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Jan 27 2009

First, the bad news

BatterBlaster

I’ve just found organic aerosol waffle batter, and I’m telling everyone! Just heat up the old waffle iron, point, and squirt! Try it with a glob of organic aerosol whipped cream for a virtuous-yet-space-age breakfast experience that can’t be beat. Waffle-hatas in your breakfast nook? Let’em do the whippet!

While I absorb my organic aerosol waffle, my thoughts drift ahead, as they always do at breakfast, to dinner. There is asparagus in my fridge. A brilliant plan begins to erupt in my brain’s molten core: organic aerosol Hollandaise sauce. Why has nobody thought of this?

Because I cannot focus on anything for more than 42 seconds, my thoughts also drift back to yesterday. Yesterday I found myself on the receiving end of a few media broadcasts, all of which caused my obstreperal lobe to sort of seize up. Fortunately, owing to the merciful proto-dementia of chemo-brain, today I remember only two of them vividly enough to recap them for the blametariat.

One was an episode of “Leave It To Beaver.” The other was a story on the public radio show All Things Considered By Honky Liberal Intellectuals. Just as the horrible specter of aerosol Hollandaise dawned on me, it has dawned on climate scientist Susan Solomon, writing in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, that global warming is irreversible.

That’s right. Irreversible.

Quoth Solomon:

“People have imagined that if we stopped emitting carbon dioxide that the climate would go back to normal in 100 years or 200 years. What we’re showing here is that’s not right. It’s essentially an irreversible change that will last for more than a thousand years,”

Guilty! I’m one of those people who has imagined that if we stopped emitting carbon dioxide that the climate would go back to normal. But no, it turns out that in a few decades the Texas Hill Country will be permanently transformed into a fucking dustbowl.

Already Central Texas is in the middle of the worst drought in about 568 years. Everywhere you look are skeletor cattle standing on barren dirt. They just fall down and die (this has a lot to do with the stupid beef industry pressuring ranchers to plant non-native GMO hybrid grasses that fatten cattle up fast but can’t survive a drought, and it’s fucking criminal that people are just letting these animals keel over, but that’s another story, as well as an excellent argument for vegetarianism).

Everyone likes to blame global warming on those stupid urban Texans driving Hummers, but shockingly, it’s not entirely their fault. Auto emissions, not to mention emissions from organic aerosol waffle batter, are a drop in the bucket when compared to, say, Asian industrial pollution.

Well, I guess that’s it, then. So long, world as we know it.

Wait a minute. The world as we know it has been preserved on film, and, horribly, is broadcast daily on cable! The episode of “Leave It To Beaver” to which I allude above well and truly made my skin crawl, but in a totally different direction than did the NPR report. Synopsis:

Beaver is invited to a girl’s birthday party. He refuses to go. Ward and June force him to attend against his will. We know what they don’t know: that the Beave is the only boy invited to the party. Our hearts bleed for poor Beaver, being made to socialize with icky girls.

Cut to Beaver sitting in a chair looking miserable while little girls in crinolines scream hysterically. Beaver wins a prize: it’s a dolly. He couldn’t be any more horrified.

Meanwhile, back home, Wally hips Ward and June to the godawful emasculation to which they have unwittingly subjected their kid. Ward and June couldn’t be any more horrified.

Meanwhile, back at the party, Beaver sneaks away and ends up in Mr. Man’s study. Mr Man lowers his newspaper. He has been expecting Beaver. The kid is safe in here. Mr Man always hides here when there are too many women in the house. No squealing harpies would dare cross the line of demarcation into his private sanctum. Sensing that Beaver is suffering dangerously high levels of nellification, Mr Man shows Beaver his gun collection. The day is saved, the natural order restored; the masculine act of fondling weaponry has reversed Beaver’s impotence, as is made clear when he happily raises a rifle to his shoulder and goes “Pow! Pow!” Back at home, Ward makes some homophobic joke about Beaver’s having enjoyed himself at a girl-party.

I could write a doctoral thesis on this one episode. I won’t, though, because I’m not in graduate school. But Jesus in a jetpack, the whole of honky American civilization could be recreated by aliens using this one 22-minute show; it’s an effing blueprint for mid-century American patriarchy.

It blows my mind that shit like this — and by “shit like this” I mean pretty much every goddam thing on TV — is still being broadcast with a straight face. I’m not saying “Leave It To Beaver” should be taken off the air. I’m saying that every episode should have subtitles, like that newsflash thing at the bottom of the screen on CNN, pointing out each instance of hate speech, sexism, racism, stereotyping, misogyny, homophobia, honky dudelionormativity, and child abuse. There should also be a sound effect — say, the “blast of a trumpet”? — to accompany each infraction.

Radical Feminist Closed Captioning and Descriptive Video Service for everything! Who’s with me?

38 comments

  1. B. Dagger Lee

    I dunno. Miss Patsy and I still have a charred, smoking holes in the sides of our heads from where our lobes blew out during Iron Man. Our cat, Drunkypuss, was covered in brain glop and ash.

    Oh, okay, I’m in.

  2. Twisty

    To the commenter trying to use “Anon” as a screen name: DEE-nied. Use a real screen name. No Anons allowed. See Guidelines for Commenters.

  3. strasmangelo jones

    If you think that’s bad, just think: that episode will travel through space for billions of years after we’ve all gone extinct.

  4. cafesiren

    I’m not down with aerosol waffles (even though you’ve photographed them beautifully!), but I love the idea of radical feminist closed captioning — in fact, I’d like it for real life, too.

  5. Jezebella

    RadFem pop-up video? Hells yeah.

    I accidentally watched five minutes of a Frankie Avalon & Annette Funicello Beach Blanket Anti-Feminist Bingo type movie this weekend, in which Annette & the girls wanted to go sky-diving with the fellas, and Frankie said to Annette, oh no, girls can’t sky-dive, they belong in the kitchen, and she just smiled and kept on holding his hand and strolling cutely down the beach instead of ripping that smug look right off his face.

  6. estraven

    I should say that the idea of feminist subtitles is fabuolous and long overdue. It might even convince me to buy a tv again. Unfortunately, all I can think of since I started looking at your post is “where is my waffle iron?”.

  7. Twisty

    Click on the waffle link. They’ve got a stupid video and a catchy jingle. Seriously, these things taste good.

  8. lily

    I’m with you! However, no one is going to do it for us, this is a diy thang for sure.

    hmmm… I smell a good use for those annoying annotation tools on the ol’ youtube…

  9. The Hedonistic Pleasureseeker

    If it had Twisty’s and her dog’s silouhettes at the bottom of the screen it would be just like MST3K, in which case I would buy a TV and get cable again.

  10. BadKitty

    If it had Twisty’s and her dog’s silouhettes at the bottom of the screen it would be just like MST3K…

    The mere thought makes me giddy. I would pay good money for this service.

  11. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    If it will mean my friends and relations will quit giving me the stink-eye when I point this shit out, count me in.

    As for the waffle-whiz thing, my caboose currently needs no further embiggening, so I will take a pass.

  12. alphabitch

    The highly excellent jingle from the batter blaster how-to video is now stuck firmly in my head.

    Oh well.

    I really didn’t think I needed pancake batter in a can. But I do. I don’t think that making actual pancakes is all that difficult or messy, and I do it frequently, but there is the problem of excess batter for those of us who live and/or eat breakfast alone.

    I don’t have a waffle iron, and don’t generally like single-purpose kitchen gear, but I can definitely see the appeal here.

  13. wisewebwoman

    You know Twisty, you’re on to something here. Trumpet blasts and captioning. You could package the things right up and market them (along with the waffles)on IBTP 101.

  14. incognotter

    I wish I had a bazillion dollars to endow the radical feminist crawl line, because the world needs it.

    Alphabitch, for pancakes-for-one you are supposed to mix a half batch and feed the leftovers to the dog. My dog explained this to me very patiently until I learned it.

  15. virago

    I always thought Wally and Beav were two of the dumbest kids on 50-60′s television. They both knew what a lying, sneaky kid Eddie Haskell was, but they ALWAYS and I do mean ALWAYS fell for whatever bullshit Eddie told them. Only June seemed to see through Eddie’s fake “You look nice today, Mrs. Cleaver.” crap, but no one listened to her. OTOH, there was the episode where Beaver got a (gasp) black eye from a girl, but of course, Beav couldn’t hit her back because she was a girl, and boys don’t hit girls was the message of the show. I doubt that message ever sank in to the average male viewer in those days. However, I think “Father Knows Best” was a lot worse, but I’ve only seen a handful of episodes compared to “Leve It To Beaver”. Just the name of the show turned me off.

  16. yttik

    Lately I’ve gotten a certain amount of perverse comfort from watching Beaver. Or Andy Griffith or any of those shows from the 50′s. In some ways I think we’ve been going backwards in the patriarchy or at least sideways.

    Beaver is blatant, obnoxious, and in your face sexism. I almost prefer it to the subtle, you must be crazy, porn-is-empowering-for-women, kind of mind screw we are currently trapped in. If I’m going to be a second class citizen, I’d rather people stop pretending that it’s somehow my choice.

  17. alphabitch

    Ha! Incognotter, the dog has informed me of this, and usually does end up with half a pancake or so. Blueberry is her favorite.

  18. KMTBERRY

    I don’t know what to make of the “Global Warming is Irreversible” story. THere is a very good chance that it is true; but fifty years ago even the IDEA of Global Warming was unheard-of; it may be that there is a solution that is equally un-thought-of today.

    I have been cherishing the thought that perhaps the Earth itself has some sort of regulating mechanism, and when it gets hot enough, the Yellowstone caldera will blow and shroud the earth in clouds of volcanic detritus for generations. Thus bringingg the temp. down.

    Of course we would all become part of that detritus, even down here. That’s a helluva big caldera! It’s overdue to blow too!!

    Barring that, maybe we should move to a rainy place? Before the others do?

  19. thebewilderness

    Radical feminist closed captioning would relieve me of my responsibility to provide running editorial commentary for the edification of anyone in the room or within shrieking distance of the Teevee. I’m with you.

    Fortunately I am an accomplished Hollandaise whipper upper and so I do not need to sacrifice the planet for the sake of organic aerosol Hollandaise. That’s a relief.

  20. Tyrone

    I’m with you! Jesus, first this than aerosol hollandaise. Fuck, you’re on a roll.

  21. Linda Atkins

    I must also eschew aerosol waffles on environmental grounds, and hereby give thanks I’m still physically and mentally able to mix flour, soy milk and other odds and ends to produce a viable substitute.

  22. BadKitty

    I must vent re: the global warming thing. I live in northern MN. The temperature has been well below zero for the better part of 2 weeks. It was -16 when I was standing at the bus stop this morning. (Unfortunately) these are not unusual temperatures for mid-winter in Duluth.

    I’ve had no less than three idiots inform me today that global warming is obviously bullshit because it’s so cold outside. Two of them were clients and one was a supervisor so I couldn’t even roll my eyes or make pointed comments about the difference between climate and weather.

    Between the idiots and the cold temps, I’m feeling a bit stabby. The above story about global warming being irreversible did not help.

    /venting

  23. Andreasaurus

    I’m with you on the feminist closed-captions! Yar, I hadn’t seen Bewitched since I was younger, and I was forced to watch it at work the other day.. I think I threw up in my mouth a little. When I told my co-workers how incredibly sexist it was they just gave me blank-eyed stares…

  24. Thealogian

    1st: the aerosol waffles sound like a lark I’d like to try, but I’ll have to wait until a gluten free variety comes out (stupid celiac).

    2nd: Feminist Subtitles! Good idea, but take it a step further. Remember that show MST3000 (or something like that) where the guy and his robot pals watched old movies and commented/talked through them? Well, why not a Feminist one.

    Spinster Aunt Twisty, a pissed off recovering sex-bot, the brain of a feminist icon preserved in a jar with her voice channeled through one of those computer voice boxes (brain & eyes–I just realized we needed that, to watch the movies and all), and a guest feminist blogger each week.

    Seriously, this show could work! Have your people call my people!!!

    3rd: Climate Change, there still is the possibility of some carbon capture in the future that could help reverse the damages. I’m not saying its happening tomorrow, but maybe in 30 years.

  25. Anna Belle

    I actually lost my breath when you mentioned organic aerosol hollandaise sauce. You should warn readers that genius shit is coming! And yes, I’m on board with RFCC&DVS. TVLand and Nick at Night are prime candidates for test markets.

  26. pheeno

    The other day I watched The Bad News Bears (the original) and about fell the fuck out of my chair. I recall loving this movie as a kid..of course, what I recall most is liking the girl pitcher and the “older” bad boy who smoked and had a dirtbike.

    Imagine my dismay when 30 seconds into watching the movie, one CHILD exclaims ” jews, spics, ni***** and now a GIRL? when he sees the girl will be on the team. In the white mans patriarchy, women are on the bottom rung.

    I was also creeped out to discover the “older” bad boy who smoked was around freakin 12 or something.

  27. Carolyn J.

    I don’t buy anyone’s rhetoric about what will happen to the earth over the long term. Not to say that we aren’t raping the shit out of it, just that we haven’t been studying things at the global scale long enough to really know what’s going on.

  28. Twisty

    “I don’t buy anyone’s rhetoric about what will happen to the earth over the long term.”

    Fight the power, Carolyn J!

  29. Whit

    Please keep on buying the batter in a can, as it helps keep me (indirectly) employed. By which I mean, I mostly sit around reading feminist blogs at work and occasionally do the things I’m paid to do, like work on that account. Thanks!

  30. TP

    My faith in nature eventually triumphing over the current human pestilence sweeping the globe wavers from time to time, but it is still pretty strong. My suspicion is that humans will survive, but in vastly limited quantities.

    Feminist TV would be one long, unending howl of despair, though, would it not? Especially mid-century american culture. World war II seemed to turn an entire generation of men against women more strongly and completely than ever before.

  31. Bushfire

    Twisty, your awesome sense of humour just made my day!

  32. theunmarrieddaughter

    @Badkitty

    As someone exiled in Duluth, we must run in the same social circle.
    Although, in my particular circle, not only do I have to put up with people discussing how the weather here disproves global warming,but also endure the constant verbal assaults on women, and how Barack Obama is a Muslim terrorist.

    I have to get out of this town, the stupidity is overwhelming.

  33. Nolabelfits

    When I was a kid, I absolutely hated Bewitched. It bugged the crap out of me how she refused to use her powers to clean house because “she loved Darin.” Disempower yourself and burden yourself with housework to prove you love a man? What a message. I figured that shit out when I was six.

  34. caitlinate

    Oh my that looks freaking delicious. If only it weren’t 43 degrees (111F) here I’d go cook some.

  35. madeleine

    Recent articles about methane gas trapped in permafrost and getting released much quicker now thanks to global warming gave me a vision.
    Gaia tolerates the human parasites crawling on her skin, destroying her beauty and undoubtedly itching, until she’s so pissed of that she just lets out a goddess-fart that suffocates them all.

  36. Froth

    The thing about carbon dioxide is that once it’s released into the atmosphere, about half is removed almost immediately into various carbon sinks, mostly the ocean surface. The other half takes around a thousand years to work its way down to the ocean depths. Any release of carbon dioxide will perturb the chemical composition of the atmosphere for quite some time unless we can figure out some artificial sinks for it.
    Knowing how that perturbation will change the climate is much harder, the more so since the climate doesn’t change smoothly. It tends to change all at once and then stay that way. It only took fifty years – one lifetime – to go from the last ice age to current temperatures.

    *takes off chemist hat*

  37. virago

    “When I was a kid, I absolutely hated Bewitched. It bugged the crap out of me how she refused to use her powers to clean house because “she loved Darin.””

    “I Dream of Jeannie” was another one where Jeannie was never suppose to use her powers and call Major Nelson “Master”. OTOH, she never listened to him, but it still bugged me.

  38. julezyme

    I wrote my SAT II – Writing essay about my realization about how shittily mysoginistic TV was. I’d just seen that week the episode of The Facts of Life where Jo pretends not to know how to fix a bike in order to get some schmoe to take her to a dance in a pink dress or some shit. And I’d also recently seen an (any) episode of I Love Lucy. I am proud to say I scored 5/5 on it, although as a cultural study it was not particularly sophisticated. But then, I was just a wee little novice blamer.

    I would also pay serious money to watch the IBTP3K show, and to get the fem-crawl installed on my tv.

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