Small-Town Elitist

January 2, 2010

Breaking the ice for 2010.

Filed under: About Annaleigh,About the Blog,Books & Reading,Documentaries — by smalltownelitist @ 4:08 am

So! I have been neglectful of this blog for months and months at a time. There’s really no point in my making excuses yet again about why I have, but I will say that Blue Gal challenged everyone to try and write on a daily basis, but to first try it for 21 days to get used to writing everyday. I liked that idea, so here I am, Day 1 of me trying to blog again.

It’s 2010, and I guess you could say that blogging daily will be another of my goals for the year! πŸ™‚

Naturally, I have several goals, most of which include housekeeping, and looking after my health. But I can’t neglect the intellectual, so I have also added the goal of reading four books a month, and watching four documentaries a month.

Well, here’s to 21 days of regular posting!

October 31, 2009

Trying to write a post I don’t want to write…

Well, for days now, I’ve felt a need and an obligation to share my thoughts here about the recent gang rape of a teenage girl in Richmond, California. Specifically, I feel I should write about what seems to especially upset and confuse people right now, the fact this girl was raped and beaten for two hours with spectators watching who did nothing to help the girl, not even call the police.

If you look around this blog, you will see I have some painful personal experience with this terrible phenomenon. But I don’t want to write about it. I am struggling with my own memories everytime the Richmond rape is discussed on TV or a blog I read posts about it.

But I will, eventually. Hopefully today. Keep your eyes peeled. It’ll show up eventually. God give me strength to write some truth…

October 22, 2009

Republicans for Rape

Well, it was bound to happen, I guess, after thirty male Republican senators voted against Sen. Al Franken’s amendment granting rape survivors who were assaulted by members of military contractors the right to sue their perpetrators, and Jon Stewart went to town on them (see down below),

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Rape-Nuts
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Health Care Crisis

…it would be natural I suppose for more people to use satire to shame the thirty neanderthal senators.

Enter Republicans for Rape, a satirical site that features a list and photos of the 30 senators, a hall-of-shame obviously, showing all of them in their pasty, old, toothy-grinned glory. There’s contact info for you to write these assholes. It’s presented as a chance to commend a bunch of “courageous men” willing to stand up for rape, but again, this is satire. If you like at the donate page, they make it clear it’s satirical, and they ask you to volunteer time and money to your local rape crisis center.

I see the need and respect the presence of this satirical site. I think it’s important.

It just cuts to the quick today, as it’s been the first difficult one in a little while in my own trip as a rape survivor.

*sigh*

Well, good on you, makers of R f R…

October 20, 2009

Good on you Arianna: When the MSM is a pain in the proverbial tuchus.

Filed under: Afghan War,Arianna Huffington,Ed Schultz,Media Criticism,Punditry,Reality TV Trash,WTF — by smalltownelitist @ 10:08 pm

Unless your current residence is a cave in the middle of nowhere, you’ve probably been subjected to heard about the current firestorm occupying the thoughts of the MSM right now.

I am, of course, talking about Balloon Boy.

Now, I am not going to get into the subject of Balloon Boy very much actually. However, the day this story broke, I was watching The Ed Show as usual. Don’t get me wrong, I was very relieved that little Falcon was safe and sound. That should have been the end of it, at least for programs that do their best work reporting on hard news. But noooo….I was very irritated when Ed Schultz devoted the first 15 minutes of his show to the Balloon Boy saga.

Ed kept pestering Arianna Huffington for comment, but she wasn’t having any of it. See for yourself:

Thank you Arianna. As much as I like Schultz, this was well deserved by him. We are in the literal life and death struggle over health insurance reform, we have the war in Afghanistan to worry about, unemployment is high, etc., so Ed, get to the meaty stuff, the important stuff! No infotainment please. Ed does a great job I feel of presenting the issues, and he should stick to that and not fall for the latest distraction. The people who are in desprate need of these reforms cannot wait around while journalists chase after the next Anna Nicole, or Octomom, Balloon Boy, or Jon and Kate + 8!

Please Ed, stay focused on the fight ahead. That’s all we ask. In the meantime, I’m sorry, but I have to file this post in part under the closest thing I have to your Psycho Talk segment, my WTF category.

October 18, 2009

Food access and fighting obesity…

It seems lately everywhere I turn, people are discussing the disparities in access to food for people who struggle financially, and who have always struggled this way. I have especially been thinking about this subject since Susie Madrak of Crooks and Liars wrote about the subject of overweight and obese people being forced to pay more for health insurance.

Under the BMI, I am considered obese. Even though I am actually quite healthy, I still feel it’s important for me to take on my health. But, for quite a while, my finances, and the structure of my community in the San Joaquin Valley, have made things rough. For the longest time, I had no where to walk or jog for fitness where I felt safe to do so. Unfortunately, trying to do that in my neighborhood brings up attention I don’t want, from men I want nothing to do with (street harrassment). Joining a fitness club in town was not always financially possible, either.

Thankfully, in more recent times, our town has created a fitness center next to one of the public swimming pools. There, for $30 a month, or $2 per individual session, we can have access to treadmills, stationery bikes, weight training equipment, and other types of equipment. There’s the basketball court also, and of course the public swimming pool. It’s been a very positive development, and I love going there to exercise. And even though the center is used by both genders, I feel very comfortable using it.

Another new development, which I like, but need to pay attention to, is our town recently got its own Fresh & Easy market. I was wowed by the organic and/or vegan foods they had, which we’ve never had access to here. However, the Center for Food and Justice cautions people to pay attention to whether they are organic, and they challenge Fresh & Easy to build in more places where they desprately need better food, such as South Central Los Angeles. Like Season of the Bitch says, it’s still not that easy for people who need access to better foods, but at least I think this is a good start.

October 15, 2009

Questions about life and death, plus other linkage.

So I have a little free time after having spent a while continuing to pack up my house. I’m moving into a new one soon! πŸ™‚ I’ve decided to do a linkage post first, and if there’s still some time, see if I can write something else.

Christian Liberal has an interesting post on a new study about near-death experiences.

Renee at Womanist Musings has a post about the racist new Nadya Suleman Halloween costume sweeping the nation… Racialicious has a post on Anita Tedaldi’s privilege showing with regards to her former adopted child. Jenn at Reappropriate wrote about some positive developments between President Obama and the Asian-American/Pacific Islander community.

Marcella at abyss2hope posted the 80th edition of the Carnival Against Sexual Violence. Great posts; I hope you’ll check it out! Natalia Antonova has plenty of snark and zero sympathy for Roman Polanski, who apparently is depressed behind bars. She also handles an idiot troll very well in her comments section.

And speaking of the tiniest violin on earth playing the background, Rush Limbaugh got his widdle heart bwoken over his being cut from the group interested in buying the St. Louis Rams after an outcry was raised over his notorious racism (especially towards Black athletes). Think Progress has the scoop.

BlueGal has a nice post about Gov. Howard Dean’s idea to allow people over 50 to pay for their Medicare. Nicole Belle at Crooks and Liars wrote about the New York Times delibrately shutting out discussion of Single Payer care in its paper. MOMocrats has a guest post sharing why the author supports health insurance reform. At at RHRealityCheck, a midwife shares what the repercussions of not making health care available for expectant mothers are.

Cara at the Curvature has a post about a boss who fired his employee because of her gender identity.

Feministe writes in about the disgusting sexist comments the right wing has been making about Republican senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins.

Speaking Out has some excellent news about a class of 6th grade children in Sweden who reported Toys R’ Us so that it would be held accountable for gender-stereotypical toys!

Flip Flopping Joy has a post about UTNE Magazine’s list of 50 visionaries who are changing our world.

Season of the Bitch and Jonthan Turley have some thoughts about Obama’s winning the Nobel Peace Prize.

At HuffPo, Arianna Huffington suggests VP Joe Biden resign the vice-presidency in protest over Obama’s plans for Afghanistan.

And last but not least, Majikthise has a rich post about an idiot affiliated with Frank Luntz who has been charged under the Patriot Act for making a fool of himself on an airplane (a must read).

Time to get back to packing.

October 9, 2009

Back again, naturally.

Filed under: About Annaleigh,About the Blog — by smalltownelitist @ 12:03 am

I think this will just be a short note to announce that I haven’t abandoned this blog, and I hope to be posting more often. I have found myself distracted by life and not having as much time to write. I’ll be keeping a list file of topics to write about here, as things of interest come up.

I suppose I have been derelict in writing at a time when the righties are losing their collective mind, and Hollywood is defending a rapist like Roman Polanski. Obviously I will take time to write about those things. In the meantime, I believe I will do a linkage post for the first time in ages!

May 28, 2009

May 28, 1999

Filed under: About Annaleigh,Gang Rape,Healing from Rape,PTSD,Rape and Sexual Violence — by smalltownelitist @ 11:24 pm

So, it’s here. May 28, 2009 has arrived. Finally. And the day is more than half over. I’m still in one piece, still here with you all to write in with a blog post.

You see, today is my annivesary. Not a wedding anniversary. I’m sure I’ll hopefully have one of those one of these days. But not now. This is the anniversary of an attempted rape. I write often here about survivor issues. If you would like to read a snapshots of my personal survivor history, read In Solidarity With the Shakers.

In that post, I wrote:

My sixth hurt happened on May 28, 1999, when I was 17 years old, and 2 weeks before my high school graduation. I was walking to a bus stop with a friend after school when I was chased, caught, and sexually abused on a busy street (with useless onlookers) by five or six guys. My eyes were closed for much of the assault. I didn’t want to face what was happening, and I was just screaming for help and trying to get away, so I don’t know the exact number of assailants I had that day. The exact number of attackers is irrelevant, however. One attempted rapist is one attempted rapist too many already.

No one likes to write this sort of thing, but yes, 10 years ago, on this day, right around this very time of day, I became a survivor of attempted gang rape.

A lot has changed in ten years. Back then, my psychiatric disability was undiagnosed, and I was having a breakdown. Between this assault, the death of my Grandfather four months after that, and then Y2K three months after his passing, there was too much to handle and soon I would enter an inpatient clinic for help. Today I am a very healthy person despite the disability, and I’ve found the meds that help with my Bipolar and PTSD.

I still don’t like water on my face, and I still don’t like walking past groups of men. But it’s managable now.

Today feels almost like any normal day, or at least what a normal day is like for me now. That’s the goal we would as survivors would all like to have one day, to thrive, to not just survive minute by minute of every day, and to not to continue to be a victim in crisis.

I believe that every anniversary, survivors should celebrate who we are, who we’ve become after unspeakable tragedies. We owe it to ourselves to pick up the pieces and do right by ourselves. I have a done a lot of that this year, and continue to do so.

Any survivors who are listening, I wish for you the same, and that you could be as healthy and happy as I am today.

Love,
Annaleigh

May 24, 2009

Come check out my Darby Free Library fundraiser!

I haven’t put in a plug for this yet, but I am managing an ongoing fundraiser for the Darby Free Library in Darby, PA. It’s the oldest continuously running library in the United States having been in operation since 1743. But it’s in danger of closing down.

I was inspired enough to raise funds, hence the beginning of the Crafters for Darby Library fundraiser, which sells literacy related crafts (such as beaded bookmarks), vintage craft, gardening, and cookbooks. To date I’ve raised $142. If you sell on Etsy, I am definitely interested in other literacy related crafters getting involved with the effort, so definitely convo me at crafts4darbylibrary for more info.

I also recieved this info from the library the other day:

“It’s great to learn that so many people want to help preserve our history and support the mission of the Darby Library Company to provide public library service. By your help and others we have raised close to $10,000.”

Very cool! If you can get involved in any way to help save this library, please do!

May 21, 2009

John Boehner resembles a certain cat named Howdy Doody; plus more linkage.

Filed under: Abortion,Accessibility of Feminism,Activism,Aging,Anti-Abortion Extremists,Anti-Violence Activism,Arnold Schwarznegger,Barack Obama,Beauty Myths,Biblical History,Body Image,Books & Reading,Bush Administration,California Elections,California Politics,Catholicism,Christian Fundamentalism,Church/State Separation,Cindy McCain,Civil Disobedience,Crafting/DIY,Dane Cook,Darfur,Dick Cheney,Dominionism,Don't Ask Don't Tell,Economics,Evangelical Christians,Feminism,Gardening,Gender Issues,George W. Bush,Gitmo,GLBT Issues,GLBT Military Vets,Goldman Sachs,Good Ol Boys Club,Goth,Greedy Fuckers,Happiness,Healing from Rape,History,Homophobia,Imperialism,Indefinite Detention,Iraq War,Islam,Jesus Christ,John Boehner,Karen Hughes,Keith Ellison,Lies & Political Spin,Linkage,Men and Feminism,Middle East,Minnesota,Minnesota Women,Misogyny,Muslim World,Newt Gingrich,Obama Administration,Objectification,Opus Dei,Organic Foods,Organic Gardening,Plastic Surgery,Poetry,Priviledge,Protests & Demonstrations,Raising Awareness,Rape and Sexual Violence,Regulation,Religious Right,Reproductive Health,Republican Men,Republican Party,Robert Finn,Separated at Birth,Sexism,Sexual Violence Myths,Sexual Violence Prevention,Silencing Behaviors,Standards of Beauty,TARP,The Daily Show,Theocracy,Torture,Troop Withdrawal,U.S. Banking Industry,U.S. Economic Crisis,U.S. Economy,U.S. Military,U.S. Supreme Court,Uma Thurman,Vaginoplasty,Veterans' Issues,Victor Fehrenbach,Victory Gardens,War,Well Duh!,Well I'll Be Damned,WTF — by smalltownelitist @ 8:44 pm

First off a couple of links sure to give you a chuckle. Christian Liberal is back to posting, and he points out that John Boehner kind of resembles Howdy Doody. Blue Gal also points out that Cindy McCain and the latest Mrs. Newt Gingrich kind of look like each other too.

Hat tip to Crooks and Liars’ Mike Finnegan: Opus Dei declares war on moderate Catholic clergy and the Obama Administration. Meanwhile, Blind in Texas has an important question for Evangelicals and other religious wingnuts on the question of torture.

Marcella of abyss2hope writes about a report on rape and sexual violence in Minnesota, and has some suggestions for Minnesota and all of us on how to stop rape. Tobes writes about something very interesting. It seems Dane Cook had a rare moment of awareness and spoke out about wrong it is to throw the word “rape” around gratuitiously, and how the experiences of rape survivors are *nothing* like losing at a video game, and throwing the word around will rightfully offend survivors.

Arrrrrrgh! HuffPo reported that a judge ruled that Gitmo detainees can be held indefinitely.

Double Arrrrgh! Crooks and Liars report that the banking industry is rushing to repay TARP funds so prevent government regulation stepping in.

Women’s Glib has a poem about how we women will never measure up to impossible beauty standards. Cara has a post discussing a misogynist tabloid cover that took an especially vicious umbrage towards Uma Thurman’s body. And Renee wrote about a 75 year old woman in the news right now for getting a vaginoplasty, and talked about what that means to all women.

Feministe has a link and a little comment about the reports Rumsfeld’s office sent to GWB that played up an evangelical view of the Iraq War.

Speaking of war, Think Progress reports that we’ve lost another great member of our military to Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. *sigh*

Jonathan Turley reports on a study that showed that some of the happiest people are older Republican men. I am thinking “well duh,” since they benefit from the oppresion of the rest of us!

Susie from Suburban Guerilla reported on Karen Hughes’ sudden announcement that she was opposed to the Bush Administration’s torture policy the whole time. MOMocrats debate the torture photos issue.

The Los Angeles Times reported that Governor Schwarznegger’s propositions all failed at the voting booth. h/t to Tequila, who comments at Crooks and Liars. πŸ˜‰

RH Reality Check posted a roundup of links, including an article on the abortion rights aspect of the Supreme Court nominee fight.

Majikthise explains what’s really going on with Obama and troop withdrawal.

Congressman Keith Ellison was arrested at a Washington D.C. protest of the Darfur situation. h/t to Racialicious.

Crafting/DIY/Gardening

Flip Flopping Joy has a fun video post, a clip of the The Daily Show, which lampooned opponents of organic gardening and farming.

Etsy’s Dark Side posted Kaleidoscopic Romance’s handmade haunted dollhouse witch’s cabinet complete with pet snake.

And WhipUp did a book review of Boutique Knits, a great book with a lot of lovely hat and accessory knitting patterns with a flapper/Roaring 1920’s feel.

That’s it for this link collection, have a great day! πŸ˜‰

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