Author Archives: htg03

One Feminist Analysis of Gates Arrest on NPR

A woman called in a comment on the Gates incident to Talk of the Nation, read aloud by Neal Conan today, one of the most hilarious I’ve heard so far. After identifying herself as African American, the woman summed up her analysis of the Gates arrest in three words: “Too much testosterone.” Priceless.

htg03

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Food Inc.’s Blind Spot

I fixated on the carrera marble backsplash of Eric Scholsser’s kitchen throughout Food Inc., even though only a few scenes were shot in his kitchen. I sincerely admire the muckraking work of Fast Food Nation, and Scholsser changed how I eat, as did Michael Pollen’s Omnivore’s Dilemma. But as I intimated in another post, the elitism that marks the reception of their books– I believe I called this, inelegantly, the “whole fart smelling aspect of it”– puts me off. I don’t believe the books themselves necessarily lean in this elitist direction, but the uses of the book do. I liked aspects of Food Inc., as a film can capture image in a visceral way that is difficult for a book to replicate. I would challenge anyone to catch a glimpse of a typical Tyson chicken house and then eat a Tyson chicken. That is, if they can afford to make that choice. The central thrust of Food Inc is that real food costs more, and we should be willing to pay more. The people who can’t may more? I found that the film demurred on that point, and at moments, like in the trophy kitchen shots, appeared totally clueless. People with money telling everyday folks to spend more on food seems really nutty to me. And I found and still find myself hoping that future work aimed at challenging the food industry and consumption habits could show people how to alter their diets for the better while spending the same amount of money at the grocery store. At this point, it seems to me that a good batch of bean recipes would have a broader political impact than the entire film. If we aren’t coupling muckraking with viable solutions, what are we doing but talking to each other, and patting ourselves and our heritage pork on the back for it?

htg03

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An Odd Week for Gay Rights

To be sure it was an odd week for me: I got a sunburn taking pictures in San Francisco the day the Prop 8 ruling dropped—I don’t know why awful things happen so often on atypically beautiful days.

A Woman Holds her Wedding Photo

A Woman Holds her Wedding Photo

I spent the night in Fresno Saturday, after the Meet in the Middle March, to spend money at the gay friendly businesses there, and because I was so so hot after hours at the rally. The body of my camera was melting it was so hot.

Thousands attended the Meet in the Middle Rally in Fresno

Thousands attended the Meet in the Middle Rally in Fresno

At the March I apparently stood quite close to Charlize Theron, who I think is really neat, in the crowd of thousands, but did not realize it until I saw photos of her in the newspaper the next day.

A very happy child at the Meet in the Middle rally

A very happy child at the Meet in the Middle rally

It’s been an odder week for marriage rights: the lawyers who fought Bush v Gore on opposite sides are taking the case for same sex marriage to federal court, much to the chagrin of lawyers who have been fighting the case on a state-by-state basis to avoid a gay marriage decision from the Supreme Court.  Though hopefuls note that an equally conservative court struck down anti-sodomy laws in Texas v. Lawrence in 2003, other observers point to Scalia and Kennedy with an “enough said” kind of resignation.

Also, Dick Cheney reiterated his support for gay marriage before continuing on his neverending Go-oh-Torture! tour.

An odd week all around.

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Prop 8 ruling and Supreme Court Nominee on Same Day?

I was happy to hear that Obama has nominated Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, but I find it difficult to believe that his announcement of his choice today, the day that the California Supreme Court issued their Prop 8 ruling, was a coincidence.  Californians remember Obama’s tepid lack of endorsement for Prop 8 with bitterness, as it was so thin his position was used to encourage yes on 8 voters, and continues to be trotted out by homophobes, such as Miss California, as justification for their hateful views.  I didn’t see Obama field any questions about Prop 8 today, and presidential media attention seemed focused distinctly on Sotomayor, and her great story of uplift, Obama and his own wonderful story polished once again in Sotomayor’s reflected glow.  (Ah, how wonderfully just and democratic America is, if you work hard, and marry the oppoiste sex!).  But then again, I did spend most of the day taking pictures of same-sex couples weeping over their marriage licenses and interfaith clregy being arrested for civil disobedience, so I may have missed the questions about why Obama is such a PAMF on gay rights.

A Pro-Gay Rights Minister Offers Married Couple Comfort

A Pro-Gay Rights Minister Offers Married Couple Comfort

Interfaith Clergy Arrested at Prop 8 Protest

Interfaith Clergy Arrested at Prop 8 Protest

So I”l say it myself: I know you know better than to think that this is right, Barack Obama, and today I am ashamed that you are my president.

htg03

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Miss California Keeps Her Crown

Donald Trump, typically unintentionally hilarious at a press conference this morning, announced that this is the 21st century now, and Prejean is free to show her boobs. How forward thinking of him.

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Don’t be so prudish, people. Unless you are talking about gay sex. Then by all means, shrivel up into a small mean ball of hatred.

Prejean followed Trump, claiming that she was under fire for exercising her right to free speech.

Should we be surprised that she doesn’t know what free speech means? That it doesn’t mean that you can say whatever you want wherever you want with no consequences?

I guess they don’t teach with that level of nuance at the Orange County christian college she attends.  Though she seems to be well prepared to attend Regent Law School.

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Hungry Girl, Redux

I was fiddling through the shelves of the cooking section in a large bookstore that regularly sends me coupons, looking for cookbooks with calorie counts, when I came across the Hungry Girl phenomenon for the first time.

I am aware that this opening sentence is disturbingly revelatory, so I suppose I should just throw privacy to the winds now and come out with the whole story of why I set myself up to lay hands on a cookbook by a woman who calls herself girl, and has a cookbook of 200 recipes that are under 200 calories, which are made with ingredients like low-calorie tortillas and fat-free Velveeta.

For over a decade, I had an autoimmune disease that caused the lining of a particular part of my intestines to shred, which made eating anything other than bread painful. Then I had surgery in 2007, to take the shredded part out, which effectively cured the illness, for the time being anyway. In celebration, I ate and ate—anything from carrots to french fries, though I erred on the side of frits, washed down with beer: Belgian, preferably.

The results weren’t as bad as you might think, because I was also reveling in exercise after being basically bed-ridden for a few months. Still, I packed on a solid extra 15 pounds over the next year, and lost half by mostly skipping my newly beloved greased-up potatoes, then realized I would never lose the other half if I did not count and moderate my daily intake of calories for a few weeks (a diet, I believe this is typically called).

I have two great cookbooks with nutritional information (The Working Cook and The Whole Foods Cookbook). I wanted to buy a third, which I how I ended up in the bookstore, coupon and Velveeta-based cookbook in hand, horrified with myself, then horrified with my horror.

The only people I dislike more that the organic-food privileged people who populate the Bay Area and fust over which boxed cereal to feed their broods are the botoxed, unnaturally thin women of Los Angeles, who I imagine have processed cheese quesadilla delivered to their doorsteps on a regular basis. Was living in California for five years finally catching up with me?

I hate ideology, especially when it interferes so with basic pleasures: book browsing, cooking, eating, a body that finally works as it should.

Rather than buying a cookbook, I played around with a few recipes of my own, like Mark Bittman, a good New Yorker who thinks that a broiler is deserving of the name “kitchen appliance,” always says that you should. I came up with a few nice ones; here is my favorite:

Lazy Strawberry Parfait

Zest a lemon into a bowl; set aside. Slice 1 pint of strawberries and combine with the juice of 1/3 of the lemon, a tiny dash of vanilla, and a few tsp. of sugar in another bowl; set aside. Squeeze the rest of the lemon into the bowl with the zest, then add a small container (about 1.5 cups) of fresh ricotta and mix with 3 tbs. of sugar. Let the strawberries and the ricotta mixture sit for an hour, then divide the berry mixture into four bowls and top with the ricotta mix. Sprinkle each bowl with toasted almonds, crushed amaretti cookies, or both, and eat right away.

Take that, ideology.

htg

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Civil Unions for All: A Nifty Idea

I’ve long felt that the state should not be in the marriage business, and while this isn’t a likely change, it was a relief to see a proposition in California that seeks to get the state out of the marriage business.

Perhaps my relief was connected to the recent Supreme Court hearing on Prop 8, which demonstrated the shallowness of the court’s commitment to equal treatment under the law when it comes to gays and lesbians. Or perhaps the feeling stems from my dismay at seeing anti-8 lawyers struggle to justify their position on narrow legal grounds, and fail miserably. Surely I’m not the only one who thought that progress could not be best won by taking on the right on their terms, rather than advocating for the separation of church and state. Perhaps I’m oversimplifying, and I saw a sound legal argument that simply made no sense to me.

Still, I’m yearning for a little common sense to return to the discussion, a little clarity about what we are discussing: A legal contract. Nothing romantic about that, gay or straight. And certainly nothing sacred about this simple signing of papers.

Love is none of the state’s business, nor is God, but paper signing? Right where the power of the state is the clearest. It seems to me that this is the place to stake our claim, and I’m liking these two straight college students who stepped forward and staked.

htg03

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