Political Flavors

Archive for December, 2015

My Favorites of 2015 That You Might Have Missed

Posted in Editorials on December 31st, 2015

Here’s some of my favorite things that you might have missed from 2015!


Of course, I love Jessica Jones. But a close second is the BBC miniseries adaptation of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. Bertie Carvel, Eddie Marsan, Charlotte Riley, Marc Warren, Ariyon Bakare and the rest of the cast deliver wonderful performances. Given that this is my favorite novel, I had very high expectations and I am entirely pleased and delighted.


I agree with all of the critics who selected Between the World and Me for their top pic. If you haven’t read it, go read it right now.

My honorable mentions are:
You’re Never Weird on the Internet by Felicia Day Funny, charming, and heartfelt. I was blown away and inspired by how vulnerable Day made herself on the page.

Rad American Women A – Z by Kate Schatz This book is amazing and I want to buy a copy for every child I know.

We Believe The Children by Richard Beck If you understand the McMartin trial, you understand contemporary America. Beck explains the convergence of politics, sexuality, feminism, history and psychology that allowed innocent people to lose their freedom. What compounds the tragedy is that in a few of these cases children were being abused, just not by their day care providers who went to prison or the satanic cults of our fevered imaginations.

I’m Not A Terrorist But I’ve Played One on TV by Maz Jobrani The funniest book I have read this year. Read this if you need a laugh.

Favorite Play
Allegiance. If you get to go see this, please do. It’s an important story about America and a moving, beautiful, brilliant play.

Favorite Tweet of 2015

Favorite Novelty Twitter Account
Emo Kylo Ren

Favorite Guilty Pleasure of 2015
Following the Dean Skelos and Adam Skelos trial. I listened to the phone calls so many times. If schadenfreude is a sin, I am going to hell in a handbasket.

Runner up – Victor Frankenstein starring Daniel Radcliffe. Expect camp silliness. Fun if you don’t take it seriously.

Favorite Tumblr of 2015
Nihilisa Frank

Best New Podcast
Feminist Coffee Hour, obvs. (We will be back on January 7!)

Favorite Comeback
MST3k is coming back! With Felicia Day and Patton Oswalt!

Favorite Videos of 2015

Lobbyist Claims Monsanto’s Roundup Is Safe To Drink, Freaks Out When Offered A Glass

Why Every Prank Eventually Goes Wrong

Marshall Islands Poet to the U.N. Climate Summit: “Tell Them We Are Nothing Without Our Islands”

Link Roundup – Stuff You Should Read if you missed it the first time

Northwest Tribe Says Proposed Coal Terminal Would Be ‘Like Putting A Freeway Inside The Reservation’

Our responsibility to help rescue Puerto Rico: New York City was in a similar spot in the 1970s

You hate politics? Try it some time

Women candidates need to step up to the plate

We Should Have a Better Condom by Now. Here’s Why We Don’t.

Problems Too Disgusting to Solve

Body Ritual Among the Swimsuit Models in the Horny Hell of SwimCity

How Men’s Rights Leader Paul Elam Turned Being A Deadbeat Dad Into A Moneymaking Movement

My Favorite Political Flavors Posts
Seven Seasons Of Questions About Odo
Building A New Way – Black Lives Matter at UU General Assembly
The Signal To Noise Ratio Of Blood Flow To One’s Genitals

Happy New Year! Thanks for reading!

The Four Reasons Leia Never Got Around To Training As A Jedi

Posted in Editorials on December 21st, 2015

This post contains spoilers for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and tangentially some of the EU novels.

Karen send me a link to this post by Rachel Paige at Hello Giggles, “77 Questions about The Force Awakens.” I had a fun time thinking about these but one of them jumped out at me.

37. Why didn’t Leia train in the Force, just like Luke?

There’s three reasons for this which can be explained by or inferred from the Expanded Universe novels and one I thought of just recently. Maybe in future movies we will get a canonical explanation, but this is what I’ve got so far:

4. Leia is just too damn busy. In the novels, Leia is a politician and a bureaucrat with an active career running the Republic. In TFA she’s a General (When I saw the words “General Leia Organa” in the opening crawl, I almost died of happiness) but that would still be an incredibly demanding career. She’s also a wife and a mother. Training to be a Jedi is just one more thing on her to do list for her to feel guilty about not getting around to.

3. It brings up bad memories. It takes Leia years to come to terms with the fact that Darth Vader is her biological father. Her career as a leader (whether in politics or the military) is what her adopted family groomed her for and what she is good at. Becoming a Jedi would feel a lot like choosing Vader over her loving parents who were not Sith Lords.

2. That’s Luke’s thing. This is conjecture, but Leia is a bit of a “type A” personality. She’s a perfectionist and what’s the point in taking on Jedi Training when Luke is already the best there is?

1. This is the saddest one and something that struck me in a moment of fridge horror. Jedi are immortal. Whey they die, their bodies merge with The Force and they become “Force ghosts” forever. That’s an awfully long time to live without Han Solo.

The Signal To Noise Ratio Of Blood Flow To One’s Genitals

Posted in Editorials on December 3rd, 2015

There’s an idea floating around our cultural conversation that has too long gone unquestioned. This is one of those fallacies that is so much a part of our rhetoric that we hardly even recognize we are perpetuating it. It’s the idea that sexual arousal is inherently meaningful aside from one’s personal subjective experience or actual participation in sex with a partner. And this is not only wrong, but it can be very harmful.

If anything, we don’t have enough compassion, education or care around human sexuality. And I wish we lived in a world where we took care of ourselves and each other in that way. As we do not, I think that our ignorance is part of what lets this fallacy flourish.

Here’s what I mean. I see this on the Red Pill, but it’s in other places too. It’s the idea that a person getting sexually excited means anything else than their particular brain was stimulated and is now sending the signal “hey there goes a good person to mate with.” So when someone says they wouldn’t vote for Hillary Clinton (or Bernie Sanders) because they aren’t hot and don’t want to look at someone old on TV – they are falling victim to this fallacy – that the amount of blood flowing to their junk can tell them anything meaningful about who should be president. (Insert Martin O’Daddy/Marco Rubio-oh-oh-OH joke here.)

Recently on the Red Pill, a guy dismissed Philippa Rice, best selling illustrator and author as:

a low value woman’s musing about being the queen of a loser

I wanted to respond that she’s probably laughing all the way to the bank, but I didn’t. Because according to this guy, her creative or financial success mean nothing if she can’t give him a boner. She has no other value as a human being.

It goes the other way too, an attractive person is seen as being capable regardless of their qualifications. Tons of dudes said they’d vote for Sarah Palin for this reason, as if being attractive means she would be a good leader. Note to those dudes: voting for a person is not an effective way to get that person to sleep with you.

It’s not just manosphere misogynists that do this either. I was giggling over Rachel Bloom’s “Fuck Me, Ray Bradbury” when I sent it to my podcast co-host Karen. She said, “I don’t want to police her sexual choices or her celebration of her sexual choices but wanting to fuck somebody is not a compliment. It doesn’t compliment them for their accomplishments.” And as much as I still like that song, she’s right. Maybe we should lay off the “That person is such an awesome writer/artist/scientist that I want to have sex with them” proclamations. They add nothing to the conversation aside from an acceptable way to say “Hey everyone my genitals are pleasantly engorged right now!”

And this can get really gross really quickly. I’m disturbed by David Tennant fans trying to change the meaning of Jessica Jones from a revenge fantasy to one about unrequited love. If any given person wants to fuck Kilgrave, brilliant, enjoy your mind control fantasy. But that does not mean that the other characters in the show should feel the same way! Any given fan’s personal pants feelings about David Tennant do not and should not have any impact on the plot of the show. Those feelings of lust don’t make Kilgrave not a rapist – which is why I will judge you if you ship Kilgrave and Jessica.

It’s hard to know how big of a leap there is from defending fictional rapists because the actor who plays them is hot to defending actual rapists because you think the accused person is hot. And it happens all the time. “James Deen [/other famous actor/athlete] can’t be guilty because I personally would have wanted it, ergo she must have wanted it.” As I said, really disgusting, really fast.

In an ideal world, everyone would be healthy and fulfilled in their sexuality. But we need to stop giving that delightful rush of hormones an intrinsic meaning other than “Ooh. I think I’d like some sex now.” It’s meaningful in discerning one’s own sexual desires but says nothing about anyone or anything else.

If you like this post, you might also like:
The Projection of Hate – Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Rolling Stone and Right Wing Sex Panic
Confessions of a Pickup Artist Chaser