Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Another Controversy Starring Annie Leibovitz

I wrote recently about another Vanity Fair cover shot by Annie Leibovitz that brought some controversy (and which, as this controversy is, was completely ridiculous). This time it's Leibovitz's shots of Miley Cyrus. In the June 2008 Vanity Fair Cyrus is shown holding a sheet over her chest and her back is exposed (shown below). Now, I've included a few pictures of Miley Cyrus below to prove a point. People need to stop getting sanctimonious when it's convenient. There are millions of teenage girls looking at the images below, going to this girl's concerts, and seeing a lot worse from many other sources in today's media. What do you think is being sold here, folks? Some idealized, fun-tastic youth? Don't you think Ms. Cyrus could do that without the 6 inch heels and mini skirt. "But, David, she's got a right to wear whatever she wants. Annie Leibovitz took advantage of this child." C'mon! I'd like to know the last time Miley Cyrus chose her own clothes prior to being seen in public (Read: dressed by others in order to sell a product). And as far as exploitation goes, well, let's check out the father who's all of a sudden back in the spotlight because he dresses like a teen angst-ridden psuedo-punk rocker with a sole patch thirty years his minor and allows his daughter to be marketed as a sex symbol.

Now I'm not saying that the Leibovitz picture is tasteful or should have been done...I really have no opinion on the picture itself. What I take issue with is a group of people making a fuss when it makes them look holier than thou, as the saying goes. Our society is built on the sale of sex, especially in images, whether overtly or not (Does anyone remember the Rolling Stone cover with Britney Spears on it? Even if she was 18, which I don't think she was, she was being marketed as much younger than that in the picture--I mean, she's holding a teletubby!). To sit back and be ok with it 99% of the time--or worse yet, actively participate in it by purchasing items by companies marketing these girls as sex symbols--and then become outraged by something like this is just offensive. Stop with your bullshit stances. If you're going to speak up about the offensive nature of so much of our mass media, then do it. But don't do it in such a halfassed way. If you're going to stand for something, stand for something. But, my god, make it something worthwhile. And, at least be consitent when you do it.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Story

I don't usually end up listening to a whole hour long radio program, but last night's (4/07/08) "The Story" with Dick Gordon hooked me for the whole show. Listen here.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

National Poetry Month

In honor of National Poetry Month I'm going to try and post a bunch of poetry stuff for your reading pleasure. The first things come from two friends of mine: First an essay from Mary Tinucci about the power of poetry (Mary does amazing work with the youth of St. Paul through The Lab), and second, some poems from Erica Wright (Who we also published at InDigest).


April: National Poetry Month

Is it trite to say that poetry has saved my life? Or maybe, it is completely grandiose. Either way, it is true for me. It was 12 years ago, at the age of 30, when I first dipped my toe into the waters of poetry. Immediately, my heart was soothed, my emotional internal world felt at ease, understood.

Among the first poets I learned of were Mary Oliver and Sekou Sundiata. Markedly different poets, markedly different lives. I have had the great pleasure of seeing and hearing both Sekou Sundiata and Mary Oliver speak and read their poetry live, in person. Before he died, I saw Sekou’s performance called “Blessing The Boats”. It was an amazing solo performance that recounted his experience with the life-threatening illness of kidney failure and recovery. Sekou affirmed for me the value of using poetry as self-reflection, healing, growth.

Mary Oliver, on the other hand, is most known for her ability to observe the natural world, outside of herself. I had the great pleasure of seeing her speak/read at the State Theater last Sunday night. Such an amazing poet, person. She and her poetry, honor and offer witness to all life in the natural landscapes. She notices and writes beautifully about trees, dogs, flowers, birds, insects and moose, all creatures, large and small, capturing their immense ability to teach us, if we will only slow down enough to truly see.

Although, of course, I never met them, these two ‘first poets’, were mentors to me, as were their poems. This “mentorship” through life is what we hope to offer through The Lab. April is National Poetry Month. I encourage you to reach for poetry this month, for inspiration, for solace, for your own private mentor. Consider, too, sharing a poem you love with someone you care about. It might just save a life. ~ In poetry & Peace. Mary T.

Erica at From the Fishouse

About Me

David Luke Doody is a freelance writer and editor. He is a founding editor of InDigest Magazine (www.indigestmag.com), an online literary magazine and the blog editor for Guernica Magazine (www.guernicamag.com). His writing and interviews have appeared in those magazines as well as in The Huffington Post, mnartists.org, The Minnesota Twins Yearbook, and Intentionally Urban Magazine, among others.

This is how my nephew loves me

This is how my nephew loves me

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