Media


As part of the poetry class I’m taking, I was looking at various books of poetry I have on my bookshelves and stumbled across this piece by Marge Piercy, which seems to fit the times, although it was published in 1991.

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In response to this horror  of an op-ed, Melissa McEwan wrote this.   To which I say, Yes, Melissa, yes!

 I ran a lot as a young teen, ran the mile in junior high and briefly flirted with being on the cross-country team in high school; in any event, I ran.  During the schoolyear, I’d run in the morning.    I stopped running after my sophomore year in high school after a foggy morning experience that still leaves me shaking when I think about it.

We lived in a classic northern California subdivision, wide streets, two car garages, palm trees mixing with live oaks along the sidewalks, etc., etc.  I was running along the sidewalk along the street, probably around 6am.  It was barely light, and foggy.  The fog was brighter than the sky.  As I neared the end of my run, a  pickup truck was coming the other way towards me.  It began to slow.  Shortly after I ran past it stopped then pulled a U turn in the middle of the street and began to follow me slowly about 50 feet behind me.  I had begun hyperawareness after it had slowed, and when it turned around I went into hyperfreak mode, thinking, “shit, shit, shit, shit”.  I was still running at a jog trying to think fast as it continued to follow me.   I saw a turn off ahead, which I knew to be a cul de sac, Sleepy Hollow Court.  Aha, I thought, I’ll turn there and he’ll think I’m going home because it is only a half block long so no one out for a run would otherwise turn there, right?

 So I did, ran up the cul de sac and hid behind a pine tree, half afraid that I’d made “the wrong decision” because I would now be trapped in the cul de sac if followed.  In my hyperfreak mode I never once thought to bang on a door of the dozen houses I passed, it was too early, people were still asleep. I was alone.  Also, I was simultaneously worried about being labeled a hysteric.  Yes, I was completely terrified and yet at the same time worried about embarrassing myself.  I waited, breathing heavy, for over 15 minutes, terrified that if I left too soon, the truck would still be waiting out on the main drive through the subdivision.  Finally, I left, walking, figuring I’d save energy if I saw the truck again and needed to sprint for home.

 I was lucky, the truck was gone.  Who knows what the driver’s intent was, perhaps they were only lost.  I don’t care.

 I never ran alone in the morning again until I was in my 20s, living in Manhattan, and even then, vast portions of the year I would not run in the morning because it was dark out.  Ten fucking years of less exercise because of one scary event.  Ten fucking years of less FREEDOM because of one scary event.

 Do NOT fucking tell women where and when they can run.  We’ve already internalized it.  We’ve already endured the comments on the street, on the trail, wherever we walk or run by.  We’ve already limited our choices to our own comfort level based on experience and the ever present voice of “WARNING, WARNING you could be next.”  We’ve already turned down the ipods to make sure we can hear any footsteps behind us.  We’ve already

 DO NOT fucking victim blame.  Fuck Off Logan Jenkins.  You just have no FUCKING idea what you are talking about.

I watched the Oscars last night as I do every year.  I’ve seen so few movies that there was  only one of all the movies nominated for anything that I had seen: Once, nominated for best song.  Because I hadn’t followed all the nomination hype I had’nt even known it was up for it.  Then I got giddy because itwas so remarkable.  So I sat with both toes and fingerse crossed hopinng they would win (and then I changed that to hoping that none of those dreadful songs from Everlasting won (ugh, all totally packaged those pieces) because I didn’t want to be wishing against the cute 11 ear old involved in the other song.)  Anyway, I was thrilled for them when they won.

If you haven’t seen Once,  go and rent it.  It’s is a lovely little film, very low budget, but all the yearning and confusion are so well done.  After I’d seen it I wanted to invite the characters over for coffee to find out what they were up to, but seeing the musicians/actors from the film singing one of the many songs from it was  and winning the Oscar was almost as good.

fyI: the backspace key on my home computer is broken so if some of t my typing over the next few weeks is abysmal, that is why.  Just can’t get the same flow when you have to go back, highlight & delete.

[updates below] 

So I was happy to hear that Hillary won NH.  Not so much because she’s my favorite candidate (she’s not), but because I was so incredibly irritated by the media coverage of Obama’s win in Iowa.  Not so much with respect to Obama directly, but with respect to Edwards & Hillary.

First, in interviews they seemed to be suggesting that Edwards should just drop out and that, somehow, it was all over for Hillary, too.  This became the paradigm for coverage for the four days between IA and NH, and I’m sure played into the whole ‘Hillary’s getting emotional, blah, blah, blah.”

So, I was happily surprised that the media had not managed to create a self-fulfilling prophecy that would have had the whole nomination race over before it barely began.  I was, however, extremely amused to see that today’s spin of Hillary’s “comeback” had, in the words of an NPR reporter this morning, ‘proved wrong the obituaries for Hillary’s campaign.’  This statement, of course, was made without any acknowledgment of NPR’s own involvement in reporting such quasi-obits themselves, such as when they asked Edwards in an interview the other day whether he was willing to be VP.

Media people, please, only two tiny states have voted — a close race through at least several more weeks is not only in the interests of the people (in my opinion anyway) but in your ratings interest, so stop trying to declare it over.

And another thing, can we stop calling the speeches of the 2d and 3d place finishers “concession” speeches and having these comments about whether they were “concessionary enough”.   I have less of an issue with calling the first place candidate’s speech a “victory” speech, which may be inconsistent on my part, but a 2d or 3d place finish, in the first few (of 50, lets remember) primaries is not a “loss” and there is no need to “concede” (okay, apologies for all these scare quotes).  Holy frijoles people, give it a rest, let them make a speech to continue to rally their supporters, there is absolutely nothing to concede!

And another thing, I’ve noticed everyone doing, including myself – its Hillary, Obama, and Edwards.  Now, there are other Johns in the race (at least on the other side of the aisle) so it makes sense for identification in a way, but curious how the woman and the black guy get called by their first names, whereas pretty much everyone else (i.e., the white guys)  gets their last names most of the time.  I’ll have to check out the more political blogs to see if anyone has some analysis on this.

Oh, and finally, media, in the coverage of this, can we do smaller snippets of election coverage mixed in with, oh, the rest of the world and what’s happening with this country.  If you do a full 15 minutes-straight segment the day before NH primaries on nothing but the horserace and what various campaigns will need to do if the fail to do well, then that’s my news for the night, with a full-time office job and two kids, I don’t have the luxury of hour-long segments and I’m sure there is other news out there.

More peeves to come as the primary season moves forward . . .

Update: By the way, I haven’t covered my irritation with the blatant sexism voiced against Hillary in the last few days (and further back as well, and the racism that sneaks in here and there during this campaign) because the topic has been well covered elsewhere.  This is always my difficulty in discussing ‘big’ issues – by the time I figure out what I want to say, it seems as if its already been well-covered.  I definitely have to get over that.

Update 2: Oh, and on that asinine op-ed by Gloria Steinem comparing racism and sexism, see SharkFu’s take on it – a good take down of why the op-ed is asinine.