Friday, January 11, 2008

Battlestar Iraq

In season two of “Battlestar Galactica” they drew parallels to the war in Iraq. But in the last season, season three, they hit you over the head with it. Humans are Iraqis and Cylons are the US. There are suicide bombers, insurgents and Dr. Giaus Baltar (George Bush). I'm not sure that when blinded by hot sex George Bush betrayed all of humanity for his own gain but I am pretty sure he's a scientific genius, with a British accent and a PhD.

I feel like this show does an amazing job of explaining the Iraqi's perspective. In order to make certain white people understand the Iraqi or Afghani or Palestinian situation you have to get certain white people to identify with white characters. People are so horrified by suicide bombers when a great many teenagers are suicidal in the US and they don't live with constant invasion or occupation or the presumption that they are terrorists. They're just sad. These same people don't understand how a person in the US, who based on their race, is constantly thought to be a criminal: commits crimes. I'm not saying it's smart to just believe what people tell you to believe about yourself but I understand that unless I had to live that way I couldn't say how I would react. Yeah, I've been watching "Do The Right Thing." Did you ever notice that Spike Lee lifted an entire speech from "The Night of the Hunter"?

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Decorative Soap

I was cleaning out my bathroom cabinet. Hold on, this isn't your usual cleaning out the bathroom cabinet story. Let me throw down some description and we'll get to the crux of the matter.

I was cleaning out my bathroom cabinet. Not the one with the mirror. And not the one under the sink. My bathroom doesn’t have the cabinet under the sink. It has a pipe that leads to the wall to drain the water from the sink, under the sink.

What I do have is a a smokey-beveled- glass-two-sliding-door-with-indentations-for-fingers- cabinet two feet above the toilet. Which means that I have to stand on the toilet in order to see what’s on the second shelf or, God forbid, what’s on top of the dust encrusted cabinet. My motivation for cleaning the cabinet was that I couldn’t put anything in the cabinet without it falling back out at me where I jauntily caught the item with alarm because of the perpetually open toilet beneath it. I often think that there will be an earthquake and since we can hardly close the cabinet and we’re unlikely to put the toilet seat down, everything’s going into the toilet. I’m not worried about dying or losing property in an earthquake. Just, will the Q-tips get wet?

So I’m cleaning this mug out (by mug I mean cabinet) and one after another... thirty six pieces of soap. What the fuck? I had no idea that they were in there. I don’t really have much when it comes to beauty supplies, so it was a mystery to me as as to why it was so crowded in the cabinet. So I pull out scented soap after scented soap. Bath salts. Liquid gel. Special shaped cakes. Soap in decorative floral boxes. Mini soap and shampoo from hotels. And I realize almost all of them except for two, are from my boyfriend’s mother. So we know the culprit.

Now, whenever my Grandmother would receive such things her comment would be, “Do you think I stink?” Grandma was a wise ass.

So I wonder if this is a problem other people have? I would rather receive nothing than the constant of Bath & Body Works gift sets. No more peach scented lotions, lobster shaped deformities and no more general rectangular boxes to remain unopened. If I had kids and they bought me soap. I’d say, look bitches, don’t buy me anything if it’s gonna be another god damned bar of soap.

I venture to say that the bath product has replaced the blender, the mixer, the kitchen appliance gift that was once acceptable for women. Women's gifts are now appearance based rather than duty based which is really the same thing. The necessity, the duty, keep up appearances. Decorative appearances.

You wouldn’t believe the collection of hotel shampoos and soaps my mom has. I was visiting and I didn’t bring any shampoo with me. I asked if I could take one of her mini hotel shampoo bottles numbering in the hundreds. I’m not kidding, and she said, with great offense. "No." As if she were an alcoholic protecting the hotel mini bar. "No." This is my mother. No, you may not use one of my one hundred tiny little bottles of shampoo. Because instead of collecting state spoons, she has collected mini hotel shampoo bottles. So I was allowed to use the big bottle of shampoo that she uses everyday because it’s not special. It’s the rejected old pet of shampoo bottles. To be thrown out once it’s no longer needed.

It’s 2008 and what did I get in my Christmas stocking this year? A reindeer Pezz dispenser, a rotten banana and… a decorative bar of soap. Now, in the usual joke world that would have gone: a reindeer Pezz dispenser, a decorative bar of soap, and a rotten banana. But as the story was about decorative bars of soap I thought I should end on it for good measure. However predictable that might be.

Yours truly,

Decorative Bar of Soap