Would you rather be sent to the Colonies and made to clean up toxic waste until “your skin falls off in sheets” or be forced into becoming a birthing surrogate for an infertile couple? These hideous and oppressive scenarios are what the character Offred must face in Margaret Atwood’s novel The Handmaid’s Tale. Set in a dystopian near-future, the U.S. is controlled by a totalitarian Christian fundamentalist regime that shoves women into various servant classes while denying them independence and rights.
Now Hulu has begun streaming its 10-episode adaptation starring Elizabeth Moss. Three episodes have already been made available, and let me tell you the series is just as creepy and chilling as the novel. At times it’s even tough to stomach. Especially the scenes where the handmaids are raped in grotesque mating rituals, aided by the complicit, barren wives of the elite commanders. Horrifying.
In the current political climate, one of the novel’s central themes, the destruction of feminism, has taken on a deeper resonance. And like 1984, it should be no surprise that The Handmaid’s Tale has topped Amazon’s bestseller lists. As the battle for reproductive rights rages on in the U.S., Atwood’s story reminds us once again how women’s independence is tied to the ability to control our bodies.
For someone who once had a fear of flying—take-off and turbulence equaled my own personal hell of anxiety and panic—I love airplane movies! Last weekend I saw Sully and it didn’t disappoint in the terror department. Cool effects, gripping, heroic, and the extra bonus of a cartoony portrayal of the NTSB “bad guys.” Very cathartic to see Sully save the day.
Side note: I overcame my 20-year fear of flying with the help of a hypnosis recording. This summer I took 8 flights with no issues. One time I even fell asleep during take-off. Now that’s a first!
The goal for this Kickstarter started at $15,000 and, at the time of this posting, it’s well over $4 M! For a plastic cube you can play with at your desk. No joke. Check out the link and watch the money pour in.
3. Bone broth
In our continual efforts to achieve good health, we’re consuming bone broth, from grass-fed, grass finished bones. My husband lets it simmer on the stove for two-days, creating a broth rich in minerals and collagen. Our hair and nails are growing like crazy and my skin’s looking healthier too. I can only imagine the positive effects on my innards.
Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.
4. Apple Plug
Not yet ready to upgrade to the iPhone 7? Consider this …
A strange place to find this political statement.
Recently, I visited Peru and Ecuador, and I prepared for the trip by reading Kim MacQuarrie’s book, Last Days of the Incas. While I already knew about the Spanish invasion and colonization of Central America, I became fascinated by how 168 conquistadors, led by Francisco Pizarro, seized control of the Incan empire of 10 million, using brute force, advanced battle tactics, i.e., horses, and deceit. The vestiges and lasting impacts of South America’s bloody and oppressive history are well documented, particularly in the churches throughout the region.
La Compañia de Jesus, located in Quito’s historical center, is a dazzling and mind-blowing testament to the Spanish conquerors’ obsession with gold and religious dominance. The entire interior is covered in gold leaf—4 tons of it! Their desire for the precious metal had everything to do with accumulating wealth for themselves as well as colonizing and controlling access to the rich lands. As MacQuarrie says the conquistadors were “entrepreneurs with guns.” For the Incans, gold was considered sacred but it had no monetary value like it did for the Spanish.
View of the altar
The Jesuits broke ground on the church in 1605 and it was completed 160 years later in 1765. It’s a spectacular example of baroque architecture, craftsmanship and Moorish design influences. It’s an overwhelming sight, especially when you think about its history and what it ultimately “cost” the indigenous culture to help build it.
Photos: Wikimedia Commons