May 2006 Archives

What's On Her Utility Belt?

Batwoman in chic black and red costume.I feel like DC Comics just planted a wet one on me.

Yesterday I read the BBC news piece stating that Batwoman was going to be returning to comics as a lesbian. Some further investigation brought me to a New York Times article,

"Straight (and Not) Out of the Comics," which states: "In her latest incarnation, Batwoman is a wealthy, buxom lipstick lesbian who has a history with Renee Montoya, an ex-police detective who has a starring role in '52.'"

That is SO EFFING HOT!!!!!! I ran out and bought the first issues of 52 today. I'm so frickin' excited! Although, I have to say, my friendly comic book seller was not so excited about the prospect of 52's weekly format. I could see what he meant. There are only a few issues out and he already looked like he was swimming in paper.

Is it just me, or does the red and black combination bring the image of a vampire to anyone else's imagination? I wonder if she'll get to meet Catwoman????

(OMG, that last idea was so thrilling I think I just wet my pants.)

More than inconvenient

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The Cute Little Red-Headed Girlfriend and I went to go see An Inconvenient Truth this past weekend. It's in limited release in only two theaters in Los Angeles, so we headed out to an early show in the hopes that we could get in. Fortunately, the theater was large and able to accommodate the crowd that showed up.

I'm not a huge fan of PowerPoints, but Al Gore's slideshow on global warming is really impressive. I say that because the film An Inconvenient Truth documents a slideshow presentation, in the same way that public television might present a staged opera. What you see is something designed for one format (slideshow), but reproduced in another format (film).

There are some brief filmed segments spliced in between the slide presentation that go into Gore's autobiography. I know some critics believe the real goal of those segments is to present Gore as a presidential candidate. They do serve that function rather well. However, I also think the autobiographical elements serve as a good "wrapper" for the slides, adding a personal and emotional component to Gore's logical argument about global warming.

f you are unfamiliar with the data on global warming, I think you will find the movie very persuasive. That's how the Cute-Little-Red-Headed-Girlfriend responded to it. The film hit her like a ton of bricks. "That was very scary!" she exclaimed to me on the way out of the theater.

I've done some reading on the issue of global warming and follow the topic in the news, so many of Gore's arguments were familiar to me. What leaped out at me was Gore's assertion that despite having honed his argument over the years in order to make it air tight, he still felt like he was failing to communicate to people how urgent the situation is.

This feeling of failure really struck a chord with me because in my mind it speaks not only to the issue of global warming but also to many other political issues facing the U.S. right now. Gore communicates his point very, very capably. I don't think this is a failure of logic or of communication.

I think the failure comes down to the human capacity for self-delusion. It comes down to the fact that it doesn't matter what your opinion is on any issue if you're not willing to do something about it. How long are we going to not do something about global warming? Are we still arguing about the issue at this point, or just stalling, waiting for it to go away?

May Day


The immigration issue in the U.S. is a complicated one, even for someone like myself, a Mexican-American who has an active interest in the issue. Just to be clear, my Mexican-American ancestors have been in the U.S. for generations. As my family members like to say, we didn't cross the border, the border crossed us.

Cesar Chavez imagined as a saintIt was decades ago that I first heard the conspiracy theory that Mexico was intent on taking over California, and that immigrants were the stealth means of takeover. Back then, the idea of an immigrant invasion was mainly advanced by the John Birch Society, a conservative political group that originated in Southern California.

It's sad to see how this nut-wing racist theory has become entangled with people's legitimate concerns over national security after 9/11. I know some people look at the Minutemen and see patriots volunteering to do the security work they think the government should do. But to me, the Minutemen are a security problem. I wonder why the public isn't more concerned about a private army camped out across a good portion of our southern border. Why doesn't that ring any alarm bells?

The core issue in the immigration debate is economics, not culture or even race. That's why you'll find Republicans who are pro-immigration, like George W. Bush. His "guest-worker" program is really designed to give business what they want: reliable access to cheap, disposable labor. In fact, some industries in the U.S. are so reliant on this cheap disposable labor that they bring nonlegal immigrants into the country on the sly. It's called human trafficking, and it wouldn't be the first time it's happened here.

You may have noticed I used the word "disposable." A few years ago I was looking through a Latina magazine and it had a quiz, "How Latina Are You?" One of the questions was, "Do you have a relative who has lost a body part to a machete or knife?" You got awarded more points for a hand than for finger on the quiz. That's because both legal Mexican-Americans, like my relatives, and nonlegal immigrants, like those protesting today, have traditionally worked in industries that are hazardous. So much so that we even joke about it among ourselves.

Some people say that nonlegal immigrants are taking jobs that would ordinarily go to U.S. citizens if they paid better. And while that is undoubtedly true in some instances, this is not just about industries avoiding the minimum wage. It's about industries that shirk safety regulations and other protections for workers that are required by law. It's about a business climate in the U.S. that urges, even demands, for businesses to seek the bottom in relation to its workers.

So should we allow immigrants in, and how many, and what do we do about the ones who are already here? I don't know the answer to that. But I do stand in solidarity with those thousands who ask us today to consider the obligation a society has to those who provide it with their labor.

Recent Comments

  • Joe G.: I wonder if one option for e-books is to create read more
  • thecutelittleredheadedgrrlfriend: Well, I am blind as a bat, so it is read more
  • thecutelittleredheadedgrrlfriend: This is an excellent post. It was like reading a read more
  • Joe G.: Why you're not reviewing films, comic books, and literature and read more
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  • Teresa: Hi Rose, Thanks for the comment! Interesting to hear you read more
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  • Teresa: Hi Fran, She did not use the word lesbian, which read more
  • frankie: Hi T- I listened to her speech, and I wonder read more