Monday, July 30, 2007

i mean, really.

Greetings from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia! I’m hanging out here with my family, but something came to my attention that was worth braving the dial-up internet to rage about. You guessed it: True Love Revolution.

For those who don’t go to Harvard, or for those who do but try to avoid contact with other people who go to Harvard (wise choice), I may have to explain what exactly True Love Revolution is. Basically it’s an abstinence society “not affiliated with any religion.” Which, in itself, is fairly amusing given that the founders seem to both be fairly big fans of the Catholic faith, and according to a recent New York Times article (dial-up won't let me put in the link, so you'll have to copy-paste like a caveman:, like to let their faith “enrich” their opinions. So you know, not a religious society. Just a society heavily enriched by Catholicism. All are welcome.

Anyways, the point of this post: the NY Times article: I mean really. First of all, since when does a student group merit an article in the New York Times? Or rather, since when does a student group merit an article solely based on the fact that it exists? Sure, I would read an article in the New York Times about the BSA’s new public service initiatives, but I would never find an article like that in the Times. There are too many more important stories to be told. Like how Sarah Kinsella and her boyfriend are both virgins. Hm, but actually I don’t recall the article ever stating that as a fact. But maybe hypocrisy, like news, is not really newsworthy anymore.

The article basically seems to be pointing out the existence of such clubs in campuses across America. Its not so much that I find that to be uninteresting, because I think it’s actually a very fascinating trend, but I do wonder how exactly THIS, out of all the various exciting things I saw happening on campus, got picked up by the New York Times. And I also wonder about the tone of the article, which seems fairly unquestioning of some of the ridiculous statements coming out of “Ms Kinsella” and “Mr Murray’s” mouths. Such as the thought that the “awesome effects” of oxytocin create a special bond with the person you sleep with, making the possible end of relations with that person a sad time for you. As if a) someone who has been in a 1.5 year-long “chaste” relationship has, by avoiding sex, also managed to avoid heartbreak if the relationship should end, b) everyone who ever has sex has an orgasm, and the “awesome effects” of such an event are the root of all the subsequent emotion, or c) sadness is something you can eliminate from your life simply by avoiding sex. if only we were all so lucky as Ms Kinsella and Mr Murray that possible sadness due to sex was our greatest concern in life.

I also take obvious issue with the implicit suggestion that the respect the TLR founders show for each other is something unusual. Oh my god, they ask each other how they’re feeling? People who have sex NEVER do that.

I mean basically the whole idea of the group is just fundamentally ridiculous. A “non-religious” group led by two Catholics who are dating about how you should save sex til marriage “because you’re worth it.” If you don’t want to have sex, great. Cool. But its not “because you’re worth it.” Its because you don’t want to. Which is a good enough reason. Let’s not dip into the crazy bucket to try and make our beliefs sound more trendy. And let’s not judge other people’s decisions for that reason either. I’m psyched for Sarah and Justin that they have a relationship they’re both happy with, but there’s no reason for them to suggest that their way of doing it is better than anyone else’s. Although if we ARE going to start making judgments like that, I have to point out that if after living in Harvard Square for 4 years you’re still going to Border Café on dates, your relationship is probably doomed. Maybe not doomed to fail, but definitely doomed to not be delicious.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

black is the new ipod?

so i was just in san francisco (which means you can look forward in a copule days to a city-review, aka kaya's definitive judgment based on one week in the city). there are lots of ipod ads there. and since i'm not quiite ready to lay down my views about the entire city, let me amuse you by pointing out something kelly lee pointed out to me like a month ago: ALL the people in the newest ipod billboard campaign are black. i know you might not believe me. go find one that's not. i dare you.

now i just spent the past like, hour searching online for pictures to prove it, but there are surprisingly few pictures of this newest campaign online. i couldn't find any of the guys, only girls. so i'll just describe the guys. one is bald, i believe, and is wearing one of those mesh tank tops, another has a will smith during his fresh prince days-type 80s do, and another has short very curly hair and is dancing barefoot. anyways, here are the pictures i COULD find, so you know which campaign i'm talking about. i leave you to wonder about the meaning of it all.

oh, and how could i forget? also this:


Sunday, July 22, 2007


The new Harry Potter movie and book are out. Are you watching/reading? I know I am.
That is all.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

livin' just enough for the city

Okay, so first off let me apologize for being such a slacker and not updating- Kaya has given me the appropriate scolding and so I'm back. Anyway, after my relocation and starting work the only thing I really get to sit around and think/talk about is stuff that has to do with this crazy, hot, cramped city.
And what is the first thing that comes to mind when I think about New York? The fact that this is one of the few places where you can see SO many awkward social interactions, visible hierarchies and class divisions and just plain weird shit. I remember when I was younger I used to think about this city, how fun it would be to live here and do all sorts of fabulous things in the cit- but when you actually are in a place where you can get up and relocate, work, bills and rent definitely come into the equation and change up the way you think about things. The first example that I can think of in terms of changing the way you think about things is definitely the issue of housing and finding a place to live.
Before getting here and learning about different areas of the city, where is expensive, where is cheap, what has a lot of nightlife and which places are somehow desolate wastelands (in the middle of Manhattan, mind you) I thought that I'd just live in some cute little neighborhood where the rent would be expensive but it'd be worth it. As I got here I realized more and more that I'd have to live in a cheaper area- which doesn't bother me at all, but my own attitudes in finding a place to live (regarding the area, people in it, etc.) kind of did.
For example, I often found myself making a mental note of each and every white person I saw in the vicinity of a neighborhood I was considering moving to. This one is wearing chinos, that one has a fitted, that one is walking a dog- that one has a little fluff dog while the other has a large mean looking one. As awful as it is to say and think- I judged the relative safety of a neighborhood by the amount and kind of white people that deigned to live there. Tragic, I know.
And of course this brings us to the awkward, often avoided issue of: gentrification.
Let me be very upfront about this- I'm definitely not for gentrification- it's a process that displaces people from their homes, tears up communities and can often strip a place of its history, its culture- and just all in all messes up a lot of people's lives. On the flip side, gentrification definitely fixes up areas and helps in a reduction of crime... although a reduction in crime for who? For the people who move in the area is "getting better"- but what about the people who move out? Where are they going? How much farther from their jobs do they have to live? What is going to happen when the move into another bad neighborhood where they aren't familiar with the people (because anybody who has ever been to/known anyone in or lived in the hood- there are some places you just don't go if you don't know somebody there) and will they even be able to find a place as affordable with the same kinds of dimensions/amenities/etc?
And even though I have all this stuff to say bout the evils of gentrification and how it ruins communities and displaces people, the fact of the matter is that with my Harvard diploma and my Manhattan job- I am very much a part of the process of gentrification myself, and while I can find the evil in it, I am most certainly a part of it. Then again, I am a Black woman who comes from a lower class background, so my sympathy isn't just superficial...
Man, being a Black person.. so nuanced.
So meta.
Okay, maybe I was reaching with the 'meta,' but you know what I mean.

Saturday, July 14, 2007


i was driving home from running errands today and i found myself behind a shiny red SUV with anti-abortion bumper stickers all over the back of it. one of them was a quote from mother theresa saying, "it is poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish." i thought that was kind of funny because it IS poverty. that's kind of the point, isn't it? and yet i'd be willing to bet a few million dollars that the woman driving that car wasn't nearly as concerned with ending poverty as with ending abortion. huh.

i really wanted to rear-end her, but i figure it's probably also poverty to decide that a north shore housewife must be injured so that you may have an enjoyable drive home.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

good apology

so i was listening to B96 today in the car (that's chicago radio, for those of you unfortunate enough to live somewhere other than chicago) and of course that "sorry" song by akon came on about 5 million times during my 2 minute drive. actually i'm not gonna lie, the song is kind of catchy. but anyways it got me thinking. because i mean it's a rude-ass song, and its kind of a bitch move by akon, but also does he have a point?

now let's get one thing straight first: i think akon is completely out of his mind. my point here is not to defend akon, but just to wonder this: if you applied the message of his song to a sane person, would it be deep?

this seems like a good place to put in some important youtube clips for those who haven't been following the wonderful world of akon. the first is "sorry" playing over a slideshow and then later over the video of akon um...doing that girl who turned out to be like 14, and the second is a clip of akon throwing a kid. the second one is really just for fun. it doesn't relate to this post.

anyways, so i was listening to the lyrics of the song and it got me thinking: the basic message is "i'm not sorry," which is, ironically, the most subtle part of the song. the actual lyrics are in no way subtle. particularly the last few verses:

I'm sorry for the hand that she was dealt
And for the embarrassment that she felt
She's just a little young girl trying to have fun
But daddy should of never let her out that young

I'm sorry for Club Zen getting shut down
I hope they manage better next time around
How was I to know she was underage
In a 21 and older club they say

Why doesn't anybody want to take blame
Verizon backed out, disgracing my name
I'm just a singer trying to entertain
Because I love my fans, I'll take that blame

Even though the blame's on you
Even though the blame's on you
Even though the blame's on you
I'll take that blame from you

so here's the thing: yeah, akon is crazy, and yeah this song is sulky as hell, but he kind of has a point, doesn't he? its his fault he acted a fool, but its also verizon's fault for having a contract with a crazy person, its the club's fault for letting in underage people, and again, for hiring a crazy person, etc etc. except its not really that girl's fault or her dad's fault. i'm pretty sure you're allowed to go to a club without expecting to get stage-humped by akon. but that's a sidenote. point is, our society definitely does have a "blame" problem. and usually the person taking the blame for whatever it is that's happened this week is A person, and is only one small part of the problem. i'll give akon the benefit of the doubt and assume that's what he meant with this song. i think that despite himself, akon has come up with a fairly interesting criticism of our society. think about it.