Wonk’s Saturday Reads: Beyonce, Bridesmaids, and Big Business

Morning, news junkies…hope you are off to a nice, relaxing Memorial Day weekend. I’m going to keep my two cents brief this Saturday, so grab a cup of whatever and let’s go!

Is Beyonce’s New Video Feminist?

I saw this item on AlterNet the other day and found the discussion in the comments interesting. I have to say, the author of the article itself didn’t put forward very compelling arguments for her stiletto feminism (and I love my purple suede stilettos), but her piece did alert me to NineteenPercent’s response to Beyonce’s “Run the World (Girls),” which I recommend checking out.

What ‘Bridesmaids’ Can Tell Us about Small Businesses and the Recession

New Deal 2.0′s Mike Konczal uses Kristin Wiig’s storyline–her character loses a bakery she started during the recession–as a teachable moment on Keynesian economics, complete with nifty graphs. He concludes that “Full employment is the friend of new business owners. It would be great if either of our political parties would emphasize that in a time of 9% unemployment.” Amen to that. (I did get to see Bridesmaids last weekend, btw. It lived up to the hype!)

Why the Rich Love High Unemployment

Mark Provost’s guest post at George Washington’s blog, outlining precisely why neither of our political parties is emphasizing full employment. (See also lambert at corrente… DISemployment: Letting the Rattner out of the bag.)

Judge strikes down corporate donations ban

The oligarchy racks up another win, just in time for 2012. As ThinkProgress noted yesterday:

Today’s decision extends beyond the egregious Citizen United decision because Citizens United only permits corporations to run their own ads supporting a candidate or otherwise act independently of a candidate’s campaign. Cacheris’ opinion would also allow the Chamber of Commerce and Koch Industries, for instance, to contribute directly to political campaigns.

Chernobyl Times Ten: Fukushima and the Radioactive Sea

Via Counterpunch. Highly depressing but important read from Harvey Wasserman:

“When it comes to the oceans, says Ken Buesseler, a chemical oceonographer at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, “the impact of Fukushima exceeds Chernobyl.”

The greatest living surrealist has left the planet“…RIP Leonora Carrington (1917-2011)

I enjoyed this brief but thoughtful blog post on Leonora Carrington’s passing, and the LA Times blog posted two neat photos–one of a bronze sculpture by Carrington exhibited along Mexico City’s Avenue Reforma in 2008, and another of Carrington celebrating her ninety-fourth birthday earlier this year. Also from an essay last year by art historian Alan Foljambe:

Rather than rebelling in a violent way against those who would control her, Carrington creates a parallel reality in her paintings in which, represented by animals and female deities, she is in a position of strength where she is not in danger of being used as a vehicle for the schemes or motives of someone else. Rather than confronting reality and attempting to overcome it, Carrington retreats from the struggle and creates another reality in which she feels more at home.

The gendered expressions of mental illness and violence

This is a topic that I think relates back to much of the dynamics underlying gender politics. Teaser from Historiann’s commentary:

There are of course seriously mentally ill women who suffer from similar paranoid delusions and fixate on individuals the way the Tucson gunman did. For example, a story in this week’s The New Yorker by Rachel Aviv (sorry–subscription wall) offers a nuanced, tragic description of the progress of mental illness in a woman whose disease sounds quite similar to Loughner’s. Yet, she didn’t pick up guns and kill a crowd of people. Instead, she retreated into a New Hampshire farmhouse and slowly starved to death.

James Carville: Obama is looking like a 2008 Republican

In 1992, Bill Clinton famously proclaimed himself to be an Eisenhower Republican. By that measure, I’d say President Obama is a pre-2008 John McCain Republican.

But this much is sure: The policies of the eventual Republican nominee, that is, anybody left running for it by the time of the vote, will be right in line with those of Sarah Palin. It’s pretty remarkable that the next election is going to boil down to a competition between the 2008 Republican presidential candidate and his vice presidential nominee.

It’s not that Obama is a socialist born somewhere other than Hawaii, or that he possesses a Kenyan anti-colonial mentality — but that some Republican needs to stand up and say, with some legitimacy, that Obama is taking all of the GOP’s ideas.

Well, there you have it. NOTA 2012.

How Cornel West Did the Obamites a Favor

BAR’s Glen Ford hits it out of the park once again. Excellent analysis of the situation. I myself have always preferred to focus more on Obama-the-politician and leave Obama-the-man for his family and friends to concern themselves with.

Hillaryland

  • Dipnote: Welcome to Shelbyville (Welcome to Shelbyville airs this week on PBS; check your local listings. It’s also being streamed for free through May 31st on PBS’s website.)

Just a quick geek link before I wrap up…NYT: Evidence of Water Beneath Moon’s Stony Face

…throwing a wrench into the Giant Impact hypothesis.

This Day in History (May 28)

Pioneering woman scholar Abby Leach was born in 1855:

In the 1870s, there were many more opportunities for women in education than there had been a decade earlier–Vassar, Mt. Holyoke, Smith, and Wellesley had been all been founded by 1878. Still, the major men’s colleges of the day entertained no thoughts of educating women. Harvard held annual entrance examinations for women in New York City, but they only told the women who took them whether they would have gotten into Harvard were they men. Abigail Leach changed all that, however, when she arrived on the doorstep of three Harvard professors—William W. Goodwin, James B. Greenough, and Francis J. Child—in 1878 and asked them to instruct her in Latin and Greek. The men were so impressed by her courage and persistence that they agreed. Soon they would be impressed by her intellect as well.

Also see Abby Leach vs. Grace Harriet Macurdy.

What’s on your blogging list today?

[originally posted at Let Them Listen; crossposted at Sky Dancing and Taylor Marsh]

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One Response

  1. Great compendium of reads! Thanks for the shout-out!

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