Thursday, August 9, 2007

Blog-o-sphere and other important social commentary

If you're not up on the knit blog-o-sphere, first, what's wrong with you? Even if you don't knit, there are some really good writers out there...check the sidebar for my favorites.

Second, allow me to provide you with a couple of updates. Ryan over at Mossy Cottage is no longer doing the Dulaan project, which I wrote about here. Sounds like there's a story behind most relationships that end poorly. Rochester knitters, any suggestions for other "knitting for others" to occupy ourselves with over the long cold winter?

Annie Modesitt is a designer I've long admired and a teacher I've had the privilege of learning from. Her husband has a rare form of cancer and they are currently at Mayo for treatment. I admire how she has let loose with the full range of emotions she's experiencing, from grief to fear to downright black humor.

I also admire--no, I'm amazed--how she still takes the time to talk about anything else in such a difficult time. Her thoughts about the movie Hairspray are quite to the point. I too loved the movie, and on one hand, I thought John Travolta was amazing. On the other hand, what would it have been like to have a woman in that role? Aren't women allowed to fully express themselves, regardless of size? Why was it okay for adolescent Tracy, but not for adult Mrs. Turnblad, to be played by a woman?

Or, why not stick with the premise of the original version, which cast Divine as Mrs. Turnblad? There are lots of fabulous drag queens out there, and that casting rounds out the anti-oppression messages of racism and sizism by taking on gender conformity as an equally oppressive social problem.

Don't let all this overly-earnest commentary dissuade you from seeing the movie! Musicals should be fun, and it is! I happen to like it even more when they have something important to say as well, a la West Side Story. And Hairspray actually does. If only we COULD solve racism with signing and dancing...

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