The Bride of Frankenstein is a proto feminist icon

Last night, I watched the final scene of Bride of Frankenstein. Can you believe the Bride only appears in the final 5 minutes? Within mere minutes, Elsa Lanchester created an indelible character — literally an instant worldwide icon. (More on the full context and plot of the movie if you need it.)

ALSO this a fascinating allegory when placed in current social-justice context. To wit:
Yes, the lonely Monster just wanted a friend, which is sad and all BUT in a just world: 1) men cannot give women to each other, literally or figuratively 2) a man doesn’t get to unilaterally decide a woman is going to be in any relationship with him 3) a man does not get to blow shit up because a woman rejects him.

I’m keeping it very short, obviously, but it seems interesting to me. Obviously the makers of this film find the Monster to be most sympathetic, and he is. But what of the BRIDE!?! Animated without consent and moments later, while still confused, she is immediately handed off to someone with pre-formed ideas of what her role is to be in his life, and when she rejects him (likely out of fear) he declares, “She’s just like all the others, so we’re all going to die now.” And blows everything to smithereens.

That’s not too far-fetched of a fantasy monster narrative, now is it?

Posted in Advocacy, Culture, Random thoughts, Uncategorized, vintage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Homegrown Nazi sympathizers flourish in the Garden

Yeah, it’s horrifying to see swastika iconography flanking a hagiographic George Washington; explicit calls for the formal establishment of strictly white, gentile control of America; little brown-shirted boys gleefully clapping and the crowd cheering as a Jewish protester is beaten by half a dozen men. Uniforms and flags, flags, flags… and yes, I know about the Bellamy salute, but what we’re looking at sure ain’t it. Here are 20,000 white supremacist fascism enthusiasts gathered in the heart of New York City, months after the Anschluss and Kristallnacht. They damn well knew what the Nazis were, what they were doing, what their goals were. This wasn’t an American civic pride party. It was an open declaration of desire for the U.S. to ally with Nazis… and just an early version of a still-living dream for millions of Americans today.
Really, is this gathering any different from MAGA rallies, from a year ago or last month? Calls from the podium to “get them out of here” inciting sucker punches and wistful references to being “very, very rough” on protesters in the “good old days”? Polo shirts and torches marching, repeatedly, on campuses? Candidates clearly announcing that the Christian Bible supersedes the Constitution while simultaneously denouncing “Sharia law”? And there are countless other valid comparisons that can be made.
Yes, this evidence is history, but it is not past. It is present and inevitably future — unless we look at it, reckon with it, name it, fight it. #resist
[And a standard warning to tread lightly in the comments for the video. I don’t think there is any point in engaging, but we must not pretend they don’t exist. Ignoring them does not actually make them go away.]
Posted in Advocacy, Culture, History, Politics, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“I asked you the question, but I already know the answer…”

This might be the most cogent and devastating segment I have ever seen from Elizabeth Warren. And that is reeaaally saying something. You have GOT to see her just draw and quarter this guy in a Senate hearing! Precise, polite and *ruthless*.

I will give outgoing Equifax CEO Richard Smith credit only in that he does not back down or equivocate under her laser-focused questions. He has nowhere to hide and he knows it.

PS: Watch it twice… the second time, enjoy the costumed hero in the gallery.

UPDATE: ALL HAIL Amanda Werner of Americans for Financial Reform and Public Citizen… The Monopoly Man character is part of a protest to draw attention to forced arbitration clauses that are used throughout the financial industry and limit consumers’ ability to take disputes to court. Elizabeth Warren spoke out about this shameless practice previously, arguing in favor of a new CFPB rule against it.
Posted in Advocacy, Politics, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

I <3 That NASTY Mayor

OMG YOU GUYS look what Carmen Yulin Cruz wore for a Univision interview today!! Double slam: This “nasty woman” who was supposedly “told by Democrats she must be nasty to Trump”. The OVARIES ON HER while other leaders kiss ass in fear of a Toddler Trump tantrum thrown their way. ❤ ❤ ❤
Today I wish I spoke Spanish well enough to truly cherish what she had to say about the visit, et al.
Annndd then look what she wore for her turn on MSNBC the same day. Clearly the same shirt under a zip-front fleece, with the statement less necessary, I guess? 
Y’all, I am really looking forward to voting for her for federal office someday soon when her urgent work in PR is done. *fingers crossed she moves to New York to represent the large Puerto Rican population here… and me*
Posted in Advocacy, Media savvy, Politics, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Puerto Rico = America and America’s responsibility

Puerto Rico is OUR RESPONSIBILITY. This video is insightful. Its economic and financial issues are a direct result of colonialist policies. These American citizens have been struggling for decades and we cannot further abandon them in the wake of catastrophic natural disaster.

AMERICANS ARE DYING ON AMERICAN SOIL. Shame on our government and leaders who are so passive, unconcerned, and in the worst cases, critical of Puerto Ricans desperately trying to survive, let alone recover. Our fellow citizens deserve clean water, power, cleared roads, food relief and basic medical and hygiene supplies. This is on us!! And will be for weeks and months to come!

Please stay aware and engaged in this crisis, just like we were and are for Texas, Louisiana and Florida. 

Posted in Advocacy, Culture, Politics, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The “Lost Cause” was never noble

Propaganda often masquerades as history… if it was obvious, it wouldn’t work. Arguments including “states’ rights” and “Lincoln was pro slavery” and “Lee was only reluctantly defending slavery” etc. are all whitewashing and apologism at *best*. But here is real, plain history from an expert historian — succinct and persuasively presented.

I am sorry to my black friends if essays like this are rough reading, but I’m not sorry to encourage white Southerners to better understand how they have been deceived and miseducated through their lives, in schools and the public squares. As someone educated K-12 in the public schools of DeKalb County GA, I’ve had to catch up, myself.

So yeah, y’all: It was not a noble difference of opinion and lifestyle that sparked and carried the Civil War, but Southerners’ economic and social dependence on the permanent enslavement and dehumanization of black people. It was evil, and it is shameful.

In each of my three books, I have discussed the origins and nature of the American Civil War. I have tried to … show that it was emphatically not a “War of Northern Aggression”—it was not a case of Southern states defending themselves from a threatening central government. Quite the contrary. Yet the current political discussion is bringing up long-discredited arguments that must be refuted. Yes, the war was emphatically about slavery.

…[S]lavery was not dying. The South was not a backwater. Total investment in *all* manufacturing and railroads in 1860 equalled about $2.2 billion, nationwide. The investment in slavery? About $3 billion. The white South was the richest part of the nation, per capita. Key parts of the Northern economy was dependent on cotton, and the South knew it. So you had a vibrant, successful economy with a tradition of providing national political leadership. The white South was proud, and felt strong.

Third, the events that led to secession were all about the effort of the South (let’s be clear—the white South) to *expand* slavery to territories in the west, and to enforce slavery nationally. Sometimes they spoke of the “equal rights of the States,” by which they meant the South deserved equal respect for its property and labor system—slavery—as the North did for its free-labor system. …

[T]he South started to secede almost immediately after Lincoln’s election, long before his inauguration (which was in March 1861). The fire-eaters turned the election of 1860 into a hostage negotiation, the hostage being the Union, the ransom being Southern extremist victory. When Lincoln won, they shot the hostage. They weren’t defending their own, they were demanding it all.

Sixth, the ordinances of secession (as well as the entire political discussion surrounding these events, and the Confederate constitution) made it clear that the South was seceding in order to enshrine slavery. Protecting slavery is why the white South seceded, period. During the war, Confederate army asserted this directly. When Robert E. Lee invaded Pennsylvania, he issued orders to capture and enslave free African Americans—even those who had been born free—with elaborate regulations on how they should be processed and distributed.

Please read the whole thing. It’s not very long but it is extremely well-presented.

Posted in Advocacy, History, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A different kind of Manchester United

1) Now this, THIS, is how you ally. Damn. (Not Lincoln. The working class of Northern England.)

2) Look deep inside yourself and ponder whether you could do as the people of Manchester and Liverpool did. I honestly don’t know, and I don’t like that about myself. I clearly have more work to do.

3) I hope some of my friends’ hearts are lightened a bit to learn that their enslaved ancestors had true friends across the Atlantic.

4) Another example that monuments should glorify what we’re most proud of, not our shames and mistakes.

5) It’s fantastic that Manchester has offered contextualization and additional learning through technology as a public service and resource. This kind of “augmented-reality” added value should be implemented throughout America… *especially* if controversial monuments remain in public spaces. Hopefully this would be a bridge to their eventual removal, but it could certainly serve as a first step of compromise. If you value history so much, let’s have some lessons, shall we? From a perspective beyond that of the Daughters of the Confederacy, obviously. And then see over time how many educated voters are willing to defend our treasonous trophies.

An abbreviated/excerpted version of the Facebook post linked above:

As you probably know during the Civil War the North imposed a Naval blockade on the South. The economic hardship that this caused was an important factor in the North’s victory. What I didn’t know was that the blockade also badly hurt the people of Lancashire, England. At that time the mills of Northern England produced the fabric that clothed the world. Seventy five percent of all the cotton grown on Southern plantations was sent to Lancashire where it was spun, dyed, and woven.

A year into the war and the embargo found Northern England in real distress. Sixty percent of its mills were shuttered, thousands of people were without work. The desperate wealthy mill owners started lobbying the British government to send the British Navy to break the blockade and let the cotton through.

Then an amazing thing happened. The workers themselves organized a mass meeting in the Manchester Union Hall to discuss the matter and those working class men, who had the very most to lose, chose to refuse cotton grown by enslaved hands. The blockade held and the men did indeed lose. In one town alone only five out of thirty-nine mills continued to operate. People went without fuel for heat, there was wide spread starvation, families lost their homes. And still–an ocean and a world away from a war in a place they had never seen–the people of Manchester chose to live and die by their values. They would not support slavery.

When the war ended that letter came from President Lincoln and it was followed shortly after by ships loaded with food and supplies for the people of Lancashire from the people of America, in gratitude.

Posted in Advocacy, Culture, History, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment