Cover Your Ears

Recently, I caught wind of an unexpected Miley Cyrus cover.

My first thought? Kurt Cobain must be rolling over in his grave. Crying or laughing, I’m not sure which.

Cyrus covered “Smells Like Teen Spirit” during one of her concerts, which struck me as strange for two reasons:

1. Her audience is mostly under 15. This means they were born during or after 1996. Cobain died in 94. While, admittedly, they could enjoy his music, it seems unlikely that a large number of them were even familiar with the tune. Let’s face it, when we were 14, our taste in music sucked, too.

2. Cyrus is an establishment singer. She is the product of a Disney investment and television show. Nirvana, Cobain in particular, were pushing against this. The entire song is about revolting against one’s own audience. These things appear to be in slight contradiction to each other. Just sayin’.

This cover makes us mad, but we want to know what covers you love to hate, too!

Rand Paul Thinks Universal Healthcare & Slavery Are Equatable

This makes us mad.   This is why we’re so mad.

Rand Paul is trying to make a point about how he thinks that the required healthcare proposal is forcing people to do something they might not want or be able to do.  That much, I can at least understand.  However, he does this by comparing a program that is designed to protect people to the long and ongoing worldwide atrocity of slavery.  These things are not comparable.  This is like comparing my parents not letting me stay out after midnight when I was 17 to my best friend’s parents kicking her out of the house for being gay… You see the difference, right?  Paul’s line of thinking is that people are being required to do something – like paying taxes, going to grade school, having car insurance – that they might not like.  Okay, but all of these requirements are set up to ultimately help people and/or save them money.  Every car is required to have insurance so that people are protected in worst-case-scenarios; healthcare is just like that.  It is a protection.  What makes his big, crazy speech all the crazier, is that he’s not even talking about healthcare in the way you might imagine.  Paul is not worried about the patients, about the poor people who are worried about paying for healthcare (which is what many conservatives are saying they think, but it’s not really how it works either way).  Instead, Paul is worried about doctors.  Paul thinks that doctors will, under this plan, literally be dragged from their homes by the police and forced to treat patients.  What?!  What is wrong with you?  This is so clearly not what is going to be happening.  If people have healthcare, it doesn’t mean that they “own” doctors or hospitals or that have the right to demand service from anyone with a medical license at any moment.  It means, in reality, that if a person is sick, they can see a doctor – at an office, clinic or hospital most likely – probably also where that doctor chose to work.  It also means that if a person needs emergency assistance, they will be able to pay for it.  It does mean that a doctor will lose her/his rights.  Why the hell does his mind go there?  No one else thinks that this plan will eliminate the rights of and dehumanize doctors.  It just means that more doctors will be able to treat more people without those people going bankrupt or dying.  Why is Rand Paul being so crazy?  Now, you may disagree with this proposal/policy, but I still think it is highly inappropriate, offensive and downright stupid to compare this to slavery.  Rand Paul gets my first “REALLY??” Award of the season.  Even if, as our first commenter points out, Rand Paul is purposely being hyperbolic, he isn’t making it clear to an audience that is taking him literally.  There are people, constituents, voters who depend on their representatives for accurate and actual accounts of what is happening in the world.  He has a responsibility to be realistic and he’s not doing it.  He is using hyperbole to take an otherwise serious debate into the realm of the ridiculous.  He is forcing a debate into nonsense and it is not helpful, acceptable or professional.  That makes us mad.

Are you mad too?  Send us your comments!

Urban Outfitters Sucks – Here’s Proof

Urban Outfitters stole an artist’s original work so that they could make a quick buck.

Please check out her blog and buy a necklace FROM HER, which SHE DESIGNED.

http://imakeshinythings.tumblr.com/post/5855716317/not-cool-urban-outfitters-not-cool

They are a huge corporation, and yet they felt it necessary to steal the artistic property of a single person – this is how she makes her living.  Those dicks!

Also, a friend pointed out that Urban Outfitters even made a shirt that said, “Eat Less.”  Wow.  Promoting Anorexia much?  They really are evil.  Sofia Bush was pissed!  Here’s another link to them being awful:

http://www.skinnyvscurvy.com/sophia-bush/sophia-bush-outraged-over-urban-outfitters-eat-less-t-shirt.html

This made Sofia Bush very mad. Us too.

Wa(i)ving Meaning, or How to Tell Everyone That You Hate Them

Flags. They seem harmless enough. I was going to write this post about bad drivers, but while driving around my hometown today, something caught my eye; it was a dilapitated house with rotting navy and forest green siding, and on its porch hung four flags: the American flag, a German flag, a confederate flag, and another flag I didn’t recognize that had a bald Eagle and a smaller version of the confederate flag.

My gut reaction was to sneer at the house from my car. This is the normal reaction for me when I see a confederate flag, pretty much without fail. The confederate flag in general confuses me, particularly the range of meaning people attribute to it. To me, at least, it represents the idea of a nation, separate from the Union, and based on an economy that relied primarily on the slavery of black people. Often times I hear people say it represents ‘freedom’ or a certain ‘way of life.’ The first is just laughably ironic and the second makes my stomach turn over – I really don’t think it is necessary to explain why.

But this house made me stop for a moment; there were so many competing notions of nations, of freedom or individual rights, of government, and what is most interesting is the relationship between these representations.

I thought it interesting (and more than a little odd) that this guy would bear the U.S. flag alongside a German flag. I lived with a couple of guys who were intent on hanging a German flag in our living room when I was a sophomore, and it always made me uncomfortable. While I’m German, I also recognize the taboo of being proud of being German. We, to put it mildly, have a lot of shit to atone for.  And it caused me to question bringing my Jewish boyfriend to my house, because I wasn’t sure how to make sense of a pride that is so wrapped up in a complex history of hate and violence.  Oy!

For me, on many levels, American pride and German pride can seem contradictory. Not only did our nations engage in hostile battle for the better part of two world wars, but the abundance and cultivation of American pride seems so contradictory to the way Germans approach a sense of national identity.
Which brings me to the crux of this post: national pride and the Confederate flag.

Newsflash, Redneck America: the Confederacy is dead. It’s been dead for 150 years. Stop celebrating a failure of a “nation” and stop celebrating a way of life that has been deemed socially unacceptable by the court of public opinion for 50 years. Say what you will about the meaning of the Confederate flag, that it stands for freedom and individual liberty, but to the majority of people living in this nation it means individual liberty for white, property owning males. Face it, that leaves a lot of us out.

So, to be clear, stop with the Confederate flag bullshit. And don’t wave it high alongside the American flag. It really just makes you look like an ignoramus  because it screams “RACIST!” to any self-respecting, intelligent citizen, but also because those, taken together, don’t paint a coherent narrative. You can’t have a land of the free and a home of the brave when people hide their hate behind some kind of pseudo-pride for a nation that no longer exists.

So to you, dear proponent of the confederacy, no. You need a history lesson. And a lesson in humanity.

When to dance… : This is a bar, not a discotheque.

It's raining and you love the rain.  Keep dancing.     I don’t know how other people feel, but I find it incredibly annoying when people try to make bars, especially sports bars, into clubs.  If there isn’t a dance floor, the place wasn’t designed for a lot of dancing.  More likely than that, the owners wanted people to stand around and talk, watch tv, and sit at tables and booths.  The owners have not given you a place to shake your ass, show your ass or to jiggle it, so maybe just don’t.  Don’t get me wrong, I love to dance.  I love to dance like an idiot sometimes, and sometimes I like to dance like a stripper.  However, there are times when that just isn’t okay.

If no one else is dancing, maybe reconsider your motives for dancing.  Are you dancing because you’re happy, or are you dancing because you want that hottie with the spiked hair and the Ed Hardy t-shirt to notice you?  Dancing is about joy, not mating.  If you’re interested in someone, maybe go talk to them instead of trying to hypnotize them with your love dance.  Let me give some examples of appropriate occasions to be the only one dancing:

1. It’s your wedding and this is the first dance.  You are correct.  Keep dancing.

2. You are the first person assigned to dance as part of a flash mob – a planned and informed flash mob.  If it’s your cue, keep dancing and enjoy the ensuing mob.

3. You’re in a music video, which calls for a single person to be dancing at a given point.  Congratulations, you’re in a music video.  Enjoy it.  Keep dancing.

4. You’re at a middle school dance and you want to inspire your peers to begin the actual “dance” part.  That’s awesome.  You have some serious confidence and I respect that.  Keep dancing.

5. Your age is <13.  You’re a child, so you should dance whenever you need to.  Definitely, keep dancing.

6. You’re not in public.  Cool, do whatever.  Keep dancing.

7. You’re alone and no one can see you.  Also cool.  You’re basically just working out.  Keep dancing.

8. You’re dancing to make a sad friend happy.  Good intentions.  Keep dancing.

9. It’s raining, it’s warm, you love dancing, and you love the rain.  This is a major opportunity.  Go outside and keep dancing.

10. You’re in the car and you’re bored.  An amazing song comes on.  Go ahead, rock out.  Keep dancing.

I’m not saying that these are the only occasions that make dancing alone okay.  I’m saying that people need to be more careful about where and why they’re dancing.  If you are only dancing because you’re horny and you want someone to notice you and hit on you, you should make sure other people are dancing, or at least that there is a dance floor where you are.  If not, you’ll just look desperate, and that’s not cute.  Also, if you get hit on while you’re dancing alone in an inappropriate place, the person hitting on you is probably a creeper.

Here are some occasions that make dancing alone unacceptable.  *Note that a little dance of joy, a quick shimmy and other such informal dance moves are almost always acceptable – not in job interviews, but generally speaking.  Here, dancing refers to all-out booty-shaking party dancing… Club style and intense dancing.

1. You are between the ages of 13 – 18, and you are dancing to look sexy.  Stop it.  It’s not working, and it’s creepy.  Don’t hump the air.  Do your homework.  Stop dancing.

2. You’re in a bar without a dance floor.  You have moved chairs to make space for your “moves.”  You are only going to look desperate and embarrass yourself.  Also, you might get kicked out.  I’ve seen it.  Stop dancing.

3. You’re wasted, and you’ve just discovered that you can break dance.  Stop!  You can’t really break dance.  You will only hurt yourself.  Stop dancing.  Also, drink some water.

4. Everyone around you is under 25.  You are over 40.  Stop dancing.

5. Everyone around you is over 40.  You are under 25.  Stop dancing.

6. You are at a funeral.  The deceased did not ask for dancing.  There is no music.  Stop dancing.

7. You’re boobies are showing.  NO.  Not okay.  Stop dancing.

8. Someone is injured.  Seek medical attention and stop dancing.

Check your reasoning and be careful.  Dancing is joyous.  Also, most of life is not a music video, so there is no reason to shake your money maker like somebody’s about to pay you… because no one is going to pay you.  You know that saying, “Dance like no one is watching;” I wish more people did that.  Dancing by yourself could be wonderful and beautiful.  Dancing can reflect joy, love and good humor, but when people dance for attention, for lust and for free drinks, it’s embarrassing.  It’s embarrassing in a bad way.  Dancing because you’re happy, or because you know it will make a sad person happy, or because the song playing makes you feel so good, it just comes out, those are all beautiful reasons to be embarrassed.  That’s the kind of embarrassed that makes everyone feel happier.  I’m just saying, if you’re dancing, make sure you can be proud of how embarrassing it is.