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Sweet Protection

If you think Beyonce was slaying as Oshun in her lemonade video, check out the real deal–Oshun is a hip hop duo out of New York who fully fux with the Yoruba deities.  They take not just the look, but the spirit and intention of West African spirituality and infuse throughout their work.  Check out their latest video “Protect Yourself” when the gods don’t aim to smash windows but instead take a hit at all that ails the community.

 

Loads of Love

Recently this Ariel laundry soap ad, titled #sharetheload , from India crossed my desk (thanks, D!) and brought a little tear to my eye.

The touching story of a father who learns–not too late–the importance of balancing the second shift at home is more than just bubbly suds.  When women entered the workforce, the talk was all about being able to bring home the bacon AND fry it up in a pan AND of course cater to your mates masculinity.  After years of all y’all trying to have it all, it’s time to concede:  work-life balance is a struggle if the partnership follows the plotline of Leave it to Beaver or today’s patch of modern sitcoms with dope dads and super moms.

The Don Draper uber-masculine scotch drinking dad of yesteryear is dead.  Cold distant dads are out.  Today with a wide variety of family structures and work commitments, the old school gender-role  driven division of labor is giving way to more balanced homes.  What’s more, sharing chores with your mate is good for more than clean laundry.  Here sociologist Michael Kimmel talks about the many benefits shared home-work.

So don’t wait till you’re a silver fox to pitch in at home.  Who knows, dinner might not be the only thing you get cooking!

REI-thinking What Matters

In a bold business move, camping superstore REI has announced that it will not open on Black Friday.  Wait, not open?  That’s the mythical Dia de La Dough, when shoppers abandon their families still sleepy with turkey, and roam rabid through the malls.  If the packs of shoppers are large, then all winter, the nests of the elite are feathered with fat stacks of cash.  If the shoppers stay in their dens, then the winter is long and cold indeed.

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So imagine the upset when a bunch of earthy crunchy types decide to close on this most important of seasonal hold-days.  While the trend for some time was more and more stores opening earlier and earlier–some on Thanksgiving itself–it seems the season is changing. The most rabid of shoppers may want to get to the hunt, but for most of us, having a chance to cozy up in the den is worth any killer deal.

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I can remember when things really did close over the holidays.  Gone were all the distractions of daily living and the streets were hushed. Days seemed long and wild. With all of the usual hustle and bustle on hold, my Mom and Dad had the time to tell stories at the dinner table, to play with us kids, to snore like crazy in from of the football game, to create culinary delights that required more time than weekdays held.

The magic of the season wasn’t in jingling store bells, but in heat crated out of love alone that time at home allowed us to create.

Thanks, REI, for bucking the tired trend and giving each of us a chance for the greatest gift of all.

Chicken Over Beef

The world is a very tense place:  no peace in the Middle East, violence in the streets, violence on the campaign trail and just a whole lot of beef.  If you’re like me, you’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed lately.  What can you do in the face of such sadness?  You could look at this.  GIF artist, you’re doing it right.

Yasssssss, dance chicken dance!!!!

The Lavender Aisle

This week mega-retailer Target announced that it will be doing away with gender signage in the children toy,entertainment, and home goods department.  The move comes after parents complained about the pink aisle, a pink fluffy princess zone full of all things sugar and spice and everything nice.  How do you grow up to love math, or science, or reading, or adventure if the only toys and goodies you see are focused on looking pretty and dressing up?  You can’t.

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I grew up with three brothers and I never wanted to be left behind because I was a girl.  Seeing my older brothers as role models meant I saw worlds of possibility blocked from the view of the pink isle.  Now all girls, with brothers or not will see a world of play more like the real world that they will grow into.  Boys likewise will be freed from early training in hyper masculinity and have new opportunities for play and imagination–like this sweet easy bake oven.

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Let’s hope target is just the first of many stores that open up the traditionally binding boundaries of gender in boys and girls play and products.  Here’s to more lavender!

No Cape Needed

These days we can use a black superhero.  Just in the knick of time–superheroes’ favorite time to arrive–climbing into the clouds to rescue us from the symbols of racist oppression comes Super-Bree!

Bree Newsome, filmmaker and activist did what people have been talking about doing all week.  She climbed the pole behind the South Carolina State house and took the Confederate flag down.  In a statement Newsome and other concerned citizens said:

Deciding to do what the SC Legislature has thus far neglected to do, the group took down the symbol of white supremacy that inspired the massacre, continued to fly at full mast in defiance of South Carolina’s grief, and flew in defiance of everyone working to actualize a more equitable Carolinian future.

Now that’s how you work a pole!

Dogs End Racism!

Or so goes the hope  at the center of pedigree’s new ad campaign.  Feed the Good is Pedigree’s new worldwide campaign.  Spots designed for the US, Australia, and Brazil will take on serious local issues with a velvet fur glove.  For the US spot, personal racial bias is the problem, neatly solved with a wet sloppy tongue kiss.

If only it were this easy.  The critic in me says that the ad is full of dog whistles, from the boys sitting on the curb to the sirens in the background.   The dog lover in me knows the power that animals have to break down the walls of social rules we build between ourselves.  I want to see a world were we don’t need a dog to see the humanity in others, but until then a little kiss couldn’t hurt.