Thursday, February 23, 2012

When You're in a, Um, Hole, Stop Digging

Or, you know, that's how we would translate this most excellent comment from poli sci prof Stephen Farnsworth on VA Governor Bob McDonnell's sudden reversal on a bill that would have required women to have, at their own expense, an unnecessary and invasive medical procedure before having an abortion:
Bob McDonnell's political future is not enhanced by vaginal ultrasound legislation.
Yes, it's only February, but can we declare this the Best Understatement of the Year and be done with it?

Also, can we say how delighted we are that this tiny victory against the GOP forces leading Virginia's war on women was secured, not only by the heroic efforts of Jon Stewart and Saturday Night Live, but by lobbyists and legislators who screwed up the courage to use words like "vaginal" and "probe" in House hearings on the bill? Read to the end of that WaPo story for the details on how opponents of the bill moved from being indirect and delicate about what it would actually require -- "We had a hard time messaging why it was so bad," says the executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia -- to being so clear that even people without vaginas began to grasp the intrusive nature of the procedure.

Another thing we love: Virginia sounds so much like vagina that, after all this hullaballoo, we will never again be able to think of one without thinking of the other. Thank you, Gov. McDonnell, for forging that link in our admittedly immature brains. You say Virginia, I say vagina. Virginia, vagina, vagina, Virginia, let's call this whole politically inconvenient thing off!

What a world, what a world. Be careful out there, my pretties, especially if you've got the lady parts.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Today in My Typist Is STILL Too Busy to Blog

Now With Tiny Violins!

Srsly. More than a week of radio silence around here, and my typist still insists she doesn't have time for a proper post. Dammit, Moose, we gotta give 'em something! I don't want to become known as the Grover Norquist of East Blogistan, starving the beast of my vast readership because you're having a hard time keeping up with yourself these days. Fine, Moose grumbled as she struggled to stuff all the balls she'd been juggling into her book bag before heading off to campus. Here, Rox. Throw 'em a bone. Let 'em watch the adorable vid I shot of the Norwood School orchestra earnestly sawing away on "The Star-Spangled Banner" at Sunday's game against Duke. It's cute, even if I didn't get the whole song, very nearly as cute as a damn cat video, and it proves that our national anthem is very nearly as hard to play as it is to sing. Throw in a Whitney Houston tie-in, and we're good to go.

Desperate times, desperate measures, people. Sometimes you go with the post you got, not with the post you want. These kids really are cute, and the Lady Terps snatched victory away from the Blue Devils with brilliant play in the final minute. The hearty "woohoooooo" you hear as the little fiddlers finish off the anthem is of course Moose, beside herself with excitement as tipoff approaches. She was so psyched for the big game that she even indulged in a bit of face-painting -- and learned by halftime that the reason face-painting is for kids and not for grownups is that grownups get stressed out when their team falls behind by 12 points early in the game, rub their faces, and turn a pretty red "M" into a big schmear that starts at the cheek and runs all the way up the forehead. Oops.

In any case, here, for your mid-week pleasure, are the little fiddlers of the Norwood School, forcing us to wonder, yet again, why we have marching bands but not marching orchestras. Don't say we never gave you nothin', people. Peace out.


Monday, February 13, 2012

Contact -- and Non-Contact

This kicks off Monday at QTU, which partly explains the radio silence around here lately.

(Image Credit: Mira Azarm, Assistant Director for Client Publications, QTU)

Moose has also been a bit preoccupied by the action on marriage equality in Annapolis and by preparations for this big gay fundraiser (which you should totes support/attend if you happen to be in the 'hood on Feb. 23), which she is co-hosting in her capacity as big gay member of the Board of Directors of this organization.

Also, we've been having our hearts broken by both Lady and Non-Lady Terps. Oh, basketball, you can be a cruel mistress.

It's not that we don't love you, darlings. We do. Indeed, we will allllllllllllllllllways love youuuuuuuuuu. (Whitney? Girl? Are you freaking kidding me?)

We're just ridiculously busy. Don't hate us. We shall return. Swear to dog.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Saturday Night Pink Links

I'm sure you've been wondering what the breast-equipped humans of Roxie's World have been thinking about the epic smackdown this week between the Susan G. Komen Foundation and Planned Parenthood over grants, mammograms, and the apolitical politicization of women's health. Frankly, we've never been fans of pink, and Moose has been skeptical of the whole cancer industrial/fundraising complex since her beloved father's death from colon cancer in 1991. "Dad," she said, shortly before he died, "I promise you I will make it my mission to find a cure for this disease. Maybe I'll set up a charity race to raise money for colon cancer. Yeah, that's what I'll do. We'll call it the Run for the Bowel." Moose and her dad cracked up and spun out a crude, elaborate fantasy about all the brown products that might be marketed to promote the cause. Yes, Moose and her dad did that sort of thing. 

There's an important life lesson here about laughing in the face of death, but there's also an important point to be made about the weird economics of disease-focused fundraising. Breasts are, as Gail Collins points out in a column today, "America's most popular body part," and so Komen has raised f*ck tons of money since its founding in 1982. Nobody loves the colon, useful as it is, and so the poor little Colon Cancer Alliance toils on in relative obscurity, offering a modest array of blue products (because colon cancer is a guy thing?) and sponsoring a 5K race called "The Undy 5000" because foundation garments are apparently as close as anyone wants to get to the yucky, unloved, indispensable colon. "You can die from not pooping," Moose is fond of saying. "I've seen it happen." Perhaps you understand now why Moose is an English professor and not a marketing genius. She still worries that her dad is up in Heaven waiting for her to organize a Run for the Bowel. It's OK, I tell her from my perch in the great beyond. He's moved on.

Anyhoo: the Komen kerfuffle.

(Image Credit: Saw it on Facebook; picked it up at MoveOn.)

Other people, with and without breasts, have weighed in on this issue thoroughly and brilliantly. Go read them. It's nearly 9 PM and the Moms haven't eaten dinner or finished a scholarly article that has to be out the door by Monday. Oh, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is on the teevee tonight, too, so we'd best be moving along.
  • Marcy at emptywheel (which we've never read before -- check it out!), a breast cancer survivor who also hates pink, offers some great insights about the cancer industry turning patients into consumers. She says it's time to start putting more money into prevention rather than on diagnosing and curing the disease, which has been Komen's primary focus.
  • Amy Schiller has a wonderful piece in The Nation on why the Komen/Planned Parenthood breakup, brief as it appears to have been, was good for feminism. Nutshell? It exposes Komen as "the most visible symbol" of "the rise of a nominally apolitical marketing campaign masquerading as feminism." Money quote? "As the infantilizing blush-hued gear has proliferated, the pink saturation has merged the medical industrial complex with the Disney princess-industrial complex, making women’s health policy some sort of adult dress-up game."
  • Journalism prof Jay Rosen is fascinated by Komen's spectacular communications/PR failure throughout the debacle. He has a detailed reading of an interview NBC's Andrea Mitchell did with Komen CEO and founder Nancy Brinker aptly titled "Interview as Trainwreck." Moose watched that interview. Mitchell has had breast cancer and worked with the Komen Foundation and Brinker. The trainwreck is a sight to behold.
Share your links and insights in comments. We know there's a lot of stuff out there -- So much that, you know, it's hard to keep abreast of it all.

See? No one makes jokes like that about the colon. We don't even love it enough to laugh about it. Maybe Moose should try to organize a Run From the Bowel. Whaddayathink, kids? Would you want that tee-shirt? Yeah, I didn't think so. Peace out.