not in our stars, but in ourselves
On my mind today:
1. Last Friday, I guess, Netflix released (unveiled? provided? made available? how does it work with these streaming services? what’s the correct terminology? hmm) Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. My fella and I got around to watching the first nine (yeah…) episodes last night – and it is GOLD. Solid gold. Tina Fey is the executive producer, and it employs the same (as his lordship put it) “wall of jokes” style as 30 Rock. (This makes me think Fey’s style is a sort of TV version of Phil Spector’s “wall of sound” production, on all the music he produced back in the ’60s and ’70s; and for me, at least, they perform similar functions: something comforting, slightly kitschy, technically accomplished, and yet not interested in making a big deal out of how much work went into it – just interested in making sure you get your kicks while you watch/listen. Maybe this makes more sense in my head.) Anyway. The point is that it’s great – from the theme song (“females are strong as hell” you goddamn right we are):
to what should honestly be #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, “Pinot Noir”:
Unfortunately for me, I won’t be able to finish watching the season until Sunday at the earliest, probably. May have more to say about it then – but in the meantime, get on it yourself if you haven’t already.
2. In other media news, y’all heard about the all-female Ghostbusters reboot, right? Cool! Funny ladies! Hooray! And then, earlier this week, Sony announced that it was going to produce ANOTHER Ghostbusters reboot – this time, with guys!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Supposedly, it might not be all guys (#notallmen), and it’s supposedly going to tie into the Ladybusters ~*~cinematic universe~*~~ somehow or other. First of all, ugh. These movies that tie into each other and guarantee sequels and turn into a filmed circle jerk are so goddamn tiresome. The all-female cast was an interesting enough concept that it justified reviving the franchise – for ONE movie. Not for a fucking universe. Second of all, if this was all part of the plan, all along – as the Badass Digest link above indicates – why the fuck didn’t they announce it all at the same time? Personally, I tend to think this article from The Dissolve hits the nail on the fedora:
Many folks on the Internet (whom I imagine to be like little carbon copies of Tom Cruise in Magnolia, only without the charisma, depth, and rippling abs) cried foul, fearful that watching ghosts get busted by vagina-havers would ruin their childhoods, or whatever. […] In what is becoming a dishearteningly regular occurrence, the power-wielders in pop culture have bent to the will of the sentient bags of Cool Ranch Doritos causing a misogynistic uproar on the Internet. Deadline reports that the adult white men at Sony—I’m sorry, someone’s been tampering with my cue cards, that should read “the executives at Sony”—announced yesterday that they would release an all-male Ghostbusters action-comedy as a companion to Feig’s Lady Ghostbusters film. The necessity of a Ghostbusters 4 Guyz may seem unclear, what with that already being a thing that exists, but allow me to explain: The entertainment industry is run by craven cardboard cutouts masquerading as human men, and the world is a generally terrible place.
In a more serious take, The Dissolve dissects the ABSURD sexism barely lurking beneath the surface of all this bullshit: “The idea that there is ‘girl entertainment’ and ‘boy entertainment’ is outmoded but annoyingly persistent, based more in advertising opportunities than how most people actually consume entertainment.” Seriously, what the fuck? I’m too pissed off to be able to form an especially cogent argument of my own, but in a nutshell: even if we accept that everyone involved planned to create a whole stinking Ghostbusters universe, what was with the bizarre timing of the two announcements? Did the boys behind the scenes suddenly feel insecure because someone else was going to get a moment in the sun? Did they decide, fuck it, let’s just announce it NOW because we don’t want icky girls getting all the attention? Honestly, what other explanation could there be?
3. (a) To continue in this feminist vein: recently, I was added to some sort of Facebook group intended for girls who work out. Swap workout tips, ask questions, share recipes, that kind of thing. My friend thought it would be nice to have me in the group, since I’m always blathering on about my workouts, and it really should have been nice. However, despite the Real Fitness slant, it was all still the same old shit you see in “health” magazines for women: how to get smaller, not necessarily stronger. You can get stronger, if you want, but that’s beside the point. This offends me as a feminist, and as an amateur gym rat. I work hard in the gym. I push myself to lift more, and to run faster, and to be – if nothing else – a commanding physical presence. (And I think it’s working: I haven’t been hit on by a creep in public in ages, probably because I look very much like I could and would destroy anyone who tried it.) I completely reject the outmoded thinking that women should be smaller, daintier, take up less space. I certainly don’t want to be fat – just because it’s not my natural body type and because I would find it uncomfortable, not because I have any inherent problem with fatness, don’t worry don’t worry – but I don’t want to count every calorie and celebrate when I step on the scale and find it’s a lower number than it was last time. The world (white, patriarchal, heteronormative) has told women how little they matter, for thousands and thousands of years. Don’t listen to that shit. You’re not just a sex doll, destined to be thrown aside once you become a baby machine. Don’t let them treat you like one.
3. (b) About fitness magazines: don’t ever take advice from the ones for women. They’re bullshit, and they’re part of the problem. Only ever listen to fitness magazines for men. I mean, for fitness. The lifestyle advice in both varieties is usually depressingly Stone Age. Ignore that part.
4. EDITED TO INCLUDE: As a public service announcement, I think I’d better let you all know that this weekend will probably not include an installment in the 2015 Movie Challenge. I will be unusually busy (for me), and doubt I’ll have time to watch something and write about it. Don’t worry. I’ll double down next week. You’re all desperate for each week’s new entry, I know.