Saturday, November 26, 2011

My Kathleen Hanna Q&A

I'm pretty excited about my interview with Kathleen Hanna in the new issue of Coilhouse Magazine. It is a beautiful, cool magazine, and the editors were amazing to work with. I interviewed Kathleen in 2010 after she donated her archives to the Fales Library at NYU. You can find out how to get a copy of Coilhouse  at

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Boycott Black Friday

I am not spending a single retail cent on Black Friday. The hysteria is just ridiculous.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Sarah Jacobsen Film Grant

Sarah Jacobsen was a rad D.I.Y. filmmaker. When I worked at Sassy magazine in the early 90s,  she sent me her super low-budget film, Mary Jane's Not a Virgin anymore. At a very young age, Sarah had written, directed, and produced this movie about a quirky girl losing her virginity. I wrote about the film in Sassy. Sarah later moved to New York and we became friends, and she also wrote for ym when I was editor. When Violet was born, she sent me a copy of Good Night Moon, with a very sweet note. I still have and treasure them both. I am sad to say that because I was really busy with work and my babies and house, I didn't do a good job of keeping in touch with Sarah. I didn't even know Sarah was sick when I heard that she had died in 2004.

Below is the announcement for this year's Sarah Jacobsen FIlm Grant Call for Entries. Check it out.

Sarah Jacobson Film Grant
2011 Call for Entries and
2012 Film Festival with Permanent Wave Announcement!
This year we plan to give out three grants to support projects in any stage of completion from pre-production through distribution. The amounts will be between $1000 and $2000.
We are also planning a film/video/media festival for early 2012, in conjunction with the rad feminist group Permanent Wave. All work samples submitted will be considered for the festival as well.
(We won’t screen without your permission though!)
We are open to films of any length and genre, from documentary to experimental to narrative. What we are looking for are projects that in some way embody Sarah’s spirit and represent the values that she articulated in her work — powerful representations of women, a do-it-yourself approach to filmmaking and life, and a passionate commitment to advancing equality without sacrificing fun. I want to note that last year we awarded grants to three documentaries that were all pretty big in scope—definitely don’t take that as a bellwether, look back at all the past winners and you will see very experimental pieces, shorts, etc.
We award grants to projects at any stage of production, including post, but not for marketing or publicity. After the jump is the list of what you need to enter. And I like to post Tamra’s video every year for inspiration.
To apply for the grant, please mail the following materials to The Sarah Jacobson Film Grant postmarked by December 31, 2011. No exceptions. Do not send more material than requested.
Winners will be announced in February
1. A synopsis/treatment of the project you wish to fund (no more than 3 pages). This should include a detailed description of the film — its subject, style, and structure—and of your intended audience and distribution strategy. Please also explain why your project is appropriate for this grant. Send 6 copies.
2. A simple one-page budget for the project. Also include a paragraph describing other funding you have received for this project and how you would use the money from this grant. Send 6 copies.
3. A short bio for the filmmaker with reliable contact information. Send 6 copies.
4.  A single work sample: either a trailer or rough-cut of the project you’re applying for the grant with, or an example of previous work. The work sample should be on DVD. Send 6 copies.
5. A self-addressed stamped postcard if you would like to get notified that your stuff arrived.
6. A CLEARLY PRINTED sheet of contact information including your name, email, phone, and address.
Do not send more material than requested.
Check the grant web page for updates:
Sarah Jacobson Film Grant
c/o Mikki Halpin
583 Driggs Ave
Apt 4F
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Sarah Jacobson (1971–2004) was a an independent filmmaker who wrote, produced, and directed several movies in the 1990s, including “Mary Jane’s Not A Virgin Any More” and “I Was a Teenage Serial Killer.” Sarah’s films reflected her punk sensibilities, her feminist beliefs, and her dedication to DIY principles.
After her death, filmmaker Sam Green and Sarah’s mother established the Sarah Jacobson Film Grant for young women “whose work embodies some of the things that Sarah stood for: a fierce DIY approach to filmmaking, a radical social critique, and a thoroughly underground sensibility.” 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Video Friday

I was totally obsessed with this Madness song when it came out in 1982, during my senior year of college. I think I may have played it on my radio show at WRCU at Colgate. That was also the year we got MTV at OUR HOUSE and I was so transfixed by the video, which now seems endearingly goofy in a Monty Python, early-80's-Princeton-eating-club kind of way. Aside: the room with the piano in it looks just like the piano room in my house.

I don't know if I noticed how awesome the lyrics were in 1982;  I was probably too concerned with the cute boy visuals, the joyful horn and exciting string sections. The song is a nicely written sketch of an average family, from the point of view of one of the kids, but now I most relate to the mom.

Anyway, if you're still in a bad mood after watching that video, I don't know what can be done for you.

I just made up Video Friday because I found myself with a free morning. The yoga studio sent an email that the bathroom is out of order. I have to make a number one every time I do a cobra, so that's a no go for me. Thus, I'm just listening to my playlist from ladies' poker night (I lost like $10), rehydrating and waiting until it's time to bring the chocolate pudding pie into Violet's school for the Thanksgiving Feast.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

What Old Is

As I am old, I enjoy reading the Sunday paper actually on paper, and then commenting out loud about what I read while my family ignores me. I made the points you are about to read to my husband this past Sunday morning. He glanced at me for half a second, and then said "blog post" before returning to the sports section. This is what he does when he just wants me to please shut up, as none of my insights are very fresh to him after spending 15 years listening to me on a daily basis. For their part, my children resumed building a fort and leaving a trail of crumbs wherever they went. 

So here it is Tuesday night and I'm just now posting on Sunday's New York Times Riff  about feeling old because of the internet. The column was written by a 28-year-old who edits The Hairpin, a website for young hipster ladies. Once I got over the professional jealousy that overtakes me each time I read one of those Riff columns, I had to admit that the piece was quite well-written. Her premise was as follows: so rapid is cultural turnover on the internet, that even she, a person who makes a living evaluating video frivolities on the web, doesn't always get the joke. She was made to feel old because some popular piece of ridiculousness went right over her head, like the high pitched tone that only the very young can hear.

Listen, young Hairpin editor/published NY Times Magazine writer: I'll tell you what old is. Old is: you're 73 and you've fractured your spine so you have to get around with the aid of a walker on wheels called the Rollinator. Old is: you're an 87-year-old World War II veteran who can't get up to his own bedroom without a cane. Old is: you're a 50-year-old ex-hipster telling some 28-year-old what old is. I'll tell you what old is.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Princess of the Day

Liz Anderson - Husband Hunting (1970)

I never heard of this country singer until I read her obituary last week. Sounds like she was super cool. I have to figure out a way to discover these role models from previous generations before they die. In the meantime, enjoy this song, in which Liz sings about hunting for her no-good husband with a shotgun. I think it would be awesome if Kathleen Hanna or Kim Gordon would cover this.