It’s the background that really takes this to Spencer’s Gift-level depressing. Remember when Spencer’s Gift was more a dad-joke/gag/cheap magic trick store? Now it’s like walking into Tommy Lee’s head, or a bachelorette party underway at Egypt on the Waterfront in Jersey.
A couple months ago I was overjoyed when a Bed Stuy artist plastered the area with posters saying “Don’t Tell Me To Smile”, with drawn pictures of non-smiling ladies. If you are someone of any gender going around minding your business, or perhaps even feeling down, it never really helps the situation to hear some random person order you to do something, however well-intended. It also doesn’t help that in many cases, the suggestion is absolutely gendered, with some random guy telling a lady he doesn’t know from Eve what to do. AT BEST. I say ‘at best’ because in many instances this is followed up by said guy hitting on the girl, or yelling at her when she fails to comply. Oh, how I loved someone had taken that sentiment and painted the town red with it.
So recently when my sister sent a link to this Jezebel article on a sweater bearing that same message, I was happy the message was available in wearable form, but thought the design was hideous. Not that I’m an expert or anything, but here’s my quick mockup, to be executed by interested parties in permanent marker on any available t-shirt handy:
(click for a larger image)
(and yes they make Sharpies in that exact shade of pink, should you so wish)
If the last names above ring a bell, it’s because mother-daughter team Katharine and Isabel together created the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, one of the most widely used personality assessment tools today. And yet, on Wikipedia neither the Indicator’s nor Isabel Briggs Myers’ page has a full history of their work. Neither page even has a picture of the women (the Indicator’s shows a picture of Jung, whose writing on dichotomies inspired the test).
The test was initially developed by Katharine and honed over the years by her and daughter Isabel, the Indicator’s first guinea-pig. It was further developed by Isabel as women began entering the workforce during World War II. Using Jung’s concepts she thought to help these women, many who never held a paying job outside the house, find work suitable for their skills and temperaments. She also thought insight into how individuals process the world around them might lead to better understanding between people and nations, perhaps eliminating the need for war altogether.
It seems ironic a test developed by women to assist women is represented by a man on one of the world’s most-trafficked sites. Of course, there are plenty who would rush to say the MBTI (as the Indicator is most widely known) is not some altruistic feminist artifact, but a multimillion-dollar juggernaut beloved by human resource and lacking in accuracy and usefulness. The negative case can certainly be made, and in fact Isabel further refined the test on assistant Katherine Dowes when the young lady was set to marry into the family (Isabel thought clarifying the couple’s personality traits would help them in marriage). Matchmaking isn’t anti-feminist, but does reinforce the stereotype that girls can do science too- in GIRL areas (see: engineering or mechanical work for ladies limited to kitchen instruments/sewing machines/baby stuff).
A thoughtful article on the test’s inventors and the test itself, especially as it’s used in the business world, can be found here. My favorite excerpt: “Corporate America has its own religions, and one of them is Myers-Briggs.”
I am pleased as punch at Spectacle’s excellently curated ‘Anti-Valentine’s Day’ series, starting Feb. 1st with amazing 60s gender battle ‘The Laughing Woman’. Ranging from psychotic obsession to pure loathing, the four films are excellent antidotes against saccharine concepts of ‘love’ and ‘romance’ that get pushed on well-meaning folk from January onward.
If you’re a fan of Jodorowsky, I highly recommend catching ‘The Laughing Woman’ (also released as ‘The Frightened Woman’, to give you an idea of the power plays going on within the film). It’s gorgeously shot and beautifully set-dressed, each room’s color and design carefully composed. It’s also equally comfortable with sky-high symbolism:
Why yes, that is a giant psychedelic automated vagina-door he walks into! This movie also features the artiest and most ridiculous cutaway for implied sexy doings I’ve ever seen – I couldn’t figure out a way to shoehorn it into the trailer but go see this movie if only to catch it: man at the wheel, stopped at the train tracks, the woman’s head dips out of sight; cut to – a small, brightly decorated train slowly rolling by draped with Mod ladies casually blowing wind instruments IN CLOSE-UP. And still the description does not do the sheer ludicrousness of it justice. This is shortly followed by them driving along again, only to bank right AND DRIVE INTO THE LAKE BECAUSE IT’S AN AQUACAR. Absolutely outstanding. Oh, also there’s lots of interesting gender politics and psychological torture and whatnot, but mainly, there’s a 60s sportsaquacar and now I must own one.
Adding to the visual excellence is the score – by turns ominous, silly, and catchy as all get-out. It’s extremely 60s – electronic organs, backing chorus, and wah-wah- guitar all over the place, with an adorable ‘theme song’ apparently sung by a French woman reading badly translated Italian to English lyrics. The grimy version pulled from the film is heard in the trailer, but due to a wonky transfer it seems to be sped up a bit from the original. If you visit Spectacle Theater’s page for the movie, you can download the amazing score for yourself and take a listen.
Hey Everybody! I put off writing this movie up so I could do a well-thought-out, 50-cent word 10-page thesis, but clearly that didn’t work out, so it’s bullet-points instead. Let’s start with the obvious: this movie was fun! Not the deepest, most coherent comment on society, with a thin plot and plenty of loose ends, but still a genuinely enjoyable way to spend an hour and a half. Why? Oh, perhaps it was the rare joy of two young, attractive female leads who are somehow capable of having both personalities and self-defense skills at the same time (Kate Beaton and pals did an excellent comic showcasing what passes for ‘strong female leads’ in the movies nowadays).
Sure, they talk about boys, especially potential last guy on earth Hector (more on him later), but it ties back into their sisterly dynamic! Speaking of which, these ladies enjoy/have sex without too much guilt! UNPRECEDENTED! They’re unapologetically sexy (the scene where Samantha coyly says ‘Hiii!’ before kneeing a mall jerk in the groin is a perfect example), but SEXY is not the beginning and ending of their character description. It seems silly to be so giddy about what is certainly a B-grade apocalyptic flick with serious retro charm, but THERE ARE THAT FEW EXAMPLES OF DECENT LADIES IN THE MOVIES.
And though this film already has more decent ladies in it than all 3 Transformer movies put together, IT ALSO HAS CALAMITY JANE! AKA Mary Woronov, former Warhol Factory model, writer, painter, and star of numerous excellent (or if you’re into irony, “excellent”) films including ‘Death Race 2000′. Here she’s a scientist AND the lone voice of morality in a group of amoral nerds who survived the apocalypse!
Back to Hector, this film has another rarity: Ethnics! And not as broad stereotypes or zany sidekicks, but AS NORMAL HUMAN BEINGS. Though they did sort of highlight the importance of family to many Hispanic people when Hector risked life and limb to see if they were ok, that’s a far cry from having him shout ‘AIII NO ME GUSTA!’ while getting chased by zombie cops, something I strongly suspect would happen if say, Michael Bay were at the helm (see, Talking JiveBots). Also, a Japanese girl because, why not? EXACTLY. The ethnic makeup of LA is not solely tall blond interchangeable women, despite what casting would have you believe.
And finally, this film may be the finest example of gradual color filter use EVER. Don’t forget to check out this week’s film, ‘Uncle Boonme Who Can Recall His Past Lives’. I only have a small idea what it’s about, but I’m already sold on the concept of ghosts haunting people, not real estate. Silly American ghosts, with their fixations on property values.
I’ve posted random stuff online for several years and am happy to provide a pleasant visual forum for visitors to oggle. I hope this site offers tidbits of interest to the curious reader, and useful information for the crafty.
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