offbalance: (mrs. peel by antheia)
Anyone who knows me well knows that I'm not generally the type who enjoys starting trouble. But I will open my mouth if I feel it necessary. Today was one of those times.

I was walking home from a lovely brunch excursion with [livejournal.com profile] airspaniel when I noticed a couple hugging against a car at the corner of my street. Usually I ignore that kind of thing, but I heard the girl pleading and crying for him to stop and let her go. I looked, and her face was wet with tears. She was punching him, begging him to let her go, and he kept trying to kiss her. She kept punching and crying. At one point, he grabbed her up and was swinging her around like a sack of laundry, while she screamed and pleaded for him to let go and stop.

And I couldn't keep walking. I stopped, turned, and asked her if she was all right. If she needed me to call someone. Loudly, too.

At just that moment, a completely different guy walking buy started yelling at me that "This is the hood. Mind your business!" Several times. Like he was more upset that I dared to intervene on the girl's behalf than the fact that this guy was possibly hurting this girl. If that wasn't disgusting enough, the guy who had been torturing the poor girl on the corner started calling me a fucking bitch, and also that I should mind my business. I decided I had no other choice but to beat a hasty retreat, as I don't have Buffy's strength or Veronica Mars' taser. What I wanted to say was that I'd been living in Brooklyn longer than any of these teenagers had been alive and a girl in trouble is , in fact, my business, but I didn't. I didn't believe for one second my point would get across.

I was disgusted all the way back to my apartment. I don't regret speaking up for one second, and I only wish I could do more. How am I supposed to ignore something like that? Why should I turn a blind eye? How is that the way to do things? There were two older women down the block who'd been watching this girl and continued just standing there, watching. I don't understand how "staying out of it" is ever okay. I'm not suggesting some kind of police state where everyone informs on their neighbors for every wrong, but what I am suggesting is the type of world where pain does not go without notice, and problems are not ignored. I do everything I can to not turn a blind eye, without causing myself injury, of course. But I thoroughly reject a culture of "not your business" or "not your problem." It's why I regular write letters to all levels of the government for issues I deem important, and I'm not going to ignore a problem I see right before me. Sorry, asshole, but this is my neighborhood too, and this is absolutely my business.
offbalance: (mrs. peel by antheia)
Anyone who knows me well knows that I'm not generally the type who enjoys starting trouble. But I will open my mouth if I feel it necessary. Today was one of those times.

I was walking home from a lovely brunch excursion with [livejournal.com profile] airspaniel when I noticed a couple hugging against a car at the corner of my street. Usually I ignore that kind of thing, but I heard the girl pleading and crying for him to stop and let her go. I looked, and her face was wet with tears. She was punching him, begging him to let her go, and he kept trying to kiss her. She kept punching and crying. At one point, he grabbed her up and was swinging her around like a sack of laundry, while she screamed and pleaded for him to let go and stop.

And I couldn't keep walking. I stopped, turned, and asked her if she was all right. If she needed me to call someone. Loudly, too.

At just that moment, a completely different guy walking buy started yelling at me that "This is the hood. Mind your business!" Several times. Like he was more upset that I dared to intervene on the girl's behalf than the fact that this guy was possibly hurting this girl. If that wasn't disgusting enough, the guy who had been torturing the poor girl on the corner started calling me a fucking bitch, and also that I should mind my business. I decided I had no other choice but to beat a hasty retreat, as I don't have Buffy's strength or Veronica Mars' taser. What I wanted to say was that I'd been living in Brooklyn longer than any of these teenagers had been alive and a girl in trouble is , in fact, my business, but I didn't. I didn't believe for one second my point would get across.

I was disgusted all the way back to my apartment. I don't regret speaking up for one second, and I only wish I could do more. How am I supposed to ignore something like that? Why should I turn a blind eye? How is that the way to do things? There were two older women down the block who'd been watching this girl and continued just standing there, watching. I don't understand how "staying out of it" is ever okay. I'm not suggesting some kind of police state where everyone informs on their neighbors for every wrong, but what I am suggesting is the type of world where pain does not go without notice, and problems are not ignored. I do everything I can to not turn a blind eye, without causing myself injury, of course. But I thoroughly reject a culture of "not your business" or "not your problem." It's why I regular write letters to all levels of the government for issues I deem important, and I'm not going to ignore a problem I see right before me. Sorry, asshole, but this is my neighborhood too, and this is absolutely my business.
offbalance: (record)
Before I begin, let me just state for the record that Katy Perry's "music" makes my ears bleed. Her idiotic lyrics laid over beats that were better utilized by other artists (you know, ones with discernable talent) could almost make a person give up music all together. She is one of the worst artists pop music has to offer theses days (although time will tell if Kei$ha supplants her as the queen of crap).

This being said, I think the Beach Boys and Rondor Records have it all wrong.

First of all, there are many songs with the title of "California Girls" (most even spelled properly!). My personal favorite is by the Magnetic Fields, from their "Distortion" album. Perry's schlocky "anthem" was neither the first nor will be the last to celebrate the girls of the Golden State.

Secondly, I was in a store recently and subjected to Perry's version of the song. (I am loathe to call it such, but it works for illustrative purposes. ) It couldn't be further from the sunny anthem with perennial appeal written by the original California Boys. If anyone should sue, it's Kei$ha - it sounds like they ripped off one of HER songs. It's a generic pop beat, and one you can find on any decent synthesizer.

The claim by the record company is that Snoop Dog (who for reasons I can not fathom and can only blame on either the green you fold and put in your pocket or the kind or smoke) drops a verse at the end of this abomination that references the Beach Boys song. A single line of the song. Copyright infringement 101 - how MUCH you use is a factor. As Eric Cartman once said, "Dude, you are seriously reaching right now.". I hate the song, too, but I don't think they have a leg to stand on in court - this song doesn't sample large swaths of the original, nor does it share any of the same lyrics, save Snoop's reference to the earlier hit. And it's just that, a very scant reference. I've seen much heavier references before and don't recall any lawsuits (Soft Cell's "Tainted Love" comes to mind.)

And on a personal note? "California Girls" is probably my least favorite Beach Boys song (after the bafflingly stupid "Long Tall Texan", of course). I think it's among their weakest, both lyrically and musically. It pales next to "I Get Around," "Wouldn't It Be Nice," "Good Vibrations" and especially "God Only Knows," considered by many to be the very best song ever written/recorded.

I don't know if this is an attempt to raise awareness or revenue, but it's wrongheaded either way. And, Mike Love and Brian Wilson have both come out and said that they are against the lawsuit, so this is bound to get more interesting as it goes on.
offbalance: (record)
Before I begin, let me just state for the record that Katy Perry's "music" makes my ears bleed. Her idiotic lyrics laid over beats that were better utilized by other artists (you know, ones with discernable talent) could almost make a person give up music all together. She is one of the worst artists pop music has to offer theses days (although time will tell if Kei$ha supplants her as the queen of crap).

This being said, I think the Beach Boys and Rondor Records have it all wrong.

First of all, there are many songs with the title of "California Girls" (most even spelled properly!). My personal favorite is by the Magnetic Fields, from their "Distortion" album. Perry's schlocky "anthem" was neither the first nor will be the last to celebrate the girls of the Golden State.

Secondly, I was in a store recently and subjected to Perry's version of the song. (I am loathe to call it such, but it works for illustrative purposes. ) It couldn't be further from the sunny anthem with perennial appeal written by the original California Boys. If anyone should sue, it's Kei$ha - it sounds like they ripped off one of HER songs. It's a generic pop beat, and one you can find on any decent synthesizer.

The claim by the record company is that Snoop Dog (who for reasons I can not fathom and can only blame on either the green you fold and put in your pocket or the kind or smoke) drops a verse at the end of this abomination that references the Beach Boys song. A single line of the song. Copyright infringement 101 - how MUCH you use is a factor. As Eric Cartman once said, "Dude, you are seriously reaching right now.". I hate the song, too, but I don't think they have a leg to stand on in court - this song doesn't sample large swaths of the original, nor does it share any of the same lyrics, save Snoop's reference to the earlier hit. And it's just that, a very scant reference. I've seen much heavier references before and don't recall any lawsuits (Soft Cell's "Tainted Love" comes to mind.)

And on a personal note? "California Girls" is probably my least favorite Beach Boys song (after the bafflingly stupid "Long Tall Texan", of course). I think it's among their weakest, both lyrically and musically. It pales next to "I Get Around," "Wouldn't It Be Nice," "Good Vibrations" and especially "God Only Knows," considered by many to be the very best song ever written/recorded.

I don't know if this is an attempt to raise awareness or revenue, but it's wrongheaded either way. And, Mike Love and Brian Wilson have both come out and said that they are against the lawsuit, so this is bound to get more interesting as it goes on.

Raise this.

Jan. 8th, 2010 02:58 pm
offbalance: (big damn heroes by antheia)
I'm all for charity. I donate to many over the course of a year. Usually I'm a guaranteed sucker donater when friends hit me up because they're running/walking/pogo-sticking to protect endangered species/prevent cancer or stop brain clouds. I feel like these charity events work on two levels, and work well - not only do they raise money for good causes, they get people to pay attention to these causes. Usually because one is often reluctant to part with cash until they know exactly what they're donating to. So, money is raised, people are informed, there's cake, and everybody wins. Yay.

However, I'm a bit more dubious of the idea of the whole notion of "raising awareness" for its own sake. Sure, it's fine on its surface - you're explaining to people what something is and why it's good or bad. In my experience, it's generally bad, as "raising awareness" has been a cover for "I'm going to scold the living shit out of you" for many things. Or sometimes, it's even worse. Sometimes things are done in the name of "raising awareness" that make no sense whatsoever. The perpetrators claim that they're "raising awareness," but usually it's just an excuse for bad behavior and property destruction. For shock and awe. I'm sure you can think of a few organizations that are famous for this, but I'm leaving them off the table for now.

No, right now my annoyance crosshairs are firmly centered on the flabbergastingly dumb meme to circulate on facebook yesterday. In said meme, women were advised to post the color of their bras as their status (in place of such witty one-liners as, "Work is boring," or "I want a sandwich."). In doing this, they were told they'd be "raising awareness" for breast cancer. Some immediately complied. Many others (myself included) balked. Especially because one has nothing to do with the other. Worst of all, we were told to not tell TEH BOYZ, and make them guess what we were being all mysterious about. *facepalm*

A few issues:
1. How does it raise awareness if we don't tell anyone what we're doing? I understand that there are many out there who live their life like an eternal 6th-grade slumber party, frilly bedsheets and all, and if it makes them happy, more power to them. (Even though I am certain that was one of Dante's circles of hell in The Inferno.) If I've learned only one thing from being in a relationship with a real!live!person!, it's that you can only benefit from clearly communicating your problems, wants, needs, and/or desires so that the both of you can work on an effective solution together. It doesn't come from an article in a magazine or on the web of how to determine what your mate is thinking by the way they hold their beverage or contort their eyebrows. Similarly, announcing our bra colors to the world without telling anyone why won't really help anyone cure cancer. However: giving money to scientists is known to work - foundations to!

2. We're not talking about cancer, we're talking about bras. Announcing your bra color to raise awareness of breast cancer is like raising awareness about poaching by talking about your collection of Beanie Babies.

3. And, oh, by the way? MEN CAN GET BREAST CANCER TOO. Shocker. Even though their bewbs are not as spectacular as ours, they have the equipment and can therefore contract the disease. So how can not telling men about something that could have as much of an effect on them as it does on us accomplish anything whatsoever?

I have a lot of people on my f-list here that are tireless supporters of the cause, and something like this really takes away from how hard they bust their asses to raise staggering sums of money. If curing cancer was as easy as announcing your bra to the world, I'm sure [livejournal.com profile] laughingirl would have been perfectly happy to do so, go to brunch and about her weekend, rather than spend months busting her hump fundraising and days walking for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer events she's involved in every year. If Facebook had said to post that if you were in favor of stopping breast cancer, post this as your status with a link to make a donation to a worthy cause, that would have been entirely another matter. I would have done it! But post my bra color? Nope. Sorry. (for a worthy cause: click here)

Is breast cancer a problem? Hell yes. Has all of these walks and talks and pink kitchen-aid mixers brought attention, money, and energy to stopping a terrible disease? Yes. That's wonderful. I just worry sometimes about the way it's perceived and represented - people treat it like only women can get it, and it's the only disease that can kill us. (Although the "red" campaign people are getting the word out about heart disease). Women get all kinds of cancers, and they're just as deadly. I also wish all this "awareness" didn't have to be all cute and twee. Although the contrarian in me kind of wants to start raising awareness for colon cancer (which runs in my family) by wearing a brown ribbon and baking chocolate starfish cookies. Think that might work? We're more than aware of breast cancer. What we need to do is fight it through education, through science, and through medicine. Not through flashing strangers on the internet.

There's a great essay in Newsweek that also makes a great point: "what we need is not a context free reminder of the disease, but a cure, as well as some scientific clarity about how best to prevent the disease."

Raise this.

Jan. 8th, 2010 02:58 pm
offbalance: (big damn heroes by antheia)
I'm all for charity. I donate to many over the course of a year. Usually I'm a guaranteed sucker donater when friends hit me up because they're running/walking/pogo-sticking to protect endangered species/prevent cancer or stop brain clouds. I feel like these charity events work on two levels, and work well - not only do they raise money for good causes, they get people to pay attention to these causes. Usually because one is often reluctant to part with cash until they know exactly what they're donating to. So, money is raised, people are informed, there's cake, and everybody wins. Yay.

However, I'm a bit more dubious of the idea of the whole notion of "raising awareness" for its own sake. Sure, it's fine on its surface - you're explaining to people what something is and why it's good or bad. In my experience, it's generally bad, as "raising awareness" has been a cover for "I'm going to scold the living shit out of you" for many things. Or sometimes, it's even worse. Sometimes things are done in the name of "raising awareness" that make no sense whatsoever. The perpetrators claim that they're "raising awareness," but usually it's just an excuse for bad behavior and property destruction. For shock and awe. I'm sure you can think of a few organizations that are famous for this, but I'm leaving them off the table for now.

No, right now my annoyance crosshairs are firmly centered on the flabbergastingly dumb meme to circulate on facebook yesterday. In said meme, women were advised to post the color of their bras as their status (in place of such witty one-liners as, "Work is boring," or "I want a sandwich."). In doing this, they were told they'd be "raising awareness" for breast cancer. Some immediately complied. Many others (myself included) balked. Especially because one has nothing to do with the other. Worst of all, we were told to not tell TEH BOYZ, and make them guess what we were being all mysterious about. *facepalm*

A few issues:
1. How does it raise awareness if we don't tell anyone what we're doing? I understand that there are many out there who live their life like an eternal 6th-grade slumber party, frilly bedsheets and all, and if it makes them happy, more power to them. (Even though I am certain that was one of Dante's circles of hell in The Inferno.) If I've learned only one thing from being in a relationship with a real!live!person!, it's that you can only benefit from clearly communicating your problems, wants, needs, and/or desires so that the both of you can work on an effective solution together. It doesn't come from an article in a magazine or on the web of how to determine what your mate is thinking by the way they hold their beverage or contort their eyebrows. Similarly, announcing our bra colors to the world without telling anyone why won't really help anyone cure cancer. However: giving money to scientists is known to work - foundations to!

2. We're not talking about cancer, we're talking about bras. Announcing your bra color to raise awareness of breast cancer is like raising awareness about poaching by talking about your collection of Beanie Babies.

3. And, oh, by the way? MEN CAN GET BREAST CANCER TOO. Shocker. Even though their bewbs are not as spectacular as ours, they have the equipment and can therefore contract the disease. So how can not telling men about something that could have as much of an effect on them as it does on us accomplish anything whatsoever?

I have a lot of people on my f-list here that are tireless supporters of the cause, and something like this really takes away from how hard they bust their asses to raise staggering sums of money. If curing cancer was as easy as announcing your bra to the world, I'm sure [livejournal.com profile] laughingirl would have been perfectly happy to do so, go to brunch and about her weekend, rather than spend months busting her hump fundraising and days walking for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer events she's involved in every year. If Facebook had said to post that if you were in favor of stopping breast cancer, post this as your status with a link to make a donation to a worthy cause, that would have been entirely another matter. I would have done it! But post my bra color? Nope. Sorry. (for a worthy cause: click here)

Is breast cancer a problem? Hell yes. Has all of these walks and talks and pink kitchen-aid mixers brought attention, money, and energy to stopping a terrible disease? Yes. That's wonderful. I just worry sometimes about the way it's perceived and represented - people treat it like only women can get it, and it's the only disease that can kill us. (Although the "red" campaign people are getting the word out about heart disease). Women get all kinds of cancers, and they're just as deadly. I also wish all this "awareness" didn't have to be all cute and twee. Although the contrarian in me kind of wants to start raising awareness for colon cancer (which runs in my family) by wearing a brown ribbon and baking chocolate starfish cookies. Think that might work? We're more than aware of breast cancer. What we need to do is fight it through education, through science, and through medicine. Not through flashing strangers on the internet.

There's a great essay in Newsweek that also makes a great point: "what we need is not a context free reminder of the disease, but a cure, as well as some scientific clarity about how best to prevent the disease."

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