Courtney Martin’s new book, “Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters,” addresses a topic that affects every single one of us, female or male, young or old, brown or white, rich or poor. It is a book about the physical, and, more importantly, mental effects of our obsession with being thin. Going beyond the usual reasons of how society influences our behavior, Martin candidly, and at times, poetically, explores the hidden world of our deepest, darkest, desires to be perfect. While the book focuses primarily on young women, it applies equally to those of us women in our thirties and older, as well as men who are increasingly adopting dangerous eating habits themselves or are surrounded by women they love who are anorexic/bulimic or on the verge.
“Perfect girls” are intelligent, high-achieving, often athletic, and effortlessly thin – or so they would like to seem. …
This morning I was a guest on a Grit TV with Laura Flanders, alongside a number of other Afghanistan experts – we were discussing the proposed increase in US troops in that country and Flanders (who, by the way, is one of my favorite radio/TV hosts!) asked the question, “Is this the right war?” as many Americans across the political spectrum often proclaim. I said what I’ve said publicly before: that a military solution to Afghanistan is not the answer, that US/NATO troops are doing more harm than good, that Afghans have turned against the occupation, and that the occupation should end. I added several more details to what should happen instead but you can get all the gory details by watching the show here.
And then tonight I received a cute little email, I’m assuming in response to the interview, …
With the chorus of “Drill baby, drill,” emanating from the halls of the Republican National Convention, Republicans (and to a lesser extent, Democrats) have latched onto what they consider an important election-era economic issue that will draw American votes.
And, as this Pew Research poll shows, they are correct in assuming the utter selfishness and ignorance of Americans.
As a society we seem to balk at the increased price of gas far more than that of milk and vegetables. Our gas guzzling tanks are more precious than food on the table.
So when Karl Rove and his proteges capitalize on such sentiments by announcing oil drilling as a way to lower prices at the pump, Americans rejoice.
And we stick McCain-Palin signs on our front lawns blissful at the prospect of saving a few hundred dollars a …
I recently returned from the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota where I was part of a Pacifica Radio nightly live broadcast. While there it hit me time and again, that I felt completely out of touch with the type of Americans that identify as Republicans. Waiting in line to get into the convention hall, I was surrounded by perfectly coiffured white women in shades of pink, white, and powder blue, teetering on impossibly high heels, and smiling broadly. They sported brightly colored buttons, some with flashing lights, supporting McCain for President. I wondered: Do these folks really support brutal wars? Do they really deny global warming? Do they really want to endlessly consume oil and make corporations rich? Do they really not care about the destruction of the planet? Or the lives of soldiers (forget Iraqis and Afghans – I …
Published on Friday, February 29, 2008 by CommonDreams.org
by Sonali Kolhatkar
Lately, in spite of my better judgment, Iâ€™ve found myself inflicted with a major case of â€œObamania.â€ I cannot help but be excited at the prospect of a brilliant, younger-than-average, black president who could unite this polarized country against the failed policies of George W Bush. But each time I get optimistic that we are finally on the verge of entering a saner era, Obama makes a terribly foolish statement about the US occupation of Afghanistan.
His latest quip is a prime example: in retaliating against McCainâ€™s attacks on his position on the Iraq war, Obama responded: â€œI intend to bring [the Iraq war] to an end so that we can actually start going after al Qaeda in Afghanistan and in the hills of Pakistan like we should have been doing in the first place.â€
He simply wants to swap one failed …
I didnâ€™t think Marjane Satrapiâ€™s coming-of-age-in-Iran memoir could be much improved by animating it, but having just seen the Oscar-nominated film Persepolis, I realize I was wrong. I described it to a friend interested in viewing it thus: a black-and-white, animated film in French with English subtitles about a young girl growing up in revolutionary Iran. That description sets up a number of obstacles to a mainstream American audience. But Persepolis is absolutely worth watching. About 10 minutes into the film, you forget itâ€™s black and white, you forget itâ€™s animated, and you forget itâ€™s in French. Satrapiâ€™s story is honest and authentic, personal and political, all at once.
The type of story Marjane Satrapiâ€™s weaves about her life is too often told by Western storytellers who canâ€™t help but exoticize, trivialize, and patronize readers in the telling. So many things about her experience reminded …
Enemies of Happiness is not The Beauty Academy of Kabul. It is not about a Western woman traveling to a war-torn country to save brown women. It is about an Afghan woman, Malalai Joya, who has chosen to risk her life to fight for her own people.
Eva Mulvadâ€™s award-winning film opens with footage of Joyaâ€™s dramatic public denunciation of the criminal warlords who dominated the 2004 loya jirga (constitutional convention) in Afghanistan. This was the fateful moment when ordinary Afghans discovered their most dedicated spokespersonâ€”a twenty-six-year-old woman who was willing to risk her life to give voice to her people. It was also the moment that cast Joya into international fame, and into the crosshairs of the most notorious Afghan criminalsâ€”the â€œenemies of happiness.â€
The loya jirga incident was the impetus for Joyaâ€™s bid for a parliamentary seat, and …
Sonali Kolhatkar and Jim Ingalls are very excited to announce the birth of their first baby, Neal Sarkis Kolhatkar. Neal was born on Friday August 24th at 11:08 pm at Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena, California. He weighed 6.7 lbs and measured 20 inches.
Published in Foreign Policy In Focus on June 13, 2007
by James Ingalls and Sonali Kolhatkar
Editor: John Feffer
With primary election season in full swing, Democratic Party candidates have begun trying to distinguish themselves from each other and from the Republicans. The Iraq War has been one such dividing issue. Liberal groups like MoveOn.org praised both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama for “showing real leadership” because they “stood up and did the right thing” by voting against the recent Iraq/Afghanistan war-funding bill. The main fight in Congress over the bill was whether or not to include a timeline for troop withdrawal from Iraq.
But the issue of Afghanistan was not on the table. Neither the version Clinton and Obama supported nor the one they rejected had any stipulations on the number of American soldiers in Afghanistan. Both versions continued funding for the operation as is.
Indeed, the top tier …
politicalconScience.net and SonaliAndJim.net are merging and moving to a new web host. Now both Sonali and Jim will be blogging on the same site, LoveAndSubversion.net. Pardon our mess as we get organized.
A note on the name. Originally we thought up “Love and Subversion” for our band, but we haven’t written or recorded music in about five years. Sonali started a new career and the both of us put a lot of time into our book that came out last year. Now with our first child on the way, it doesn’t look as if music-making is on the horizon. But we decided “Love and Subversion” both still drive our activities (or should when we get selfish and/or complacent). Plus it has a nice “online newsmagazine” feel to it.