Monday, December 14, 2009
Sunday, December 13, 2009
|Face wine not aware get dark|
Fall flower fill my clothes
Drunk stand step stream moon
Bird far person also few
|Facing my wine, I did not see the dusk,|
Falling blossoms have filled the folds of my clothes.
Drunk, I rise and approach the moon in the stream,
Birds are far off, people too are few.
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
One PO dies and another finds new life. Sure the public option is effectively dead in the Senate, but a House subcommittee has passed a bill calling for a playoff to replace the entrenched and utterly pathetic BCS system to determine national champion in college football
I do like this claim by Ambinder: "Truly, the BCS is a broken system wobbling on the crutches of dollar signs and entrenched interests. In other words, it is the most quintessentially American system we could possibly have."
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
I returned to my office today (as you know I have been away for a while) and struck up a conversation with one my colleagues that began with an insightful discourse on micro-brews (got to love them), which quickly digressed to unions, faculties, departments, wages, etc. Of these, ramblings the one that has stuck in my craw was our joint outrage over salaries and the ridiculous discrepancies among them within the units of my college/faculty. As A&H folks we are all used to the sciences, medical, business schools, and the like, making insane amounts more (for the many reasons we know), but I was slapped in the face almost quite literally upon learning that folks of my own rank (start date, tenure-rankings, etc.) make 7,000-10,000 dollars more than me to teach music, classical studies, English, and so on. I learned this bit of information from our faculty union which has a nifty little program that states what you should be making based on performance rankings, and you can just change departments to get the goods on their salaries. Although I expect English to make more than me, mainly because of the shear size of the departments and volume of revenues from students, I was taken aback by the vast amount of dollar seperation; a few grand, o.k. but 10,000 come on. Even though I stand a chance of reaping some of the benefits of such discrepancies if the wife can land a tenure-track job here, still. Moreover, what is truly f'ed up is that my colleague, who just made tenure makes considerably less (more than the numbers above) than her equals in other departments because a cliche in the salary-leveling that occurred several years ago. To keep up with affirmative action and women's equality, the university tried to bring the female profs to the pay of their male colleagues--the men were making 10s of thousands more per year. Instead of leveling across the university, the salaries were balanced within the departments, well my department at the said time, basically had no senior men, therefore there was no real imbalance so the women only recieved a modest pay increase (same for the men). Although, one can say my department was more progressive, these same women (and some now senior men) are still making, as I understand it much, much less than other tenured folks.
Well to even make things more crazy, which led to our discussion of money in the first place, there is a push to bring the university's pay scale to an equivalent amount to other comparable institutions in our region--an assistant prof at a comparable school makes 30,000 more than a prof at my institution and my university ranks higher than all but 2 of them.
The one element of good news, is that I make a few grand more than what our union's program says I should make.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
It is awkwardly humorous.
Thursday, October 08, 2009
It found that about half the customers noticed the calorie counts, which were prominently posted on menu boards. About 28 percent of those who noticed them said the information had influenced their ordering, and 9 out of 10 of those said they had made healthier choices as a result.
But when the researchers checked receipts afterward, they found that people had, in fact, ordered slightly more calories than the typical customer had before the labeling law went into effect, in July 2008.
The findings, to be published Tuesday in the online version of the journal Health Affairs come amid the spreading popularity of calorie-counting proposals as a way to improve public health across the country.
There seems to be very little discussion of the economic climate and the connection between fast food sales and poverty stricken areas. While this study tentatively shows that, even with better information about food, consumers may not make better choices, the commentary does not discuss the context of the study as well as a Queens resident, interviewed by the Times, who was in Harlem for a job interview and, while at a McDonalds, ordered two cheeseburgers, which contain 600 calories, for two dollars:
When asked if he had checked the calories, he said: “It’s just cheap, so I buy it. I’m looking for the cheapest meal I can.”
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
Monday, October 05, 2009
At this point, I wish this were a joke. Seriously. The first line in the entry, "Liberal bias has become the single biggest distortion in modern Bible translations," makes about little sense unless of course there is one institution that interprets the different versions of the Bible for all people. But what do I know. Maybe King James, who wore gloves when touching the Bible and asked his writers to include the notion of the Divine Rights of Kings, was liberal after all.
Oh well. At least this projects admits that the Bible is far from inherent and only contains some decent stories. What's best is not to live out the lessons or the stories but instead to change the stories to fit your own ideological precepts.
But, if you still need evidence to adhere to the Conservapedia complaint against liberal bias, here are the arguments that prove liberal bias:
The earliest, most authentic manuscripts lack this verse set forth at Luke 23:34:
- Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing."
Is this a liberal corruption of the original? This does not appear in any other Gospel, and the simple fact is that some of the persecutors of Jesus did know what they were doing. This quotation is a favorite of liberals but should not appear in a conservative Bible.
At Luke 16:8, the NIV describes an enigmatic parable in which the "master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly." But is "shrewdly", which has connotations of dishonesty, the best term here? Being dishonestly shrewd is not an admirable trait.
The better conservative term, which became available only in 1851, is "resourceful". The manager was praised for being "resourceful", which is very different from dishonesty. Yet not even the ESV, which was published in 2001, contains a single use of the term "resourceful" in its entire translation of the Bible.
Socialistic terminology permeates English translations of the Bible, without justification. This improperly encourages the "social justice" movement among Christians.
For example, the conservative word "volunteer" is mentioned only once in the ESV, yet the socialistic word "comrade" is used three times, "laborer(s)" is used 13 times, "labored" 15 times, and "fellow" (as in "fellow worker") is used 55 times.
Well, I hope in the Conservative rewrite, Jesus becomes a CEO rather than a useless vagrant that walks around from town to town, upsetting the locals in the way Socrates did. I mean what type of authority figure, regardless of whether or not he is the Son of G-d, does not have a job or work for a living; is married with children; own guns and hunt; reject homosexuals as the scourges of the earth; support the War in Iraq; and rejects the political authority of his historical time. What kind of role model is this Jesus person any way. And why does he hate markets, private property, and rich people? What a Jackass!!!
"Hear, Hear" to Conservapedia and their ideological crusade!!!
Friday, October 02, 2009
Five years ago, Jon Stewart appeared on the now defunct show Crossfire, with the rather zero integrity journalists of Tucker Carlson and Paul Begala. Well, I should say, Carlson defined himself as a journalist even if his normative beliefs about libertarianism got in the way of his reporting, and Begala, a former Clinton White House Aide, is a political commentator, which frees him from any ethical use of facts. But I digress...
Daniel W. Drener argues that Stewart's questions on Crossfire, which led to the demise of Crossfire. Of course, he continues the argument and states that the demise of Crossfire also led to the demise of The Capital Gang and Hannity and Colmes years after the fact. How Stewart;s appearance led to the retirement of Colmes from Hannity and Colmes is not clear but....
In place of the crude ideological debate, Drener states we just have the ideology manifested in Glenn Beck, Keith Olberman, and Hannity. Of course, shows like these existed before Crossfire's demise. And other shows, such as the Sunday morning shows, and Hardball, O'Reilly, Hannity, have opposing positions even if, first, the framing of the opposing is crass and not likely to persuade the audience, who is ideologically committed prior to watching and, second, these shows fail to act like news organizations and discover "truth" such as whether or not Iraq possessed WMDS.
It seems that the pure ideology shows always existed and will exist so long as there is a market for them regardless of whether or not Jon Stewart criticized the format of these shows. But who knows. I have not watched Stewart or Colbert since moving to the East Coast.
Hat tip to Andrew Sullivan.
Thursday, October 01, 2009
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Over at Newsmax, a site that praises Glen Beck, John L. Perry wrote a column titled, "Obama Risks a Domestic Military Intervention." Here is the beginning of the column:
There is a remote, although gaining, possibility America's military will intervene as a last resort to resolve the "Obama problem." Don't dismiss it as unrealistic.
America isn't the Third World. If a military coup does occur here it will be civilized. That it has never happened doesn't mean it wont. Describing what may be afoot is not to advocate it. So, view the following through military eyes:
# Officers swear to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic." Unlike enlisted personnel, they do not swear to "obey the orders of the president of the United States."
# Top military officers can see the Constitution they are sworn to defend being trampled as American institutions and enterprises are nationalized.
# They can see that Americans are increasingly alarmed that this nation, under President Barack Obama, may not even be recognizable as America by the 2012 election, in which he will surely seek continuation in office.
# They can see that the economy -- ravaged by deficits, taxes, unemployment, and impending inflation -- is financially reliant on foreign lender governments.
# They can see this president waging undeclared war on the intelligence community, without whose rigorous and independent functions the armed services are rendered blind in an ever-more hostile world overseas and at home.
# They can see the dismantling of defenses against missiles targeted at this nation by avowed enemies, even as America's troop strength is allowed to sag.
# They can see the horror of major warfare erupting simultaneously in two, and possibly three, far-flung theaters before America can react in time.
# They can see the nation's safety and their own military establishments and honor placed in jeopardy as never before.
While Newsmax pulled the article, you can read the entire column here.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
Friday, September 04, 2009
Thursday, September 03, 2009
Tuesday, September 01, 2009
Well, Roiphe has a new article up on Slate in which she states:
No, I am not responsible for the subtitle, nor did I see it until the piece was on the site, which is in no way unusual.)... To answer some of the other comments: Nowhere in the piece did I tell anyone else how to live. Nowhere did I suggest that my experience of the first days of motherhood was any better, richer, or more interesting than anyone else's. (To me, the addiction metaphor implies a derangement and desperation not entirely to be recommended.) Nowhere in the piece did I attack anyone for having a different viewpoint or experience. (Though frankly one does worry about the fragile commenter: If someone chooses to wear an orange dress are you hurt because of the implied critique of your yellow one?) Nowhere did I say that feminists hate babies. In fact, my own mother was a feminist, and I like to think she liked me.
While the first two sentences maybe fine, though they are quite debatable, the third sentence reveals a lack of memory. Last week, Roiphe wrote:
One of the minor dishonesties of the feminist movement has been to underestimate the passion of this time, to try for a rational, politically expedient assessment.It seems to be quite the trick to blast a group of individuals, all of whom have, according to the author, the same dishonest viewpoint, but not "attack anyone for having a different viewpoint."
Monday, August 31, 2009
They should convene a panel for the next “Meet the Press” with Jenna Bush Hager, Luke Russert, Liz Cheney, Megan McCain and Jonah Goldberg, and they should have Chris Wallace moderate it. They can all bash affirmative action and talk about how vitally important it is that the U.S. remain a Great Meritocracy because it’s really unfair for anything other than merit to determine position and employment. They can interview Lisa Murkowski, Evan Bayh, Jeb Bush, Bob Casey, Mark Pryor, Jay Rockefeller, Dan Lipinksi, and Harold Ford, Jr. about personal responsibility and the virtues of self-sufficiency. Bill Kristol, Tucker Carlson and John Podhoretz can provide moving commentary on how America is so special because all that matters is merit, not who you know or where you come from. There’s a virtually endless list of politically well-placed guests equally qualified to talk on such matters. . . .
All of the above-listed people are examples of America’s Great Meritocracy, having achieved what they have solely on the basis of their talent, skill and hard work — The American Way. By contrast, Sonia Sotomayor — who grew up in a Puerto Rican family in Bronx housing projects; whose father had a third-grade education, did not speak English and died when she was 9; whose mother worked as a telephone operator and a nurse; and who then became valedictorian of her high school, summa cum laude at Princeton, a graduate of Yale Law School, and ultimately a Supreme Court Justice — is someone who had a whole litany of unfair advantages handed to her and is the poster child for un-American, merit-less advancement.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
And a second, but related question: if the virtue of manliness means raw power and strength, why do those who advocate for torture call it "enhanced interrogation technique?" Why not take the virtue to its logical extension and call it what it is rather than diminish or mask the concept of torture behind the Orwellian "enhance interrogation technique."
Bonus: Song of the Day. "I Am a Man" by Bo Didley. Where are the Tony Sopranos of yesteryear?
Thursday, August 27, 2009
I believe we Situationers did this once before, but how many famous thinkers and poets can name who were/are also mothers? Here are a few.
Isabella of Spain (yes, I'm going that far back!)
Sara Willis Parton (aka Fanny Fern)
Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Sandra Day O'Connor
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Can you think of any others?
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
It is an interesting piece as our household transitions from one parent working to both parents working. While we both share childcare duties, Megs has been the one to stay home full-time even while writing a dissertation. Next week, she will step in the classroom for the first time and feels similarly to Roiphe about separation.
Roiphe's piece has been criticized for the following paragraph:
One of the minor dishonesties of the feminist movement has been to underestimate the passion of this time, to try for a rational, politically expedient assessment. Historically, feminists have emphasized the difficulty, the drudgery of new motherhood. They have tried to analogize childcare to the work of men; and so for a long time, women have called motherhood a "vocation." The act of caring for a baby is demanding, and arduous, of course, but it is wilder and more narcotic than any kind of work I have ever done.First, though I am not to knowledgeable on the literature of which she speaks, I find it a bit dubious when writing about a group of individuals and stating that all individuals have one view. It is especially dubious when failing to cite one of those writers and perpetuating the fiction that one writer stands for all of the writers. Maybe those that criticized Roiphe (follow the link), feel guilt for going back to work and valuing work over family. I don't know. But I do know that the controversial paragraph is not very controversial.
In defense of the post, Hanna Rosen writes that this is a "very neglected subject in both literature and philosophy and yes, also feminist writing," especially compared to erotic love. But does this establish a prima facie case that feminists are dishonest about the connection between a mother and her infant? If anything, it is a call that research needs to be done (ahem, Megs....) but this claim establishes nothing else.
But this leads to another problem: if you are not speaking out against something than you are complicit in your silence. This means that Roiphe and Rosen may speak out on this issue but are complicit on all of the issues on which they do not speak. I am sure the list is endless.
Then there is the notion of choice: Roiphe criticizes feminists for not allowing people to choose what they want to do or be, i.e. choosing motherhood over work. But this is an endless game. Roiphe is now condemning people for condemning a choice. This could go on endlessly if we choose.
It seems as if the controversy seems a bit manufactured. If you follow the link on the criticisms of this post you will find that some of the attacks on Roiphe's piece are quite misdirected and unsubstantial. There are better critiques of Roiphe's article. Nonetheless, as we in this household transition, I thought this piece may interest the readers and writers here even if this is a good piece of writing gone wrong.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
A good, clear explanation of Ignatieff's ideas come fom Julie Sanchez. In response to The 2004 CIA Inspector General Report on Torture, especially the section in which interrogators tortured a prisoner by threatening to kill the prisoner's children, Sanchez writes:
I guess what especially turns my stomach here is that the idea wasn’t just to inflict mental anguish on a presumably odious man in order to extract information. It was to inflict that pain by exploiting, as a weakness, whatever flicker of nobility or love remained in an otherwise wretched soul. It was a method of torture that would have been effective only because and to the extent there was something human left in him. Maybe I’m being overly sentimental, but every cell in my body is telling me this is sick and wrong.
There should not be much else to say on this topic though I doubt as if there will be a full review of what occurred. Ever.
And steamboats having partially annihilated space, and of the strides which education, if not intellect, has made upon the highroad of human improvement, assumes an importance greater than the things themselves deserve. To a truly philosophic ken, there is no such thing as a trifle; the ridiculous is but skin-deep, papillae on the surface of society; cut a little deeper, you will find the veins and arteries of wisdom.
Therefore will a sober man not deride the notion that comic almanacs, comic Latin grammars, comic hand-books of sciences and arts, and the great prevalence of comicality in popular views taken of life and of death, of incident and of character, of evil and of good, are, in reality, signs of the times. These straws, so thick upon the wind, and so injuriously mote-like to the visual organs, are flying forward before a storm. As symptoms of changing nationality, and of a disposition to make fun of all things ancient and honourable, and wise, and mighty, and religious, they serve to evidence a state of the universal mind degenerated and diseased. Still, let us not be too severe; and, as to individual confessions, let not me play the hypocrite. Like every thing else, good in its good use, and evil only in abuse of its excesses, humour is capable of filling, and has filled, no lightly-estimable part in the comedy of temporal happiness. What a good thing it is to raise an innocent and cheerful laugh; to inoculate moroseness with hearty merriment; to hunt away misbelieving care, if not with better prayers, at the lowest with a pack of yelping cachinations; to make pain forget his head-ache by the anodyne of mir
Gers on the backs of the non-existent, unattainable books. "But I disagree with you about reading," said Mary. "About serious reading, I mean." "Quite right, Mary, quite right," Mr. Scogan answered. "I had forgotten there were any serious people in the room." "I like the idea of the Biographies," said Denis. "There's room for us all within the scheme; it's comprehensive." "Yes, the Biographies are good, the Biographies are excellent," Mr Scogan agreed. "I imagine them written in a very elegant Regency style--Brighton Pavilion in words--perhaps by the great Dr. Lempriere himself. You know his classical dictionary? Ah!" Mr. Scogan raised his hand and let it limply fall again in a gesture which implied that words failed him. "Read his biography of Helen; read how J
Sunday, August 23, 2009
According to The Brooklyn Daily News, the Brooklyn Public Library has restricted access to the 1930s children's book, Tintin Au Congo after a reader complained that the images from the book were racially offensive as the images depicted "Africans as monkeys." You can see images of the book through Google Images. (And, yes, please take note of the irony.)
The story concerns a young reporter traveling to the Congo who teaches the natives "right from wrong," which is a euphemism for advancing a pro-colonist message. During the trip, the young reporter kills numerous animals and, somewhere along the way, takes a few photos. Accoridng to Wikpedia, Tintin au Congo is part of an 80-year comic series, The Adventures of Tintin, that has been translated in to 50 languages and sol over 200 million copies.
According to library spokesperson, the book was relocated because it "had illustrations that were racially offensive and inappropriate for children." Individuals can still read the book. However, they must request a showing of the book in a special room 24 hours in advance. On the local CBS station, a library spokesperson discussed the move in terms of security for the book: the book has not been banned but relocated for its protection; patrons can still see it but they must see it under certain conditions and under certain supervision.
The ACLU is not happy with the move as it defined the act as censorship.
As The Brooklyn Daily News notes, the Brooklyn library received requests to ban or relocate 25 other books such as Godless by Anne Coulter. Only Tintin was relocated.
Friday, August 21, 2009
The controversy is entirely way to complex. Fascinating but complex.
Yet, I am struck with an interesting rhetorical move by another South African athlete, who, according to The New York Times, stated:
“The question I ask is if this were a European person, would these questions be raised?” said Ruben Ramolefi, a track athlete for South Africa. “It seems there’s hypocrisy behind it.”
Since this is incredibly complex, I ask that Ramolefi not mention another loaded, socially-constructed term into the controversy until someone can figure out the gender issue.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
I am a big fan of this song. It hurts, every time.
It is a great example of mortification where the person takes the blame for the downfall rather than scapegoat someone else for the problems in a relationship.
"You are my sweetest downfall..."
Ridge stepped down as Head of the Department of Homeland Security in 2004.
I may be wrong about this but, if we believe Ridge to be the virtuous citizen he proclaims, why did he not speak out in in August of 2004 and not August of 2009?
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
This seems to be an appropriate metaphor describing the Health Care debate. CNN has more about this person who brought his assault riffle and handgun to a location where President Obama spoke on health care.
Though the person in question is practicing his constitutional rights while protesting, it seems that the refutation for this position is prudence. Similarly to the free speech debate, of course you have the right but it is not always wise to exercise that right. It does not seem to be a prudent move to bring a gun to a forum where citizens can "debate" health care. Somehow this image does not seem to inspire a "good faith effort" necessary for political debate and it does not seem as the person in question is open to an ethical debate, a debate in which the person is open to changing his or her position on a subject.
If only hippies packed heat when Bush and Cheney held their social security or Iraq war rallies. If that occurred, it would have been interesting to listen to conservative commentators attack the hippies for threatening the safety of the President and the quality of the debate.
Oh well. The decline of the American Empire is not here just yet...
Thursday, August 13, 2009
While trying to find the text of a Palin speech, I stopped by a Palin PAC. It is not the official one, though the official PAC is not much better. Yet, like her political career, the site is not well maintained. However, the visuals are interesting.
And the war continues...
1. Social instability caused by erosion of standards and values.
2. Alienation and purposelessness experienced by a person or a class as a result of a lack of standards, values, or ideals.
French, from Greek anomi, lawlessness, from anomos, lawless : a-, without ; see a- 1 + nomos, law; see nem- in Indo-European roots
Here is the diary of George Sodini, the person responsible for the deaths of 3 women in Pittsburgh, PA gym. It is an interesting read and, as one commentator wrote:
Not a lot of hate-fueled white American males reach this kind of rational, revolutionary understanding. And in a way, he’s far more honest than the revolutionaries, too prude and self-righteous to admit what really matters in this life: sex, love, escaping loneliness.
Anomie. Anomie. Anomie.
I'm torn and LC is trying to do somersaults, so time is at a premium, but I thought this was just the sort of thing my fellow TRS friends would want to know.
Monday, August 10, 2009
Sunday, August 09, 2009
No, it did not include jorts or mandels.
After finishing some yard work this morning, I showered and put on a pair of chino shorts and a polo shirt. Since I had no immediate plans to leave the house, I chose a pair of slippers for footwear.
Around noon, I started to prepare lunch. I realized that I needed a few items from the store, so I quickly jumped in my car and headed to the supercenter.
I pulled into Walmart's parking lot and opened my door. As soon as I put my foot on the black-top, I noticed that I was still wearing my slippers.
So through the store I went in my brown corduroy house shoes. Classy!
Friday, August 07, 2009
One of the delightful definitions:
Men who wear tacky sandals. Not flip-flops. Thick leather, usually brown or black with woven or braided leather. Generally worn with socks proudly.
An unfortunate fugly fashion mishap involving sandals with leather straps and/or buckles
In the first video, a opponent to heath care reporter pushes and assaults a supporter. It does not help that the opponent states that the supporter of health care reform "attacked America."
And Harrogate, did you think the violence would end if Obama won the election?
Thursday, August 06, 2009
Monday, August 03, 2009
Sunday, August 02, 2009
Saturday, August 01, 2009
Friday, July 31, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Run with that, boys. Right to 2104.
And in honor of the ignominious death of any semblance of cultural relevance allowed to my ideological opposites, I present the non-classic classic QotSA song, "The Fun Machine Took a Shit and Died."
Because, really, what's the purpose of political dialogue if one side is a spastic deaf-mute facing the wrong way?
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
In light of the tension that develops with family visits, here is some humor to get you through the day. Well, maybe it is just humor to get me through the day: a clip from Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law. This is absurdly funny.
It's Mindtaking Baby.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
The first song is entitled "Flash's Dream."
The second is called "Flash's Confession"
Supadiscomama: You will find something hauntingly familiar in the main guitar riff of this second song.
Fun stuff, these songs. Meant to be listened to carefully. Coffee makes it better.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Friedersdorf's Post on Men and Abortion Rights Elicits, Unsuprisingly, Vitriol From a Self-Righteous Pop Feminist Warrior
I don't believe that all anti-abortion advocates are acting in bad faith, or that they all want to control women. I do believe that many of them have genuine religious objections to abortion, and that these objections don't necessarily make them misogynists. But I also believe that on both sides of the debate are men who don't really get what it's like when something is not their decision to make. It's time for them to learn.
Oh, please. Do "teach" us blinded, oppressive, piggish men, Anna N.
Nothing in the abortion rights saga has been more stunning to Harrogate over the last decade--and this is including the murder of George Tiller, which was more heartbreaking than it was surprising for Harrogate--than the persistent presence on the blogosphere of women writers lashing out at male supporters of abortion rights, for having the audacity to enter the conversation in the first place. There are so many things wrong with such "logic," one hardly knows where to begin.
Anna N. asserts that Friedersdorf's post amounted to a threat by men, to withdraw financial and emotional investment in their offspring in response to the rhetoric of people like Anna N. But of course this is not at all what Friedersdorf's post said. But then, truth is not really a primary concern for those who worship at such poisonous wells.
For that is what identity politics has become, in the popular culture, in the political sphere, and increasingly, in the academic humanities as well. One wishes this were a straw man argument, but then one wishes a lot of things.
The illusion that women in the United States suffer greatly, that a vast patriarchy oppresses Anna N. and her sisters, must be maintained at all costs by any good progressive.
Blech on the race baiters and blech on the ovary peddlers too.
Friday, July 17, 2009
First, watch the ad here. Then, continue reading....
It is an interesting argument:
In the current economic climate, families are trying to save and not spend (and, hence, not always enjoying life. Except this family who looks like their enjoying life. But see, they are a nice, middle-class, suburban family who needs to camp instead of going to Dizz-Knee-Land. And no one likes to go camping, especially suburban families. Hence, this tax is hurting the family in question.)
Congress wants to tax the simple pleasures of life (the only thing you may be enjoying right now): juices and soda. If Congress taxes these as "some in Congress are thinking about it," you will not even be able to have this pleasure. (And then you too will need to go camping on vacation.)
Taxes do not make people healthy. Only education, exercise, and a well balanced diet will make people healthy. (Um.... and you should eat your vegetables because people in Africa are starving.)
As this ad appeals to an "educated public" it is also deeply cynical as it expects the audience not to understand the role of juice and soda on health care. An educated public would know that the increase of juices and soda in our daily diets increase the chance for obesity (see here, here, and here). Obesity increases medical costs (see here, here, and here). Health care reform is urgent because of rising costs. Consequently, a tax on juice and soda will reduce obesity. Reducing obesity will reduce costs. This means there is great social benefit to this tax even if there is no reform of the health care industry, which I would argue is still necessary. But that is the subject of another post.
But this has very little to do with the real issue of the ad: preventing health care reform.
Yet, for Americans Against Food Taxes of all this means is that 46 million Americans should go without Health Care insurance because suburban middle-class family X wants to drink soda even if drinking soda increases health care costs. The group would like people to say no to discriminatory taxes that burden those who drink soda and, consequently, who burden the rest of society for increasing health care costs.
Enjoy liberty with no social duty!!!
Coca Cola for everyone, especially if the company puts the cocaine back in!!!
Thursday, July 16, 2009
To what purpose, April, do you return again?
Beauty is not enough.
You can no longer quiet me with the redness
Of little leaves opening stickily.
I know what I know.
The sun is hot on my neck as I observe
The spikes of the crocus.
The smell of the earth is good.
It is apparent that there is no death.
But what does that signify?
Not only under ground are the brains of men
Eaten by maggots.
Life in itself
An empty cup, a flight of uncarpeted stairs.
It is not enough that yearly, down this hill,
Comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers.
These are all "extracts," but they do the job.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Friedersdorf (and, to a lesser extent, "My First Abortion Party") attempts to negotiate the abortion issue's intersect between women's rights and the misandry that often impels pop (and academic) feminist discourse.
From "My First Abortion Party"
I saw Maggie’s boyfriend, sitting near the kitchen, wearing rainbow suspenders and looking uncomfortably alone. As it turns out, he had been the object of a lot of vitriol from Maggie’s friends -- women who thought that he should not have had anything to do with the abortion
A few days beforehand, one of her friends had asked her to have the abortion in Ohio. When Maggie insisted on bringing her boyfriend along, the friend told her not to bother coming. Maggie was being shown a great deal of respect, certainly. But she told me she couldn’t help but feel as though her pregnancy had been "hijacked" by women who felt like her inclusion of a man in the decision was weak or wrong.
And then from Friedersdorf:
Without taking any position on abortion itself, I want to interrogate the appropriate role of males, and suggest that progressives especially face some thorny questions. As I understand it, the most common position on the left is that how a woman deals with an unwanted pregnancy is a choice to be made by her alone. At the same time, the progressives I know subscribe to a partnership ideal in relationships, wherein major life decisions between couples are made via a process of mutually supportive dialogue, stripped of archaic gender norms whenever possible.
Immediately followed by:
The woman gets pregnant: "I'm late," she tells her boyfriend. The man, if he wants to keep the sympathy of the audience, says, "What are we going to do?" The "we" signals his mutual responsibility for the circumstance and investment in the process -- and the question mark signifies that he'll pretty much support whatever she decides.
That shit's pretty funny, actually. No stand up comic could have done it better.
Given that progressives and feminists are especially invested in pushing back against the notion and reality that rearing children is the province of women, I'd be curious to hear whether they agree with my diagnosis, and how they think these questions ought to be navigated. Is there an inherent tension between the social norms that advance your agenda on reproductive rights, and the ones that better bring about the world you'd like to see more generally?
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
I should write a song about my UPS issues.
Monday, July 13, 2009
A CNN story on the hearings started with the following line:
U.S. Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor said Monday that her hotly disputed judicial philosophy is, in fact, quite simple: Remain faithful to the law.
All of this means is that Sotomayor does not kick puppies. Furthermore, she likes them. In fact, if given the right opportunity, she will pet them. And, while petting one, she will remain faithful to petting it, ensuring maximum happiness for the said puppy.
She also does not spit on the baby Jesus. Nor does she use the Constitution to clean the kitchen counter by the coffee maker.
When in Athens....
If no one is going to make this confirmation process a serious discussion of the Constitution or of the laws, just confirm her already.
Dinosaur Jr., "The Wagon."
If there were a band to describe the essence college rock, in general, and my high school and college rock, in particular, it may have to be Dinosaur Jr. With their odd sound and even odder songs, yes I am speaking about their cover of "Just Like Heaven," this was the band I listened to most during my "formative years." Whatever's Cool with Me, along with The Best of the Velvet Underground, were the first two CDs I ever purchased. I still possess fond memories of that post-Christmas, wintery day. And, yes, and the day of which I speak was December 26th, 1990.
So here is to you Dinosaur Jr and your first cut off of Green Mind, "The Wagon," because "There's a way I feel right now... Wished you'd help me, don't know how. We're all nuts, so who helps who. Some help when no one's got a clue ..."
This song always gets me in a good mood....
On a side note: Buffalo Tom may have made the cut with their appearances in My So Called Life, their radio hit, "Soda Jerk," turned Nike commercial, being one of Jon Stewart's favorite bands, and my fond memories of their show at the Palladium in Toronto.
The poem for today is Huxley's The Defeat of Youth, which you can read here. The problem is that the poem is just too long for a blog post, hence the link.
But not to disappoint, here are two other shorter Huxley poems to appease your appetites.
Oh wind-swept towers,
Oh endlessly blossoming trees,
White clouds and lucid eyes,
And pools in the rocks whose unplumbed blue is pregnant
With who knows what of subtlety
And magical curves and limbs—White Anadyomene and her shallow breasts
Mother-of-pearled with light.
And oh the April, April of straight soft hair,
Falling smooth as the mountain water and brown;
The April of little leaves unblinded,
Of rosy nipples and innocence
And the blue languor of weary eyelids.
Across a huge gulf I fling my voice
And my desires together:
Across a huge gulf ... on the other bank
Crouches April with her hair as smooth and straight and brown
As falling waters.
Oh brave curve upwards and outwards.
Oh despair of the downward tilting—Despair still beautiful
As a great star one has watched all night
Wheeling down under the hills.
Silence widens and darkens;
Voice and desires have dropped out of sight.
I am all alone, dreaming she would come and kiss me.
Dear absurd child—too dear to my cost I've found—
God made your soul for pleasure, not for use:
It cleaves no way, but angled broad obtuse,
Impinges with a slabby-bellied sound
Full upon life, and on the rind of things
Rubs its sleek self and utters purr and snore
And all the gamut of satisfied murmurings,
Content with that, nor wishes anything more.
A happy infant, daubed to the eyes in juice
Of peaches that flush bloody at the core,
Naked you bask upon a south-sea shore,
While o'er your tumbling bosom the hair floats loose.
The wild flowers bloom and die; the heavens go round
With the song of wheeling planetary rings:
You wriggle in the sun; each moment brings
Its freight for you; in all things pleasures abound.
You taste and smile, then this for the next pass over;
And there's no future for you and no past,
And when, absurdly, death arrives at last,
'Twill please you awhile to kiss your latest lover.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Question: why did Nichols continue to conduct the interview?
Question II: why did her producers, camera person, or anyone else fail to intervene?
You can read Nichol's actual answer here but is it convincing?
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Thursday, July 09, 2009
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
Still, the movie impressed Harrogate on a number of levels. The quiet unobtrusiveness of the directing, a willingness to let scenes play out on their own strength that almost reminds one of the Coen brothers. The high profile actors who have overacted at times in other movies, but who bring a light touch in this movie. But most of all, the surrealistic blend of mournfulness and cheer with which Elizabethtown engages the great problem of Death.
The below clip shows much of what Harrogate describes. And what a kickass use of "Freebird," in Harrogate's estimation rivalling even the song's appearance in Forrest Gump.
Dorothy Parker, "Philosophy"
If I should labor through daylight and dark,
Consecrate, valorous, serious, true,
Then on the world I may blazon my mark;
And what if I don't, and what if I do?
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
Kurt Schwitters, "Anna Bloom."
O you, beloved of my twenty-seven senses, I
You your thee thine, I your, you mine. -- we?
This (by the way) is beside the point.
Who are you, uncounted woman? you are
-- are you? People say you are, -- let
them say it, they don't know how it stands with us.
You wear your head on your feet and walk about
on your hands, on your hands you walk.
Halloo your red dress, sliced in white pleats.
Red I love Anna Bloom, red I love your! -- You
your thee thine, I your, you mine. -- we?
This belongs (by the way) out in the cold.
Red bloom, red Anna Bloom, what do people say?
Prize question: 1. Anna Bloom has a screw loose.
2. Anna Bloom is red.
3. What colour is the screw?
Blue is the colour of your yellow hair.
Red is the thread of your green screw.
You simple girl in simple dress, you dear
green animal. I love your! you your thee thine, I
your, you mine. -- we?
This belongs (by the way) in the ashcan.
Anna Bloom! Anna, a-n-n-a, I trickle your
name. Your name drips like soft tallow.
Do you know it, Anna, do you know already?
You can be read from behind, and you, you
loveliest of all, you are from behind as you are
from the front: "a-n-n-a."
Tallow trickles softly over my back.
Anna Bloom, you trickle beast, I love your!
Tuesday song of the day, "If I can't change your mind," by Sugar, one of the best bands from the 1990. Copper Blue, of course, is also one of the best albums of the 1990s. You can preview it here.
The band had only a three year run. But, in those three years, they made some great music.
Saturday, July 04, 2009
Also, Happy George Steinbrenner's birthday.
Robert Frost, "The Pasture"
I'm going out to clean the pasture spring;
I'll only stop to rake the leaves away
(And wait to watch the water clear, I may):
I sha'n't be gone long. You come too.
I'm going out to fetch the little calf
That's standing by the mother. It's so young,
It totters when she licks it with her tongue.
I sha'n't be gone long. You come too.
Friday, July 03, 2009
There is a lot of speculation that she will run for President in 2012 and, consequently, she will not run for reelection for Governor in 2010.
But, why would you resign now and not finish your term? Is everything in Alaska going to go down hill so fast that you think you will not be blamed for it?
Update: File under this is incredibly stupid. from CNN:
Let's think about this statement. If Palin were to run for president and win, then she faces a dilemma. Since, under current constitutional standards, which I assume would not change, if Palin were elected in 2012, then she would not run for reelection in 2016 because every president who wins reelection is a lame duck. Of course, this also means that a victory in 2012 and a conviction against being a lame duck, means that if she were to win in 2012 she would be a lame duck president and, hence, should resign.
Palin added in a statement that she was "determined to take the right path for Alaska even though it is not the easiest path. ... Once I decided not to run for re-election, I also felt that to embrace the conventional lame duck status in this particular climate would just be another dose of politics as usual, something I campaigned against and will always oppose."
She is just bizarre. And no too bright politically. At least she is doing what is best for the citizens of Alaska. Maybe she will do the same for the rest of the country by resigning from politics.
She said she believes politics is "superficial." Define Irony.
Update III: Watch it yourself. I am waiting for the 5:30pm showing on MSNBC. And the Geese in the background.
I guess we will no longer have Nixon to kick around. Oh wait. That was before he won the presidency. Shit.