Controversy on Michelle Williams’ Native American Photo

So I came across this, which refers to this, which is a post by a really pissed off and offended person named Ruth Hopkins.  She’s really mad that the actress Michelle Williams is on the cover of a British magazine dressed like a Native American (or maybe I should say American Indian, which is the term Ms. Hopkins uses).

All kinds of asses have had fires lit under them by this!  Mine remains normal temperature, though.  I don’t get it.  I’m a big believer in educating people on the history of minorities’ struggles especially in America where we sweep so much under the rug, and while some stereotypes are fairly harmless, many contribute to and cause real harm.  Racism is something we should all take very seriously, and…well, “pass the word”, so to speak.  When we learn something, pass it on.  That’s how we educate (schools certainly didn’t back in my day, I don’t know how well they’re doing these days).

the source of the brouhaha

the source of the brouhaha

So I think there is genuine education that Ms. Hopkins can bestow upon the masses (I recommend reading what she says about L. Frank Baum), and a tad bit is mentioned in the article.  Unfortunately, the focus is a raging rant about the photo, which makes sane people not want to read the entire thing – she goes so far as to call the photo “redface” and compares it with “blackface”, which IMO is pretty offensive to blacks and anyone else offended by blackface.  (I’m not using the term African American because that’s presumptuous – many blacks in America aren’t African Americans and don’t like being referred to as such.)  We have a well known history of how “blackface” was used in this country, and what it looks like.  No one knows what “redface” is, and I wonder if Ms. Hopkins coined the term for hyperbole.

Anyway, there’s the photo above, and you can decide for yourself.  Below is a comment I left on the blog (parts of which I could have written better to make my point; the part about Baum’s & Williams’ connection wasn’t meant to imply her intent, I was just trying to say that sort of information would be more…informative).  I’m not interested in going back to “discuss” because I know I’ll be skewered by the self-righteous blowhards who are so prevalent on the internet, who just like to yell, accuse, bully, name-call, finger-point, whatever, while proclaiming and trying to shove their own superiority down your throat.

But they always seem to forget to make a valid point, for some reason.  I have better things to do with my time.  Like writing my own post about my thoughts on the matter….

P.S.  I think Ms. Hopkins may be saying that The Wizard of Oz must be removed from Earth.  That is, if you extrapolate from the logic she’s using in terms of Michelle Williams and Baum’s work & racist history.

Meanwhile, does Ms. Hopkins, or any of the other people outraged over this photo, have documentation as to Michelle Williams’ ancestors?  Her DNA?  Her Ancestry.com site?  Anything?  For all we know, she could be 8/10 American Indian, and be celebrating her heritage.

le comment:

Firstly, I have no idea whether Williams is or isn’t aware of Baum’s history, but I certainly wasn’t, and I’d bet the vast majority of Americans aren’t.  Does this kind of history mean that no actor or other performer can ever partake in any works by any American historical person who had a racist history?  If so, then the arts in America had better come to a screeching halt.  All Fords must be set on fire and production stopped immediately.  We learn from the past but we can’t let it control our present or future, or it “wins”.  Your point would be much better made if you focused more on the educational aspects rather than a photo, which detracts from your very valid and important points about Baum & his history, and Williams’ connection.

I’m a member of a minority race, and wouldn’t be offended if a white person dressed up as a person of my heritage for a magazine photo, so long as the intention wasn’t to portray my race in a clearly negative or derogatory manner, such as engaging in offensively stereotypical behavior.   In that vein, I fail to see the justification for the correlation between ‘blackface’ and ‘redface’, and do not see how this photo constitutes ‘redface’.  Forgive my possible ignorance, but I do not understand why this photo is offensive.  I understand that many do, but I do not.  

Unless, that is, it’s because she’s white.  In that case, perhaps the perpetrator(s) of “racism” should be reconsidered.

Advertisements

Aviva Drescher: The Pity-Party Pitbull

Aviva Drescher should stand on street corners with a cardboard sign reading, “WILL BULLY FOR ATTENTION”.

Seriously, have you ever seen someone so relentlessly demanding of pity and attention as Aviva Drescher of Real Housewives of New York City??  She’s like some kind of deranged neediness-bully.

First of all, she and her father are lucky Ramona only had George escorted out of the event – if someone grabbed me like that, under those circumstances (the pre-existing hard feelings, his virtually stalking Ramona and continually insisting she apologize to Aviva while refusing to listen to Ramona’s side, and the fact that the event was for ABUSED WOMEN), I would either slap or punch him – and then I’d consider pressing charges.

How dare he, and how dare Aviva put themselves forth as victims??  Oh wait…I forgot for a second…Diva Aviva is always claiming victimization by Ramonja, relentlessly demands apologies and when she doesn’t get what she wants, she bullies.

Now we know where she learned that behavior….

For a while I thought Aviva was the token crazy person now that kooky Kelly is gone (come ON, none of you bought Aviva’s facade of awesomeness the first few episodes, did you??).  Leave it to the diva, she soon proved me wrong…she is a combination of Kelly and Jill – crazy and mean.  But she’s worse than the two of them put together – she is like a pitbull when she doesn’t get sympathy or rapturous attention whenever she thinks she deserves it.

Don’t get me wrong, I have loads of sympathy and empathy for anyone with anxiety disorders, but there comes a point where you have to make sure it doesn’t become other people’s problem.  I have PTSD, so I really do get it.  But I don’t make it other people’s problem, and here’s where Aviva crosses a big, fat, honkin’ line – she not only makes her anxiety disorders everyone else’s problem, but she DEMANDS that they accept the HONOR of partaking in her disorder, and DEMANDS that they pity her and be her cheerleader any time she does something she’s afraid of!

Diva Aviva threw a fit when Ramonja didn’t get on their knees and worship her while simultaneously throwing a party (including fireworks on the beach) in her honor upon her arrival on vacation.  She acted as if they’d victimized her by not doing that!  So then she commenced with the incessant, demanding, odious, neediness, each time becoming more vicious in her insults, judgments and degrading remarks to both Ramona and Sonja.

Diva Aviva is fond of using the word “appalling” when referring to Ramona…no surprise there, because Aviva wrote the book on being appalling.

Degrading, offensive, inappropriate and ridiculous insults roll off Aviva’s tongue as quickly and efficiently as bad milk.  She goes SO low into the high school mean-girl scum pond with her behavior.  It was hilarious that at the beginning of tonight’s finale they showed a clip of her saying “let’s not become mean girls!” at the beginning of the season.

But lest you think I’ve forgotten about her leg…of course I have sympathy and empathy for Aviva about her leg – I feel terrible for her loss of her foot and lower leg.  I’m not just whistling in the wind, I know it’s traumatizing and causes a lot of problems in one’s life…I took care of my husband for years and he was an amputee.  Why did I have to “take care of” him as an amputee?  Because he also had brain damage.

Let’s review:

1.  Aviva’s amputation is “BK” – below knee.  Believe me, having that knee makes a  significant difference in how ambulatory you are (aka how well you can live a normal life).  My husband’s amputation was  “AK” – above knee.  Never gonna be an easy road there…unless you’re wealthy and can afford a super awesome prosthesis, I suppose.  Or two, or three.  Which brings us to:

2. Aviva is wealthy.  My husband was poor.  Here is a picture of one of Aviva’s prostheses.

Here is another picture, where she’s wearing one (she has at  least two). She even gets pedicures on the toenails of her prostheses, because they’re so artfully crafted and realistic looking.

How much do these beautiful prostheses cost?  According to the website these photos come from: “Aviva’s prosthetic limb is cast from a mold of her right leg…and cost approximately $25,000. (In the article it is unclear if that is for both her flats and high heels versions combined, or $25,000 each) Aviva estimates she has 50 different legs since her accident.”

Wow, seriously??

Here is a picture of my husband’s prosthesis:

Which brings us to:

3.  Aviva is alive and otherwise healthy, and has a happy family life.  Why is my husband’s prosthesis standing all alone there, on the dirty concrete step, against the garage door?  Because he’s dead and doesn’t need it anymore.  But that was a “good” prosthetic leg.  A bit of a difference between the prostheses, no?

Honestly, Diva Aviva, get some perspective – you have it pretty darned good in life, all things considered.  It is time for you to STFU with your constant complaining, attacks and demands for attention.  Or you could compromise – whine and demand attention ONCE.  But then you have to STFU if you don’t get it.  You can run off and cry in the bathroom or something, just stop inflicting your vindictive neediness onto everyone else.

‘kay?  Hey, thanks!

So…

Am I the only one wondering whether Bethenny was being evil to us viewers for recommending Aviva for the show, or (more likely) was it another brilliant business and marketing idea to put that hot mess on the show??  How hard is she laughing when she watches these episodes?  The only reason I’ll be able to stomach the reunion show is because I dig me some Andy Cohen in a really big way….

I also love me some Sonja, but I have a little shoutout to our favorite party girl:  I LOVED you flat-out telling Diva Aviva that you just don’t care about her feelings on the matter, and refusing to apologize (for whatever imaginary slight…or was it for being naked and having fun? I never quite got that).  But I kinda think you should rethink that…Maybe you should participate because, you know, Sonja in the City might be able to start billing Diva Aviva for some of those pity-parties!

One last thing….  DAMN, Heather’s husband is hot!  Really handsome, and he seems sensitive and thoughtful (seeing as how he was rationally trying to calm people down).  Obviously, this means I hope Heather comes back next season.  Well, that and I like that she’s up-front and doesn’t mind confrontation…like, AT ALL.  As long as it’s a sane conversation, that is.  She can hold her own, and I kinda want to see her in big fights with everyone because…*shudder*…she stays rational and omg, that is such an alien approach on that show!

What Happens When A Pretty Woman Refuses to Take Crap From a Handsome Douche (I mean dude)?

The internet tries to devour her, that’s what.  But she’s not slinking away, and I hope she keeps it up!

This is almost old news by now, but it still succeeds in cracking me up.  What’s pissing me off is the way people are reacting – I almost can’t believe how vicious people are being towards this woman.  I’ll make this short and sweet (maybe).

Here’s the story:

Really pretty woman (Melissa Stetten) is traveling on an airplane.

Her seatmate is a handsome (I guess?) D-list actor named Brian Presley.

(I can’t believe he was on General Hospital because I’ve watched that show religiously since the Luke and Laura days, and I don’t recognize either him or his character’s name at all.  Umm…leaving no impression is worse than leaving a bad impression.)

Anyway, during the flight, it seems Brain talks about himself a lot.  And a lot of what he says is bullshit and shameless self-promotion.  SHOCKING!  Because no man hitting on a beautiful woman does that!

He’d also had a few beers and seemed sorta intoxicated, like maybe he also had a few at the airport before boarding the plane.  Melissa finds the experience amusing (and obviously annoying because all women love to have jerks like this sitting next to us on planes), so she tweets about it.  She happens to have a sense of humor and has the ability to articulate her thoughts…and she can spell and use grammar properly!

She therefore has a huge advantage, because this means people will read and comprehend her tweets.

And this is just what Twitter is for anyway, right?  People tweeting about their lives…why yes, yes it is, as a matter of fact.

The tweets get attention…enough attention that someone writes a blog post about said twitter stream and is kinda nasty about her…Melissa posts that on her own blog.  Because it’s funny.  And because she has a sense of humor.

The shit hits the fan….  Because Brian is a married, recovering-alcoholic-turned-god-fearing-whatever-and-all-that, and he was not supposed to be doing any of this, and it reveals him to be a massive liar and hypocrite.

OH, NO……  This could be really bad!  But wait – none of that matters!

Why?  Because the internets decided Melissa is a very bad person because she live-tweeted the experience and now everyone knows that Brian is an utter douche!  It’s all Melissa’s fault!  She’s ruined Brian’s life!  Brian had nothing to do with his own circumstances, because Melissa is really pretty and all the men leaving vicious comments on her blog post and all the other blogs about this, are behaving the way juvenile boys behave in situations like this.  “F*cking b*tch will never f*ck ME, so I’m gonna call her every name I can think of, and blame everything on HER!”

(Meanwhile, they…just…can’t…stop…masturbating…to…her…pictures….  And that makes them really mad.)

(Edit:  I just realized the screencap I’d had up was something of an edited version…this is the original version I saw on Tumblr shortly after the incident occurred and is, as far as I know, unedited…and that much better.)

Mel – what have you done with my Max?

I’m cringing because tonight I’m breaking my ban on Jay Leno and watching his show, because Mel Gibson is scheduled to be a guest.

HOW CAN ANYONE WITH A TV MISS THAT??

Something about this latest rage-rant of his has been bumming me out.  (Do people still say that?  I do, so whatever…call me old – I am.)  Obviously the other scandalous rants were kinda horrifying, but I mean the bum-out has now gone to another level.  For decades I was a huge Mel fan – yes, my fellow female Mel-fan (okay, we were slightly obsessed) co-worker and I referred to him by his first name – for much of that time I had a ginormous crush on him.  I know, I know, what straight woman didn’t?  But I was breathless, watching his older movies.  I mean the ones from the 80’s, where he was unspeakably beautiful, and when the camera was on his face it was physically and psychologically impossible to look away (so sometimes I had little idea of whatever else was going on in the movies…good excuse to watch them again).

But what set him apart and what made him much more than just a pretty face was the vulnerability that his characters had… particularly those in his 80’s movies…that’s what made him so compelling for me.

(Confession:  I’ve always been a sucker for a pretty face when there is a lot of complicated stuff going on behind it.  How can I spot it when it’s hidden behind the veil of a face?  I have no idea, but it’s an instinct…I even spot it in cats and dogs who have underlying illnesses that aren’t diagnosed until much later.  Go figure.)

I only saw a handful of his movies on the big screen at a theater, though.  I was always too poor to afford the movies when I was younger, and most of his early movies wouldn’t have been at the theaters in the small-ish town I lived in at the time.  I’m talking about Gallipoli, Tim, The Year of Living Dangerously, Mrs. Soffel, The River, and of course the first two Mad Max Movies.  I liked the first two more than Thunderdome, which went all Hollywood, and while it was good, the grit that made the first two movies so great, was gone.  (Although, I still go around my house calling water, “wawtehr” because of the way the kids chanted “Wawkehr” (they thought he was their savior, Walker).)

Road Warrior and Dog

The Road Warrior was in my top 5 all-time favorite movies from the early- or mid-80’s, up until the time Mel’s anti-semitic, racist rants became known.  I’ve seen the movie dozens of times…back in the day, my husband and I would go out to our favorite bar on the weekends and go home and watch either Pink Floyd’s The Wall, The Song Remains the Same, or The Road Warrior.  (Hubby was much less of a fan of RW because he was a pacifist, whereas I…am so not.)  I had matted, framed photos of the Road Warrior hanging in my house for over 10 years.

Around the time Thunderdome came out, Mel did an interview – I think it was in Rolling Stone – in which he was surprisingly candid.  This was of course in the mid-80’s, long before actors or any celebrity for that matter, opened up about difficulties in their lives.  I was really struck by the interview because he was in a very dark frame of mind and talked about exhaustion from doing so many movies in a row, that he was getting ready to take a break and go home to his ranch in Australia and ride motorcycles.

He talked about being destructive – not just a little, but significantly destructive.  He said he’d had problems with drinking – it was bad, and he talked about having some rage issues, and it came down to him having to get his shit together or he’d lose his wife.

I’m pretty sure it’s either the 2nd or 3rd article here to the left.  I was going to quote the areas I’m talking about here, but I’m too cheap to pay the $20 for a subscription, but if you have one, you can access these.

Anyway, I thought about his sort of confessions at a lot, mostly because they came as such a surprise at the time – and the media was nothing like it is now, so no one picked up and ran with that “dirt”.  He was a shooting star, very quickly becoming The Star, and in those days I guess the media didn’t want to alienate celebrities, because of course there was no internet, no 24-hour news cycles, and all of the trappings that come with those things.

I don’t like scandals…I’m not into watching and reading about what celebrities are doing or not doing, and especially don’t like seeing the negative stuff about their personal lives, because I can’t understand why in the hell that’s any of my business.  So yeah, I’m kind of out touch in that sense.  But something about this latest rant unnerves me, and I kind of have the feeling he’s not long for this world.  I know what anger does to my body these days, and the level of rage he’s been displaying has got to be destroying his body.  The repercussions have got to be really damaging for him, psychologically.  The man was on such a high pedestal – put there by Hollywood and by us, the public – so he’s in the midst of such a long, long fall.  Everything in him may break when he hits the pavement…and that may be soon.

Listen, I know he’s a shithead, but a lot of us are shitheads, just maybe in different ways.  But the guy clearly has psychological problems and a serious drinking problem – I wish he could get help.  And I wonder about his ex-wife and kids, and how they tolerated whatever it was they had to endure.  And how are they dealing with all of this?  Surely they’ve got to be very, very concerned.

Something about this is now tragic…it isn’t just fodder for Mel-hating anymore.