Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Latte Liberal Seattle

I don't think I really understand the culture of Seattle. The gentrified city of rich "intellectual" liberals that kicked out those living in supposedly old run down apartment complexes to build "cool," "hip" and urban condo's. Local coffee shops and boutiques exist alongside these condo's making what we call "urban villages." No one likes suburbia anymore. I get a lot of dirty looks when I say I'm from Bellevue, the subrban neighborhood that Bill Gates lives in. Bellevue actually has it's own problems of racial tensions, but what city doesn't? anyway...

So we have a local newspaper called "The Stranger." I personally don't know too much about this newspaper (in terms of its popularity and if anyone really reads it. I guess as a nation we don't really read mainstream newspapers anyway.) however it's free in practically every coffee shop in Seattle AND it's free at our school, alongside the Seattle Times, the New York Times, and the Seattle Post Intelliger. So my guess is that this newspaper has some sort of importance in terms of it's role in the Seattle Culture...

So as I was strolling out of the library the other day, a pretty strong image caught my attention, and it was the so called "cover art" of last week's edition of the Stranger... which is linked below from ...

Then of course right below the "cover art," in bold it says:. THE OLD SOUTH'S NEW RACISM. So my first reaction, (not knowing that The Stranger has a habit of displaying "cover art" that has no relevance to what might be the "cover story.. ) is wow, perhaps they are addressing the ways in which this country uses native culture to sexualize native women (i.e. pochahontas). Even though that would have nothing to to do with the old south... but anyway.. so this women on the cover is a "i'm not sure what race" but she's wearing an igloo type eskimo hat thing so maybe some Alaskan indigenous tribe? (yeah i know that language in itself is coming from my own ignorance, but I guess it makes my interpretation of this photo a better depiction of how the common American would interpret it..) Then of course there is her "club" which I think just looks like a baseball bat that's supposed to be covered in blood? So she's a warrior? and historically as a nation we have associated warriors and "Savageness" with native Americans.. BUT of course she's a sexy warrior cause she's topless and you can see her breast, you just can't see her nipple.. and you can just about look up her skirt as well. AND she has dark hair and heavy make up.

So anyway, I open The Stranger to see what the cover art is all about and instead I find pages of escort ads.. personal ads.. etc. some writing in there.. but nothing of relevance to the cover. I look back at the cover and read the title "THE OLD SOUTH'S NEW RACISM" and realize that right underneath it is written "what I learned when I called my relatives to talk about Obama. p. 22" Ironic isn't it? Finally it has come to my senses that the cover art has abosolutely no relevance to any of the newspaper's content!

One of my biggest pet peeves is when there is art that objectifies women for no reason! and we call it is the freedom of artistic expression. So they decided to put this "photograph" of a sexy naked women, purposely making her race a mystery, exotifying her with stereotypical native accessories (that doesn't sound like the right word but I don't know what else to put..) for absolutely no reason but it's artistic contribution!!!! bul shit.

SO I took a picture of the cover on my phone and showed it to Etheline, and she had quite the same reaction telling me "i'm going to go kill myself now."

So after knowing that I'm not being oversensitive and overly critical, as many like to say I am, I look for The Stranger's website online, thinking that maybe I could find more information about this newspaper. Maybe I was taking this newspaper too seriously?? but instead, what I found, was a gallery of the cover art of every single issue since 2004. and look what I found!

(note: of course I picked and choosed which ones I wanted to put on here..)

and this is, by far, my favorite:

are you fucking serious? While it's not explicit, it's pretty obvious that this women is giving a man a blow job AND he's using her body has a leg rest at the same time. WTF. do I really need to go into detail about why this piece of "cover art" is fucked up? I think not, Jean Kilbourne does it better.

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