Archive for the ‘Cara Blouin’ Category

angieHi, white ladies! Oh my god, you all look so cute. I love your dresses, are they vintage? OK, here’s the deal. Ever since I watched Trainwreck three times I can’t stop thinking about the ways that we (white feminists) keep throwing black people under the bus.

Why, why, why, when we are finally getting the opportunity to tell our own stories in our own voices are we turning around and deliberately using black people the way white men’s stories have always used us?

In Trainwreck, Amy Schumer goes out of her way to create a flawed, deep, complex female character for herself, and then for no discernable reason, adds this scene where she is on the subway when it stops in the tunnel. She asks the black woman next to her “why is it stopped?” and gets a classic Angry Black Woman response, something like “Do I look like the MTA to you? Do I have metrocards coming out my ass?” We never see the woman again, Amy gets where she’s going on time, there is literally no reason for this scene to be in the movie except that it is hilarious how black woman are always angrier than a situation warrants.

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trainwreck

I think this is right. –ed

Cara is a humourless man-hating American feminist artist. Harriet is a humorless man-hating British feminist PhD Candidate. Here, they discuss their reactions to Amy Schumer’s Trainwreck.

Harriet:

Yes, ok, so I enjoyed how Amy isn’t “nice” in the way we tend to expect female characters to be “nice”–she has complicated feelings about her aging, bigoted, father, she’s relentlessly mocking of her sister’s family, she pursues her own agenda when it comes to one-night-stands.

Cara:

I think what I really like is that she’s not only “not nice,” she’s also capable of being really nice, as she is to her dad. She takes care to preserve his things and visit him at the home. She loves her sister, even though she’s awful at showing it. She’s conscientious about not stealing the article that her co worker wants to work on.

Harriet:

Yeah, so although she’s not always as generous, or as malleable (struggling to find the right word here) in social/romantic/familial situations as we might expect, we’re still on her side. She escapes without being cast as the bitch (Tilda Swinton fulfills that role, just in case we’d forgotten what it looks like).

Cara

Fair. Let’s not be bitchless.

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ice cream

I’ve been watching Louis CK’s show on Netflix, because I don’t want to get sucked into something and my limit on Louie is about two episodes. I can’t binge on it for exactly the same reason can’t binge on Tequila: I usually know it’s too much before I actually start to get sick.

If you’re a woman, engaging willfully with the world of stand up comedy is like choosing to pick up a series of poisonous snakes. The most you can hope for is that it won’t bite you this time. Oh, this one isn’t so bad, OH GOD FUCK NO! One time I dozed off while listening to a Mike Bribiglia station on Pandora and woke up to Daniel Tosh. I can never unhear that shit, and I don’t mean that idiomatically, I mean that I will carry with me the information that I gleaned in the 15 seconds that it took me to stumble to the computer and shut it off for the rest of my life.

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for-colored-girls-coverIt is 1999, and Debra Ann Byrd wants to talk to me. We’re on a break from rehearsal of Ntozake Shange’s for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf, which I am directing. We go into an empty classroom and sit down in two ancient institutional metal desk-chairs. She looks at me with compassion and trepidation and says “the thing you’ve got to understand about this shit is: it happens.”

I nod attentively, blinking. I am twenty years old and I have no idea what she means. She’s talking about the words she’ll speak in rehearsal today:

        we cd even have em over for dinner/
        & get raped in our own houses/
        by invitation/
        a friend

Debra Ann tries again. “You’d be sitting there, enjoying the evening with your friend and…” here, a silence as she tries to launch a word that can get from her heart to mine. Instead, she sighs.

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White guy, what has happened to common courtesy? If there’s one thing Americans have always respected, it’s authority. But suddenly, it’s OK to mouth off to the cops? And I seem to remember a time when you could engage in an honest debate in this country without the thought police banging down your door and clamoring that you “hurt their feelings” or “triggered” them or “choked them to death on video.” That was a time when ALL lives mattered, not just those that are taken with impunity by the people sworn to protect us. Where are the days when a man was considered innocent until the 35 women who accused him of legitimate rape were halfheartedly discredited?

I wish I could offer you solace in this moment, my little saltine. But I can’t. As a white woman, long the maker of your sandwiches, I have also walked among the harbingers of the world to come. I’ve been to some meetings. They don’t want me to tell you, but I think you deserve to know.

It’s over.

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Cara Blouin

Well, I guess now I’m going to put my petulant little fists on my lady hips and rant about how The Lantern put on an unironic production of The Taming of the Shrew. Isn’t that just so typical? I’ll probably bray about things like agency and consent until everyone is just bored and tired. Listen, I don’t like it any more than you do, but I’m going to keep acting like this until someone finally succeeds in shutting my bitch mouth.

Now, when I was in college I had a boyfriend who said that women who behave this way just need a deep dicking, but I don’t know. I got dicked pretty deep at The Lantern tonight and here I am typing.

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Cara Blouin

I want to say that maybe Rapture, Blister, Burn is the feminist play we deserve, but I’ve been trying not to blame myself for the bad things that happen to me. It’s one of the many struggles that I go through as a living human female, an experience that, by the way, I regularly complain about not seeing portrayed on stage. I like to blame *that* on the glut of white male playwrights who dominate the art. “I am sick,” I whine, “of seeing female characters who are just cardboard cutouts who don’t have real feelings or motivations written by jerk dudes who don’t know what it is like to be a lady.”

So it’s hard to know how to feel about the paper dolls that Gina Gionfriddo has cut out to use as mouthpieces for her barely thought out ideas in Rapture, Blister, Burn. I think it’s worse. It’s one thing to be alienated by someone who can’t understand your experience. It’s a curious betrayal to be alienated by someone who presumably should be able to.

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