Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Rewind #30

Cat Power: Jukebox (2008)

I first heard Cat Power back in 2000 on some local college radio station while passing through Irvine on our way to San Francisco. Chan Marshall's voice was immediately captivating and we've been hooked ever since. A few years ago she released the album "You Are Free" and suddenly Cat Power was at the top of my list. I listened to all her stuff, saw her live a couple of times (even met her for a moment in the back of the Casbah), and pretty much became an all-time devoted fan. I've yet to hear something from her that is actually not good. I think that when we're eighty-five-years-old, Xtimu and I will still be listening to these songs, much the same way that we delve into the passion of Billie Holliday. Yeah, Chan's voice is that good. Even though this album is another covers record, bringing us back to where we started, it would be a shock to find that I neglect to add a Cat Power album to a list like this. J'adore this muse.

Business of Being Born: Abby Epstein (2007)

After going through our second birthing process this past year (welcome Quinnita!), as well as trying something completely different (midwifery), this movie was a perfect documentary for us. Why is it that the United States has one of the most deplorable maternity care systems in the modern world? Because the documentary answers many questions like this and gives tremendous insight into the history of maternity care in America, it's a movie that everyone should see, not just those expecting. Our experience with the midwives this past year as compared to the clinical surgical hospital environment the first time around was eye-opening. The natural wonder of child-birth was shocking and amazing, and if any woman has the courage to embrace the process, the reward is divine. Ultimately, what is frighteningly revealing is the way that Big Business can distort something so fundamental beautiful and natural in order to gain some access toward profit. I have often ranted against the corporate model on this site but watching this movie, I came to realize that it isn't capitalism in general that I despise but the greedy nature of a system that would look toward profits before the health of a person. There is no economic system that can remain viable if it disregards the very people that make the system function in the first place. People must come first, people! It just doesn't seem like such a complicated idea. In this movie we see that the natural experience of child-birth should have only one purpose, the well-being of the mother and child. Until we take that truth to heart, this country will continue to lag behind the rest of the world.

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