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the CBC and  Paolo Pietropaolo for bringing the Signature Series to life and structuring the guided tour through the key of D minor. 

“D minor: The Ice Queen

Also known as:
The Femme Fatale.
The Vengeful Vamp.

D minors you might know:
Carmen, from Bizet’s opera Carmen.
The White Witch from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
Cruella de Vil from 101 Dalmatians.

The notes: D – E – F – G – A – B♭ – C♯- D.

Number of flats: one.

Relative major: F major.

What they said about D minor in the 19th century:
“This key sounds melancholy and horrible. It proclaims gloomy lament, deep suffering.” – J.A. Schrader, 1827

“A ghost must speak in D minor, though on this point Gluck, Mozart and Rossini differ.” – Anonymous, 1828, in The Spectator”


  ” In Loving to Survive she makes an analogy between femininity and the behaviour of hostages om situations of captivity and threat that has been named Stockholm syndrome.  She explains that the idea of Stockholm syndrome comes from a hostage situation in Stockholm in which it because clear that hostages, instead of reacting with rebellion to their oppressors, were likely to bond with them.  This bonding, in which hostages can come to identify the interests of their kidnappers as their own, comes from the very real threat to their survival that the kidnappers pose.  Graham extends this concept to cover the behaviour of women, femininity, that is a reaction to living in a society of male violence in which they are in danger.  Femininity represent societal Stockholm syndrome, “If one (inescapable) group threatens another group with violence but also – as a group – shoes the victimized group some kindness, an attachment between the groups will develop. […] (Graham, 1994, p.57)

Graham states unequivocally that, “masculinity and femininity are code words for male domination and female subordination” (1994, p.192).  She says that women, like hostages, are afraid, and “use any available information to alter our behaviour in ways that make interactions with men go smoothly”(p.160).  One of the things they [women] do is change their bodies in order to win men over.  She lists the harmful beauty practices that are considered in this book, such as make up, cosmetic surgery, shaving and waxing body hair, high-heeled shoes and restrictive clothes, as examples.  She says that these practices reflect:

1.  The extent to which women seek to make ourselves acceptable to men,

2.  The extent to which women seek to connect to men, and thus

3.  the extent to which women feel the need for men’s affection and approval

4.  the extent to which women feel unworthy of men’s affection and approval just as we are (unchanged).  (Graham, 1994, p.162)”

From Beauty and Misogyny by Sheila Jeffreys. (p. 25-26)

Powerful stuff that makes difficult societal concepts more easily understood and more easily argued.  Please feel free to reference this post when you’re trying to get across basic societal ideas to the next clueless dude who “knows what feminists are all about.”

It is interesting to watch the mainstream media wrestle with feminism and the backlash from the perceived violations of cultural norms.    The Guardian blogged a piece called Why is ‘feminism’ such a tough badge to  wear?‘  Then the Blogsphere reacted and some thoughtful writing took place and was captured by Slendermeans and thus appeared in my wordpress reader and is now coming to you here and now.

Echidne of the Snakes has broken down the arguments and responded quite succinctly to each in kind, however I think she does a particularly marvellous job of ferreting out some of the reasons why feminists are often negatively identified in our society.  I’ve added italics in the quoted material.

“This is the argument that the piece itself mentions:

As Siobhan Garrigan, who studies English at the University of Lincoln, puts it: “Young people don’t want to identify as feminists because there is this man-hating, frumpy, lesbian image forced on us.”


[…],  those three accusations don’t have anything to do with each other.  The first one states that anyone wanting gender equality must hate men.  That’s pretty weird.  The second one argues, that women who want gender equality cannot be attractive enough to get men in a system where women are second-class citizens.  Only unattractive women would want equality!

That’s illogical, too.  Finally, one’s sexuality has nothing to do with one’s desire for a gender-equal society.  All illogical, says Echidne.

But squint your eyes a bit, and you see the underlying pattern,  what all three of these things share:  These women do not try to please men.  Or that’s the suspicion of anyone using those accusations.  Wanting equality means not wanting to please men.  Therefore, women who want equality must hate men, be unattractive or prefer women in their sexuality.”

I’m thinking that the not pleasing men angle is the interesting notion brought up by Echidne (as I think more I realize she’s precisely on target – her observations parallel what I’ve read in Beauty and Misogyny by Sheila Jeffreys so far. Oh, go read B&M asap!).  What comes into play is the interference feminism brings to the cultural norms of society.  Women are supposed to perform to the expectations of men, those are the expectations in our society.  Feminists explicitly do not conform to what is expected of them, thus opprobrium results.  Hence we get the homosexual, ugly and frumpy characterizations.

Here lies the danger of letting ones opponents define who you are – women are beset by the misogyny implicit in society, like running a race with and just because of your two XX chromosomes you get a extra forty pound backpack to wear for the duration of the race.  Who would want to add to their already onerously full backpack by self identifying as a feminist?  The price of perofrming femininity is already so high and it is rewarded, such as it is, in the patriarchy for complying.  Choosing to go against patriarchal expectations (not to mention the social conditioning of being passive and accepting) is huge; not playing by the rules disqualifies one from the limited benefits afforded to women within the patriarchal system and exposes women to damaging patriarchal animadversion as mentioned in the quoted material.

Knowing and understanding the insidious effects of patriarchy is half the battle; then one can choose the battleground and know when to take to the field.  Unfortunately, patriarchy once seen, cannot be unseen.   We shouldn’t fault those who have struck their patriarchal bargain, but should know what it entails.

Tough choice to make, but I do agree with Socrates – “The unexamined life is not worth living.”

   Oh, those silly wage-slaves you think they would want to be healthy and stuff.  Well, the upper-crusty important people certainly won’t have any of THAT nonsense being bandied about. details six chain restaurants that are being yoked to the onerous Obamacare provisions and it will cost them dearly in profitability.

Heard from corporate HQ –  What is this strange language you are speaking healthcare? low-wage earning people…get sick?, since when?

What do you mean we have to treat the people we employ humanely?


What happened to disposable, work them till they drop press-gangs that we campaign for in every election?  How much money do I have to give to the GOP to fix this indecency??

Here’s a handy list,  courtesy of Wonkette , of the restaurants you need to avoid if you want to avoid having your food handled by sick people:

Papa John’s Pizza

John Schnatter, founder of Papa John’s pizza, is LIVID and he is NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE. You want his employees to have health care coverage? Well FINE, he’ll GIVE them health care coverage but it will cost you do-gooder liberals ten cents more per pizza, does that make you HAPPY? Actually, it might make you happy. We at Wonkette have concluded that we will pay ten cents more per pizza if it will ensure that the person making it is able to see a doctor when he gets sick. And we wonder why this didn’t happen sooner, if all it took was ten cents more per pizza to get employee health care coverage. Is that really all it costs? Ten cents per pizza? If so, then maybe the CEO of Papa John’s should have done this a long time ago. But again, this attitude is why we are not the CEO of a multi-billion dollar pizza company.

Olive Garden / Red Lobster

The CEO of this company is a real ball buster, and he is NOT going to make YOU pay ten cents more for a plate of noodles, no way Jose. That is a solution for pussies. This CEO is just going to cut back on employees’ hours so that they work 29 hours per week instead of 30, exempting them from health care coverage mandate. So the next time you go to Olive Garden or the Red Lobster, rest assured that your server is not going to have health care coverage. There, does that make you feel better?

Hurricane Grill and Wings, and also some Denny’s and Dairy Queen Franchises

John Metz is nobody’s fool, so John Metz, CEO and owner of Hurricane Grill and Wings as well as some Denny’s and Dairy Queen franchises, is going to pass the cost of Obamacare onto the employees AND the customer. “If I leave the prices the same, but, say on the menu that there is a five-percent surcharge for Obamacare, customers have two choices. They can either pay it, and tip 15 or 20 percent, or if they really feel so inclined, they can reduce the amount of tip they give to the server, who is the primary beneficiary of Obamacare,” Metz told The Huffington Post. Metz is a WINNER, you guys, and WINNERS do not pay for the health care coverage costs of others. They make you, the customer pay for it (SUCKER) and if you don’t want to, then YOU get to be a winner and make the waitress pay for it.


Obamacare is going to cost Applebee’s “some millions of dollars” according to CEO Zane Tankel. Will these “some millions of dollars” be an increase in costs per year? Per month? Per restaurant? We don’t know, and it’s not important. What IS important is that Applebee’s will not be able to build more restaurants, or create more low-wage go-nowhere jobs, THANKS OBAMA. The solution to these costs is for the CEO to take a hit on his $9.6 million dollar per year salary or lay off employees.


There are a lot of chain restaurants in this country. If I’m going to eat in one I’d like for the employees to have access to health care. I’d prefer not to have germ-laden, typhoid Mary’s handling my food, thank you very much. And it is common sense to ask, if they are cutting corners on this, what other health regulations are they skirting? I think I’ll be eating elsewhere.

This is what we get when people accept the idea that we are nation of consumers rather than a nation of individuals with rights and responsibilities to ourselves and others.

This disgusts me on so many levels.  I do not even know where to begin.

Lesson one in Alberta politics – Don’t fuck with private oil revenue.

Lesson two in Alberta politics – There is no lesson two, please refer to lesson one for all concerns about governance.

Full marks to Ed Stelmach for attempting to get the public’s meagre spoon into firehouse of wealth that is flowing out of this province.  He had a Royalty Review and everything.  It cost him his job because he violated rule Number 1.

“Now Arb,” says the gentle reader, “Why are you talking about Ed Stelmach and the Royalty Review in a post with Danielle Smith in the title?”.  And I say here, “Eager padawans be patient – to understand the present, one must look to the past.

Alberta politics, like most politics, are insipidly structured to make the average person not want to care about what happens as long as the status quo is maintained.  The status quo in Alberta is structuring the laws and society around the model that makes it easiest for the oil companies to extract wealth from the province. The oil companies make out like Scrooge McDuck taking their heady profits out of province and straight to the offshore bank accounts while leaving the population scratching in the tailings-pond for the pittance we call “royalties” here in Texas North.   This state of affairs is nothing new (see Lesson One) in Alberta.

What amuses me is when Ms.Smith of the oh so populist corporatist Wild Rose Party finds a microphone (usually the Sun chain of media, as they do their best to be fox news north) and goes after the government for its spending.  Ms. Smith says:

“The PC legacy of waste and mismanagement is everywhere. Huge salary hikes, new MLA offices, handing corporations billions of taxpayer dollars, and accepting paychecks for doing  no work are only some instances in the long list of PC waste that has come to define this government as out of touch and only out for themselves.”

So, Ms.Smith is going after the government for handing corporations billions of dollars when it was those same corporations that gave her so much darned money in the first place.  Getting all sanctimonious about the corporate pigs at the trough is rich irony as the Wild Rose Party exists to make said trough wider and deeper as soon as they are “elected”.   The Socialist Bullet puts is succinctly with regards to recent election in Alberta:

“The Globe and Mail editors were reflecting the point of view of big sections of Corporate Alberta. Those who travelled in the rarefied air of that section of Alberta, were very comfortable with a victory by either Wildrose or the Tories. Both parties received corporate donations running to the hundreds of thousands of dollars, in the case of Wildrose almost reaching one million dollars. […]

Individual voters take our vote very seriously. We care which party is elected – which is why, of course, there are election campaigns in the first place. Very few people walk about the streets sporting buttons for two parties. People pick one, and cast their ballot. But corporate Alberta had a sweet situation. A victory by either the Tories or Wildrose would be fine. Under either party, it would be business as usual.”

Business as usual.  That folks is the core of why the Wild Rose Party of Alberta is stuck.  It is because their plan is just more of the same (with double plus exploitation of the public trust and resources), but with Bigotry and Lakes of Fire.  How do you make selling the people of Alberta down the river more palatable to your “populist base”?   You go after government waste and corruption.  Going after Alison Redford’s sister and Ms.Redford’s expense accounts makes for great media attention, and might just distract people from the fact that the Wild Rose Party would fleece the people of Alberta for the benefit of the oil companies at a rate that makes any personal expense oversights of the Redford’s laughable in comparison.

The Socialist bullet notes:

It is no exaggeration, then, to say that both parties are parties of big oil. For big oil, the key is continuing the rush to pull oil out of the mud of Northern Alberta, regardless of the environmental consequences. We dodged the bullet on a government of social conservative dinosaurs. But we entrenched in power another majority government enthusiastically committed to Alberta’s boiling mud economy, absolutely focused on a systematic increase in the exploitation of the tar sands.

Remember Lesson Number One. – Just a piece of advice Ms.Redford, because let me assure you Ms.Smith has it tattooed on her Executive Assistant’s forehead.

In this space we often decry religion for what it is: toxically delusional buffoonery that still has the gall to raise its putrid head in the light of the 21st century.  Here at DWR we regularly delve into the myriad of topics relating to how religion poisons everything it touches and the shite secular rational people have to clean up once the clown-cars rev up and zoom away.

Religion supports patriarchy and thus by definition is anti-woman, the religious right does not want women to have bodily autonomy – the sooner they own that and hopefully reject that retrograde dark-middle-aged bullshite the more relevant to people that think they will become.  Religion promotes hatred, sectarian and otherwise with magical beliefs that just happen to support bigotry and racism.

Racism, bigotry, misogyny and, oh hey, lets not forget anti-science and anti-intellectualism because using your faculties to explore the world around you is a sin of the highest order.  If you’ve been following the Sunday Disservice, you know that all of the above and more is what we rally against in our fight for a society that uses a evidence based decision making model, not one based on unreliable, crusty mythological scriptures written for a different time and a different people.

We now get a snap shot of what the people in power could be like if religion would just sit the frak down and let rational progressive society do the work necessary to carry us to the next century.  I realize this is a repost, but damn if I couldn’t watch this 20 more times and hope for time when it could actually happen.

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