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Diversity!

Posted by Ogged
on 06.06.15

This Kimmel bit where they stop people on the street to ask if they have a black friend reminded me that I...don't. I had precisely one black friend when I lived in California (he was also a cop, which made him the MVP of my social cred) and I had black friends in high school (funny, given how white the area is), but for a lot of my life, I haven't had a black friend.

On reflection, if you confine it to local friends, and don't count Jews as white (and you shouldn't), I've gone long stretches without a white friend, too. (I mostly hang with dudes who are either Chinese, Japanese, or Indian.)


 

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Filed under: Reason #318 to Hate Humanity

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 06.05.15

Why Your Dog Can Get Vaccinated For Lyme Disease But You Can't. Basically, by the late 1990s they had a well-functioning vaccine, and the anti-vaxxers got to them and sales plummeted and none of the drug manufacturers would go near it. Since then, Lyme disease of course has sky-rocketed, but it looks pretty unlikely that the vaccine will come around again.


 

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Easy, Perry

Posted by Ogged
on 06.05.15

Maybe Alice Goffman made everything up. I haven't read her book and I drove by a bad neighborhood once. But Steven Lubet's case for the prosecution is weak tea. At issue is whether, when Goffman drove someone around with the putative intent to avenge a friend's murder, they really intended to kill someone. In the book, Goffman writes of learning what it's like to want someone dead. In her reply, she says talk of murder was just talk. This sets Lubet up for what I think of (uncharitably) as a typical lawyer move or (charitably) as one disadvantage of a system of written law applied by functionaries, which is to delineate a binary opposition and force a choice between them, when, in our less prosecutorial moments, we all know that the answer is usually "a little of this, a little of that, sometimes more this than that, sometimes vice-versa, and sometimes this other thing, mostly."

The phenomenon of gearing up to do something with all seriousness, and taking all due steps to do that thing, while deep down knowing--or at least suspecting--that you will never do that thing, has to be a near-universal human experience. It doesn't strain credulity at all for Goffman to say, yeah, we wanted someone dead, and we had a gun, and we drove around looking for someone to shoot, but deep down we both knew that we weren't going to shoot anyone. Especially when the emotion is so high--a friend has been murdered--and the contemplated action so momentous--another murder--it actually seems like the most plausibly human thing to do.

Lubet's response to "just posturing" boils down to "yeah, but shit happens when you drive around with a gun." True enough, but not actually on point: Goffman clearly made a bad decision, but that doesn't undermine her claim that there was no real intent to kill someone.

That said, I do think Goffman, even by the terms of her own response, is guilty of writing to the standard of memoir-truth (what I say is true*, but it was more complicated than that) rather than her stated standard of academic-truth (what I say is true, and let's discuss the complications), and she deserves shit for that.

*It would be nice to clear up "one night" vs. "a few nights," professor.


 

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Gawker unionized

Posted by Ben
on 06.04.15

Has notice been taken here? How will this affect T"R"O's opinion?


 

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Guns.

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 06.04.15

Texas passed campus carry. (And open carry.) The only thing that gave me a modicum of relief about the former was an exchange on facebook between a colleague and a former student of hers. She linked to a campus carry article, and he said, "Oh come on. There were a half-dozen times like when [X] and {Y] got into a fight, and [X] got his gun out of his pick-up and [Y] got his out of his dorm room and they were waving them about. No one was keeping their guns at home just because campus carry hadn't passed yet, and kids don't get shot all the time." (I'm paraphrasing.)

So wheee.

Or you can take this quiz to identify famous landmarks by their floor plan. I didn't, because it didn't sound very fun.


 

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And yet, in a way, I find this somewhat awesome

Posted by Ben
on 06.03.15

I realize that a person interested in practicality wouldn't be spending over $1000 on an umbrella anyway, but something about this seems, I don't know, dumb, I guess? Like, wouldn't it be super heavy?


 

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Ah! My cows

Posted by Ben
on 06.03.15

A delightful article on Erik Satie, including such tidbits as:

By night they lived it up in Montmartre; at the Chat Noir especially, a cabaret decorated with a large picture of a cat above the slogan 'Stop ... Be modern!'

In early 1893, Satie started a relationship with the painter and former trapeze artist Suzanne Valadon. She kept two cats to whom she fed caviar on Fridays and described as 'good Catholics', as well as a goat, who ate any art she wasn't pleased with.

And in 1923 Tristan Tzara asked him to organise the music for a Dadaist soiree. Surrealist thugs gatecrashed it - one audience member recalled Breton rampaging around, clubbing people with his walking stick - and the police had to be called.

Madness!


 

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Oh, Art

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 06.03.15

Art Garfunkel is an amazingly whiny little bitch. The author clearly found it irresistible to portray peak whiny bitchiness:

[Garfunkel] adds that at school he felt sorry for Paul because of his height, and he offered him love and friendship as a compensation. "And that compensation gesture has created a monster. End of interview."

Also:

Did he have a seduction technique? "I had it down to an art form. When you sign autographs after a show, you see the real pretty one and make sure you get to her last. Then you ask, ever so casually, 'Have you had dinner?'"

 

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MM

Posted by Ogged
on 06.02.15

An Onion story in which the article is as funny as the headline.

"This new list may be an improvement, but it is still mystifyingly silent on such mainstays as nannies, shoes, and the scent of a cousin's panties," Amherst College ethicist Joshua McBride said.

Needless to say, we reject their "when alive" dodge.


 

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Lyrics

Posted by Ogged
on 06.02.15

Being accused to "trolling [my] own blog" is my cross to bear, but I ask you, isn't a white person enjoying some varieties of hip-hop kinda racist? I'm not so concerned with "nigga," the use of which might be a reappropriation; fine, get that. And "motherfucker" is vulgar but lots of arts include tough-guy posturing. What I can't get past is all the "bitch"-ing and "ho"-ing. That's offensive! And I think at least a little pernicious. And when I see white people listening to that, I can't help but think that they think, "Hey, that's how The Blacks talk. Aren't you down?"


 

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Tuesday

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 06.01.15

I'm having surgery tomorrow morning. It'll be hysterical. I mean a hysterectomy.

How serious are they about not having even a teeny weeny bit of coffee tomorrow morning?


 

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Guest Post - Sex and Television

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 06.01.15

Nick S. writes: Time magazine (?) opines that online porn has had a positive impact on depictions of sex in TV shows:

In many ways, porn has been freeing to TV writers. "I think there was a pressure for a time for shows and movies to provide that service, and it always felt false because it was like, 'Here's the titillating part of the movie.' It was a marketing technique," says Willimon. "Now you can't put anything on TV that's more pornographic than what's easily available with a few mouse clicks. So you can really focus once again on character, and those characters can engage in sex the way actual humans do."

On the other hand, this article about nudity in Game of Thrones is hardly making an original point, but is quite convincing in it's claim that the show uses naked women as props:

That makes it crystal clear that the reason we so regularly watch nameless female extras bare their breasts on Game Of Thrones has nothing to do with making the drama feel more realistic or deepening the world. It is--in the words of this executive--an attempt to appeal to the "pervert" side of the audience. That's why we end up with shots like this one in "Blackwater" where a naked woman sits happily in a room full of clothed men.

Finally, this conversation/interview with Amy Schumer, Lena Dunham, Gina Rodriguez (Jane the Virgin), Ellie Kemper (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Tracee Ellis Ross (Black-ish), and Kate McKinnon (Saturday Night Live) doesn't have much to say about sex, but they have an interesting conversation about racism and sexism in the entertainment industry.

Heebie's take: I think I've heard the first point before - that you don't need an obligatory softcore sex scene anymore to be clunkily thrust in (and out and in) to the script. But sure, naked ladies are still ornamental.


 

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Easy Listening

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 06.01.15

For a certain segment of the population, I posit that 90s gangster rap has become comfort music. It's the innocuous, everybody-can-sing-the-chorus songs, ("Nate Dogg and Warren G. had to regulate...do-do-do-do-do-da-do-do...") that you play if you need some easy background music. It's a corollary of Snoop Dogg become everyone's favorite lovable uncle - the actual violence and controversy of the music has been thoroughly neutered away, and now it's basically oddly-explicit christmas carols.


 

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One Fifth

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 05.31.15

The Netherlands has a very sane, well-planned, comprehensive sex education, with a large focus on the relationship side of sex and sexuality - communication, good intimacy vs bad intimacy, etc. They start on these topics in kindergarten. It all seems very progressive and nice.

This sentence annoys me:

According to the World Bank, the teen pregnancy rate in the Netherlands is one of the lowest in the world, five times lower than the U.S. Rates of HIV infection and sexually transmitted diseases are also low.

Five times lower? Five times lower? Jesus fucking christ.


 

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