June 2007


Mika Brzezinski’s stand on MSNBC this morning was, staged or not, fabulous. But what bothers me is something that I haven’t seen pointed out yet. It’s the fact that the men keep baiting her. I don’t care if this is all pre-scripted–they talk over her and under her and tease her for having some sense of real journalism, and that is just Not Cool. Clearly, since she’s a woman, her opinions about her job aren’t nearly as important as what makes good telly.

Though what should I expect from Joe Scarborough? Not much, that I know.

Paris Hilton is a lame excuse even for a celebrity. She doesn’t have a talent (at least Spears and Lohan are stage performers), she doesn’t have anything particularly important to say, from all reports, and she doesn’t do anything except go to parties and spend her father’s money. And drive on a suspended license, apparently. This whole thing proves that ‘no one is above the law’ is just a delusion we perpetuate.

Brzezinski is right. When there’s a war on that Americans are fighting in, and there’s conflict in our government about it, and the Prime Minster of the UK is spending his last day in office…some socialite getting out of a very short jail stay? Does not deserve to be the lead news story on anything that isn’t E!, and certainly not on an allegedly serious station like MSNBC, morning talk show or not.

From the look on Brzezinski’s face near the end, I don’t think this was entirely scripted. There’s definitely some real frustration there, and let’s hope this makes some waves. And that she doesn’t get fired, because then I will boycott NBC.

Which is a pity. I really like The Office.

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I’m an omnivore.

This is sad but true, really; I can’t seem to give up the meat.  Though the last time I did, I lost nine pounds, so maybe it’s a good plan for the moment, as I’d like to fit into some clothes I have again.

Anyway, last night we had some very delicious pork chops that came pre-marinated, and they were very good indeed, and between that and reading Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma last month, I have decided that there is really only so much one can do for animal rights.  Which, I think, was also the conclusion he came to.  I think.

What struck me was Pollan’s investigation into the organic food industry, and that unless you buy local and directly from the source, your organic free-range meat isn’t all that free-range at all…it has the option of going outside, but it doesn’t much, because to keep it organic and antibiotic-free, they have to limit its movements and external interaction.  Makes sense, but it’s also very sad.

So I suppose the other option is Give Up The Meat, but that’s harder than it sounds; for living in Wisconsin, my family eats relatively little and yet I still feel guilty about it.  So my conclusion is that this whole system is a mess and even though Pollan makes suggestions, I highly doubt America will be willing to take any of them until it’s too late.  This country doesn’t adapt well to change, even legislated change.  We’re far too used to claiming that we have rights, and those rights supersede everything else, even the common good.

…that’s why all us American Studies majors are a bit emotionally masochistic, I think.  It’s not a fun realization, but it’s one so interesting to us that it’s impossible to look away.

WisCon con report shall be forthcoming. I promise. I had a fantastic time and met some really fascinating and fun people, as well as did the fangirl thing and got several books signed. If I can make one quick comment, Go Read The Tiptree Winners. Particularly Half Life, by Shelley Jackson, which is surreal and funny and makes my American Studies student self smile. It’s very interstitial, in the sense that it isn’t science fiction of the strictest sense, but it’s in that not-real real that is magical realism.

Wow, that made less sense on the screen than it did in my head. Sorry. While you’re at it, might as well hit up the honor list for Mindscape, by my former prof Andrea Hairston. It’s really well-crafted and just…well, boggles the mind.

The weather here in Wisconsin has been terribly sporadic lately. My mother is of the opinion that Thou Shalt Not Start The AC Until Thou Art Miserable, and that’s a bit problematic in that turning on the oven or range makes the AC a slightly moot point. Not to mention that we try to keep energy down (less because of environmental concerns and more because of bills).

So it’s really been too hot to cook, except for the past day or so–it went from about 85 this weekend to 60 or so right now, and damp. In a way, though, it was really good timing, as I had promised to make something for a potluck this evening. Namely, the rum cake I had made before and that everyone had really enjoyed. Probably because it is rather booze-laden and we’re all in Wisconsin.

It’s also tremendously easy (and the recipe isn’t mine, it’s my aunt’s, incidentally). You basically make a yellow pudding cake with rum replacing half of the water, bake it in a Bundt or tube pan, cool and poke holes in it, then put this butter rum glaze over the top. The glaze…well, the rum’s not cooked with the glaze, partially for fire hazard reasons and partially because it’s better this way. I’ll have to let you know what the people thought, though last time they were very enthusiastic. If you want the exact recipe, drop me a comment.

Incidentally, while I’m talking pans and recommending books, the history of the Bundt pan is documented really well in Cookoff, by Amy Sutherland. The rest of the book is great too, and reads something like a Food Network special with even more human drama and behind the scenes. A whole world of competition that I only vaguely knew existed is some people’s life’s work.

By the way, I see from my stats that a lot of people read the feed.  Just curious as to how you’re getting here–drop me a line?