Bobby Jindal’s Lucid Moment

“We must stop being the stupid party. It’s time for a new Republican party that talks like adults. It’s time for us to articulate our plans and visions for America in real terms. We had a number of Republicans damage the brand this year with offensive and bizarre comments. We’ve had enough of that. We must stop insulting the intelligence of voters. We need to trust the smarts of the American people. We have to stop dumbing down our ideas and stop reducing everything to mindless slogans and tag lines for 30-second ads. We must be willing to provide details in describing our views.”—Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (R), in a speech to the Republican National Committee.

Good plan. Also, dump the religion. That ship has sailed, seriously.

What Citizens United Demonstrated

The way Citizens United was decided offers extra proof that US conservatives are fully aware that they will not be able to convince the majority of citizens to vote for them and will now have to rely exclusively on buying the elections.

What the 2012 elections demonstrated is that even the power to invest unprecedented amounts of money into the elections will not make the ultra-conservative agenda attractive to the majority.

What we will see in the nearest future is the growing irrelevance of the ultra-conservative agenda and the attendant hysteria of characters like Limbaugh and Beck.

What we will see in a couple of decades is a society where being against reproductive rights, gay marriage or health insurance for all will be as unacceptable as it is to be pro-slavery today.

Thanks go to Rob F for bringing the linked article here.

Winslet Does Not Surprise

I was not in the least surprised to read the following:

Actress Kate Winslet was actually so embarrassed about having a C-section for her first child that she lied about it:

When she celebrated the birth of her first baby, she hailed the joys of natural childbirth. But now, four years on, Kate Winslet has admitted she lied – her daughter Mia was delivered by emergency Caesarean section. The actress said she wanted to have her naturally and only lied because she believed she was a ‘failure’ for not being able to do so…

After Winslet’s very public drooling over a pedophile, it has become clear that she incapable of seeing children – including her own – as anything but objects that exist to entertain adults.

Art’s Addressee

This post discusses how it is much easier to make a movie for men and about men. At the same time, since the XVIIIth century, it has been a lot easier to write a novel about women and for women.

Clarissa, Pamela, Evelina, Jane Eyre, Anna Karenina, La de Bringas, Fortunata and Jacinta, Madame Bovary, Eugenie Grandet, Gloria, Marianela, La Regenta, Nana, Doña Inés – the list could go on forever. Even the most trivial events in a woman’s life merit a great novel about them. Can you imagine a book called Mr. Dalloway where the protagonist goes out to buy flowers for his party and does pretty much nothing else during the entire novel?  The few novels that have male names as a title – Silas Marner, David Copperfield – are still very obviously addressed to a female audience. Many writers don’t even pretend that they are interested in talking to male readers and address their audience as “mis estimadas lectoras.” In English, the lack of grammatical differentiation of genders is substituted by the gendered “my fair readers.”

I wish people remembered this when they bellyached about how few movies about women there are. As the old saying goes, nature does not tolerate a vacuum. If there is one form of art that tends to exclude a certain audience, there will soon arise an alternative form of art that will talk to those who have been excluded. And since literature is true art and film, with very few exceptions, is a pretense at art, I believe that women have definitely gotten the better deal here. If you don’t agree, consider any of the novels I listed above and the movie referenced in the linked title. Which of these artistic products do you believe is likely to survive for the next 100 years? Given that Richardson’s Clarissa has been around for the last 265 years (and is still as fascinating as ever), I think the answer is obvious.