merrycaepa: (Default)
> A Cleopatra biography that apparently does not descend into sensationalism!

> I am unsure of why anyone thought quotes were necessary in this title: "Khadr 'scared' of jail rape threat: Guantanamo's youngest prisoner tells military tribunal that interrogators warned he could face gang rape."

> "'Today I will start with a three-part sermon on: Jesus was HIV-positive,' South African Pastor Xola Skosana recently said in a Sunday church service." Skosana also comments: "'The best gift we can give to people who are HIV-positive is to help de-stigmatise Aids and create an environment where they know God is not against them, he's not ashamed of them.'" I, uh, do not recommend reading the comments.

> Sexual harassment in Egypt; unfortunately sensationalist but interesting nonetheless.

> The Ugandan tabloid Rolling Stone has published another 'gay list': "Editor Giles Muhame, 22, has discouraged readers to physically attack people on the list, but he claims gay people are going to schools and 'recruiting' schoolchildren."

> With "A Superpower in Decline: Is the American Dream Over?" Spiegel asks the tough questions (answer: define 'the American Dream' and we'll get back to you). However, the following article - "Giant Hole Opens up in German Town" - at least makes the crumbling American empire seem a bit mundane. And I do have to admit that the 'the Desperate States of America' line is at least kind of funny. But frankly...I mean, define Americans. One of the 'ordinary people' cited in the article is "Axel Jakobeit, a German by birth and American by choice." So when the article says that "Americans aren't careful," does that extend to the Mr. Jakobeit? What defines an American?

> The PKK has denied any role in Sunday's suicide bombing in Istanbul, and has extended the cease-fire that was due to expire that day until elections in June. However, it is still possible that the bombing was carried out by a PKK splinter group (ie, the TAK).

> On the Foreign Policy frontpage, this article was titled: "Please Don't Feed the Neocon Zombies This Halloween." Also, it's a delightful read. "To paraphrase Thucydides, the realpolitik of zombies is that the strong will do what they can and the weak must suffer devouring by reanimated, ravenous corpses."

> "The Arabs (and Indians and Chinese) Are Coming!: With so many touching xenophobic and foreigner-baiting attack ads, it's hard to pick favorites. Here are five of the best as the midterm elections get ugly." My favorite line: "In the third and final ad we're back in the hanger again, but this time our olive-skinned friend appears co-conspirator who seems to be handy building bombs. Or putting a top on a thermos." (FP was pretty punchy today, you may have noticed.)

> How is it that almost every headline I see concerning Israel these days fills me with the urge to beat my head roundly upon my desk and keyboard? "Israelis launch their own tea party ahead of US elections": "Netanyahu supporters in Israel have launched a self-described 'tea party movement' this weekend, hoping for defeat for US Democrats in the upcoming election... Former Likud parliament member Michael Kleiner, who came up with the idea for an Israeli tea party, praised the US movement as a 'model' capable of intimidating a president whose peace policy has brought 'zero-percent usefulness' and '100 percent terror.'" Headdesk. Headdesk. Headdesk.

> Regarding the upcoming Medvedev-Putin showdown looming on the horizon, The Moscow Times says: "This battle will only get uglier. Stay tuned." Oh, we shall.

> The New Zealand Herald has an interesting take on the Rally to Restore Sanity.

> Via Reddit: the Danish People's Party has put out a call to block Al-Jazeera and Al Arabiya on the grounds that such stations indoctrinate children. Jesus, I hate Mondays.

merrycaepa: (r&i - girl talk)
> Suicide bombing in central Istanbul today. I've posted about it below. (This'll be a short roundup, today, kids; most of my newsreading time went into hunting down reports about the bombing)

> Salon lovingly if slightly chidingly covers the Rally to Restore Fear/Sanity here, covers Jon Stewart specifically here, and assembles a slide show here (my favorite sign - "make awkward sexual advances, not war" - sadly is not featured.)

> With their typical lack of anything approaching, subtlty, HuffPo front page announces that "Rally Attendance OBLITERATES Turnout to Glenn Beck Rally." The actual article headline ("Rally To Restore Sanity Attendance Estimated In Hundreds Of Thousands") is somewhat more staid. Anyway, estimates are variously putting rally attendance between 215,000 and 250,00 - well in excess of Beck's estimated 87,000. Woo!

> Via GFY: the penthous apartment at the top of Smith Tower in Seattle. I want to live here! Clearly I am in the wrong major and aiming at the wrong profession.

> Also via GFY: bookshelf porn!

> Reading Invisible Man for English. Lovely book, but it requires a certain level of concentration I am not really in possession of right now (see point the first).


merrycaepa: (xf - heroine addict)
> YOU GUYS YOU GUYS BEST LUNCH EVER TODAY. It's cold outside (frosted last night!), it's cold inside (we still have no heat!), and I think I have a cold (joy!), so quite frankly I did not want a fucking salad for lunch today. So instead I shelled a handful of pistachios, dumped it on top of a package of raman, microwaved it, mixed in the flavor packet, let it set, drained off the liquid, added crushed red pepper flakes (you know, the kind that come with delivered pizza), and nommed. It was quite delicious.

(I've done something similar with canned chickpeas, which is similarly tasty, but I was cold and tired and didn't want to deal with the fucking can opener attachment on my pocketknife, so there.)

> I emailed this article to my Dad and then later, while we were talking on the phone, told him I wanted to go to Uzbekistan. He was like, dude, that article is a list of reasons why you don't want to go to Uzbekistan.

> The Turkish TV show “Fatmagül’ün Suçu Ne?” ("Is it Fatmagül's Fault?") apparently has a gang rape scene, and whoa, the controversy (allegedly there is unauthorized tie-in merchandise in the form of underwear and sex dolls. I wish I was kidding). The show's creators argue that it's wrong to characterize a show by one scene, but I would, like to point out that suggesting gang rape (or any other form of sexual assault) is the victim's fault as part of the title would be a good starting place for a discussion.

> This article was headlined as such on the foreignpolicy.com homepage: "Red Red Wine: Can Communists Learn to Love Cabernet? (Bonus: Other Strange Obsessions of the Chinese Bourgeoisie)." I haven't even read the article, but I can't say no to a headline like that.

ETA: Reading the article now: "But a nation of uneducated drinkers who show little interest in learning about wine's subtler notes...and rampant counterfeiting mean that China's nascent wine explosion may end up corked." Ha! You slay me.
 
> I am not entirely sure that this logic tracks? "'If you unjustly thought that it is your right to prevent free Muslim women from wearing the face veil, is it not our right to expel your invading men and cut their necks?'"

> The New Zealand Herald had an interesting headline today: "Credible terrorist threat against US - Obama" I kind of hope that that formatting was an accident? On the other hand, New Zealand's quality of life indicators are making the rest of us look bad, so I suppose they're entitled to be snarky.

> "In an unprecedented event in ultra-conservative Saudi Arabia, Saudi women claimed the world record for forming the largest-ever human pink ribbon at a rally to raise awareness about breast cancer." (Warning: irritating pop-up ads)

> The Economist, in an editorial on the Obama administration: "Everyone knew that Mr Obama had inherited the in-box from hell." Very true, that. (This article is actually titled "How did it come to this?" which is a phrase I cannot hear without thinking of "Where is the horse and the rider?") But seriously, though, I cannot begin to emphasize how much this matters:
 
Obamacare... compels every citizen to buy health insurance on pain of a fine. In return, the poorest buyers get a subsidy. And in return for receiving more than 30m previously uninsured customers, many of them young and healthy, the insurance companies are obliged to offer more generous coverage. For example, they will no longer be able to deny customers coverage on the strength of some pre-existing condition, or put a cap on how much health care they will pay for over a lifetime.

 > A NYT article on what a dollar will get you, food-wise.

> Truly gorgeous Sherlock pic, with subtle .giffery.

> Aaand there goes my productivity. Damn you, internetz.

> Jon Stewart quoted Natalie Merchant in his closing remarks. FTW.
 
 
merrycaepa: (Default)
> This feels...ballsy. Wow. "Vatican body asks UN to end Israeli occupation": "The Palestinian people will thus have an independent and sovereign homeland where they can live with dignity and security. The State of Israel will be able to enjoy peace and security within their internationally recognized borders." Also, of all the news sites I looked at today - which is a not-insignificant list - I think Al Arabiya was the only one to pick it up?

> Cholera outbreak in Haiti. My friend H. is in Haiti on a photojournalism internship. I told her not to die before she left. I mean it this time.

> After the Ugandan newspaper Rolling Stone publishes the names and details of gay or supposedly gay locals...attacks and harrassment mount.

Back when all of this started to surface - a year or more ago - I seem to remember the Slacktivist taking the instigating missionaries to task after said missionaries released statements about how they were shocked and appalled by the rising homophobic violence. Clark's point was: you went into  a community, told them about scary, dangerous deviants living among them who would kill their families and rape their children, and then you were surprised when they took you seriously? - Which in turn implies that said missionaries weren't taking it seriously, which means they didn't actually believe it, which means what the hell were they doing there in the first place? (My Google-Fu is failing me and I'm unable to find the original post. Apologies)

> Using the latest WikiLeaks dump, Spiegel reconstructs Nov. 23, 2006, to illustrate the day-to-day conditions in Iraq.

> Relatedly: CSM lists their top five bombshells from the WikiLeaks documents. (I am, uh, not entirely sure that 'bombshells' is the correct term to use in this instance, but it was their term, not mine)

> Spiegel on the rioting in France: "But the conflict is no longer about the pension system, population pyramids or hardship cases, and hasn't been for a long time. The controversy over the pension reforms has become the flashpoint for a political showdown between the French government and people in the street, between Sarkozy and the French population. The dispute is a culmination of popular frustration with the work of the French president, who has even managed to alienate his own conservative voters with his aggressive manner and his verbal faux pas."

> Additionally, Spiegel kindly requests that the Tea Party keep its hands off Hitler, thank you. With a remarkable level of restraint, the writer comments: "The Holocaust was the result of murderous ideological fanaticism of the kind not to be found in leaders forced to face re-election every four years."

> I very much enjoyed this editorial: "Enough! Germany's Integration Debate is Making Us Dumber."

> Amanda Marcotte over at Pandagon takes apart the 'controversy' surrounding the Yale frat boys' assholery here.

> Via GFY: Apparently Zach Galifianakis had a pretty big role in pushing Mel Gibson out of The Hangover 2. You know, I've been meaning to see It's Kind of a Funny Story...

> The Wayward Classicist discusses Thirsty Thursday. Apparently it's been one of those semesters on other campuses, too.

It only took me two hours to get through the blogroll this morning! God, I love low-work weekends. Next up: a Sherlock rec list!

merrycaepa: (r&i - teh internetz)
> Saw the theatre department's mashup of West Side Story and Romeo and Juliet Friday night. It was generally pretty good (the music was lovely, the ballet was pretty good, and the acting was...fifty-fifty?). The problem with R&J is that no matter how you do it, the beginning scene is always, always going to feel gimmicky. The best parts, hands down, where the nearly a-capella rendition of "Maria" by a male choir and the completely acapella version of "Someday" accompanied by a ballet at the very end. I'm a sucker for a-cappella.

So now I'm back in my room listening to Bare, which I dearly wish we would do ("You & I" <3 <3 <3)...but, no, we're doing Rent in the spring. My own issues with Rent aside...we have the whitest department you've ever seen. I have no idea how the directors think we're going to pull this off.

> In case you were wondering...Rand Paul is both bigoted and an idiot. I don't plan on having kids - but I wonder sometimes how words like this will bear fruit when my (unlikely, hypothetical, medically risky) child has to go to school and her classmates' parents teach them it's okay to beat her up because her mom's a fag.

> I can't say I'm fond of the hyperbole, but...this is a bit refreshing: "In an extraordinary move to nip the inflammatory commentary coming from Glenn Beck, the founder and CEO of the Tides Foundation (a frequent Beck target) has written advertisers asking them to remove their sponsorship of the Fox News program or risk having 'blood on their hands.'"

> Bill Bryson on The Colbert Report. This pretty much just made my life.

> I love this article ("All Roads Lead to Istanbul"), and it gets a lot right, but I disagree with this statement: "It's a caricature to say that Turkey has chosen the Middle East, or Islam, over the West. Turkey's aspiration for full membership in the club of the West, including the European Union, is still a driving force." In ten years, this will not be the case; virtually no young person I've ever met (in highly Westernized Istanbul; I suspect that there are even fewer in the East) thinks Turkey has any business in NATO or trying to join the EU; they see it as bootlicking the imperialists of the West (and they aren't far wrong). Turkey has a lot of sentimental and practical interest in staying on the West's good side at the moment. In a decade, they won't, and it's starting to show now.

> " Of course that's not what Michelle Obama said, but beyond that typical Palin mangling of the truth, let's examine the utter classlessness of her remarks. She's a leading if undeclared contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012; in many ways comparable to Sen. Barack Obama in 2006. Can anyone imagine Obama mocking Laura Bush for something she might have said on the campaign trail two years earlier?"

> Glenn Greenwald on decriminalization in Portugal.

> This article about an industry exec advocating dropping the price of an album to £1 is highly interesting, but the real kicker is a comment made by one of his opponents: "Jonathan Shalit, who discovered Charlotte Church and manages N Dubz and Russell Watson, described it as a 'totally ridiculous suggestion': 'Right now if you buy a bottle of water it's £1,' he said. 'A piece of music is a valuable form of art. If you want the person to respect it and value it, it's got to cost them not a huge sum of money but a significant sum of money.'

Frankly: bullshitsky. An album is perhaps fifty minutes long and deals with only one medium: sound. A DVD can be two and a half hours long, fills two sensory mediums, and be packed with bonus features - and it frequently costs the same if not less than that fifty-minute album. I buy movies. I download music. Drop album prices down to where I feel like I'm not getting robbed and I'll stop.

> Rizzoli & Isles FTW (see icon!); I discovered them last night and am now very much in love. "I know it was you that put a mallard duck in my locker in seventh grade." Two women! Who are friends! And fight crime! It's like Christmas!

("Every woman needs a LBD!"
("Not me, I got vaccinated.")

...so what's betting that it's canceled at the end of the first season?
merrycaepa: (Default)
> So last night I had a really good, really long conversation with my best friend in the world about coming out, Santa Claus, and genocide. Apparently it did at least one of us some good, because I afterward I promptly went to bed and slept for ten hours. Oops?

> You know, he makes a good point. "PLO Responds To Israeli Demand Of 'Jewish State' Recognition: 'Show US The Map Of Your Borders'": "Yasser Abed Rabbo, an official with the Palestine Liberation Organization, told reporters on Wednesday that in response to the Israeli demand that the Palestinians recognize it as a 'Jewish state', that Israel must present the map of the state that it wants the Palestinians to recognize, before asking this question."

> I...really? I love Budapest. "Europe's Capital of Anti-Semitism: Budapest Experiences A New Wave of Hate." Words really can't describe how sad this makes me. In Budapest this summer, H. and I toured The House of Terror (referenced in the article!), a museum devoted to oppressions enforced on the country through the Nazi and Soviet occupations. Budapest has been destroyed again, and again, and again, and if any city could, in a microcosm, understand the consequences of hatred...I would have thought it would be Budapest.

I just - Jesus. "Neo-fascist thugs attacked Roma families, killing six people in a series of murders. The right-wing populists of the Fidesz Party won a two-thirds majority in the parliament, while the anti-Semitic Jobbik party captured 16.7 percent of the vote, making it the third-largest party in Hungary, next to the Socialists. Unknown vandals defiled the Holocaust Memorial with bloody pigs' feet. A new law granted the government direct or indirect control over about 80 percent of the media. The television channel Echo TV showed an image of Nobel laureate and Auschwitz survivor Imre Kertész together with a voiceover about rats. Civil servants can now be fired without cause. Krisztina Morvai, a member of the European Parliament for Jobbik, suggested that 'liberal-Bolshevik Zionists' should start thinking about "where to flee and where to hide."

(Dear Jobbik: yes, you got dicked over by Trianon, but it was the end of WWI; everyone got dicked over. It's why WWII happened. Shut up and go away.)

> Oh, honey. Me, too. "Turkish immigrants fear spread of xenophobia in German society": "'What is most dangerous is that racism in Germany is going from a Nazi appearance to a ‘black-tie racism,’ Kenan Kolat, a leader of the Turkish community in Germany, told the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review on Thursday. 'The existing racism is heading toward the center of society, to cultural, white-collar racism.'"

> This article over at Pandagon about how liberal and conservative bloggers came down on the story about the firefighters who let a man's house burn down because he hadn't paid an annual fee is fascinating.

> I love this line: "If 20th-century Russia was to Winston Churchill a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma, for observers of contemporary Iran, the Islamic Republic often resembles a villain inside a victim behind a veil." [source]

> From Slate: "Classrooms With a View: Innovative school design is hard, but it doesn't have to be."

> From Der Spiegel: "Lev Raphael, Author and Son of Holocaust Survivors: 'I Find Myself Defending Germany'"

> I've heard other good things about Kazakhstan. I really want to go. (Fun fact: my host mom's brother worked doing OSHA-type stuff on the building described in Astana. In his words: "There was much snow.")

> I'm more pissed off about this than I thought I would be, but the Rally to Restore Fear/Sanity shirts only come in men's sizes, and there are no extra smalls. I admit that there are times when a nightgown with Colbert's face on it would be handy, but that is not this day. Poop.

merrycaepa: (Default)
(I actually wrote this late Monday night (early Tuesday morning?), but noticed a load of html fail just before posting and just now got around to fixing it. Um. Oops?)

> YES YES A THOUSAND TIMES YES

> I am fully aware that laughing at this makes me a dick, and I am okay with that.

> I exist in that strange little gap of having been alive when things like the Oslo Accords were reached, but not nearly sentient enough to remember; and it's too recent to be considered history, really (I am so, so bad at everything after 1980). But! Despite not fully understanding the fine points of this article, I think I can grasp that a regression of the Isreali-Palestine situation to pre-1993 levels is...bad? Especially when Israel is reacting to everything like it's the 1960's anyway.

Also: Lieberman, stfu. The conflicts within Europe at the moment are nothing compared to the situation in Israel and Gaza. "'Before coming here to tell us how to solve our conflicts, I would expect you could have at least solved all the problems within Europe,' Lieberman told Kouchner and Moratinos in comments widely published in the Israeli media."

> I'm sure this is a perfectly sound article, but I'm too distracted by the picture under the headline to read it.

> Okay, I know that Godwin's Law immediately renders any conversation moot - but we have statements like "It's clear that immigrants from other cultures such as Turkey and Arabic countries have more difficulties. From that I draw the conclusion that we don't need additional immigration from other cultures" coming out of Germany and no one's drawing any historical parallels? Bueller? Bueller?

> I...I don't even...this is sad. "Campaign for women politicians in Turkey launched to empty hall"

> Pandagon on the noticeable lack of women in The Social Network: "Here is why I think that it’s wrong to think that Sorkin and Fincher are trying to do anything but make you uncomfortable with the casual misogyny of the main characters in the movie: it bugs the shit out of everyone who sees it... The conclusion the audience reaches---and I suspect this was the point---was that women who have their shit together know well enough to stay far the fuck away from these guys.  And in case that point wasn’t clear enough, the opening and closing scenes involve Zuckerberg interacting with these women.  Or, more to the point, being basically shoved off by them." I may have to decide to see this after all (also, Rooney Mara. Am I shallow? Emphatically yes).

> They speak for themselves. In stereo.

> J.Harker over at Wayward Classicist starts his review of The Book of Eli with, "What a shitty movie." Possibly, but it's a great review.

> "13 Halloween Costumes that Have no Business Being 'Sexy'"

> This? This is why I love Lifehacker: "DIY Secret Hollow Book Redux: Hollow books are a classic way to stash stuff in plain sight. Skip the tedious page-by-page razor blade method and speed up your hollow book creation with an oscillating saw."

> Headline: "Rally shenanigans: Book thrown at Obama; naked man arrested." Really, I don't even are about the article.

> Really? This is shocking? Oh. Okay: "Shocking: College Rapists Almost Always Get Off the Hook." Didn't know this, though: "The tendency among administrators to view sexual assaults as 'teachable moments' flies in the face of evidence that student rapists are often serial rapists—guilty of victimizing an average of six women during their college career." Furthermore, "Whether Michigan State University will take action against the basketball players accused of rape remains to be seen. The prospects don’t look good. While the Office of Postsecondary Education shows that the university reported 32 forcible sex offenses on its campus between 2007 and 2009, it does not show any reports of disciplinary actions associated with those crimes." Lovely.

> " Collapsing empire watch": "It's easy to say and easy to document, but quite difficult to really internalize, that the United States is in the process of imperial collapse." Mein Gott, I hate Mondays.

> Cupcake Tuesday tomorrow!
merrycaepa: (xf - who in the what now?)
> I am entirely too amused by the alignment of my icons right now; it looks like CJ, Scully, and Mulder are all looking incredulously at something vaguely to the left of my screen. Which would be...the microwave? O_o

>Oh, please don't do that. "English Defence League forges links with America's Tea Party: As the far-right group marches in Leicester, details are emerging of growing contacts with extremist US groups in a 'war on Islamification"

> GODDAMN IT, ISRAEL. "Dan Meridor, a Likud party member, said the law would exclude 1.5 million Palestinians who are citizens of Israel and will create a rift between them and the state." Yes, I suppose 'rift' might be the word, although 'will significantly widen the gaping chasm of doom between them and the state' would suffice. Two of the top three headlines at Al Arabiya this morning were about this: "Israeli Cabinet passes loyalty bill, Arabs angry: Arab lawmakers describe loyalty oath as racist" and "Israeli minister warns of 'whiff of fascism': Govt set to approve bill requiring loyalty oath" . That 'rift'...? Yeah.

Anti-gay violence against a pride parade in Belgrade. Scary as the article is ("several hundred protestors" caused at least fifty injuries before trashing a political headquarters), at least the Serbian government seems pretty committed to condemning/stopping the violence and protecting the citizenry. What's more, when I saw it, this was the most-viewed article at BBC America - if only to clean up their image, Serbia will probably spend a lot of time and resources in the next few weeks trying to reassure the world that it is, to paraphrase Rachel Maddow, okay to have the gay in Belgrade.

> Side-by-side headlines over at Hürriyet: "Turkey's struggle for free expression continues, Chomsky says" and "'Facebook could be banned,' says Turkish official". Regarding the latter: the head of the Telecommunication Transmission Directorate suggested that "'it should not to be supported or approved that someone will make comments that insult people on social media or in any kind of media.'" Best part: this was apparently prompted by a Facebook group suggesting that an opposition party leader belongs to a terrorist organization. This group has three members.

(On the other hand, Switzerland has four minarets, so...)

> BWAH HA HA HA "Lack of content in Turkish political debates shocks French expat": "Szymczak said he is the 'black sheep' in his social circle, including his wife, since he does not believe the leading Justice and Development Party, or AKP, has a secret agenda to transform the country into a theocracy." oh, Turish conspiracy theories. How I miss you.

> zomg so excited! "In a special series launched this week, SPIEGEL International will explore Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. These countries, once the center of the "Great Game," a bitter struggle over natural resources and strategic bases between the British and Russian colonial powers, are seeing history repeat itself."

> This article over at NPR is just a gas. "You've Won The Nobel Prize -- Wait, Don't Hang Up!"

> I confess that I am looking forward to this. Haters to the left.

> Cannot stop staring. Sherlock is so, so pretty.

> Regarding Glee: yes. This.

> LAST ONE, I PROMISE. From Salon's Joan Walsh: John Kasich and the Hollywood steelworker.

> It's funny how these things are always so much longer when I'm putting off a paper.

merrycaepa: (dw - closet tea-drinker)
Due to some hardcore stretching followed by equally hardcore napping today, my lower spine is no longer attempting to telescope; my flatemates are out; I have tea, lovely music, Sherlock 1.01, and about forty pages of second-wave feminist theory to summarize; and it's finally warm enough outside for my room to have reached the tropical temperatures I prefer (the university hasn't switched over to heat yet, so any real warmth is solar gain).

<3

ETA: In the course of outlining my paper on the second wave, I get to type things like: "Freud, having decided that the vaginal orgasm trumped the clitoral orgasm, in one stroke (heh) doomed unimaginable numbers of women to being forever told they were doing it wrong. Also! Freud did not come with up this out of a study of female anatomy, but on the philosophical theory that men were more developed than women so there."

BEST MINOR EVER.



merrycaepa: (Default)
> Via Reddit: a drug raid on a school turns up highly important tomato plants. "We're sitting here as a teaching staff, always short on money, and we're thinking, 'Gosh, all the money it takes to fly that helicopter and hire all those people, it would be great to have this for education.' "

> Australian study and common sense coincide: the sex industry happens whether it's legal or not, but - surprise! - when prostitution is legalized, the prostitutes are healthier. I am waiting - just waiting - for a minor pundit to get ahold of this and announce that legalizing prostitution in an effort to keep women (and men) in the sex trade healthier would be tantamount to rewarding them for their jobs! (Remember when the HPV vaccine was developed and suddenly it was all, "But if we can't scare our daughters with CANCER to keep them virginal, what ever will we do?"

> Different study: better sex lead to better sex. Also, this responding thread at Reddit was gold.

> Eyecandy, as HuffPo does what it does best: ranking aesthetically pleasing images by a totally arbitrary rating system. Anyway, cities of the world. Enjoy.

> Must. Watch.

> Goddamn it. I am never going to get anything done ever again. (I don't actually remember the days of test patterns, but I have the vague idea that I could use some sort of test pattern - a set block during the day when I can't see any news media. Or any other media. Alternately, I could just disconnect from the wifi, but I don't think I have the courage to take that sort of initiative.)

> I would just like to point out that the Germans said it, not me: "Fox News' Terror Warnings Are 'Negligent and Damaging'"

> Israel considers loyalty oath. Well, there's no way this can possibly end badly.

> A Spiegel article on the scientists who pander anti-global warming, and the way fast media makes their jobs easier. "This is precisely the secret of their success, according to Schellnhuber, and unfortunately no amount of public debate can change that. "Imagine Einstein having to defend the theory of relativity on a German TV talk show," he says. "He wouldn't have a snowball's chance in hell."
merrycaepa: (Default)
> I feel like Wallace Stevens might be on crack. But good crack. "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird" is one of the best things that's happened to me lately.

> Oh, Turkey. DADT is not an effective model for anything, and in any case, doesn't apply in this instance! A headscarf is by nature visible and public! You can't not-asking someone if they wear one if they're wearing it!

> Everywhere else is picking this up, too, but anyway: Mike Huckabee (who I didn't think was really all that newsworthy anymore; perhaps he's gotten desperate, which would certainly explain this; if he's going for the spectacle, he found it) compares people with pre-existing conditions to burned-down houses. Because you wouldn't try to insure a house that's already burned down, see? But if I were Mike Huckabee's fifth grade teacher, the How to Construct a Metaphor Assignment would not get a gold star because this metaphor does not work! It's like saying that you shouldn't feed yourself because you'll just poop it all out anyway (sorry, I was going for the pedantic): it completely ignores that all sorts of necessary stuff (I almost used 'shit' and then realized that fucked up my metaphor) happens betwixt inputting food and outputting poop. You see, Mike Huckabee, if you follow your metaphor, your basically said that people with pre-existing conditions are already dead, and you obviously wouldn't insure the dead (well. Not for health, anyway). Let's talk about houses burning down. )

> And on that cheerful note... Today in my Enlightenment class, in a discussion of Bayle's theory of how atheists could be good people and included in a state (as opposed to Locke, who lumped atheists in with the Catholics and other people you clearly couldn't trust), one student made the suggestion that atheists couldn't care about social ills like prostitution and drugs.
Hot dang. Really? )

> Sen. Jim DeMint suggests that gays and unwed mothers should not be allowed to teach (via [info]rm). As I posted on Z.'s wall on Facebook: Initially I always love it when public officials do something this stupid, because it's funny and it's like Christmas (some watch America's Funniest Home Videos, I watch CNN). Except that then a couple of people decide this might be a reasonable idea and starting propagating it, and then it's like they're smashing my Christmas presents with lots of little tiny hammers. It was like that for Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, anchor babies, Christine O'Donnell, and whatever the hell's going on with Islamophobia in Europe right now (Geert Wilders what the fucking fuck?). I'm going back to bed. Let me know when you all decide to be sane.

> [personal profile] georginasand can't stand The Tempest and I can't stand Julie Taymore, but somehow I hope we'll wind up going to this anyway, because it looks loltastic and will probably be pretty and with luck we'll be pleasantly surprised. Also, Helen Mirren looks like Tim the Enchanter at 00:35. Check it out. It worries me that the trailer feels long - trailers shouldn't feel long - and God knows Across the Universe went on forever, but it's not like you see Shakespeare for a nice concise story.

merrycaepa: (Default)
's gonna be short today, kids - I'm drop-dead tired with waaaay too much to do yet today (four chapters of Spinoza. Gaga help me).

> This article's subtitle ("War Crime Allegations Threaten to Harm America's Image") quite literally made me laugh out loud. Ya think?

> I would very much like to hear more about this: "Remembering the US Soldier Who Committed Suicide After She Refused to Take Part in Torture"

> Via Jezebel: a Colombia University acappella group takes on Dr. Dre's "Bitches Ain't Shit." This waaay beats the Ben Folds cover I, uh, may or may not possess.

> Will.I.Am with the Muppets! Arguably even more awesome is the other [famous singer(s)] + muppets combinations linked in the comments. My favorite is Destiny's Child! Beyonce looks so young...man, I feel old.

From the comments: Jason Mraz. On Sesame Street. In a laundromat. With a guitar. LOAD FASTER, VIDEO! LOAD FASTER!
 
> The For Colored Girls trailer is out! And so far...I am cautiously optimistic. I've vaguely familiar with the play (For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf) - I managed a student project last year that featured selections from it. I'm still a bit concerned about how to make something that dramatic work on film...but. The trailer is pretty great.

> Clearly the last few days have not lent themselves to much news consumption :(

> Yesterday was Cupcake Tuesday! And all was well.


merrycaepa: (Default)
> [info]rm on 9/11.

> Marian Fontana writes about attending a 9/11 dinner at the White House; her account of sitting with Rumsfield at dinner as she's quietly repulsed by the Bush administration's reaction to the attacks is beautiful and very real. I know I mention The Terror Dream a lot around here, but both it and Fontana's piece are excellent portrayals of the widows who resisted the party line, and, perhaps more interestingly, the party's reaction to their refusal.

> On CNN, Calderon calls a spade a spade: " 'We live next to the world's largest drug consumer, and all the world wants to sell them drugs through our door and our window. And we live next to the world's largest arms seller, which is supplying the criminals,' Mexican President Felipe Calderon told CNN en Español Friday."

> Once again, Newt Gingrich is on crack. (When I was little, his name was the only word I wasn't allowed to say in the house. My dad hated him that much. True fact!). Anyway, this wouldn't be a story if it were coming from Rand Paul, who at this point basically exists to make everyone else look sane, but if Gingrich is gearing up for 2012: he has to know that comments like this will come back to bite him, and the fact that he's making them anyway suggests that he believes the American people won't care. But that's ridiculous! Of course we'll care!

...won't we?

> Add Emma Donaghue's Room to the reading list. From the reviews, it sounds like a cross between Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time but with what could be a seriously awesome mother character.

> HELP HELP HELP CANNOT STOP WATCHING SERENITY FIGHT REHEARSAL. The camera stuff is mostly the same, but it stars stuntwoman Bridget Riley, and now the movie version just feels really slow. Which is saying something, because it's a brilliant fight scene on its own.

> Also! This clip of "I'm Alive" from next to normal, which has recently supplanted Spring Awakening as my favorite musical (it's a mark of how much I hate Glee that I have difficulty listening to Spring Awakening anymore) (DAMN YOU, GLEE). ANYWAY, it is beautiful and emotional and will rip you apart and put you back together. Kind of. Great show.

> Similarly, we are not going to discuss how many times I may have watched this 28-second TV spot for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part One!). Hint: many, many times.

> Yesterday Z. told me that he thinks Meredith Brooke's 'Bitch' reminded him of me. I haven't been so flattered in years.

> Tanya Davis, where have you been all my life?

> Tanya Davis then led me to go reread and re-listen to Andrea Gibson, who is pretty much my favorite poet (and person) ever at this point. "Dive" would represent my religious views on Facebook if I didn't think my relatives would disown me for it. (On the other hand, that would possibly be not a great loss! Hmmm...)

> The tricky thing about Andrea Gibson is that her work makes me think thinky thoughts, and those thinky thoughts sometimes take me to uncomfortable places. I suppose this is somewhat the point of her work. But today, the thinky thoughts were about Let's Say Thanks, Xerox's thing where you can pick a card and a message and have it sent to a soldier stationed overseas as a way of, well, saying thanks. For what, precisely, isn't terribly clear (freedom! ...More freedom!), but I get the feeling you aren't supposed to Go There.

The thing about Andrea Gibson, though, is that she makes you Go There.

I don't Say Thanks all that often. I usually try to pick the least obviously hegemonic card and least weird message - something that won't feel like painting a bible verse on a shell casing. I always kind of figured I was a 'support the troops but not the war' kind of kid. But now...I'm increasingly of the opinion that sending cards is a hell of a lot less effective that bringing them home and accepting that the process of patching them up is going to take years and years and years. And it will not be pretty and it will not be good television, but maybe, if we do it right, maybe it will mean that twenty years from now one-third of our homeless will not be vets.

(Now would be a good time for you to go read/listen to "For Eli.")

> And lastly, on a somewhat lighter note...why Prop 8 will not seriously hold up in court.

Hopefully.

merrycaepa: (Default)
> I forgot to go to Cupcake Day. Goddammit. On the other hand, at the time that Cupcake Day was happening, I was eating QuikTrip doughnuts in a friend's apartment watching best-of Rifftrax. A fair trade-off? I think so.

Although they were carrot cake cupcakes...

...moving on...

> My Sherlock DVDs will not play on my laptop because they are the wrong goddamn region, which I totally should have considered, except that for some reason I believed that computers could play any region. It, uh, turns out that they can't. Bother. Anyone have a region-free DVD player they feel like donating?

> Whilst the power was inexplicably out for about an hour today, I hung out in a friend's apartment and distracted him from doing homework by picking up his copy of Dress Your Family in Courduroy and Denim and declaiming sections of it aloud. I can't believe I hadn't read it before.

> Not that you particularly care, but I have the Trudeau Xpress mug, and it rocks my world. While poking about the website to see if it was microwave-safe (it is!), I found the...wait for it...'Stargate Mug.' I did a little Snoopy dance at my desk before remembering that I have a perfectly serviceable insulated beverage container (which is microwave safe!) (and dishwasher safe, but that does not apply to my situation at the moment!). I hung my head in shame and closed the tab.

> GUYS GUYS GUYS GUESS WHAT THERE WAS A BLOODY MOSQUE IN THE WORLD TRADE CENTER. Can we please, please drop this already?

...she says, linking to an article about it. Shut up.

> This quarter's Bitch has a brief takedown of the supposed feminism of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Dislike. The Millennium/Men Who Hate Women books aren't perfect, but they are pretty damn good. And if one more person tries to tell me that Lisabeth Salander is anorexic, I am going to drive home, find my copies of the books, and point to the page numbers where she repeatedly has to prove to people that she isn't. The character considers her size a piece of genetic wackiness, and given the other abnormalities of her family, that's hardly out of the realm of (pop crime fiction) possibility (her brother can't feel pain and has a super-strong skeleton, but we can't believe that she's naturally skinny?) (Oops. Spoilers.) And as to their graphic nature...I think the point is that they are supposed to shock the reader, because they're describing crimes against women that we've become so inured to as to pass by entirely. The articles at both Bitch and Tiger Beatdown were written by (and for) readers who are generally pretty familiar with the ins and outs of violence against women; the general public, I suspect, generally don't know and often don't care, and the books make them notice. And I don't believe that the writing style is designed to titillate; I believe it's supposed to disgust - to nauseate, not to arouse.

I can't help but think that if the books had been written by a woman, the controversy would be much less. On the other hand, I also think that if they had been written by a woman, they would a) not be nearly as hyped, and b) the author would be much maligned for being too biased (The Feminist Agenda, etc.). You can't win.

/soapbox.
merrycaepa: (Default)
> Hey, so remember how this was going to be about things that make me happy because I'm so hilariously bad noticing things that make me happy? (I have not been doing so well at that lately. I blame the world for being depressing.) Anyway, BRACE YOURSELVES, because in the space of about fifteen minutes today, my Sherlock DVDs arrived (a week ahead of the projected arrival date! Amazon.co.uk, keep rocking), this month's Glamour arrived, this quarter's Bitch arrived, I got a card from my grandma, AND I found out that tomorrow is Cupcake Friday again. It's like Christmas!

> Also, it turns out that there's a website that is, literally, Foreign Policy.com? Again! Christmas!

> Also, I picked up a ticket to Saturday's football game. I may actually attend a sports event while at university, thus breaking my six-year run of never attending a school-sponsored sporting event.

> Is it just me, or is Glenn Greenwald kinda goofy when sick? I almost like him better this way. I mean, I like him when he's being a hard-hitting journalist, too, but sometimes relaxed is easier to read. It's certainly better for my blood pressure (see point the first).

> It gets so sticky when we start attaching price tags to things like Rally for Freedom (tm). And when people like Palin and Beck expose themselves for the grifters they are. Seriously, if they announce a campaign bid and start making Gingrich look good... I'm a liberal hippie feminist dyke getting a degree in gender studies. Would that be enough to qualify for political asylum in Canada?

> I really really really really really really really want to see Hawking. In, uh, all my spare time. Relatedly: anyone want to do my French homework? Bueller? Bueller?

> I saw this headline over at Jezebel ("The Part of Sherlock Holmes Will Be Played by Tilda Swinton") and my heart briefly leaped, because, dude, that would be awesome. I would give money (not a lot, I'm kinda broke, but some) to see the BBC Sherlock played as a woman. Not necessarily feminized, because I see Cumberbatch's Sherlock as so androgynous anyway, but I do think it would be really, really interesting to see a script crafted around but not centered around the other characters' reactions to a female character; what the male Sherlock is allowed to get away with that a female one can't, even when their mannerisms are virtually identical. I love a good genderbend.

> Apparently I watch Project Runway now? I do not know how this happened, but I'm pretty sure my suitemates are to blame.

merrycaepa: (xf - heroine addict)
Dear Enlightenment & Critics prof: during a discussion of how the Enlightenment was a reaction to the wacky religiosity of the time (to paraphrase), it may not be precisely appropriate to add: "And for those of you looking for an Enlightenment-type service, [this church] at [these cross streets] at [this time] on Sunday mornings does a great sermon."

I can't describe why that makes me so irrationally irritated, but it does.

Moving on...

> On Monday, ABC News was shocked - shocked! - too discover what most of us already know: that 1/4 women on a college campus will be raped. Watch the segment with care - it's a fail on multiple levels. More thinky thoughts when I don't need to scamper off to class.

> Fareed Zakariah reports that America overreacted on 9/11. Ya think? Contrary to the article's title, though, he doesn't really explore why. Try Susan Faludi's The Terror Dream on for size. Relatedly, Time asks the tough questions.

> Quite literally the day after a discussion with a friend on how mainstream media was going to go to town on Muslims worldwide for daring to celebrate eid al-fitr on 9/11, The Washington Post reports that Muslims nationwide are toning down their celebrations. Fuck you, world. Fuck you.

> For a laugh.

merrycaepa: (Default)
> Christopher Hitchens' Slate article describing the Glenn Beck Rally-type Thing (perhaps you've heard of it) as "large, vague, moist, and undirected - the Waterworld of white self-pity" is delightful. Or would be, said Rally-type Thing hadn't actually happened. Oh, and if you aren't tasting bile in the back of your throat enough these days, try this Jezebel link on for size.

> Al Jazeera reports that Canada is missing hundreds of Native women. Oh, Canada. Please don't turn into us.

> Quote of the day, admittedly nicked from Reddit with no knowledge of context: "Democracy is the illusion that my wife and I, combined, have twice the political influence of David Rockefeller." - Butler Shaffer

> In other news...Descartes is a prat, and it's all the more because he's sooooo convinced that having implemented his reasoning, he can patiently and patronizingly explain how, say, the circulatory system works. And it's very sweet that he tries, in fact he's pretty close on a lot of it, but at the end of the day, he quite frankly is a bit of a jackass. I don't mind jackasses when they're right - at that point, they're irritating, but not debilitating. It's when they're not only asses but also wrong that I start butting heads.

On the other hand, Descartes is delightfully quotable (and, as said previously, a prat):

1) On the nature of light, and how it does Cool Shit:

"Since this transformation of light into glass seems to me to be as admirable as any other transformation that occurs in nature, I took special pleasure in describing it."

I believe this is philosospeak for "I think it's cool, so I'm going to talk about it. You got a problem with that, punk? Haters to the left."

2) On anatomy:

"...I would like those who are not trained in anatomy to take the trouble before reading this to have cut open in front of them the heart of a large animal with lungs."

I'm really tempted to tell the prof that I had to skip this section owing to my unfortunate dearth of cardiovascular systems available for ready dissection.

>  I, uh, may have ordered Sherlock S1 from Amazon.co.uk. I am a weak, weak woman. Also, someone needs to write me devastatingly stark fanfic about Sherlock kicking it and still going through life with the monkey on his back. Because the inside of Sherlock's head is so fucking cool.


merrycaepa: (Default)
> So! The BBC Sherlock is amazing and you should all go watch it (all, uh, three episodes; I've made it through two and my God, they are glorious). My Sherlock playlist is now just under three hours long. I think I need more homework. Also, I'm trying to figure out what they would listen to, rather than songs that remind me of them, and now Holmes and Watson are bitching back and forth in my head about the merits of Radiohead (Watson just wants Holmes to give them a chance; Holmes is passive-aggressively advocating more Mendelsson). It's dreadfully amusing.

> Free cupcakes upstairs in twelve minutes. Not that I'm watching the clock or anything.

> Enlightenment & Its Critics prof is a windbag; fortunately, I'm sitting next to a guy I've had similar classes with before, and while we both deeply believe that the other is wrong, wrong, wrong about most things, we respect each other a fair bit and tend to have great arguments. We spent most of the lesson scribbling rude commentaries back and forth in the margins of our notes; the prof started off the class period by pretty well ripping a student a new one when she was having difficulty articulating her position on a reading, and it's a mark of how savage he was that most of the class doesn't like her, and we still took her side and thus spent the remainder of the period ganging up on him in retaliation.

> Dear Iran: this is why we don't take you seriously. After Carla Bruni came out in support of Ashtiani, the Iranian media is calling for her death. Which was a move clearly calculated to win them more respect in the global media...? France is, unsurprisingly, a bit offended.

> I...really don't know what to do about this article about pedophilia in Iraq. I want more cultural context; I want history; and above all I don't want it to be what it feels like, which is sensationalist.

> Gay, straight, or otherwise, Autostraddle's "12 Rules of Lesbian Fight Club" is well worth a read. Also: kittens!

merrycaepa: (Default)
> Seen outside the housing office:

"LAST DAY TO CHANGE MEAL PLANS IS
 
      AUGUST 27, 2010
 
THAT IS TOMORROW"
 
Gosh, it's like they know  us.

> The caf did not suck again, today! Something involving fish and dirty rice. I'm getting suspicious. The food's never good two days in a row.

> I managed to derail a discussion of Kant in Enlightenment & Critics for five minutes today by bringing up The Matrix. Given that the prof's a bit of a steamroller, I'm kind of proud of that (note: I'm not an authority on either subject, but I enjoy making professors periodically wander back into the realm of the Vaguely Applicable).

> My class notes tend to be about 50% comprehensible at the best of times, but somewhere in a section about how Kant favored the idea that everyone could (eventually, slowly) achieve enlightenment, I have "I AM A BEAUTIFUL ANIMAL! I AM A DESTROYER OF WORLDS! I AM HARRY FUCKING POTTER!" scribbled in the margin. I think I'm turning into that girl in my high school English class who only ever talked about Hamlet in terms of The Lion King, although it must be admitted that her points were valid.

> Helped the WGS department stuff envelopes related to this year's events for about twenty minutes this afternoon. Also got a look at the posters. They have me listed as the director for Any One of Us. Zomg I guess it's official and actually happening. Note to self: don't fuck up. I'll be breathing into a paper bag, if you need me.

> The slacktivist has a moving entry on activism, and why community rejection of hate is so necessary. Post is here. And from the comments:

"The Homosexual Lifestyle," at least as far as I see it in this area: go to work, go home, feed & play with the pets, watch some TV, go to sleep. On weekends, maybe go out to dinner with friends.

Oooo, scary.

 (A friend of mine likes to pull out his planner at lunch, and say, "The gay agenda for the afternoon is...fifty pages of In Cold Blood and two pages of statistics. Oh, and I'm out of laundry detergent. Anyone want to run me to Target?"

> I want these rooms. Although the inevitable dust could be problematic.

> "Scott Pilgrim vs. The Matrix" Just...go watch it. Although now it has me wanting to watch The Matrix now. Dang. That's inconvenient. In a smackdown between Trinity and my French homework, I think Trinity's going to take it.


merrycaepa: (Default)
> Both French and English were let out early today. I'm still a bit dubious about French - the prof's teaching style is very much along the lines of "Oh, hey, on page 16, the textbook talks about the indefinite article...huh. Well, let's do something with that." On the other hand, English prof (who is, like, eighty, smokes a pack a day, and looks like she would beat you to death with her walker if the mood possessed her), in reference to The House of Mirth: "Lily Bart always makes me cry. But maybe that's just me. Bambi's mother makes some of you cry." And in regards to The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas: "And how do you write the autobiography of someone else? Well, if you're Gertrude Stein, you can do anything you want." (New goal in life: become Gertrude Stein.)

> The caf food did not totally suck today! Mind you, it was terribly...good, either, but it was palatable. Although it started out this way last year, too, and by December it was clear that the food service provider quite frankly did not give a flying fuck anymore (overheard sometime in February: "Hey, we got anything we can substitute for broccoli?" Let alone that time Z. determined that the broccoli cheddar soup was literally nacho cheese with unidentifiable green matter mixed in. Which, come to think of it, might have been the context of the prior quote).

> Got all (okay, almost all) my readings for tomorrow done. Handout "The First Attack on the Enlightenment," in reference to Johan Georg Hamann: "...although he wrote obscurely, it is possible by dint of extreme attention (which I do not really recommend) to collect certain grains of sense from the extraordinarily contorted metaphors, euphemistic stylisms, allegories, and other forms of dark potential speech with which Hamann's fragmentary writings - he never finished anything - are written." First impression: this chapter was written by Dumbledore. Second impression: Hamann sounds a lot like that guy they referenced in "A Time of Angels" (Doctor Who 5.04)- what is it with visionaries and their inability to keep coherent records?

> Went out for a walk tonight and found a great big beautiful harvest moon. Never would have seen it if I hadn't gone out. Texted [personal profile] georginasand (four hours away by car) and she saw it, too. Which was pretty cool.

> Tomorrow = no French (hurrah for Thursdays off; that class is too bloody early).

> Looking forward to reading this (in, uh, all my spare time): A Field Guide to Getting Lost.

> So apparently US college students aren't the psychological template humanity worldwide? Hot damn.

> And lastly: Suspected spy found murdered in UK. What is it with spies these days? Isn't the point of spies to stay out of the public eye, let alone the international media? The way standards have collapsed since the Cold War, I can't even tell you. (It doesn't help that I can't read this stuff without involuntarily flashing to Burn After Reading, but then I believe I'm one of two people on the planet who found that movie funny.)
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