when the status quo frustrates.

Your elitism is showing–! Here, let me tuck that back down into your collar for you. I’m shocked your valet let you out the door like that!

Sunday, October 11th, 2009

This article is so transparent it’s hard to believe we’re expected to take it seriously, but I suspect we are–much like when John Kerry, during his failed presidential bid some years ago, movingly asked, “And who among us doesn’t like NASCAR?”*

It’s pretty much a fail from the get-go; what amazes me is that anyone bothered to write this article at all.

A Recipe for Riches
by Duncan Greenberg
Friday, October 9, 2009

Want to become a tech titan or hedge fund tycoon?

Well yes, of course, who wouldn’t? And it’s really an option for all you Joe and Jane Sixpacks too—

Up your chances by dropping out of college

!!!! See?!? Most of you already got that part covered, don’tcha?

(and in a mumble)

or going to Harvard and working at Goldman Sachs.

(Oh yeah, those too! But let’s speed rapidly on past those parts—)

(more…)

It’s Banned Books Week!

Monday, September 28th, 2009

I love Banned Books Week! Some of my favorite books of all time are banned books…I mean, check out this list of classics! Admittedly, a lot of the banning action took place decades ago, but lest anyone think we’ve relaxed our deathgrip on the minds of our children in this new millenium, here are a nice collection of more recent incidents to sneer at:

Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Sallinger: Removed by a Dorchester District 2 school board member in Summerville, SC (2001) because it “is a filthy, filthy book.”

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck*: Banned from the George County, Miss. schools (2002) because of profanity.

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley: Challenged in Foley, Alabama (2000) because of the depictions of “orgies, self-flogging, suicide” and characters who show “contempt for religion, marriage, and the family.” The book was removed from the library, pending review.

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien: Burned in Alamagordo, N. Mex. (2001) outside Christ Community Church along with other Tolkien novels as satanic.

If you’re interested in the most up-to-date reporting on the 2008 open season on communication of unapproved ideas, the American Library Association puts out a yearly list of the books that are challenged, restricted, removed or banned–see if your favorites are on there too!

Leaving you with the bittersweet taste of irony, from January of this year. Enjoy!

*I might sympathize with an attempt to ban it from required reading lists–yes, it was on mine in high school–based on the fact that it sucks ass and there are at least one hundred more interesting and compelling novels that could immediately and happily replace it…but no, I have to defend John Steinbeck’s biggest load of crap evar based on principle. A shame, but there you have it.

Michelle Obama is a Hot 100 Girl of Maxim

Monday, August 24th, 2009

So, I stumbled across this yesterday, and my brain is still having difficulty actually processing it as a concept:

2009 Hot 100 Girls of Maxim
At long last the stimulus package America really needs: The eyeball-searing, fantasy-fulfilling, brain-exploding return of the Hot 100!

93. Michelle Obama
He may be dealing with two wars, an economic meltdown, and a rapidly graying dome, but at least our Commander in Chief gets to come home to the hottest First Lady in the history of these United States.

My reactions, in chronological sequence:

1. That’s a very nice picture of Mrs. Obama.
2. Maxim is a really stupid magazine.
3. No, I’m not being sexist, it’s the exact same kind of stupid as Cosmopolitan–hey, equal-opportunity stupidity! How often do you get to see that in the real world–
4. Is that really the President’s wife on a Hot 100 Maxim Girl list?!
5. Oh my God, Maxim is such a stupid magazine!
6. She is pretty hot, actually. I don’t think I look that good now.
7. I wonder what the comments say…?
8. Okay, now I’m sorry I looked at the comments.
9. To really analyze this, I should look at the other 99 Hot Maxim Girls–
10. No, I just can’t do it. Not even for the blog!
11. Not only do Democrats get all the good musicians at their convention, now they get to have the hot first lady too–do you think Republicans ever get jealous of all this effortless cool..?
12. Maxim is really the stupidest, most sexist while simultaneously being the most brainlessly trivial magazine, ever. Gah!

Oh, My Favorite! Yes, Please, a Double Helping of That Fatophobia Would Be SO Nice–

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

Maybe I should just go back to being a hermit…

Regina Benjamin’s Country Credentials: What Rural Medicine Taught America’s Next Top Doc

Since starting her practice in 1990, Benjamin, 52, has become an advocate for patients everywhere. She became the first African-American woman to lead a state medical society and has won numerous awards, including a MacArthur Foundation “genius grant” and a Nelson Mandela Award for Health and Human Rights. Still, she never strayed far from her roots, and currently serves as the CEO of Bayou La Batre Rural Health Clinic, which she founded. This week, President Obama tapped Benjamin to serve as surgeon general.

Well, that’s cool, I thought to myself. We are living in historic times…the first serious female Presidential contender…the first black man elected President…the first Latina soon to be confirmed to the Supreme Court…not that Regina Benjamin would be the first black woman to be chosen as Surgeon General, but she would be only the second one…

So I’m feeling a mild warmth towards humanity in general as I scan down the story…til I get to the very, very end:

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Member Comments
Posted By: pdskep (July 16, 2009 at 12:51 PM)

Well, it didn’t help her put down the Hagen Dazs. Should the government spokesperson for public health and healthy living be so grossly overweight?

Huh?

So I scrolled rapidly back up–I had noticed a picture of the Surgeon-General-to-be at the top of the article but had given it only a cursory glance, and honestly couldn’t remember having noticed that she weighed 1000 pounds–

OMG!! IT’S JABBA THE FUCKING HUTT!

…er, not. Well, I thought, maybe that’s a flattering picture of her and she’s somehow managing to hide the other 750 pounds below her neck. Let’s look for a whole-body shot–

…er, still not.

Aside from the fact that she’s not “grossly overweight” (hello?), why does her weight really matter, exactly..? Her weight specifically. Is the concern that the kids of America will look at her and go oooh look, the Surgeon General’s fat, that means it’s okay for me to be fat too! Yeah, because that’s what kids tend to base their eating decisions on…the Surgeon General’s weight. (Like the vast majority of kids, and adults if it comes down to that, even know who the Surgeon General is at any given moment.)

Is the concern that, because she is physically clearly not perfect, then her brain and her conscience and her dedication (which are presumably the things she was actually chosen for) are also not going to be perfect? (That raises the interesting corollary that someone whose weight is perfect, is more likely to have a perfect brain, conscience and dedication as well…oh really…?)


Because people with the magic BMI number are SO much more likely to be both smart AND saintly!

I am not the only one who has noticed this trend and commented on it–no indeed:

Since President Obama announced his pick for the nation’s Top Doc, Internet message boards have been atwitter with the observation that Dr. Regina Benjamin is fat.

Critics seem to believe it’s ironic that the nation’s top doctor would be overweight, and it’s led the most nattering of nags to conclude that she should not be picked for prom queen, er, I mean, surgeon general.

Thank God, too. C’mon, people, let’s make some noise–this is fatophobia at its most disgusting, and most ignorant as well. Spread the word.

Okay, I Have Now Been Right Once Too Often

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

In the not-too-distant past, I noted long before I saw it written or heard it said anywhere else that I didn’t think Bristol Palin’s marriage to the father of her son was going to happen. When that turned out to be correct, I made another note of it, congratulated myself at seeing through the kerfluffle of various amounts of posturing about and/or outright avoidance tactics towards the entire topic by the principals and the media involved, and moved on.

But it’s happened again. And I’m no longer feeling so self-congratulatory. I don’t want to be able to read these people’s minds! I don’t want them to be an open book to me! I don’t want to understand them this well!

Yes, William Saletan is at it again, but this time, he isn’t writing about ladyparts or about any of the other stuff he usually expounds upon (which I mentally dubbed “Frankenstein medicine” a while back, though he’s made a few notable segues into race issues). He…is…writing…about…gays.

Before I go on, let’s recap something from my Saletan bitch session from last week:

…the place where I usually see [Saletan's tactics of "oh of course I'm pro-choice! and now that I've said that, let me do my best to completely undermine the pro-choice stance"] used over and over is in the gay/lesbian debate world, under the rallying cry of “Of course we don’t hate homosexuals themselves! What we hate is homosexuality. Hate the sin, love the sinner!”

Let’s recontext what Saletan has to say, and see if it starts to sound awfully damn familiar to you too:

Every abortion homosexuality dilemma is different, because every situation is different. The person best situated to make the right decision is the pregnant woman person having the homosexual feelings. A few years ago, I wrote a whole book on this point.***

So why do I keep bringing up abortion homosexuality as a moral problem? Because it is a moral problem. It’s the destruction of a developing human being the traditional family unit. For that reason, the less we do it, the better. When I say abortion having a homosexual relationship is bad, I’m not saying it’s necessarily worse than bringing a child into the world in lousy circumstances never marrying someone of the opposite sex. I’m saying it’s worse than avoiding unintended pregnancy in the first place having homosexual desires in the first place. That’s why I keep pushing contraception conversion therapy. If you cause an unintended pregnancy enter into a homosexual relationship and an abortion get married to that person because you didn’t want to wear a condom you didn’t want to undergo conversion therapy, you should be ashamed.

***He hasn’t written one about homosexuality. But I wouldn’t be at all surprised to discover that there was one in the works.

…and, of course, today’s offering from Lord Saletan IS:

Shades of Gay
The heterogeneity of homosexuality.

Researchers contacted more than 1,800 mental health professionals to find out whether they would ever try to change a client’s sexual orientation. Of the 1,328 practitioners who responded, one in six admitted to having helped at least one patient attempt to alter homosexual feelings. The total number of such cases reported by the respondents was 413. That’s nearly one case for every three therapists.

The study’s authors find this disturbing. Treatment to change homosexuality has proved ineffective and often unsafe, they argue. Therefore, therapists shouldn’t try it.

If only life were that simple.

It IS that simple, unless you’re a professional abortion concern troll turning your well-honed skills towards also becoming a homosexuality concern troll.

(OMG, he actually IS WRITING IN SUPPORT OF CONVERSION THERAPY, I thought I was just making a witty comparison..!!!)

In the big picture, the authors are right.

And Will Saletan agrees, women should have the right to choose!

But

I think we all saw that word coming…

…therapy isn’t about the big picture. It’s about lots of little pictures: the worlds unique to each of us. You and I may have the same sexual orientation, but our lives are very different. You know nothing of my family, my religion, or my community. You don’t even know how straight or gay I am. If I tell my therapist that I’d rather try to modify my feelings than give up my faith or my marriage, who are you to second-guess her or me?

In the British study, the therapists who admitted to collaborating in such cases weren’t anti-gay.

Well, of course they weren’t, and Saletan isn’t either, and he is ALSO pro-choice. One thing to love about the English language is the flexibility with which people are able to use it.

The rest of the article is typical Saletan concern trolling, liberally sprinkled with bizarre phrases that only make sense if you don’t think about them too closely, like

The therapists also distinguished between clear-cut and borderline homosexuality.

…”borderline homosexuality?” Like, your right hand yearns to touch Bob but your left hand would really rather stroke Susan?…wtf?

The idea of heterosexuality as a valid “lifestyle choice” turns the argument for sexual acceptance on its head. If a patient prefers to adjust his orientation to family or cultural circumstances, rather than the other way around, should the therapist challenge him?

…uh, the “patient” is always trying to adjust his orientation to family or cultural circumstances; it is NEVER the other way around–at least, this would be the absolute first time ever I have heard of the epidemic of people flocking to therapist’s offices to try to “convert” to homosexuality.

Sometimes, the substitution makes sense. When the patient is clearly gay

…”clearly gay?” Like, when he’s wearing lipstick and heels or she’s in steel-toed workboots and a buzzcut? Yargh…

…and when his discomfort with homosexuality isn’t fundamental to his personality, it’s logical to target the discomfort. But not every case is that simple. A friend once told me she was “primarily wired toward women.” She was my girlfriend for the next year and a half. Another friend told me he couldn’t countenance homosexuality because he was “obliged to believe it’s a mortal sin.” He came out of the closet a year later, but he never left Christianity or conservatism. Another friend lived as a gay man for years, then carried on a multiyear, monogamous relationship with a woman, then went back to the gay life.

“The evidence shows that you cannot change sexual orientation,” says King. But on the margins, I’ve seen it happen.

No, you haven’t. Rinse, repeat–NO, you haven’t, Dumb Ass! Good lord…case 1: your girlfriend told you she was bisexual. I’m sorry to be the one to break this to you, but no, she wasn’t “borderline” or “marginally” straight and the magnificence of your manlyhood resolved her oh-so-confused feelings on the subject–she was bisexual, which is why she used the word PRIMARILY rather than EXCLUSIVELY. Case 2: Your friend was gay, from start to finish, which amazingly enough has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with having religious and political beliefs (I know, can you believe it?). Case 3: Is bisexuality something you just can’t comprehend? Either he’s taking it up the butt and therefore he is G-A-Y or he’s sticking it in the pussy and dammit for several years there he was STRAIGHT!! so he was clearly radically switching his orientation, back and forth, back and forth..! …er, or he’s just bisexual, like your girlfriend in case 1. (So anticlimactic, but the truth often is, I’ve found. Sigh.)

So, what’s going on with me..? Am I mutating into a conservative concern troll or Greta Van Susteren? How is it that my passing observations are coming so ickily true..?

I think I need a hug.

The Definition of “Needs a Life”

Thursday, March 12th, 2009


Remember when all there was to do was watch the neighbors..?

Via CNN:

When her baby girl takes an afternoon nap, or on those nights when she just can’t sleep, Sarah Andrews, 32, tosses off her identity as a suburban stay-at-home mom and becomes something more exotic: a “virtual deputy” patrolling the U.S.-Mexico border.

From her house in a suburb of Rochester, New York, Andrews spends at least four hours a day watching a site called BlueServo.net.

There, because of a $2 million grant from the state of Texas, anyone in the world can watch grainy live video scenes of cactuses, desert mountains and the Rio Grande along Texas’ portion of the international border.

When Andrews spots something she deems suspicious — perhaps a fuzzy character moving from right to left across the screen or people wading through the river with what appear to be trash bags atop their heads — she and the site’s 43,000 registered users can send e-mail messages straight to local law enforcement, who then decide whether to act.

“Today, there’s a couple vehicles that are parked side by side next to each other,” she said by phone, her 7-month-old cooing in the background, “but I can’t tell what’s going on, you know?”

You know, I don’t generally pontificate much on the waste of taxpayer dollars. But this particular scheme struck me as, er, a pretty pathetic example of that…and that was before I even got to this part:

Since the site was launched in late November, only four arrests can be attributed to the cameras, said Don Reay, executive director of the sheriffs’ coalition, which runs the project with money from Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s office.

All of those arrests were related to marijuana trafficking, he said, with about 2,000 pounds of the drug seized.

Those aren’t the kind of results planners were looking for when they started the program, but Reay says the program’s unseen value is in the fact that it prevents drug-related violence and trafficking.

Yeah, marijuana, the drug scourge of the United States! (eye. roll.)

He said sheriffs along the border have seen decreased crime in recent months, partly because of the camera program, although he said he could not cite statistics to back up that claim.

Further descent into ludicrousness:

Abernethy and Andrews, the two “virtual deputies,” said they would like to see greater transparency in the project. Both said they have e-mailed notes of suspicious activity to law enforcement, but neither has heard whether their alerts were of any help.

“It’s interesting. You see different things on there, but I just — I don’t know that it’s doing any good,” said Andrews, the stay-at-home mom. “I wonder if it’s a waste of time.”

Answer: YES!! …hello?!

She also said the site draws her interest because she’s nosy

Gah!

Abernethy said he will continue to watch the cameras because he feels like he’s part of an altruistic group of volunteers. Friends tease him about watching the site, he said. But he sees it as no worse than any other form of quick entertainment — and maybe he can be of some help in the process.

“It’s no different than watching ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ reruns,” he said. “It’s just something to do.

DUDE…TV shows at least pretend to have a plot. With people. Speaking dialogue. To each other. Security cameras are not entertainment…the fact that you are able to think so is not something I would admit in public if I were you. Ever thought of taking a correspondence course? or going bowling? buying a kitten..? something?

Sad.

Oh, good God

Friday, February 20th, 2009

When I wrote this post, I wasn’t actually predicting that those two ladies would ever be juxtapositioned anywhere outside the confines of my own head. However, apparently, somebody in the journalistic world thought it would be piquant to get the feelings of that societally-approved chronic uterus self-abuser (aka, Michelle Duggar) about the recent activities of the societally-reviled version of heself, Nadya Suleman.

Joy Behar, guest host Thursday night on “Larry King Live: …at least you guys enjoyed having the babies, you went through the sex then the giving birth. This woman didn’t have any of that, except the giving birth, which must have been rough, don’t you think?

Michelle Duggar: Oh, my, I can’t imagine. I had twins, but I have — I just can’t imagine having eight at once and the responsibility that that brings.

Behar: Why do you suppose this woman has provoked such negativity? They have a “USA Today” Gallup poll saying 70 percent of those surveyed are unsympathetic to this woman. What is going on?

Michelle Duggar: Well, you know, I feel like probably more than anything it’s just the fact of the responsibility issues from their perspective, and I, you know, I imagine that’s probably more of the animosity that’s out there. And so — but I do — I just can’t imagine, you know, her — how she’s going to handle that many little ones under the age of 8. That’s a lot of little ones all at once.

Yes, having them serially gives you the invaluable option of built-in babysitters at each developmental stage by the time the sheer kid-volume starts to get unwieldy! You’re one smart broad, Michelle!

The Duggars are surprisingly restrained on the subject of Nadya, in spite of the blatant attempts by the interviewer to suss out a negative opinion from them towards her, given how loudly they generally wax on about the glories of having a traditional, Christian-American family…which clearly and unequivocably requires a man and woman united in unholy matrimony. I suspect they’re a little nervous about saying anything that might possibly, possibly ever be taken as casting even the slightest negative connotation on the idea of reproducing as massively as possible, given the fragility of their own glass house on that subject.

The Poor, Abused 9th Amendment

Sunday, January 18th, 2009

I have run across arguments online that say things like the “right to privacy” and “the right to marriage” don’t exist anywhere in the Constitution. When people say this, I’m very curious if reading a short list of 10 things is too taxing for most people, so they stop at the 2nd Amendment or if they’re reading comprehension is so poor that words that have more than two syllables start to go over their heads. Possibly, it might be that since they can’t see the word “privacy” in there, it must not exist. It is possibly some combination of the two. In any occasion, I would like to take this time to go over some basics of Constitutional law, focusing particularily on the 9th Amendment, and talking about the history of some of the rights we “don’t” have because they’re not explicitly stated.

Way back in the day, we had two (major) different schools of thought about the Constitution. There were the Federalists, whom included Alexander Hamiliton, James Madison, and John Jay, and the Anti-Federalists lead by Patrick Henry. There where any number of difficulties between these two groups, but I’m going to focus on the Bill of Rights.

The Anti-federalists wanted a written Bill of Rights, and the Federalists did not. The Anti-federalists felt that without a Bill of Rights, the government would inevitably steal authority for themselves that violated human rights. Henry, in “Need for a Bill of Rights” said quite forcefully:

You ought to be watchful, jealous of your liberty; for, instead of securing your rights, you may lose them forever… I beg gentlemen to consider that a wrong step made now will plunge us into misery, and our republic will be lost, and tyranny must and will arise…

The necessity of a Bill of Rights appears to me to be greater in this government than ever it was in any government before… All rights not expressly and unequivocally reserved to the people are impliedly and incidentally relinquished to rulers, as necessarily inseparable from the delegated powers…

This is the question. If you intend to reserve your unalienable rights, you must have the most express stipulation; for, if implication be allowed, you are ousted of those rights. If the people do not think it necessary to reserve them, they will be supposed to be given up.

The Federalists, on the other hand, thought a Bill of Rights was at best redundant and at worst something to be feared. A Bill of Rights would be redundant in the sense that the Constitution already limited the power of the federal government. It would be dangerous in the sense that, if written down, the government would think that those were the only rights in which a person/ state had, and that a specific prohibition would be taken as an invitation to push their powers. Alexander Hamilton stated in the Federalist Papers No. 84:

I …. affirm that bills of rights, in the sense and in the extent in which they are contended for, are not only unnecessary in the proposed constitution, but would even be dangerous. They would contain various exceptions to powers which are not granted; and on this very account, would afford a colorable pretext to claim more than were granted. For why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do? Why for instance, should it be said, that the liberty of the press shall not be restrained, when no power is given by which restrictions may be imposed? I will not contend that such a provision would confer a regulating power; but it is evident that it would furnish, to men disposed to usurp, a plausible pretense for claiming that power.

But, the Anti-federalists had enough political capital to force an explicit Bill of Rights. However, in order to do this, they had to address the concerns of the Federalists. Thus enters the 9th Amendment.*

The 9th Amendment states: The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people**

In very plain language, this amendment states that just because the Bill of Rights doesn’t explicitly say you have any particular rights, doesn’t mean they don’t exist. For that, you have to go to the common law.

To back-track just a little bit, I need to tell you that there are two different kinds of law in the US: statute, and common law. Statute law is the laws that legislative bodies pass; the text of any particular statute. Common law is the law that results from judicial delibration; ie what the courts have determined what certain laws mean. For example, if the state of North Dakota was to ban red-headed people from driving on Sundays, the statute law would be the text that says “red-headed people may not drive on Sundays”. The court would then hear a series of cases, and from those cases we would get an idea of what the words “red-headed” “driving” and “Sunday” meant for the law. You may get a bunch of judges that decide that this is the dumbest law ever, and decide to very narrowly interpret it so that “red-headed” means “only people who are 90% or more on the red spectrum” and “driving” means “in a four-wheeled vehicle, that is started, in motion” and “Sunday” means “from the hours of 7 am to 10 pm on Sunday”. If the legislator gets really irritated by this series of actions, they can pass a new law, specifically writing what these words mean, that would constrain the judges interpretation.

In the case of the 9th Amendment, the common law has already clarified a number of rights that the people have. In Lochner v. New York the right to contract was stipulated. Skinner v. Okalahoma said we had the right to reproductive rights when it banned punitive steralization. In Meyer v. Nebraska the Supreme Court established a series of rights, including the right to academic freedom, students’ right to acquire knowledge, and parents’ right to control children’s education. In that case, the majority oppinion stated:

Liberty denotes not merely freedom from bodily restraint but (individual right) to engage in any of the common occupations of life, to acquire useful knowledge, to marry, establish a home and bring up children, to worship God

.***

The Supreme Court looks to a number of things to determine if an individual has certain rights. Routinely, they will look at the preceeding eight amendments and see if this “new” right fits in the spirt of the Bill of Rights. The moral norms of society are frequently referenced, as are common law cases. Finally, they make a determination if the right being argued fits the definition of “liberty”.

In the next part, I will talk about the right to privacy, and the history of how we gained that right.****

*And also the 10th Amendment, but I’m not going into that here.
**Can I just squee out for a second and say how awesome I find the US governing document? This is a really impressive document, and one of the few things that inspires a sense of patrotism in me.
***If you look real close, you might notice that the phrase “to marry” and “bring up children” are in there, among other things.
****I am NOT a lawyer. Please do not use anything I say here as binding.

Oh, That Genetic Programming!

Thursday, December 4th, 2008

From some dude named Garth George in New Zealand:

…men and women are different physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. It astounds me that in this age in which knowledge of the makeup of the human being is greater than at any time in history, we will not concede that men and women are genetically programmed for differing roles.*

(via)

Now, this sounds kinda familiar. What was that advice column thing I was cheerfully mocking the other day…oh yeah!

…women should never, ever pursue a man. Instead [wait] for the man to initiate and plan dates…If the woman is always the one calling, she will never know if he is really interested in her or if it’s just convenient for him. She may find herself questioning the relationship every step of the way. Men simply aren’t programmed to think like that and therefore are better suited to the chase

New rule: Nobody is allowed to use the phrase “genetic programming” or any related phrases harking back to that concept and be taken remotely seriously unless he or she can, right now (no Googling!) define for me what a gene is, and no bullshit copouts like “the basic building blocks of life!” either–if your definition can be stretched to include any other scientific and/or philosophical or theological concepts besides genes, it ain’t one. You are also required to know the definition of any and all words used in the definition, and you are not allowed to use any part or variation of the word “gene” to define a gene.

Go!

::crickets chirping::

*He has somehow managed to link this to abortion; I read his article three times and still couldn’t figure out how he got from point A to point M or N. I wish better luck to anybody else that makes the attempt.

It’s always good to know that I’m not the only one thinking about S-E-X

Monday, December 1st, 2008

Hugo has a post up about sex education in colleges and Amanda has another about something called a “Pirelli calendar,” which involves what I have come over the years to recognize as “bullshit sexual buzzwords:” “glamour photography,” “artistic nudes” and “pushing the boundaries of (fill in the blank).” That last one, especially–”pushing the boundaries” tends to mean “I’m gonna to do something disgusting and/or retarded and then I’m gonna say it’s A-R-T and if you don’t get its A-R-T-N-E-S-S, then I suggest you strive harder to be worthy of your amazing new clothes, Ms. Emperor!” Reminds me of the brouhaha over the broad who videotaped her menstrual clots at Yale not too long ago. Such pioneers!

(more…)

William Saletan makes me sick.

Thursday, November 13th, 2008

I’m not kidding. Every week, day in and day out, I see his articles on Slate; I usually manage to restrain myself from clicking on them—on the rare occasions I fail to do so, I’m almost always sorry. Past failures of cognition on his part have included this fine series on how black people are genetically stupider than white people and how wrong it is to pillory scientists who take this as their conclusion and then creatively deconstruct as much data as possible to support that, for instance. Or this one, where he pooh-poohs the notion that it might be humiliating or even detrimental to your health to have your contraceptive prescription refused and praises “crisis pregnancy centers,” which have a well-known history of tricking women inside by pretending to be Planned Parenthood and offering both medically unnecessary ultrasounds and no trained medical advice whatsoever.

What I’m saying is, I knew better but I clicked on the link to his latest masterpiece (entitled “Rethinking the age of sexual consent”) anyway. And yep, barely got into the thing before I happened across this gem:

The original age of consent, codified in English common law and later adopted by the American colonies, ranged from 10 to 12. In 1885, Britain and the states began raising the age to 16, ostensibly to protect girls’ natural innocence.

Let me be blunt, Mr. Saletan: It’s not only a shame that a dumbass like you actually gets paid to write articles, it’s unbelievable. Do you ever conduct any research outside of the confines of your tiny brain? Here, let me do your work for you–and oh, my God, I have to say, as a working journalist (which I am not! yet I knew about it) you really, really ought to have heard about this at least one time in the whole course of your professional life.

(more…)

Only fucking elitists know what “fungible” means anyway!

Sunday, September 21st, 2008

Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin…responding to a question about how oil obtained from offshore drilling can be kept in the country instead of sold on the world market, with an answer CNN’s Wolf Blitzer characterized as “not exactly easy to understand:”*

“Oil and coal? Of course, it’s a fungible commodity and they don’t flag, you know, the molecules,** where it’s going and where it’s not. But in the sense of the Congress today, they know that there are very, very hungry domestic markets that need that oil first. So, I believe that what Congress is going to do, also, is not to allow the export bans to such a degree that it’s Americans that get stuck to holding the bag without the energy source that is produced here, pumped here. It’s got to flow into our domestic markets first.”

(hat tip: Pandagon)

In other news, Governor Palin’s apparently good-humored response to the skewering of herself by Tina Fey on Saturday Night Live was due to the fact that she watched the entire skit on “mute.” Wheee!

*Fucking liberal sexist media, they’d never expect Biden to answer that question!

**Dying to know what commodities are flagged by molecule.