August 31, 2010
this video via my Linguistics professor, Cynthia Bernstein.
pretty awesome- we speak the same language.
See this TED Talk too- amazing.
August 26, 2010
Ok, Bust Magazine, I thought you were totally selling out, but hey- this is pretty good. Thanks Emilie Branch in Feminizzle for finally shedding some light about how the word va-jay-jay entered the pop vernacular.
Don’t usually do this, but this is a str8 cut & paste:
No, not really—she’s a typical fixture in Cosmopolitan Magazine, and generally represents what the magazine stands for (like shopping, and being sexy). However, that didn’t stop the editors from writing the phrase “Untamed Va-jay-jays” around the area where her actual vagina should be. It’s definitely eye-catching if not because it’s offensive yet cutesy than because it’s visually so white and bold.
The “va-jay-jay” got its origin on a 2007 episode of “Grey’s Anatomy”(a medical drama) and was than picked up by Oprah. She adopted it into her lexicon, using it so often that gossip television started to make fun of it; there’s even a youtube va-jay-jay remix with over 24,000 hits. It was then featured on a 2008 cover of Cosmo featuring Rhianna, in which it was used to describe “your lovely lady parts”. In spite of this, the term “va-jay-jay” hasn’t made such an unapologetic appearance in the media for a while. Cue untamed Jess Alba.
The va-jay-jay story is about the new trends in pubic hair, ranging from the au natural to the vajazzled (rhinestones adorn the pubic triangle, like underwear that won’t come off). Jennifer Love Hewitt is a staunch vajazzler, and talked about it on “Lopez Tonight”; look at the shock and dismay on George Lopez’s face when she tells him she’s currently “vajazzled”. George Lopez looks a bit the way I did when I saw the mag on the newsstand and than realized what was going on inside its pages—but I think my mouth was a bit more agape the whole time.
Worse than the shock over this issue, are the questions. For instance, why aren’t American women viewed as mature enough to handle the word vagina? Would a men’s magazine ever refer to the penis as a pe-nay-nay (under a photo of George Clooney)? Are people generally offended by the word vagina, and what does that mean for women? Are we still supposed to mask our sex and be embarrassed of it? Why do women feel the need to vajazzle, and why is female pubic hair a matter of public discourse? Hmph!
Sorry, if that was all a bit too Liberal Arts school, but I figured these issues could be comfortably aired on BUST. Let us know what you think, so we can get to the bottom of the va-jay-jay debate.
August 26, 2010
August 23, 2010
Being a fan of Jim Jarmusch movies, I somehow got the romantic notion it would be “neat” to live in Memphis, Tennessee, ala his film ‘Mystery Train’. Memphis, home of good bbq, Elvis, Americana, what’s not to like, right?
Well- bugs: loud cicadas, mosquitos (unless you live in the rich zip codes that get sprayed – with no blood suckers even if there’s a huge swamp in the middle of your hood- ie. Chickasaw Gardens), fleas, bed bugs. Since Memphis is 99.9% super Christian, ala the Babble Belt, I think it’s best if they found out the plagues are upon them- lice (fleas/bed bugs), frogs (keep seeing them everywhere)- now I just need to borrow some of that red food coloring from the red velvet cakes to put in the river and we’re all set…
Did I mention there are bible verses running on the red digital display at the gas station? at the dry cleaners?
Did I mention that East Buntyn, the neighborhood is named after a slave trader who was upset that he lost The Civil War? and there’s a statue of Nathan Forrest, who helped start the KKK in the park over here in Memphis? Did I mention that public money goes to rich white people parks and public schools while the inner city kids get no grass and really bad schools?
The other reason I came here is because I got a full ride for a PhD program in Rhetoric & Communication at The University of Memphis. Here I am a week before school starts, having never taught during my master’s, and they want me to teach 3 sections of 25 kids each. They also want me to teach the stand alone class during a time slot in which they are trying to force me to take a particular class that no one wants to take. Therefore, there is a communication problem in this Communication department.
Three people from the same family from said university wrote a book that costs 90.00 each. The book is required for a class that is required of every single undergraduate that goes to said university. Said university offers 40 sections of said required class per semester. PhD students are required to teach these sections. Start doing some math. “Non-profit” academia is not what I thought it would be.
The only consolation has been hiding out in a huge apartment with huge windows, after a narrow escape from renting a house where the landlord made racial comments, insulted my mother’s health problems and wouldn’t compensate for the mold, lead paint, and vermin that were our roommates. Don’t worry, we shelled out for a lawyer.
Being a Tarheel, I thought, how different could Western Tennessee be? Well, it’s very different from Eastern Tennessee (Nashville & Knoxville)- where people make fun of their counterparts next to the Mississippi.
So, kids, think twice before you watch indie movies and think it’s ok to live in certain parts of the South.
The train screams like a cat being fried alive and honks like a half dead goose loudly from anywhere in this small town, no matter what neighborhood you can afford.
Memphis makes you feel all ooey-gooey, not in a good way.
Met a man on Beale Street- he said, “Where ya from?”.
I says, “LA.”.
He says, “Lower Alabama?”.
I shoulda gone to NO-LA. People understand me there.