Hasta la vista, Maria! (Obvious joke is obvious.)

Sometimes I remember that for the last few years that I lived in California, Arnold Schwarzenegger was our governor. And then I have to think wait, did that actually happen, or was it just something I hallucinated as the result of one too many pot brownies?

Anyway, his official portrait was unveiled at the capitol in Sacramento this week, occasioning a bit of a sad trombone moment. It was painted when he was still in office—and still married to Maria Shriver—and features a hastily-retouched area. See if you can spot it! (Spoiler alert: Unless you are Mister Magoo, you will spot it.)


Apparently Maria Shriver originally made a cameo in the form of a lapel pin. Which seems weird to me, because are giant lapel pins in the shape of an actual person’s face really a thing? But she’s now the ex, so think of that sloppy dark-blue smudge as a history erase button. They couldn’t afford a better touch-up job? I know the state’s in a fiscal crunch and all, but this looks like they gave an intern a bucket of house paint and told him to make it happen.

(As always when I’m making fun of Governor Schwarzenegger, I feel compelled to point out that he wasn’t actually the worst governor the state ever had. He wasn’t even the worst in my lifetime. That dubious honor belongs to Pete Wilson, whose policy of energy deregulation is a straight line to Enron and the summer of rolling blackouts.)

Shorter Phil Robertson

“I love* gay people like Jesus said to.”

*”Love” here meaning “Really hate, but I don’t have the guts to deal with the fallout that being honest would cause”.

Good ol’ Phil must have read a different version of the Bible than I have, because in the one I read Jesus said fuck-all about homosexuality. It must be the same version all the wingnuts read, in which God condemns abortion and personally endorses the US of A.

Bonus derp: He claimed “no black people were singing the blues” before the Civil Rights era made them git all uppity. He did not add “Except for the black people who invented that very musical genre as a response to being second-class citizens”, so I see he knows music history as well as he knows the Bible.

I kind of hate myself for even addressing this, because everything that comes out of his mouth is such an obvious ploy to dig the ratings of his show out of the crater and/or move copies of his (to use Wonkette’s phrasing) book-shaped object. I can see that, but I can’t resist pointing out how stupid and wrong his words are. The only conservative bobblehead whose low-hanging fruit I absolutely refuse to pick (anymore) is Ann Coulter’s. Her only purpose in life is to get people ginned up, and she doesn’t care whether they’re for her or agin’ her. She’ll take whatever you got, so she gets nothing from me.

It’s been a bad year for Louisiana-set “reality” shows; apparently “Son of Guns” has been cancelled due to the host’s now-adult daughter claiming he molested her as a child. This is a show that flew so far under my radar that I didn’t know it existed until I read about its cancellation on the Bayou Progressive’s Facebook page. I avoid these shows because they traffic in grotesque stereotypes about Louisiana and appropriation/misrepresentation of Cajun culture.

Shorter Milo Manara

Women aren’t allowed to get upset over misogyny until every other problem in the world is solved. Also, something something Islam.

Look, I don’t really have a dog in this hunt, being as I do not care about comics.* But it seems to me that the fault here really lies with Marvel, who hired an illustrator known for sexualizing women to create the cover for an issue that was supposed to reach out to female readers. That’s pretty fucking tone deaf. Do you just hate female money that much, nerds?

That’s not to say Manara isn’t a giant sexist cliché with just a dash of racism. Also, this is fucking terrible art. It looks ugly and painful and like something he slapped together on a cocktail napkin between tapas courses. If Manara really thinks women are “like that”, he needs some refresher courses. Human spines do not work that way. I’m also confused as to why he seems to think that female superheroes don’t so much wear costumes as paint on a facsimile thereof.

*So it’s entirely possible I’ve misread this whole thing: Does Spider-Woman shoot her webs out of her ass? Because then it would make sense for her to be a) naked, and b) presenting her butt like a baboon.

Shorter Doree Lewak

“I am desperate for male validation.”

Ms. Lewak seems like the kind of woman–sorry, the kind of “gal”–who sobs and cries out for daddy whenever she orgasms.

I now own another weird, random thing I’ve always wanted, for some reason: sea urchin light

sea urchin light

What I’m obsessed with this month: Victorian mourning hair jewelry

This is something I discovered a few years ago and have been hunting for a piece to own ever since. Mourning hair jewelry was made from the hair of a deceased loved one; the idea’s been around for centuries but it was most popular during the Victorian era. Christ, those Victorians were a morbid bunch–although the argument can also be made that it’s healthier to deal with death directly, rather than sweep it under the carpet the way we try to nowadays. Anyway, they say it’s because Queen Victoria went off the deep end when Prince Albert died, that she never stopped mourning (based on how many children they produced in the time they were married, they must have REALLY been in love, know what I’m saying, all that “Close your eyes and think of England” stuff aside) and she was such a strong influence on western culture that everyone kind of  followed her over the cliff.

There are two different styles of mourning jewelry: one where necklaces, bracelets, and watch fobs are woven from the hair; and one where the hair is encased in a brooch or necklace pendant. The latter is my favored style, it can be as simple as just a lock of hair curled inside, sometimes with a portrait of the loved one. But jewelers sometimes got really elaborate with it and made intricately woven/braided patterns or curls or even actual tiny pictures with the hair (weeping willows, pansies, tombstones).

There are a couple of local antique stores with a pretty good stash of mourning jewelry, one in Lafayette and one in Breaux Bridge, but (based on my research) I’ve found it all overpriced for the condition it’s in. And when did antique dealers become so opposed to haggling? Used to be you could make them a counter-offer and if it wasn’t insulting they’d likely take it, because that item could sit gathering dust for another decade before anyone else expressed interest in it. Nowadays you offer $85 for something priced at $100, and they act like you offered to trade them a dead skunk for it.

So I took to Etsy, and last night I found the perfect, and I mean it’s EXACTLY what I’m looking for AND it’s in excellent condition, piece:

mourning hair

Those three curls are a style that was called “Prince of Wales”. The gold threads symbolized true love and the seed pearls the tears of the person who wore the piece. It’s reversible: the pin you see sticking out of the right side lifts up, the center swivels, and you put the pin back to lock it in place. The other side is currently empty, I’m guessing it held a photo that was removed by the last family member who owned the piece before the estate sale. The gold is probably only 9 or 10 k; gold wasn’t really the point of these pieces and they usually had a low content. There are initials and the date 1869 scratched into the back.

The seller was offering this at a price that is more than fair, I’ve seen less elaborate pieces in worse shape go for $100 more than what she’s selling this for. Even better, she offered layaway in the listing, so I don’t have to pay the whole price at once. We worked out a deal, I’m going to pay her $100 a week (I get paid every Friday) until it’s paid for, then she’ll ship it.

The next thing I’m going to hunt down is a lachrymatory, which was a glass vial that mourners (almost always women) used to catch their tears; when it was full they sprinkled them on the grave of the loved one. It dates back to the Romans, but again, it was the Victorians who really made it into an art form. One day I’d love to have a cabinet of curiosities, where I can have all my weird stuff in one place–although that locket is going in my jewelry box, because you better believe I’m going to wear it.

I think we should call this one “Turducken Barbie”

Oh for Pete’s sake, she’s fleeing the interview!  SHE’S FLEEING THE INTERVIEW!

Oh for Pete’s sake, she’s fleeing the interview! SHE’S FLEEING THE INTERVIEW!

I am really glad I don’t live in Louisiana’s Sixth District, which includes Baton Rouge. The Congressional race is shaping up to be a real shitshow, even by Louisiana standards. It’s a clown car of teatard jackasses still butthurt over the passage of the ACA and concerned about Serious Threats to America like not being allowed to set gay people on fire; plus former governor Edwin Edwards, who did corrupt Louisiana politicians proud when he found a loophole in the whole “convicted felons can’t hold federal or state office” thing: it’s just a Congressional district, so it’s not a “state” office, see? It’s like going into a restaurant and being given a menu that only has “cockroach omelette” and “armadillo roadkill sandwich” on it.

So far the Republican candidate that seems to be hogging the spotlight the most is Lenar Whitney, a former tap dance instructor who is like an unholy cross between Sarah Palin and Orly Taitz. She kicked her run off with a video in which she calls climate change a “hoax”, claims the planet is actually getting colder, and then threw in some Birtherism, because why not, there’s still some milk left in those teats, right? (Spoiler alert, Lenar: no.) Oh, and she used the phrase “lamestream media”, which is always the mark of a Serious Thinker.

Her handlers showed some uncanny self-awareness last week when they accused Cook Political Report editor David Wasserman of “conducting a Palin-style interview”. Apparently this is conservative code for asking a politician about views and opinions that have come out of their facehole; and then having to end the interview when said politician locks up, starts blurting out word salad like HAL after he got his motherboard pulled, gets hustled out of the room by aides, then goes on Facebook hours later and whines about being “gotcha’d” because the interviewer couldn’t handle a Strong Conservative Woman. Yeah, Whitney is definitely reading from the Palin Handbook.


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