Creative Chaos Blogging Award

I was nominated for my first blogging award! I always see these awards around, and have always been curious about them, so I am very glad I get to partake! Thanks to Laurissa at Lest Twenty Two for nominating me. Go check out her comics- they are very entertaining!

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Here is the list of rules, from her site:

1. You must tell 3 completely weird things about your habits. If you claim to have no weird habits, you’re lying and we’ll have to send an investigative team for further analysis.

2. You must tell why you look at the “glass half full” scenario and ask “what? No coffee?”

3. Complete any one of the following essay questions:

A. You find yourself in a desolate place when your car breaks down. You have no cell phone service, no stores, and only a candy bar for food. It is 150 miles to the closest town. What color are your pants and why?

B. You find yourself having to ride an elevator quite frequently. How do you pass the time to show off your creativity?

4. Then you are to nominate 5 random people and let them know.

5. Make sure to show proper gratitude to the person who nominated you whether that is to shower them with gifts, prizes, and cash or to see that they are put into a clown costume and photographed for internet mocking.

6. Make sure to post the award somewhere other than the underside of the toilet seat.

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Here goes nothing, except my attempt to answer them to the best of my abilities.

Weird Habits. This one was pretty hard for me, because I have a lot of odd idiosyncrasies about myself, but I also because I don’t really have a routine (I even took a facebook poll for this!):

  1. I tell stories about people from my life, using their full names. My current friends tease me about this, because they are like, “we don’t know this person- why are you telling us about them and using their full name!?” However, I do it because I truly feel like someday my friends from various parts of the world will know each other, and it has even happened quite a few times so far- a lot of my friends from New Mexico have met my Seattle friends, and a lot of my friends from South Dakota have met my other Washington friends. Someone from Austria has met a London friend, etc.
  2. I sometimes cover cans of food with saran wrap, instead of putting them in a Tupperware. Not only is that weird, but my roommate recently told me it may give me some sort of disease, which would be dreadful.
  3. I pull on my earrings when I get nervous.

2. I don’t know if I fully understand the question for this one, but here’s my answer anyway: I look at the glass half full because when I say, “what, where is the coffee?” I end up having too much caffeine and getting the jitters.

B. I’d make up songs about the predicament and sing them to myself, and dance around the elevator.

4.  Who to nominate? Do you guys know how many blogs I visit every day? Literally hundreds, on a slow day. There really isn’t criteria, but I will chose 5 of the text or art-based blogs I read the most, whose blogs are king of my “feel good” sites, and who post more than once a month.

  1. My first nomination goes to Little Wolf, an illustrator in Portland who portrays every day Portland characters in fun and quirky drawings.
  2. The second goes to one that really cracks me up, Kate, Cracking Up. She’s funny!
  3. I always read Hour of Gold as well, for her personal and entertaining recitations, stories of vegetarian adventures, and some doses of sarcasm.  I appreciate her conversational style.
  4. The blog Mile High Healthy gives me a daily dose of inspiration for healthy living and has a lot of tasty salad recipes. I love salads, and have a not so secret love of both the Colorado Rockies and food blogs, so this one kind of combines a bunch of my favorites.
  5. I am constantly surprised that the blogger of The Last Classic is young (17ish). She is very eloquent, and the style of her site is really fun. I always enjoy her posts, especially about reading and authors.

Other recommendations, and close contenders who deserve some link love: The humor blog Cereal with a Fork is definitely a go-to for me on writing days. One of my favorites is the 3/28 post. I love the blog Diatribes and Ovations, and it was one of the first sites I followed here on WordPress. The site Masculinity U is also very good for masculinity studies and gender topics, although I am not sure who would answer these questions since they have multiple authors. And, last but not least, the young blogger over at Operation Equality is very impassioned and it is fun to watch her learn about and take action for social justice issues.

What is this, you ask? A creative fountain of chaos, of course.

Thanks again Laurissa for the nomination!

Cheers,

Miss E

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Ryan Gosling Rant

***Spoiler Alert***

I just visited Portland this past weekend, and saw the movie Drive with Ryan Gosling. The movie theatre we went to was incredible. It was in an old refurbished building that potentially used to be a brothel according to a friend. There were local brews, yummy nosh foods like cheese plates and Thai roasted nuts, and very cozy chairs. I was pretty excited to see a movie in such an awesome location. I would love to go back and see another movie there.

However, Drive was a major disappointment (and that is putting it nicely).

The throwback to the 80’s could have been fun with the synthesized music and hot pink lettering in the credits, but after a short while I had lost patience with the theme of the film, the treatment of women and ethnic minorities, and the lack of actual driving and plot points surrounding the title of the film.

Ryan Gosling with his 80's Jacket in Drive

My biggest problem with Drive was the underlying “White America” message which (perhaps accidentally, perhaps intentionally), permeated the entire film. In addition, not only was it also anti-Semitic at times, but the female characters were shown to be kind of flat and/or weak. The male and female protagonists are both blond Americans of European descent. Many of the most unsavory characters, on the other hand, are ethnic minorities. Hmmmmm….

For example, Ryan Gosling’s character (by the way he is never named, just called “Kid” or “Driver”) is falling in love with Irene (Carey Mulligan), a who is married to a Latino-American man named Standard, who is also in prison during the opening of the film and the subject of violence throughout the film.

Her husband is shown to not only be incapable of performing his “duties” as husband and father, but is also shown to be weak and cowardly in more than one scene. He eventually needs to ask Ryan Gosling for help. He, not surprisingly, also gets shot in the head during the movie.

I will not go into any symbolism here, but I felt that this whole patriarchal battle for Irene and her son Benicio between the White and Mexican man, even thought supposedly a subplot, was pretty obscene. Gosling also didn’t have to even try to “win” Irene in any way. He is shown by the filmmaker as the  more stable option, who Irene also seems to prefer (or at least the option last standing).

He is usually the one controlling violence, not the subject of that violence, for example. He’s somehow shown to be “better than” or exempt from the violence until it finally catches up with him. And even then, he gets a long, drawn out death, and he gets agency in his death.

I didn’t understand why Ryan Gosling’s White male character was glorified and masculinized. Isn’t that formula kind of tired by now?

He’s a good driver- OK, so what?

Hey look- Ryan Gosling in a car. That doesn't happen much in this movie, considering the title.

He is also shown to be emotionally and socially off, violent towards women at times, potentially racist, and doesn’t seem to know how to shop for clothes. Ok, so we’re supporting That White guy again? Yet another example of White Male Exceptionalism.

I was pretty “on guard” after the comment in the movie made by Gosling’s character about a picture of her husband Standard. He asks, “What is he?” and she responds, “In prison.” At that point I was thinking, Ok, that was a gutsy script choice. I wonder what they will do with that moment.

However, instead of delving into any of the background, racial tension, ignorance, or potential racism on the part of Gosling’s character that elicited the comment, it was glossed over in the film as Gosling begins his slow usurpation of the role of Male Protector/Patriarch in the threesome’s familial structure.

The only way I can see the film attempting to take power away from Gosling’s character is in that he is a bit volatile, has little no emotional expression, and dies in the end (but still in a glorified and ambiguous way). Irene also seems a bit upset with him after seeing him crush someone’s skull in an elevator directly after kissing her.

Also, Irene’s character really pissed me off. She had no agency, and was always dependent on the men in the film. Her son was suffering, but he only seemed to get better once he had a White male father figure to hang out with. WTF.

I felt very glad there was alcohol available, because this movie annoyed me on many levels, and I was bummed to see the supposedly “feminist” man Ryan Gosling who has been the subject of the “Feminist Ryan Gosling” meme star in such a clueless and racialized film which propagates glorified White Americans and male violence.

I would not recommend this movie to my readers, ever.

Quite Annoyed,

Miss E