My Week in Pictures.

So there was no “Week in Pictures” last Thursday ’cause I was geeing up for this week! 21st’s, Melbourne Festival talks and preparations for my birthday next week: exciting!

The early birthday presents.

My friend April, who is traveling across the U.S. and Canada sent me some Americana-themed birthday presents. I especially loved the Glee card (which plays “Time Warp”!) and the American Women & World War II book, with Rosie the Riveter on the cover (she’s who I’m going as for Halloween. Shhh!).

Then Lana and Christine put in for this fabulous Tiffany’s coffee table book. I do love my Tiffany’s!

The (other) birthday presents.

Tess’s birthday was back in early October, but she’s so hard to buy for I offered to take her book shopping, where she chose Blood by Tony Birch, who was her uni lecturer. The campy blood bookmark I got her to go along with it was particularly fitting!

The housemate pedicure.

Whilst I was painting my nails during The Slap, my housemate Eddie offered his big toe. I think red’s a good colour on him, don’t you?

The 21st.

One of my younger co-workers, Jackson (not pictured), turned 21 over the weekend. Attending it made me realise just how old I am! “Nobody likes you when you’re 23…”

The car ride home.

Said 21st really took it out of me, and I had to work the next day, so I got a ride home at about 11:30. An hour and a half later, at 1am, I was finally home! Roadworks in the city meant a 20 minute drive turned into a road trip. Luckily we had sparklers to keep us entertained!

The movie.

What’s Your Number review to come later today.

The Melbourne Festival talks.

Last Thursday night, I attended a talk about the Arab Spring as part of the You Say You Want a Revolution series. How serendipitous, then, that Muammar Gaddafi was pronounced dead the next morning! That night I also went to see Not Sorry Enough. Both good events, but they tended to leave me and my fellow attendees with more questions than before.

Related: [The Early Bird Catches the Worm] Did Rosie the Riveter Wear Hotpants?

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] My Week in Pictures 13th October 2011.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] The Slap & Men Who Cheat.

In the News: September 11, 10 Years On.

It’s hard to believe it’s been 10 YEARS since two planes crashed into the World Trade Centre, the enduring image of the Twin Towers collapsing burned into our memories. Not to forget the additional two planes which crashed into the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania.

I was 13 at the time of the attacks. I’ve grown up in the “age of terror”, where conspiracy theories, airport security, racism and top-television-moments countdowns are influenced by the event.

At the time, I couldn’t really care less. I was a teenager, consumed with adolescent angst and lost interest about five minutes after I first saw the shocking footage on TV. A testament to the desensitivity and limited attention span of my generation, I suppose.

We weren’t allowed morning television in our house at the time, so I’m pretty sure my parents were none the wiser as to the attacks the following day. My mum was telling me something about some environmental issue in California (a Google search for news results around that time produced little enlightenment).

I got on the school bus and someone said, “Did you hear what happened in America?” I was like, “yeah, totes, something environmental in California”, or something to that effect (and yes, I know “totes” wasn’t a word then. Some would say it isn’t even a word now.). I was received by puzzled looks.

That’s really all I remember from that time. Oh, that and the thing that consumed my life at that time, World Wrestling Entertainment (then World Wrestling Federation), was the first live televised event after the attacks. WWE SmackDown! was originally scheduled to be taped the night of September 11, however was postponed til the 13th, and was seen as somewhat of a patriotic (ST)FU to the terrorists. Below is a tear jerking clip from the opening scene of the show.

The following year, however, I was fully immersed in my love for the USA, and considered donning full Uncle Sam garb to school that day! Since September 11, I’d been known to bust out an American flag item of clothing here and there, and even had one made for my birthday that year.

Again, it’s just so hard to believe it’s been 10 years since then. In some ways, we’ve come so far, but in others (the fact that 20% of Americans believe, wrongfully, that Barack Obama is a Muslim, the violent disapproval of a mosque being built near the Ground Zero monument, the niggling feeling we get when we see Muslims at airports)… not so much.

Where were you on September 11, 2001, and what do you think has changed since then?

Below, some links published in tribute to the almost 3,000 people who died on that fateful day 10 years ago.

Elsewhere: [Washington Post] Poll Shows More Americans Think Obama is a Muslim.

[New York Magazine] The Encyclopedia of 9/11.

[New York Magazine] Day’s End.

[Time Magazine] Timeline.

[The New Yorkers] Video: The Skyline Redrawn.

Image via Yahoo News.

TV: S-dot-Mouse (-Exclamation Mark) Not Too Well Received in the U-dot-S-dot-A.

Chris Lilley loves to drum up controversy, if his latest (awesome!) series, Angry Boys, is anything to go by.

While some aspects of the show are pitch-perfect representations (the Sims family), and others just plain hilarious (S.Mouse, Jen Okazaki), not everyone thinks so.

Angry Boys debuted in the U.S. last week, and Lilley’s portrayal of S.Mouse! didn’t go over so well with the American hip hop community.

Lilley’s in blackface for Chrissakes! Anyone could have seen that a mile off when it started airing in Australia in May.

I agree that blackface is offensive and racist, but S.Mouse! is a parody of U.S. rappers and the hot water they get themselves into when it comes to “fuck(in’) tha police”, drugs, domestic violence, offensive lyrics and their brazenly hedonistic lifestyle. That is why the community to which the fictional Lilley character belongs to is so outraged: because they see themselves in S.Mouse! Evidently, it’s not a pretty reflection.

Another character on the show who probably won’t be too well received in the community to which she (fictionally) belongs is Jen, “gay” skateboarding prodigy Tim Okazaki’s “tiger” mother.

So what do you think of Angry Boys’ perceived racism and offensiveness? Is it all fun and games, or are Lilley’s portrayals harmful?

Related: [The Early Bird Catches the Worm] Conservativism Reigns Supreme in The Sunday Age’s Opinion Section.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] Tiger Mom Must Be Doing Something Right. She Made Time’s 100 Most Influential People List.

Elsewhere: [Sydney Morning Herald] Is S.Mouse Racist? US Hip-Hop Industry Reacts to Angry Boys.

Image via The Vine.