Lost in Space

Lost in Space

I'm having one of those days, for reasons I can't talk about, but it's one of those days which feel even worse due to the fact that there have been a lot of those days lately. Cumulative crap which might keep accumulating.

Also, my copy-editing for The Lighter Side of Life and Death got lost en route from New York to Toronto so I won't have a chance to work on it before I fly off to Vancouver after all, but comparatively this feels like the good news. You can see my FedEx package below, circling the International Space Station. Canadian astronaut Bob Thirsk tried to grab it for me but it floated off into the great beyond. Perhaps by the times it does arrive back on earth, apes will rule the planet. They weren't my intended readership but I hope they find it entertaining just the same!
FedEx lost in space

Anyway, this means I have a wee bit of extra time at the moment and will have less free time than I anticipated after the vacation. Since I'm not sure when I'll be able to blog again there are a couple of things I want to say before I go, most of which are examples of things that have gone wrong in our society.

* The first is the tragic news of the murder of Dr. George Tiller, whose clinic was one of the few in the U.S. that provided late term abortions. That clinic will now be closed. If you want to better understand why such clinics are important read The Toronto Star's Antonia Zerbisias' article, Dr. Tiller understood women's suffering over late-term abortion decisions.

* The moronic idea that women don't go to the movies. Nia Vardalos, star of My Life in Ruins and My Big Fat Greek Wedding writes in The Huffington Post:
A little-known fact: some studios recently decided to no longer make female-lead movies. Lately, I've been in meetings regarding a new script idea I have. A studio executive asked me to change the female lead to a male, because... "women don't go to movies." Really? When I pointed out the box office successes of Sex and The City, Mamma Mia, and Obsessed, he called them "flukes." He said "don't quote me on this." So, I'm telling everybody.
Read the entire article or Women and Hollywood's blog entry on the topic, Memo to Hollywood: Women Go to Movies and then prove the boys club running the show in Hollywood wrong by buying tickets for movies with women in the lead.

* The behind the scenes abuse and exploitation of teen models. Twenty-seven year old model Sara Ziff's new documentary Picture Me: The Truth About Modelling lays bare “the ugly, sleazy side of the modelling industry, the side few insiders like to talk about.”

One of the accounts of abuse that didn't make the final version of the documentary—“the model had agreed to be included but the day before the premiere in New York she changed her mind and became frightened about the repercussions”—is discussed in the Guardian's article about Picture Me:
A 16-year-old model is on a photo shoot in Paris. She has very little experience of modelling and is unaccompanied by her agency or parents. She leaves the studio to go to the bathroom and meets the photographer - "a very, very famous photographer, probably one of the world's top names", according to Ziff - in the hallway. He starts fiddling with her clothes. "But you're used to this," says Ziff. "People touch you all the time. Your collar, or your breasts. It's not strange to be handled like that." Then suddenly he puts his hands between her legs and sexually assaults her. "She has no experience of boys, she hasn't even been kissed," says Ziff. "She was so shocked she just stood there and didn't say anything. He just looked at her and walked away and they did the rest of the shoot. And she never told anyone."
In the same article Ziff explains that, “When you are working at a higher level there is no separation between life and work. You are expected to go to certain parties and schmooze. There is a pressure to have a drink with someone with an ulterior motive and not offend them because they may book you for a $100,000 campaign. They have the power.” She recounts the story of another sixteen-year-old model who complained when a forty-five year old photographer made a pass at her. “Her agency said she should have slept with him.”

More from me once I'm back and finished with copy-editing.

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