All aboard the mother ship

When I was in grade five, I wanted to be an FBI agent when I grew up. More specifically, I wanted to be Dana Scully.

She was my hero of heroes. Smart, witty, gorgeous, with the enviable talent of being able to chase down bad guys, or aliens, or fat sucking monsters wearing five inch high heels, traversing through the darkest parts, of the scariest nights, with nothing but the aid of an industrial strength flash light powered by what, if I had to wager a guess, was probably a car battery.

MONSTER.

The lady was not to be trifled with.

In my memory, The X-Files was the show to end all shows. Episodes varied on a scale from creepy to downright terrifying (with a few comedic gems thrown in to keep viewers on their toes); it had great writing and fab acting; the cast was chock-a-block full of beautiful people, and the main characters exuded enough sexual tension that it was all you could do not to shout out “JUST DO IT ALREADY!” at your TV.

(Full disclosure: I wasn’t doing that when I was eleven years old. That came after years of watching Mulder and Scully cast smouldering glances from a distance, and you know – puberty.)

Now the show is available on Netflix and I find myself watching old episodes. It’s funny, remembering how hugely invested I was in the lives of the characters, how freaked out I would be when I went to bed on those Sunday evenings, post-show, and how I desperately wanted Mulder and Scully to hook up.

Seriously. I really, really wanted them to get together. I desperately wanted them admit how much they loved each other, and, ahem, get it on.

In the parlance of our times, I “shipped” them, as a couple.

Dana + Fox 4EVA

Unsure of the definition of “shipping?” An excellent definition can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shipping_%28fandom%29

I read a really hilarious article on the blog Jezebel about a week ago about television show “shippers” – and I found myself reminiscing about little old high school me – so content to pine away for the fictional love of two fictional people.

It’s a pretty common, not to mention wide-spread phenomenon; individuals ship pairings that range from the conventional, to the downright erm-we-should-probably-be-calling-the-men-in-the-white-coats-now-that-we’ve-crossed-this-line.

Different strokes for different folks and all that jazz I guess – but some of the crap out there is downright BIZARRE.

My first memory of shipping a couple is from the hilariously cheesy kids show Ghost Writer that aired on the Knowledge Network (here in Canada) from 1992-1995.

The plot revolved around a close-knit group of friends that lived in Brooklyn, NY. These young detectives solved crimes with the help of an invisible ghost that would give them clues by re-arranging letters on posters, or notebooks, or menus (or whatever.) The premise was beyond hokey, which for us darned kids meant it was epic in the extreme.

Dana Scully may have made me want to become an FBI agent (crushing blow that it was to find out that there would be a snowball’s chance in hell, what with me being Canadian) but this show (along with Penny from Inspector Gadget, Nancy Drew, and Harriet the Spy) definitely planted the crime solving seed.

I’m also pretty sure  that the ridiculously chaste kiss shared between Alex and Tina was the first public display of affection I witnessed on the old boob tube, and I LOVED them as a couple.

LOVED. THEM.

After ye old implosion of quality X-Files programming post-fifth season (circa 1998 – coinciding with the series’ move to LA) I continued to watch for a while but eventually lost interest, in both the plot and the relationship between the two main characters.

For many moons I didn’t yearn for the development of a TV relationship. I didn’t watch much television for pretty much the next decade (M and I were on a pretty strict movie-only diet in terms of watching things on screens.)

I was ship-less and fancy free.

It wasn’t until a friend of M’s and I gave us the first three seasons of Battlestar Gallactica that it began again (and in earnest at that.)

P.S. Box sets are pretty much the greatest gift you could ever give to someone trying to finish their first semester as a grad student! (Between BSG and entirety of The Wire Mr. M ordered over Amazon, it’s a bloody miracle I finished all of my term papers, let alone made it to any of my classes.)

Anywho, the couple that I am about to admit to shipping (and shipping like a madwoman at that) always made (and still makes) me feel a little weird, or at least gives me pause.

Okay.

The slow-developed (and ultimately heartbreaking) relationship between William Adama and Laura Roslin nearly well did me in during the year or so I spent watching that show.

GOOD GRIEF. The love. THE LOVE!!!

I felt like I was going crazy at certain parts of the show’s run, what with how badly I wanted them to get married and live happily ever after. (A lot of this probably had to do with the fact that I couldn’t stand the majority of the characters on the show, wasn’t all that connected to the plot line, and didn’t really care whether or not the cylons wiped out the entirety of the human race, and crowned Lucy Lawless the Warrior Queen of the galaxy.)

I watched the show, because I really, really loved the connection between the Admiral and the President. And I also wanted them to, ahem, get it on.

(I’m not a pervert I swear.)

Plus I have this weird thing for Edward James Olmos, despite the fact that he’s about six hundred and ninety two.  (Still not a pervert, I promise you.)

He’s just got such an awesome voice.

Right.

Moving on.

Currently, the couple that puts a giant, stupid smile on my face is Leslie Knope and Ben Wyatt from Parks and Recreation. This is (in my opinion) the best show on TV at the moment, and these two characters are both bloody hilarious, but also honest, sincere, and adorable in terms of their love for, and commitment to one another.

Love it.

Love love.

Also, TREAT YO SELF.

Skinamarinky, dinky, dink, skinamarinky doo -

So why do we ship? Why do I ship? I think it depends on what was going on with me during that time of my life when I found myself attracted to the (thought of) these relationships.

I think a part of it stems from something – whether it is a characteristic, or a situation – that I identify with; something about the relationship is representative of me, or my relationships, in some way: be it something I yearn for, have, take strength from, or heck, maybe even shy away from.

So what about you, my lovely readers?

Are there any couples that you love, or that you tear your hair out wishing they would get together?

And if you do, what is it about that relationship that speaks to you?

Besides of course, watching them, ahem, get it on.

Give cheese a chance

So on Monday I wrote about a few things that I have tried to bring into my life, that despite my most valiant efforts, remain firmly entrenched in the lonely city of No Way Jose, and far away from my day-to-day routine.

(Simply put, I cannot like them no matter how hard I try.)

La belle Suisse!

In response to said post, I received a pretty hilarious phone call from my father-in-law, who (being Swiss) was pretty darn unimpressed to read about my general (and enduring) distaste for soft cheeses.

“Argh!” He exclaimed. “I was so disappointed reading your last blog post. I cannot believe you don’t like soft cheese.”

“Don’t give me too much grief!” I responded. “I already know that people are judging me!”

“Well it’s obvious you’re just not eating the right kinds of soft cheeses…” he trailed off. “And that is just going to have to change!”

I sensed there to be plan a foot. (Seriously I could practically hear the cogs and wheels in his head turning at break neck speed – although not said aloud, it was pretty apparent that reading my words had awoken some kind of nationalistic need to bring me over to the dark side, dairy-wise.)

E (or Darth Gruyere as I have come to know him) is a man who really knows, and really loves his cheeses. I’m pretty sure at any given time, you could open his fridge and find at (the very least) four different kinds of cheese (and that’s not even counting those so-called “soy cheeses”) two of which would without a doubt originate in the motherland, or you know – Switzerland.

Add to the mix a good loaf of bread, some landjäger, and some Lindt chocolate for dessert, ship him off to a cabin in the alps, where he could hike and canoe at his leisure, and well, I’m not sure he’d need anything else for the rest of his days.

(On second thought I’m pretty sure he’d want to include the components for a rocking good salad, to the above mentioned foodstuffs. Because as awesome as I imagine a life-long supply of bread, cheese, and meat could be, one would eventually require some roughage – would they not? Plus he makes a darn good vinaigrette. Also, my mother-in-law is pretty much head constable of the vegetable police and wouldn’t like the idea of spending forever sans garden candy.)

Seriously, no she wouldn’t like that one bit.

For reals. If you run into her, ask her about GOMBS – it’ll give you super-immunity and phenomenal badminton skills.

Anywho, on the topic of cheese, last night Mr. M and I had a fabulous fondue, made from raclette, white wine, a touch of brandy, nutmeg and a pinch of salt.

NOMNOMNOM

We dipped fresh French bread and pink lady apples into this sweet, smooth, melted madness – it was decadent and filling in the extreme.

After dinner we watched Canada’s Handyman (or woman, or woman) Challenge and completed New York Times’ crosswords; ate heart cookies and lemon bars; drank tea and enjoyed the fire.

Nymeria chose to contemplate her life, staring intensely into the flickering flames. Either she’s finally figured out a way to take over the world, or she’s solved cold fusion.

Same thing as I do every night Pinky...

I’ll keep you posted.

Between the food, the fire, and our funny, funny conversations I was pretty much knocked off my feet by 9:30. It makes me laugh to think of a Valentine’s when you cannot even keep your eyes open past ten o’clock at night – next year I’ll ask for one of those walk-in bathtubs.

Nothing says romance like sitting in your private, old-lady baignoire waiting for your water to drain so you don’t flood the entire floor.

If the ins and outs of plumbing, or just bathroom apparatuses in general aren’t your bag, here are my four of my favourite movies about “love” (this word can be interpreted in many different ways) that are hilarious, moving, and overall brilliant.

1. Rushmore

“Maybe I’m spending too much of my time starting up clubs and putting on plays. I should probably be trying harder to score chicks.”

2. Forgetting Sarah Marshall

“Dwayne told me. Chuck told me. Even Rachel told me. I heard about it from everybody. You gotta stop talking about it. It’s like “the Sopranos.” It’s *over*. Find a new show.”

3.Four Weddings and Funeral

“A toast before we go into battle. True love. In whatever shape or form it may come. May we all in our dotage be proud to say, “I was adored once too.”

4. Annie Hall

“A relationship, I think, is like a shark. You know? It has to constantly move forward or it dies. And I think what we got on our hands is a dead shark.”

So what about you folks? What movies make you laugh, at love, or otherwise?

Or more importantly, what cheese, amongst other rations would you need to survive a lifetime living in the wilds of the Matterhorn?

Five things I just don’t get

There are some things that just don’t work for me, no matter how hard I try.

I’ve written here before about how I worked (hard, mind you) for the last eight years to bring Radiohead into my life, but to no avail.

Seriously, as much as I love this video of Thom Yorke dancing to Single Ladies, I just cannot for the life of me accept the majesty (or whatever adjective you believe best sums up their brilliance or transcendence) of their music in my life.

 

We are like oil and water.

So without further ado, here are five things I just don’t get.

1.)  Beer. Seriously. For the life of me, I cannot do it and do not understand how anyone could enjoy drinking it.

I miss me a two pound glass of wine every so often.

Like Radiohead, I made a valiant effort to make it a part of my life, particularly during the early years of my undergrad. It seemed like every post-class pub gathering-cum-night out inevitably meant a (seemingly) unlimited supply of amber coloured, frothy, frosty, pitchers of ale – I figured if I was going to survive in these social situations I better learn to enjoy it.

However it seemed as though the more effort I made, the more it did nothing for me, save give me brutal cases of the “urgh-I-can-taste-what-I-ate-for-dinner-last-night-burps” and then make me need to use the loo every twenty minutes or so, after I (begrudgingly) found my way to the bottom of my first glass.

Not cool man. This aversion to malt, barley, and hops (the much less successful Simon and Garfunkle follow-up to Scarborough Fair) made me feel like a giant square (and I got to relive this shame over again, and ten-fold worse at that, when Mr. M and I lived in Jolly Ole England. Bah.)

What I wouldn’t have done to just once have had comrade in arms to turn to me and say, “Hey – anyone want to order the cheapest bottle of wine on the menu and split it me?”

Why yes. Yes good sire, I do.

2.)  Peep toe boots.

SERIOUSLY?

I don’t understand. I don’t understand how this makes any sense, to anyone, ever.

NO.

WHO BUYS THIS CRAP? And why? How do they think it looks good? WHY do they think it looks good?

How do they think it could ever possibly be practical?

This for me is like, that craziest, weirdest, most inane fashion trend ever.

It’s winter. It’s freezing. What the heck are you doing wearing shoes that have holes in them? I almost feel as though the fashion industry is trolling the entire female population of the world to see how far they can actually push the sanity envelope before the shoe (har har, no pun intended) drops, and people start to call shenanigans.

(Or at least, I hope this is the case.)

Plus it just looks FRICKEN bonkers.

Writing this out I feel as though Otto, from A Fish Called Wanda would agree with me:

 

3.)  Cricket.

What. The. Heck.

I don’t actually know if anyone truly understands this sport.

For colonial inspired athletics, I’ll stick to rugby.

I'll take it!

4.)  Soft cheeses.

Brie. Camembert. Blue. Roquefort.  No. No. No. NO.

Swiss raclette - the antithesis of snot cheese.

For many years cheese (of any kind) played zero part in my life. I didn’t eat it on anything (including pizza – for real, I would order pizza sans cheese because I disliked it so much.)

Slowly but surely I came to see the error of my ways (falling in love with a Swiss mister certainly had something to do with my transformation) but to this day I cannot do any soft, rindy cheeses.

They seriously slay me.

They make me feel as though I am eating feet flavoured snot.

And no amount of shaming (I know what you’re thinking! Stop looking at me!) will change that.

Urgh.

5.)  The English Royal Family. I do not for the life of me understand the fascination with royalty, particularly the obsession of those who live outside of the United Kingdom.

Sure, I get why those inside the UK may like them – it’s a way to cling to an antiquated representation of the power their country once had on an the international stage.

Okay, I know that sounds super harsh, and I’m sorry. (But, it’s true.)

But for people who live either in the commonwealth, or (even more baffling) those who don’t (particular in countries that were exploited, subjugated, and brutalized by the Brits) to actively support an institution that symbolizes imperialism, hierarchy, racism, classism, and well, general intolerance – the mind boggles.

If I need to take the queen – I’ll take her as a member of Kids in the Hall:

 

BONUS:

6.)  Gene Wolfe. Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure no one else gets him either though.

So folks, I’ll pass the question on to you: What can you not get, no matter how hard you try? Please share (but I’ll take wine if you’re buying.)

Lover of the Russian Queen

Holy Toledo.

I honestly cannot believe how crazy this week has been. I thought because I had taken Monday off, the days would magically fly by, and what a far flung fantasy that turned out to be!

Waking up today I was feeling more Forrest Gump, (post-multiple cross country runs) than Flash Gordon:

This morning, as has been the case for the past few days, as soon as our alarm went off, Nymeria announced her arrival in the bedroom by jumping up on the bed, and slathering us with her kitty kisses (and not to mention some very enthusiastic whisker rubs/headbutts.)

Also, our little gal purrs like the mother of all trains. Believe you me – the dream of a few extra minutes of glorious shut eye is resoundingly destroyed what with this fur monster-cum-locomotive, luxuriating next to your ear.

One day I will expire from cuteness overload.

It’s a good thing I’m madly in love with her.

When I dream tonight, I’ll dream of this:

"BED AND BREAKFAST"

The lobby of our “bed and breakfast” looks as though a bomb had gone off only minutes prior to our arrival.  Plaster crumbles off of the walls and coats the exposed concrete floor.  Someone has been painting, but it seems that they have left halfway through the job.  Perhaps to buy more cigarettes, judging from the healthy number of butts that litter the floor.  They have also left their paint splattered socks and a coffee mug half full of coagulated brew.  A stench of ammonia hangs in the air.

We climb the stairs of a building that was built over one hundred years ago, and is only now undergoing cosmetic upgrades.  Our guides from the university tell us that all the structural work was completed after the implosion of the Soviet Union.

Due to the state of the place, I can’t help suspect that Nikolai and Gleb are not really here to help us to rooms, but instead to kill us and make off with our identification and luggage.  The door we stop at looks like the entrance to a bank safe I have seen in every action movie I have ever watched.

Nikolai turns to us as says, “By the way, don’t really expect breakfast.  Bed you can rely on, but I’m pretty sure that sign is lost in translation.”

Right, I nod.

Also, he turns his face closer to mine.  “Did you bring bathroom paper?”

I did, I say.  One roll.

“Every restaurant you go to, get more,” he says.

One morning, during the second week of my trip, Aimee, a young teacher from California asks me if I would like to accompany her to the banya.

Vodka. Nuff said.

We don’t have a workshop to attend and because I have six new mosquito bites and can already smell the alcohol seeping out of my skin, I say yes.  I haven’t exercised once since arriving in St. Petersburg and I figure if I can’t go for a run, I might as well sit in a sweltering sauna and sweat the booze out.

On the walk to the spa, I buy an apple blini.

The building is old, but neat looking with a carved wood banister and great frosted windows.  At the front office we purchase our dried birch branches, cardboard sandals and scratchy luffa sponges.  A young woman with heavy shadowed eyes tells us that level four is the woman’s area.

As we ascend the staircase, we pass numerous elderly men, sprawled out on small benches, with miniscule towels clumsily strewn across their genitals.  Though most look as though they are asleep, we catch many of them eyeing us and we pass by.

Once we enter the woman’s only area, we are greeted by a petite lady, with bleached-blond hair, who sits behind a cluttered desk painting her nails.  She asks us if we are excited for the sauna and when we tell her yes, she expresses delight over the fact that we have chosen her place for our first time.  She hands us each a long, white sheet and a scratchy burlap hat.

Supposedly we are supposed to wear these once inside the sauna; it is a uniform that will protect us against the heat of the room.

(It doesn’t.)

Disregard whatever anyone has ever told you about Russian saunas.  Russian saunas are HOT.

Hotter than hot.

It is a hot that screams, and bites and slaps and stings.   It gets into your mouth, burns down your legs and punches you in the face.  And it is unrelenting.  It is so hot that you can’t just take off your clothes and walk right into one.

I often found myself going to my happy place (aka this picture)

You have to prepare.

This is done by travelling back and forth between the two smaller saunas, located in a different area of the spa.  There is a “dry” sauna (supposedly cooler than the “real” sauna) and a “wet” sauna where you immerse yourself in a warm, slick fog that vaguely smells of freshly-picked lavender.  The contrast between the arid and moist should raise your core temperature to certain degree – that way you won’t immediately expire upon making contact with the debilitating and searing broil that is the banya.

(It doesn’t.)

The sheet that I was given at the front (supposedly to wrap around my body) soaks completely within seconds of my entrance into the “dry” sauna.  I give up and take it off.

I also notice that no one else is wearing the burlap hat I was given. I was told that it works well to keep the body’s core temperature low, but I just feel the Western fool sitting around in a scratchy Gilligan-inspired cap.

We soak our birch branches is a bucket of hot water so they don’t cut us when we start to flagellate each other.  (Flagellate truly being the operative word.)

Finally, we feel as though we are ready to enter the real sauna.  As soon as I walk in, I realize that no one is truly ever ready.

No one.

Okay, so this isn't the woman who beat me up, but they look very similar.

I am then accosted by a seventy-eight year old babushka (I know this because it was the only thing I could actually understand coming out of her mouth was her age) who announces that as it is her birthday, (or at least that is what I think she was saying) and that it is her responsibility to exfoliate my skin with not only my branches, but hers as well.  She flings me down onto a wooden bench with the ease of a man fifty years her junior.

I cry out in pain because the wood is so hot it is literally burning my skin – my most sensitive parts feel as though they are about to pack it in and leave for a less harsh climate.  For the next five minutes (though it seems like five years) I am thwacked from head to toe on both of sides of my body.

Finally, she stops.  “Okay!” she barks.  “Get up and you do your front!”

At first I don’t understand, but she soon rectifies my misunderstanding with a good hard swat across my chest.

Do your front!  She admonishes me.  Do it!

So I do.  I do my front.  I stand there, in the sweltering heat, self-flagellating with a dried birch branch.

My entire body feels as though it is one big blister.

Okay, enough, my drill instructor barks.  Out, out!  She shoos me out of the sauna and into a shower stall.  This may be a little hot, another woman tells me, before they turn on the faucet.  Out pours water fit for a teapot.

One minute, they tell me.  I begin to picture how my death will be transcribed back in Canada.  “Canadian women steamed in Russian bath. Death ruled non-suspicious due to stupid hat.”

Two days later, out at Peterhof, still looking for my sanity.

Just as I reach the point of no return, the water is turned off and I’m shleped across to the room to a whirlpool filled with ice cold water.

“Jump” I’m told.

I do.

As my feverish body makes contact with the frigid expanse of the pool something becomes crystal clear. I suddenly realize why Russian women live so long.

They are made of steel.

Baptized in this fire, they are made of steel.

Between a rock and a hard place

Hey friends –

Does anyone have some extra coffee beans to share? I’m feeling lethargic as all get out, and the idea of round-the-clock java is becoming more and more appealing each time I blink (because for serious, the levers on my eyelids don’t seem to be working at the efficiency I am used to around here. Can I also get some WD-40, stat?)

For the past week I’ve been running myself ragged at the gym, (DAMN YOU TEAM AMERICA! Your inspiration will be the death of me!) pretty much to the point that I am almost too exhausted to sleep at night .

I know, I know – this sounds absolutely absurd, but it’s true. As of late I am having a heck of a hard time getting (at the very least) an uninterrupted six hours of sleep. Add this to the fact that we had a full moon last night and well, it’s a feat and a half that I actually managed to catch a dozen winks (let alone forty.)

Walking to transit today my mind was in a bit of a fog. Standing on the platform, I felt like a living statue, hard-rooted to the structure of the station, the tracks, the rails – waiting for a ride I couldn’t possible ever take, bolted in place.

I wish I could say that this meditative mood had lasted the entire ride into work.

Seeing this I though 1.) Man, Nashville`s uniforms are pretty ugly...2) Wait, - this article is about what!?

This, alas, wasn’t the case. In truth, I was blasted from “blasé” to “blazing” in two seconds flat, from the minute I sat down and unfolded my Metro newspaper and saw this:

Now, in case you cannot read anything beyond the headline (due to the overall crap quality of my phone’s camera) it must be pointed out that, unfortunately, this is not an article covering the dynastic civil wars for the throne of England that were fought betwixt 1455-1485 by two rival branches of the royal House of Plantagenet (whose heraldic symbols were the “red” and the “white” rose, respectively).

I mean, it’s totally easy to see how one would jump to this conclusion, right? Because in truth, what else could the author possibly be referring to?

Sometimes, my naiveté astounds me.

So it would seem as though Canada is finally making that last fateful leap into the twenty-first century (or you know, fully endorsing the complete – moral and otherwise – bankruptcy of humanity) by getting it’s very own edition of The Bachelor.

Ugh.  Just typing those words makes me feel like I need to go barf in someone’s shoes.

Now, it’s no stranger to those who read this blog that I am a pretty big (self-fashioned) champion of women’s rights, both here in my native land, and across the globe.

That I live in a patriarchy is a truth – that I refuse to be silent about it, is another.

To me, there is pretty much nothing as blatantly anti-women as this shit-stain of a show.

This is how I look at it:

Let’s take a notion, one that is not only incredibly antiquated and destructive, but also pervasive, accepted, and continually propagated: that a women should find love, at whatever the cost, whether it be through public humiliation, or violence against others, or by fulfilling degrading and infantilizing stereotypes – because sweet mother of pearl, the fleeting, scripted affection of some third-rate sports start/actor/steel conglomerate tycoon is better than nothing, AM I RITE LADEEZ?

Let’s take this notion, exploit it, profit hugely off of it, and then make it seem as though we were doing the contestants a favour, because they’re all just back-stabbing, fame-whoring, ditzes, who were probably on the path to Nowheresville, AM I RITE VIEWING PUBLIC?

See, this is what really kills me about the whole situation. Either way, you’ve roped women into coming on the show because either 1.) social pressure has led them to believe that because they are of X age and single, they are fated to a life worse than death-by-trash-compactor (à la Star Wars) because they have yet to find and secure a partner, so in order to stave off said horrifying fate, they find themselves willing to do anything or 2.) we’ve created this horrifying counter culture where people love to watch individuals (both men and women) who equal parts fascinate and repulse them. Random Dick and Jane’s are catapulted into super-stardom for acting like amoral idiots, careening around our televisions with their private parts, vomit streaks, and prowess for poor decision making on display for all the world to see (or laugh and point at) – to the point where people are willing to sign up for these shows because they know it will make them famous.

This says nothing to the fact that the crazier they act, the more famous they will become, up until their saturation of trash media becomes complete, and then the backlash will begin, and a collective amnesia will fall upon the masses and no one will be able to remember why they even liked them in the first place, which will serendipitously take place around the start of the next season of America’s Next Top Bottom Feeder.

And so the cycle continues.

The second part of what kills me about this show, is knowing that the reason they keep coming back (seriously, it’s like Jason bloody Voorhees somehow managed to reincarnate himself into a TV program here) is that women watch it.

And they watch it in droves.

The fact that this is a successful, long-running show because of its popularity amongst women kills me.

Why does the degradation of others give us such personal satisfaction? Is it because when we construct the perfect other, it gives us a pass from objectively looking at ourselves? Is because giving in, or even becoming a part of the problem, is so much easier than working towards an attainable solution?

Like I said up-thread, I am a champion for my sex through and through and my belief that these shows are poison to the advancement of our cause, in no way changes this –  it just adds a new layer, or dimension to the situation.

In all honesty, it makes me feel like a bad feminist.

How do I fight for autonomy and choice, while at the same time, stomp around lambasting both the women who go on these shows, and the women who watch them?

I suppose at the root of it, I just really wish that we lived in a world where these misogynist cultural memes didn’t exist, let alone thrive.

This ad was also on skytrain with me today. It sums up pretty well how this whole thing makes me feel.

Then no one would be involved and I wouldn’t feel so overwhelmingly conflicted.

Further, this phenomena makes me questions other elements of our society – how damaging are these types of programs for men? And what kind of screwed up social expectations geared towards males do they highlight? What kind of lessons are we teaching, promoting and reinforcing that are damaging to the entire human population?

These shows are brutal, bar none hands down for everyone involved.

Seriously, it only reinforces my belief that we need to drop the ideas of raising “good girls” and “good boys.”

We need start working on raising “good human beings,” period.

Come my one hundred and tenth birthday, I don’t want to be lying in the comfort of my deluxe iron lung, watching a woman’s heart break in half, because some cyborg cosmetic dentist dumped her in front of twenty billion people (and taking into account what I imagine will be people’s thirst for brutality, she’ll probably be literally dumped into a pit of starving lions, or anacondas, or fox news correspondents – what have you.)

And believe you me folks, there’s not enough coffee in the world for that.