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Political Banter
Category

  • Birth As Performance Art

    A Brooklyn woman is turning her birth into performance art by putting herself and her last weeks of pregnancy on display at a gallery. When she goes into labor Marni Kotak will squeeze that puppy out in front of a live audience. Part of me feels like this is major exploitation, but another part of me feels she is brilliant.

    There is a fine line between exploitation and inspiration, which I feel I straddle everyday. I write about The Munch because she ignites ideas I feel compelled to share and it keeps me from boring my friends by talking about her all day. After all, she consumes so much of what I think about I have to get it out somehow. I tell myself that she is more than a worthy subject because observing a child grow is relatable to all humans who have ever been a baby. And then I tell myself to get a cute pair of flared corduroy pants and eat less sugar.

    I feel like raising a baby is an art form worth sharing in the same way that writing, painting or dancing is… so maybe birthing a baby is too?

    My initial conviction was that birth should be an intimate experience, and to have a bunch of strangers watching this magical moment would cheapen it. Yet obviously this woman sees birth as part of her own artistic self and sharing it with the world is maybe the her own living personal manifestation of the art inside of her. And besides, hospital births often have people in the room who you don’t know and will never see again. Who was that guy with the camera anyway? Maybe birth isn’t about privacy because creating a child is actually a very public act? You are creating another human for society after all….

    We also have to think of how birth is viewed in today’s society and why transforming it into art might be very meaningful. For modern western women there is also a lot of psychological and emotional confusion around birth. The way it is represented in the media perpetuates a fear culture that is completely inaccurate. Women are often made to feel out of control and like they don’t know what they are doing. There is so much anxiety attached to the birthing experience that women often lose trust in themselves and their connection to their bodies.

    So maybe this birth as art will be very empowering to not only the artist performing, but the people watching as well?

    But what this experiment isn’t seemingly taking into consideration is how the baby is going to feel coming into the world as a piece of art. Is little baby X going to feel objectified that their vaginal entrance into the world is like their debut curtain call even though they didn’t know they made it through the second round of auditions? Maybe the baby will be an exhibitionist for the rest of their lives because of the quantum energy surrounding their first breath? Or maybe everyone will be in such awe that it will experience a massive injection of collective love? Or maybe if this woman was a real edgy artist she would give birth to soldier carrying a white flag in its teeth because that would really make a political statement.

    October 10, 2011 • 1 year old, Being Preggo, Birth, Musings, Political Banter • Views: 857

  • Occupy Wall Street

    The “Occupy Wall Street” protests are seriously the DOPEST SHIT EVER!!!! I cannot even write how amazing I think this is without using CAPS AND AN EXCESSIVE AMOUNT OF EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Not only is this incredibly meaningful, but also a necessary and inevitable consequence to our current economic system of insanity.

    Can we just take a moment to reflect on just how irrational our “economy” is….

    Companies make products, but in order for that company to make money they have to stay competitive with the other companies who make the same products. The way they do that is by cutting costs, using the cheapest stuff they can find and paying people the least amount they can. So basically you are getting the shittiest shit made by a human who is getting paid shit.

    That would be one thing if whatever you were buying would last for the rest of your life right? But that doesn’t work for companies because then they would lose you as a customer. Nothing is built to actually last because everything is built to last the least amount of time you will tolerate and still buy more.

    So basically, quality, sustainability, and longevity are enemies to corporate America.

    Considering we are currently living on a planet with FINITE resources this is serious problem. I don’t know about you, but I didn’t buy a timeshare on Mars, and I think it would be a better idea to actually RESPECT the resources we have left.

    Mad respect to all of you out there fighting the good fight!

    September 26, 2011 • 1 year old, Environmental Impact, Musings, Political Banter • Views: 824

  • We All Must Be Part Retarded

    Do you realize how many times a baby hits their head in a day? It is not like I have the most extreme baby either. She isn’t training to be a ninja or anything. But I swear on everything holy The Munch hits her head anywhere between 10 and 20 times a day.

    She hits her head on the corners of tables, she hits her head on the edge of the bathtub, she hits her head standing up while underneath something, she hits her head on the floor if she falls too hard, she hits her head if she is leaning too far on the stairs and topples over, she hits her head when she throws it back into my face.

    No wonder humanity does such stupid stuff like throwing trash into the ocean and remaking every good movie from the 80’s… we all hit our heads too many times as babies! Duh!

    (Please notice the busted lip from The Munch not only bumping her head, but then falling on her face)

    September 23, 2011 • 1 year old, Baby Body, Baby Brain, Environmental Impact, Musings, Playing, Political Banter • Views: 8125

  • Belief Systems and Hugging Amma

    There are a wide range of beliefs out there in the world. You can believe in Santa Clause, Jesus, The Devil, Allah, that high heels make your butt look better… People have belief systems of how they should live their lives that impacts their moral code of ethics. We often filter our actions through our belief system to determine our behavior despite the highly personal and subjective experience of forming beliefs. There is often turmoil when people’s beliefs differ even though something doesn’t have to be a fact in order to believe in it. We don’t need concrete proof to believe, because the power of intuition is enough. There is something truly magical, and dangerous about beliefs. Such extremes as people refusing to eat carbs or going on a suicide missions are motivated by what someone believes in.

    I just thought of something. Wouldn’t it be funny to lick someone’s face the first time you meet them, and when they get upset just say…. “oh… you see, licking is part of my belief system. I believe it is the best way to communicate… so…. Yeah.”

    I question my personal beliefs, and the concept of passing beliefs on to my child. Part of me feels like it is indoctrination to force a belief on an impressionable young person. Yes, by living with me I am going to expose her to my beliefs, but does that mean I should lead her to think that everything I believe is true? Would that effect her capacity to come up with her own beliefs? Or if I am too adaptable about my beliefs would that confuse her? Is it better to be rigid even if your children eventually rebel?

    What got me thinking about all this is taking The Munch to hug Amma. From my vast extensive internet research, I have learnt that people have many varying beliefs about her. Some claim she is a saint, others believe her to be an energetic vampire. It is kind of hard for me to believe that someone that goes around hugging people would have bad intentions, but I also believe that deep down Tom and Jerry really loved each other. But despite the critics, there is a whole industry around her including Amma water bottles, hats, and dolls where the proceeds go to her wold wide philanthropy.

    Although I did not feel as if Amma was personally sucking my energy like Count Dracula, I did find the energy of the people at the event to be pushy and aggressive. In kept thinking “uhhhhh… aren’t we all here because we want a hug? Can’t we just simma down a bit and maybe hug each other rather than stomping on my toes to get to your coconut water?” People were literally like “Get the F out of my way! I am trying to get a god damn freaking hug here!” But the actual experience of the embrace felt quite peaceful, not to mention that she is the only human ever to live that has hugged 31 million people! What a unique life experience!

    I guess what I am saying is that maybe I don’t feel concrete enough about anything to tell my child that something is definite. Except for the absolute fact that aliens are living among us and the Royal family is descendents of an evil reptilian species that controls the world through the New World Order and orchestrated the moon landing and 911 because that is so obviously true and reasonable…

    July 13, 2011 • 9-12 months, Adventures, Musings, Political Banter • Views: 1226

  • I Am An Animal

    I have a theory about why mankind is destroying the planet. Okay. Here is goes.

    Francis Bacon is considered the father of empiricism and Western scientific method. In his writings, he talked of the importance of dominating nature. Controlling it. He would even use metaphors of raping the earth. I don’t know about you, but if I had a penis, I wouldn’t rape mother-nature. I would whisper sweet nothings into the grass, slowly caress the trees, and gently lick the ocean. Ohhhh yeahhhhh. Now that is what I am talking about.

    It is not only profound, but telling that someone so influential in western scientific thought had such aggressive beliefs on how man and nature should interact. It wasn’t about cooperation and appreciation, but conquering. Part of me understands why men had once felt the pressure to dominate nature, because they were responsible for fighting off saber tooth tigers, wrestling wooly mammoths, and building shelter to protect their families from the elements. That is a lot of pressure, and I am sure I would have wanted my man to be man enough to beat up a bear.

    But just because we needed to defend ourselves from nature, doesn’t mean that we aren’t a part of it.

    The female experience of childbirth and raising babies has shown me just how much apart of the “animal kingdom” we humans really are. I never felt more connected to the Discovery Channel then during the primal experience of giving birth, and then letting a being eat from my boobs! Every time I breast feed I seriously feel like an animal.

    So my theory is that because men make most of the global decisions regarding the environment, they still have a primal instinct to fight against nature. Baconian thinking is so prevalent in our Western culture, that there seems to be a disconnect between wanting to be safe, and the need to be respectful. Of course, you don’t have to give birth or be a mother to appreciate and understand our place in nature, but I do think that for all the men who are still battling against the earth, a little nipple sucking might help them see the light?

    July 12, 2011 • 9-12 months, Musings, Political Banter • Views: 886

  • Google Must Seem Like a God To Kids

    You want to think of something crazy? My grandmother used to travel around in a horse and buggy when she was a kid. What?? Can you even fathom how much life has changed in the last century? We have become so accustomed to instantaneous communication and exchange of information that to wait 1 minute for a video to buffer is grounds to sue your internet provider. What? I can’t watch this circle go round for a full 60 seconds… that is preposterous.

    The funny thing about my generation, the generation to grow up in the 80’s, is that we really experienced the end of an era in terms of technology. No cell phones, no internet, no Facebook… in fact we still had rotary phones, were limited to 2 dimensional computer games, and cartoons were only on Saturday mornings. I mean… I am talking an archaic deprived existence here. When I had to research a paper for school, I HAD TO GO TO THE LIBRARY! Can you imagine? (I still don’t get how the library works. What is the Dewey decimal system? Was that Linear B? I couldn’t find a book in the library if your life depended on it. I wouldn’t risk my life for such a stupid hypothetical situation. Btw… I will have you know that I was that person who went straight to the reference desk. Thank you library lady, wherever you are, now that you are jobless).

    But think about how nuts it must be to grow up in this current technological paradigm. Everything you ever wanted to know about life, Google knows the answer to.

    “Mom… why is the sky blue?”

    No more cryptic answers… No more pontificating, guessing, or stalling until your kid just forgets what you are talking about. Just hop on you iphone and Google it and the answer is yours. You hardly even have to go to the doctor anymore. Have a random rash? Check it out on Google, find some holistic remedies and put some comfrey leaf on it and quit complaining.

    Imagine how many times a kid will hear a question, and the answer will be “I don’t know… Google it.” Google has become like an all-knowing omnipotent God. Except Google won’t create a flood to punish us humans for being wicked… because then all the computers would get wet.

    June 22, 2011 • 9-12 months, Musings, Political Banter • Views: 1369

  • Why Does Eco Stuff Have To Suck Sometimes?

    I am that person that is going to buy the eco version of everything and anything. Sure it is usually twice as expensive and packaged in brown paper with muted green branding and self-righteous stories, but I will buy it anyway. I am that person.

    Okay… but you know what? Some of that eco shit sucks.

    I know it is better for the environment and blah blah blah, and I care about the future of the world for my baby and yadda yadda yadda, but still. The sunscreen for example never blends in and makes you look like Casper. The tin foil doesn’t clamp onto anything and just hangs off your dishes like a limp penis. Don’t even get me started on my super expensive phone ear-piece made out of bamboo and happy BPA free plastic that only works if I am in a handstand and holding my Blackberry at a 127 degree angle.

    I am totally willing to accept that what makes mass produced products seem superior is probably because of the chemicals, toxins, and fairy blood they use to manufacture it. I know that Deet bug spray works so well because it is actually Agent Orange. I don’t regret the fact that my sponge made of sea foam doesn’t exactly absorb anything, and more just spreads the moisture around. Or that my fair trade water free laundry detergent made from peasants in small village in San Francisco doesn’t actually get any stains out… so The Munch and I are trying to make puke and poo splotches fashionable.

    Okay… so this is an eco spoon… spoons usually go in hot things right? So why is it melting??

    So because I endure all suck of eco stuff I think it is only fair that I sometimes run a fan outside to keep the bugs off of The Munch ;o)

    May 31, 2011 • 9-12 months, Environmental Impact, Political Banter • Views: 733

  • Are Boobs Inherently Sexual?

    I had an epiphany the other day thinking about boobs. What I mean by epiphany is a decent thought worth sharing, and what I mean by boobs are those fun bags that hang off of ladies. It all started when I read an article my friend sent about breastfeeding in Mongolia. The author discusses how culturally acceptable and even encouraged public breastfeeding is, and I was totally at peace reading it until this part “My friend Buana, now 20, explained her gold-medal breastfeeding career to me: “I grew up in a yurt way out in the countryside. My mom always told me to drink up, that it was good for me. I thought that’s what every nine-year-old was doing. When I went to school, I stopped.” She looked at me with a mischievous twinkle in her eye. “But I still like to drink it sometimes.”

    Hmmmmmmmmmm… okay….

    This made me realize that for the Western mind, we see boobs as mostly sexual body parts. So when a young baby breastfeeds for the purpose of sustenance, health, and fitting in at mommy groups, it is okay. But as the baby gets older, it is hard not to feel there is a sexual component involved because we are a society obsessed with the sexuality of breasts.

    Now I am not an anthropologist or anything, but I am pretty sure that Mongolians living in yurts are not getting breast implants to enhance their sex appeal. Maybe for them boobies are not sexualized as much as they are functionalized. Perhaps it doesn’t even occur to them to question the sexuality factor because in Mongolia breastfeeding is not an intimate act, but a public one.

    Case and point…“If a woman’s breasts are engorged and her baby is not at hand, she will simply go around and ask a family member, of any age or sex, if they’d like a drink. Often a woman will express a bowlful for her husband as a treat, or leave some in the fridge for anyone to help themselves.”

    Now there is a visual to keep you entertained…

    I guess all of this would be hard to understand if I wasn’t experiencing the act of breastfeeding now. For me, my boobs are not only asexual, they are outright prude. I think they have both converted into Muslim fundamentalists, because they like to stay covered up too. And in no way, have I ever wondered if The Munch “likes me like that.”

    May 18, 2011 • 9-12 months, Breast Feeding, Mommy Body, Musings, Political Banter • Views: 3025

  • Breastfeeding in Public

    Although I am an advocate for breastfeeding in public, I get totally weirded out when people do it in front of me. Even though I do it to my friends all the time, I feel funny when I am the one witnessing it. I will tell you why… because I am looking at your boobs. Even though I am pretending not to, I am. I can’t help it. They are just there, staring at me like a Cyclops, and I am going to look.

    Now of course I think breastfeeding is natural and beautiful and blah blah blah, but it is still your boob. I don’t see boobs everyday, except for the ones attached to me, and I am bored of those.

    When the baby is really young it is easier, because they baby serves as sort of a stripper pasty, minus the sparkling dangling stuff. Point is, the baby means business, and is not letting go of your nipple or turning away even for the wonders of Cirque du Soleil. I will say however, that it can be awkward when someone looks at the baby attached to you and mentions how beautiful they are, because what are they really looking at? The top nip is still exposed you know.

    As the baby gets older, and more aware of the world, they get distracted. I could be feeding The Munch while someone shuts the door in the other room, and she will turn her head stretching my nip like taffy to check out the noise. Or lets say you and I are in a conversation and you laugh… The Munch will abandon her meal leaving me exposed to the world, just to participate in the fun. This can lead to an uncomfortable moment, because if you are anything like me, you are staring at my boob. The funny thing is, you are the one who feels like the pervert, even though I don’t feel like a flasher. What are you doing looking at my boob anyway? I am just doing what is a natural beautiful thing right?

    So my solution to the breastfeeding in public dilemma? A black bar. A black bar like they have in photos when there is a nip slip. Manufacture a black bar to magically matriculate once the nip feels the cool bite of air. That way no one ever has to feel weird!

    “Phew, now I can continue talking about my horoscope and not feel awkward…”

    May 12, 2011 • 9-12 months, Breast Feeding, Mommy Body, Mommy Mind, Political Banter • Views: 3193