Er, I'm sorry, I shouldn't have said "sex life," I should have said "erotic journey." This is fucking hilarious. With cameos by Jonathan Franzen, Rashida Jones, and Sloane Crosley. Oh yeah and a brief but burned-to-my-brain on-screen kiss with Franco; if you need me, I'll be in my office dying of jealousy.
I now know that Fox News' Megyn Kelly is supposed to be smart and all that, which makes her "Santa is white" thing all the more unbelievable. But first impressions last, and so my impression of Kelly will always be tainted by this video I took of her at the 2008 Democratic National Convention, as she studiously prepared her analysis of Joe Biden's stemwinder of an acceptance speech.
GUYS! Guys! Why didn't you tell me about this? They made a movie out of my book? Have you heard about this? Talk about crazy, right? I mean, one minute I'm dicking around in my office at Oxford-making up Elvish, for fuck's sake-and the next minute I'm in a movie theater, wearing 3-D glasses, about to watch a Hobbit movie?!?! What!! I guess it's true what people say: Sometimes, life really can surprise you.
I know some authors can be a little particular about movies based on their work (looking in your direction, SUZANNE NEVER-SHUTS-HER-GODDAMN-MOUTH COLLINS), but if you ask me, everything about The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is 100 percent straight-up baller. To be honest, now that I've seen it, I'm a little embarrassed by my book! All I ever wanted to do was write a fairy story for children who had Asperger's. I guess I did a pretty okay job! Ha! But after seeing what Peter Jackson did to my book, it's just… man. Not even close. Dude nailed it!! And there's so much stuff I don't remember writing! Like that part when Gandalf went to a haunted house, or that part when the dwarves set up a Mouse Trap-style trap for that dragon, or that part when Legolas pulled out his bow and arrow and was all FWOOSH! FWOOSH! FWOOSH! and shot like a billion orcs! TWAANNGG! RIGHT IN THE KISSER! Seriously, though, real talk: I don't even remember putting Legolas in the book. I should probably reread that thing one of these days. The new James Patterson is a hoot (sue me!), but maybe once I finish that. Apparently Bilbo, Fili, Kili, Dwalin, Sleepy, Bashful, Dopey, the fat one, Sneezy, Happy, Grumpy, Dennis, and Thorin the King Under the Mountain got into way more shit than I remember.
That's probably how Peter Jackson made this movie so long, now that I think about it! Back when I was writing The Hobbit, I kept things pretty simple. ("Maybe a story about some hairy midgets?" I recall scribbling in a margin late one night as I toiled on A Middle English Vocabulary at the University of Leeds. "Perhaps they are sad because they are small.") So I never even thought of putting in the smoke monster from Lost, or that hobo who lets birds live in his hat, or those pugs. Ahhh! Those pugs!...
CONTINUE READING >>
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis! Pearl Jam! Slog! The fans of all three of these beloved hometown treasures are raising money to save YouthCare’s Orion Center—which does life-saving work right here in Seattle—and in the process we're finding out whose fans are the best fans! Whose fans will do the most to help homeless youth? Here's where we're at on Day 12...
• Macklemore & Ryan Lewis fans have donated: $34,068.14
• Pearl Jam fans: $25,093.27
• Slog fans: $9,136.00
And fans of Seattlish are still donating: $1,920.00 so far!
And while Seahawks fans—who we called out yesterday—have only donated $0* so far, the Seahawks organization is
stepping up to the plate charging onto the field: the Seattle Seahawks are donating two tickets to the Seahawks vs. Cardinals game on Sunday, December 22, to the Charity Challenge! GO HAWKS!!! For a chance to be at the game, donate to the Holiday Charity Challenge by noon on Monday! Any amount counts! Then forward your receipt to us and explain in 150 words or less why Seahawks fans like you are awesome and why you should be the Seahawks fan who goes to this game! The best reason wins! The winner will be announced Monday afternoon, right here on Slog!
Donate to the Orion Center right now for a chance to win!
• Macklemore & Ryan Lewis fans: GO HERE TO GIVE!
• Pearl Jam fans: GO HERE TO GIVE!
• Slog fans: GO HERE TO GIVE!
• Seahawks fan: GO HERE TO GIVE and make a note that you're a Seahawks fan who cares about homeless teenagers and really, really wants to go to see the Seahawks crush the Cardinals on December 22!
• Seattlish fans can go here to give and make a note that your donation is pro-Seattlish and anti-Savage! The fans that raise the most for the Orion Center by December 24th WIN the title of the Best Fans of the Best Band or Best Blog in the Universe Forever!
Please note: You don't have to donate as Seahawks fan for a chance to win the tickets! Macklemore & Ryan Lewis fans, Pearl Jam fans, Slog fans, and Seattlish fans who donate by Monday can also enter to win the Seahawks tickets too! Just email us a receipt for a donation made between now and noon on Monday along with a good reason why you should get the tickets to the game!
* Once more with feeling: in fairness to Seahawks fans, they weren't a part of this charity challenge. But they are now thanks to the generosity of the Seattle Seahawks! For a chance to win those tickets—and to show how awesome Seahawks fans are by doing your part to save the Orion Center—go make a donation, Seahawks fans! GO HAWKS!!!
However this saga ends, whether Boeing machinists eventually give up their pensions in exchange for keeping 777 production in the region, or whether Boeing management ultimately caves in the face of higher costs and almost certain production delays elsewhere, or whether both sides lose and production does actually move out of state, one thing is for certain: Boeing CEO Ray Connor and the rest of the company's top executive team are a bunch of dicks.
How else to describe the executives of a profitable company who so despise and disrespect their workforce? And how else to describe their dickish move yesterday in which they used their PR machine to blast the news that Boeing machinists had rejected their "last, best offer" before the rank and file machinists even had a chance to vote on it?
“Boeing’s offer Thursday was contingent on union leadership recommending acceptance,” Wroblewski said. “This we could not do.”
Really? It's not enough for rank and file machinists to vote to give up their pensions? The offer was contingent on the union leadership effacing themselves by formally recommending acceptance of a contract they personally found unacceptable?
Rank and file machinists will be given a chance to vote on the contract, and if they approve it, it will be up to Boeing's management to decide whether it really was a good faith offer. But let's be clear: This isn't about profits. And it's no longer just about breaking the unions. This is about humiliating the unions.
What a bunch of dicks!
The Robertson family of Duck Dynasty have won over millions of fans with their unaffected, genuine attitude and behavior. But much of what fans see on the smash A&E series is totally fake — and patriarch Phil Robertson is the first to admit it!
Robertson confessed how TV editors in L.A. “with no moral compass” distort his family’s reality in a recent video interview for The Christian Post.
“They inserted fake beeps like somebody had used profanity, but no one had used profanity,” he explained. “…So I asked those guys who produce the show, I said, ‘Lemme ask you something. What’s the point of the fake bleeps?’”
The only good thing to come out of this nonsense is that it reminded me of this brilliant use of fake bleeping...
Excuses: GOP senators could the latest block federal budget compromise, thereby tempting another government shutdown at the hands of Republicans, because ideology.
Liberals, You Got Fucked on the Budget Deal: Despite those right-wing arguments that they didn't get their way, Paul Krugman points to the "biggest loser":
The pundit consensus seems to be that Republicans lost in the just-concluded budget deal. Overall spending will be a bit higher than the level mandated by the sequester, the straitjacket imposed back in 2011. Meanwhile, Democrats avoided making any concessions on Social Security or Medicare. Call this one for Team D, I guess.
But if Republicans arguably lost this round, the unemployed lost even more: Extended benefits weren’t renewed, so 1.3 million workers will be cut off at the end of this month, and many more will see their benefits run out in the months that follow. And if you take a longer perspective — if you look at what has happened since Republicans took control of the House of Representatives in 2010 — what you see is a triumph of anti-government ideology that has had enormously destructive effects on American workers.
I Understand How This Would Happen: Not apologizing for it, just sayin' I could have been this boy and had it coming—school bus driver punches unruly child.
Let's Start Call Them "Clarksvilles" Instead of Nickelsville: The homeless encampments across Seattke are largely her doing, after all. It was Sally Clark, as the Seattle City Council president, who is most responsible for shirking responsibility for managing encampments and spinning some yarn about the city getting all these folks into permanent housing. Now Clarksvilles are unregulated, disheveled, nomadic encampments scattered across neighborhoods.
Beyoncé Knowles: She blew the internet's bangs back last night by unexpectedly dropping a 32-track album (with 14 tracks and 18 videos) onto iTunes—briefly crashing the site—and throwing fans into a conniption.
Shiny New Tea Party Loses Luster: For the first time, Gallup reports, most Americans dislike the Tea Party. Only 30 percent like it.
Boeing Machinists Throwing a "Temper Tantrum": So says KIRO's Dave Ross. After workers rejected the latest offer, pundits who have zero stake in the deal—and think it's someone else's job to accept subpar compensation—put on their paternal pants and tell the idiot prole children to pull themselves up by their child straps.
A Bunch of Stuff: A former Clinton adviser debunks the fear-mongering over raising the federal minumum wage:
[A] phased-in increase in the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour is not likely to affect business costs or prices significantly. On average, even the costs of fast-food restaurants would increase by less than 3 percent, and a price increase of a few cents on their products could offset a significant share of their higher labor costs. According to a recent estimate, McDonald’s could cover about half of its higher labor costs by raising the price of a Big Mac by about 1.25 percent, or 5 cents.
Twitter Does Something Gay: They changed the "block" feature so blocked users could still see the blocker's tweets (and retweet the blocker). "Like, what's the fucking point of a block?" all of Twitter scream/asked last night. To make things worse, the blocker wouldn't even know the blocked user was doing any of this. Twitter answered by admitting it was stoopid and it reverted to the previous method in which blocking a user prevents them from reading the blocker's tweets. (PS — I mean gay in the pejorative, obvs.)
A vision of NYC's future payphones:
Heavy storms continued throughout Israel on Friday, causing traffic disruptions and power outages across the country, floods in southern regions, a brief closure of Ben-Gurion International Airport, and a measure of excitement among the nation's many snow-lovers.
You gotta love that other FoxNewsOutrageBot screaming about how that one Festivus pole in Florida destroyed her holiday plans—which apparently amounted to dragging her poor kids up and down the East Coast to inspect nativity scenes.
Rebecca Walker's Adé: A Love Story is too thin to be called a debut novel. At 112 pages, it's more of a debut novella. I don't say that as an insult; there's nothing wrong with novellas. They're an underrated literary form. And Adé should be enjoyed as a novella, which is to say you should sit down with it somewhere and read the whole thing from beginning to end, without interruption. It's a story of a young American tourist in Africa who falls madly in love with a man named Adé. She leaves her friend behind and stays with Adé on Lamu Island, just off the coast of Kenya. She thinks she's going to stay with him until she dies.
She looked up at me, reaching for common ground, but I saw jealousy in her eyes. She was usually the one to meet a boy. Wherever we went, men wanted her. Her breasts were large, her mouth willing. Even I had wanted her, but that part was over between us. We had moved on from our infatuation to the meat of things: men.
You desperately want to hear the other end of this conversation, but you don't get to. Our narrator is swept up in the telling of her own story, her own emotions. Nobody else is really three-dimensional to her at this point in her life. She's young and in love, in a strange land, and she thinks that nothing is ever going to be the same again. She's absolutely right.
If you live in Seattle, he worked for you for four years. Perhaps give him 25 minutes to explain how he sees his tenure?
KUOW's Marcie Sillman led the wide-ranging conversation, and it features the most relaxed laugh I've ever heard out of McGinn, plus this description of the people at City Hall who made his life difficult:
Good god, any time I could get out of City Hall and its intrigue and talk to real people about real problems was so refreshing. I mean City Hall—it's like crabs in a bucket down there at City Hall. Any time one person starts going up, everybody else starts grabbing them to pull them down. Because they were all fighting to be on the top of the heap.
As a consequnce, he added, "what gets lost is the public good."
UPDATE: Added another image or two after the jump.
Compared to a hawk on a back deck. Also from today. . .
Bertha, Seattle's deep-bore tunnel digger, isn't the only mammoth, controversial piece of equipment that's stuck in the Northwest these days.
This afternoon, about a dozen climate-change activists from Rising Tide Seattle showed up at the Bellevue offices of RCCI, a subsidiary of General Electric, to protest the shipment of a "megaload" evaporator that is currently bogged down in Eastern Oregon, trying to make its way to the tar sands oilfields in Alberta, Canada.
Activists and members of the Umatilla and Warm Springs tribes have been blockading the megaload shipment for weeks, which can only travel at night because its size disrupts traffic. "This thing is forty stories tall," said activist Kyle Miskell on his way to the office occupation this afternoon. "It's like they're shipping a skyscraper—and it's going through reservation areas against their wishes."
"The Alberta tar sands are the most environmentally destructive projects on the planet right now," he added. "As long as companies like RCCI are helping to develop the tar sands, they can expect resistance."
This evaporator is one of three that was scheduled to leave the Port of Umatilla in late November, but has faced a series of blockades including people locking themselves to the rig and one Umatilla woman, a 60 year-old grandmother, lying down in the road. (She was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct.) Adam Gaya of Rising Tide Seattle says that, due to the delays and some weather issues, the megaload has only moved 100 miles since late November, setting the timeline for shipping the evaporators back several weeks.
"People are digging in their heels about this because both GE and Omega-Morgan are looking for a permanent route to ship equipment to the tar sands fields, and roads where they can make modifications," Gaya said. "This is a test run for them and folks feel like if we can prevent or significantly delay these loads from arriving in Alberta, we might be able to shut off one of their last available routes."
I am a 34-year-old straight, single female. My fantasy is to be blindfolded, bent over a table/couch/whatever, and fucked by whoever happens to walk by. I realize this would have to take place in a safe environment, but most sex clubs or parties tend to be for swingers, specifically couples. There's a sex club nearby that looks like it might cater to my fantasy, but can I just walk in off the street and bend over? Do I need to go a few times first and talk to people? That kind of kills the fantasy of it, really. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Take A Number
My response after the jump...
(Thanks, Slog tipper Jesse. We miss you.)
It's a sucky, sucky budget that under- or de-funds a ton of worthy programs while pretty much maintaining the status quo on a lot of awful stuff—but it's a sucky, sucky Congress, so yeah, I guess we're better off now that the Republican-controlled House has passed a bipartisan budget than we would be in another government shutdown:
On the plus side, the legislation will increase overall spending levels in the short-term, but will reduce the deficit over the next decade with back-loaded spending cuts and revenue increases. It will also take the possibility of another government shutdown off the table.
That being said, the legislation fails to extend emergency unemployment benefits, which are set to expire at the end of the year and will leave 1.3 million families without benefits.
Also, a farm bill extension rather than the all new farm bill we really need, and as far as I can tell, it does nothing to stave off yet another bullshit debt ceiling showdown this spring. But it's better than a shutdown. So congratulation's to Washington State's own Senator Patty Murray for achieving the impossible: Getting Republicans to agree to compromise!
Oh, Rob Ford! What next? In today's edition of Toronto Mayor Rob "I Only Smoke Crack When I'm Drunk" Ford, the Toronto Star's city hall reporter, Daniel Dale, has filed a libel notice against Mayor Ford and demanded an apology and retraction from the TV station that broadcast Ford's comments. In the interview, Ford said he'd found Dale "taking pictures of little kids"—Mayor Ford's kids, to be exact—in a May 2012 incident. Police investigated the incident at the time and found "no evidence" with which to charge Dale.
In the Toronto Star today, Dale has written a first-person piece about exactly why he plans to go to court:
Goodness. As the mayor likes to say: enough’s enough.
I have served Rob Ford today with a libel notice, the first step in the process of pursuing a defamation lawsuit. I am also serving Vision TV, which twice broadcast Ford’s vile and defamatory remarks to Conrad Black even though their interview was filmed days before it aired.
It had become clear to me that, if I had done nothing, the mayor would make his smears some sort of political talking point. His comments to Black were no one-time slip; they seemed to be the first shots in a bewildering campaign against my good name. At a Tuesday news conference, he pointedly said he stands by “every word.” Today, he repeated many of his false claims on American radio...
As my libel notice says, I’m asking Ford to immediately retract the false insinuation that I am a pedophile and all of his false statements about my conduct on May 2, 2012. I’m also asking Ford and Vision owner ZoomerMedia to apologize immediately “publicly, abjectly, unreservedly and completely.”
If Ford does not do so, we’ll see if he is willing to repeat his lies under penalty of perjury.
No American city is even close to keeping up with Toronto for city hall entertainment right now.
A whole lot of people, especially online, are missing the point of that Colorado baker who was sued for refusing to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple. Slog tipper Heidi wants you to see this ThinkProgress article which refutes every single idiotic argument that's being tossed around about the case. The bullet points are:
It Doesn’t Matter If The Bakery Otherwise Serves Gay People
This Case Has Nothing To Do With Whether Same-Sex Marriage Is Legal
Cakes Do Not Constitute “Speech”
The Act Of Selling Cakes Also Does Not Constitute “Speech”
Baking Cakes Is Not Religious Conduct
You should go and read the supporting evidence for each of these claims. It's been dismaying to see otherwise level-headed people completely miss the point of this case. This article goes a long way toward articulating why this case is so important and what it stands for.
The most amazing thing just happened. Look!
I thought of this, and said so aloud to the editorial department, and everyone went, silently, in their minds, "Would you shut up about Sylvia Plath already? Second time today." Bethany might have vocalized a response; I can't remember. I was too busy taking closeups.
Here's Sylvia Plath reading "Black Rook in Rainy Weather" in her weird, wavering, wonderful voice.
It's Thursday. It's shitty out. Sometimes you just need one of these in your day.
Thanks, Slog Tipper Seija!
India's law minister said Thursday that the government has not abandoned efforts to make homosexuality legal, and that the country must take swift action to challenge a Supreme Court decision banning same-sex relations.
The minister, Kapil Sibal, said he was for decriminalizing homosexuality, hinting that the government could seek a judicial review of Wednesday's Supreme Court decision or that Parliament could enact a new law.
It's true that when your goal is to decriminalize gay sex, you've got a long way to go as a society. But the United States just technically legalized sodomy ten years ago, and look how far we've come in that time.
The California Department of Public Health has halted shipment of the glorious rooster sauce until mid-January, for what sounds like kind of bogus reasons. "Customers are furious and restaurants are panicking!" says this alarmist teevee news report that is not at all worth waiting through the ad for. UPDATE: It also autoplays! Teevee news, you're going after the jump.
If you are old like me, you might not have seen Anchorman since it was first released in movie theaters back in 1927. (I believe it was the first "talkie.") So if you're planning on seeing the sequel, which is cleverly titled Anchorman 2, you might need a refresher on the original film. If that's the case for you, SIFF Cinema has you covered: They're screening Anchorman parts un and deux as a double feature on December 17th, and they're supplying fake mustaches to enhance your enjoyment of the film. For $18, it's a bargain.
I think this sort of thing is exactly what movie theaters need to be doing to fight consumer apathy. And even the big corporate theater chains are starting to play, too. AMC Theatres is selling a so-called "superticket" for Anchorman 2 for $31. It gets you in to a screening of Anchorman 2, but it also gets you a download of Anchorman 2 and a download of the weird limited-edition special-feature sequel to Anchorman, Wake Up, Ron Burgundy. (Plus a $5 concession gift certificate, but that's kind of bullshit. Why not just knock $5 off the price and trust Americans to buy gigantic sodas of their own free will?) Of these two deals, I know which special screening I'm going to attend, but it's nice that theaters everywhere are learning to make an event of going to the movies.
No wonder Lululemon's asshole Ayn Rand-loving founder had to step down. Turns out, blaming the female body for the failings of poorly made clothing isn't a good strategy for a retailer. Quartz's John McDuling writes:
Lululemon posted its third-quarter earnings this morning and Wall Street isn’t impressed. Sales were up 20%, but that is the slowest growth since July 2009, and it’s only adding to concerns that the yoga-pants maker’s incredible run of growth, completely at odds with the woes most brick-and-mortar retailers have been experiencing in the last few years, could be behind it.
The company also cut its earning forecasts for next year, and its shares have tanked about 10% in early trading.
Quick! What would Ayn Rand do? Actually, she'd probably double down on her asshole comments. Never mind. Keep apologizing, I guess! Maybe that'll work.
In a ruling issued today (pdf), King County Superior Court Judge Jean Rietschel has tossed out the heart of Washington State's charter schools law on the grounds that it violates the constitutional provision that state education revenues be "exclusively applied to the support of the common schools."
But, Judge Rietschel concludes: "A charter school cannot be defined as a common school because it is not under the control of the voters of the school district. The statute places control under a private non-profit organization, a local charter board and/or the Charter Commission."
In other words, charter schools may not be funded with state dollars dedicated to funding our state's common schools.
This is a big, though not unexpected loss for charter schools proponents. The initiative's effort to classify charter schools as common schools always seemed a bit of a legal stretch. I'll have some more thoughts after further study.
Both parties asked for and received summary judgement, and given the urgency of the case, it will likely be appealed directly to the state supreme court.
UPDATE: I just saw the Seattle Times headline that claims that "Judge upholds most of state charter school law." I'm not sure how they come to that conclusion. Judge Rietschel ruled that charter schools are not common schools, and Article IX, Section 2 of the Washington State Constitution is quite clear:
SECTION 2 PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM. The legislature shall provide for a general and uniform system of public schools. The public school system shall include common schools, and such high schools, normal schools, and technical schools as may hereafter be established. But the entire revenue derived from the common school fund and the state tax for common schools shall be exclusively applied to the support of the common schools.
Unless I'm missing something, that would seem to rule out state funding. And I'm not sure how charter schools work without it.
Second, on many of those elements of the law Judge Reitschel did not toss out, she didn't as much uphold them as merely rule that the plaintiff's arguments were not justiciable because the provision in question has not yet been implemented, or because the plaintiffs did not make "a sufficient showing for facial invalidity."
So I'm sticking with my headline.
UPDATE, UPDATE: To clarify, the "state tax for common schools" which Article IX, Section 2 refers to appears to be the state portion of the property tax, about $2 billion a year, almost a quarter of state public school funding. (Though personally, I'd argue that language could be read more broadly to include all state taxes spent for common schools.) The "common school fund" is a separate fund that funds construction.
From this week's Loose Lips:
Dayna Hanson's The Clay Duke, a kaleidoscopic reenactment of a real school board shooting, blew people's minds at On the Boards last weekend. Wade Madsen and Thomas Graves were outright eerie as the shooter (yes, two men playing one, often standing right next to each other). Among other odd/riveting parts: Sarah Rudinoff in bureaucratic drag, Peggy Piacenza elaborating the contents of a purse, and a whole animal-mask thing.
The Clay Duke was a 90-minute spin-out based on a seven-minute video—if you saw the piece but haven't seen the video, you should watch it to fully appreciate what Hanson did with her source material. It begins with the shooter, Clay Duke, interrupting a school-board meeting with "I have a motion," then talking about how his wife lost her job with the district, how they're going broke, how elected officials screw people with taxes and budget-slashing, and how he's prepared to die.
You can read more about it in last week's preview, as well as comments left by Duke's daughter:
A comments thread about an extremely sensitive subject that starts upset and resolves with warmth and gratitude—it's like an internet miracle.
...but they're all here online. Cheers!
• ARAGONA • downtown: From acclaimed chef Jason Stratton (Spinasse, Artusi), it's an extremely hotly anticipated restaurant focusing on the foods of Spain, with the acclaimed David Nelson (Tavern Law, Spur, Il Bistro) in charge of the bar. Aragona is kitty-corner from the Seattle Art Museum, in the neato space where Thoa's used to be. (96 Union St, 682-3590, aragonaseattle.com, $$–$$$)
• ALTSTADT BIERHALLE & BRATHAUS • Pioneer Square: Brendan McGill, chef/owner of the well-liked Hitchcock on Bainbridge Island (and winner of Food & Wine's "People's Best New Chef") runs this great-looking old-school beer hall—big long tables, exposed brick walls, house-made bratwurst and pretzels, house-fermented sauerkraut, and big ol' steins of beer. "Altstadt" means "old town" in German, as befits its Pioneer Square location. (209 First Ave S, 602-6442, altstadtseattle.com, $$)
• HUARACHITOS • Rainier Valley: This family-owned Mexican place is especially beloved for its namesake huaraches—corn cake "sandals" smeared with beans and topped with cheese, meat, and veggies. The original Huarachitos on MLK closed due to a fire in June 2011...
You must, and you have through the weekend to do it.
For now, here's a chunk of an interview Kathleen Hanna did with The Dissolve's Sam Adams, as part of the "Mad Love" series, wherein "entertainers defend movies they love that are generally hated." Hanna's film: Lizzie Borden's Born in Flames, which imagines feminist struggles after a socialist revolution, and reminds Hanna of one of riot grrl's great limitations, on which she holds forth honestly and eloquently.
THE DISSOLVE: One thing that’s amazing about Born In Flames is how it encompasses what were then and are now very sharp debates within the feminist movement. There’s this concern within the movie from the Women’s Army and the feminist press about presenting a united front, and then there are black women and lesbian activists saying “Wait a minute....We actually need to be united before we present a united front, rather than just putting up a wall.”
KATHLEEN HANNA: That’s something that didn’t happen in riot grrrl that makes me really sad when I look back on it. I didn’t think there was going to be a movement, first of all. What I learned was, you have to be inviting women of color if you’re having a meeting, or going to meetings or events that women of color are having, and being supportive of people who are different from your own projects and plans in what they’re doing. If you don’t do that early on, you can’t add it in later, and start having these conversations three years down the road when already you’re in the predominantly white situation. What happens is all these white women arguing about who is more or less racist, or who is more or less classist. It just becomes this shame-and-blame thing, and that was a big part of what was called the riot-grrrl movement deteriorating. I think that lesson from Born In Flames is why at the very first [riot grrrl] convention, I insisted on having an Unlearning Racism workshop, which was hosted by me and a woman of color—of course I can’t remember her name, because she was a member of the Peace Center, and she was somebody I had never met before. It did not go well. Now, even looking at the title Unlearning Racism, the women of color who were there didn’t need to unlearn racism. Maybe internalized racism, but why did I choose that name? The assumption was, we were speaking to a white audience. Right then and there during that particular workshop, women of color walked out. A lot of them ended up making zines that were critical of the riot grrrl movement, but that very much became a part of it, that very much shaped the conversations that began to happen.
Read the whole interview here, and see The Punk Singer at SIFF through Sunday.