Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas??????


Photo: AP (K. Mohammed)

I am resting at an undisclosed warm-weather location, living the Real Housewives of Atlanta lifestyle, if they were retirees looking at Social Security checks in the mail each month. Each morning's newspaper headlines bring a surrealist haiku. For example: "Missing Elf in Sanibel," or my personal favorite "Deputies Arrest Lewd Santa at Wal-Mart." Of course, after yesterday's tragic incident in Los Angeles where a guy in a Santa suit murdered several people, set fire to a home, and then killed himself (why don't these murderous people ever kill themselves first before going on these horrific rampages?), the molesting Santa harassing a woman at a big box union-busting schlock shop seems less shocking.

But the photo I saw in USA TODAY (as my late, beloved ex used to refer to it "The McDonald's of newspapers.") this morning -see above- took the sinister Santa trope to a whole new level. Now no one would belittle the sacrifices made by our troops in Iraq, especially when they are away from home for the holidays. But you have to acknowledge the creepiness of the petite soldier, almost child-like, sitting on Santa's lap while wielding a massive machine gun. And a nice touch is the Crucifix on the ground. (wouldn't that be sacrilegious?) Merry Christmas! Is this like the latter-day Crusades? Is the point to send the propaganda message: Bow down to us, infidels? I find the image absolutely terrifying and abhorrent. But that's because A. I am a lapsed Catholic who objects to most of what the institution of the Papal Catholic Church has ever done, and B. I am a pacifist and this war was based on lies and Bush's goals for imperial profit.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Devorame. Otra Vez.



This is the best salsa sensual song. Ever. Titled, evocatively, "Devorame" (Devour me) by the salsa troubadour Lalo Rodriguez, the lyrics leave nothing to the imagination. Made popular in the late 1980s, I still remember fondly having to translate it into English while drinking margaritas at El Sombrero in the Lower East Side with a very uptight WASP date. Hot. The album cover for this song is priceless, "Un nuevo amanecer" (A New Daybreak) features Lalo in a blue silk robe, open to reveal his curly, hairy chest, he's in some kind of wicker throne chair and of course has a hot mami on either side of him. I don't know what I love most about this video of a live performance. The improvisation on the lyrics "Moje las sabanas...." the fucsia lycra body suit with lace up sides on the thighs of the dancer on the left, the Afro-mullet of the male dancer on the right.... For my loyal readers who speak Spanish, the lyrics are a real treat. Enjoy.


Monday, December 22, 2008

It's hard out here

If I Could Turn Back Time




I would have an excuse to play with Barbies. Mine were always divorced. The Ken dolls were set aside so that the girls could get into their red convertible and go shopping. Foreshadowing? Perhaps.

(Although recently I have reconsidered my feelings about playing with the Ken dolls, and would love to have one like the one above, maybe with an Italian accent)

In any case shopping for one of my "sobrinas" on-line I realized that the Barbie has developed quite a bit since my last foray into the genre 11 years ago, when a friend gave me the Puerto Rican Barbie (in criolla attire, suitably light-skinned) for my (very) belated quinceañera party. Now I see that they have: President-elect Barbie (a white and a black one), NASCAR, Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders, Teresa, the Hispanic one, is a beautician complete with a blowdrier (el beauti!!!), the ethnic ones include South African and even Spanish (in a flamenco dress, naturally), a Kimora Lee Simmons and a  Beyonce (but no Oprah, Condi, or Ivana Trump, what?!), a Hitchcock The Birds Barbie complete with attached birds attacking the doll.



But the best is above, "1980s Bob Mackie Cher" as she is called. Proof positive that gay men are designing these dolls. Which is why I love them.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Last Statue of Franco in the Penninsula Removed in Santander






There is still one left in Melilla, pictured below.




This in no way makes up for the terrible blow to democracy and justice that took place when the Spanish court overruled Judge Garzon stating that he was not competent to argue about crimes against humanity, overturn the amnesty law, bring living perpetrators to justice, or nationally coordinate excavation of mass graves and DNA identification of victims.

Photos: EL PAIS (Madrid)

Betty Page









The gorgeous Betty Page died a few days ago. She is definitely one of my style icons. Let's never forget her fabulousness, bravery, sexiness, and glamour.


Obits:

http://www.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,1866059,00.html?imw=Y

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/12/arts/12page.html?partner=permalink&exprod=permalink

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Our New First Lady's Fierce Physiognomy


A friend shared a Salon.com column by a woman called Erin Kaplan in which she discusses the ways in which seeing a strong black woman, intelligent, working class, successful, and with a big booty, is so empowering to her. Now empowered has become a bit of a trite US american cliche, I realize this. But there is something to be said for "visibility" notwithstanding the ambiguities and pitfalls of essentializing people, of chromatism, of making easy assumptions about people and classifying them using fixed terms. Of course a "mutt" like myself (I LOVE President-elect Obama for using the vernacular, in PR we would say "sato" which is one of my favorite slang words from the Island and means just that - mixed breed dog of indeterminate origin), knows all too well the dangers of trying to fix identity. In any case, like Kaplan I can unabashedly celebrate Obama's racialized physiognomy - a powerful woman with a very large ass. Not a subject of shame, a mark of over-sexualized abandon and danger, an index of barely-suppressed racial miscegination (in my case), or a cause for alarm when trying to aspire to the pancake ass, concave chest cavity, bony extremities and pinched face beloved by Anna Wintour and her kin. All easier said than done if you have my kind of ethnic makeup, no matter how hard I starved myself, the booty wouldn't go away, luckily I realized it was an asset not a liability!

Read Kaplan, it's far more amusing than I could ever be:

http://www.salon.com/mwt/feature/2008/11/18/michelles_booty/index.html

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Yes We Did

I am still coming off the incredulity, the euphoria, the release of months of extreme anxiety after last night's amazing landslide. I have never gotten involved in a presidential campaign, and despite my best efforts to retain my critical faculties, I drank the Kool-Aid for Barack Obama, projecting my infinite often inchoate desires onto his charismatic figure. But last night was not a night for questions about the future, it was a night for celebrating democracy, civic engagement, solidarity, freedom, hope, and change, as this country stands at the terrifying edge of a precipice. As a colonial subject of this country, half Puerto Rican, half Spanish, of ambiguous racial and class makeup, carrying the baggage of various exiles, physical and personal, I have never felt fully vested in this country as a citizen, nor fully accepted as an "American," whatever that means.

I decided to risk it anyway, and fight for freedom as this country careened into extreme right wing positions that created a police state, suppression of privacy, freedom of speech, and the balance of power between the branches of government, all based on a climate of fear that was used to justify exceptionalism any time concerns were voiced by citizens. Having lived in a right wing police state, and experienced state and guerrilla terrorism, the idea that citizens' freedoms should be curtailed based on exceptions to the rule of law seemed a perversion of everything this country has stood for and a dangerous capitulation to our enemies. 

Last night, as my neighbors celebrated in the streets, playing percussion, dancing, jumping, screaming, hollering, calling out, embracing, smiling, I realized that I had not seen citizens take to the streets spontaneously to express political sentiment since before 9/11. The political protests to protect the rights of women, gays, lesbians and bisexuals, workers, people with AIDS, or to protest war that I have attended over the years, were recently no longer viable in the same ways, subject as we are now to surveillance and limitations on the right to assembly. Last night, although local police were on hand to direct traffic, mostly cut off by the jubilant crowds, I did not feel the tension or antagonism that I had seen of late.  

As I volunteered for Obama, I met people I never would have come into contact with, saw indescribably appalling conditions that could be described as "third world" in the middle of Philadelphia, birthplace of freedom. People completely disenfranchised from the system, who'd experienced voter intimidation, whose concerns were largely absent from much of the campaign rhetoric, focused as it was on the "middle class." Yet they felt hope and registered to vote with us, teaching me a lesson about perseverance and bravery. I hope that the spirit of solidarity and willingness to serve will be harnessed by Obama to motivate the grass roots cadres created by his campaign to work in their communities, as I intend to do, ashamed of my own complacency, comfort, and cynicism. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Nancy Doll - My Childhood Style Icon



Growing up in Franco's grim early 1970s Madrid, the Nancy Doll to a great degree acted as a palliative to a creepy psychologically sadistic nanny, a religious school where I had only one friend besides my sister, and the overall climate of repression that as I child I perceived as "quiet" and "grey." Nancy is way better than Barbie, as I learned to my regret when we emigrated to Florida in the late 1970s, because she is bigger, and has a better wardrobe. I treasure my little Nancy clothing catalogue from 1973 and died and went to heaven when I saw that a fellow fan posted them on You Tube. You can see the outfits we had to choose from, in true 1970s meets repressive, gender discriminatory and isolated dictatorship (women could not wear bikinis until the late 1960s) style. Don't miss the cloistered nun's outfit.



Lovely Obama Musical Propaganda


Obama '08 - Vote For Hope from MC Yogi on Vimeo.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Grim Exception

I have been feeling very anxious as the election nears, but maybe that's for the best, we don't want to get over-confident. It doesn't help that the cable channels seem to talk about nothing else. Except of course, for the tragic murders of the darling Jennifer Hudson's relatives in the South Side of Chicago. Sadly, her little nephew was found dead yesterday. But in the couple of days after they found her mom and brother, national calls were put out to try to find the boy. And then it struck me: this was the first Amber Alert I recall ever seeing on national cable seeking a black child. Is that what it takes to seek a child of color, a relationship to a celebrity? 

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sarah Palin is not the Only Pageantry Schanda Out There


A priceless news item shared by a loyal reader & fellow follower of pageantry. First of all, I apologize for not having the money shot - ie. the mug shot, perp walk or any other police-generated imagery. Trust me, I looked. As a Mr. Blackwell aside, this look does not scream pageantry as much as it does table dancer in a truck stop bar. But I digress. Below is the story of Miss Louisiana's fall from grace.


Miss Teen Louisiana Arrested, Loses Crown
stumble digg reddit del.ico.us news trust mixx.com
October 22, 2008 05:01 PM EST |

OSSIER CITY, La. — Miss Teen Louisiana lost her crown 11 days early after being arrested on charges of leaving a restaurant without paying and carrying marijuana. RPM Productions Inc., the sponsor, took back the title on Tuesday after learning that Lindsey Evans, 18, of Blanchard, had been arrested, president Paula M. Miles said Wednesday.

Evans will have to return her sash and crown, but won't have to return any other prizes or cash equivalents, Miles said.

"She's done a good job this year," Miles said.

A call to Evans' parents' house was not answered Wednesday.

Miles said she had been told that the three women with Evans told police that Evans, alone in the group, had paid her bill. But Bossier City spokesman Mark Natale said Evans admitted not paying.

Bossier City police booked all four on theft charges, three on drug charges and two on drug paraphernalia charges, he said.

Natale said Bossier City police were called to a Posados Cafe restaurant Saturday evening because a group had left without paying $46.07. The manager had found a pocketbook at the table, and police found Evans' driver's license and about 2 grams of suspected marijuana in it, Natale said.

He said officers recognized Evans from the photo when the group returned for the pocketbook.

Miles said she talked with Evans on Monday.

The next Miss Teen Louisiana will be chosen Nov. 1 at a pageant in Lafayette. Michelle Berthelot, Miss Louisiana USA 2008, will crown the winner.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

No comment

Breaking News: Another Reason to Mourn Mr. Blackwell's Loss

Today it was revealed that GOP operatives went on shopping sprees to give Mrs. Hockey Mom, the Pitbull with (very expensive designer) Lipstick on a make over in the hundred K realm. This is one occasion where Mr. Blackwell would be in his bitchy element. It is just devastating that during this national crisis - no, not the Second Depression, I mean the fashion Armageddon, we cannot rely on his guidance.

I guess even though Palin ushered in the Wal-Martization of the Crystal meth capital of the USA, Wassila, their clothes is no longer good enough. She can spend 150K on a make-over, and spend tens of thousands to take her kids on luxurious junkets using tax payer money, but she wanted to charge rape victims for their rape kits that take evidence of the assault, and reduced funding for kids with disabilities (like her son!). Clearly, she's got her priorities in the right place. 

Ironically, the allegedly East Coast Liberal Elite personified by what the GOP believes are the "uppity" Obama family cannot compete with Palin's swish wardrobe, purchased at shops like: Neiman Marcus, Sak's, Barney's and the like. She also bought clothes for her kids. McCain claims the clothes will be given away to charity. How can they give away used makeup and Palin's own hairstyles to the Salvation Army? Apparently, one news report revealed that Mrs. McCain (or, as I like to call her, Crack Head Stepford Wife Barbie, or Grown Up Joan Benet Ramsey) spent up to 350K on one outfit alone. It's staggering to me to know how much money one has to spend to look so very cheap. 

I must confess, with the deepest shame, that my lady friends and I had been marveling at the fact that we actually LIKED some of her clothes, particularly the blazers she wore in her embarassing interviews with Katie Couric, or the black suit she wore to the also embarassing VP debate. And the shoes were also very good. Now we know why. The hundreds of dollars spent on that Pageantry Hair, however, should be cause for a refund demand. I can only imagine that Mrs. McCain recommended her own technician from the Joan Benet Ramsey Memorial School of Hairdressing.


Here is the URL to a great article about this from The New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/23/us/politics/23palin.html?partner=permalink&exprod=permalink

Monday, October 20, 2008

Farewell, Mr. Blackwell

'Mr. Blackwell' dies at 86; compiled 'worst dressed' celebrity lists for nearly 50 years

I have looked forward to his 10 Worst-Dressed Lists for my entire life. It was a landmark that caused me to ponder two of my favorite things: fashion and celebrities. My life will suffer from a terrible void. Although I try my best (Fashion Citation) to follow in his bitchery and fabulousness, I can never equal or surpass his catty phrases and incisive descriptions of celebrity fashion schandisimos. And as I said earlier, during this NATIONAL EMERGENCY OF BAD TASTE that is personified in Caribou Barbie (Palin) and Crack Head Stepford Wife Barbie AKA Grown up Joan Benet Ramsey on VIcodin (Mrs. McCain), it's doubly tragic to be without Mr. Blackwell's viper's tongue.




Born Richard Selzer, the caustic self-proclaimed arbiter of taste wagged his finger at the likes of Marilyn Monroe, Madonna, Britney Spears and even Queen Elizabeth.
By Mary Rourke, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
October 20, 2008
" Mr. Blackwell," whose annual "worst dressed" list dinged movie stars, music icons and European royalty and helped turn him into a household name from the 1960s through the '80s, has died. He was 86.

Blackwell had been in failing health and died Sunday afternoon at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles of complications from an intestinal infection, according to publicist Harlan Boll.

A onetime actor and model who turned to fashion design with limited success, Blackwell -- in his rankings of what he considered the most dreadful in design -- helped popularize the sort of dishy commentary that takes notable figures down a notch by poking fun at their personal style.

Actresses Marilyn Monroe, Sophia Loren and Elizabeth Taylor made his list in the early 1960s. Taylor's "plump" figure and revealing clothes reminded him of "the rebirth of the zeppelin," he wrote in 1963. Loren, he wrote, dressed like "the Italian shop girls she portrays in movies."

More recently, Britney Spears and Paris Hilton, whom he called the "Screamgirls" and compared to "two peas in an overexposed pod," made the list. So did Camilla Parker-Bowles, "The Duchess of Dowdy," in Blackwell's opinion.

This year Victoria "Posh Spice" Beckham topped his survey. It was his 48th annual list.

Brigitte Bardot, Barbra Streisand, Bette Midler, Dolly Parton and Madonna took heat from Blackwell more than once. So did Queen Elizabeth. "From her majesty to her travesty," he wrote of her.

Blackwell gave his first annual assessment of celebrities and their tastes in 1960, placing Italian actress Anna Magnani, star of "The Rose Tattoo" and "Wild Is the Wind," at the top of his worst-dressed list. He credited her for being "one of the most distinguished actresses of our generation" but said she dressed in "tramp clothes."

His comments were published in the American Weekly, a syndicated Sunday supplement magazine, after a reporter there called and asked him to name his 10 worst-dressed picks and to comment on them. Every year from then on he teased the famous, using "Mr. Blackwell" as a calling card.

He had launched his clothing business, House of Blackwell, in 1958, teaching himself how to drape fabric on a model. His day and evening outfits recalled the era of the contract movie stars who were dressed top to bottom by staff designers for the major Hollywood studios.

"The clothes were slightly overdone," recalled Sylvia Sheppard, a fashion editor for Women's Wear Daily during Blackwell's heyday. "He wasn't a creative designer."

But to be a fashion designer was never his top priority. As Blackwell recounted in his autobiography, "From Rags to Bitches" (1995), he aimed "to become my most unforgettable creation: king of the caustic quote, arbiter of good taste and bad, the ultimate mix of madness, marketing and media attention."

His finger-wagging fashion reports were a twist on the annual best-dressed lists that were popular in the 1940s and '50s. Fashion expert and author Patty Fox said recently that Blackwell was the first she knew of to take an irreverent approach. Dozens of variations followed.

While Blackwell claimed he was "not unkind," his critiques ranged from merely catty -- "Words fail me!" he wrote in 1963 of screen ingenue Sandra Dee -- to cutting: -- "Do-it-yourself kit with the wrong instructions!" he pronounced about the fashion taste of Hollywood sex kitten Elke Sommer in his 1973 list.

"The list has whimsy," he insisted. "It's camp."

At times he published his choices for the best-dressed women of the year. Joan Crawford and Audrey Hepburn ranked in the 1960s, Nicole Kidman later on.

He announced his verdicts at an annual news conference in his Hancock Park home. Several times in the early 1970s, he was invited to expand on his choices as a guest on "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson." In the 1980s and '90s, he commented on Oscar fashions during televised coverage of the Academy Awards.

He included men, particularly if they dressed in drag on screen or stage. Comedian Milton Berle got dinged in 1996 for his "padded brassiere and corseted rear." Boy George, the pop singer who wore lipstick and eye shadow, and Elton John with his feathered capes got caught in Blackwell's radar in the 1980s.

Some of Blackwell's targets fired back. When he took aim at country singer Barbara Mandrell in 1981 ("Yukon Sally playing the Alamo"), she sent him a jeweled lapel pin that spelled out "Big Mouth." He wore it proudly.

Others, including Jayne Mansfield, turned to him for advice. In 1961, after criticizing the actress with the hourglass figure for her "plunging neckline [that] has become a bare midriff problem," he supplied her with a wardrobe for her role in "Promises! Promises!" a 1963 movie best known for Mansfield's nude scenes.


http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/la-me-blackwell20-2008oct20,0,6367465.story

Friday, October 10, 2008

The End is Near Part 3


The end is near, again, and again, and again. 

Headlines and articles herald the end of nationalization of banks and incipient socialist reform under BUSH of all people, noting that Europe, Asia and the IMF are rethinking their emulation of, or participation in, US models of "laissez-faire capitalism." Reagan-Thatcherite Univesity of Chicago School loosening of regulation and "trickle down economics" are now being evaluated as we plunge into a global depression probably worse than 1929. In truth I cannot say that I understand this phenomenon other than to know that "laissez-faire capitalism" is unjust and that of course it was bound to fail, and now I probably won't be able to afford to retire until I am 95, if I live that long. 

Yet I know that am one of the privileged few that has a home, a job, health insurance, some savings that are worth less and less but they still exist. 

Since I am a student of visual culture and media representation, I am fascinated by the ways in which this crisis is most frequently depicted through images of desperate male traders. The "masters of the universe" as Jay McInerney baptized them in the 1980s, are now seemingly suffering from a collective meltdown. The financial industry's version of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder? Akin to what New Yorkers suffered after 9/11? Similar to what the majority of vets coming back from Irak manifest? (even if that Stepford Wife Cindy McCain, in a Marie Claire interview, denies that PTSD exists and claims her psycho husband was "trained" to serve and thus unaffected emotionally, blaming the problems of other vets on their immaturity and lack of military education). 

I'm mesmerized by the ways in which this profession is gendered male, and how we expect a certain invulnerability, arrogance, confidence - their collective bluff, much like a poker game, sustained our belief in our own collective economic power and invulnerability. Rarely do you see shows of emotion in men in the US. This is why Biden's choking when discussing the death of his wife and child in an accident was so jarring and riveting. This is why people loved the dictatorial confidence of Giuliani, the platitude-driven reassuring down-homeiness of Reagan and now Bush the Second, and why I have drunk the Kook-Aid for Barack Obama's empathetic yet masterful in control poise. We all want a "daddy" to tell us everything is under control.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Vote for Hairdresser Lula and Claudio Henrique -Barack Obama!

One of my loyal readers and fellow connoisseur of hilarious and absurd naming practices sent me the article below, which had me in hysterics. Enjoy!

Petite Maoiste-Michelle Obama


'Barack Obama' contests Brazil elections against 'Chico Bin Laden'
Six candidates in Brazil's local elections have "adopted" the name Barack Obama to help set themselves apart from hundreds of rivals.


By Andrew Downie in Sao Paulo
Last Updated: 7:46PM BST 01 Oct 2008

Claudio Henrique-Barack Obama is one of eight candidates who have taken up the Illinois senator's name during local elections in Brazil. However the three candidates who registered to contest the polls as Obama and another three who are now called Barack - or in one case Barak - Obama, have some stiff competition if they hope to stand out.
More than 200 hopefuls contesting the municipal polls next weekend have renamed themselves after Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the country's popular president with an approval rating of 80 per cent.

Others have selected monikers from the wild to the ridiculous. There are candidates named after animals (Cattle Ana, Elephant Without a Tail), vehicles (German in the Lorry, Jeep Johnny), kitchen utensils (Big Charlie Knives, Golden Fork), US presidents (Bill Clinton, Jorge Bushi) and infamous Middle-Eastern leaders (DJ Saddam, John Bin Laden, Chico Bin Laden, Luis Bin Laden). King of the Cuckolds, Kung Fu Fatty and The Second King of Prawns will also contest the polls.
Claudio Henrique dos Anjos registered the name Claudio Henrique-Barack Obama as the one voters will see on the ballot after people started comparing him with the Democratic candidate.

"I am black and I wore a suit on television and people started to tell me I was just like that Barack Obama guy in the United States," said Mr dos Anjos, who is running for mayor of Belford Roxo, a city on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro.
"It was a great idea, more and more people are paying attention to my campaign. People can see that I have plans and programmes, not that I am just some guy out for power."

Brazilian politicians often adopt unusual names at election time. Candidates are allowed to either register in their own name or a chosen one. Many use their long-held nicknames but some adopt outlandish identities to grab attention.
Lula's personal approval rating hit 80 percent this week, higher than any president since polling began more than 20 years ago, and many candidates have added Lula to their name in the hope that some of his success will rub off.
One man went as far as changing his name to President Lula. Others call themselves Ambulance Lula, Radio Lula, Singer Lula, Hairdresser Lula and Here Comes Lula.

Few have a real chance at election. But the Brazilian Barack Obama is confident both he and his namesake are in with a good chance of victory. "He is doing a bit better than me but things are changing and I think we'll at least get into a run off," said the Brazilian version. "I've got a harder task than he does, he's already nine points ahead of McCain. And I don't have $64 million in my campaign chest."

Source:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/southamerica/brazil/3117857/Barack-Obama-contests-Brazil-elections-against-Chico-Bin-Laden.html

Royal Portraiture Remains a Means of Communication

Recently, I wrote about the paradigm shift in representations of monarchy ushered in by the Princesa de Asturia's rhinoplasty. Not only did the Royal Family throw their non-blue-blooded daughter-in-law under the bus by admitting to the press that she'd had work done, but now she suffers the additional indignity of news articles asking people to vote on whether before or after looks better! Today articles pointed out that her wax figure in Madrid's renowned museum (an entire entry, no book, could be written about that site!) has been suitably altered. If only Goya were alive. 

More on the Debate

Sunday, October 5, 2008

SNL on the VP Debate - HILARIOUS

Best of Sarah Palin

Get the latest news satire and funny videos at 236.com.


SOURCE: http://www.236.com/video/2008/the_best_of_sarah_palin_cd_9332.php

Friday, October 3, 2008

La Lloroncita

Quetcy Alma Martinez De Jesus, artistic name "La Lloroncita," somehow was unknown to me until about a half hour ago when one of my genius friends, whose expertise straddles Siglo de Oro literature, recondite areas of Spanish philology, HOLA! magazine semiotics, and, apparently, teen-aged Puerto Rican songstresses of the 1960s and early 1970s, shared the video below. La Lloroncita earned her name according to the bio I read (URL is below) for her ability to cry on cue, and the "cita" because she is about 4 feet tall. Damn, if those were the qualifications, I could have a hit career in my future. Apparently, she was a protege of the fabulous Myrta Silva.

She decided to leave her success behind for a discreet private life, much like Marisol, now Pepa Flores, did in Spain. I am glad she did because to see this video, as she entered puberty, no one thought to advise her to wax that mustache. On a serious note, she was singing an affecting song about her father's tour of duty in Viet Nam, in a sentimental fashion that indirectly points to the colonial aspects of having men fight in the war who in many cases could not vote in US elections. 



http://www.prpop.org/biografias/l_bios/la_lloroncita.shtml

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Palin's Pageantry Strategery

As I have been chatting with friends about the latest Palin interviewing debacle, it occurred to me that Palin's answering strategy is right out of PAGEANTRY training. Note the famous Miss South Carolina meltdown, below, and compare to my favorite section from the Katie Couric interview on CBS. Because in fact Palin has that deer trapped in the headlights faux concentration expression that Delegates have as they watch the host or the reigning Queen pull the paper from the fishbowl. Miss Alaska, we have a question from the Delegate from Iowa, Katie Couric. And she has the catch-phrase that she has memorized and must insert into her answer no matter what, even if it has nothing to do with the question. The platitudes, the hesitation, the halting phrases that are never concluded. She has it all!





I don't know what I love most: 
-the incoherent phrases
-the repetitive phrases that are clearly the talking points she has been given (such as her blurb at Ground Zero today "bring the war to their soil") 
-her inability to articulate the word "caricature" at which point Couric helps her with the simpler, monosyllabic "mock" - a meta-moment if there ever was one since this interview itself seemed like something out of the ONION, The Colbert Report or Jon Stewart!
-seeing uber light-weight Couric appear to be as tough of a questioner as Tim Russert or Dan Rather (I would pay to see what Gerald Rivers does with her, ugh, no, maybe not - and speaking of, the term one would use -assuming one thought this which DISGUSTS me -not a MILF, a colleague pointed out, technically it would be a GILF - grandmother) 


Saturday, September 20, 2008

You better go to the gym: Or you'll burn in HELL


These "divine sightings" are starting to become a little leitmotiv here, the vision of Jesus in the moth's wing, the cheeto shaped like a crucified Christ, hell, I might have to create a whole new label for these posts!!!!!! There is just so much to love in this video: the nature of these "exercises," the looks the women are rocking (note the applique cotton top), the dingy drop ceiling transformed into a vision of the Redeemer. I believe that the woman was just suffering from Beef Jerky and Chips Ahoy withdrawal. 


Friday, September 19, 2008

Rachel Maddow Back in the Day



Fabulous photo of a very young Rachel Maddow (of Air America and MSNBC) from a site called Ohnotheydidn't. She's my new favorite news personality (sorry, Anderson), who is intelligent, funny, an acute questioner (within the narrow parameters offered by talking head cable hot air) and an out lesbian. Now they have made her substantially more "soft butch." LoL. Love love love her!!!!!!

Source: http://community.livejournal.com/ohnotheydidnt/27987463.html#cutid1

The End is Near Part 2




Evidence # 1: 
Billionaires' greed and criminal actions drive their companies into bankruptcy in part thanks to their exploitative lending practices that have driven millions into foreclosure. The Bush Administration does nothing. The lenders and Wall St. investors that capitalized on middle class taxpayers' (and, admittedly wealthier real estate speculators flipping properties) are now bailed out by us, the taxpayers. Most of us will then see cuts in social services, education, and Social Security (assuming it even exists in the future), as well as watch as our paltry retirement accounts wither. And a working class person in Bed Sty who foreclosed on their home is in part paying for Dick Fuld's mistakes. As one reader's comment cleverly described this plan: "No Banker Left Behind." No politician (including Obama) dares to ask: Why can't these FORBES Billionaires give back some of their hundreds of millions to pay down the debt that they created? 

Evidence # 2: 
Sarah Palin instituted a policy to charge rape survivors for the cost of the swab tests police take to gather evidence. Sarah Palin cut funds for disabled people. Sarah Palin had huge ties to lobbyists now under investigation and arranged through them to gain tens of millions in Congressional earmarks. She is describing herself as a maverick, paragon of ethics, mother who defends the disabled, and model of political opposition to lobbyists and pork. 

Evidence # 3:
Women who were supporters of HRC are willing to vote for a woman who is opposed to abortion even in cases of rape or incest.

Evidence # 4:
McCain is showing in the best case scenario, signs of striking foreign policy ignorance in not knowing who Zapatero is - the PM of Spain- and confusing him with a Latin American leader in an interview. Worst case scenario, this is one of several gaffes that is an early sign of senility / Alzheimer's. 

Evidence # 5:
As an email a friend forwarded to me read: "Sarah Palin's email is hacked and this is an appalling invasion of privacy, criminal in nature. Our emails may be read by the Federal Government, and this is OK: it's called the Patriot Act." 

Thursday, September 18, 2008

New York (Oficina y Denuncia)

NEW YORK (OFICINA Y DENUNCIA)


A Fernando Vela



Debajo de las multiplicaciones
hay una gota de sangre de pato.
Debajo de las divisiones
hay una gota de sangre de marinero.
Debajo de las sumas, un río de sangre tierna;
un río que viene cantando
por los dormitorios de los arrabales,
y es plata, cemento o brisa
en el alba mentida de New York.
Existen las montañas, lo sé.
Y los anteojos para la sabiduría,
lo sé. Pero yo no he venido a ver el cielo.
He venido para ver la turbia sangre,
la sangre que lleva las máquinas a las cataratas
y el espíritu a la lengua de la cobra.
Todos los días se matan en New York
cuatro millones de patos,
cinco millones de cerdos,
dos mil palomas para el gusto de los agonizantes,
un millón de vacas,
un millón de corderos
y dos millones de gallos
que dejan los cielos hechos añicos.
Más vale sollozar afilando la navaja
o asesinar a los perros en las alucinantes cacerías
que resistir en la madrugada
los interminables trenes de leche,
los interminables trenes de sangre,
y los trenes de rosas maniatadas
por los comerciantes de perfumes.
Los patos y las palomas
y los cerdos y los corderos
ponen sus gotas de sangre
debajo de las multiplicaciones;
y los terribles alaridos de las vacas estrujadas
llenan de dolor el valle
donde el Hudson se emborracha con aceite.
Yo denuncio a toda la gente
que ignora la otra mitad,
la mitad irredimible
que levanta sus montes de cemento
donde laten los corazones
de los animalitos que se olvidan
y donde caeremos todos
en la última fiesta de los taladros.
Os escupo en la cara.
La otra mitad me escucha
devorando, cantando, volando en su pureza
como los niños en las porterías
que llevan frágiles palitos
a los huecos donde se oxidan
las antenas de los insectos.
No es el infierno, es la calle.
No es la muerte, es la tienda de frutas.
Hay un mundo de ríos quebrados y distancias inasibles
en la patita de ese gato quebrada por el automóvil,
y yo oigo el canto de la lombriz
en el corazón de muchas niñas.
óxido, fermento, tierra estremecida.
Tierra tú mismo que nadas por los números de la oficina.
¿Qué voy a hacer, ordenar los paisajes?
¿Ordenar los amores que luego son fotografías,
que luego son pedazos de madera y bocanadas de sangre?
No, no; yo denuncio,
yo denuncio la conjura
de estas desiertas oficinas
que no radian las agonías,
que borran los programas de la selva,
y me ofrezco a ser comido por las vacas estrujadas
cuando sus gritos llenan el valle
donde el Hudson se emborracha con aceite.


Federico García Lorca, 1929-1930

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Make the Best of Things

I haven't had the time nor energy to write since it seems that in the past few days we've careened further into the oncoming Apocalypse: Obama down in the polls (I am volunteering, and so should everyone else!!!!!), the new Great Depression, and various chaotic incidents in my daily life (and those of various people I know) involving technology, transport and other issues. Of course, I read the horoscopes and saw Mercury is in retrograde, so the cliche is true. Below you'll see two guys making the best of the situation. Let's hope we can all emulate them in doing so.


Friday, September 12, 2008

Dedicated Lawmaker Takes a Break from his Favorite Activity (it's not what you think!) to Nail Palin and her First Dude

This afternoon, while getting my breaking news fix on MSNBC, I was DELIGHTED to see the following headline: "Lawmakers vote to subpoena Todd Palin. Alaska lawmakers vote to subpoena 13 witnesses in Troopergate probe"

Not only am I happy to know that Gov. Palin's corruption scandal is hitting the fan, but also to see the "First Dude" is getting in on the action. But I had no idea what joy was in store for me as I began to read and found this:

Sen. Charlie Huggins, a Republican from Palin's hometown of Wasilla, appeared in camouflage pants on a short break from moose hunting to cast his vote. He lamented the political maneuvering that he saw as trying to interfere with the investigation.

"I see all this duck-foot action under the water," Huggins said. "Let's just get the facts on the table.


Ladies and gentlemen, this is the best paragraph I have read in a news article. Ever.

To go to the story, cut and paste the following url into your browser: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26677221/

Thursday, September 11, 2008

September 11, 2008



Seven years ago today I witnessed the aftermath of the planes' impact on the Twin Towers from the street below my former home in Greenwich Village. I had taken the Towers for granted, I saw them each morning as I left my house, yet I rarely turned to notice them, except for those special occasions like visits to Windows on the World for brunch, or nights dancing on the top floor with the dazzling view below. Once the towers fell, each morning I would turn to look acknowledging for a second the lives lost and the work going on there. Until January of 2002, the smell was overpowering in my apartment, so I never forgot Ground Zero was there, and there were flyers posted all over my neighborhood that remained for weeks and months. One night, leaving a friend's in NoHo, I turned the wrong corner, and realized that the towers had been my landmark, now I was momentarily lost. Tonight, from my new home, I see where the towers would have been.

Separated at Birth?

Cindy McCain seems to have a bit of Puerto Rican Neutral familiarity. She likes to wear metallics, rhinestones, lots of big jewelry, dyes her hair unnatural shades of yellow, and much more! She also has a Pageantry look and demeanor. Below, during her speech at the Convention, where she wore gold dress.


Hot Tranny Messs Cindy (or as my genius friend calls her "Cyborg") McCain bears an uncanny resemblance to hot tranny mess Ivana Trump. And the fashion also overlaps. In fact, the Puerto Rican Neutrals also tend to coincide with the Eastern European Neutrals.

The biggest difference is that McCain has not had fat from her ass injected into her lips, for which many of us are making a collective sigh of relief.


Here we can see in terrifying detail the work she has, and has not, had done. Note the plaster of Paris foundation that renders her face several shades darker than her skin, almost Beyonce-like in color. The woman is apparently only in her fifties, which disturbing because she looks to be about 75, but then, she's married to Senator McCain. 

Talk about a Cyborg. I saw him today during the joint photo-op at Ground Zero he staged with Obama. The man was barely able to walk or move and I am disgusted/fascinated by that weird lump on the side of his face, which I hope is not Skoal chewing tobacco. As he awkwardly shook hands with 9/11 first-responders or family members, he became agitated anytime he approached any body with a uniform on and began to repeat mechanically "Thanks for your service. SEMPER FI." (this latter expression much LOUDER) It was eerie and terrifying for real, not terrifying ironically as in my Mr. Blackwell fashion schandisimo analysis of his poor ex pill-popping Stepford wife. But I digress. 

Yes, in my own small tribute to the ailing Mr. Blackwell, I realize I must focus on her fashion and perhaps on that of the pitbull with lipstick on as well, but I can't bear to look at that one so it may not be possible. 

The CNN coverage of the joint 9/11 mourning photo op was just great because it was like C-SPAN, live feed, no omniscient voice narrating. I was mesmerized. I wish there was a news channel like this, you could see the awkward moments, the pauses, what they look like when they think that nobody is looking or things will be edited out. Obama was so much more natural in his interactions, he made eye contact and listened. People responded differently to both of them, it was clear that McCain was quite popular with many of the uniformed personnel. Two gave their pins to him and Cindy McCain. McCain just kept repeating the same thing, over and over. Creepy! 





And Cindy was there, walking the requisite 10 paces behind her husband, she may as well have been wearing a chador. Instead she had on an eveningwear suit that was quite 1980s as it had big shoulders and a puffed sleeve on top that then became narrow like a normal suit sleeve. Very Goth. The woman does not know from day wear, everything is eveningwear with her. A total Pageantry look!!! 

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Palin's Church Offers "Gay-conversions"

Palin church promotes gay-conversion event
Gov. Sarah Palin's church is promoting a conference that promises to convert gays into heterosexuals through prayer.

Sept. 6, 2008
By The Associated Press
ANCHORAGE — Gov. Sarah Palin's church is promoting a conference that promises to convert gays into heterosexuals through prayer.

"You'll be encouraged by the power of God's love and his desire to transform the lives of those impacted by homosexuality," according to the insert in the bulletin of Wasilla Bible Church, where Palin has prayed for about six years.

Palin's conservative Christian views have energized that part of the GOP electorate, which was lukewarm to John McCain's candidacy before he named her as his vice-presidential choice. She is anti-abortion, opposing exceptions for rape and incest, and opposes gay marriage and spousal rights for gay couples.

Focus on the Family, a Christian fundamentalist organization, is conducting the "Love Won Out" Conference in Anchorage, which is about 30 miles from Wasilla.

Palin has not publicly expressed a view on the "pray away the gay" movement.

Larry Kroon, senior pastor at Palin's church, had no comment.

Gay activists in Alaska said Palin has not worked actively against their interests, but early in her administration she supported a bill to overrule a court decision to block state benefits for gay partners of public employees. At the time, less than one-half of 1 percent of state employees had applied for the benefits, which were ordered by a 2005 ruling by the Alaska Supreme Court.

Palin reversed her position and vetoed the bill after the state attorney general said it was unconstitutional.

But her reluctant support didn't win fans among Alaska's gay population, said Scott Turner, a gay activist in Anchorage.

"Less than 1 percent of state employees would even apply for benefits, so why make a big deal out of such a small number?" he said.

Obama Cult of Personality

Clearly, Barack Obama is the best-looking presidential candidate we've had, I argue, since John Fitzgerald Kennedy. No matter how you look at him, clothed, unclothed, lecturing, on the basketball court, hugging his wife, he's hot. You really would not want to see McCain in a picture like this. So let's get that out of the way. But last night I was watching a CNN "pseudodocumuntary" about him, that included extensive interviews with him, his wife, Michelle, and his sister, Maya. 

This led me to think about cults of personality, one of my obsessions in life. Obviously for anyone who reads this blog it's clear that I have Drunk the Kool-Aid for Barack Obama, and I will do whatever it takes to get him elected. But that doesn't absolve me from critically examining his electoral propaganda. My own Grandfather was a "charismatic" Senator who helped found a political party. In any case, all politicians do this, McCain plays on the War Hero trope, using the "I was a POW" as a get out of jail free card any time he doesn't want to answer a question, as the hot and brilliant Rachel Madow said on MSNBC (side bar, at last a lesbian on TV that promotes a positive image, well, Ellen does too, but this one is doing hard news).

Maybe I am more interested in Obama because he's "my" man and especially because of the way he rose to the top so young. His persona is such a huge part of his appeal and his image is iconic in a way that Bush's or McCain's is not. The "war hero" image is more of an abstract type, but we're not seeing silk screened images of McCain's face everywhere. Perhaps this is my perspective because I live in an area that had one of the highest number of votes for Obama in my state.

In any case, the man just hypnotizes you with that smile, and he knows it. They kept showing him smiling and then they talked about his father's charisma and his smile. Obama seemed well-aware of his father's charisma but recalled that everyone spoke of Obama Sr.'s intelligence and potential, but alcoholism frustrated his academic and political ambitions. Obama's school friends made references to his admiration for MLK and how the Civil Rights Movement was his inspiration for getting into politics. Obama definitely plays into MLK in the staging of his big rallies and in the call and response cadences of many of his speeches.



Yet it was interesting to me that nobody spoke about JFK in the special report. Many have said that Obama is modeling himself on JFK, for example, by writing books about his life to present himself in a heroic manner. I think his campaign is looking at the Kennedy image and that's in part what Ted and Carolyn respond to when they say no one since their relative has inspired people in such a way. 

Apparently, when Obama went to the Wailing Wall he deposited a prayer which somebody removed, read and then published. The prayer had to do with asking God to help him struggle against the sin of pride. It must be hard not to be arrogant if you're Barack Obama, but also hard not to be bitter when you face racism every day. Clearly he knows his own power and how to use his considerable charisma.



 


The people running his campaign are very image-savvy. They are young and know about branding. Obama's slogans are shorter than JFK's and thus easier to remember and reproduce, and also appealing to newness and hope. 

According to Michelle, on their first date, they went to the Art Institute and she was impressed by how much he knew about art. This is the third version of the first date that I have heard. In print I read they saw "Do the Right Thing." During the convention, Michelle said something else, which I cannot recall but I know it was not the museum because given my line of business I would have remembered. 

In any case, a tantalizing hint that he is as image literate as he is literate in everything else. 
I can't help but think of Warhol when I see the dual images of him that are everywhere in my neighborhood. (above) They have a series of words: HOPE, CHANGE, etc. that are interchangeable, his image is the template. 



The most common photos of him (as in the two above, and below) usually shoot him slightly or sharply from below, creating a diagonal. This is a classic means of literally elevating someone and making them look superior and powerful. You can see it in photos of JFK  or of Mussolini.




The other, obvious way, is to place the politician in front of a symbol of the Government, below, Obama looking gorgeous in front of the Capitol. As the Campaign progresses, he is more and more in front of flags - one big one, or many. This is a tactic beloved by Bush and the GOP in general. Obama had to start wearing a US flag lapel pin after being criticized for not doing so. (Mind you, I believe that it is his elegance that prevented him from doing so earlier, not his lack of patriotism.)

A common pose he uses in his speeches is the commanding finger pointing out at the audience as in: let's do this, or I command you to do this.




Above is the low-fi version of this pre-big screen digital media iconography. Here's JFK in front of a flag, shot from below.

I was startled to see a pop-up ad on Facebook advertising the tote bag below (I may just have to buy one) since the sunburst  behind the head motif is clearly taken from Cultural Revolution Era Mao iconography. Obviously, this was not produced by his campaign. 

But I think it is telling. Obama's beautiful face lends itself to iconic cult of personality type propaganda. His official logo is just ripe for analysis. It is a globe enclosing an American flag landscape - the sun is blue and white -abstracted stars, and the stripes are the land, red and white suggesting the bountiful land of the USA. The round sun shape of course parallels the O of his last name. Obama, exotic, Other, and menacing, becomes all-American, natural and wholesome. The bountiful future, the beautiful rainbow, the gleaming sunshine of health, youth and hope, must have triggered the creativity of the entrepreneurial tote bag designer. 



During the Cultural Revolution, an image of youthful reform, change and renewal was promoted by the Maoist leaders. Youthful zealots were persuaded in believing that they were ridding China of any vestiges of Western corruption, capitalism and cultural influence. The Mao cult of personality was taken to extremes, even for a regime as gifted as his was in terms of visual propaganda. They often used the sunburst motif as a backdrop for Mao, to signify this renewal.




Saturday, September 6, 2008

Mr. Blackwell is in a Coma


Mr. Blackwell is in a coma, and we're left on our own just when we need him the most! This is a FASHION SCHANDA of the highest order, a national emergency of bad taste. Cindy McCain is Geriatric Bimbo Barbie, the former Trophy Wife who's lost her bloom. I am fascinated by the pancake makeup, the fried (could it be a weave?) platinum mane which during the convention she decided to leave down her shoulders rather than in those armored up do's that looked more like missiles than buns or pony tails. Also, she has opted for the soft almost over your eyes bangs that some women adopt when trying to conceal furrowed brows. She has a tendency to go for some of the Puerto Rican Neutrals, like gold lame, in the day time. And she shows major cleavage. Perhaps it's her homage to her husband's birth place (which technically makes him unqualified to run for president), by showing off the Panama canal? In this photo, she is holding poor Trig Palin, who was being passed around to seemingly everyone in the convention center. 

But the real crisis is this Pageantry survivor, a terrifying creature who compares herself to a pitbull with lipstick on. Below you see her A. reviewing her Pageantry Wave or B. practicing her Heil Hitler salute. C. both


Like McCain, she decided for the soft, hair down the back look but mixed with the modified bee-hive semi-up do. They dressed her up in a neo-Jackie O suit, probably chosen by McCain. Perhaps McCain will also coach her on accessories, like the rhinestone (? diamond?) USMC - US Marine Corps or something like that pin she wears in honor of her sons' military service. Again, a little bit of a Puerto Rican Neutral touch there for Mrs. McCain. 

The mainstream media is investigating Troopergate and the Bridge to Nowhere, the Enquirer the alleged affair and illegitimate baby (now Trig is supposedly a love child from the affair), and the New York Times her extremist fundamentalist religious beliefs (anti-semite, Pentecostal, Creationist, believes in the Rapture, etc.). Even some in the GOP are saying she might withdraw. But clearly she has no idea what that means or else little Bristol would not be in the mess she's in. Apparently she was Baptized Catholic but then was born-again. Clearly, because if she was a practicing Catholic, she would have taught Bristol about Catholic Birth Control. And I will leave that to your imagination. An Alaska housewife who formerly served on the PTA with her wrote in to a blog that Palin tried to have the town librarian fired because he refused to ban some books she wanted censored. But the New York Times says she takes the Bible literally. So at least we know she reads.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Who Says Men Are Afraid of Commitment?


photo: gawker.com

Note the romantic gesture that self-proclaimed "red-neck" Levi made for his fiancee, Bristol Palin. A totally jacked up jail house name tattoo in his ring finger. Guess he changed his mind about not wanting to have children. (I happen to know such trivia because I've obsessively googled blog posts on Gov. Palin as have apparently all of my friends, and I got an email with a link to the contents of his, since removed, profile on a social networking site.)

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Palin's "family values" and "feminism"



Here is audio from a radio appearance in which Palin laughs as a broadcaster refers to a colleague and cancer survivor as a "cancer" on Alaska, among other choice insults. 

This link from Alternet.org will give you the full story
http://www.alternet.org/blogs/peek/97081

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Case Closed.

You Can't Make This Sh#$% Up


No, this is not a still from a John Waters film, a B-52's video, or a do-it-yourself You Tube freaky animal fetish video. This ladies and gentlemen, is the GOP pick for the office of Vice President of the USA. At one point, perhaps due to illness, I began to wonder if this was a big joke played on us by The Colber Report or The Onion. Because Dan Quayle is Churchill, and elder statesman, by comparison. 

However, to the Fox crowd, the people who fill the stands at the televised mega-prechers' stadiums, the small-town gun-toting hunters (I grew up in the small town South with kids who were given their first gun to go "hunnin'" at the age of 5), people who are cool with using the N-word and fly the Confederate flag, this woman plays really well. So let's not get too cocky. My own Wal-Mart shopping, rabidly anti-choice mother who prays the rosary in front of abortion clinics, thinks this woman is the bomb. And she was none too excited by McCain, I can tell you. 

I am glad people are starting to ask about her family life. Usually the "family values" pols that instrumentalize their family history for political points are the first ones to go down for alleged "scandals" involving cheating spouses, porn habits, cruising for gay sex in airport bathrooms,s stealing from the taxpayers, abusing their political power (and we know Palin is under investigation for trying to get her brother-in-law fired) and the like. 

Personally, I find it very distasteful that she is using the fact that her son has a disability as a political talking point. When the child is older, how will he feel when he learns that his parents are taking credit for "not having aborted him"? Perhaps with his level of disability, he will never know, but his siblings surely do. And is anyone asking how she is taking care of the little guy? Because I am close to people who have kids with DS and can tell you that this is a FULL TIME job. The kids require constant rehabilitation type exercises as soon as they are born to develop their muscle tone, verbal abilities, reflexes and the like. They don't just learn how to walk, or even hold up their head, or roll in their crib automatically. And you can't just drop them off with the physical/speech/whatever therapist you need to be there yourself so you can learn the drill and reinforce at home later. In any case, the GOP misses the fact that the decision to terminate is a PRIVATE issue that is up to a woman to make. 

UPDATE: There are allegations swirling on the web that her fifth child is actually her teen-aged daughters. These accusations originate from Alaska and have been investigated by local press after locals noted several bizarre aspects of the pregnancy (These include that she never looked pregnant, that she gave a speech after her water broke, going into premature labor, and then flew 8 hours to Alaska, to be driven 45 min. so she could deliver in her town's little hospital, coincidentally, her daughter was pulled out of school for months due to "mono" but when last photographed, looked pregnant. Palin's office pulled photos of the Governor dating from the period when she was supposed to be pregnant, but did not look it, from the official website.)

UPDATE 2 Sept. 1: 
Here is a link to photos an aide posted of the Gov., looking pregnant. So the missing bump is found (unless these are from a previous pregnancy, but that seems very far-fetched) http://www.flickr.com/photos/30076181@N02/

However, Bristol, the 17 y.o. is pregnant NOW - no mention of the identity or age of the man who is now her fiance. Of course, this scandal will play well with the fanatics because they will think it's great that Palin forced her daughter to breed and to marry, ie. right her wrong.

But of course they miss it because under their administration, if McCain gets elected, they will have the power to nominate Supreme Court justices and this is serious if you care about choice and many other issues. We saw in the election that Gore won, how the Court shut the process down. We saw under Bush how the checks and balances system can be thwarted to undermine our constitution and promote surveillance of law abiding citizens at home and torture abroad. So head's up Hillary supporters: this ticket does not support equal pay for equal work, either. Palin is the typical "minority" beloved by the GOP - they are brought in as a token as long as they stand for things that harm others of their own race/gender/ethnicity. And for women, if McCain wins, it's Taliban time - the GOP version.