Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

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?

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.


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…)

Inspired by Rand Paul’s recent theorizing about the Civil Rights Act, I am now going to engage in some thought experiments regarding Sneetches and their beaches.


Health Insurance

Posted: March 10, 2010 in Braak, Politics
Tags: , ,

I know that I’ve said before that I don’t like it when we get really involved in politics here at TQP, because I’m displeased with the number of crazies that appear from the woodwork.  This is true; I have trepidation even as I’m writing this.  However, I’ve been puzzling over something for a while, and I want to try and address it using the secret weapon of the Writer:  Language (the thing that means stuff).

Is health insurance a fundamental right?


This is going to come out of nowhere, it will seem to you (as it seems to me), but I need to write something, and so today this is what I’ll write.  Over on Gawker, they’ve got a little bit about UCSD’s racism problem (hint:  it begins and ends with douchebags).  In the comments section, someone posted – as someone always does on articles like this – the lyrics from “Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist” from the musical Avenue Q.

I hate that fucking song.


I was at the comics store in King of Prussia, looking at comic books while I waited for Verizon to fix my superphone.  While I was there, I overheard a conversation between the clerk and, I presume, another customer, about why they were less than enthusiastic about the idea of gay marriage.

This was a revelation for me, I suppose because I tend to assume that people who like the things I like are basically the same as I am.  This was false, and I found myself compelled to get involved.


Brace yourselves, everyone: Some student group was able to make a hilariously disturbing youtube video out of the virulent ignorance of the 9-12 teabagging (seriously, has nobody explained the connotation of that word to them yet?) protester-dolts.

Now, the whole thing isn’t exactly surprising – we’ve all been living with the Daily Show for long enough. But subjecting yourself to a full 10 minutes of it is certainly fatiguing. Thinking people simply aren’t built to listen to such a heady mix of rage and stupidity for sustained periods.

So, having sat through the whole thing – for YOU, dear readers – I’ve noted ten clear moments where you’ll have to stop the video, take a deeeeep, cleansing breath, and massage your temples before heading once more into the breach: (more…)

I had recently gotten into a debate with a friend of mine who’s serving in Iraq and yet still finds time to heckle me over G-Chat about things he knows are gonna piss me off.gun at rally

The debate was on state-to-state carry permits for concealed weapons, and I won’t bore you with the intricacies of the discussion, because ultimately, as it does with most gun-control vs. gun-enthusiast arguments, it boils down to: “You don’t need to be walking around with a gun!” vs. “But I want to walk around with a gun!”

And boy, did I think that was the most I was gonna have to worry about that subject for a while. Thanks, CNN, who reported, “A man toting an assault rifle was among a dozen protesters carrying weapons while demonstrating outside President Obama’s speech to veterans on Monday, but no laws were broken.” Oh, also he had a handgun and a clip in his back pocket.

(YESTERDAY, this was. And ain’t it just that fucked up of a country that “Unidentified man brings gun to presidential speech” isn’t an immediate top headline.)