Archive: March 2010

UPC: Fowl Play Screening & Presentation by Karen Davis in NYC 5/15

Sunday, March 28th, 2010 by

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: United Poultry Concerns
Date: Fri, Mar 26, 2010 at 1:42 PM
Subject: [UPC] Fowl Play Screening and UPC Presentation in New York City May 15

Fowl Play Screening and UPC Presentation in New York City May 15
Join United Poultry Concerns & Mercy For Animals at the Columbus Library!

Promotional artwork for the movie FOWL PLAY.

United Poultry Concerns and Mercy For Animals invite you to attend a screening of MFA’s award winning film Fowl Play and a presentation by UPC president Karen Davis in honor of International Respect for Chickens Month/May.

Hosted by the Columbus Library on Saturday, May 15 from 11:30am to 2:00pm – the day preceding the Third Annual Veggie Pride Parade in NYC – this event will be followed by leafleting for chickens!

Fowl Play Screening and Chicken Presentation will be held at:

Columbus Library
742 10th Ave (between 50th & 51st Streets)
New York, NY 10019-7019
(212) 586-5098

Saturday, May 15, 2010

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Penelope: A Nose by Any Other Name

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010 by

I’m tickled pink (pun so intended!) to present POP!’s very first guest post, a vegan-feminist look at the 2006 romantic comedy Penelope from Shannon Davis, aka Vegan Burnout. Based on a Marilyn Kaye novel of the same name, the film stars a (be-snouted) Christina Ricci as the titular Penelope, a young woman seemingly born into wealth and privilege – save for her “unfortunate” porcine nose. Would it trouble the reader to know that, as a child, I longed for a cat tail, à la Catra? Beauty conventions and species boundaries, who needs ’em!? – Kelly G.
 

Cover artwork for the novel PENELOPE

Caution: Spoilers ahead!

Sexism and speciesism go together like, well, movies and popcorn. Carol J. Adams wrote the book on this nasty little tag-team, and I for one am a smarter consumer of pop culture for it. I also love movies and popcorn, so imagine my surprise when, one snowy afternoon, I watched Penelope and found my vegan-feminist Spidey Sense a-tingle.

Penelope stars Christina Ricci as an otherwise gorgeous girl born with a pig’s nose as the result of an old family curse. (Women! pigs! obvious! parallel!) The curse, of course, can only be broken by the love of “one of her own kind”—unanimously interpreted to mean that of another aristocrat. Already, we have all the elements of a fairy tale—the perfect lens for examining cultural notions of beauty and self-love.

Penelope’s parents are a study in contrasts: her father, Franklin (Richard E. Grant), guiltily accepts responsibility for Penelope’s “disfigurement,” as his side of the family bears the curse; her mother, Jessica (Catherine O’Hara), is so terrified of what people will say that she fakes baby Penelope’s death to deter snooping reporters. She is so obsessed by her daughter’s nose that she bans anything pig-related, scolding Jake the butler when he plays “This Little Piggy” with the baby’s toes and forbidding her husband to eat bacon. Any notion of her daughter as animal is anathema to her—we’re meant to understand that she means well, but her fixation reveals far more about her than it does about Penelope.

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(mini) link love, 2010-03-14

Sunday, March 14th, 2010 by
  • This Thursday, March 18 and Friday, March 19, tune into Planet Green to watch Coal Country – then enter to win a copy of Plundering Appalachia from Earthjustice! Contest rules and details here.
  • Thursday, April 22 marks the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. In honor of the occasion, the No Impact Project is helping citizens host screenings of No Impact Man throughout the country (world?).

    Here are the details, via New American Dream:

    It’s the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. Let’s do something about it! Turn off your TV. Stop shopping. Eat a carrot. Get on a bike. Put a moratorium on litter. And join our friends the No Impact Project, Slow Food USA and 1Sky for an action-oriented screening of No Impact Man. During the week of Earth Day 2010, you are invited to bring your community together to watch, discuss and act. The theme of this event is the impact of food production on climate change and what your community can do to take action. Check out the No Impact Man trailer and contact Lindsay to learn how you can become a host. To find a screening in your neighborhood, click here.

    Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to attend (or host!) a local screening, boxes of vegan baked goods and vegan starter kits in tow!

  • Saturday, April 24, Vancouver-based animal advocacy group Liberation BC will be screening Meat the Truth; doors open at 3:30 PM. For additional details, see their latest newsletter or events page – or shoot ’em an email at info [at] liberationbc.org.
  • Did I miss something? Promote your local event, tell us all about your favorite new release, and share other animal-friendly pop culture goodies in the comments!

    When Violence Goes Viral (On The Crazies)

    Monday, March 1st, 2010 by

    Movie poster for THE CRAZIES - Help Us!

    Caution: Spoilers Galore!

    As far as horror movies go, The Crazies is fairly standard stuff. A plane crash-lands in a remote marsh just a tick upstream of the rural farming town of Ogden Marsh, Iowa. On board is a biological weapon, engineered by the U.S. government in order to “destabilize populations”; allegedly, it was en route to “an incinerator in Dallas,” having proven too dangerous for wide scale use. The plane’s payload slowly leaks into its watery tomb, where the contaminant is carried downstream, straight into Ogden Marsh’s water supply – and onto its citizens’ crops and into their bellies. In short order, the virus infects the town’s residents, transforming them from loving husbands and mild-mannered educators into violent, homicidal “crazies.” *

    The federal government quickly moves in, quarantining the town and separating the townspeople into two groups – “infected” and “not” – ripping families apart in the process. Those who are thought to be sick are taken to the local high school (now set up as a makeshift hospital), strapped to hospital gurneys, and “treated.” (“Observed” is more like it. The viewer doesn’t get the feeling that there’s anything the doctors can do to help their patients.) The healthy residents are transported to a large gas station/truck stop/convenience store situated on the edge of town, ostensibly for eventual evacuation to nearby Sioux City. Of course, because this is a horror film and all, things do not go as planned; a riot breaks out at the high school, leading to the government’s evacuation (and eventual nuclear incineration, complete with cover-up) of Ogden Marsh. The events unfold within a 96-hour period (two days pre- and two days post-outbreak), during which the audience follows four heroes – the local sheriff and deputy; the sheriff’s wife, who’s also the town’s only doctor; and her teenage assistant – as they try to understand what’s happening to their fellow citizens and, later, escape to safety.

    What’s particularly interesting about The Crazies from a vegan perspective is the way in which the town’s residents are portrayed, pre- and post-infection. Precipitating the sheriff’s hunt for and discovery of the downed plane is the discovery of its pilot – or rather, its pilot’s body – in the marsh by a group of (duck?) hunters, whom the sheriff scolds for illegal, off-season hunting.

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