March 2011

03.27.11

I admit that I haven't read much Dilbert, but maybe that's because, as a woman, it inspires so much emotion in me that I literally can't understand it.

Confused?

If you haven't heard, Scott Adams of Dilbert fame recently posted a rather controversial blog entry about "men's rights." The topic wasn't the problem as much as how he handled it, in that it came off as incredibly sexist, rude, and frankly disturbing. Let me highlight some things that were said:

First of all, he compares women asking for equal pay to children asking for candy for dinner or for not punching a mentally handicapped guy even if he punches you. No, you don't argue with a woman when she's only making 80 cents to your dollar, since, as he puts it, "it's the path of least resistance." Then of course, as a way to deflect criticism for the offensive things he just said, he concludes with:

"I realize I might take some heat for lumping women, children and the mentally handicapped in the same group. So I want to be perfectly clear. I'm not saying women are similar to either group. I'm saying that a man's best strategy for dealing with each group is disturbingly similar."

Sorry, Mr. Adams, but you don't get to say that you didn't lump women, children, and the mentally handicapped into the same group when you in fact did:

"The reality is that women are treated differently by society for exactly [emphasis mine] the same reason that children and the mentally handicapped are treated differently. It's just easier for everyone."

And rather than go on about the other condescending remarks he said about women, I would like to add that he doesn't treat his own sex that much better. He writes:

"How many times do we men suppress our natural instincts for sex and aggression just to get something better in the long run? It's called a strategy. Sometimes you sacrfice a pawn to nail the queen."

I'm glad to know that the only reason why men haven't been beating me over the head and raping me is their hope to "nail the queen" (whoever that is). Give your sex more credit than that, Mr. Adams, and don't assume that all men are actively and constantly fighting their caveman urges, which is apparently the case for you.

Obviously, there was an uproar over this blog entry, and rather than apologize, Mr. Adams responds to his post by showing up on a feminist website to tell them that not only are they too emotional to understand what he was saying, but that they also lack the reading comprehension skills of regular Dilbert readers:

"Is this an entire website dedicated to poor reading comprehension? I don't think one of you understood the writing. Your'e all hopping mad about your own misinterpretations.

That's the reason the original blog was pulled down. All writing is designed for specific readers. This piece was designed for regular readers of The Scott Adams blog. That group has an unusually high reading comprehension level.

In this case, the content of the piece inspires so much emotion in some readers that they literally can't understand it [...] This would be true of anyone, but regular readers of the Dilbert blog are pretty far along the bell curve toward rational thought, and relatively immune to emotional distortion."

If Mr. Adams is going to continue to stand by what he said in his initial blog entry, then he needs to develop a backbone (or grow a pair, as I'm sure he would say), put his original entry back on his site, and own his words. Seriously, Mr. Adams, if you don't have the courage to leave your original statements on your web site, it would seem to me that a small part of you knows that what you wrote was at least offensive or ill- expressed (maybe even wrong?) and that the people you offended deserve an apology from you.

As for me, I will continue to not read Dilbert... nor will I purchase humorous Dilbert mugs and cards for all of my friends and family stuck in cubicle hell. I am doing this because I'm almost 100% sure that Adams's syndicate and publishing companies (one of which I share with him) will not make him face any consequences to the terrible things he said, even though he shares the same newspaper pages and web space as his female colleagues. The comics industry is still predominately a man's world, after all, and Dilbert just makes too much money.

For a more thorough and better interpretation of Adams's blog, go to Comics Alliance.

For a mirror of the original blog post, click here.

For Scott Adams's response to the feminist blog, click here.

Jen

03.20.11

Happy Persian New Year! Today marks the first day of spring and the first day of the year in the Iranian calendar. The holiday has its roots in Ancient Iran, maybe going back to the Achaemenid Empire (2nd half of the 1st millennium BCE- think Persepolis and Darius!).

I hope New York City gets with the program and realizes that it's spring, and that it should definitely not snow later this week, which is what the my online weather report is telling me might happen. Even though it was a lovely day on Thursday and an even lovelier day on Friday (going up to the mid 70s), today and yesterday experienced temperatures dropping down to the 40s again. This is pretty messed up, New York. Why must you only give me 2 weeks of nice weather a year?

I suppose I should forgive you though, since you gave me the best weather I could have asked for on my wedding, which really should have been hot and muggy since it was the last week of August.

Anyway, Edouard and I decided that every time the weather is particularly superb, we're going to drop everything and go on a walking adventure (inspired by an epic walk I did last year with friends Kelly and Patrick). On Friday, Edouard and I walked from our apartment in the West Village down through Chinatown and Wall Street, across the Brooklyn Bridge, along the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, and then up to Borough Hall where we caught the train back home. It was a nice walk and we are currently planning our next one to Roosevelt Island.

Movies Watched While Inking!

I dedicated last week to terrible made for TV movies or movies that might as well have been made for TV. Every once in a while I like to abandon great, classic film making for absolute trash. This usually happens when I've been through a mental burn out with my scholarly pursuits.

I Take These Men: a wife wants to divorce her husband for being "too boring" after 15 years of marriage. Her fantasies about what it would be like to be with the various men who showed up at the surprise anniversary party that her husband threw for her (double burn), are amusing. It's classified as a Romantic Drama on Netflix, but it's really more of a dramedy (the comedy actually being intentional sometimes).

Intimate Strangers: a classic made for TV drama about domestic abuse that's been done a bazillion times, though slightly more interesting this time because it reveals how rape laws in the US were really sexist and backwards (just back in 1977!). Also interesting and more novel, is how the ending is somewhat more open ended. Even though the wife is pressing charges against her husband, it's not clear if she will forgive him once again in the future. "Don't do it!"

And Your Name is Jonah: a made for TV movie about a boy who was misdiagonsed as being mentally impaired (not sure what the latest PC word for that is) but is actually *hearing* imparied. The movie focuses on the struggles the boy has with understanding the world around him and the strain that this puts on his parents's marriage. Melodramatic with a hopeful, tearful ending.

Callie and Son: an epic made for TV melodrama on par with Princess Daisy. It's great because it spans a period of over 30 years, which is how a proper made for TV melodrama should be done. The themes: obsessive (s)mothering, unwed mothers, adoption, teenage runaways, political scandal, murder, courtroom drama, and tensions between daughter in law and mother- all set within a rags to riches Cinderella story, by the way. Recommended highly for maximum cheese. Michelle Pfeiffer is also in this- she was just starting her acting career, I believe.

Summer Lovers (Amours de Vacances)- an actual movie that went to theaters, starring Daryl Hannah. My friend, Allyson, lent me this DVD because like me, she has an appreciation for these terrible yet endearing films. This movie is basically about betrayal turned into a loving summer-time threesome in the Greek isles, which of course makes for a beautiful setting. It also boasts terrible dialogue and gratuitous amounts of nudity. I will also now have the song "I'm So Excited" by the Pointer Sisters stuck in my head for weeks. Surely, there were other songs from 1982 that they could have used?

Jen

03.13.11

The pictures and videos I've been seeing from Japan are absolutely terrifying. My friends living in Japan are definitely ok and I'm pretty sure that the relatives I have living there are quite far from the epicenter. I hope that if you have friends and family in Japan that you have heard from them as well. If you're looking or know any information about someone, please go to Google's Person Finder.

I can't imagine what people in Japan are experiencing right now. The Northridge quake, which was about 6.8 in mangitude, was one of the scariest moments of my life and I remember not being able to sleep right for weeks. Japan's earthquake is something like the 4th largest earthquake ever recorded, measuring about 8.9 on the Richter scale. My thoughts go out to Japan. If you're interested in donating to help the situation there, Yahoo provides several options.

On the brighter side of things, let me present to you the movies I've been watching while inking:

Opa!: An indie romantic comedy set in the Greek islands. I was intrigued by this movie because it's about an archaeologist that must decide between his career and love. I thought that maybe it would be revealing somehow (me being almost an archaeologist...), but why would it be? It's a formulaic rom con. The only redeeming quality about this movie is that it has a really gorgeous setting. In that respect it's very much like that movie Only You with Marisa Tomei and Robert Downey Jr. in which the best part is seeing Rome in the background. However, unlike Only You, I could not understand why the lively and lovely female lead would fall in love with such a stiff, ok looking, awkward, and uninteresting archaeologist. Seriously, it honestly made no sense and the lack of chemistry between the two characters, which should be the most important aspect of any romantic flick, makes Opa! fall flat.

Fat Head: A documentary in response to the film Supersize Me. Now don't get me wrong, I actually really enjoyed Supersize Me, but I did have some problems with its method and many of its premises. I hate that Supersize Me got everyone to villainize fast food (which I LOVE) for ultimately what I believe to be stupid reasons. Fat Head, while not perfect, essentially points out many of the same problems and insuffiencies that I felt Supersize Me had and presents a great alternative conclusion to the "fast food problem." I recommend it.

The Verdict: A movie about a washed up ambulance chasing attorney who gets a chance at redemption! I know that this film is supposed to be somewhat of a classic, but I felt it was very slow moving and hard to sit through. I also thought the ending was quite a stretch, and therefore unbelievable, though I think given the very depressing narrative, a happier ending was perhaps perceived as unavoidable.

That's it for now!

Jen

03.11.11

Sorry for not writing in so long. I've been busy with my fellow's talk (which went well) and job applications. I'll speak more on this later.

For now I want to remember Nibbles's memory. She was a good bunny, one of the sweetest I've ever known. I hope she knows that I still think of her.

I love you!

Jen