The Oscars: A plucky lady email conversation

Well, better late than never! We plucky ladies didn’t watch The Academy Awards together, so here’s how our email conversation about the whole thing went.

Flora:   Here’s a funny pie charts about Oscar nominated movies! http://www.vulture.com/2013/02/oscar-best-picture-nominees-as-pie-charts.html

Also, sloths!
 
Lydia: Ok did you watch the Oscars?  I though Seth Macfarlane was a pointlessly offensive ass.  And I think they chose Argo for best picture because it was the least politically sticky choice.  And those sloths!!!! omg.  made my day.
Flora: I watched most of the Oscars, though I hear I missed the most offensive joke (the Chris Brown Rhianna one). It seemed like Seth only had two modes—offensive and bland. The only time I laughed was at the Sound of Music reference. He should really stick to bits like that.

 My favorite part of the night was when Anne Hatheway said this at the end of her acceptance speech:
“Here’s hoping that someday in the not too distant future the misfortunes of Fantine will only be found in stories and never in real life.”
In a night full of lame sexist jokes, she managed to drop a meaningful line about the plight of real life women that I bet most people missed. This is something I like about her.
 And yeah, Argo—haven’t seen it, and I know the best picture winner is supposed to be a secret until the envelope opens, but once I saw that Michelle Obama was presenting it I had a strong feeling the winner wasn’t gonna be, say, Zero Dark Thirty (or, probably, Django Unchained).  What do you think?
Lydia: I think having Michelle Obama present the award was soooo not good.  And you’re right, if it had been Zero Dark Thirty or Django, no way they would have had the first lady present the award.  I don’t think the administration can be seen visibly connected to either torture or a movie that supposedly supports Obama’s administration because it shows how we caught Bin Laden under his command.
Flora: True Fact!

here are my other favorite links I’ve read about the Oscars this week:
on the bad:
most of it quotes this article (http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/closeread/2013/02/seth-macfarlane-and-the-oscars-hostile-ugly-sexist-night.html) but it is so spot on about the opening song (which I originally missed) and I would have not caught the fact that, yeah, this is actually a workplace issue! Sometimes its easy to forgot that acting is someone’s job.
http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2013/02/25/ben_affleck_s_oscar_speech_the_argo_director_gets_it_right_on_marriage.htmlI love this take on Affleck’s supposedly blundering comments, which actually reveal that yes, a marriage talkes work! Why is that so crazy?

Make your own kind of music: foreign language edition

Hey—it’s a weekend! I say that calls for music. Here’s a song I like that I’ve been listening to this week:

 

Things I like about this song:

1) Chvrches: I love the spelling. We should really bring the “v” version of  “u” back. Everything wovld look like it was chiseled into a Roman colvmn and mvst be taken seriovsly. (It would also drive your spell checker nuts.)

2) Lighthearted sounding synth pop with dark lyrics. What is it about this juxtaposition that is so appealing?

It’s probably related to the reason English speakers like singing and dancing along to songs where we don’t know the meaning of the words. Which brings me to these guy, the vlogbrothers:

 

I haven’t watched many of their videos but this one struck a chord with me. (Pun not intended! But I’ll keep it.) I can’t speak to the accuracy of the translations—which I know some have already disputed—given that idiomatic expressions were always the bane of my foreign language experiences. But I think the analysis is spot on. I remember being impressed when Gangnam style, a song containing less than half a dozen English words total, jumped up to near the top of the charts last summer. But after this video I can see it as part of a larger pattern.

(image credit: readwrite.com)

The idea that the meaning of a song is whatever you want it to be is only a half truth. Sure, the melody and the intonations of the singer may have an emotional resonance that transcends language barriers. But emptying foreign lyrics of their meaning and substituting our own emotional response? Without thinking about why we are so comfortable doing that? Well, at best it’s an unexamined and simplistic way to enjoy music that isn’t in English. At worst, it means we unconsciously assume that non-English songs are never something to be taken as seriously as songs in English —they’re always, at some, level a parody of themselves,  their language, their country or their culture. And that’s a pretty insincere way to appreciate music if you ask me.

Is there an antidote to this, besides the excellent vlogbrothers translation/commentary? I  think that for a star, we can listen to songs in “fake” or gibberish English written from a non-English speaking perspective! This is one of my favorites:

It might just be me, but  listening to nonsense English-y words makes me hear my native tongue with a totally different ear.

So, here we are!

pluck (n): spirited and determined courage

pluck (v):  to pick, pull, or grasp at

(image credit: http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/suffrage/history/votesforwomen.jpg)

Welcome to our blog! We are going to write some shit here and we will fix it later. The first thing to do when writing a blog is clearly to define “pluck.”

Why are we defining pluck? Because this is not a blog about plucking eyebrows or various body hairs, and we need to be very clear about that. This is not a hair focused blog. Apparently “pluck” the noun also means “the heart, liver, lungs, and trachea of a slaughtered animal especially as an item of food” and we just want to be clear that this not an pro- animal slaughtering blog. No animals were harmed in the writing of this post. In fact, a cat is sitting here, and she gives her full approval.

So, what is this blog? On to the Q and A!

Q: Who the hell are you?

A: We are a team of lady bloggers intent on sharing our hilarious and pithy conversations, critical commentary, witty observations, nerdy graphics, and occasional disdain with the peoples of the internets.

 Q: Why should anyone read this blog?

A: It’s not that internet is missing anything—smart people are saying things on the interwebs all the time. Here you’ll not only get additional opinions but exciting, thought provoking and hilarious content. Except content is almost too tame and vague of a word. I mean, we aim for true dialog here, which is why we are a collaborative blog from the start.

It’s easy to get into heated debates from the privacy of your own home, when you’re talking to a stranger on facebook or twitter or whatever. We decided on a wordpress blog and not a tumblr, for example, because we wanted a longer format where we get a chance to develop ideas and where you can give (appropriate) feedback in the form of comments.

This blog is your place for contemporary controversies, invented words, graphs about dating, all the puns, feminism with a sense of humor, food for thought: current events, food for thought: actual food, historical-ish perspectives, rhetorical musings, and an answer to the eternal question ‘what do women really want?’ Ok, kidding. Not the last one. Just everything else.

Q: So, is this a blog where you women just whine a lot?

A: No women whining—just women wining. Red wine, preferably. Because we are the kind of ladies you could have a glass of red and a good conversation with. A real conversation, with both talking and listening, intelligence and empathy, wit and depth. And sometimes that is harder to find than you think.

Q: So do you have any funny pictures of cats?  Memes?  Anything?

Why yes, we do. We have two of the pluckiest ladies ever for you. Need I point out the resemblance?

clinton-roslin

This blog hereby endorses the Clinton-Roslin ticket for 2016! So say we all.

As for cats, this is the best we can do:fuck the purrtriarchy

(image credit: http://jackbz.tumblr.com/)