Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Emma and me in Bisbee:

The picture in the previous post of the couple in buckskin bugs me because it's just so stupid. Consider this a chaser pic.

We're staying home to meet trick-or-treaters tonight. Emma has a great witch's hat, and I'll look through the box room to see if there's something amusing for me.

It's the best holiday ever.

more on sexy halloween costumes and social justice neo-puritanism

This post has moved: sexy halloween costumes and social justice neo-puritanism, Parts 1 & 2.

Monday, October 29, 2012

class and catcalling

This video about catcalling is both funny and a fine illustration of the ineffectiveness of Social Justice Warriors:

The advice? Men should talk to their friends about how women hate catcalling. The ineffectiveness? Catcalling has an enormous class component. The men who will talk to their friends about catcalling are not the problem, and neither are their friends. They're usually in a social class that doesn't catcall.

The problem is recognized in Catcalling and Connections to Class at Sustained Enthusiasm. The writer doesn't have room to explore the connection, maybe because exploring it calls for exploring US capitalism, bad schools, and the lives of men who don't have work. Some of those men catcall in the way poor people buy lottery tickets, knowing it won't work but, for a moment, being able to dream that it will. Others catcall because, for one brief moment, they're more powerful than someone else.

A proper study of catcalling would explore the class dynamics. Do poor women and middle-class women respond the same way to catcalling? Do they get the same kinds of catcalls? Do they get them from the same kinds of men?

I'll keep looking for answers. But right now, I'm glad I was able to find someone who saw the problem clearly enough to acknowledge that this is yet another issue with an enormous, rarely acknowledged class component.

Rebecca Watson (Skepchick) and "no means no"

This post has moved: Rebecca Watson (Skepchick) and "no means no"

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Independent voters are less racist than Republicans or Democrats

Another tidbit from AP poll: Majority of Americans harbor prejudice against blacks | National Politics and Election News:
The poll finds that racial prejudice is not limited to one group of partisans. Although Republicans were more likely than Democrats to express racial prejudice in the questions measuring explicit racism (79 percent among Republicans compared with 32 percent among Democrats), the implicit test found little difference between the two parties. That test showed a majority of both Democrats and Republicans held anti-black feelings (55 percent of Democrats and 64 percent of Republicans), as did about half of political independents (49 percent).
This bit from AP poll: Slight majority of Americans harbor prejudice against blacks rings true:
Overall, the survey found that by virtue of racial prejudice, Obama could lose 5 percentage points off his share of the popular vote in his Nov. 6 contest against Republican challenger Mitt Romney. But Obama also stands to benefit from a 3 percentage point gain due to pro-black sentiment, researchers said. Overall, that means an estimated net loss of 2 percentage points due to anti-black attitudes.
I test as one of the whites with a pro-black bias, which may be why I voted for Obama in '08, even though I knew he was a neoliberal who would do pretty much what he's done. I'm voting Green this time.

Monday, October 22, 2012

C. S. Lewis on people who torment us "for our own good"

"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive...those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." —C.S. Lewis

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Cesar Cruz on art

“Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.” ― Cesar A. Cruz

Richard Burton on nice poets

"The only nice poets I’ve ever met were bad poets and a bad poet is not a poet at all—ergo I’ve never met a nice poet." -Richard Burton

Thursday, October 18, 2012

on Outing Violentacrez, Pseudonymity, Free Speech, and the Right to Work

tl;dr: Gawker's Adrian Chen knew that if he outed Violentacrez, the moderator of sexually creepy but legal forums on Reddit, Violentacrez would lose his job, his disabled wife would lose her health insurance, and they would be in danger of losing their home. Violentacrez offered to close his forums and cancel his Reddit account if Chen would not out him. Though Chen could have written about him while preserving his anonymity, Chen chose to out Violentacrez. The only practical result of this was to make a family lose their income and health care and put them in danger of losing their home. On Reddit, new forums immediately sprang up to replace the old ones—and Chen's hypocrisy should be obvious, because Gawker still hosts upskirt pics too.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Arthur C. Clarke on the goal of the future

“The goal of the future is full unemployment, so we can play. That’s why we have to destroy the present politico-economic system.” —Arthur C. Clarke

Tuesday, October 2, 2012