when the status quo frustrates.

Do YOU have what it takes?

Friday, November 30th, 2007

Are you hardcore? I mean, I know you think you’re hardcore, but are you seriously hardcore?

Slow down, slow down. I don’t need to hear your whole badass life story, because I’m not the one you need to prove it to — all hardcore credentials go through the Navy:

This full page ad was found at the back of last week’s Sporting News. In case the lower corner is tough to read, take a closer look:

Truly, the lesser of two evils

Monday, November 26th, 2007

Ezra’s post slamming Obama’s wimpy stand on health care (largely because his plan isn’t universal and still would require us to pay premiums) hits the nail on the head. He correctly lambasts Obama for failing to capitalize on his chance to become — using Ezra’s analogy — the Reagan of the left.

The Democrats’ central failing as a party in the 21st century has been their dedication to furthering unfounded conservative frames. In this case, Obama buys into their BS on health care, but we’ve seen similar parroting on “security” and wartime tough-talk, environmental issues, economic policy, foreign affairs, taxes, and more. Conservatives paint a narrow, bigoted view of reality grounded in privilege. After so many years of watching them cave, I am left to assume the Democrats see the canvas the same way.

Truthfully, though, we all understand why Obama has hedged here specifically and why Democrats continue to wuss out at every opportunity. It’s all about the money.

For the life of me, I can’t understand why little RonPaulites think the country would be so much better if it were run by corporations instead of our present style of government. That has to be one of the dumbest, most obvious false dichotomies I’ve ever heard.

Even Obama, funding his campaign (*almost* entirely) without the help of PACs and lobbyists, hasn’t exactly crossed them, either. In fact, his health care plan would explicitly mimic the current health benefits a federal employee enjoys, providing coverage through private corporate partners like Aetna. In other words, his plan would send our premiums and government subsidies to the same corporations greedily inhibiting true health care reform.

Welcome to the new Democratic Party.

Putting the “sexy” back in “military”

Saturday, November 24th, 2007

Via Pam at Pandagon, it appears our army’s desertion rate has skyrocketed to its highest total in almost 30 years. I’m disappointed that little things like inadequate equipment, extended tours, and, oh, I dunno, being forced to oppress a collection of peoples who hate your guts would bother our soldiers, but I guess they’re just not as tough as the boys of yesteryear.

To keep kids these days engaged in the military, we need to spice up the experience a bit. The Pentagon has traditionally taken its policy cues from punkassblog, and so I feel a responsibility to lend a helping hand. Thus, I present the 5 ways to avoid desertion in the US Army:

5) Make the unis look more like Halo soldiers.

They don’t have to work, they just have to look rad. Melt down old Transformer toys if you have to; just do whatever it takes to make some cool-ass molded plastic gear that would pass as a top-notch Halloween costume. Kids will be lining up to fight as long as their visor is the shit.

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But what if the kids go to the website and read about all the dirty things their parents aren’t letting them see?

Thursday, November 22nd, 2007

For reasons which now escape me, I looked at an advertisement for “Fred Claus” in my alt-weekly paper, and in the corner I saw a little dove. Why, I thought, is my soap company stamping approval on crappy movies made by Jen Aniston’s rebound?

Turns out the Dove Foundation has little to do with soap; this Christian (oops, I’m sorry, Judeo-Christian) media-rating group is there to help parents who feel that the MPAA’s rating scheme, while helpful, is not prudish or detailed enough. It’s not enough to know why parental guidance is suggested, I need a list of every salacious thing that makes Fred Claus or Bee Movie a potential occasion for sin. First, let’s review a sampling of their simple 0-5 scale:

Sex: 0: none
1: on-screen acts of romance
2: infidelity; implied pre-marital sex or secondary lead characters with consequences
3: inappropriate sexual relations without consequences
4-5: graphic sexual activity is heard and/or seen

Language: 0: none
1: few utterances of mild crude language
2: few utterances of mild obscenity
3: crude and obscene language used throughout the story
4-5: any Biblical profanity (GD, Jesus, Jesus Christ) and any uses of gross sexual language

Nudity: 0: none
1: baby’s behind; shirtless men, low cut shirts, short skirts seen occasionally on women
2: rear nudity that is not suggestive such as skinny dipping from a distance; cleavage
3: sexually suggestive and revealing clothing or underwear is common throughout
4-5: frontal nudity

Other: Lead characters that exhibit disrespect for authority, lying, cheating, stealing, illegal activity, witchcraft or sorcery
0: non
1: mild-moderate with consequences
2: moderate poor behavior
3: moderate-heavy behavior with no consequences
4-5: extreme portrayals, condoned or excused

A score greater than 2 in any category means no dove for you!

Not only is the Dove Foundation more prudish than the MPAA, but they’re also more consistent and transparent, providing a rundown in each catagory of exactly where filmmakers went wrong. For example, Fred Claus contains:

Drugs: You see Frosty’s Tavern but a sign says eggnog is served.
Nudity: Cleavage; some sumo wrestlers are briefly seen.
Other: A lady gives birth but it is not graphic; a man accepts donations under false pretenses; a character lies to his girlfriend; the shredding of a Christmas wish list; elves abandon their posts for a time.

Seinfeld’s Bee Movie is not without sin:

Drugs: A lady has a drink in a glass which looks like apple juice.
Nudity: None
Other: A joke about B-Gandhi, B-Columbus, and B-Jesus which the filmmakers could have done without.

But don’t be fooled, these Christians are no sticks-in-the-muds! Just like all Americans, they enjoy a good joke or a sophisticated plot device as much as anyone, provided it doesn’t conflict with their values in any way, or even reinforce their values but in too graphic a way. Other than that, rock on, Hollywood!

It also has scenes such as a teddy bear being opened up and the stuffing popping out. However, it is quite humorous to hear “Jingle Bells” played as a dirge! (Nightmare Before Christmas, 3D)

Bees shouldn’t be able to fly! Their bodies are too big for their wings, and yet…This is a cute film which kids will love. It has a few lines for the adults too. Who wouldn’t love a newspaper headline which reads: “Frisbee Hits Hive!” *** (Bee Movie)

This film is consistently funny and should propel Steve Carell further up the Hollywood ladder of success. He plays Dan Burns, a widower raising three daughters. The daughters alone set up some potentially humorous moments as one is seventeen and pushing her father to let her drive. The middle daughter believes she is in love with a boy and that her father simply doesn’t understand that it is the “real” thing. This sets up a great scene as the boy comes to visit, and when Dan answers the door, the boy explains he is there to see Dan’s daughter. When Dan learns it is the middle daughter and not the oldest, he says, “Come back in two years!” and closes the door. (Dan in Real Life)

Christmas carols (secular, of course) played in a non-jolly way? Zany! Benign newspaper headlines? What will they think of next! And what about kids these days? Don’t tell me, I’ll tell you!

All right, so they wants to rates the movies. Fine with me, but why is this niche group pandering creeping into the mainstream ads? Who gave this moral watchdog group the patina of legitimacy? Whose fault is this?

In 1991 The Dove Foundation began promoting family-friendly entertainment. Our standards and criteria are based on Judeo/Christian values, free from the pressure of commercial interests. We believe in a positive approach of commending high-quality, wholesome movies rather than condemning filmmakers for not meeting those standards.

In the summer of 1990 a group of fathers began looking for a way to identify movies that were compatible with their families’ values — The Dove Foundation was born…(2005) Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment began to include the Dove “Family-Approved” Seal on all nationally marketed Dove approved DVDs.

Fox, I should have known. The same empire that gave us Married With Children back in the 80′s and Family Guy today in television and Farm Sluts, What Happened in Vegas…. and The Transporter on screen is concerned about your family’s values. God damn, those guys are good at playing all possible sides. Sex and violence sells, and getting panties wadded up over sex and violence sells. Two, two, two profitable markets in one!

***The assertion that bees can’t fly is only true if you use the linearized hydrodynamic equations and assume fixed wings; if you use the non-linearized ones with the proper assumptions about the wings, they can in fact fly.

Not the whorification of ladyhood! Anything but that!

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

Via Echidine & Pam, another undergrad guy lets us know what boys want, and that’s a good thing because most of us would never have guessed that the boys want us to set things up so that they may have more opportunities to act on their own Elizabeth & Mr. Darcy fantasies. Turns out, girls in boys clothes are icky, just like boys are!

Also, the Architect from the Matrix is currently residing in Texas, where he majors in history.

Dresses epitomize womanhood in the Western world. Such has been the case since the western man adopted pants to replace the tunic in the sixth century (an aspect of the West’s Germanic barbarian heritage).

Women, the more refined sex, kept the tunic-reminder of our barbarian heritage and unlike men, made it look good. Obviously. Or maybe the whole sixth century was an aspect of our barbarian heritage.

Dresses allow us to differentiate between the silhouettes of men and women on restroom signs.

Without the dress, we’d be shitting indiscriminately in any hole we could find, which is not terribly ladylike. This is the actual second sentence of the whole essay. Pause for a second to let that sink in, because it’s only gonna get better.
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Pre-marital kissing: can you afford to take that chance, knowing that the Lord may have you destined for a lifetime of unsatisfactory canoodling?

Sunday, November 18th, 2007

Boundless Answers the question: Am I wrong to dump a guy for being a bad kisser?

However, after kissing him, I started getting doubts. He is not a very good kisser. He is not experienced and I find myself not wanting to kiss him.

I feel awful about this, because I know that this seems shallow of me. If I “break up” with him over his ability to kiss, but click with him on so many other levels, it will literally break his heart and I know I will probably regret it.

The answer: right and wrong are such harsh terms, but kissing is the gateway to necking, which is a path to fornication, and there’s always the chance that he’ll get better at it once you’re married.

Think back to what it was like before you found out what his kisses are like. Did you anticipate a good physical connection? Did the idea of being kissed by him make you swoon? That’s a wonderful state of expectation to be in when you’re approaching marriage. In that state, you can trust that the passion will follow — after the wedding. Then you can coach each other on what you like. To do so now is to open the door too wide on temptation.

I dunno, I think we need more information, especially in the critical area of backwash. Everyone has their own personal limit on exactly how much saliva they’re willing to exchange per unit time; if he’s exceeding this limit there might be problems. And as someone who has personal experience in being involved with someone who is by all rights perfect for you in every way, but just isn’t doing it for you for some reason: DO NOT for the love of all that is holy wait until AFTER the wedding to sort that shit out.

But Boundless Blog sees things a bit differently, consensus seems to be that our petitioner is shallow and that the coolest couples wait until they’re on the alter to swap spit. And our petitioner may be just a little guilty of having obtained a set of tonsil-hockey standards in a manner that is displeasing to the Lord:

I’m going out on a limb but it seems that the boyfriend is suffering by comparison here. Meaning the girlfriend has been kissed before. And apparently her previous kiss or kisses clicked in a way that it didn’t with him. Sad.

All dating couples who engage in passionate kissing and beyond run the risk of being compared to someone else. They also run the risk of arousing passions with someone not yet their spouse that may adversely affect expectations of passion with the one they end up with.

Conversely, if we keep our legs crossed, then we can all benefit from the community-wide shared low expectations!

Believe me. On your wedding day, you will not regret your lack of physical intimacy experience. As Candice has said before, this is the one area where inexperience is a good thing.

If his kiss leaves you cold, well for starters, it’s partially your own fault for having eaten from the tree of knowledge, if you get my drift, and also why are you nattering females so obsessed over something so trivial?

Em:
I am surprised that no one has yet directly addressed a cultural expectation that we have, which is actually hidden in what Candice writes above; namely, that a guy *should* be more experienced. (Not saying this is right).

Marc:
To all the girls who’ve watched one-too-many chick-flicks, I’ve got a shocker for you… when you kiss your “one true love” or whatever you want to call him, chances are, the inexperience will show. In addition, you will not hear the sound of an orchestra in the background. For any gal who is stuck in the chick-flick mode in regards to kissing, you need to grow-up and come back to reality.

I know I sound harsh, but I am this way because I have seen many-a-relationship be shaken because “he [or she, depending on what gender you are] is not a good kisser.” And so, if being blunt snaps some couples back into reality, and prevents them from breaking-up because of an oh-so-stupid issue, then so be it.

Adam T.:
My initial reaction was to envision the letter-writer as one of these girls who sits around not understanding why she’s still single at 30. “Duh… I can’t believe I’m not married – I’m such a CATCH!”

So this leads to a discussion about whether or not pre-marital kissing is forbidden by the Bible or if refraining is just extra godly credit and a slight digression where one man’s ban on his kids receiving phone calls from members of the opposite sex for any reason was defended with the existence of phone sex. That last bit didn’t have anything to do with kissing, but it does serve to remind us that the goalposts can always be moved when it comes to being paranoid about kids and sex.

But the battle to allow our children to call each other is for a future day, now is the time for a slightly different battle: specifically, the battle against giving naive young girls horrible relationship advice:

As for the young woman in the original column, she may rest assured that not being a good kisser is easily rectifiable, the process of which is one of the more pleasant aspects of marriage.

Listen, I dated a guy who had clearly belonged to the Kung-Fu grip school of masturbation, and as a result getting him off by hand actually hurt my wrists (it took forever) and sex frequently resulted in mild vaginal bleeding, and was about as fun and delicate as tenderizing a pork chop. His saving grace was he was pretty good with his hands. At any rate, he was far too stuck in his ways to change by the time I got to him, and I was his first sexual partner! If this sort of thing is important to you, don’t go into marriage certain that he’ll just change if you work on him hard enough unless you have a history of being able to work stuff like that out as a couple. Unless he’s willing to work on it, there will be no “easily rectifiable” and you’re the one who’s stuck banging teeth together and gagging on his tongue.

Every cloud has a silver lining

Saturday, November 17th, 2007

So I finally got around to seeing This Film is Not Yet Rated and while it is full of very disturbing information, I was pleasantly surprised and relieved to find out that Stone and Parker were well aware of how excruciatingly bad that uncut puppet sex scene was. I always heard that they’d made it ridiculous to screw with the censors, but until now I’d thought they were pleased with it nonetheless. Hey, my roommate is their target demographic and he thought the whole thing was brilliant.

Racism is like the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal: if you can’t see it, it can’t see you. Right?

Thursday, November 15th, 2007

Breaking news: white boy does something racially insensitive and is knocked right on his ass.

Gabriel Keith, an assistant editor at the City College Times at Minneapolis Community & Technical College, used a drawstring from a hooded sweatshirt to make a noose, from which he hung a message about making deadlines in late October.

The tactic did not go over well in a newsroom that included several black students. Keith took the noose down five minutes later, but the ensuing hubbub led to his firing from the paper and a dispute between the editor-in-chief and the adviser.

Long story short: everyone involved knows that this college newspaper editor was not trying to make a racist statement; however, his offensive and poorly executed attempt to be funny and the apparently poor handling of the event afterwards meant that at the very least, he needed to be replaced by someone with a clue. Anyone who has ever spent five minutes in a campus newspaper office can probably imagine how this whole thing went down. And really, how can you not have sympathy for the guy? Expecting a journalism upperclassman to be aware of all the major symbols in modern American history is like expecting him to remember the names of all 50 freaking states. That’s like, a lot, and he’ll never even use half of it, so whats the big deal?

I was in the middle of learning to fix a heat stage when my friend came in to talk about this terribly critical event; mostly he wanted to complain that the thought police were on their way when a man can’t use a noose to convince his subordinates to do their work on time. I was just surprised that every guy in the room needed to have why a noose could be interpreted as a racist symbol explained to them. I made several compelling arguments about why this newspaper editor was in the wrong, including: “well, duh” (this one didn’t work as well as I think it should have) and “a newspaper editor, off all fucking people, should know better than to use such a heavily laden symbol for something so stupid, especially since the noose has no special relationship to making people work more effectively so he could have just as easily picked something else” which I think they found a little harder to argue with. I mean, really, pretend you’re a person who has no negative noose-related associations, then pretend you’ve just seen one hanging over your boss’ desk. My first thought? WTF? My second? Maybe I need a new boss, if this one is threatening to kill me in an elaborate and antiquated manner for missing a deadline. Perhaps I’d like to work with someone with better management skills. See? Even if you remove the racist imagery all together, Gabriel Keith is still a dumbass.

Then I actually read the article. Now, the version I linked to is similar to the version I read this morning, but it replaces a few paragraphs with more recent information. In the version I read, two assistant editors (or they may have been section editors, I forget which) said that they’d been there when Keith and his friend had made the noose, and they told them it was a bad idea to hang it up. In fact, other suggestions were made and dismissed in favor of the noose.

The two assistant editors were black women, by the way.

So now those of us who have spent some time in the campus journalism school really know how this all went down, don’t we? There’s always that One Guy. They’re everywhere, and most of them never get beaten with the clue-by-four they so richly deserve, so you can imagine how surprised these guys are when someone finally calls them on their bullshit. How much do you want to bet that the two guys making the noose were too busy giggling over how funny it was to heed their prudish colleagues warnings? And now they’re paying for it, cause no one can just take a joke. It’s a harsh world, I know, and let’s pause and feel sorry for poor Gabe. OK, that should be enough of that. I’m sure he’ll do OK once all the furor dies down; you don’t reach 2623 that clueless without some kind of safety net.

So I went back to my friend and said, hey, I read the article and while it is overkill that this campus incident has made national news, the editor in question was pretty fucking stupid, doubly so because he’d been warned by his two coworkers that hanging the noose was a terrible idea. Now, I know what I’ve been thinking when I’ve told guys “I don’t think this is a good idea.” And I have been told by others, “I don’t think this is a good idea.” We all know what “I don’t think this is a good idea” means; it means: dude, fucking stop it, this is an awful idea. No, seriously, fucking stop it right now because you’re going to get in trouble. The person saying this is nearly always right.

My friend, however, considered this a terribly cryptic, almost useless warning. What, he said, are we supposed to read women’s minds?

White male privilege in a nutshell, ladies and gentlemen.

Yet another creepy research study

Monday, November 12th, 2007

Pretend that you’re a journalist for the BBC. You’ve just seen the results of a scientific study on a group of women that shows a correlation between a large hip-to-waist ratio and high scores on cognitive tests. (Ignore, for a moment, the absurdity of doing such a study in the first place.) Now you’re going to report on that study. Which of these angles are you most likely to take?

• Fat deposits aren’t that bad for you: in fact, they may be linked to higher intelligence.
• Diet, which is linked to social class, affects performance on cognitive tests.
• Hey men! Curvy women are smarter. If you have sex with them, they’ll bear you smarter kids, which is apparently the primary purpose of women. Anyway, the main thing is that you don’t need to hide your fetish for chubby chicks anymore. Go get yourself one!

Click for the answer.

The other headlines on that page are also quite telling:

Sexy walks ‘keep men off scent’
Gaze ‘key to facial attraction’
‘Hormonal’ women most attractive
Attraction ‘determined by walk’
Slim waist holds sway in history
Hourglass figure fertility link

No one has anything more important to research or report on? Really?

Hat tip: Jenlight.

I’m a Man

Saturday, November 10th, 2007

Several weeks ago, Oklahoma State head football coach Mike Gundy had an epic YouTube Hall of Fame meltdown at a press conference. Despite having just pulled out a tough win, he was upset over an article written about the benching of his QB. Here’s the rant:

\

Oh, and did I mention that the article he was spazzing over was written by a woman? Kinda sheds an even uglier light on some of those comments.

Anyway, the unintentionally hilarious assholery insipred me to mash it up. Enjoy!

I’m a Man by Mike Gundy and Survivor

Bags

Saturday, November 10th, 2007

I just returned from a trip to the grocery store, where the purchase of a half a chicken breast, a tube of toothpaste, a half pint of cream, some pantyhose, a package of tortillas, and a bag of pre-shredded cheese resulted in the acquisition of four plastic grocery bags, plus the plastic bag around the chicken that the butcher provided.

It’s probably time to bring my own damn bags. Any recommendations? I’d also be interested in getting sacks suitable for bulk sugar or vegetables.

Fellas Feeling Frenzied

Friday, November 9th, 2007

Dear diary,

Last night was the wildest freaking night ever, man. I was at Aaron’s party, and maybe I’d had a few too many, but whatever — I was feeling good, and I knew that in my boot-cuts and tight shirt, I was looking good, too.

The place was packed, and without realizing it, me and my buddy Mike had slowly gravitated towards the center of the room. The music was pretty loud, so we had to lean in real close to talk, and whenever a girl would walk by, she’d make some lewd joke about us looking like we were together. We acted annoyed, but we had to admit it was pretty funny.

I wish I could remember how it started (and if I did, it would probably involve the words “Jagr” and “meister”) but at some point we hit a critical mass, and the girls who were just making little comments before were now suddenly circling around us and calling for us to make out. Now, I’ve *never* thought of myself as gay or even bi, but like I said, I was feeling pretty saucy. I told Mike that we’d never get out of here without giving them at least a little show, and that’s when I lifted up his shirt and licked his nipple. Oh damn, were they hootin’ and hollerin’! The ladies started chanting “More! More! More!” and when I looked in Mike’s face, I could see he was a little flushed. Heck, he was turned on!

Well, that was it. Before we knew what hit us, we were both on the floor, naked as the day we were born, and smooching up a storm. Then Mike got this wicked gleam in his eye and slid down to my crotch. Boom! Just like that he was deep throating the cuss out of me. Felt damn good, too; guess if you have the pipes you know how to drain ‘em. As I was loving every minute of the attention, I noticed that the girls all around us were completely lost in lust. Lots of them had their hands down their pants going to town and everything; it was so sexy. To give them a real show, I flipped Mike on his back and started working him myself. I even went two knuckles deep in his butt!

I have no idea how long we were going at it, but it all climaxed with Mike’s girlfriend Darleen coming over and saying she had to get a piece of this hot action. She rode each of us like dogs, and man was it hot. The gals at the party cheered her on until both of us guys were coated in her love juices. I think I passed out after that.

I’m sort of embarrassed now, but I also feel closer to Mike than ever. If he and Darleen are ever up for another roll in the hay, they can count me in.

——

From Tanya Enberg in the Edmonton Sun yesterday:

If you’re a straight gal with considerable dating experience, you’re likely already well versed in the straight guy’s subtle — and not so subtle — approach to playing the menage a trois card.

You know the drill: He primes you with questions like, “Have you ever had a threesome?” or “Have you ever been with woman?”

He’s feeling you out, and his hopeful optimism is so potent it’s palpable.

If you answer “yes” and “yes,” he’s struck gold in the heterosexual guy’s fantasy jackpot.

Any explanation beyond this revelation (“I was totally inebriated,” “Just experimenting in college,” or “I’d never do it again”) isn’t being processed.

He’s already tuned you out.

All he’s thinking is ‘Cool! She’s been with a chick!’

In his mind, there’s a chance you’ll do it again.

He’s gripped onto this new information like a pit bull with a juicy rib eye, has promptly slapped on his director’s hat, cast himself in the role of “lead stud,” and is already crafting up a heated story line of you getting busy with another woman.

Notice that these titillating three-way scenarios rarely involve bringing in another guy?

If a dude ever denies there’s a patriarchy, feel free to remind him of all of this.