Pop culture treasure, high culture trash.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Crystal blue Naomi

Forget about rodents in blenders--the weirdest two minutes of video on the internet is officially Naomi Weisstein c. 1999 fielding queries for an axed VH1 doc about the "state" of women "in music." Naomi seems mired in some kind of late 90s/Lilith Fair empowerment-lite mainstream-o-vision (i.e., couldn't see past Sheryl Crow to, like, Chicks on Speed, Kristin Hersh) but offers about as much trenchant insight and analysis as you could expect from someone who is flat on her back and drinking out of a green plastic cup. Did VH1 agree to the interview on the condition that it could hang out in Naomi's rec room after dinner and eat Funnyuns? Is Naomi recovering from surgery/an illness? What is that butterfly thing on the wall?

This is still Naomi Weisstein, though, so when she starts slamming down lyrics from "Papa Don't Lay That Shit On Me" and sums up, "Just don't mess with me, 'cause I have a life, and I'm gonna live it," she commands respect, frog-voiced and supine as she is. She also wins the Metaphor of the Year Award for coming up with "gender church," "where the only thing you could do was frenzied worship of men--or suffering, abject devotion." Not surprising, really, since this is the lady who lays out my entire approach to feminism in three sentences:

"Except for their genitals, I don't know what immutable differences exist between men and women. Perhaps there are some other unchangeable differences; probably there are a number of irrelevant differences. But it is clear that until social expectations for men and women are equal, until we provide equal respect for both sexes, answers to this question will simply reflect our prejudices."

Right, totes. Next project: reclaiming mikvah.

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