Babushka: the Tar Pit of Cultural Appropriation


Follow the link to learn more about her culture. Seriously.

Some weeks back, I read this item on cultural appropriation. And I’ve been bothered by it ever since. I looked into the issue further. To briefly summarize, it’s cool for a woman from anywhere in the world to wear jeans and T-shirts, but I am not allowed to experiment with world fashion. If I am in a Kimono or a Cheongsam, it had better damn well be Halloween. Headgear? Sure, I can wear certain hats, but beyond that lies dangerous territory.

Men seem to be largely exempt from these rules. Utilikilts are acceptable in many places. L.L. Bean has been selling plaid shirts in traditional clan patterns for decades without checking the heritage of the purchaser. Nobody seems to be alarmed at western men with their hair done in a topknot, despite not being samurai.

Some people even want to be in an uproar about sushi being served in a university cafeteria. One must wonder if these people are similarly concerned over spaghetti or tacos.

And this brings me to an important question. Many of my forebears hail from Russia — somewhere near Anatevka, perhaps. I have forebears from other areas of Eastern Europe as well. So, am I Russian enough to wear a scarf in the Babushka style? Or am I about to be flamed for taking this picture in the privacy of my home?



Music Monday: Your Own Special Island

When I saw in high school, I had a voice coach who was heavily into musical theatre. One of the roles she put in my repertoire was Bloody Mary from South Pacific. Because sure, just put the short kid in a black wig and some islander robes and nobody will notice she’s not Asian, right? Sure!

In Closing: Never mind that obesity is a risk factor for those cancers in the first place; hacker invasion; TPP is unfortunately not dead; don’t do your job and you don’t get paid.

Music Monday: Everything Old is New Again


Now I’ll relate this little bit
That happens more than I’d like to admit
Late at night she knocks on my door
She’s drunk again and looking to score


Alone in the night ’til she knocks on my door (Oh no)
Oh no, wasted again but I can’t say no (No)
Baby tell me why, why you do, do me wrong
Baby tell me why, why you do, do me wrong
Gave you my heart but you took my soul

More of the story: toxic people have not changed a lot.

Some Thoughts on the Democrats


Why a picture of Joe Biden? Why not? It’s a pretty cool picture of him!

The Democratic National Convention was this week, so I’d like to share some miscellaneous musings.

On the Email Hack: So some are accusing the Russians of orchestrating this hack to manipulate our elections. None of these people are saying that the emails in question are fake, forged, false, or anything of the sort. So it sounds very suspiciously like they are mad they got caught. The FBI is investigating, but remember this: they are investigating the hack, not the fact that these emails seem to indicate that the Democratic primaries were rigged. And no, Trump did not invite the Russians to hack more. He made a joke about how maybe they have the missing emails. So shut up already about this “threat” to “security.” Remember which candidate had security features turned off on the private email server. This is the online equivalent of closing the store for the night and leaving the door unlocked.

And one more reminder: Read the last few lines. Now repeat after me: Never put anything on the internet that you wouldn’t proudly show to your mother, your boss, and a judge.

On Kaine: People keep saying he’s a Progressive. Ok, Hillary keeps saying he’s a progressive. I don’t see anything to justify that statement. He’s not just in favor of the TPP — at least he was until days ago — he voted to fast-track it. He’s pro-“life”. He’s “tough on crime.” Whoop-dee-doo he speaks Spanish. And did you know he used to be the DNC chair?

On Little Debbie: You know I don’t give political nicknames lightly. Little Debbie Wasserman-Schultz has achieved this dubious honor. She deserves the lawsuit she’s received from rigging the primaries, and more. Matt Taibi graciously calls it a “slanted campaign.” I am frustrated with Democrats who are willing to ignore this and say fuggedaboutit just because they find the opposing candidate scary.

On Bernie: Some people called him a sell-out, but what the hell else was he going to do? Change parties? The man played his role of The Grown Up In The Room and he did it with grace.

On Bernie Supporters: There is mounting evidence that they are getting a raw deal to follow up the non-binding pat on the head of “the most progressive Democratic party platform evar!” Interesting how many times it mentions Mr. Trump. I do not quite think that the Democratic party understands that they do in fact need those voters not just for Hillary, but for all the down-ticket races as well.

Yeah yeah yeah woman President: Michelle Obama said “And because of Hillary Clinton, my daughters and all our sons and daughters now take for granted that a woman can be president of the United States.” No, your daughters can be President, probably Chelsea and Dubya’s girls too. The rest of us, not so much. And no, it isn’t that America isn’t ready for a woman President. For pity sake, India, a nation with a less-than-stellar record on women’s rights, has had a female head of state. Whether any given American kid can become President boils down to money, and what college you went to, and who you know, and a bunch of things that boil down to the fact that most of us will get no closer to the White House than a tour.

And One Last Thing: Fact Checking Hillary and Donald respectively.