Category Archives: comedy

A Song For Sesame Street

googly eyes

‘Everything I know about x I learned from y‘ is a snowclone we’re gonna borrow in honour of Sesame Street’s 40th birthday.  Seriously, though –  Sesame Street introduced me to the alphabet, Spanish, opposites, how stuff’s made, sign language, Johnny Cash, sketch comedy that’s funny on two levels, the conventions of live news reporting, parody, super heroes, music videos, documentay filmmaking, diy animation, women can fix televisions, monsters are people too, The Beatles…not to mention how much I learned about advertising techniques from all those segments designed to ‘advertize letters and numbers to kids’ based on the original premise for the show. I still like and do all that stuff, and Sesame Street seems to have, most importantly, been my first media studies class.  Audience, Marketing, Representation – it’s all there.

Anyway, we’re gonna be on Leeds University Radio again today with a birthday tribute to Sesame Street. We reckon being  period positive can start at any age, and figured if Sesame Street did a segment on periods, we know  how it would go. Tune in live or listen to the podcast to find out.

Thanks to Sarah’s old school friend  Ben at Naivety Succeeds for making our amateur recording skills sound a little less ‘amateur’ and a little more ‘skills’.

And, happy birthday, Sesame Street – my favourite show ever!

-Chella

PS How cute are Google’s Sesame doodles?

Happy Hall-oh wait that was yesterday…

If  you’ll allow me to riff on the A-Team saying of old, I love it when menstruation and zombies come together, and boy did they for me this weekend. I promised Leeds Uni radio’s Femme Fatale show listeners that I’d post more details of our Halloween Party, and I also had another radio-themed surprise this weekend when I tuned into the podcast for NPR’s comedy quiz show Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!

But first, I should explain that my retort to anyone who likes horror movies but cringes at menstruation is, “Why are zombies eating brains ok, but if they start menstruating, it’s gross?!  Blood and guts are blood and guts.”  So part of our show is the film trailer and pitch for my menstrual zombie comedy movie. You know,  “In a world where…etc. etc.”    Some of you have heard it already, and I’m happy to pitch it to anyone else who wants to know between now and our next gig. In any case, we are so annoyed that the title ’28 days Later’ is already taken…

So, that’s the backstory to my costume for our annual Halloween party that we host for our friends. We get really competitive with ourselves, and it’s kind of a mini comedy installation each year. This year’s theme was the International Undead Convention, and guests were invited to invent a cause or lobbying group that they would represent, as an undead individual.  Then I created parody logos for each of them.

Sarah co-hosted on behalf of the Vampire Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. (The GLAAD logo looks amazingly like blood when you give it a re-colour, and the ‘a’ and ‘d’ are particularly blood-droplet-reminiscent as well!) I love GLAAD, and I hope they don’t mind my parody. They get a ‘not menstrual but should be’  tag.

vlaad

I was a member of Menstrual Zombie Actors’ Equity (again – it should go without saying that I respect and support what Equity does). I had a huge red bloodstain printed onto the bottom of the back of a tshirt. I’m telling ya – one day I am gonna start my Stains TM fashion line (Ha! I have now actually done this: www.stainstm.com! -Chella). Red is the new black.

We put signs up around the house to make it look like each room was a different conference venue, and created parody logos for each of the guests as well…I’ll do a gallery later on.zombie equity

Meanwhile – over on US radio, we were delighted when we listened to the Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! podcast today and heard the intro by host Peter Sagal:

“In honor of Halloween we’re talking zombies with legendary movie director George Romero — how to recognize them, how to defend against them, and — since this is Public Radio — how to try to reason with them, and come to mutual understanding and respect.”

The whole show was great, as usual, but I really got a kick out of the festive theme, and I love zombies. For George Romero’s bit, he had to answer a question. The answer to the question will lead you to this link, so you may want to listen before you read on. (Is it appropriate to announce spoilers for a radio quiz show?)

Spoilers:

Romero gets the answer right (and the video itself is pretty good until it veers off into questionable territory after about minute six or so – further analysis from me will follow in Issue #5 of Adventures in Menstruating).  Other than a smattering of groans from the audience (a mild response for this crowd – they have shown much more disgust much more vocally for more appropriate targets in the past, so I’m not complaining), periods were part of the comedy.

Menses even made it back at the end of the show for some recall about an earlier panel topic –

Peter asked for a prediction: “In reference to the first inter-gender golf match, how will President Obama show that he is all about the ladies?”

Panelist Amy Dickinson immediately fired back: “In solidarity to the women on the staff, President Obama is going to adjust his own hormonal cycle so they will all menstruate at the same time.”

Again, good-natured fun, and women were not the butt of the jokes, which means that Wait Wait wins a Second Place Award.  I may need to create a new category for menstruating!Obama.

And, now that periods and the undead have shared radio air-time twice in one day on two continents, and even if I’m the only person who noticed or cared, I think menstrual zombie movies are officially on the table.

So, George…can I pencil you in for a storymeeting?

-Chella

Snub THIS.

the anti periodicalWe got to talking about this again today (don’t miss the comments), and Sarah and I have put together our own response. She hit upon the inspired title and volunteered to be the cover girl. (And by ‘volunteered’, I mean ‘chose posing over stealing an image off the internet’.)

It seems really bizarre to us that a whole host of women had to write, edit and lay out that anti-periodical’s non-review, and it still made it to press. We get particularly irked when period shame is around under the guise of  ‘vehemently over it and will say so to anyone who’ll listen’.

My grandma used to read that magazine (you know which one we’re talking about). I remember seeing a bunch of back issues sitting in the magazine rack next to her sofa while I interviewed her about attitudes to periods on the lower east side in the 1920s.  Readers of Adventures in Menstruating #2 will know that my grandma was more enlightened then than Bledbook is now.     -Chella

PS  Just a quick edit to add that Bust has picked up…Snubgate? Shall we call it Snubgate?

Blogworship.

Ok, first of all, The Society for Menstrual Cycle Research just helped my viral campaign take one of its first baby viral steps with this blog post by the always awesome Chris Bobel.

Second of all, they alerted those of us already on red alert about a certain US women’s magazine (Elizabeth Kisslingof SMCR calls them, ladymags) that encouraged women to snub a cool looking new book. Stay tuned for a review and interview with the authors.

And third of all, in our annual Halloween run up I’m posting this year’s first offering from Tampon Crafts.

Imagine a world where we use reusable, eco friendly feminine hygiene products most of the time, and tampons become these things that are just sort of…you know…kicking around because they’re handy now and again, or some people still use them, or you never threw out that last box and it’s still there next to some  out-of-date vitamin C, and you only noticed it when you took down the box of Sesame Street band-aids.

Ok, are you picturing that?  If it helps, your band-aid has Ernie and Bert on it.

So here’s something to do with those tampons.

ghost

How cute is that?

Full instructions for the ghost (and a bat!) are available at the above link.

Chella

Speechless, but working on that.

So the Feminism in London conference was inordinately awesome. So much so, that I’ve spent the week (doing lots of other stuff but also) trying to compose the perfect blog post about it. I’ll keep adding to this post until it meets my exacting standards. Check out their site for pictures, speech transcripts and workshop notes.

It was excellent overall, but particular highlights for me included:

Susie Orbach‘s speech and slide show, chatting with stall holders, including  Feminist Library and PinkStinks, and Media Training With Camera workshop by Rebecca Mordan.

Major props to compere Kate Smurthwaite for bunging me into the cabaret night, Liz for joining me in a song and  Tina for lending me the guitar, the audience at the Soho Comedy Club for surfing The Crimson Tide with us, and Leeds Femsoc for taking me in as one of their own all day long.

Plans are in the works to be back in Leeds soon, as well as workshops in Sheffield and Edinburgh  over the next few months. Stay tuned!

Chella

If you’re in Ireland, tune in! If you’re somewhere else in the world, you’ll have to listen a bit harder!

Chella will be talking about menstrual comedy with Sean Moncrieff on Newstalk Radio this afternoon, during his show which airs from 2 – 4:30 pm. You can listen on the radio or online (even if you’re outside of Ireland) at the Newstalk website. On the occasion of our Irish radio debut, we’d also like to give a shout out to Party Weirdo, The Rag Collective, Ladyfest Cork, and all our pals!

Period Personified

We’re quite looking forward to collaborating with Steph, another creator of menstrual comedy, sometime soon. Check out the first installment of her web series, The Period Fairy.

Euphem-isn’ts

Lindsay Keith at THE [multimedia] REFINERY sent me a link to her short comedy animation exploring the wonderful world of menstrual euphemisms. She’s got some other related stuff in the pipeline (is pipeline another euphemism?), so watch this space!

Hooray for the comedy use of ‘Hoo-Ha’.

The Onion rarely lets us down. This is from March, but it turned up, serendipitously, on Sarah’s facebook today. Renowned Hoo-Ha Doctor Wins Nobel Prize For Medical Advancements Down There

New blog, and a gig, from LUU Femsoc!

This Friday night we’ll be in Leeds University Union with our lovely hosts, the Leeds Uni Feminist Society. They’ve just started up a blog as well, and their enthusiasm is infectious! All are welcome at the Peanut Gallery and the show is free.

femsoc poster final

Thanks to my friend John for turning my zine cover into an event poster, and to Rosie the Riveter for reprising her role as Rosie the Menstruator from my Issue #3 zine cover.