DTWOF episode #522

February 15th, 2008 | Strip Archive

522 detail
I decided to put 522 up a week early because the way things are going, the argument Jasmine and Janis are having might be a moot point by next Wednesday.

182 Responses to “DTWOF episode #522”

  1. Perennial Lurker says:

    Wow, first post, really?

    Anyways, just had to say, I love the Talking Heads reference. Excellent usage.

  2. Deena in OR says:

    Alison…thanks for not going for the easy Janis/Obama-Jasmine/Hillary cliche’

    My fifteen year old daughter is soooo frustrated about not being able to vote this year.

  3. Feminista says:

    I like the package of Domino Theory sugar. (For those unfamiliar,that was a right-wing explanation of why the US must stop Communism in Viet Nam. Otherwise the rest of southeast Asia would “go Commu” just like dominoes would fall.)

  4. byrdie says:

    Thank you for getting back to Lois — I was wondering how she was holding up considering that she seems to have settled down with Jasmine.

  5. Cealygirl says:

    That’s it! Lois needs to come over HERE this cold, lonely Valentine’s night…I’ll give her what she needs…(It’s nice to see her back…)

  6. gatheringwater says:

    Is there a name for the burst-bubble symbol over Lois’ head in the ninth panel?

  7. Feminista says:

    Er,that’s “go Commy” (or “commaness”).

  8. Andi says:

    Yay, Lois is baaaack! And looking remarkably Tin Tin-esque these days.

    I love that Jasmine and Janis are loading up on chips and soda. Do Torpidos make you torpid? Do Lipidos lower your cholesterol? Panel two shows that Love is a Many Splenda thing. And I wish I could read what’s on that package in the bottom of the shopping cart…”Crap…” something? Let’s hear it for obsessive details.

    And, “Hey, you look like kind of like a very good friend of mine, only older,” is the best I-haven’t-seen-you-in-ages line ever. I’m stealing that one as of today.

    Alison, thanks for your pithy writing and great drawing, sunken ice cubes and all. I’m still loving the Bush’s Last Day hat and buttons. I get a lot of questions and then chuckles. Two things we definitely need more of in the world.

  9. Aunt Soozie says:

    Well Deena, you never do know how these things can shake out.
    I wasn’t sure what to do in our primary. my daughter asked me, the day before, who i would vote for… I hesitated and said, I don’t know, maybe Obama..?
    to which she replied, MOM! I thought we agreed that men have messed things up enough in this country!

  10. datamuse says:

    Seconded massive love for the Talking Heads reference. That’s awesome.

  11. sillipitti says:

    OK–so somebody tell me the significance of the kid backing Hillary and the Mom backing Obama–or is this just garden-variety teen-age contrariness?

    Keep ‘em coming, Alison. These weeks since Christmas have been gold! (Hmm… I almost typed “God”…that works, too)

  12. Risa says:

    Election disputes, domestic squabbles, food politics, gender politics, sex politics, and the talking heads – all in one strip!? Amaze. Thanks, Alison. (Does anyone else wonder…or know…if Rachel Maddow reads this strip?)

  13. Abi says:

    Lois looks remarkably like David Byrne in panel 7. Nice!

  14. procrastinating law student says:

    I had that exact sugar dilemma at the grocery store today. The only stuff that’s both fair trade and organic is Sucanat, which still slightly frightens me and is even more expensive than the slave- and poison-free sugars. Nothing left to do but eat honey.

  15. Long time lurker says:

    I love how, in panel 7, Lois looks as though she’s not just talking to Mo, but to us. Reminds me of the character meetings that happened in the old days of this strip, where folk like Ginger and Naomi would berate Alison for neglecting them and their needs.

  16. Alex K says:

    If life with Stuart and Clarice and Sparrow and their opinions is a refuge from squabbles between Janis / Jasmine…

    God. If I were Lois I’d stay drunk ALL the time, in whichever household I was cringing. Pass the rhubarb wine.

    Full props to Lois, by the way, for that second use of “rhubarb”.

  17. Johanna says:

    Hi, what is in fact the reference to Talking Heads ?

  18. Maggie Jochild says:

    Johanna, it’s the lines “This is not my beautiful house / This is not my beautiful wife”, from Once In A Lifetime.

  19. Cate says:

    Brilliant, Alison, and I love how Lois has sprung back into full force after the blogging laments about missing her ;-).

    And yes, love the Talking Heads ref…an oft-cited theme of my own life after 15 years with a woman and now living with an alpha male.

  20. Hariette says:

    There’s a part of me that wants to stay away from this site and wait until the next book comes out. My desire is simply the instant gratification of seeing the next episode simply by turning the page. Funny how much all these people feel like family.

    Nice strip. If Lois is seriously searching for a poly partner, where would a short, fat, married woman send her application?

  21. Paolina says:

    I am an Italian reading your strips,Alyson, since 2000: when
    I lived in the U.S. (and worked at MIT) your strips where the only funny way to learn about a more friendly American world and language around me. I ‘d love to know in person this side of America! It’s a way of doing art I love.

    Paolina

  22. Josh says:

    Since we can see the beautiful neon Domino Sugar sign looming over the harbor here in Baltimore, does that mean I can use Domino Sugar and still be “eating local”?

  23. Elizabeth says:

    Maybe it’s just the mood I’m in today, but panel 3 is breaking my heart. How did we all get so much older? And the country be in even worse shape than it was in the 1980s?

  24. ksbel6 says:

    I’m pretty sure the Hillary/Obama thing is that more often the older females support Hillary and the younger folks support Obama.

  25. --MC says:

    Heavy sigh. As a matter of fact, during my work day yesterday “Once In A Lifetime” came on the radio, it was as if it was taunting me. “Well, how did I get here?”

  26. --MC says:

    Oh, and at the risk of being called cowboy, can I add that Lois, as usual, shows the way .. between the two poles of deciding which evil is lesser, why not just go for More Sugar?

  27. Mija_Kelly says:

    Eat your honey, it’s good for you! No,seriously. All natural raw honey is so much better in SOOOO many ways. The Bee Folks have an online store and ship just about anywhere. Check them out!

    I, too, love the Talking Heads reference.

  28. Duncan says:

    Shoes for Industry, –MC! Shoes for the Dead! Your health, welfare Insecurity guaranteed by your Department of Redundancy Department and the Natural Guard!

    (That’s a Firesign Theater reference.)

  29. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for posting the strip early!

    I share the dilemma – deal with small doses of anticipation between strips, or a large one waiting for the next collection.

  30. Josiah says:

    Same as it ever was.

  31. bean says:

    i’m not gonna vote for either of them. but i can say that there really is no reason to vote for hillary clinton…except maybe one. and funny that janis noticed it.

    jazmine, on the other hand, may not fall into the “young” demographic that supposedly favors barack obama, but she is the kind of person that might examine things somewhat critically, and make an actual choice based on something real. like the war.

  32. procrastinating pre-med says:

    I used to live in a coop in Madison, WI where the move to Sucanat from honey was being debated. The resident vitamin-theories wingnut torpedoed the idea based on the fact that “the molecular structure of sugar is just like heroin” and the house constitution said we couldn’t buy drugs w/ house $$. Just to be troublesome, I pointed out that the house staples were supposed to be vegan, and that honey was bee-exploitation. Ah, I miss those days – so much like a the liberal humanist version of living in a religious community and debating the number of angels that could dance on the head of a pin. Now I keep in touch with those happy times by reading this strip…

  33. Ginjoint says:

    My absolute favorite group? Talking Heads. DTWOF + Talking Heads = bliss. To see those words coming out of Lois’ mouth, of all characters…they are all getting older.

  34. JenK says:

    Hey Josh, just imagine how Seattlites feel sometimes. We knew Starbucks *before* it was a chain. Amazon was this new local startup that was going to change the world that friends were really gung-ho about. Top Pot Doughnuts were a Capitol Hill thing….

    Yeah, I see you all backing away slowly…

  35. Ellen O. says:

    I also love Lois’s line — “I’m too busy being the man to do any drag kinging.”

    And the insider joke, “these guys’ house” since neither Jasmine nor Janis are guys and on this board we’ve talked about whether “guys” is gender neutral.

    As far as the Hillary/Barack thing, it makes sense that Janis supports Clinton as Janis is very focused on her own womanhood right now. And as a teenager, Janis would naturally rebel against Jasmine.

    All to say, the time and thought that Alison puts into DTWOF is amazing. I appreciate the connections among and within strips, from the on-going rhubarb wine (whine) to this strip’s duality of choice and non-choice, be it candidates, sugar, or households. Perhaps, the title of the strip, “Decisions, Decisions,” suggests that there is little true difference between our choices.

    (Wow, it is so much more fun to analyze DTWOF than Milton or Tennyson.)

  36. iara says:

    Great strip as usual, thanks Alison! I love the details, especially the Talking Heads reference. It is wonderful to get a full dose of Lois again, but I had also been missing Mo lately.

  37. The Cat Pimp says:

    I was wondering about Lois. I hoped she’d had a fling at Casa De Locavores, but she’d not. Sigh. I love that you can see the whole thing wearing her down. Just a small nit, tho’…Janis needs to wind up taller than Jasmine. Just about all MTFs I know have their “male” height.

  38. iara says:

    Hm, more nit picking: Janis’s earrings are on again off again in the last panels – more indecision?

  39. iara says:

    omg, once you start nit picking you can’t stop. Alison, note that the copyright notice needs updating. At the bottom of the page, it still says “copyright Alison Bechdel 2001-2007″

  40. Xena Fan says:

    I thought Lois’s last comment about escaping Jasmine and Janis’s political rhubarb by going back home was odd. With Stuart living there (and his political activism), isn’t Lois’s home full of both rhubarb wine and rhubarb politics?

    Also, since Lois is now assistant manager at Bounders, is there a chance of her leaving and getting a place of her own? Presumably, she’s making more money and there’s a possibility of being promoted to manager…

  41. Xena Fan says:

    I need to add: I miss Lois’s black leather jacket that she wore in the early strips. The denim jacket with trim is ok but it strikes me as being more practical (nesting). Or am I making too big of a deal over her choice of clothing…

  42. Alex the Bold says:

    Is Janis bending Jasmine’s finger backward? Heavens! And I thought I got agitated discussing politics.

  43. liza says:

    Duncan, I think it was “shoes for industry, shoes for defense!”

    Firesign Theater.

  44. geogeek says:

    Honey/sugar: I recall that the Quakers boycotted sugar during the effort to eliminate the slave trade in the Americas, and were known for eating honey instead. More dilemmas for the sugar debate: beet or cane? Hawai’ian (AFAIK the only major US cane producer) or Caribbean?

  45. Deena in OR says:

    Alex the Bold-

    I would certainly hope not! She’d better not be.

    ::harrumphs to herself about what behavior she would and wouldn’t tolerate from her teenagers…::

  46. --MC says:

    Hi Liza, no, Duncan got it right. “Shoes for industry, shoes for the dead! Hi, I’m Joe Beets.” Did you know that the Firesigns are making a pun there on Jobete, the publishing company that was founded by Barry Gordy of Motown/Tamla?

  47. DeLandDeLakes says:

    Love the Talking Heads bit! It seems a bit funny that Janis would be a Hillary supporter, tho, just for the fact that most young folks seem to be fired up about Barak….but I don’t wish to quibble. Minnesota is officially Obama country now, anyway.

  48. Duncan says:

    Thanks, –MC. I was pretty sure I had it right, but it has been many years since I’ve listened to it and was quoting from memory. “Shoes for the dead” kinda sticks in the mind, though. I’m glad to see there are other Firesign folks here, as well as people who recognize Talking Heads lyrics. Fa fa fa fa fa-fa fa fa…

  49. LA Steve says:

    How I’ve missed Lois!

  50. Quatre says:

    And another cheer for Lois! She’s always been a personal favorite. =)

  51. LizGig says:

    As no one has posted a link to The Video, here it is:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jbya4kxC6E

    David Byrne being jerked around by the vagaries of life. Excellent.

    And here’s Kermit the Frog’s version:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jbya4kxC6E

    Here in Ireland our sucrose has always been from sugar beet. However, WTO reforms supported by the European Commission have decimated the sugar industry throughout Europe (an early summary of the situation is at http://archives.tcm.ie/irishexaminer/2005/01/08/story817444241.asp All the dire predictions in the article have come to pass – the Minister for Agriculture did sweet FA).

    I’m all for fair trade, and indeed our shop uses fair trade organic cane sugar. But while all this might be good for sugar cane producers, what about all that oil and all of the costs associated with pollution that aren’t counted in price? What is the economic footprint of sugar cane when all of that is included? It’s a hell of a lot bigger than the footprint of the beetroot that went from Kildare to Carlow and then to the shops. And, when transport costs for sugar becomes prohibitive, both our sugar plants are gone, and no one is growing the bloody plant anymore, where will we get the materials to rot our teeth with?

    That was a very long post, but it was also the first time I had anything to say.

  52. tHe LaTeNt LeNs says:

    you know what I love… the manner in which AB depicts the many wonderful facets of her multi-cultural characters. For example the way Janis has her hands on her hips and is giving mom attitude with the twisted lip and the piercing glare (panel #9)

  53. Jessie says:

    omg! Lois quoting the talking heads! I have died!

  54. Nickel Joey says:

    Hurray for the ‘Heads reference!

    At my house, when the younger cat has one of his wild-eyed freakout sessions — running madly around the place with his tail poofed out and making rabid squirrel noises — we sing (you guessed it): “Psycho Kitty, qu’est-ce que c’est?

  55. Ginjoint says:

    Any group that had/has Tina Weymouth as a member is automatically cool (of course this includes Tom Tom Club!) She’s smart, feminist, and to be admired.

  56. LondonBoy says:

    ( Rant follows. Sorry. )

    I’ve stopped watching the Democratic primary results: the steady to tilt to Obama depresses me too much. For G*d’s sake, you selected your current president on the grounds that he was the guy you’d rather have a drink with, and now you’re going to do it again ?

    Sorry for the rant, but it just breaks my heart. Seems to me that in tough times like these you need a hard-nosed bitch.

  57. Deena in OR says:

    LondonBoy,

    Trust me, not every one here has drunk the Koolaid yet. And honestly, I’m with you on what we need. Please don’t take this wrong, everyone, and no offence intended…but one thing that’s holding me back on Obama is the whole ‘trendiness’ factor. I’m not dismissing him, truly I’m not. But…I dunno, I just can’t quantify the hesitation. But it’s there.

  58. Ginjoint says:

    LondonBoy, I’m going to ignore your use of the word “bitch” (and grit my teeth while doing so) to give one reason why lots of people are leaning toward Obama: for whatever reasons (most of them stupid), there are lots of Republicans who detest the Clintons. Just hate them, and will refuse to work in any way with a Clinton. So, many citizens are eager to start over with someone new who does not have a lot of baggage (and favors to be repaid). There’s a lot to be said for that. Also, Obama is not an idiot, so I don’t think your comparison is quite accurate.

    And the “bitch” thing? It pissed me off.

  59. skrailly says:

    Just for the sake of adding to the conversation, I’m a black 17-year-old lesbian and I’m a Hillary supporter. In regard to teenage rebellion, I chose my candidate before my mother decided on hers, (which happens to be Obama) and I am terribly excited to be able to vote in November.

  60. Jamus The Bartender says:

    Procrastinating Pre-med, I lived at Lothlorien Co-op for ten…TEN years…it sounds like an argument they might have had. Alison, I first read this strip back at Loth ten years ago, and have re-discovered it. It’s excellent work. Stuart, Sparrow, J.R. and Lois’ co-habitation took me back to a wonderful time. “This is not my beautiful house! This is not my beautiful wife !” indeed, Lois. Amen .

  61. Deena in OR says:

    ::waves at Jamus::

  62. Chris says:

    I am choosing to read the “bitch” comment as LondonBoy’s self-conscious/self-mocking invocation of one popular mass-misogynist cultural perception of Clinton–if they’re not calling her a hardnosed bitch, then they’re calling her a crybaby girly girl, too “soft” to possibly be an effective President, as when she briefly choked up in her speech in NH primaries. Just one of the many dangers of Running While Female while we’re still at bends-depths in anti-woman poison in this world. Any way you look, act, speak, divorce or don’t divorce Bill etc can and will be held against you. Never mind what you do.

    Can Clinton and Obama just please run together already, if they’re what it must come down to Democrat-wise in 2008?

  63. procrastinating law student says:

    Re Hawaiian vs. Caribbean sugar: Hawaiian is definitely better, from a human rights perspective. Haiti is a disaster:

    “[W’hen the harvest shortfall comes, it’s se epok chas la —”open hunting season” — on any Haitian in the DR. The Dominican army fans out across the country, hauls Haitians off public buses, arrests them in their homes or at their jobs, and delivers them to the cane fields.”

    Read more at http://www.iabolish.org/slavery_today/in_depth/global-slavery.html (scroll down to “Haiti: Sugar Slaves”)/

  64. naynay says:

    Hey y’all,

    I know not everyone thinks her work is all that, but Eve Ensler wrote a crucial article on the Obama/Clinton debate, which I helped me remember that I can be opposed to patriarchy, AND still support Obama at the same time.

    Feminist Ultimatums: Not In Our Name
    http://www.alternet.org/reproductivejustice/76107/

  65. geogeek says:

    naynay – interesting article, some of which I agree with. But the either/or feminist she describes is a strawwomon in my area. Although I have the vague feeling that yes, indeed, the sexist hatred of Clinton is stronger than the racial hatred of Obama (and I’ve heard both from some of the people I work with – yech), I don’t consider that to be a reason to vote for her. Other factors – that she’s very experienced in hard-nosed politics and inside-the-beltway politics, holds many policy positions I support (though certainly not all), etc. – _are_ reasons I’d vote for her. I think I’m truly on the fence, though, because I can think of a different but nearly equal list of reasons to vote for Obama.

  66. Ellen O. says:

    skrailly — my apologies for stereotyping teenagers. Not all teenagers rebel (I didn’t much myself) and to make offhand generalizations about any group was stupid on my part.

  67. geogeek says:

    p.s. Alison, I’m enjoying watching the characters age as I develop my own jiggly neck, and am simulaneously irritated by and refuse to care about said neck. About plumper characters: pretty much all of my cousins and I all went from slender to chunky in our 30s and have stayed that way, some in spite of better eating efforts, some just because they stayed that way. Perhaps you would consider “plumping” one of your main characters the way you’re ageing them.

  68. j.b.t. says:

    Jamus -I lived at Lothlorien in Madison too! Wow, ten years. From when to when? I was there from 1990-1993. And while there were silly arguments like the ones to which procrastinating med student referred, it was still one of the best times in my life. And I am still close with some of my former housemates. I miss living in community! Though it’s nice to have a clean bathroom, too. I went back to visit last year – strange how it has changed (and not).

    Med student – were you in Madison? I actually went to see Alison when she spoke there in 1991(?) and she autographed the t-shirt I was wearing at the time. I still have it…

    J.

  69. Solex says:

    ‘I’ve stopped watching the Democratic primary results: the steady to tilt to Obama depresses me too much. For G*d’s sake, you selected your current president on the grounds that he was the guy you’d rather have a drink with, and now you’re going to do it again ?’

    This begs the question: WHY THE FRACK didn’t anybody try to vote for Ralph Nader when he was running for Prez back in 2004? Because they believed in the bullshit that if you didn’t vote for Gore, you’d be electing Bush (as if Nader didn’t have the right to run for public office, and him running would somehow fuck up the vote) But now, all we’ve got is a bunch of supposed ‘progressives’ who will make everything better.Yay.

    BTW, here’s the REAL truth about the Dem candidates and what their true policies are: http://www.democracynow.org/2008/1/3/vote_for_change_atrocity_linked_us#

    Let me know what you all think about Clintbama now!

  70. Mabel says:

    LondonBoy: You cannot seriously imagine that Clinton is a better bet than Obama? They are both likely to turn out to be completely useless. At least with Obama there is some hope that the mere fact that he is black will galvanise the black diaspora in some way. Unfortunately, I doubt having a female president will do the same for women (Maggie Thatcher anyone?).

    (Having said that about Obama, I am willing to put quite a large amount of money on him being the first American President to invade an African country.If he wins I’ll be straight onto Paddy Power asking for odds)

  71. AnnaP says:

    Thank you so much for posting the strip early, totally made my day!
    Lois has always looked like my sister, and they are even ageing the same way.
    And about the suga.I buy mine through a coop and choose the organic sugar produced by a coop farm in philippines.

    I have serious doubts about women in politics because of Thatcher, Gondoleeza Rice…
    Last night a psyhic friend of mine had a dream that Obama will become the precidetn but he will have the same faith as Kennedy.
    The same woman just revealed me that there is a ghost in my apartment and it is a spirit of a cat though.

  72. Naava says:

    Oh, Lois! *melt*

    Longest-running crush on a fictional character, I swear..

  73. Silvio Soprani says:

    Josh,
    Thanks for your thoughts on the Domino Sugar sign here in the Inner Harbor. Nice to know there’s a fellow-Baltimorean on the blog.

    Unfortunately, my workplace has blocked blogging from this site so I can only post from home (I don’t know how they zeroed in on just this site…I can read it, my posts just disappear if sent from work…)so by the time I get home, more water has gone under the bridge.

    Solex–I have to say that if I were going to vote for the one I’d like to have a drink with, it would be McCain. Obama’s crowd is hopelessly too hip for me, and Hillary’s cell phone would keep ringing throughout our rendezvous. But McCain seems like a regular guy. BUT I WOULD NEVER VOTE FOR HIM! He’s a Republican and I am opposed to everything he stands for, even though unfortunately he seems like the candidate with the most “visible” character.

    On the other hand, I am put off by the rock star momentum around Obama.(and that may just be a function of my 56 years..who knows?)

    Who said that Romney was a computer-generated politician? I feel that way about Obama. If I consciously peel away all my emotional baggage surrounding him and just try to compare him to Clinton policy-wise, I am still left with the conviction that she would be a more effective president.

    Plus the fact that all the reasons people “hate” her–gender, personality, married to Bill, etc–do not deter me. I LIKED the Clinton years.

    I know symbolically both Obama and Clinton would validate a lot of different people with that “finally, one of US in the White House.” But when it comes right down to it, I have always used a layer of emotional reaction when it comes to selecting the candidate. For that matter, from a generational point of view, when Bill Clinton was first elected I did feel that AT LAST someone who understood my 60s-Viet Nam-era politics was finally in the White House.

    I am surprised –but not really surprised, given the upstanding nature of this blog– that we have not yet reached a point in this election debate where Mother has to say, “Now children, never talk about religion or politics at the dinner table.”

  74. Jaibe says:

    Solex — people *did* vote for Nader in 2000, more than enough in FL to lose the state even with the Republican’s cheating. And then they asked themselves “My God! WHAT HAVE I DONE!”

    Lois is also reminding me of that even older Talking Heads song “I’ve been working working but I know what’s important loved ones loved ones…”

    It is great to see Lois & Mo together again. What a great line “you look like a very good friend of mine, only older”. It is so weird when we go from working every day with our best friends to not seeing them for years…

  75. Jaibe says:

    http://www.lyricsfreak.com/t/talking+heads/dont+worry+about+the+government_20135095.html

    Sorry, had to look up that song, very funny that it’s title is “Don’t worry about the government”.

  76. exnyc says:

    Two very brief cents on why I don’t buy Clinton as better experience- or policy-wise:
    http://obsidianwings.blogs.com/obsidian_wings/2008/02/obama-actually.html
    But gender-wise, hell, go for it. Anyone who tells you it’s wrong to vote for her “just” because she’s a woman is an ass.

  77. Andrew B says:

    I think another possible reference for “Domino Theory Sugar” is Cuba. One of the major real problems the USA has had with Cuba since the revolution is that they nationalized the sugar industry. But opposition to them is sold to us with a version of the domino theory — that they will foment revolutions in Central America, then Mexico, and we’ll wind up fighting them in Texas, according to Ronny Raygun. Or it was sold to us, back before the USSR collapsed and we started sitting around like so many vultures waiting for Castro to die.

    I like the progression in this strip, from sugar and friendship to rhubarb and family.

  78. Andrew B says:

    I think another possible reference for “Domino Theory Sugar” is Cuba. One of the major real problems the USA has had with Cuba since the revolution is that they nationalized the sugar industry. But opposition to them is sold to us with a version of the domino theory — that they will foment revolutions in Central America, then Mexico, and we’ll wind up fighting them in Texas, according to Ronny Raygun. Or it was sold to us, back before the USSR collapsed and we started sitting around like so many vultures waiting for Castro to die.

    I like the progression in this strip, from sugar and friendship to rhubarb and family.

  79. Andrew B says:

    Huh, and how many times have I gotten the slow down cowboy message for posts that came an hour apart? Sorry about that.

  80. ready2agitate says:

    Oh happy (Satur)day! An early DTWOF plus articles from Alternet & Democracy Now, plus Once in a Lifetime, plus the consumer’s dilemma. Purrrrfect. I (heart) AB! (who, btw, is not one who plumps out as she ages….)

  81. mk says:

    One of my friends is a pastry chef and she supplies me with white sugar for baking, coffee from an ethical source. Too bad I don’t know what it is since the she gives it to me in a tupperware. I’ll check and get back to this site. She can make blown sugar sculptures and makes the cutest animals and even did some vulva sculptures for a dyke commitment ceremony.

  82. Dr. Empirical says:

    Clinton supports the war. I couldn’t possibly vote for her.

  83. Ellen O. says:

    Dr. Empirical,

    I am against the Iraq war too.

    Since entering the Senate in 2005, Senator Obama has voted along with Senator Clinton for some $300 billion in war funding. So he supports the war too. Now who’s left to vote for?

  84. Jamus The Bartender says:

    :: waves back to Deena the next day ::

  85. Jamus The Bartender says:

    jbt: Amen and hallelujah. I was in Loth from 92 to 03, so I guess it’s really eleven years. The first year was sort of odd as I was an undergrad without a clue, but I learned fast. Do your dishes regularly, and even others from time to time and everyone loves you. I miss the co-op scene too, enough to think about going back. I get invited to more weddings…and, sadly, yes, funerals…than anyone I know. You meet a lot of people in ten years living in a co-op.
    I know what you mean about housekeeping though. I’m still not as good as I could be. I live about five blocks from the restaurant that employs me ( Paisan’s if it matters…we moved from Univ. Ave. ) so i’m there quite a bit. Occasionally, housekeeping falls to the wayside.

  86. j.b.t. says:

    Hi Jamus – I would love to talk to you more about Loth, but I don’t want to bore everyone else on the blog. Please email if you’d like to chat- jennette@jennette-turner.com Maybe we overlapped at the co-op.

    J.

  87. Ayala says:

    Wow, this is how it feels to still be stuck at 1997. :( I have so much catching up to do!
    It seems like so much has changed. great strip nonetheless.

  88. rinky says:

    hey I was just wondering last week what was going on with lois and jasmine. what their domestic life was like and all. cool

  89. Silvio Soprani says:

    Actually, This is Not Our Beautiful Lois. It is not like Lois to be living a life she is not solidly behind, if you see what I mean.

    Way back when, Lois treated all her lovers fairly and lived exhuberantly and never seemed to feel either guilt or regret, from my recollection.

    If she has been “practically married” to Jasmine for the last three years, it is most likely because that’s what she wanted to do.

    So it seems uncharacteristic for Lois to be having mid-life crisis or 7-year itch or whatever they call it. But perhaps mid-life crisis always takes people by surprise.

    Of course, I have never had any use for polyamory so I don’t sympathize much with her rhetorical question.

    But in spite of that, I have always liked her the best.

    And just for the record, I also miss “Jerry,” the auto mechanic!

  90. LondonBoy says:

    Just for clarification I used the word “bitch” earlier simply as implying for practical purposes just the feminine form of “bastard”. I wasn’t using the word with any specific gender-related connotation beyond that implied by grammatical gender ( it seems as odd to me to write “she’s a bastard” as it does to write “he’s a bitch” ) ( I’m carefully leaving alternative readings of that last phrase unexplored: I’m treating that usage as a separate line in the dictionary entry ). I did actually ponder the choice of wording carefully: I toyed with not using the word, or writing “b*tch”, but I wanted to convey a sharpness and immediacy of perception that the slightly coyer approach might not have supplied.

    And whatever else we might think of her ( and I have severe reservations, just not as severe as with the other candidates ) she is undeniably hard-nosed, tough, determined, ruthless, and determined to do whatever it takes politically to achieve her goals. I explicitly note that this has included working with extremists from the other side of the aisle, if it furthers her goals. She’s a career politician, and is quite prepared to negotiate or deal in shades of grey to further her goals. We’re kidding ourselves if we believe that whoever ends up in the Oval Office next won’t have to sully themselves: it’s the nature of politics. Far better to have someone who we already know is good at it. ( Actually, she reminds me slightly not of Margaret Thatcher, but of the ruthless Wendy Alexander in Scotland. )

    Anyway, I fear the point is rapidly becoming moot. I just hope we’re not giving in to the fourth tempter ( in “Murder in the Cathedral” ): “The last temptation is the greatest treason: to do the right deed for the wrong reason.”

  91. shadocat says:

    I know a red-headed lesbian feom the midwest who would be a perfect fling for Lois. Just don’t tell my, uh, I mean, her girlfriend…

  92. Raffi says:

    I don’t understand gays and lesbians who support Hillary. It was her husband that signed DOMA and Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell into laws. Or doesn’t she take credit for that part?

  93. Metal Prophet says:

    While neither Obama nor Clinton are going to be a great progressive savior, they’re both going to seem like amazingly good Presidents after eight years of the Bush Crime Family being in charge. I’m for Obama, since he seems to be a bit more progressive overall, and he seems like less of a hawk. I think that Clinton feels like she has to be more hawkish on foreign policy if men are to take her seriously. I think this is why she voted for the Iraq War. I’d love to see a female President, but I’d prefer that it be, say, Barbara Boxer or Sheila Jackson-Lee than Hillary Clinton.

    I’ll vote for whomever wins the nomination, but I supported Obama in the primary.

  94. MM says:

    Raffi, check this out: http://www.gaysofla.com/content/view/209/65/
    = Open Letter to the LGBT Community from Hillary Clinton

    I voted for the woman because this world needs a woman at the head of USA.

  95. foxy says:

    MM – Why does the world need a woman at the head of USA? What difference are you anticipating? We currently have a woman as Secretary of State…

    I can imagine being excited about the first woman prez, for symbolic reasons, but I don’t understand the connection between her gender and actual policy. (Especially given that DOMA isn’t the only anti-woman policy from the Bill Clinton administration – 8 years that Hillary Clinton counts as her “experience.” Welfare reform, the Crime Bill, dismissing Lani Guinier, dismissing Jocelyn Elders, etc.)

  96. Deena in OR says:

    ::wonders if we’re tiptoeing up to the place where a moratorium on the topic of the election is in order::

  97. Ellen O. says:

    I welcome a discussion on the election because it relates to the DTWOF strip and because readers here are a fine cross-section of thinkers and activists.

    Foxy, I don’t suppose that it’s a logical thing, but as “unpatriot” as I am, there’s something thrilling about a woman holding the highest elected office in the U.S. Even though the electorial process is f*cked-up, even though Clinton is not Barbara Lee or Shirley Chisolm, as one who grew up in the 1970′s, keenly aware of bias women face, I feel it would be uplifting to see a woman in charge. For me it is about hope, inspiration and change.

    Obama, courting both conservative African-Amercian church-going voters and liberal voters is walking a tight-rope on GLBT issues. I don’t know what his voting record is, but I understand he counts amount his supporters members of the ex-gay movement.

    I don’t see how Bill Clinton’s record reflects on Hillary Clinton’s record. She wasn’t the president at the time. Please explain.

  98. foxy says:

    Cool, Ellen O, will do. Hillary Clinton says she has 35 years of experience. This includes the 8 years of working in the Clinton Administration. She can’t have it both ways – claiming “experience” but then being hands off with the consequences of decisions made during those years. In any case, in case there’s any question, she did endorse welfare reform and the crime bill (she says as much in one of her books). These policies had *horrible* impacts on women of color and poor women. Long-lasting. Increased poverty and increased incarceration that has devastated a generation.

    If I’m expected to vote for a woman to demonstrate my loyalty to women with a hope that a woman leader will be better for women, how do I reconcile that, when she was in the white house the first time, she in fact was disloyal to women who look like me?

    I’m not saying that people who want to vote for Hillary Clinton are wrong-headed, reasonable people can disagree. However, if we’re going to just be asserting that Hillary Clinton’s womanness is something that should motivate loyalty from all women, then I must ask the question: to which women is Hillary Clinton loyal?

    In terms of your points about Obama, it seems like his position on LGBT policies are very similar to Clinton’s. Details are all there on their websites. Of course, the proposals only scratch the surface of what I’d like to see (Mo would not approve!), but, of course, it’s a helluva lot better than what we’ve got right now…

  99. Jana C.H. says:

    I’ll be going to my Legislative District caucus (the next step up from the precinct caucuses) as an uncommitted delegate, but when push comes to shove, I prefer a fighter to an appeaser. Sex and race don’t enter into it for me, since I really wanted the rich white guy from the south, on the unusual grounds that he was the most progressive and would do the best job.

    In her penultimate panel, AB really skewers the shallowness of identity politics. And as is proper in a good satire, both sides are made to look equally absurd. She’s already skewered us Edwards-holdouts with the Kucinich t-shirt a few strips back. AB gets everyone sooner or later. That’s why we love her.

    Jana C.H.
    Seattle
    Saith Will Cuppy: I forget exactly why Rome fell. It was probably just one of those things.

  100. Ginjoint says:

    Thanks for that link, MM – “America deserves a president who appeals to the best in us, not the worst” – Hillary Clinton. Nice.

  101. hetero genus says:

    it looks like Janis is just grabbing mommy Jasmine’s finger to stop it from pointing at her, not necessarily bending it back, which would be just plain mean and physicially abusive ( i am sure she was not raised that way, and would consider it gauche). JR still gets a little wild but is young and fuzzy on behavioral boundries (through no fault of her own), so i might expect a bent finger on Stuey boy, but not from the demure Janis (or even original gentle pre-hormonal Jonah).

  102. Sinnic says:

    Hey Aunt Soozie, congrats on teaching your niece sexist values.

  103. Maggie Jochild says:

    Sinnic, first of all, it’s Aunt Soozie’s daughter, not her niece. And secondly, in a patriarchy, with men in charge, stating reality about the nature of patriarchy isn’t sexist, it’s called not being in denial. By any measure of who controls our government, institutions, and economy, it’s white men.

    Which is why I’m thrilled about having two equally good alternatives to that failed dynamic. (Although, yep, my first choice was John Edwards — because he understood the failure of white men and had the ovaries to suggest radical change away from our wealthy elite and corporate overlords.)

    Whoever emerges as the Democratic nominee will have the full onslaught of the Right Attack Machine aimed at them. Hillary has already weathered it, is weathering it currently with the howling woman-hating going on at even the most so-called progressive blogs. The lies about Barack’s Muslim schooling and the persistent emphasis on his middle name by the Right are small potatoes compared to what is headed his way if he emerges as the nominee, and if you can’t stand the idea of him being smeared, you better get ready and hope he has the chops to withstand it. The truth won’t matter. It hasn’t since Reagan revived the Big Lie and Bush/Cheney perfected it.

  104. ready2agitate says:

    I love this blog!

  105. ready2agitate says:

    I mean, I love the smart women/people on this blog! (effusively grins with joy at the smart feminists I get to be included among).

  106. DeLandDeLakes says:

    Solex-

    I know at least that the reason why I didn’t vote for Nader in either 2004 or 2000 is because I was positively bowled over by the sheer sleaziness of the man- the Republicans in Ohio who helped get Nader on the ballot in 2004 certainly seemed to think that a vote for Nader was a vote for Bush, and given his willingness to work directly with them, it seems that ol’ lame duck is of the same mind!
    There is no point in clinging to a candidate out of “principle” while allowing the rest of the country to go to the considerably greater of two evils for a second time. I for one have always been shocked by how little the issue of choice seems to matter to both Nader and his supporters- why not allow Bush to revamp the Supreme Court in the long, slow offensive on Roe v. Wade, as long as we manage to siphon 2% of the vote away from that dreadful Gore/Kerry?
    On that note, I confess that I am very surprised by the number of people on the blog who seem to believe that America is doomed no matter who wins in 2008- what the hell is actually so bad about Obama or Clinton, especially compared to the gang we’ve had in power for eight years? This is the first time I’ve felt even remotely optimistic about a presidential election since before I was first allowed to VOTE! So, why the buzzkill?

  107. shadocat says:

    Deland; I too, am excited over the Democrat’s presidential chances.We actually have hot one, but two, very qualified candidates. And as long as the race isn’t all tied up yet, the issues are still being discussed and our concerns are being addressed in a public forum.

  108. shadocat says:

    Oops, that is “not” one…although I guess one could describe the election as a “hot one”,(she said, while making excuses for her latest faux pas…)

  109. Ginjoint says:

    Whether it’s Clinton or Obama, I’ll be happy. But having even a slightly optimistic viewpoint isn’t very hip, judging by the leftist political blogs I read. I feel like a fucking Pollyanna afterwards.

  110. Silvio Soprani says:

    Ginjoint,

    Having lived through Nixon, Reagan, and not one but TWO Bushes (did I forget anybody?), I’ll be happy too to elect a Democrat (any Democrat!!) in this election.

    It is a luxury to be able to compare and debate the Democratic choices, but in the larger picture, YES, getting those Republican bums out of the White House will be an absolute pleasure, and if that makes me a Pollyanna, I will gladly play “the glad game.” (Those younger than 40, rent Polyanna starring Hayley Mills from Netflix and you’ll get what I mean.)

  111. Maggie Jochild says:

    Fucking Pollyanna. I always did have a thing for Hayley Mills.

  112. Dianne says:

    Having lived through Nixon, Reagan, and not one but TWO Bushes (did I forget anybody?),

    Ford. He was quite forgettable.

  113. Raffi says:

    MM–I see no mention of the Defense of Marriage Act begin overturned by a President Hillary. She was part of that! No thanks!

  114. Raffi says:

    Ellen O–Hillary takes credit for what she wants to in the past Clinton administration and ignores the bad things!

  115. riotllama says:

    Seriously though, whoever does get elected, they still have the same broken system to work in. we’re not going to get away from corporations owning our lawmakers, a racist and classist justice system, (spell check is telling me that classist isn’t a word. am I spelling it wrong? or is spell check classist?) or capitalism at it’s global worst.
    we may get some busted form of universal healthcare, less christian right rhetoric as law, and a token of a woman or non-white male as the head of our country, but is that anything to get excited about?
    DOMA passed under the first Clinton. We sued south africa over their right to manufacture generic AIDS drugs under him too.
    Democrats AREN’T radicals! Cap and Trade doesn’t reduce emissions!!
    I’m voting for Obama, but not because I think he’ll bring any real CHANGE. I’m voting for him because I think Clinton is a corporate slimeball who hasn’t stood up to Bush an iota. and because she supports the war.
    sheee-it. at least I like my mayor.
    (Yo, Brits, the mayor of Philly is now a Mr. Nutter. and he’s awesome.)

  116. Ellen O. says:

    Foxy — thanks for some including statements and facts from Clinton’s books. Knowing what she supported specifically is more useful to me.

    Now Raffi, How was Hillary Clinton part of DOMA? Did she advise Bill Clinton on it? Lobby for it? I’m not playing devil’s advocate; I’m trying to understand what she’s including as part of her political career.

    Riotllama, Obama also supportsthe war. He’s voted to fund it. How do we reconcile that?

    For me, all this is somewhat rhetorical because I’ve already voted in my caucus and I don’t plan to give money to either of them. I’m more interested in what we tell ourselves, convince ourselves of. Me included.

  117. Janet Hurley says:

    Alison, thanks for DTWOF! Every detail always spot on. Funny isn’t it how food politics has suddenly become noticed by the MSM?

    And since you brought it up (and no, I don’t think it would have been too late to wait until next Wednesday)…

    I agree with Metal Prophet. I’ve always felt that Hillary voted for the Iraq war resolution because she planned to run for president and felt she had to be hawkish to run as a woman. (While Obama was running around supporting Democratic candidates all over the country and donating from his PAC for the mid-terms, Hillary was shoring up her coffers.) But she has also continued to show such hawkishness that it has made me think that maybe it goes beyond that — maybe she really believes that the US should throw its military weight around the world like Bush has with just a little bit more diplomatic effort thrown in.

    And Obama is stronger on LGBT rights issues. He supports full repeal of DOMA. Clinton only supports modifying it somehow (to allow states to do what they like). He talks about the ills of homophobia in front of social conservative (homophobic) audiences. I don’t think Clinton does that.

    Ellen O is worried about his having at least one “ex-gay” supporter … but don’t you think Hillary’s got some too? They are running for president and each has millions of supporters. Would you not vote for a presidential candidate that has supporters you don’t agree with? Would any candidate be viable if they asked only those that agreed with them to support them? The guy was a community organizer in Chicago and a civil rights attorney. He opposed the Iraq war on the grounds that it was going to be a foolish and failed endeavor. I doubt as someone else suggested above that he will invade an African country.

    I have friends in Kenya. Can you imagine what an Obama presidency will mean to Kenyan children? Michelle Obama spoke about a little girl in South Carolina who said “Mrs. Obama, do you understand that if your husband is president it will be historical?” Michelle Obama asked the little girl what that meant to her and the girl said with tears in her eyes that it would mean she could be anything she wanted to be. The fact is that Obama inspires people all over the world.

    He understands that in order to get past the partisan impasse that we have experienced for too long, we have to reach out. He does not mean reach out to the Rush Limbaugh loving crowds/politicians. He means reach out to the individual Americans who have felt disafected or otherwise have not involved themselves in Washington politics. To reach out to those who can be swayed by a leader who suggests that gays deserve equal rights. His campaign is based on grassroots power, while Clinton’s is based on establishment power. He takes no money from PACs or lobbyists, only from individuals.

    Yes, would that Shirley Chisholm were running now. I would dearly love to see a woman president, but I cannot bring myself to trust Hillary in the role. Nonetheless, if she wins the nomination I will vote for her (not that my Utah vote will count for much) for one reason — the Supreme Court!

    I’d better stop now. Sorry, I couldn’t help it. Later, Janet

  118. Janet Hurley says:

    P.S. I don’t blame Nader for Gore or Kerry’s losses (even though Gore likely won – it should have been by more than just a few hundred votes in Florida). I wouldn’t blame Nader for runnign again if Hillary gets the nod. I blame Gore and Kerry and the failed DNC strategy that to win democrats had to appear republican — afraid of their own shadows.

  119. Jana C.H. says:

    John Edwards is the candidate who took no money from PACs or lobbyists, not Obama. The H & O Railroad are pretty much the same when it comes to being paid by corporations. Indeed, they’re pretty much the same about everything, except Hillary knows there’s no such thing as new politics.

    Jana C.H.
    Seattle
    Old Italian Political Saying: The conductor changes, the music remains the same.

  120. Ellen O. says:

    Janet,

    Obama’s ex-gay supporters performed in October at Obama’s “Embrace the Change” gospel concert. They included contemporary sister duo Mary Mary, who encouraged gays and lesbians who have compared homosexuals to murderers and Donnie McClurkin, a prominent voice in the conservative African-American community and self-proclaimed ex-gay who “counsels” young people on how to convert from homosexuality.

    Obama’s camp released a statement on October 25th saying they were unaware of McClurkin’s beliefs and admits the ex-gay’s comments on homosexuality are “deeply hurtful and offensive to many Americans” but also stated, “at the same time, a great many African Americans share Pastor McClurkin’s beliefs. This also cannot be ignored.”

    Black LGBT activist Jasmyne Cannick on her web site,”Here we have a perfect opportunity for African-Americans to internally address the issue of homophobia with an African-American presidential candidate and instead of inviting a Black openly gay pastor, they invite a white man.”

    I’ll happily vote for Senator Obama if he wins the nomination, but I wonder why he isn’t being scrutinized as harshly as Senator Clinton.

  121. foxy says:

    I’m not sure why people think Obama isn’t being scrutinized as harshly as Clinton. When Obama invited McClurkin to perform at his event, queer folks were definitely talking about it, concerned about it, and pretty pissed. At least we were in my community as well as in the blogosphere. His campaign had to do a lot of explaining and backtracking (some of this is captured on his website).

    I do hear this charge a lot that Clinton is treated more poorly by (who? the press? the general public?) than Obama. I’m not sure that stands up to a real assessment, though. I mean, if he’s willing to repeal DOMA and Clinton isn’t, then of course Clinton should be given a harder time on this issue. If McClurkin will be Obama’s advisor on LGBT policies, then we should all go harass Obama!

    It seems to me that both Clinton and Obama are having to deal with bullshit racism and sexism from the press and the general public as they go forward, but Clinton has also supported more backwards policies than Obama and will therefore receive more ire from the left than he does.

  122. DeLandDeLakes says:

    riotllama (love your name, BTW)-

    It’s true that whoever gets the nomination has the same “broken system” to work in, but the fact remains that some people play that game better than others, and with better results for the people, while working internally to change the terms of the system. Paul Wellstone (who did have his faults, like voting for DOMA to save political face) was nevertheless one of those people, and his name is evoked in Minnesota whenever another candidate comes along who reminds the populace of Wellstone’s ideals. And if we can’t stand the people we have running for office, it’s all the more reason to throw all our weight behind local candidates (like your mayor) whom we DO like, and nurture them into candidates on the national scale- or run for office ourselves! It does no good to sit on our hands and refuse to participate until the system mends itself.
    As for DOMA, I think that state-sanctioned marriage should be abolished altogether, as it is inherently classist (you spelled it right!); couples just should not get benefits that are denied to straight people, period. I’m not holding my breath for any candidate to endorse this position, however- a movement like that must be entirely in the hands of the people.

  123. DeLandDeLakes says:

    Ooops, I said “straight” instead of “single!” Talk about a Freudian slip!

  124. Silvio Soprani says:

    Janet–

    “MSM”? Please translate.

    Also, in the little book where I keep a list of all the books recommended here that catch my eye, I wrote “The Third Policeman,” by Flann O’Brien.

    Can anyone remind me WHERE I saw this book recommended? I think it was in the last thread where Alison directed us to McSweeney’s, but now I can’t find the reference.

    It’s driving me nuts trying to remember, so thanks in advance. Sorry, I have no t-shirts to award.

  125. Deena in OR says:

    Silvio,

    MSM = mainstream media.

  126. Andrew B says:

    Having been inspired to look up some of the nitpicking details of Clinton’s and Obama’s positions, I think the first panel of this cartoon nicely sums up the choices remaining for Democrats. One general question, though: how can it be legitimate to subject Obama to guilt by association with his supporters’ positions, but not legitimate to subject Clinton to guilt by association with her life partner’s positions? (Given, of course, that her life partner is her biggest supporter.)

    Silvio, there was a long article on Flann O’Brien in the 2/11-18 number of the New Yorker. Is it possible that’s where you found that reference?

  127. Hello from Brooklyn says:

    For someone who said they were unclear whether Obama supports gay people, take a look at this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kf0x_TpDris

    He speaks at King’s church and instead of making a nice, vapid speech, he challenges the community to confront homophobia. Amazing. Can’t imagine Clinton doing this.

  128. shadocat says:

    Ya know, I’m just glad Lois is back and the strip is early.

  129. Silvio Soprani says:

    Thanks Deena. (I will never get used to the way people speak in acronyms…alas.)

    Thanks, Andrew B, No, that’s not where I heard of The Third Policeman; I’ll probably never remember; but at any rate I am reading it now and it is quite unusual. Glad I heard of it, wherever that was.

  130. Ianscot says:

    Those moral conundrums over which sweetener to use are nothing at all new. “Food politics” dates way back in American life — at least, at *least* to the various health sects of the early 19th century, Sylvester Graham included. They’ve certainly been noticed by the mainstream media before, and for whatever reasons they’ve also consistently carried with them the significant strain of puritanism and asceticism that any of us would recognize from the local Whole Foods’ clientele.

    (Or isn’t Whole Foods pure enough? Do I in Minneapolis need to patronize The Wedge instead, it being the local alternative? That reaction would underscore the point….)

  131. Deena in OR says:

    Ianscot…back when I lived in St. Paul and worked in MPLS, I commuted past the Wedge all the time. I shopped at Mississipi Market, though, back when it was still on St. Clair Avenue.

    Long time Minneapolis residents, help me out. Were there two co-ops, the Wedge and then another one on Franklin whose name I don’t remember? Or were/are they one and the same? I’m really not sure why I’m obessessing over this tonight. Ianscot, you must have tripped a memory circuit. :)

  132. j.b.t. says:

    Hi Deena – The Seward Co-op is further east on Franklin Ave. They’re moveing a few block more toward the river when they expand this summer. Go co-ops!

    Ianscot – I just realized I must be a food puritan, because my first thought after reading your post was, “Of course you should shop at the Wedge! It’s a co-op, and not some big corporation based far away!” Go soulful shopping! (I am not unbiased, as I teach at the Wedge, but still…)

    J.

  133. Deena in OR says:

    Yeah, yeah…that’s right. Now I remember. Thanks, j.b.t.

  134. Feminista says:

    Remember way back when Mo and Lo were shopping at the Co-op,and Mo refused to use a bag? She ended up carrying her groceries and dropping some of them. Lo said she was embarassed to be seen with her in response to Mo saying the same about her.

    But seriously folks,I avoid “Whole Paycheck”.go to the nearest Fred Meyer store (a NW chain) because it’s cheap and unionized,occasionally stop by a co-op,and go weekly to farmers’markets in season. I go to Trader Joe’s for the great deals in nuts,dried fruits,nd other healthy items.

    Philosophically I support the co-op concept,but the reality is that around here they have small inventories.

  135. Kelli says:

    I’m more concerned on their positions on global climate issues than anything else, because if even the relatively tamer results of climate destabilization suggested by current research comes to pass, then issues like marriage rights and food politics and wars of aggression will pale in comparison to ongoing daily struggles to survive.

  136. Matron says:

    Speaking from the other side of the pond, where I am not constantly bombarded with TV adverts for either candidate, I have watched the implosion of Clinton’s campaign with increasing trepidation. Maybe it is the spectre of impending middle age that puts me firmly in the Hillary demographic, but whenever I watch one of Obama’s mob ralley’s on TV, something akin to cold fear creeps up in me (I am originlly from Germany, I don’t do mobs well). Don’t get me wrong, apart from the simple unadulterated pleasure it would give me to see a woman at the helm in the US, I don’t think Clinton is anything other than “the devil you know”. But why kid yourself that Obama would even be in a position to run the country in any other way given the political structures within which he, too, operates. From what I read the guy is raking in £1 million a day in “donations” at the moment. That’s a lot of favours to return and he will have to find a way to do it same as Clinton. I think the problem for me is that Obama reminds me too much of Tony Blair, who came into power in the UK in a very similar situation in 1997. People were so fed up with the Tory government and so desperate for “change” that a Labour win was almost inevitable. But the fact that Blair with his fresh faced school boy charme came over as almost messianic certainly helped. Now, 15 years on, the UK is slowly realising that “spin” does not equal “change” and that all governments are bound to build their own old boys network and have their fair share of political corruption. That would not make me vote for the Tory’s (much like most of you would not vote for McCain) but it has given me a healthy suspicion of Messiahs who promise they will do things differently when it is almost certain that they won’t be able to deliver. And yes, I am scaring myself by how resigned and cynical I sound when I say this, but I have this nightmarish vision of Obama getting the White House and Tony Blair becoming President of the European Union. They will both look very pretty on TV screens but can we ever be sure of what is hidden beneath that laquered exterior? So I do trust Hillary more, not because I agree with everything she will do, but because I have the feeling that I have a fairly good idea of what she will do. With Obama I don’t and that makes me terribly nervous.

  137. Jessica W says:

    If you don’t think Hillary is going to also be paying back favours too, you’re fooling yourself! Not to start, or continue, the political debate here, but come on! Why are people so quick to assume that he won’t be able to do the job?
    I guess I’d be happy with Hillary as a president, but I DO NOT trust her more than Obama!! Why would I? I know who we’ll be voting for, without question–Barack Obama.

  138. Matron says:

    I’m not saying that she won’t pay back favours. Of course she will, that was never in doubt. What I was saying is that he will, too, but that everyone seems to be making out that he won’t.

    My point was that with her I feel that we know what we get, warts and all. His ugly bits, which are undoubtedly there, have yet to surface and nobody seems to be particularly interested in trying to expose them. Again, I fully accept that this is pure cynicism on my part and I apologise for that, but having seen someone like Blair disintegrate, I am not that easily wowed by pretty speeches and buzz words. If I could, I would vote for Clinton despite her public persona, but I would hesitate to vote for Obama because of his.

  139. Hammerwoman says:

    Wha- huh? Like the rest of us, I’ve been missing Lois’s horny energy. . .but when she shows up, what do I see? Myself, looking back out of the mirror. Instead of those really fun nights at the boarding school health center(going to work in jeans and Birks and days at the beach, I’m spending long days at the Medical Center, a nurse-on-the-phone, where the money’s good and the retirement benefits are great, but there’s no fun in it. No time to spend with the goats and chickens and dogs, spending my weekends shoveling out this winter’s endless snow, and no time to enjoy that either. Coming up from the barn in the dark in last week’s sleet storm, winding up on my ass in a big icy splash, and I found myself channeling David Byrne and asking the same question, “How did I get here?”

  140. hetero genus says:

    The thing about Nader, he doesn’t just run, he demonizes the Democrat and ignores the Republican. It was not, i came to realize, a venture of anything but competeition. There was and is a major difference between Bush and Gore, which few nowadays contest, and there will be a world of difference between Clinton, Obama and any one of the featured Republican candidates. I like both democratic candidate and will support whomever ends up with the nomination, not as the lesser of the two evils, but as intelligent, hard-working representatives of we, the people. Nader has an agenda, and i fear not all of it is fo the total betterment of life, liberty and justice for all. That is sadly what i no longer see nor hear from him. He was a good consumer protector. I do hope his adorable head doesn’t re-emerge like the Wizard of Oz, drawing our attentions away from this daunting task at hand.

  141. Janet Hurley says:

    Obama is raking in the dough from individual citizens. That is who he will owe payback to. I’m alright with that. Someone above suggested he takes money from PACs and lobbyists, but not in this campaign.

  142. Jaibe says:

    Like 80% of primary voters, Clinton & Obama are both incredibly exciting to me. But I support Obama mostly because I am afraid that if Clinton gets in we will learn more about the corruption that always follows power around in October & we will lose. I know one big story that never broke (yet) & I’m not that important so I am sure there are more.

    Janet: in 2000 I was excited that Nader, the consumer advocate was running, and I paid to see him in (ex)Boston Garden, and I was dying for him to explain to me how he would bring multi-party politics to the US and why it was even more important than defeating Bush. But all he said was that the democrats & republicans were identical, which is a lie. Even if they were barely different, any difference is worth voting for. I learned later that year that telling people not to trust the system, that their votes don’t matter, is a form of disenfranchisement, which always hurts the left.

    Thanks so much for the video, Hello! That’s what every debate needs, real data!

  143. Danyell says:

    I too, love the Domino Theory Sugar and the joke about what food we buy always having to be part of a philosophy of some kind (like, Ah! Am I a bad person if I buy Kraft Mac N’ Cheese instead of Annie’s?)

    And I did miss Lois. And I’m familiar (albeit, not first hand) with her scenario of the family life somehow falling on her, instead of her into it or even choosing it on her own.

    Ellen O.- I completely agree with you. Why is everyone so willing to pick apart Senator Clinton but take everything Senator Obama says at face value? Personally, I’d be thrilled and honored to vote for either of them (but pee myself with joy if they end up running together in either variation) but I bet if anyone were to dig under the surface, they’d find just as much dirt on him as on her.

    I think Hillary’s biggest problem is the pressure to try to be the female candidate that everyone wants. She has to be compassionate and fierce. Strong and sensitive. Tough on terrorism, but anti-war. Uncompromising (except sometimes). Yeah, it seems stupid- but politics are stupid sometimes. I really believe, though, that she’d make a great president. Even if that makes me unpopular.

  144. Janet Hurley says:

    I read the Hillary’s open letter that MM linked above. Sounds nice, but she doesn’t mention DOMA. I just don’t trust that she will follow through when push comes to shove. I am sure she would similarly say to African Americans that she would reject the racial divisions that have been re-enforced during the Bush years. And yet when she looses South Carolina it’s fine with her to dismiss that lossas just black people voting for a black candidate.

    Anyway, I’m with DeLandsDeLakes, the state shouldn’t give benefits to couples over single people. But I doubt very much that that will end in my lifetime. Personally, I don’t care about marriage, but that their is debate about whether same sex couples should be allowed the same previlage is insulting to me.

    Here is Obama’s statement on the McClurkin debacle:

    I have clearly stated my belief that gays and lesbians are our brothers and sisters and should be provided the respect, dignity, and rights of all other citizens. I have consistently spoken directly to African-American religious leaders about the need to overcome the homophobia that persists in some parts our community so that we can confront issues like HIV/AIDS and broaden the reach of equal rights in this country.

    I strongly believe that African Americans and the LGBT community must stand together in the fight for equal rights. And so I strongly disagree with Reverend McClurkin’s views and will continue to fight for these rights as President of the United States to ensure that America is a country that spreads tolerance instead of division.

  145. annie k. says:

    re the debate over approprite sugar, has anyone considered maple syrup. Mostly bottled by farmers looking for a little extra cash. definitely local although some will come from canada.

  146. The Fatigues says:

    Nice to see Lois again, Allison. And i like the illustration of the chaos of the grocery-commerce.

    Domino theory sugar=ROFL!

    I’ve reinstated my usual political plan again, which is the paranoid impeach-every-politician-plan. I just hope we don’t end up with John McCain.

  147. Jana C.H. says:

    Matron, you are right on. There is no such thing as new politics, and there never has been. I consider this realism, not cynicism. Young people feel differently, as they should– as I did when I was eighteen. But I’ve learned better.

    Obama may be inspiring, but I just don’t think he has the chops to do the job. All of George Bush’s disasters are coming home to roost, and I don’t want a beginner trying to handle them.

    Jana C.H.
    Seattle
    Saith Will Rogers: If stupidity got us into this mess, why can’t it get us out?

  148. LondonBoy says:

    Jessica W’s comment on politicians repaying favours reminded me of this definition:
    “How can you tell an honest politician from a dishonest one ?”
    “An honest politician stays bought.”

  149. LondonBoy says:

    Oh, Matron !
    ( Some readers may understand my joy at being able to start a posting thus… )
    I never thought I’d find myself agreeing with a European, but I think we share almost exactly the same sentiments about Obama vs. Hillary. Please, all you citizens of the USA, when you vote remember that you’re betting all our futures, not just your own.

  150. ladiesbane says:

    Cheers and more cheers! I love ANY early strip and this is a dandy. The sugar (both kinds), the quotes, the debate, Darlin’ Lois, the rhubarb (both kinds), the Lipidos (!) (and Fetidos, and Torpidos) and Firesign Theatre in the comments. My day has been made!

  151. Annie in Hawaii says:

    Aloha Alison, Ab fab as usual. Plenty mahalos for the Talking Heads ref–I’m reliving the 70s & 80s (when I was young and thin as I write this, when the TH were kewl and not golden oldies). To ksbel6, not sure about the older women for Clinton vs. the younger for Obama. As our caucus happens in a few hours, I am being being totally bombarded via email by lots of women my age group (mid-50s) and older (my Auntie Alice, age 85) who are for Obama. So maybe Hawai’i is an anomaly. After all, he is a Punahou boy. Go figgah, Annie

  152. Ruth says:

    Very happy to be reminded of “Once in a Lifetime.” And it’s good to see Lois.

    But dear heavens, it would be nice to see someone of the group who doesn’t look like they’re being ground down by life. It’s not inevitable (I don’t think…).

  153. kanadjan says:

    On what might be hidden within Obama (and all the other candidates, see the January 3rd Democracy Now! story “Vote for Change? Atrocity-Linked U.S. Officials Advising Democratic, GOP Presidential Frontrunners” at:
    http://www.democracynow.org/2008/1/3/vote_for_change_atrocity_linked_us

    I echo LondonBoy’s plea, but add that it is vital that, whoever is elected (a democrat I fervently hope), you folks can’t just sit back and wait for him or her to do good things. Moving things forward (or cleaning up past harm) will depend on public pressure. Lots and lots of it.

  154. Deena in OR says:

    Michelle Obama didn’t do her husband any favors yesterday, IMHO. http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2008/02/michelle-obam-1.html

    And quite frankly, Obama not waiting tonight for Clinton to finish her speech was less than a classy act. Yeah, yeah, I get that it’s gamemanship. But color me unimpressed. It looked petty, rude, and tone deaf from a candidate who is supposed to be about reaching out and working together.

  155. Hammerwoman says:

    At the Verizon Center waiting for the Obama-and-Oprah rally to start here in NH, I was hit with a strong shock-of-recognition. . . the earnest crowd, the chants and cheers, the expectant energy wasn’t like any sporting event or concert I’ve been to there. This was pure religious fervor, and sent me back forty years to Shea Stadium, in a white shirt and slacks, part of Billy Graham’s 5000-voice choir, waiting for *that* show to start. It wasn’t a particularly pleasant memory. Then came the video of Alice Walker, endorsing Senator Obama, and I started to believe that maybe this was going to be different, that maybe this time that energy could actually do some good.

    I was in a group of about 20 LGBT people from NH Freedom to Marry, in a closed and darkened bar high above the floor, herded together and watched by some young and earnest Secret Service boys, like border collies in dark suits. We were there for the main event, sure, but we had been promised a private meeting afterwards. This was just a few days after the ENDA deal went down, and more than a few of us weren’t feeling particularly charitable toward politicians in general- especially our congressional reps, who had followed Barney Frank’s less-than-honorable lead, and who were sitting in places of honor at the Obama rally.

    I admit, though, some hope was born that night that hasn’t been extinguished since. We did get our private meeting with Obama, about an hour of question-and-answer with a man whose energy is quite genuine and who does not need to depend on that now-famous oratory. One of the first questions asked was about Donnie McClurkin. Senator Obama described Mr. McClurkin as “obviously, a very confused gay man,” and I nearly fell off my chair. He went on to make the point that the ex-gay movement is a very powerful and pervasive force in black churches, and the only way to avoid it is to avoid black churches entirely, which he is not willing to do- nor would I ask him to. The remark about the good ideas the Repubs have had, which Our Boy Bill made so much hay over, was partly about their ability to make coalition with people who had agreed to disagree, something that us liberals could learn something from.

    Hmmm. . . this is where I should make whatever point I had set out to make, but, my phone is ringing and the computer system is finally up, and a long list of patients awaits. I better get to them. I guess that I’d expect anyone who is looking to wield that much power to sometimes behave badly in trying to get it, in using it, and in holding on to it. I will still be proud to vote for either Barack or Hillary come November.

  156. Ed says:

    Sorry, but whenever somebody says Obama followers “drink the Kool-Aid” as somebody here did, I get offended. I, and all my friends who support Obama, think for myself. I make my own decisions. Comparing me and my zeal to a suicidal cult member is rude. My whole life (I am 36), I hear, “get out there! Get involved!” and when I do, and it’s not for the candidate of somebody’s choice, I am suddenly a member of a cult.

    Get over it.

  157. Ed says:

    And on another note, if Hillary does win the nom, I am supporting her wholeheartedly. She just is not my #1 choice.

  158. chriso says:

    I’m in agreement with Ed on the Kool-Aid comment – and I am not even decisive about whether I am more pro-Obama or pro-Clinton. Personally I’d like to vote for Hillrack Obinton or Bararry Clintbama – modern science should make this happen! But all silliness aside, it’s completely rude to dismiss someone’s support of a candidate you don’t favor as cultish behavior. We need people to feel passionately about voting and about this election.

    As for the strip, I really love it. I didn’t realize how much I missed Lois until I saw her in the fifth panel. I love the double meaning of “rhubarb” that’s employed in the strip and Janis and Jasmine’s argument. So good!

  159. Jana C.H. says:

    Okay, here’s my combo candidate:

    1) Al Gore’s stature, in every sense of the word, and concern for the enviornment.

    2) John Edwards’s domestic program and debating skills.

    3) Obama’s charisma and voice.

    4) Hillary’s determination, ruthlessness, and willingness to fight.

    We put it all in a white male package (because that still matters), and send it out to do battle with McCain.

    And the Repubs will still steal the election.

    Jana C.H.
    Seattle
    Saith Will Cuppy: I forget exactly why Rome Fell. It was probably just one of those things.

  160. j.b.t. says:

    How about an Obama/Latifah ticket???

  161. Deena in OR says:

    This is a placeholder for a deeply felt apology that I will post later for the very stupid and insensitive koolaid remark. I just finished working a 24 hour shift, my brain is fried mush, and I’m very afraid that I would trip on my own words and make things worse if I tried tonight.

    I shouldn’t have tried to be a clever smartass. I don’t ususally carry that off well, and come out sounding like an boorish idiot.

  162. Deena in OR says:

    Usually. Argh. Too exhausted and embarrassed to proofread well, evidently.

  163. Aunt Soozie says:

    Yes…Queen Latifah for President and Obama as her running mate.
    I adore Latifah. (Maggie, Thanks for the response to Sinnic.)

  164. Jaibe says:

    Obama is likely to win in TX and OH because both states allow independents and republicans to choose to vote in their primaries, ad the republican race is over so these people will all vote in the democrats race, and they vote like 2:1 for Obama. Independents should be very happy (and important) this fall with Obama and McCain to choose between.

    By the way, here are a couple course descriptions I got from Obama’s courses at U of Chicago (off the Wayback Machine — from 2000)

    CURRENT ISSUES IN RACISM & THE LAW. 54302. This seminar examines current problems in American race relations and the role the law has played in structuring the race debate. How have past and present legal approaches to racism fared? Has the continued emphasis on statutory solutions to racism impeded the development of potentially richer political, economic, and cultural approaches, and if so, can minorities afford to shift their emphasis given the continued prevalence of racism in society? Can, and should, the existing concepts of American jurisprudence provide racial minorities more than formal equality through the courts? Students prepare papers that evaluate how the legal system has dealt with particular incidents of racism and that discuss the comparative merits of litigation, legislation and market solutions to problems of institutional racism in American society. This seminar may be taken for fulfillment of the Substantial Writing Requirement. The student’s grade is based on a 15 page paper, group presentation and class participation. Autumn (3).

    VOTING RIGHTS & THE DEMOCRATIC PROCESS. 42001. This course examines the history of voting rights law in the United States, as well as the broader issues surrounding various systems of representative democracy: How should the courts balance the demands of majority rule with the desire to protect minority voices? Does the Voting Rights Act, as amended, promote minority voices, or simply segregate them from the larger political discourse? Are there alternative models, such as cumulative voting, that would better serve majority and minority alike? Do systems of more “direct democracy” -such as ballot initiatives and referenda-empower voters or undermine a more thoughtful deliberative process? And does voting even matter in a complex, modern society where campaigns are dominated by money and issues are framed by lobbyists? The student’s grade is based on a substantial paper. This seminar may be taken for fulfillment of the Substantial Writing Requirement. Winter (3).

  165. Jaibe says:

    PS loved in the video that Hello posted that he challenged the Black religious community to accept not only gays but also atheists! Of course, as of 2000 10% of Americans told the census they were atheist, so given the democrats are about 50% of the population and most GLBT & atheists are probably turned off by the republicans, probably at least a quarter of democrat voters are GLBT and/or atheist.

    Also liked him apologizing for being rude to Clinton in SC. “We *all* have sinned.”

  166. cally chef says:

    Thank you AB for the updated window into Lois’ life and current living situations. That’s what I’m talking about. I love all the characters, but have really been missing Lois.

  167. Tabby says:

    Tabby steps out carefully, avoiding the puddles. She steps around the corner to find the very first dandelion of the coming spring. If you pick it, and wish as you blow to scatter the seed, your wish will come true. So this is my wish – that an Obama presidency will inspire people and bring a feeling of individual competence, capability and responibility. No one person can do what needs to be done to clean up the messes we find ourselves in. But no one person needs to do very much if many others are also doing what they can. No less true for being a bit ideaistic. So Tabby makes her wish, and scoots back inside – it’s raining again!

  168. Scotia says:

    While we’re holding people to their records, anyone who regards freedom of sexual expression as an important issue needs to be very sceptical of Nader. In 1996, he declared that gay rights and abortion were “gonadal politics” unworthy of his attention. He returned to the theme in 2000: “I’m not going to focus on gonadal politics. I won’t focus on all the social, hot-button-type issues about interpersonal rights.” I think his puritanism, his lack of empathy, led directly to his pigheadedness regarding electoral politics, despite his being the best political analyst of anyone in public life.

  169. hm says:

    And the news of the day… http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/

    Can we say “Republicans for Nadar”?

  170. Anonymous says:

    Great Talking Heads reference!

    It triggered a memony of ‘Sapphowoman and the greater Belfast Dykes’ where G.M.K. introduced the story of how her heroin got her sapphic superpowers with a one page reference to “leader of the pack”

    Aw, we were all younger then – it was published in 1989.

    Unfortunately, G.M.K only published one book and I wasn’t able to find any image on the web.
    Anyone here who knows the story?

  171. ready2agitate says:

    Don’t know the story but I’m now humming: Sapphowoman, qu’est-ce que c’est? fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa.

  172. bette says:

    re: Hillary Rodham Clinton

    Harking back to old times with the “Talking Heads” — here’s another reminder: In best 1970ies feminist style and tradition, Robin Morgan reminds the Jasmines among you U.S. voters:
    «Me, I’m voting for Hillary not because she’s a woman–but because I am.»

    Read the rest of her concise argument here:

    http://womensspace.wordpress.com/2008/02/03/good-bye-to-all-that-part-ii-by-robin-morgan/

    Alison and fellow Vermonters, (and Texans and Ohioans!!!) please go for it on March 4!

    And, if I may add this from an European perspective, we need an U.S. President who brings back the U.S. to the international community as a strong AND responsible, dependable force.

  173. Anonymous says:

    @ready2agitate: I can hear it ;-)
    Citing from the first page:

    So who is Sapphowoman? What is her everyday disguise when she whishes to blend with everyday boring people? Read on …

    This is Pearl Diver, young ambitios, babybutch+ cub reporter with the wimmins tabloid …
    “The Monthly Cycle”

    end of quote.
    Do I have to say more? ;-))

    By the way, could someone explain the concept of babybutch to me? Does it just mean a young butch, still wet behind the ears?

  174. tworiversmom says:

    Alison, thank you for another brilliant strip. I’ve been your fan for twenty years through graduate school, several moves, several lovers, monogamous and polyamorous, and now domiciled life with three children and a male partner.

    I’m delighted to vote for someone other than Bush despite the imperfections of Senators Clinton and Obama.

    Yet I agree with Kelli the most important issue facing humanity, regardless of race, nationality, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, class, education, household composition, etc. is climate change. Anyone who earns our votes must agree to address climate change aggressively. The most empowering thing we can do is to work individually toward creating sustainable lives. Victory garden anyone?

  175. ready2agitate says:

    Excellent piece from Robin Morgan – she was always good at sounding the wake-up call! Thanks for posting it, Bette.

  176. Alex the Bold says:

    What to do with Nader?

    Seriously?

    Give the man a spot in the cabinet of whichever candidate wins. His job? Nag the president, the president’s policies, administration, everything. 24/7.

    Too many politicians end up surrounded by kissasses. I may think Nader’s cheese has slide off his cracker, but I know the guy can point out lunacy.

  177. Ellen O. says:

    Obama president? Clinton, Secretary of State? (Better yet, visa versa)
    Nader, head of FEMA?

  178. Anonymous says:

    Robin Morgan applause Redux:

    I was all excited by Robin Morgan’s piece till I got futher into it. So many excellent points casting a necessarily bright light on institutional sexism globally and domestically undermined by comparing sexism to racism. “Some non-racist countries may exist. But no country exists where women don’t comprise the bottom rung.” — something like that (sorry for improper use of quotations).

    Non-racist countries? Is she kidding?! (please don’t try to cite examples – there aren’t any)

    So… Goodby to pitting racism against sexism and vice versa. Even though she’s smart enough to point out that no, not all women are white, and no, not all people of color are for Obama, I think she ultimately undermined an excellent piece that could have reached many more ears.

    Cheese slid off her cracker? Love that metaphor! (hee)

  179. Maggie Jochild says:

    I agree with you about Robin Morgan’s piece, Anonymous, though I still think it’s brilliant reading. But the temptation to “compare oppressions” is fatal rot. It’s divisive. It creates an identity from damage rather than from an intentional naming of conditioning both internalized and overcome. And it’s best case result is inducing guilt (rather than empathetic connection) from those who don’t share your identity.

    Having said that, I will also argue that (a) it IS important to be able to consider how different oppressions are enacted and maintained, not for comparison of who has it worse but to unravel how the system works differently on each of us and how we could act as effective allies; and (b) it is a critical developmental and political step for those who have been chewed up by institionalized labeling and mistreatment to be able to speak out about their experience. Not just for its therapeutic effect, but also to mobilize resistance.

    The problem is that most of us don’t believe anyone really wants to hear our pain — because our experience heretofore has reinforced that impression. So we do it defiantly, we stick it in wherever we can, we speak with visible anger and fear, and we make accusations/divisions where there really doesn’t have to be any. When such occurs, none of our goals get met. But the person to point out this error is not going to be someone we see as “the other”; it has to come from within our imagined ranks, someone we trust.

    And, of course, if you think what you’re hearing from someone else is their irrational defensiveness, your first job is to turn your light on your own reaction and see if maybe you are projecting.

    Racism and sexism arose in different settings historically, have been sustained through different means, and at this point are so interwoven (along with classism) that most of us cannot see the extent of their influence. They are not an either/or. They are binaries based on one “real” human definition and one “other”: White vs. non-white, male vs. non-male (which includes all versions of queer and trans as well as women, and men who refuse masculinity for any reason), rich/gentry vs. non-gentry. They are cultural constructs, varying according to era and geographic location, which pretend to be linked to biological origin but are simply rationalized interpretations of difference whose purpose is to maintain lines of power.

    The debate over blacks vs. women is serving to keep the status quo in place, acknowledging it as reality instead of defying its disinformed pathology. Currently the Republican backroom boys are studying how far they can in giving voice to woman-hating and white supremacy before offending more than their base — because their base feeds on hate. Hate stokes fear and anger, which is how the wealthy and corporate elite keep us from noticing how we’re getting screwed.

    But I think the maggots have been unroofed this time. I think Bush and Cheney will, in fact, have to use their hideout in Paraguay before it’s all over. Look how established wealth and social elite came in on the side of labor during the Writer’s Guild strike — first time since the 70′s I’ve seen that. Look at how Dana Jill Simpson’s reply to Karl Rove’s attempted smear of her as a whistleblower is just a calm invitation for him to testify before Congress. Look at how many of us here are wise to the ploy of pitting us against each other. It’s one hell of a mess we’ve got, but I sense a growing will to name it and clean it up.

  180. Anonymous says:

    To the Cat Pimp:

    Janis doesn’t have to end up taller than jasmine. If she’s on T-blockers, it will affect her height. She’ll be shorter.

  181. Pope Snarky Goodfella OTUC, POEE says:

    Hail Eris!

    I’d just like to say that I’ve been reading this strip for a decade or more, but watching The L Word (off-and-on, but always catching up, if only by bittorrent) since 2004, and while I love the show to bits (largely for Jenny (I’ve tried my hand at writing, and I know how hard it is), Shane, and Alice — Bette and Tina don’t do as much for me, especially after the next episode coming up in Canada), as I was reading this before it, I’ll still be reading this after it’s gone.

    Snarky

  182. ready2agitate says:

    Agreed, Maggie Jochild. (oops – I came up as “Anonymous” in my Robin Morgan redux post above).

    RM’s piece *was* brilliant. It sounded a wake-up call. It shook feminist consciousness awake. And I would have forwarded it widely if it didn’t fold in on itself by putting sexism above all other insitutional oppressions. (What use is that? Haven’t we white feminists learned this already?) “…the temptation to “compare oppressions” is fatal rot.” Indeed.

    I also agree that those suffering institutionalized oppression must speak aloudly their experiences to mobilize resistance. In that sense, it was priceless.

    Thanks for your measured response.