Monday, August 30, 2010
Just finished watching Anchors Aweigh (Frank Sinatra, Gene Kelly, Kathryn Grayson) and I can't help admiring the outfits of the leading lady Aunt Susie (Grayson), but this won't be a fashion post. (Note to self: scarf/ribbon headbands look great with curly hair!)
At the beginning of the movie, you see Joe (Kelly) and Clarence (Sinatra)--navy men--getting off the ship so they can enjoy a few day's leave in Hollywood. Joe is the type to easily charm the ladies, while Clarence is the shy guy who always doesn't know what to say. Anyway, because they're together on leave, Clarence sticks to Joe like a barnacle, asking for help to, er, charm the ladies.
You can see it's all about flirting and charming to them... and from here you get the picture of what a navy man is like: there are pin-up pictures of women in their locker, they gather around telling stories of how well they scored (not in today's sense of the word, though), and they rejoice over meeting a lady who "lives alone." To top it off, this funny song (link below) shows exactly what kind of woman a lady is believed to be if she hangs out with too many navy men:
[I can't embed it so you'll have to go to YouTube.]
(Of course, Joe and Clarence were only lying to the poor man here. Clarence had a crush on Susie and, wanting to get rid of her date, he and Joe smudged her reputation, haha!)
During their leave (and in the process of getting to know Susie more), the two navy men learn that women are not prizes you catch for being "charming"; they aren't marks on a tally board to boast of. By some amusing turn of events involving a lost kid who wants to join the navy, the men making up one lie after another, dinner-and-dance dates at a Mexican restaurant, and having to run after a famous musician to make up for the lies, both men learn that, more than having a lady to be with during a leave, what's more important was to have "somebody to come home to"--a lady for keeps!
I think their meeting a woman of substance (Susie) helped Joe and Clarence "grow up"--not only in their regard for women, but also in their realizing the consequences of their actions (they kept seeing Susie with the excuse that they knew somebody in Hollywood who would give her an audition--a lie that progressively got worse as the plot unfolded). The guys had a lucky break that Jose Iturbi (as himself) was kind enough to give Susie her audition even if the whole thing was all made up!
What I like about this film (besides the music and the dancing!) is the way it portrays women as people men must take the time to get to know--women have dreams, too, and they need to be respected... and they're definitely not people to be lied to or simply taken in by some guy's "charms." Today, this still rings true, but it's harder to see that it's wanting because popular media has clouded the view by insisting women are more liberated if they be more naughty like Megan Fox, eccentric/wild like Lady Gaga or super tough like Salt. I'm not sure how "liberation" can ever happen when women are objectified (which all three are).
What do you think?
Monday, August 23, 2010
Great story, awesome soundtrack, perfect comedic timing and not really as morbid as it looks! :->
Departures--or Okuribito--is about Daigo, a cellist who lost his job at the orchestra in Tokyo. Because of that, he decides to resign as a professional musician and instead look for a job in his old hometown in Yamagata. In his search, he finds an ad for an agency (NK Agents) that "assists in journeys," and he takes this job not knowing the job was about encoffinment!
This movie is about family: you find yourself learning from the families who've lost their loved ones (most especially the family of the lady who owned the bath house), Daigo's own family (his wife Mika and his relationship with his parents), and even from the little non-family family that is the NK Agents (Daigo, Shoei, and Yuriko); and about acceptance, not only of one's "unusual job" but also of all faults... I suppose a better word is reconciliation.
In a review, Walter Pless writes:
"This is a perspective on death that could help materialistic Western audiences to focus on the things that are really important in life. Departures is about love, family, loyalty, respect, responsibility, and even the place of humans in the natural world. But its central theme is reconciliation....
"Daigo’s reconciliation with his pregnant wife and his interactions with the local owner of the sento, or bath house, and its clientele, encompass a wide range of human emotions, including basic human prejudices. But his new-found profession turns out to be a unifying and positive factor in his own life and in the lives of bereaved families within the community.
"Daigo earns respect, and bickering families are reconciled through his ministrations over the body of their relative. The climax comes in a moving scene when Daigo has to prepare the body of his own long-estranged father. Reconciliation is at the heart of Departures....
"Departures transcends its morbid subject and one’s initial apprehension at its unconventional subject is soon swept away by its positive message about the dignity of being human, both in life and in death.----
You know how you can't ever keep something good to yourself? This is one of those times for me! Go see it!
Just two tips:
1) Don't eat while watching, and
2) have lots of tissue on hand.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
My younger sister once told me about a woman who had eight babies and killed them each time she had them, and then buried them in their garden. Apparently her husband never knew because she had a hefty build and a pregnancy wasn't obvious. But the crime was discovered anyway.
After telling the story, my sister asked me, "What do you think?" and because I didn't know how better to say it, I said that the woman must've gotten crazy/deranged somewhere down the road.
Today I read an article on MercatorNet that basically worded out the jumble that was on my mind when I first heard that story. Carolyn Moynihan writes ("Women fatally forgetting themselves"):
Now, there is one ideology today that brings out this streak in women to a truly frightening extent and it has nothing to do with war-mongering, although it has everything to do with dehumanising a certain part of humanity. It is the systematically promoted and officially sanctioned idea that women not only have the right to kill their unborn children, but that it is often the best, most responsible thing they can do. Like shooting Jewish children in the war, it is really for the good of all concerned -- even the victims.
If Keli Lane killed her newborn daughter, it was only the next logical step on from what she learned as a teenager in family planning counselling rooms and abortion clinics from the women who staff them. When Dominique Cottrez smothered eight of her babies after she delivered them, was she really doing something morally different from what any abortionist would have done for her before they were born?
Why is a woman who kills her babies when they are born (and buries them without anyone knowing) more 'horrible,' 'barbarous,' or 'deranged' than a woman who gets an abortion? Didn't they just do the same thing? The latter even brought other people in to kill the baby with her. Is it because abortion is legal or "safe" that makes the act of baby-killing-while-still-in-the-womb seem less inhumane than baby-killing-after-birth?
I'm not saying that people who have done abortions or are pro-abortion are crazy. I'm just trying to understand what made abortion seem acceptable in the first place (when obviously we do get shocked by news of people killing little ones). Is it because not everyone knows that life starts at conception, and that there are those who truly believe the fetus is just "a piece of tissue"? Or does it stem from a power struggle--that of a woman asserting her freedom to do just what she wants with her body? About the latter, I do wonder how that sort of thinking, no matter how prevalent, has not yet translated to people just doing whatever they want with their life, never mind justice, never mind peace and never mind respecting the existence of others.
Saturday, August 14, 2010
But before I get all gloomy, here are the covers of the JULY and AUGUST issues of Baby Magazine! Nothing like a dose of cuteness to bring out a smile on an otherwise troubled face. Seriously, can you look at these happy faces and still be pigheaded about your conviction that abortion-on-demand does not violate anybody's rights?
Baby magazine is published by Marathon Publishing Co. and is sold at all National Bookstores, SM baby department stores, Babyland (Robinsons Galleria, Shaw Blvd. near Cherry Foodarama, Eastwood Mall), Baby & Co. (The Podium and Power Plant Mall), Bufini, Procreation Shangri-la mall, Big & Small Co. Shangri-la Mall.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Have you seen this web ad by Yahoo! Mail? I think it reflects how the status messages on FB have come to be used as a ranting portal by a lot of people. True, you get comforting responses from your network of friends, but that habit is not at all a very good one--I mean, talk about being unprofessional!
Ok, some of you may disagree with me about the need to rant--sometimes people just have to let out steam! But I think people can let out steam in private: confiding in trusted friends, asking for advice from a mentor.... What's the use of letting the whole world know that you feel indignant doing the work you're paid to do?
See the last frame in that web ad: "Just make sure your boss isn't on your friends list." Doesn't that mean ranting in public poses the risk of giving you more problems? Ranting doesn't solve anything, and ranting in public, more often than not, makes things worse.
...besides, how can you accomplish your work well if instead of concentrating on it, you keep focusing on why doing it is such a hassle? It's the difficulties, after all, that help a professional become more like a professional. Unless you're a professional online ranter, clouding everyone's FB wall with your gloom only says one thing: "this person has nothing more interesting to say."
Thursday, August 5, 2010
(GUTSY is a group of women who advocate person-centered fashion for the youth. )
For the past months, I've been wondering how to be more active in the advocacy of dignified dressing, and I figured putting up a blog would be interesting. Then I met GUTSY and everything just fell into place! Last weekend we had a Fashion Camp, and now we have a team of bloggers for the site. Certainly there will be a lot of gutsiness to go around haha!
Check out our fashion blog: http://gutsyfashionteam.blogspot.com/
I would appreciate ideas, topic requests, photos of well-dressed women for the blog. Just email me! ;-)