Msnowe's Blog

“You open like … “

Posted in Uncategorized by m.snowe on March 25, 2010

It’s not a new rap phenomenon. But m.snowe is fascinated by rap lyrics that include descriptions of how either the singer, or their object of affection, is “open like _ _ _ _ _” (fill in the blank with a place of business).  It is usually in reference to someone’s availability (i.e. 7Eleven is open 24 hours) or their “openness” for whatever the task at hand may be–usually that task is of a sexual nature. Or it can be the way a compliment is paid.

Some rap/hip hop lyric examples:

Whatta Man (Salt N’ Pepa with En Vogue):

“From seven to seven he’s got me open like Seven Eleven.”

Hooked (AVANT):

“You got me open like a liquor store/love so strong that I don’t want no more.”

Carry Out (Timbaland feat. Timberlake):

Baby, you’re lookin’ fire hot/I’ll have you open all night like an IHOP.”

Okay, that’s cool. We get the idea. But why is it only IHOP and convenience and liquor stores? Why not stretch the reaches of this simile. So rappers, here are some new lyric store suggestions and their possible implications for you:

Being open like L.L. Bean:  1. Being tricked out in flannel and/or plaid, or 2. Doing the deed in a bed with said fabric/pattern.

Being open like the Post Office:  High maintenance and never available on the weekends.

Being open like an In-N-Out Burger: She’s crazy animal style, all the time.

Being open like a library: All quiet, but boy, is she stacked.

Being open like a Denny’s: Open all the time, but only looks appealing in the misty streetlights at around 3AM.

Y’all got any suggestions?

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Greasy fast-food Lovin’

Posted in Uncategorized by m.snowe on March 23, 2010

You know how the old cigarette companies used to lure children by using cartoons in advertising campaigns in order to hook them on smoking for life (a shortened, cancerous life)? Well, m.snowe is simultaneously puzzled and highly amused, and can’t help herself from humming to the beat of the song linked below. But what exactly is this song trying to lure her in to? Should she feel famished? Should she feel tingly down there whenever she pulls up to the drive-thru? Should she alert the copyright and trademark lawyers at Burger King? Should Long-John Silver’s Hush Puppies have a whole new connotation? And most importantly, would she like fries with that?

Timbaland featuring J.T. (“TimberlandLake”)  in “Carry Out”

Lyrics (my additions/queries in red):

Baby, you’re lookin’ fire hot (as in flame-broiled)
I’ll have you open all night like an IHOP
(who you calling a short stack?)
I take you home baby let you keep me company
You gimme some of you, I give you some of me
(You know I won’t share my fries)

You look good, baby must taste heavenly
I’m pretty sure that you got your own recipe
(Ten secret spices, yup)
So pick it up, pick it up, yeah I like you
I just can’t get enough I got to drive through
(hmmm)

Cause is me, you, you, me, me, you all night
Have it your way, foreplay
(Trademark lawsuit!)
Before I feed your appetite

Let me get my ticket baby, let me get it line (Now we’re at a deli counter?)
I can tell the way you like it, baby, supersized
(Wow, that’s original)
Hold on, you got yours, let me get mine
(Do the orgasms come with this?)
I ain’t leavin’ till they turn over the closed sign

Check it

Take my order cause your body like a
carry out
(In the UK they’d have to change this to “take away”)
Let me walk into your body until you
hear me out
Turn me on, my baby don’t you
cut me out
Turn me on, my baby don’t you
cut me out

Take my order cause your body like a
carry out
Let me walk into your body till it’s
lights out
Turn me on, my baby don’t you
cut me out
Turn me on, my baby don’t you
cut me out

Number one, I take two number three’s (Newsflash: JT soon to be obese)
That’s a whole lot of you and a side of me.
Now is it full of myself to want you full of me?
And if there’s room for dessert then I want a piece

Baby get my order right, no errors (Like that ever happens)
Imma touch you in all the right areas
I could feed you, you could feed me
Girl, deliver that to me, come see me

Cause is me, you, you, me, me, you all night (Wait, I thought this was fast food?)
Have it your way, foreplay
Before I feed your appetite

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Again with the Necromancy Fancy

Posted in Uncategorized by m.snowe on March 23, 2010

Remember when m.snowe talked about the speculation over Jane Austen’s death? Well, apparently, these folks at the NYTimes are much more interested in learning about a female writer’s mysterious demise than they are about getting people to actually appreciate her literature.

Here’s a poorly titled mini-article on Virginia Woolf’s offing. Don’t get us wrong, new correspondence being released to the general public is great (we do appreciate this book, so how can we complain?). But “shed light”? Really, NYTimes?

A. We’re just repelled when anyone uses that turn of phrase in this circumstance. Can you really “shed light” upon a suicide? Because last time we checked, there ain’t much that’s shiny and sun-kissed about walking into a body of water with rocks in your pockets. And depression is a complex, psychological condition. Someone else’s letters aren’t exactly going to get any closer to Woolf’s state of mind at the time.

B. What “new” information do these letters tell us, exactly? If you’re looking for what other people were thinking and feeling around the time of her death, then fine. There’s nothing here about Woolf herself that we didn’t already know.

Healthcare.

Posted in Uncategorized by m.snowe on March 22, 2010

m.snowe offers a meaningless story meditation.

One day, a group of flowers found themselves grown into a cluster.

Their elongated and vibrant pedals became intertwined. They felt the sway of their neighbors.  Sometimes, the soft pushes in the breeze were exhilarating. Sometimes, they were vexing, depending on a flower’s mood. But soon enough, they grew so accustomed to the movement that one flower’s pedals became the other’s, and it was hard to decipher just who was brushing whom.

The flowers started to grow and grow in their felicity. But soon enough, the space that was already so little and most agreeable began to swell with too many pedals. “We must expand,” they cried. Their intertwined tendrils fought each other, the colors at war. The pedals whirred, weakened, and bent.

Eventually, one of the brightest and sturdiest reeds was knocked to the ground. There, it shriveled and the pedals lost their shape and color as it sunk into its earthbed. Those looking down from above didn’t see this  necessarily as a targeted attack, or at least not really. Some of the flowers still tall and exuberant cried, and shed a few pedals in lament. But not too many. Others, they whooped in joy that it was not them, or that ultimately it did not concern them. But after a time, all the flowers grew afraid as they saw the browning remains of their once-breezy brethren disappear below their roots and felt its nutrients give them life.

The flowers decided that only in the worst circumstances should they agree to repeat such a warring, turbulent engagement. One by one, they gave way to the seasons, and all was repeated  by an innocent, unknowing generation in their stead.

*Untitled photos by Charles Ray. More here.

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Back Seat

Posted in Uncategorized by m.snowe on March 19, 2010

Our father would drive us 3 miles to the house where he grew up. We turned onto his old street and jostled down the pot-holed stretch, creeping along as both my mother and father craned their necks in opposite directions out their side-windows, ensuring that kids on the block were not poised to run out between the tightly spaced parked cars on either side of the curb.

Our grandparents’ driveway sloped down and ended where their short backyard began. The backyard was small, with a tiny hill in the very back that led up to an iron-wrought fence cordoning off the local cemetery. Their powder-blue Chrysler was parked perfectly at the very bottom of the sloped driveway, passengers facing the street. Every Sunday we arrived at the same time. Every Sunday, both my grandparents were already buckled in, staring out and up into the street, waiting for us.

Our parents would pull up to the curb and rush us out of our minivan and into Nan and Pop’s back seat. One of the three of us would jungle-gym over the adjustable armrest into the middle front seat between them. Cars were also sofas: comfortable, spaces for a playful jump or push. As soon as the car started, it would talk to us in a robotic male voice. “The door is ajar.” “Please buckle your seat belt.” Never once were we given a command in that car by a living, breathing person.

Our grandparents slid in the tape they played for us on Sunday drives. “How Much Is That Doggie In The Window” would cycle on after a few seconds of rewinding clicks and burps from the mouth of the tape deck. My sisters and I had the timing down, and in unison would add our own “woof woofs!”

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Someone’s in the Kitchen with Dinah

Posted in Uncategorized by m.snowe on March 17, 2010

Someone’s still in the kitchen, tinkering with some Dinah story?

Myth telling, by nature, is variational. There are multiple interpretations or ways of telling for any one myth. For example, look at the expanding stories that spread across time and cultures when you think of the practically mirror-imaged gods of the ancient Greeks versus the ancient Romans. They use different names, and the stories have different details, but we invoke them interchangeably. Zeus, for all intents and purposes, is Jupiter. Similarly, the bible uses four different gospels, all essentially saying the same thing, but some gospels omit details that others include, etc., and so on. Oral tradition made a story’s malleability all the more apt, like a game of telephone, and to some extent, people are still willing to accept the odd reordering of classic stories for whatever reason. Perhaps it’s an ancient human necessity, a multiplicity of story options, rising out of our primordial goo.

Somehow, somewhere along the line, the meaning of the word “myth” as a religious narrative was eclipsed by an overarching sense of a mythical story’s inherent falsehood, and it became synonymous with “lie.” Somewhere, it stopped being primarily pedagogical and started being cute, ridiculous, bawdy, too simplistic, you name it–a multitude of sins. “Religion,” on the other hand, still smacks of the real, the serious, the important. But isn’t the bible just a big contributor volume (side note: that would’ve been a pain in the ass to commission editorially) of myths? Yeah, that’s blasphemous, but it’s true–modern biblical hermeneutics has shifted away from biblical literalism, i.e. “this Old Testament story is true, every last, sacred bit,” and towards a more practical approach to allegorical interpretations. It’s less about the order of events or veracity, and more about what you are able to glean from the stories themselves–their message. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be enjoyable, or intimidating, or humbling.

So in comes m.snowe with her ruminations on The Red Tent by Anita Diamant, a little over a decade too late for the hubbub surrounding it’s release. This book combines all of the topics discussed above: myth-making, bible interpretation, human interest in retelling, remodeling a message for a modern audience. This book does a little bit of everything, in a thankfully god-less way—lady storytelling, bloodshed, cool Egyptians, caravans, you name it. But that doesn’t mean it’s not preachy. The book intimately and intensely subjects you to the harshness of childbirth and the powerlessness of women, especially in the time of the tribe of Abraham. It actually would’ve been even better to have seen some more up-close and personal descriptions (Dinah is a midwife after all), but we’ll settle for the scene where she takes a dagger to her own vagina to save her only child.

The story itself is compelling, if not a bit predictable (that is, if you remember the bible story) but what it does brilliantly, just by the nature of its perspective, is provide a female look at an old-as-dirt myth. It gives a female voice and presence to a story so many people know. It doesn’t do a bad job.
Then what is still irking me about it? Could it be the overt preachy-ness? Does Diamant’s need to rewrite, her hope to alter opinion impinge on her reader’s enjoyment of the story? Why shake the dust off and reconfigure an old tale, when you can create a new, just as endearing one, free from the taint of biblical definition?  Those are some things you’ll have to ask yourself, when you read it. Because despite its flaws, you should.

In a way, The Red Tent never escapes itself, despite its feminist bent, it never expands past the tent it builds for itself–women are still separate and sequestered in the book and by the book–m.snowe would be hard-pressed to find any male readers of this novel. Like the “feminine products” aisle of any drug store, it’s easy to see how this book might be shoved onto a back shelf, away from the glossy display caps up by the register. V. Woolf asked that writers strive towards androgyny–because true equality lies in the lack of care or question of gender, but this book assumes you are a woman without asking. Lovely. But if solely women’s hearts and minds were all that needed to change, then we wouldn’t be scrounging for equal pay and recognition in all things (I hope). This isn’t about building a fortress where “no boys are allowed,” it’s about opening up the tent, and creating a common ground where differences are celebrated, not segregated.

Lady Links of Varying Quality

Posted in Uncategorized by m.snowe on March 10, 2010

Party Time, Excellent…?

Posted in Uncategorized by m.snowe on March 2, 2010

When Parties Explode

Hey folks, anybody else getting sick of PARTIES!?

Remember the good old days, when parties were either just plain ol’ celebrations of birth, marriage, etc., or well-defined, governmentally recognized political parties (Whigs, Tories, Demos, Repubs)?
Seems like everybody’s got their own “party” nowadays, and they gravitate towards the politically/rhetorically inclined.

Yeah, you’ve heard of these guys. But what about these newbies? And don’t forget this little meet and greet.

Because of the ease with which we can all find like-minded individuals (social networks, blah, blah, blah), of course it’s only natural that these parties are formed. But with each party formed, and the counter-parties formed in protest, etc., and so on, the idea of fellow-feeling behind each cause is diluted, surely. How many parties can you get on board with? Soon there will be tea parties within tea parties, perhaps schisms that cleverly differentiate between whether they take their drink with either milk or honey. Sigh.

Oh well.  m.snowe still likes parties, and reading about real and/or imagined parties, so she’ll let it go. That reminds her of a little poetic party ditty from Diane Di Prima:

No Problem Party Poem

first glass broken on patio no problem
forgotten sour cream for vegetable no problem
Lewis MacAdam’s tough lower jaw no problem
cops arriving to watch belly dancer no problem
plastic bags of melted ice no problem
wine on antique tablecloth no problem
scratchy stereo no problem
neighbor’s dog no problem
interviewer from Berkeley Barb no problem
absence of more beer no problem
too little dope no problem
leering Naropans no problem
cigarette butts on the altars no problem
Marilyn vomiting in planter box no problem
Phoebe renouncing love no problem
Lewis renouncing Phoebe no problem
hungry ghosts no problem
absence of children no problem
heat no problem
dark no problem
arnica scattered in nylon rug no problem
ashes in bowl of bleached bone and Juniper berries no problem
lost Satie tape no problem
loss of temper no problem
arrogance no problem
boxes of empty beer cans & wine bottles no problem
thousands of styrofoam cups no problem
Gregory Curso no problem
Allen Ginsberg no problem
Diane di Prima no problem
Anne Waldman’s veins no problem
Dick Gallup’s birthday no problem
Joanne Kyger’s peyote & rum no problem wine no problem
coca-cola no problem
getting it on in the wet grass no problem
running out of toilet paper no problem
decimation of pennyroyal no problem
destruction of hair clasp no problem
paranoia no problem
claustrophobia no problem
growing up on Brooklyn streets no problem
growing up in Tibet no problem
growing up in Chicano Texas no problem
belly dancing certainly no problem
figuring it all out no problem
giving it all up no problem
giving it all away no problem
devouring everything in sight no problem

what else in Allen’s refrigerator?
what else in Anne’s cupboard?
what do you know that you
haven’t told me yet?
No problem. No problem. No problem.

staying another day no problem
getting out of town no problem
telling the truth, almost no problem
easy to stay awake
easy to go to sleep
easy to sing the blues
easy to chant sutras
what’s all the fuss about?

it decomposes – no problem
we pack it in boxes – no problem
we swallow it with water, lock it in the trunk,
make a quick getaway. NO PROBLEM.