exactly that

Posts tagged ‘favorite things’

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I

Movie poster for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I, featuring Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint running through a forest of tall, bare-looking trees.

Movie poster for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I

The series that I have loved for so long is winding down, but not fizzing out — that’s for sure. I feel like I have waited half of my life for this, or at least as long as Emma Watson has waited to get rid of those extensions and get that adorable pixie haircut anyhow. Seeing it not one time, but twice, as I couldn’t be satisfied with the free showing at the AAFES theatre here, and we had to wait for the staggered release at the Korean IMAX two weeks later to really and truly appreciate this event, was what it took to finally get this review spinning in my head.

I would suggest to you that there are spoilers ahead, but I think that this should go without saying. Turn back now if you are not inclined to know about this first installment of the final chapter of our beloved Harry Potter series. (more…)

No Good Deed (Part II)…

Cordelia Chase, as portrayed by Charisma Carpenter, a pale woman with dark brown hair, standing on stairs holding a long, slightly curved sword.Angel seems to be a neverending arch of consequences and well-intended deeds that just can’t go unpunished. Angel is constantly making decisions that seem like the right thing to do at the time but always seems to turn up with another twist later. It’s probably a nice effect of that curse.

In “I Will Remember You” he fights a demon and becomes mortal. Everything seems to be hunky-dory and sex and ice cream until it turns out that he has been taken out of the fight for Good, and that Buffy will spend the rest of her (now shortened) life trying to protect him. He makes a choice (without consulting Buffy) to take the day back and trade in his mortality. The consequence is that Buffy loses that memory while he carries it. In “Hero” Doyle sacrifices himself to save a group of half demons, like himself, and with a final kiss, passes his only valuable possession on to Cordelia — his visions from The Powers That Be. Something he was never supposed to do, or so we are lead to believe. That point is still up for debate.

But have them Cordy does. And destroy her they almost do, but not quite. Doyle’s sneaky little transfer (because it was, in all regards, a violation of Cordelia’s autonomy to have them shoved on her) builds in Cordelia like a ticking time bomb, slowly killing her over time. Yet she holds on, and no one notices. Cordelia, prior to becoming a demon or a higher being, is strong without being supernatural. Eventually she is given a choice, and though we later discover that this choice is really a setup for the mass catastrophe that is going to be Season 4, Cordelia chooses Angel and his mission after seeing how it would destroy anyone else to have them. She chooses the visions that have been killing her, and asks to be made part demon so that she can keep them without them killing her. While this undermines the idea that a woman can be strong without being supernaturally imbued, we get to see Cordy being strong for Angel because she has grown as a person, emotionally, and physically.

The results of that choice, are something that can be discussed ad nauseam, and have been before. Cordy being hijacked is a point of contention with me, and I watch S4 just to get from S3 to S5. See s.e. smith’s posts about Cordelia for further explanation. My favorite character deserved to a better ending than that. And even though I have written about her before, I need to revisit this. I don’t want to go into this at length now.

Angel is forced to free a man, by Wolfram & Hart, in order to save Cordelia, and it turns out that he is pretty much misogyny personified.

Wesley’s choice to betray Angel and steal Connor opened the path for Connor to grow up on Qor’toth, and made him the angry and hurting person that he was. His entire life was a result of manipulation, first by ancient powers to create him, then by Holtz, then by Jasmine. Connor’s anger was the weight on one side of the fulcrum that convinced Angel to take the deal with Wolfram & Hart, eventually resulting in the alteration of everyone’s memories, and prolonging Cordelia’s life, allowing her time to come back to him in the 100th episode, “You’re Welcome”.

Faith, whose choices and consequences deserves a whole post of her own, makes some important choices on Angel that viewers of Buffy alone never really see, and that Buffy really neglects to give her credit for. Faith, with Angel’s help learns to take responsibility for her poorer choices in Sunnydale and is a model prisoner until she is attacked by someone paid to off her by those killing Potentials. When Wesley comes to her because Angelus is loose and the Beast is trying to provoke him into helping he and Cordelia-Goddess-Vessel, she makes the choice to bust out of the Pen and help. She uses a vampire drug to bait Angelus into drinking from her, knowing it could very well kill her, but hoping it will do what must be done. For the first time Faith goes all the way as a Slayer, and winds up as the Guide in Angelus’ dream sequence (or whatever). In the end, she stops Connor from dusting Angel after his soul has been put away, and she is able to return to Sunnydale with Willow for the Big Finish, a redeemable player.

When Fred first touched Jasmine’s blood she saw the Goddess who forced her way into the world for what she really was. Fred couldn’t stop until someone else saw what she saw. She needed Angel to see that their free will was being taken away. In the end, she enabled Team Angel to stop Jasmine from taking over the world by peaceful force. It wasn’t until Lilah showed up to reward them with the LA branch of Wolfram & Hart that she realized that what they had actually done was, indeed, as Lilah had said, traded World Peace for Free Will. That moment revealed in Fred’s character just how much she believed that what they were doing was right, and how much she believed that she was on the good side until she saw the consequence. It was the first time she doubted their mission.

The amulet given to Angel by Wolfram & Hart by Lilah, I believe, was indeed intended for Angel to wear in Sunnydale in the case that he didn’t choose to take their deal. The way that it captured Spike and tethered him to the firm demonstrated that they intended to have Angel one way or another. Angel gave the amulet to Buffy to use as she wished, to allow it to be worn by a champion. Buffy insisted that Angel leave, to be the second defense, just in case. She gave it Spike, who wore it proudly, but who, in doing so, was wrenched into a hell devised by W&H to hold onto the wearer. Instead of redemption it brought more work at the hands of the Senior Partners in their production.

Gunn’s brain modifications give him confidence that he really, IMO, didn’t need. Gunn was more than a hired brute, but the modifications made him feel like he was more than he had ever lived up to being, that he was giving more to the team than in the past. When they went away, he panicked, and allowed himself to be manipulated by the doctor into signing papers to help import his illegal artifacts. One of those was an ancient sarcophagus requisitioned by Knox, unbeknownst to Fred. When it ended up in her department, her innate curiosity got the best of her and Illyria was set loose upon her. Gunn set off a chain of events that allowed Knox to fulfill his plan to bring Illyria back in Fred’s body so he could worship them both together. I honestly believe that he death is what ultimately causes both Wesley and Gunn to be so saddened and able to allow themselves to die, Wesley in “Shall Not Fade Away”, and Gunn later in S8 in the comic, when he is changed to a vampire.

Perhaps another re-watch would reveal more overlapping themes. I actually enjoy catching the moments where the two shows arc into each other. The thought that there is often not a clear-cut Good or Bad choice, that many times what seems like the true path to doing the right thing could result in harm somewhere along the way, even if you never see the end result yourself.

No Good Deed (Part I)…

 

No Good Deed (Part I)…

 

Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy Summers, a pale woman with blonde hair. She looks on with the beginning of a smile, as if a great weight has been lifted. A pale brunette woman (Eliza Dushku as Faith) is blurred in the background.

Final image from "Chosen", Season 7 and Series Finale

It happens to be that one of the thing that I adore about the shows Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel is that they have a knack for spinning out the long-lasting effects of the consequences of the actions of their characters. While Buffy certainly gets much credit for, if perhaps at some points too much, and Angel is not exactly drowning in, feminist messages, I think that the theme of visiting upon the importance of understanding that all actions, even actions taken under with the best of intentions, have long abiding consequences is an important one for anyone interested in social justice to understand. These consequences might not always be what we imagined or envisioned when we set out upon our mission, and they may not always be shiny, happy, results.

 

The concept that “No good deed goes unpunished” is certainly not lost on Whedon, or, it seems, any of the many writers who helped to bring these stories into fruition. We start as early as “Prophecy Girl” in S1 of Buffy, where Buffy herself, knowing full well that her prophesied fate was to meet the Master and die, embraced that destiny full on to avoid allowing anyone she had come to care about to have to go in for her. As noble as that was, the end result was an upset in the lineage of Slayers, awakening Kendra, a second Slayer, and changing the flow of the distribution of power. As Faith says at the end of S7, they were never meant to exist together in time, and perhaps that is why the dynamics between Faith and Buffy were always in a constant state of upheaval, even though in the end they were able to pull together and discover that they were able to work as a team after all.

In a similar vein, and following with the theme of “Buffy dies a lot”, bringing Buffy back from the dead in the beginning of S6 certainly had the best of intentions. After knowing one person who went to a hell dimension in a sacrifice to save the world (albeit, unwillingly), it wasn’t a far stretch for Willow to imagine that Buffy was in a similar predicament after her own sacrifice in “The Gift” at the end of S5. In an intended noble gesture, Buffy’s friends fiddle with dark powers they didn’t fully understand, wrenching Buffy back from what we later learn is Paradise where she was at peace. What they accomplish is the creation of a malevolent spirit who must destroy her to remain in the world, and, as we find out, awakening Buffy right where they left her — in her coffin under ground. Buffy as to dig herself out to a loud and harsh world where she thinks she is indeed in a hell dimension. Finally, in S7 we find out that this one act, intended to rescue a warrior from an untimely and unnatural death weakened the Slayer line enough to allow The First to act out and attempt to wipe it from time.

When Buffy and Willow, along with Faith and all the other Potentials decide to awaken all Slayer Potentials in order to give enough power to the Potentials in order to fight The First, they succeed in stopping it from succeeding. The idea is that the power of The Slayer should be shared, not doled out to one girl in each generation simply because a group of men generations ago were too weak to fight and resorted to horribly violating a girl. For a moment I am reminded that the violation of young women by men is about power, and in my mind, the power of a Slayer, in this series is intended, however well it is delivered, is about taking that power back. The speech Buffy gives in “Chosen” still makes me cry each time I watch it, because it has a lot of not-just-television relevance to it. But that act of incredible power, while allowing them to Save The World (again) had the consequence of giving Slayer powers to people who, due to circumstances beyond their control, were not capable of handling them, such as Dana.

Dana, we meet mid-season in S5 of Angel in “Damaged”, a very disturbing episode that I have written about before and should re-visit. She has been heavily abused by a serial killer as a child. This, in addition to the dreams and visions that potential Slayer experience throughout their lives, are presumed to have made her “insane”. When her Slayer potential is awakened by Willow’s spell, power that, arguably, she probably would never have received otherwise, she breaks out of the mental hospital where she is, and is unable to control her powers because of the way her mind is coping with that abuse. This episode is one of the most difficult for me to watch. But all the same, Buffy and Willow probably never envisioned a Slayer who was not ready to handle the powers given to her. I am not sure how I feel about the exploitation of an abused women with a disability to make this point. I strongly feel that Steven S. DeKnight and Drew Goddard could have perhaps found a better way to get this message across than continuing on with the Crazy Brunette meme, or perpetuating more harmful stereotypes about mental illness. But here it is, Dana, and this story of a woman who must now be forcibly sedated for her own good because of what Buffy and Willow did.

Tomorrow I hope to continue this discussion by analyzing instances on Angel where the consequences of their well-intentioned decisions went awry, but feel free to have at it in comments. I may be laggy in approving or responding to individual comments.

 

OYD Cooks — Tomato Soup

It sounds basic enough, but I tell you one of the things I have long wanted to conquer was the winter classic. Well, I consider it a winter classic. A mug of steaming cream of tomato soup with a toasted cheese sammich was the best thing to warm me up. It was one of my ultimate comfort foods when I was younger, and for some reason I was never able to explain was the lunch we all never wanted to miss; Fridays in the cafeteria at EMU was always grilled cheese and tomato soup day and nary a music student ever missed it. If you had a friend with a Flex plan they would treat you to this lunch even if they only half liked you.

But there is something about the canned glop that just doesn’t have the same effect. Soup that maintains its shape when I dump it out of a can never really strikes me as something I want to serve my Kid if I can help it. It is great if I have a budget to maintain, but I have actually found recipes that run me around the same price if I have the time and energy (something that I occasionally do have the privilege of). This one was only slightly more, if you count the price of the extra non-tomato ingredients, but I had them on hand from other things and they needed to be used up or they would have to have been tossed out and wasted. I also find that tomato soup (or homemade sauce for that matter) is a good way to sneak in some veggies for kids who are fussy (not that mine is, but it is also a smaller meal, ideal for a packed lunch).

So, this recipe, slightly altered (surprise, surprise) from a cookbook by Annabel Karmel called Cook It Together. It’s a fun cookbook which introduces a few basic food items to kids, then teaches them how to use them in cooking some simple recipes. We have about three or four of her cookbooks so Kid can learn to help with menu planning and meal preparation, which I think is an important life skill. The recipes are all very simple, even the main dishes, but not basic on taste or nutrition.

The original recipe calls for carrot, which I didn’t have, and more ketchup, which I thought was odd, so I didn’t use nearly as much of it. It called for fresh thyme, which is unavailable to me so I used dried, and I cut back on the sugar, because, well, I don’t like adding sugar to tomato things because I just don’t like the taste.

A note on “from scratch”: Yes, I used canned tomatoes. My grandmother, father, and mother, who have been making homemade Italian meals since before I could remember, always used canned tomatoes. They are cheap, and as far as she knows, even Italian people in Italy use them, because tomatoes are plentiful in one season, and they don’t stay that way all year. So, you can. Some day when I have a yard and I live in one place longer than a couple of years at a time I will can my own damned tomatoes.

Tomato soup, as slightly altered from Annabel Karmel’s Cook It Together

1 medium onion, chopped

1 bell pepper (I used red, and the recipe said to use red, but I am sure you can use any)

1 clove garlic

2 Tablespoons EVOO

1-24 ounce can diced tomatoes, with juice

a couple of good squirts ketchup, about 2 Tablespoons (I used organic but you can use any kind)

1 Tablespoon sugar (the original called for 2)

a palmful of dried thyme

salt and pepper

4 Tablespoons heavy cream

Heat the oil in a stock pot and saute the onion, garlic, and pepper (and a shredded carrot if you have one, I was going to toss in a zucchini but I didn’t have one of those either. Maybe next time.) in the oil for about 5-7 minutes to soften slightly. Pour in the tomatoes and their juice. Bring to a simmer and add the ketchup, sugar, and thyme. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Using an immersion blender, or in food processor or blender in batches, blend the soup into a fine puree (to your desired consistency). Salt and pepper to taste. Add the heavy cream and serve.

The original recipe has all kinds of nifty add-ins for making faces in the bowls of hot soup for your kid helper, such as black olives for eyes, and piping on sour cream faces, but since I made this to pack in school lunches I didn’t bother with all of that. I like to add a few Goldfish crackers to the lunchbox or some of my fresh naan. This is some hearty soup. From here I should be able to alter the basics and turn it into a nice Florentine or skip the cream and stir in Parmesan cheese after pureeing it to make it cheesy. I love how versatile tomato soup is! Read as I sing the praises of tomato soup! Perhaps by summer I will have come up with a gazpacho I can stand behind and stomach! Yay for tomato soup!

Enjoy!

Monday Random Ten

Mark Hammill as Luke Skywalker, Chewbacca, and Harrison Ford as Han Solo. When teenagers try to get liquor in outer space. Text bubbles read: LUKE: We could have the Wookie it up. HAN: Yeah, you look like you're over 21. CHEWY: Ah, I'm not sure about this.

Are the leaves turning where you are? Do you have a yard full of them?

We don’t have either, really, yet. I noticed yesterday that the cherry blossom trees are just beginning to pink up at the top, and the oaks are just as stubborn as ever. I expect they will have their leaves clean through until next May just like this year.

The apples are in abundance, and I have found a few varieties on local stands that I haven’t seen before! Oh the excitement! I am dusting off old favorite Fall recipes and trying out some new ones. The chill in the air is pleasant after a long and wretchedly hot Summer, and it is surely welcomed.

I really miss most of you back home. Some of you that I haven’t talked to in a long time… I really miss you this time of year.

On with the show.

  1. Here it Goes Again — OK Go
  2. Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness — Smashing Pumpkins
  3. Beginnings — Chicago
  4. Loose Lips — Kimya Dawson
  5. Mamma Mia! — Mamma Mia! Company (Korean Cast)
  6. I’ll Turn to You — Christina Aguilera
  7. Get Your Hands Off My Woman — The Darkness
  8. Love Will Never Do (Without You) — Janet Jackson
  9. It’s Alright, It’s OK — Leah Andreone
  10. Carol King — Where You Lead

I sincerely hope you all have a great week, with more downtime than I have staring me in the face. What I was thinking letting us take on all of these activities I am not sure…but I will tell you, the smiles on faces around here are worth it.

Have a great one, all!

Tacos!

Seriously! It’s been a big day, what with me starting a Twitterfight and all, which resulted in me being five kinds of hungry. I tell you, Readerland, it was the kind of hungry that could only be satisfied with my own throwdown into the contest of who makes the best tacos EVAH!*

All I could think about all day long was tacos.

I have a love of those messy disasters of meat and pico and whatever you can cram into a tortilla (corn, of course!) and have come to understand that there is just Not a Way to eat them Neatly. I must have either the best in town, or the cheap ones you get at that ridiculous chain, the one Outside the Box or whatever. One day I dream of visiting abbyjean and taking the Unofficial Taco Tour of L.A. (Vampires Not Included). (That was an Inside Joke, Soz.)

So, I searched all day, Readerland, from one end of the Internet to the Other, which should be read as half an Earth Hour, because that is really the length of time it took me to come across a recipe that we ended up using, Via an old NYT article entitled “The Taco Joint in Your Kitchen”, which I ran into while perusing Smitten Kitchen’s archives (I am in love with Deb’s blog, so, thanks, Maia, from Change, who I doubt reads my blog, but thanks anyhow!).

And damn my luck, my camera is down in the car in our parking garage and I just couldn’t muster up the energy to go and get it, but trust me, these tacos were beautiful and delicious, and well worth the time it took to make them.

We have limited availability of some fancier ingredients, so we didn’t roast all of the spices like it says to, and substituted powdered instead, and put a few drops of liquid smoke into the spice paste. We have it on hand from making Kalua Pig in our crock pot like big cheaters, what with not having the backyard and brick pit for burying an actual pig. The taste was quite good. Oh, who am I kidding? The taste overall was just great!

We also put the rinds of the citrus fruit (we used limes instead of lemons because that is what we had on hand) in the roasting liquid which made the meat slightly bitter. This was evened out by the salsa fresca or pico or whatever you want to call it we made to top it.

I have yet to come up with a good technique for baking corn tortillas. I am far too health conscious lazy to fry them when I am really tired, and we really love fresh corn tortillas. One of these days I promise to make them myself, but for now the brand of fresh-like ones we buy will do, if only we could get them tastier by baking. Without buying a fancy uni-use item for our tiny kitchen.

Oh, and would you believe our commissary actually had Tapatío? I have never seen a hot sauce other than Franks on the shelves! Better believe we bought that shit! Almost make up for the total lack of avocados, so sadly, our pork tacos had to go without guac OR yummy slices of fresh avo. OH THE HORRORS!

And if I wasn’t so privileged and aware of it, I would think that was a real tragedy. I got over it when The Guy bought me a champagne cola from the aisle where they keep the pre-made salsa, because I’d never had one, and it made my tongue kind of numb, which amused me. I remembered again when we had to eat our tacos with no avocado.

I’m over it again.

OK. Enough babble for now. Let’s get to what you came here for! I think the original recipe might be under subscription, so here it is!

Slow Roasted Pork Tacos

Slightly adapted from this recipe at the NY Times

10 cloves of peeled garlic (that is not a typo)

2 pound boneless pork butt (that’s a shoulder if you are not familiar with butcher terminology, since I know some of mah peeps are new with the cooking, so I try to accommodate that) We used a 4 pounder tonight because that is what they had and adjusted.

1/2 Tablespoon each of:

ground, mixed peppercorns

oregano

cumin

cinnamon

coriander

salt

2 Tablespoons fresh orange juice

2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice

Allow the meat to come to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 300 F or about, umm, 150 C. Slice four of the cloves of garlic into thin slices, and with a thin knife make small slits in the pork to slid the garlic into. Tuck the garlic on in there.

Combine spices, salt, and remaining garlic in a food processor and make a paste by slowly adding the citrus juice (we didn’t need all of it to do this). It should be a smooth puree that will rub easily all over the surface of your meat. Do that. You can let it sit at room temperature for 2 hours or in the refrigerator for 24 (but we didn’t).

At this point you can either put it on a grill that is covered in aluminum (al-oo-min-ee-um) foil, or in a roasting pan in that preheated oven (the original recipe wasn’t clear if you were supposed to cover it. We assumed you should and did) for at least two hours. The longer the better, as we understand it. You should baste it periodically to make sure it doesn’t dry out on the top, and add more liquid if it isn’t producing enough. We stuffed the citrus peels in after the liquid appeared, but it did make the meat a bit bitter. If you are us, you are going to take the lid off for the last thirty minutes to get the nice browned chewy bits on the top.

Take the hot meat out of the pan and shred it up all nice. You can serve it hot or room temperature on nice warm, tortillas. Corn if you love tacos, and flour if you are a monster! Ha! Just kidding! Eat your tacos however you like them! We served ours with a little fresh pico and even some sour cream!

Our fresh pico (today’s version, anyhow):

4 big beefsteak tomatoes

2 medium yellow onions

1 Pablano pepper, seeded

1 yellow Anaheim pepper, seeded

a few cloves of garlic (we lost count)

a bunch of cilantro, stems removed

sea salt and lime juice to taste

toss it all in a food processor and whirl it around until the chunks are the size you like.

Enjoy!

*This is a trick statement and of course, misleading. The best tacos are made at Rosie’s Cantina in Hale’iwa, HI. The fish tacos are to die for. I hope that clears things up a bit.

Diva is the New Bitch

Katherine Heigl, a pale and blonde woman with brown eyes. She is wearing a white shirt and her hair is wavy and swept up. She has one finger touched to her lips.Melissa Silverstein at Women and Hollywood is apparently, like myself, a bit of a Katherine Heigl fangirl. I am not exactly her biggest movie fan, though I do own a couple of her Rom-Coms (on Blu-Ray AND I WILL NOT BE JUDGED FOR THAT SHUT UP!), I do appreciate her acting. Going on a slight tangent here — Izzy Stevens was my favorite Grey’s Anatomy character, and I am still catching up on what they did to her on the show (I haven’t watched U.S. TV in so long!). The ugly spiral that threw her from being a rock star who worked her way through medical school (admittedly on her beauty privilege) and survived loss after a disastrous poor decision to, as this NY Times article says, performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation on a deer. And that was only the half of it.

It isn’t her acting that makes the great package deal of the person inside. It is her willingness to put forth her opinions. I love a woman with a mind and the insistence to let you know that she has opinions that are informed, researched, and firm. Heigl has those, and isn’t afraid to let it show.

It seems that this isn’t the way to make a name for yourself, or rather, a nice pretty name for yourself, in Hollywood or the entertainment industry. They want quiet lady leads who are going to follow the narrative, be grateful for whatever role they are handed where they trot off as tropes…perhaps as vessels off of which coke will be snorted. Or maybe they prefer disposable semen receptacles which are popular in action, epic war, revisionist history, and horror movies that are popular. These seem to be acceptable roles, and they want women eager to play them. Not someone who is going to call movies out for being a “little bit sexist“.

Katherine Heigl seems to have gotten this reputation that she is the foot-in-mouth girl. That she comes on too strong because she has opinions:

“Now I’ve got this moniker that I’m the foot-in-mouth gal, and I keep thinking, In what way? Because I said something you don’t agree with? Because I said something you don’t like? I’m just telling you my opinion. I hate the idea that I can’t be honest about how I feel about things because it’s going to piss somebody off who feels differently. That seems preposterous to me.”

I can totally relate. I’ve been told that I am too “aggressive” when it comes to my opinions, my ideas of right and wrong, whether it is the rules of order and how business is conducted in a PTO meeting or defending myself to the medical officers at the local medical building, or even in my writing.

What I don’t see is how being firm, having opinions, insisting that something be done a correct way, and in a way that is not damaging you yourself, is too aggressive, or makes you a Bitch Diva. How it means that you are getting out of hand, and how it now means that Heigl needs to go on some Apology Tour.

For me it just means that some Marine Corps Colonel is getting all apoplectic because I have the audacity to say that she isn’t the boss of me. I am a civilian and I don’t answer to rank. Only rules.

But insisting that we have the right to our voices somehow marks us.

Yet, as Melissa pointed out, it isn’t an even blanket. It seems that if you are a child rapist, you can get all the Hollywood activists who can’t be bothered to think about it to sign petitions that you should be left alone, because it wasn’t that bad. Or ya know, yelling racist things at your girlfriend after beating her up is no big deal. And throwing a phone in a fit. Huh. That’s cool. No apology tour required.

But don’t you open your pretty mouth, Katherine Heigl! We saw you kick that stuffed bunny! (Really, do you know a mother who hasn’t kicked a stuffed animal out of the way? I don’t) You are a terrible mum, and an ungrateful nobody in Hollywood (that Emmy you won says so!). Now go pay your penance!

But as the NY Times article also points out, and as Silverstein also mentions, Heigl is apparently rocking it out as a smart businesswoman who is showing herself as a force with which to be reckoned. She has produced her latest movie Life As We Know It, which had best make its way to Korea, for well under the amount that the Big Boys spent on Killers. Which was a flop. Her name is being used in sentences with names like Grace Kelly and Carole Lombard for her ability to play drama and comedy with such essence, gradation, and depth, but she is boxed in with actresses who have scarred reputations, like Drew Barrymore and Angelina Jolie, for being less than perfect starlets. For the record, even when those stars show that they have become incredible businesswomen (Barrymore directs and produces now, and Jolie is in about every action move staring a woman I see now…) they can not ever overcome those reputations. Drew will always be the coked out girl who was in that porno you wanked off to, right, and Angelina will always be the slut who slept with Jennifer’s husband, right? OK then.

Celebrities have two choices: live the narrative and be perfect, or live with the labels that the tabloids put on them. This is compound for women who find their most intimate details, from their diets, beach body, how they mother, and if you are certain celebrities, speculations about your mental health. For Heigl, she apparently will always be the star who speaks her mind. I admire that. I honestly wish that everyone would get over that, because, honestly it is really refreshing. Especially when she speaks up about the way that women are treated in Hollywood.

Really, if she is a Diva, then so are many of us in Social Justice. And I guess it is just the new word of the era used to put us in our place and remind us that people are afraid of power. The power of the woman with a mind and a drive to push herself forward. The power of a woman who will assert herself. The power of a woman who will be active and not passive.

Divas we are then.

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