Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

The recent news that a Louisiana congressman posted the Onion “Abortionplex” story to his Facebook page, believing it to be an actual thing that Planned Parenthood is up to, rankled me a little.

I mean, it’s one thing for your great aunt to forward a story outraged over the wasteful spending of Obama’s pledge to give everyone a parrot, but when this is the level of critical thinking employed by an elected member of government, that’s quite another thing.

Please note: Louisiana currently ranks 47th in education. So it does stand to reason that even their elected officials are coming from a background of some of the worst education in the country.  (more…)

Hahah, I am kidding, I don’t believe in hagiographies in the first place, and if I was going to participate in one, it definitely wouldn’t be for Christopher Hitchens.  Maybe David Hume?  Probably that guy, I guess.  But he, at least, was a philosopher; what’s the point in idolizing, or iconoclast…ing (iconoclasm?  Icono…I guess it must be “iconoclazing”) iconoclazing a writer like Hitchens?

As you may know, Christopher Hitchens died recently, and a lot of people have had some things to say on the subject.

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I am no economist, as anyone who knows me knows, and I’m barely able to form a cogent sentence on my best days, relying instead on a sort of cobbled-together-grammar made of coffee and old quotes that I read in magazines.  But sometimes I get ideas in my head, and here is a place where I write about the ideas in my head, so I figure I might as well.

Today it’s something I’m calling The Survival Fallacy.

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Some time ago, I read a comment on the internet from some anonymous commenter about Power Girl: the notoriously well-endowed DC comics character. That comment went something along these lines: “I wouldn’t ever say anything about her boobs! She could knock my head off!”

This is obviously stupid, but in a rare moment of restraint I chose NOT to get involved in an argument on the internet. Perhaps my better nature prevailed, perhaps it was really my worse nature, who can tell? But recently, there’s been a combination of new arguments for (and against) more female creators at the major comics companies, and accompanying discussions about just what it means to make exploitative art, and on top of that there’s been some discussion in the news (depending on where you get your news, I guess) about “Mary Sues”, and just what the line between a strong character and a character who is TOO strong is.

Those particular articles were from a while ago and got me started thinking about this, but what really made me dust it off was Laura Hudsons “The Big Sexy Problem With Superheroines and Their ‘Liberated’ Sexuality.”

In a way, this is tangential, but in another I think very important way it’s not, but that won’t be obvious until you get to the end. So, read the whole thing, I guess?
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I don’t generally like to talk about politics here, since that’s usually when assholes show up and threaten to disrupt my naturally cool demeanor.  But Penn Jillette wrote this piece for CNN, and I felt like I had to answer it.  I felt this way for two reasons:  the first is that I really like Penn & Teller, and the second is that I think he’s cheating.

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1.  Be afraid of something.  This could be something fairly practical, like “losing your job”, but it could also be something hallucinatory, like “Mexicans are going to take over American and impose Shariah Law.”

2.  Be so uncomfortable with the fact that you live in a world of uncertainty that you’ll believe anything, no matter how mind-bogglingly stupid, as long as it gives you some sort of comfort.

3.  Buy gold.

Glenn Beck isn’t saying that the earthquake in Japan was because of radical Islam.  But he isn’t NOT saying it, either.

Glenn Beck is a psychoalchemist.  He makes money by converting fear into anger.  This makes sense, if you think about it; anger must be a higher energy state than fear, so he can glean stuff off the top after the change.

It does feel like nothing works right these days, doesn’t it? The Way Things Should Be isn’t even an option on the table anymore.

Our government doesn’t work right, that one’s pretty obvious.

Special interest groups – which is a casual, non-judgmental way of saying “Large corporations with money and influence that wish to keep doing what they’re doing without interference” – pour funding into a political party in hopes of stymieing regulation that might cost them an extra million or two when things go catastrophically wrong (or, y’know, if it threatens their current business model, even if that model is harmful in the long run).

Not even the start of it, here’s more:  (more…)