sorry friends in the midwest, but spring has come to Connecticut!

I'm also at book 18 of the 50 books to read in 2008. I'm way farther than I was at this point last year, so go me! And last I heard, Kari's keeping on schedule too! We are readers!

And by the way, what's with no one leaving comments on my blog anymore? I know you're visiting since my counter tracks you (and your location - I know where you are...), so leave me some love.

April 7, 2008

I am back! I'm back from my Jane Austen weekend with Tessa and I'd say we watched enough Jane Austen to last for a lifetime. Ok, not a lifetime but still.

We watched:
Pride and Prejudice (2005)
Pride and Prejudice (the 2003 Mormon version! Awesome? yes.)
Pride and Prejudice (BBC version with Colin Firth)
Sense and Sensiblity (Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet)
Sense and Sensibility (the second half of the PBS Masterpiece version)
Northanger Abbey

When all added up, we watched 986 minutes or nearly 16.5 hours of Jane Austen movies.

And because we're awesome, we also found time this weekend to go out dancing! A car commerical played "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" and I mentioned how much I love that song (and that it reminds me of watching Now and Then with my mom), and Tessa said there's a bar she really likes by the East Village that plays good dancing music (not a lot of the crap that's in clubs). This was, of course, after we drank 2 bottles of wine so any idea we came up with would have been a great idea. So we peeled off the sweatpants and went out! It was a lot of fun; we met up with Tessa's boyfriend Dan. The bar ended up playing more 80's than oldies, but we rocked out to Prince and even a little Jackson 5 - I do love ABC. Dan lived only two blocks away and all of his roommates were gone, so we crashed there. Perfect! The only downside was some handsy boys at the bar, but I made perfectly clear it was unwanted and would end up no where. Also, when I was standing in line for the bathroom talking to the guy ahead of me, he thought it was a good idea to lick my face. Also let him know that wasn't cool, because who wants their face licked in a bar by a stranger? No one!

My weekend of fun is now over so now I have to do lots of work.... boo.

April 2, 2008

My obession with the UPS tracker

If there's one thing I like doing, it's checking the UPS tracker to see when packages I've ordered will arrive. The company will send an email that my package has shipped and then I get to stalk my package via the internet so I know exactly what day it'll arrive.

I'm waiting for three things right now, mostly stuff I put off buying until after I got my first post-Ireland paycheck. I bought a book I need to read for class (and one that I assume I'll use again, thus the buying as opposed to the librarying) called Hollywood Be Thy Name; I bought the Ten Commandments for a paper I'm writing (another thing I assume I'll use again at some point); I also bought a new bookbag. It's big and nice and sturdy and I'm going to use it until it falls apart (as a way to justify the cost). The bag I'm using now can fit my laptop and not much else - not the notebook or multiple books I'm likely to have with me, so it was time for it to go. Plus I grabbed it from the BTFO room so it was free anyway.

The Ten Commandments arrives on the 9th, my new bag arrives on the 7th (it left San Jose on the 1st!), and I'm not sure when Hollywood Be Thy Name arrives since the seller is an independent bookstore and apparently doesn't have access to the massive UPS technology of showing when something somewhere has been scanned. It should be here soon since I ordered it right after I got back. Lamezoid.