Friday, December 12, 2008

"Normal Birth"

To follow up to M's last post (and my comment that got cut off somehow), what disturbs me about the Orgasmic Birth site is the idea that there is such a thing as a "normal" birth. If we were to poll the TRS mothers we'd find many different birthing experiences; none more "normal" than others. While an unmedicated home birth might be a more "natural" way to give birth, the truth is that the process does carry inherent risks for mothers and babies. Furthermore, the idea that one way of giving birth is more "natural" and "normal" ostracizes women who, for whatever reason, cannot have an unmedicated home birth.

"A large part of the reason is that technocratic practitioners are deeply afraid of birth. As a result, they overuse technology in an effort to make themselves feel in control of a process they don’t really understand. [...] Why isn’t that OK? Because, as I say in Orgasmic Birth, the overuse of drugs and technology interferes with the normal physiology of birth and causes far more harm than good. It is a sad fact that obstetricians are not trained in and do not understand the normal physiology of birth. How could they be? Only about 3% of births in the United States, including those that take place at home, are normal; drugs and technology dominate all the rest. Doctors almost never see normal birth. Therefore, they have no opportunity to learn about it. "

According to this logic, duckling's birth was abnormal and my doctor was scared.

Drugs and technology kept my baby breathing when she was having difficulty, drugs protected my heart from infection (I have a heart condition), forceps helped prevent a c-section, pitocin (evil satan's syrup that it is) sped up stalled labor, etc. None of the technology or drugs was used without my consent, my doctor exuded confidence and did not want to intervene until she had to, and all of it seemed normal to me at the time.

Aaahh... I could write on this much more, but sadly mediocre student papers beckon.

Look, up in the sky, it's a stupid man

While out walking The Woof Almighty (aka Harley Reads / aka The Harlequin / aka The Brown Double / aka Montana Slim), she and I, I am pretty sure, saw Marine One stroke by on the way to campus.

I fu
[Editpost motivated by Thinkpol]

Yay! America achieved!

Orgasmic Childbirth

My friend L sent me a link to an article on Orgasmic Childbirth. I'm curious to know what everyone at TRS thinks about this.

This is why parents get angry at teachers

I want to preface this post by saying that I generally think parents are too quick to blame teachers for their children's bad behavior or bad grades. Most teachers in this country are overworked and underpaid, and many parents are unwilling to acknowledge problems with their children, preferring to heap all the blame on teachers.

That said, reading this story entitled "Teacher sorry for binding girls in slavery lesson," reminds me that sometimes teachers are to blame. On some level, I understand the pedagogy behind a move like this, I really do. When I teach Harriet Jacobs's Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, I mark off a space that is 3' high, 7'long, and 9' wide, which are the dimensions of the crawl space that Jacobs occupied for 7 years to escape slavery. I have my students lie down in this space and imagine what it felt like to be in the space for 5 minutes, let alone 7 years. So I understand wanting students to understand as much about slavery as possible. But binding the hands and feet of students is taking things a bit too far.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

"If the Pope is right, we are seriously fucked": Understanding Polution as Sin

On March 10th, M uncovered the Vatican's new list of sins, which includes pollution. Megs follows with a post about prescription drugs in our drinking water.

Drawing her first premise from M's post, Megs constructs a frightening argument.

Premise #1: The Pope says Pollution is a Sin.
Premise #2: Pharmaceuticals Pollute Our Water.
Conclusion: Therefore, We Are Seriously Fucked.

Enjoy hell, everyone!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

But Main Street's still all cracked and broken...

What's your favorite business title?

Kid Rock Goes Deep

I saw this on Storytellers last night. I dug it. This is Kid's attempt to write something relevant. From his album Rock N Roll Jesus:

"Now God damn it! I'm scared to send my children to church." Amen.

Seriously, we needed to research this?

Ok, so I'll freely admit that my own research is a bit esoteric, but then again, I doubt I'll ever require huge sums of money to complete my research--at any point in my career. That said, it really irritates me when people research the obvious, as this doctor did: Study Unveils Likely Cause of Mt. Everest Deaths. I mean, seriously? We needed to conduct a lengthy study of all the deaths of climbers on Everest from 1920 to 2006 to know that most of them likely died from a lack of oxygen, complicated by the extreme weather conditions present on Everest? Hell, I'm not a doctor, I'm not a mountain climber, and I've never been to the Himalayas, but you know what? I knew this without having to read a study published in the British Journal of Medicine. I ask my fellow Situationers, most of whom are also academics: did this really need to be researched?

Best of 2008: APB for Harrogate

In the midst of March Madness, Solon issued an all points bulletin for Harrogate, which I found extremely amusing, as that period was the only time this Spring when Harrogate wasn't blogging profusely. I also enjoyed Southpaw's cogent analysis of Solon's missteps in his search of Harrogate.

To Descend is Honorable

I don't know how I overlooked this beauty of a post from February 12th. It is probably one of my top five for the year.

The post was initiated by Harrogate. But today's retrospective honors Megs for her profound comment to that post. It is a comment that forced me to do much soul searching. In the end, I knew that she had tapped into a deep and powerful truth: it is honorable to descend on Saturday, but praiseworthy every day.

Quote Of The Day

Litewieght: "No shower, Daddie! I have to fart!"

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

This is your life; or, The Tuesday Musical Tribute....

"You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake...." It is a mind-numbing kind of night. A night in which the most exciting thing in the world, an inside look into Harrogate's or Oxymoron's or Super D's or M's or Meg's (maybe not Roof's as I may not return and definitely not South Paw's as he is incapable of writing) inner thoughts, would not be enough to save me from myself.

It is Tuesday night. I have five papers left to grade and then an exam tomorrow and more grades to discover.... One grade at a time....

"I say deliver me from Swedish furniture." A few months ago, we went to Ikea. Megs still has not recovered; neither has Sweet Toddler J. I never liked the store in the first place....

Bonus song of the day: The Pixies, "Where is My Mind?"

Bonus Query: What is the worst act ever implemented out of boredom? I mean something with absolutely no value whatsoever but you did it any way because, well, because... because you were bored....and then you enjoyed it....Mine on the flip...

Deepak Chopra chastises Sean Hannity

Unlike many of my fellow bloggers I don't make a practice of reading or listening to Sean Hannity (why would I want to deliberately raise my blood pressure like that?). I did, however, run across this very interesting letter from spiritual guru Deepak Chopra to Hannity on the Huffington Post while eating my lunch today. Here's my favorite part:

No one expects the right wing to change, but for what it's worth, they have entered an era of reconstruction. They've lost both their power and their credibility. Instead of trying to educate me about being an American, you might want to re-educate yourselves about dirty pool and below-the-belt attacks. Just a thought.

A White Lie and a Pedagogical Lesson; Wherein the Shit Hits the Fan

4 March 2008:

Texas TRS bloggers do the Two-Step. They cast their primary votes during the day and return to their polling station later that evening to caucus.

5 March 2008:

TRS bloggers share their experiences: M reports that her experience was anti-climatic and criticizes the entire process as anti-democratic; I admit that my caucus was anything but sexy, Harrogate claims that his experience was boring, although his retelling of the story suggest otherwise, as he found himself "in the middle of things"; and Paperweight reveals that his caucus was "a waste of FUCKING time" [emphasis his].

Following these less-than-stellar reviews of the Texas caucus, Megs reminds Situationers that their suffering was worthwhile and calls for a joint ticket. Solon quickly offers arguments against a joint ticket.


Harrogate, Sarah, and I convene in Harrogate's office. We further discuss the caucus. Even though our experiences fell short of expectation, Harrogate notes that Solon probably wishes that he was still in Texas so that he could caucus. The reason: the idea of deliberative democracy in action makes him "cream his jeans." Sarah and I laugh at this expression, as neither of us have heard it since middle school. Admid our laughter over creamed jeans, a very bad idea emerged: let's fool Solon. Yes, let's see how excited he gets knowing that one of us is a delegate. With hesitation, Sarah consents. I sit in the corner, still laughing over the expression.

Sarah makes the fateful statement in the comments section of Megs's post:
I just wanted to let you all know that I hung around for the end of the caucus and was chosen as a delegate.

Four minutes later, Solon replies:

But the conspiracy was short-lived, for Sarah could not live with the lie. She could not continue to toy with Solon's emotions, and so she revealed the entire plot on TRS.

Harrogate back-pedals and claims that the conspiracy against Solon was a pedagogical lesson designed to show "what voters in Florida and Michigan must have felt, on learning that they would not, in fact, get to have a say [in the democratic primary], because of sealed agreements made by removed forces." He then quickly changed the topic back to the joint ticket. But, alas, it was to late. Things were headed downhill. Quickly.

Solon is obviously hurt, as he does not respond for some time.

But Megs fights the good fight, closing the day with a post that identifies "an actual delegate." Stab. Ouch.

6 March 2008:

Harrogate begins the day with a post on the "Michigan and Florida Clusterfuck." Solon replies to said post, addressing Harrogate with a new epithet, "Oh Wise Harrogate, supporter of Senator Clinton and, hence, possessor of the truth; teacher of pedagogical lessons." Much like Romney after Huckabee's win in West Virginia, it seems that Solon is pissed.

The aggression against Harrogate continues. And he feels it. He calls Oxymoron, upset that the seemingly innocent "delegate" joke has backfired and made things very, very bad.

Then Paperweight fuels the fire, publishing a post that asks Obama supporters to tell him why he, like many of them, should hate Clinton. I try to neutralize some of the antagonism in the post--and some of the tension on TRS, in general--by commenting on his use of "fucking" throughout his post. But my efforts fall short, as Megs feels that she and Solon are being attacked by PW. More fun ensues.

Eventually, M calls for everyone to take a breather, to focus our energy towards our dissertations. She is more successful in this attempt to steer us away from heated political discussion than in her previous attempt.

Things come full circle when Megs asks Reverend Todd to comment on the current issues being discussed the Rhetorical Situation. I inform Megs that the Good Reverend hasn't been following our discussions because he is busy studying his delegate's packet. Ha!

Monday, December 08, 2008

"This is Just a Football Game."

John Lennon was killed twenty-eight years ago tonight. Howard Cosell announced his death on Monday Night Football. You can watch the announcement, which is quite surreal, on You Tube.

Here is Nightline's report from that night.

It is a rather creepy story. Chapman desried to live out some Catcher in the Rye fantasy: "He [Lennon] knew where the ducks went in the winter." Hours before Chapman killed Lennon, he appeared in a photo with him that was taken outside of The Dakotas.

After the shooting, Chapman sat down on the sidewalk, read Catcher in the Rye, and waited for the police.

This brings us to Monday's Musical Tribute: There is no tribute...

Sunday, December 07, 2008

P-Duck Speaks Up

P-Duck has been silent for a while, but she is no Grinch. Thus, in the sharing spirit of the season and in homage to the nostalgia lately experienced on the Situation, she humbly offers this timeless classic.

An Age Old Dilemma

For Oxy and Oxy alone.

Note: This film may not be suitable for minors.

Speaking of Gifts...

This might also work for Christmas.

Sometimes Spouses Also Search for Gift Ideas...

So hide well your contraban.

Sunday Musical Tribute

I woke up with this song in my head, so I felt compelled to share. Unfortunately, this isn't a particularly good version, but apparently many people aren't compelled to post songs by Allison Moorer.