A blog of personal reflections, adventures both close to home and far away, political musings and commentary, and thoughts on negotiating life as a twenty-something, queer Mainer transplanted to New York City hoping to write, inspire, teach and change the world.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Hippie According to Le Petit Robert

Looking for a word in Le Nouveau Petit Robert I stumbled across the definition of Hippie: Adepte (generalment jeune) d'un mouvement des anees 1970, fonde sur le refus de la societe de consommation et des valeurs sociales et morals traditionnelles. baba, beatnik
(Follower (generally young) of a movement from the 1970's, founded by those who refused traditional values, morals and a society based on consumption).
I don't know why this struck me as so funny. (They don't mention anything about hemp, dreadlocks or patchouli, strange).

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Saturday, August 30, 2008

A summer week in provence

Roussillon Arch
Originally uploaded by killerfemme
We met my family in Avignon and spent a week exploring Provence. I knew this area has been totally hyped, but I completely understood why. It is stunning- limestone hills, scraggly bushes, vineyards and olive trees everywhere you look. We ate local goat cheese and the famed melons de cavaillion, which were perfectly juicy and sweet. When I saw the quality of the light and the sunsets, as well as the perfect, sunbaked old stones, I could see why plein aire painters went ga ga for this region. My mom and I want to go back and plan a bike trip on back road to lunch in small towns. It's seriously the good life. You can see way more pictures on my flickr stream.

Paris first, before the rest...

Originally uploaded by killerfemme
In July my family went on a huge trip to the South of France, where I had never been. Before joining them, I flew to Paris and spent a jetlagged day and evening there before getting on the TGV with Gael to go to Avignon. Of course our city wanderings took us to Belleville, a neighborhood that has excited and intrigued me since I first set foot in it. To me it seems more "real," more gritty, less perfect (shall we say, because it's more working class) than the sparkling neighborhoods of central and western Paris. I'm not the only one who thinks this though, as Belleville is gentrifying rapidly, especially the street in this picture.

Bodies of Water for Venuszine

In between all my travels and Brooklyn fun this summer, I managed to review the Bodies of Water show (which you can read here) at Mercury Lounge for I really enjoy the opportunity to go to a show and really think about it critically, as well as enjoy it as a spectator. Please check it out! I'll be writing more on my travels in just a moment...

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Thursday, August 07, 2008

Book Review: Riot Grrrl

Riot Grrrl: Revolution Girl Style Now! Riot Grrrl: Revolution Girl Style Now! by Nadine Monem

My review

rating: 2 of 5 stars
Like the contributors to this book remind their readers, there is no official historian of Riot Grrrl and no one way to tell the story. While I appreciated the authors' interest in personal voice, I felt that like so many other books that have tried to document an underground phenomenon (I'm thinking of "A Girl's Guide to Taking Over the World" here), this book did not live up to its potential. I appreciated the British perspective, as I learned a lot about British bands and Grrrl culture I only had heard a little about. However, sometimes the essays were too personal. For example, one author repeatedly quoted her own writing as a source. Other chapters tended towards the long-winded sentences of an undergraduate essay. Throughout the book there were large historical gaps: writers tended to skip the years from 1995 to 2000. The story seemed to read,"There was Bikini Kill and Huggy Bear, then they broke up, Sleater-Kinney didn't really matter, then there was Lady Fest and the Gossip, who are the ultimate Riot Grrrl band." For me (and this is MY personal experience), the mid-to-late 1990's and early 2000's were a hive of Riot-Grrrl activity in the United States, including zines, Yo-Yo-A-Go-Go, the Bay Area Girl Convention, and the explosion of zine related gatherings, Rock Camp for Girls, and yes, Ladyfest. These things are barely, if at all, mentioned in the book.

Overall, the book suffered from sloppy copy editing and lack of fact checking. Zine and film names were misspelled, and typos such as "on" for "of" seemed like a rash throughout the text. It seemed like the authors of different chapters did not consult with each other or read each other's work. As a result, the same story of Kathleen Hanna and the beginnings of Riot Grrrl were repeated throughout.

It's true that no one book will do Riot Grrrl justice, but I had hopes that when there was an opportunity for part of the story to be told it would be done so with greater accuracy, clarity, and thus pack a greater historical and literary punch.

View all my reviews.

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