Monthly Archives: November 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

Laurie and Debbie say:

Welcome to our annual “take advantage of the American Thanksgiving holiday to list some things in the world to be thankful for” post. This year it’s a lot easier than last year!

For those of you who’ve tuned in in the last year, because of our commitment to social change we spend a lot of time blogging about what makes us angry, unhappy, or dispirited. That’s why it’s important to spend a moment looking at what’s worth being thankful for. Here’s another random, off-the-top-of-our-heads list, this year with links. Please help us add to it.

We have a sane man coming in to the American presidency. We have a smart man coming into the American presidency. We have the first African-American to come into the American presidency. (And they’re all the same person!)

Gay marriage is now legal in Connecticut, the second U.S. state that currently recognizes full marriage between two people of the same sex. Also, the Florida law banning gay people from adopting children was overturned this week.

The Federal Communications Commission decided on Election Day to open up the “white space” freed when television goes digital to unlicensed, free internet usage, such as wireless usage. This will be especially important in rural areas, The National Association of Broadcasters is mounting a congressional challenge, but they’ll probably have a hard time with the new Congress.

Silverton, Oregon has elected a man who is believed to be the first transgender mayor in America.

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, a smart and thoughtful man with an ecological bent, won the Nobel prize in Economics.

Serena Williams won the U.S. Women’s Open championship. (We’d have been just as happy if her sister had won.)

Debbie’s representative in Congress, Barbara Lee, is the new chair of the Congressional Black Caucus. Rep. Lee was the only member of Congress to vote against George Bush’s militaristic response immediately after the September 11 attacks.

Right-wing senator Lindsey Graham made an unfortunate promise before the election. “I’ll beat Michael Phelps in swimming before Barack Obama wins North Carolina.” We’re looking forward to the swim meet.

Everyone’s favorite adolescent wanker, John Updike, has won the lifetime achievement award for bad sex writing. Here’s one sample:

“Faye leaned back on the blanket, arranging her legs in an M of receptivity, and he knelt between them like the most abject and craven supplicant who ever exposed his bare ass to the eagle eyes of a bunch of crows.”

And just last week, a medical team in Barcelona and Great Britain completed the first successful organ transplant of a partial windpipe grown from the patient’s own stem cells!

Have a great holiday; we’ll be back early next week.

Nudes for the Holidays

Laurie and Debbie say:

Readers of the blog have probably noticed the holiday ad on the right on the main blog page. Many of you know Laurie’s photography (and Debbie’s text), but others may not be so familiar with what we were doing before we started Body Impolitic.

Women En Large: Images of Fat Nudes (Books in Focus, 1994)

book cover of Women En Large

and Familiar Men: A Book of Nudes (Shifting Focus Press, 2004)

book cover of Familiar Men

are each on sale for $15 including shipping: a great bargain given that both are usually available for $25 plus shipping!

There are two great things about doing art that is social change work: the art and the social change. We won’t talk about the art, because the photographs speak for themselves.

Edna on the rocks

The social change aspects, on the other hand, make stories. We’ve heard about women who’ve thrown away their entire wardrobe and bought a new one after looking at the pictures, or bought a bathing suit for the first time in years.

We watched a man who had been a porn model burst into tears at a slide show, just at the concept that there could be nudes of men who didn’t have to look perfect.

Samuel R. Delany

It’s no exaggeration: these photographs, and these books, change lives. Buying them for yourselves is terrific; giving them to the right someone else can start a cascade of exactly the kind of changes we all want to see.

In the early days of Women En Large, the pictures, plus a long talk with Laurie which would never have happened without the pictures, helped a woman recover from active, life-limiting anorexia. When the Familiar Men pictures were shown in at the National Museum of Art in Osaka, Japan, one of the workmen on staff at the museum wrote the senior curator to say how much the pictures changed how he felt about himself, and how important that was to him.

grandfather and grandson

These books are the tangible markers of our work together. Our goals are to make the invisible visible, to widen the range of what is beautiful and what is powerful, and to help change the way people see. Buying the books gets the images out into the world where they can do good, and also supports our work; in particular, giving it to someone you think is beautiful but they don’t think so is a perfect way to show them what you see in them. At the same time, book sales let us keep and enrich the blog, they seed new projects for Laurie, and they pay the bills.

Isn’t there someone you know who needs a copy? Or several someones?

Queen T'hisha

Tell your friends.