December 31, 2016

The death of feminism

Read more!

I’m not stating that feminism as a necessary paradigm, or beyond that, as a way of life is deceased. The death of feminism through this glasses, is about people, especially women that decided to go against the core of it, but continue to raise and wave the flag. In other words, when someone decides to be a “fake” feminist.

But first, the necessary reality check. Not all women are feminist just because they are women, the same goes for people on the LGBTQIA community. Not all Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersexual or Asexual individuals fight against discrimination and not equal rights. And putting two and two together, not all lesbians or transgender women are feminist. Not a shocker.

Now let’s go with the definition, Feminist: A person who believes in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes. And you may have heard this definition before. Either on the amazing TEDx talk and then published version of We Should All Be Feminist by Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie. But surely you may have heard it on the bridge of Beyoncé’s Flawless, from her self-titled 2013 album.

And this is when controversy strikes, and all sorts of so-called feminists, mostly women started their attack. Women deciding who is or who isn’t feminist, or if someone is feminist enough. A judgment made solely on the field of life and social status of a person. In this case, one of the most successful pop artist in the last decade is not allowed to be a feminist due her marriage to a successful rap artist. But let’s be real, the grade of success that Beyoncé has accomplished overshadows Jay-Z. And this doesn’t mean that she doesn’t have to cope with the misogyny or racism of the music industry. There’s a lot of people that will diminish her art, and will say that her success is possible solely by being married to Jay-Z.

Getting back to our definition, if you think Beyoncé or other women are not feminist due the presence of a male or a group of males on their body of work, you’re technically saying that these women are not able to be successful unless they get help from men. Let’s elaborate further, we have the case of Madonna, and even more successful woman than Beyoncé. Loved and hated, there’s no doubt that Madonna is the most successful woman in the music industry. Unapologetic since day one, she was really clear on what she wanted to accomplish back in 1984: “I want to rule the world”.

And she still rules the world, at least music wise, still being able to reach number one on the dance charts. And still being able to sold-out her concerts, making her the best-selling female touring artist. And still releasing records that even without regular airplay, has crowned her as the best-selling female artist. Or let’s stand correct, as the fourth best-selling artist of all time, just behind The Beatles, Elvis and Michael Jackson.

A few weeks ago, Madonna was named Women of The Year (2016) by Billboard magazine, and then again backlash was present, her speech was a recollection of her own personal struggles in the music industry, and at this point we’re not mentioning the struggles with the cinema and fashion industries. And also the struggles of many women, that at some point of their life has been diminished for being women. And not only by men, but also by some notorious feminist.

Back and forth, Camille Paglia has changed her judgement about Madonna. And as the ultimate proof of the death of Paglia’s feminism. Paglia decided to throw a mean-spirited discourse about Madonna’s speech and current stand as feminist, erasing many of the ideals she defended on the past. So women are allowed to be open about their sexuality, but only to a certain age? Women should be public about their struggles in a world dominated by men, but only when they are not as rich and famous as Madonna.

And the final nail on Paglia's and other women feminism: criticizing Madonna for the males that has been present on her career. As if a woman decides to work with the right group of people, and that group of people has the presence of men, then that woman is no longer allowed to be called a feminist. Let’s check back the definition, Feminist: A person who believes in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes.

And for everyone that champions gender equality in the workplace, we know that the feminism element is not about giving the job to women, just for the sake of reach a number. That person, female or male, must earn their job for their ability, talent and knowledge. Is not like a presidential election. But let’s not go there, at least not yet.

People who attacks a woman for her association to men in the professional field, are doing the same as when they attack the decision of a woman to marry a men, whatever the reason behind that marriage. But most important, they are diminishing the presence of other women in these women’s career. To blur out or make invisible the presence of Caresse Henry, Liz Rosenberg, Arianne Phillips, Megan Lawson, Donna De Lory or Niki Haris, to name a few, in Madonna’s career. Will be the admission that this women are not as talented and essential on that successful career as Freddy DeMann, Guy Oseary, Jean-Paul Gaultier, William Orbit or Patrick Leonard.

The main problem of these feminists is to avoid any kind of research, and the slightest effort to educate themselves. And ignorance is the first strike to their feminism. Ignorance that will grow as a disease. The same ignorance of many men that decide to continue to diminish feminism, and never focus on the real issues of living in a male dominated world.

Let’s get back for a second to Paglia’s comments about Madonna. Where she loudly expresses that Madonna, on to be honest about her speech, any woman should age a certain way: not modifying any of her futures, keep the same body and leave people with the sexual image a woman had at a certain age. Again raising a prohibition on being sexual and publicly expressing that sexuality at a certain age, or appearance.

Paglia’s once defended Madonna’s use of sexuality, comparing her image with the social construct of a prostitute or a pornography performer. But changing the discourse taking in account the age element, will mean that we can allow as many Tracy Lords we can get, but no Nina Hartleys. This change in the discourse has a huge element of ageism, machismo and chauvinism.

If we read and take some notes on Foucault, we must remember that many of the issues that feminism tries to erase from our culture are based on how society started to condemned everything that should be concealed, and what must be concealed according to modern culture and society is related to women. And when things “feminine” take the public arena, either in art or in politics, even women decide to diminish this efforts.

When people decided that a female politician was not acting the way a woman should act. When they were scandalized by some activities that at the end of the day are harmless and doesn’t really spoke about the capacity and ability of a person as a capable politician, People decide to kill any trace of feminism in them. The same goes to those who decide that transgender women are not "real" women and should not the able to share a bathroom.

And even something as trivial as a Broadway musical, can be another nail on someone feminism. Last year TONYs (the Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Theatre presented by the American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League), history was made when Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron won the Best Original Score for Fun Home, as the first female duo (lyricist & musician) winning the category. Based on Alison Bechdale coming-of-age graphic novel. Fun Home centers on the sexual orientation and gender roles of some of the family members, the main characters of the FUNeral Home.

This year Sara Bareilles earned a nomination in the same category for her score of Waitress, and some people again raised judgment on Bareilles choice. Again, when people decide to talk with ignorance, they will diminish the story of Waitress as a musical about a “woman that bakes pies”. So anti-feminist of Bareilles. But if you’re not able to listen to the whole score, and pay attention on the lyrics, you can at least try to stream or rent, or buy the film where the musical is based.

Not giving spoilers, you’ll learn about the feminism of the main character on both the films and the musical, you’ll also learn the unfortunate event that ended Adrianne Shelly (writer and director of the film version), and her legacy on modern feminism. And you’ll be able to learn that feminism comes in all different shapes and sizes.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie recently mentioned that Beyoncé’s feminism is not the same style of feminism she has, and this is OK. At the core, feminism is for women and men, but also comes from different places. We built our notion of gender, and what’s supposed to be OK for a woman or a man, according to a social construct, a group of cultural elements that are teach by those around us.

The feminism of Beyoncé is not the same as the feminism of Madonna, even both being from the US, they grew up with different cultural backgrounds and different social and political environments. Not only from what different can Houston be from Detroit, and then Los Angeles and Manhattan. But also for the fight of many feminist women and men during the 30 years between Madonna’s and Beyoncé’s birth. And is not the same feminism from a female author born in Lagos, to a male sociologist born in Guadalajara.

But at the end, as long as we go by the definition, instead of attacking anyone but especially other women for the way they live their feminism, but fighting in a common ground. We’ll keep our feminism, and the feminism we all share, alive.

December 31, 2012


Read more!

The Best Music of 2012... at least for me

1. Madonna - MDNA

2. Fiona Apple - The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do

3. Tori Amos - Gold Dust

4. Girls Aloud - Ten

5. Amanda Palmer And The Grand Theft Orchestra - Theatre Is Evil

6. Kylie Minogue - The Abbey Road Sessions

7. No Doubt - Push and Shove

8. Alanis Morissette - Havoc And Bright Lights

9. Garbage - Not Your Kind Of People

10. The Cranberries - Roses

October 17, 2012

Must See Horror

Read more!

The Cabin In The Woods [or how awesome is to go over-meta]

So are you bitter about contemporary horror cinema? You complain about not enough blood, not enough violence, not enough fun, not an original idea...
Stop your messy whining, and run to the cinema or the nearest video store, and witness one of the most original, fun, and yet scary (if you are game and use your brain) films that had graced the silver screen in (at least) the new millennium.

With a bit fresh but yet familiar cast that includes the God of Thunder: Chris Hemsworth, A.j. Cook's doppelganger: Kristen Connolly, Mc. Youngster: Jesse Williams, New Zealander: Anna Hutchison & the crafty Fran Kranz; with some nice stellar performances by Bradley Whitford, Richard Jenkins and the original kick-ass woman in horror.

If you call yourself an horror fan, you must own this... and worship it!

December 30, 2011

Best Music of 2011

Read more!

The time has come, 2011 is coming to an end. And this is part of the music that rocked my world in the last 12 months. This time I'm allowing 11 picks because last year's narrow top 5 list left some great music out of the list (Kylie, The Pipettes).

Is my list, is my taste, so don't whine or protest and keep reading, I can handle your hate...

11. Glee - The Warblers
The Darren Criss'Album

That musical 'magic' that makes me love songs that I usually hate strikes again, and is fully represented by Glee. This time with the amazing performances by Mr. Criss... what else can I say?

Key Tracks: Hey, Soul Sister; Raise Your Glass, Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?

10. PJ Harvey - Let England Shake
The softly force of earthquake Harvey

After all this years of revolt and experimentation, there's this woman with the man putting some amazing music out for us to listen to, is England as you haven't heard in a long time

Key Tracks: The Glorious Land, In The Dark Places, Hanging In The Wire

09. Kylie Minogue - Aphrodite Les Folies
Goddess of Water

Feel it on stereo, surround, DTS or just mono, The Showgirl put out one of the best shows in 2011, and wisely decided not only to release the usual visual testimony (DVD & BD) but the full show in 2 CDs. If you're lucky enough to see her live, with or without water, you'll be able to vividly remember that night and with no salty taste on your mouth!

Key Tracks: Aphrodite, Cupid Boy, Confide In Me, Love At First Sight/Can't Beat the Feeling, Better Than Today

08. Fangoria - Operacion Vodevil
Why they call it Love when they mean Varietes?

The Dynamic Duo of Pop decided last year to revisit the past, and in 2011 the tour that worked as promotion to El Paso Trascendental has been released, unfortunately the CD is just a taste of the full show, but on the bright side it includes great highlights that makes you pop the DVD in the player too many times, the almost continuous mix of the live show will keep you moving!

Key Tracks: Miro La Vida Pasar, La Funcionaria Asesina, Quiero Ser Santa, La Pequeña Edad De Hielo, Absolutamente, Electricistas

07. Sophie Ellis-Bextor - Make A Scene

Can you believe that Read My Lips is 10 years old? and after a hump in time and a releasing battle (Russia got this like 5 months before the worldwide release) Make A Scene is hitting the airwaves... errr, actually like 1/3 of the album had airplay and a video before the album was released, but the finest crafting of the album makes you forget those details, keep on dancing and trancing Sophie is back with a vengeance!

Key Tracks: Bittersweet, Heartbreak, Can't Fight This Feeling, Make A Scene, Magic, Homewrecker

06. Kate Bush - 50 Words For Snow | Director's Cut
Separated at Release

For some reason the NOT obscure artist, and also NOT a protege (of David Gilmour's that is),had a Liz Phair-Funstyle moment but instead of releasing the new material along the reworked and remastered tracks of two of her most controversial albums, she decided to go separate ways and also release the Director's Cut in a Special Edition with the aforementioned albums as bonus. With 50 Words For Snow she goes into some familiar but yet unexplored territory, hints of Aerial and The Ninth Wave are proof that Kate can keep releasing masterpieces.

Key Tracks: Flower Of The Mountain, This Woman's Work, Rubberband Girl, Lake Tahoe, Wild Man, 50 Words For Snow

05. Tori Amos - Night Of Hunters

Is not BOSE is Bösendorfer

That girl: Yes, Anastasia has some sisters, and they're finally released! That woman: Tori Amos has a daughter, and Tash has a very interesting voice! For me this album is right up there with Pele, Scarlet and the Dolls.

Ket Tracks: Shattering Sea, Snowblind, Cactus Practice, Job's Coffin, The Chase, Night Of Hunters, Carry

04. Björk - Biophilia
The Body and Soul

All the learning and experience collided and spurted in biophilia, this is almost perfection, with the small exception of not proper release for singles and videos like the old days, specially if you don't want to sell yourself in order to get every product related to the album... oh! and the iCrap, otherwise perfection.

Key Tracks: Thunderbolt, Cosmogony, Virus, Mutual Core

03. Nicola Roberts - Cinderella's Eyes
Revenge of the Pop Star

When you're part of one of the most successful and amazing girl groups in UK history, and no you're not a Spice Girl! what can ever top the hits you had, specially when most people had more faith in the others (even with the Black Eyed Scheiße they released). I bet some are really mad, because you not only proved you can release great music, but that your talent was wasted, you pour out all your feelings with those brilliant lyrics and that amazing and distinctive voice, you don't need a prince charming or four stepsisters!

Key Tracks: Lucky Day, Yo-Yo, Cinderella's Eyes, Porcelain Heart, I, Say It Out Loud, Stick + Stones

02. Lady Gaga - Born This Way
The Monsters, all grown up!

Once you've proved that you can be a successful pop-act, that you're more than a girl with a piano, that fashion is an extension of the self, and that you can tour and do promotion in a non-stop streak, you're able to release the album that really shows all the facets of your art, with all the influences both sonically and visually, out in the waves. All hail Gaga!

Key Tracks: Marry The Night, Born This Way, Government Hooker, Scheiße, Bad Kids, Highway Unicorn (Road To Love), Heavy Metal Lover, Electric Chapel

01. KRISTEENYOUNG - V the Volcanic
The development of a real life

Months after Music for Strippers, Hookers, and the Odd On-Looker was released, the talk about 2 EPs started. So far one has been released, in the concept of cinematic supporting cast of 7 characters from a wild mix of films (in genre, popularity and era) inspired the perfect collection of tracks to accompany not only this year but the time to come, a real soundtrack for my life

Key Tracks (I'm cheating): Cleopatra's Fantastic Failure, Violet Bick's V the Volcanic, The angry Apple Tree's I'll Get You Back, Lucy Westenra's Why Can't It Be Me, Old Lodge Skins' Now I'm Invisible, Pris' The Devil Made Me, Sarah Jane's Imitation Of Life

November 20, 2011

The prelude for the nuptials

Read more!

May 09, 2011

The Monster Ball

Read more!

Back at the end of November 2009, the artist known as Lady Gaga started a world tour: The Monster Ball. Those of us that proudly bare the Little Monster pet name, are aware of Gaga's love affair with Horror since the beginning. So the portrayal of The Fame Monster on stage was meant to be a gore fest.

After 18 months, 5 singles/videos, one major re-vamp, a remix album and some ongoing tweaks; The Monster Ball landed in México to end its run. On May 3rd, Guadalajara (the second largest city in the country) gave a warm and wet welcome to Gaga. About 30,000 souls (not only from México, but at least from various countries south of the border) were ready to witness the show of one of the greatest music stars of the moment, and a true artist (one that is not afraid to show her inspirations)

At 7:10 Lady Starlight took the stage with her amazing DJ set, of course there were some really puzzled by her act, but we know those aren't little monsters at all.

Then at 8:PM sharp, Semi Precious Weapons gave us a taste of that PunkGlamAmazonia attitude, again if you were still expecting the Scissor Sisters, I know they're good but SPW screams Gaga, it's the perfect opening act for the Ball.

And then at 9:02...

Finally indeed! the ball was in full heat. At this point I know the ball by heart, with the demos and studio version, so I was thrilled to hear it, see it and feel it LIVE!

By the end of Just Dance I noticed some strange lights to my right: was it a rainbow, a unicorn, a twister??? no there was the lightnings announcing a summer storm, and right at the first interlude,

It started to rain, when she walked the runway in Telephone, she got wet and she didn't care she did the full show, dripping in sweat, acid rain, and little monster's love.

The piano/acoustic section bring the second surprise of the evening: Born This Way (Piano Version) and Americano!!! instead of Brown Eyes and Speechless.

But also, something I didn't knew at the moment, that since she started to do Born This Way at the end, she retired So Happy I Could Die with the Twister interlude (in a very S&S-Madonnesque round screen) and the amazing living dress...

During Teeth her headset started to fail, so at the end, with a regular mic, she kept singing and improv'-jam-extended version of the song!

Instead of the Manifesto interlude they played a new mix of the Raven/Forest interlude with no video...

And by the end of the night, when some people were leaving, right after Bad Romance, she performed Born This Way and Judas!

At 11:22 the ball was over, still raining we're graciously asked by the police to leave the stadium, so even those of us that didn't get wet during the concert, got some rain afterward.

In short,

The Good: New songs, Gaga loving the energy and the rain, the whole show!!!

The Bad: I chicken' out and didn't bring my camera, and my cellphone died a day before, so only really LQ pics

The Ugly: The attitude not only of the police men and the security guards at the end, but the scenesters that were there drinking, smoking and doing their own show