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W elcome to Hotel Satire, a place where gals gather to learn how to be the domestic appendages/sex objects they were born to be.
These are exciting times for gals. No, we don’t mean the so-called abuse in Abu Ghraib and elsewhere where gals got to drag prisoners around on leashes. Please. You can see worse abuse and humiliation every night on reality TV where gals in bikini’s shake and quiver before leaping into a tub of elephant snot.
We're also not referring to the abuse in the military itself, where there have been over 100 accusations of sexual assault and misconduct within the U.S. Central Command area in the last 18 months—not to mention the war itself, what with the bombing and the strafing of civilians in mosques and hospitals, etc. Says Ellen Embrey, director of the eight- member panel convened to produce a report on the sexual assaults, “Sexual assaults are a challenge to our nation….”
Good grief. If a president waging a war on false pretenses doesn’t result in impeachment; if bombing and strafing doesn’t raise an eyebrow or two; and if sexual assaults are merely a “challenge to our nation,” why get upset about Abu Ghraib and what Rush Limbaugh describes as events similar to fraternity hazing? Torture builds character, says Rush, “I think the reaction to the stupid torture is an example of the feminization of this country.”
So true. The important lesson from Abu Ghraib is that gals should not be in the military. War, as well as torture, is about men humiliating other men. How do they do that? By calling them gals and various gal-related epithets, followed by raping their women. Why can’t people GET this? But we digress.
So what are the gals at Hotel Satire really excited about? Well, all the many examples of how wonderful this country is, like that show “Extreme Makeover.” Have you seen it? You can watch someone (usually a gal) complain in intimate detail about specific parts of her anatomy/face and then have these rearranged or “fixed” so that, between surgery and makeup, she can look like someone else—or in some cases, almost the same as she looked before. In the process, there’s the drama of the bandages being removed while the husband/boyfriend eagerly awaits the results. Will he love her now? Will he love her more? Will he demand more cutting and pasting of body parts?
Isn’t this fantastic? It’s almost as exciting as watching a half-naked gal get a mammogram on the “Six O'Clock News.” Wow. There should be a show, "Extreme Mammography,” so we can see more gals' breasts on TV than we do already.
We gals have often felt a void in our lives—a void created, in part, by the fact that, until now, we haven't been able to view the intimate details of someone’s rhinoplasty on TV.
We love "Extreme Makeover" and hope it becomes a dramatic series like “ER” or “24.” They could have 24 hours to do the makeover. Or a show where gals are so unattractive to men that they have to be rushed to the emergency plastic surgery room. Or it could be like the “Survivor,” where makeover contestants compete to see who can survive cosmetic surgery or to see who looks best after it’s over. Wait, there is a show like that. It’s called “The Swan” where contestants have makeovers and are then judged for who’s post-makeover face looks the best.
Another exciting development is the news that jockeys may soon be able to wear advertising on their “uniforms” while riding in the Kentucky Derby and elsewhere. Thank goodness. When we gals are at the track we often bemoan the fact that, for the minute or two when the horses are pounding around the course, we aren’t being reminded of a product we could/should know about. What a joy to watch a race and see the logo for, say, Playtex Tampons, on a jockey’s backside.
But why stop at the jockeys, why not ads on the horses? Then, as they round the turn and we’re sipping’ mint juleps, screaming for our favorites, a horse’s ass can remind us to purchase a large bag of Puppy Chow on our way home.
Why stop at jockeys and horses, why not ads on the gals at the Derby—on those big hats they wear? Because when you’re watching the Derby, having bet your hard earned money on Lucky So and So, you don’t want to go for ONE SECOND without being told to chat with your doctor just for the hell of it about your possible fear of crowds or your upcoming inability to sleep, which can be cured by a drug of some kind, which hasn’t really been tested very well and which has side effects that replicate the symptoms you took the drug to cure in the first place.
to think of it, why not skip the horses/people altogether and have
the Kentucky Derby become the Palmolive Derby with bottles of green
soap on wheels racing around the track? Or packages of condoms?
Or bottles of Southern Comfort? Actually, why have a crowd in the
stands? Instead, just have various products. Why spend time looking
at actual people, when we can look at bottles of Smirnoff’s?
We hope this concept spreads to other sports figures that don’t already cover themselves with corporate logos, like, say, figure skaters? As those gals glide across the ice, showing us their crotches for the umpteenth time, there could be well placed ads right over the vaginal area for Monistat 7 or Lemon Pledge.
Also exciting to us gals is Bob Dylan as spokesperson for Victoria’s Secret. Nothing says sexy, flirty, underwear like Bob at his aging, emaciated best. Nothing makes us want to make ourselves sexually available to men 24/7 than to purchase a teddy at Victoria’s Secret and get a deal on a Dylan Lovesick CD. The album features such songs as: “She Belongs To Me,” “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right,” “To Ramona,” and “Love Sick (Remix).”
Even though it doesn’t include some of Bob’s anti-commercial/corporate songs, w hich would have been a nice touch, we gals rushed out to make a purchase because nothing makes us want to make love “just like a woman” more than Victoria Secret’s new “very sexy convertible bra” that we can “wear many sexy ways.” And nothing makes us want to “break just like a little girl” more than Victoria Secret’s BabyDolls —“delicate, feminine trims that add romance to sexy silhouettes.”
We hope Bob does more commercials. “Maggie’s Farm” would really make us want to purchase Purdue chickens, for instance. “Tombstone Blues” could assist us in the purchase of a headstone for whomever in our family croaks next.
But, again, why bother to write these kinds of songs at all? Listening to them means we aren’t getting any marketing information about the latest crotch ointment or diet pill. Dylan, et al, should stop with songs like “Lay Lady Lay” and write songs like “Lays Lady Lays,” all about spending the night cuddled up with a bag of potato chips.
These excitements pale when compared with the possibilities unleashed by Massport (Massachusetts Port Authority). They are planning to offer advertising on EVERYTHING: bridges, water fountains, air traffic control towers, baggage carousels, and virtually any other space that will fit a corporate logo. Not only that, for the upcoming Democratic Convention in Boston (roughly 35,000 out-of- towners are expected), they are considering selling companies the rights to parts of the airport where they can put up banners and give away samples in lobbies and at the baggage claim area.
Is this a wonderful idea or what? When the Hotel Satire gals fly to Florida or wherever, we’ve often remarked about the lack of advertising en route. When we go out for a walk in the park, our main topic of conversation is, “Why doesn’t this or that park bench have an ad for Sweet and Low on it, for chissake?”
Just off the top of our heads, we gals could think of a gazillion places for ads. The playground, for instance. What mother or grandmother wants to take her kids to a playground with swings that don’t promote Revlon beauty products or Depends?
How about selling ad space on city sidewalks? Or on street signs? Instead of Broadway, it could be Hellmann’s Mayonnaise Way. Instead of Wall Street, it could be Wellbutrin Street. Come to think of it, why have street signs or sidewalks at all. Why not just giant bottles of Valium as signage and boxes of Tide as sidewalks?
There’s no end to the possibilities. Getting back to TV, for instance, with the already existing product placement on shows and the 20 minutes of ads for every 60 minutes of programming, there’s still a few SECONDS when we aren’t being made aware of a new makeup we just have to have. So how about this: ads on people’s body parts. For instance, on “Extreme Makeover,” as they are zooming in to cut some flesh out of someone’s face, what do we see?—a gal in a Victoria’s Secret pink bikini with a soundtrack of Bob singing, “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right.”
Lydia Sargent is co-founder of South End Press and founder and staff member of Z Magazine. She writes, acts, and directs plays in her spare time.
Z Magazine Archive
HUMAN RIGHTS - The U.S. Human Rights Network will celebrate its 10th anniversary with the Advancing Human Rights 2013 Conference, December 6-8, in Atlanta, GA.
Contact: 250 Georgia Avenue SE, Suite 330, Atlanta, GA 30312; email@example.com; http:// www.ushrnetwork.org/.
AFRICAN/SOCIALIST - The Sixth Congress of the African People’s Socialist Party USA will be held December 7-11, in St. Petersburg, FL.
Contact: 1245 18th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33705; 727- 821-6620; info@aps puhuru.org; http://asiuhuru.org/.
SCHOOLS - The Dignity in Schools Campaign (DSC) will host a workshop on the DSC “Model Code on Education and Dignity: Presenting A Human Rights Framework for Schools” at the Mid-Hudson Region NY State Leadership Summit on School Justice Partnerships, December 11 in White Plains, NY.
Contact: http://www.dignityin schools.org/.
ANARCHIST/BOOKFAIR - The Humboldt Anarchist Book Fair will be held December 14, in Eureka, CA.
Contact: humboldtgrassroots @riseup.net; http://humbold tanarchist bookfair.wordpress. com/.
CLIMATE - The World Symposium on Sustainable Development at Universities is hosting a follow-up event to the 2012 Rio de Janeiro symposium. The gathering will be held in Qatar on January 28-30, 2014.
Contact: http://environment.tufts. edu/.
LABOR - The United Association for Labor Education (UALE) will host Organizing for Power: A New Labor Movement for the New Working Class in Los Angeles, March 26-29. Proposals are due December 15.
Contact: LAWCHA, 226 Carr Building (East Campus), Box 90719, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708-0719;lawcha @duke. edu; http://lawcha.org/.
MEDIA FELLOWSHIP - The Media Mobilizing Project is seeking applicants for the first annual Movement Media Fellowship Program. The Fellow will work with MMP to produce the spring season of Media Mobilizing Project TV. MMPTV is a news and talk show that tells the stories of local communities organizing to win human rights and build a movement to end poverty.
Contact: 4233 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19104; 215-821- 9632; milena@media mobilizing.org; http://www.media mobilizing.org/.
RACE - The 7th Facing Race: A National Conference will be held in Dallas, TX November 13-15, 2014. Organizers, educators, artists, funders and everyone interested in racial equity is invited to exchange best practices and learn about innovative models and successful organizing initiatives. Proposals must be submitted by January 24, 2014.
Contact: Race Forward, 32 Broadway, Suite 1801, New York, NY 10004; 212-513-7925; media @raceforward.org; http://race forward.org/.
VETERANS - They Were Soldiers: How the Wounded Return from America’s Wars - The Untold Story, by Ann Jones, is about the journey of veterans from the moment of being wounded in rural Afghanistan to their return home.
Contact: Haymarket Books, PO Box 180165, Chicago, IL 60618; 773-583-7884; http://www.haymarketbooks.org/.
LIBYA - Destroying Libya and World Order: The Three-Decade U.S. Campaign to Terminate the Qaddafi Revolution, by Francis A. Boyle, is a history and critique of American foreign policy from Reagan to Obama.
Contact: Clarity Press, Inc., Ste. 469, 3277 Roswell Rd. NE, Atlanta, GE 30305; 404-647-6501; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www. claritypress.com/.
CHILDREN - Fannie and Freddie by Becky Z. Dernbach is about two bumbling villains who gamble away the savings of the people of Homeville.
Contact: fannieandfreddiebook @gmail.com; http://fannieand freddie.org/.
PROTEST/COMIC - Fight the Power!: A Visual History of Protest Among English Speaking Peoples, by Sean Michael Wilson and Benjamin Dickson is a graphic narrative that explains how people have fought against oppression.
Contact: Seven Stories Press, 140 Watts Street, New York, NY 10013; 212-226-8760; info@ sevenstories.com; http://www. sevenstories.com.
CHILDREN - Brave Girl by Michelle Markel and illustrated by Melissa Sweet is the true story of Clara Lemlich, a young Ukrainian immigrant who led the largest strike of women workers in U.S. history.
Contact: http://www.harpercollins childrens.com/Kids/.
FESTIVAL - The 2014 Queer Women of Color Film Festival will be held June 13-15 in San Francisco. The festival is currently accepting submissions until December 31.
Contact: QWOCMAP, 59 Cook Street, San Francisco, CA 94118-3310; 415-752-0868; email@example.com; http://www.qwocmap.org/.
IRAQ/REFUGEES - Ten years after the U.S.-led war in Iraq, thousands of displaced Iraqi refugees are still facing a crisis in the United States. The Lost Dream follows Nazar and Salam who had to flee Iraq in order to avoid threats by Al- Qaeda-affiliated groups and Iraqi insurgents that consider them “traitors” for supporting U.S. forces in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Contact: Typecast Films, 888- 591-3456; info@type castfilms. com; http://type castfilms.com/.
HUMAN RIGHTS - Lyrical Revolt! III will be held December 4 in Syracuse, NY. The event will feature hip-hop musician Anhel whose album Young, Gifted, and Brown was just released. The event is sponsored by ANSWER Syracuse, Liberation News, and SyracuseHip Hop.com. Performers and artists are encouraged to send submissions.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.answercoalition.org/syracuse/.
FOLK - Musician Painless Parker has released his album Music for miscreants, malcontents and misanthropes featuring “Fuck Yeah, the Working Class.”
Contact: email@example.com; http://painlessparkermusic.com/.
COMEDY - Political comedian Lee Camp’s new album Pepper Spray the Tears Away has been released.