June 24th, 2008

cap, captain miss america

I'm not sure yet.

So, yeah, I don't know what the topic of this entry is going to be. I just felt like I wanted to update my LJ.

Something that has been troubling me lately: in the past few days, I have gotten flooded with a new kind of spam. It is not any different from any other kind of spam, with a fake header and then a link to some IP address in the body of the email, but it is particularly galling because these spams all have headers related to the earthquake in China and are made to look like newsfeed updates: "Another Earthquake Shocks China"; "Thousands Dead in China"; "More Chinese Atrocity", and so on. Not even any other tragedies-- no remarks on the floods in the Midwest-- all titled with paraphrased versions of the same content, suggesting that there has been another tragedy in a country that already had such an enormous disaster so recently.

It is really sort of offensive to me.

I just went to see The Visitor, which I had been not really moved to see, but Mongol was playing at inconvenient times this evening, so I will probably see it tomorrow morning. It was quite touching and had the only scene I have ever seen in a movie that displayed a grown man and a grown woman in bed together, embracing in a completely platonic manner, in one depicting mourning. I think the characters clearly feel some kind of attraction for each other, but it is one that they both know is better left unexplored, they both have more important things to do. Illegal immigration is an issue I struggle with greatly, partly because I think I might move to a different country that is more politically aligned with my own politics if it weren't for immigration restrictions. I don't like the idea that America is only the land of the free if you're born here, and I don't like the attitudes-- not just among Americans-- of nationalism that is dependent on a factor we just can't help. Where you're born isn't a choice; it's not something to be smug or superior over. I was talking to atomicfiction about this at the REM concert, and I said to him that being an American isn't really something I think you can be proud of unless it's something you achieve through INS. I don't feel like I can be proud of where I was born when living here and being an American takes no effort on my part.

What does take effort on my part? Being a woman. Living in New York, I frequently feel like I have to put on a flak jacket to leave my apartment; the block past the Port Authority is like running a gauntlet to avoid men staring, ogling, gaping, and laking lewd remarks. A couple weeks ago-- and this was something I meant to write up, and never did, I finally said fuck it, I'm sick of being victimized by these assholes, and I actually bitched one of them out. And I felt this funny mix of both shame-- but I feel shame every time a man treats me like that-- and pride that I had actually spoken up for myself. I was still angry, but not with that seething anger and humiliation. Anyway, since that day? No one has catcalled me. Not once. Till tonight, when some dude came up...

...and asked me for my autograph. WTF? I was so WTF that I couldn't even think of anything to say, and I just kept walking. And then I kicked myself for not being clever enough to say anything to that. Grr.

Work is good. Life is treating me well. I have three social obligations in the next week that are not on the computer, which is good for me! Yesterday was a pretty crapola day, but crapola days go away.