* Re-meeting someone I rode the bus with in middle school. We weren't friends back in the day, but we have so much in common now it's ridiculous. Like who in the bloody hell read Piers Anthony? Us, apparently.

* Eugene Hütz: Lead singer of the New York Gypsy Punk band Gogol Bordello and main character from the movie version of Everything is Illuminated. I am strangely and infinitly attracted to his character, Alex.

* Cereal.

* Anil Gupta Tattoos. Check out his portfolio. AMAZING. The miniatures blow minds. He costs upwards of $600 an hour...but looks totally worth it.

Dash Snow: 1981-2009  

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"The End Of Living The Beginning Of Survival", 2007.

I first posted about the wonderful mixed-media artist Dash Snow back in November of 2007. To my dismay, this second post is to note his death on July 13th, from a heroin overdose. How cliche and preventable.

I'm done with 2009. Dammit.

The New York Times article is here.

Lest we forget.  

Posted by Megan Moulos in ,

"Ask the man who repairs one, and he'll tell you to turn the freeze control back to normal after quick-freezing ice-cubes or ice cream. If you leave it on high, foods will freeze and you'll waste electric current." 1942. (AKA Mr. Cool As Ice) From the Office of War Information.

"Four dancing figures." Circa 1915.

"Frances Benjamin Johnston, self-portrait, dressed as a man with false mustache." Circa 1890.

New York City Fire Department circa 1909

Another Random Guy-that-Should-be-my-Boyfriend  

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Grisa 3 by jivotnoe.

Grisha & Confetti by jivotnoe.

Random Puppy-that-should-be-in-MY-hand.  

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Reading: The Handmaid's Tale  

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The Handmaid’s Tale
Margaret Atwood

Before I start, I’d like to say: I’m Pro-Choice, Anti-Fanaticism, and 100% for stem cell research…and I cannot understand why anyone would be otherwise. It's my body, I do what I want!

My recap here is almost as jumbled as the narrative of the novel. I’m writing this as it comes to me, or as I remember things. I know I am leaving out this and that, but whatevs, this is more for my personal use/memory than anything else.

This book was quite clearly feminist, although not entirely outlandish. Women’s bodies are property of the state, and commiting adultery with your government appointed concubine is law. It takes all of a sane person’s fears of radical Christianity and totalitarian governments to the extreme. It really questions the limits of what human beings are willing to accept or fight for.

The narrator, Offred, relates her story from inside the Republic of Gilead - an area of the former United States. Humans are becoming increasingly infertile from pollution and nuclear fallout, among other things. The plummeting birth rate and overall fear led to a “revolution” in America. The US was plunged into civil war after “terrorists” murdered the president and the entire Congress. A new dictatorial and insanely oppressive government ruled the new Republic, suspending the Constitution and effectively stripping women off all their rights.

“It was after the catastrophe, when they shot the president and machine-gunned the Congress and the army declared a state of emergency. They blamed it on the Islamic fanatics, at the time.
Keep calm, the said on television. Everything is under control.
I was stunned. Everyone was, I know that. It was hard to believe. The entire government, gone like that. How did they get in, how did it happen?”

In this new world order, only men are granted rights, and even then only those with status. Commanders with enough prestige are given personal, supposedly fertile, concubines known as Handmaids. Offred is a Handmaid, and as such is expected to sleep with the Commander (as the Commander’s Wife lays in bed during the action, holding down the Handmaid and making sure no pleasure occurs) in what is dubbed a Ceremony. Handmaids are worth only what their ovaries will produce and their wombs will carry. They aren’t even allowed to have their own names, they merely are Of-Fred or Of-Joe or Of (owned) by whichever male they have been assigned to. Handmaid’s such as our narrator wear huge cardinal red dresses which hide the body completely, and strange flying-nun hats which obscure their faces.

The adultery is justified as necessary to replenish the population, and the Bible is cited as reference:

“And when Rachel saw that she bare Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister; and said unto Jacob, Give me children, or else I die.

And Jacob’s anger was kindled against Rachel; and he said, Am I in God’s stead, who hath withheld from thee the fruit of the womb?

And she said, Behold my maid Bilhah, go in unto her; and she shall bear upon my knees, that I may also have children by her. –Genesis 30:1-3”

Other women are classified into sub-groups: Marthas, Aunts, Wives, and Econowives. Marthas do the cooking and cleaning, and are generally housekeepers. Aunts teach incoming Handmaids, much like nuns at Catholic schools. Wives are married to Commanders, and Econowives are married to poor men or those with no status. Every station has a uniform: Marthas wear only light green, Wives are always in blue; Econowives wear striped dressed which designate their status. Men, too, are classified and given specific duties and clothing. There are Angels who fight the resistance forces, Guardians, Commanders, and the Eyes, which act as the all-knowing KGB of Gilead. Everything is government issue, down to the phrases each station must use to greet each other. Although Commanders can breed and even have sex with prostitutes as they please, men with little or no status cannot speak to or stare at women in the street, or even have pockets (no adjusting/itching your junk, basically). Babies are divided between Unbabies or Shredders (those with birth defects, stillborn or with physical deformations that are taken and “made to disappear”) and Keepers.

There are also those outsiders: Unwomen (lesbians, unfertile women, widows, etc.), Gender Traitors (homosexuals), and Jezebels (whores and prostitutes who are used for legal pleasure by Commanders). The Unwomen and Traitors are murdered or exiled to perform hard labor until death.

Offred’s narrative is jumbled, jumping between present and her past before the war, when she had freedom and a family. She alludes to the idea that a drug has been used to keep her and the other Handmaid’s complacent, but it may just be that there were no other perceived options. She often muses on suicide and dreams of stealing knives, scissors, etc. Women are not allowed to read or write (I would lose it completely). Handmaids cannot smoke, drink, or indulge in any other imaginable pleasure. They are only alive to be baby-making machines, their sole purpose is to breed and stay quiet.

Humans are “protected” from every perceived vice (aside from those they can get on the black market) like pornography, smoking, and casual sex. There are some concessions given (to make the dictatorship tolerable). The Commander’s Wife, an ex-evangelist named Serena Joy, is allowed a garden, and she smokes and knits and watches television. The Commander has a stash of forbidden items including fashion magazines, books, and the game Scrabble. For all the power and supposed privilege the Commander wields, he strikes up a relationship with Offred to engage in conversation, get “kissed like it means something” and play Scrabble. This relationship is dangerous – it could mean death or exile for Offred – but is a glimmer of humanity.

Offred details the many rituals of handmaid life. The sanitary sex of a Ceremony, the insanity of a Handmaid birth, a Salvaging, the walk to the grocer, a doctor’s visit, and the hours of empty solitude. Entwined are stories of her “other life” with her husband and daughter, going to the Laundromat, wearing shorts in summer, making love, owning a car, having a job. Offred regains some liberties during the course of the novel: the Commander allows her to speak, read, and drink; she engages in a sexual affair with Nick, one of the Commander’s men; she befriends another Handmaid who is part of a resistance. All of this makes her life seem bearable.

Rape is a woman’s fault, for leading the man on. Abortion is a war crime. Handmaids murder a man with their bare hands who is convicted of some such crime.

It’s in the Bible, it’s all in the Bible. This covers any possible horrendous deed.

The epilogue of the novel is written from a fictitious academic conference about the “Gilead period” in which Offred lived. Researchers discovered 30 cassettes recorded by Offred after her escape from the Commander’s house.

Quotes and such:
"nolite te bastardes carborundorum" (Don’t let the bastards grind you down) Offred finds this quote scratched into a cupboard in her bedroom. She later discovers that it was made by a previous handmaid who committed suicide after engaging in a similar relationship with the Commander.

“We are a society dying, said Aunt Lydia, of too much choice.”

“Beside the main gateway there are six more bodies hanging, by the necks…The men wear white coats, like those worn by doctors or scientists…Each has a placard hung around his neck to show why he has been executed: a drawing of a human fetus. They were doctors, then, in the time before, when such things were legal. “

“There is no such thing as a sterile man anymore, not officially. There are only women who are fruitful and women who are barren, that’s the law.”

“I avoid looking down at my body, not so much because it’s shameful or immodest by because I don’t want to see it. I don’t want to look at something that determines me so completely.”
“I sit in the chair and think about the word chair. It can also mean the leader of a meeting. It can also mean a mode of execution. It is the first syllable in charity. It is the French word for flesh. None of these facts has any connection with the others.”

I just don't  

Posted by Megan Moulos in , ,

I don't care to be politically correct.
I don't care about your fucking religion.
I don't care how you feel about celebrities.
I don't care about tanning beds/slut materials.
I don't care how much money you made last night.
I don't care about your reality TV shows or your Hills.
I don't care if I'm a bitch, better than being a boring asshole.

Random Guy-that-Should-be-my-Boyfriend  

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Perpetually Awakening  

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Artwork: Memories of Amnesia by emla

((Article partially reblogged from Damn Interesting))

"I don't remember things," Henry explained to the unfamiliar female interviewer. She seemed very curious about how he spends a typical day, and about what he had eaten for breakfast, but his efforts to summon the information from his mind were fruitless. He could easily answer her questions regarding his childhood and early adult years, but the indefinite expanse of time since then was bereft of memories. In fact, from moment to moment Henry feels almost as though he has just awakened from a deep sleep, with the fleeting remnants of a dream always just beyond his grasp. Each experience, dull or dramatic, evaporates from his memory within a few dozen heartbeats and leaves no trace.

For over fifty years Henry has lived with anterograde amnesia, a form of profound memory loss which prevents new events from reaching his long-term memory. As a result his only memories are those he possessed prior to his amnesia, and the small window of moments immediately preceding the present.

The amnesia frequently depicted in fiction is a very rare retrograde variety known as dissociative fugue, where one's identity and all memories prior to the pivotal event are compromised. In contrast, anterograde amnesia does not deprive the sufferer of their identity, their past, or their skills; it merely prevents new memories from forming. As a consequence one's final memories are frozen in perpetuity, often accompanied by a constant sensation that one has just awoken from an "unconscious" state which filled the intervening time.

Henry's handicap is the unintended result of experimental brain surgery performed in 1953. In his late teens the highly intelligent student began to experience frequent grand mal seizures, characterized by loss of consciousness, muscle spasms, and rigidity. The frequency of these epileptic events increased to the point that he was stricken with spontaneous episodes of unconsciousness every few minutes. After exploring every other avenue known to contemporary medicine, Dr. William Scoville administered a radical resection of the man's medial temporal lobes in a desperate bid to reclaim some quality of life for young Henry. In that respect the experimental operation was a success– the patient's severe seizures were reduced dramatically after the operation– however the surgeon was distressed to discover that the removal of the hippocampi had stripped Henry of his ability to form new memories.

Continue reading here...

H.M. passed away in December of last year: H.M., an Unforgettable Amnesiac, Dies at 82 (NY Times)

I've been a lazy Blogger.  

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It's craptacularly hot out. It's been in the 90's for-ev-er.
In the past week or so I've:

  • Gotten a new (used) car...my 1997 Chevy Lumina pulls mad bitches. Thanks grandpa John! (and Nick for driving it down from Ohio so I could have it FO FREE)
  • Waited about an hour and a half to get Tags/Title/Registration at the tax collectors office. They have the worst system for ordering people about.
  • Went to the beach with the family :)
  • Ate delicious BBQ at Donna's annual 4th of July block party...oh man so fatty fat.
  • Went bowling with Ana (Titties Magee), Jade (Zookeeper), and Juan (Juan on Horses AKA Zorro)...(I was Titty Time)...lots of titties is basically what I'm saying. Did you know that the bowling alley bar has a vibrating massage chair? Now you do. And you're going to use it. $8 pitchers of bowling alley beers from a guy with a perfectly round body. LAMARING YOU and Hitler Jesus made an appearance in my car on the way to bobo Mcdonalds. They wouldn't give us milkshakes. WTF?
  • Don't you like my random bolding?
  • Finished reading The Princes of Ireland by Edward Rutherfurd. Nice, easy, before bed read if you're into historical fiction.
  • Played copius amounts of Wii.
What did you do?

I admire Michael Jackson's creativity in having his children artificially constructed out of white people

Here's some vid-re-oes:

This made me LOL THE HARDEST.

"I have destroyed the fry" hahahaha

What a cute mama.