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Saturday, November 12, 2005

EDIT 111405: You can ask that Mr. Scheer be reinstated by sending an email to readersrep@latimes.com. Try to be nice.

Author Creepy Chickenhawk Jonah Goldberg Now L.A. Times Op-Ed Columnist. "The Los Angeles Times announced a major shake-up of its op-ed page today. Gone are cartoonist Michael Ramirez and liberal columnist Robert Scheer. In their place, you won’t find any committed progressives like Scheer. Instead, L.A. Times editors chose National Review contributing editor and 'Liberal Fascism' author Jonah Goldberg."

How embarassing. If I had a subscription, I'd cancel it.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 06:56 PM PST [Link]

Thursday, November 10, 2005

The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society, Issue 8

Gardening, literature, porn, comics...

I really want my garden to look like the pictures in the catalog.
The Noble Nature
By Lynn Loper

For one thing, she didn't like to be hot, and the time when gardens in Delaware need the most attention is in July and August, when the temperatures run around 90F and the humidity around 100F.
My Mother Hated Gardening
By Lynn Loper

A look at moral perspectives in the various film and TV versions of The Forsyte Saga
Autres Forsytes, Autres Mores
By Kathryn L. Ramage

Last fall, my students were doubly pleased when I made a connection between Berger's observations on oil painting and artwork generated using Poser, my 3D graphics obsession of choice.
Poser Nation
By Kelly S. Taylor

Like soap operas, superhero comics are a notoriously conservative genre, even despite the celebration of such innovative imaginations as Grant Morrison, Alan Moore, or Warren Ellis.
Tearing Down the House of Morrison
By Chad Denton

My super-heroes were Amazons -- Wonder Woman and Troia -- because of what they represented to me. Wonder Woman wanted more than anything else in the world for human beings to peacefully coexist with each other. I can think of no greater sentiment than that, and that's why she's my hero.
An Interview with Phil Jimenez
By Chad Denton

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 09:50 PM PST [Link]

"'Last month, at the Democratic Leadership Council, Maya MacGuineas, who heads the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, proposed a "grand bargain" between the parties. Democrats would agree to cut entitlement programs, and Republicans would raise taxes.'"
Sisyphus Shrugged, November 10, 2005

Christ in Birkenstocks. Go read the whole thing, you'll be glad you did.

Well, we know who they're gonna try to raise taxes on (us wage slaves). Cut what entitlement programs? "Health services that could be cut to these children include coverage for eyeglasses, hearing aids, speech therapy, crutches and other treatments whose costs are prohibitive for many low-income working families." And that's just for starters.

Your Congresspeople can be found here. Let them know how you feel about this and to fight it. Like you should have to tell them, but these are the times we live in, and it is time for the rich and the corporations to pay their fair share.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 08:27 AM PST [Link]

Wednesday, November 9, 2005

Whoa, Thought Crimes has a nice new look.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 10:02 PM PST [Link]

I can't believe someone at the Plain Dealer called Nathan Newman an Internet Dilettante. That's... absurd.

I do like the way those words sound together: In-ter-net Dil-la-tant

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 09:57 PM PST [Link]

"Afghan poet Nadia Anjuman has been beaten to death and her husband and mother have been arrested.

"The United Nations condemned the killing Tuesday as a symptom of continuing violence against Afghan women four years after the fall of the Taliban.

"It is common for women to be beaten by their fathers, brothers or husbands and 'honour' killings in which women are murdered to save the family from disgrace are still accepted in Afghanistan.

"Anjuman, 25, was widely praised for her first book of poems, titled Gule Dudi, or Dark Flower. She had a large following among students in Afghanistan and neighbouring Iran.

"She died Friday in a hospital in the western city of Herat where she lived. She had been studying at university.

"Her husband has confessed to slapping her after an argument, said Nisar Ahmad Paikar, chief of the city's police crime unit. Her mother has also been arrested, but no charges were immediately filed.

"'This is a tragic loss for Afghanistan,' UN spokesman Adrian Edwards told the Associated Press. 'Domestic violence is a concern. This case illustrates how bad this problem is here and how it manifests itself. Women face exceptional challenges.'

"Before U.S.-led forces ousted the Taliban from power, the regime barred women from working and girls from studying. Women were unable to travel without a male relative accompanying them and if they were caught outside without wearing an all-encompassing burqa, they were often beaten.

"President Hamid Karzai's U.S.-backed government has created a new constitution that guarantees gender equality. But old attitudes still prevail in rural areas and within families.

"Thousands of people attended Anjuman's burial in Herat on Sunday. 'Students everywhere are so upset over this. She was such a prominent poet in Afghanistan," said Homayan Ludin, a student at Kabul University.'"
UN condemns sexist killing of Afghan poet, CBC, November 8, 2005 (via Booksquare)

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 09:05 PM PST [Link]

I'm almost afraid to blog this:

"CNN: Where are the women bloggers?

"TROTT: I think the women are there. I think what we see is a focus on topics that tend to be more male-dominated, so we don't get as much coverage. Men blog more about politics. Politics are more likely to get picked up by the media. Technology has always been male-dominated. So there's this sort of echo chamber.

"But there's knitting, this family, these topics that have been relegated to being sub-par blogging, which I disagree with completely.

"Seventy-five percent of our users on LiveJournal are female. And on Typepad and Movabletype it's almost a 50/50 split. There are women blogging, they just don't need to be so loud."
Pundits and knitters find common ground in Web logs, CNN, November 3, 2005

There are women blogging, they just don't need to be so loud.

Ms. Trott must lead a very charmed life if she's never been ignored, shoved aside, shouted down, or whatever by a man. I'd salute her serenity if I didn't think its wellspring was merely obtuseness. It's still a big, loud world for most of us.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 08:57 PM PST [Link]

Arnold lost on EVERY SINGLE INITIATIVE... Nathan Newman, and music to my ears.

California goes sane! And YOU are there.

Other results, some good, some not so good: Texas is officially nuts to constitutionally ban gay marriage, which was illegal anyway (yes, I know there are insane gay-haters that would like to do the same thing to CA; let us pray they see the light someday). Not that I completely understand it or care, but I hear from legal minds that this ban could even be construed to ban hetro-marriage. Your bed, crazy Texans, you lie in it. And for sane Texans, better days a'comin'. Governor Movie Star just got his ass handed to him (and wasted $50M CA didn't have for it), so the tide must be turning.

Maybe Ahnold should resign; there's nothing more he can do to us (I hope).

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 08:30 AM PST [Link]

Monday, November 7, 2005

I wasn't going to write about this, but two diverse bloggers wrote about it, so then, of course, it wouldn't leave me alone. I encourage you to follow the links and read the whole posts; here goes:

"But it reminds me of the problems of third-wave feminism, this idea that there's this game that men and women play with each other (let's call the game Patriarchy) and that most people aren't even aware that they're playing it, which--it seems third-wave feminists are saying--is fine because, as the failings of second-wave feminism have shown us, there's no real way to escape from the game and it's useless to try. Instead, the only really powerful thing we can do as feminists is to be aware that we are playing the game and to play our parts knowingly.

"Maybe it just goes to show that I'm some kind of old-fogey feminist, but I find that to be a pretty shitty conclusion to come to."
Cutting the Best Deal You Can, Tiny Cat Pants, November 6, 2005


"I'm very proud to be a feminist, but a pro and con of feminism is that it destabilized social structure. There was a time when women knew what they were expected to do. They could hate it, resent it, rebel against it, but the norm was there. Those norms were hugely oppressive to women but they also provided a framework to work within. Today, we have no structure and i live in a mecca of people trying to 'find themselves.' How do you build an identity from scratch without having it pre-defined? For many, this seems to be a hard task. Personally, there are days when i revel in my ability to escape gendered norms and then i dream of being a Hollywood-image 1950s stay at home mom. Even in my chaos, i realize the power of structure."
the power of social structure in World of Warcraft, apophenia, November 5, 2006

The trick overcoming to all this consternation is turning 40 and truly understanding what 40 can mean. Or at least what it means to me: it means a kind of freedom I'd never dreamed of. It means I think young people are quaint. It means I don't have to prove anything to anyone, unless I want to. It means I'm living my feminism, not just talking about it. It means I don't define myself in relation to men, because I don't have. It means no sex is better than bad sex. It means no man is better than the wrong one. It means I salute those of you in good relationships and those in bad, well, good luck because I no longer measure myself against either of you. It means I'm so cool, I don't have to prove how cool I am anymore. See? You're getting frostbite just reading this, that's how cool I am.

Tiny Cat Pants makes a good point: women are trying to beat men at their own game and can't. Do we really want to be spend that much time in strip clubs? I know I don't. If you want to glorify the whatever's-in-vogue about stripping and strippers, isn't a more feminist route to support the strippers who've unionized? Stop thinking with your imaginary dicks, sisters, and start thinking with some solidarity, or if that's too hard, at the very least some compassion for your fellow woman. I think that should be the lesson of third wave feminism, I think it was the lesson of all the waves of feminism.

I never took comfort in the "Hollywood-image 1950s stay at home mom," my comfort fantasy from age 12 to, oh, 28 was to be the Supreme Leader of some huge intergalactic military, with the added ability to diffuse my consciousness over time and space. I know, too much Star Trek (if that's possible). Then it was to be a successful composer in Paris. Now it's to be a successful novelist who still writes music (God, that would be nice). But, I do see your point about structure. And I think you know this, so I was very puzzled by your post: your structure is your work and your work is your structure. Whatever your work is: linguistics, raising kids, working in an office, writing novels, blogging, etc., whatever it is, the point is to find a structure in what you're doing and be productive, peaceful, happy, aroused, whatever in it. Being productive provides the greatest happiness for me. I rest outside of the structure of my day job and creative lucubration in my off hours.

There was a time when women knew what they were expected to do. They could hate it, resent it, rebel against it, but the norm was there. Those norms were hugely oppressive to women but they also provided a framework to work within.

What norm? Get married, have kids, stay home? That was only available to those who could afford it. If anything's destabilized the social structure it's an economy that requires two incomes per family just to survive. I know this because I work with women who'd love to stay home with their kids and can't; they just can't afford it, and they're not livin' large either.

I think these two writers are amazing women, writers and thinkers, and are going to be even more amazing when they turn 40. They will probably be so cool, they won't have anything to do with me. I salute you both.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 03:30 PM PST [Link]

"THE INDICTMENT of the vice president's chief of staff for perjury and obstruction of justice is an occasion to consider just how damaging the long public career of Richard Cheney has been to the United States. He began as a political scientist devoted to caring for the elbow of Donald Rumsfeld. As a congressman, Rumsfeld had reliably voted against programs to help the nation's poor, so (as I recalled in reading James Mann's ''Rise of the Vulcans") it was with more than usual cynicism that Richard Nixon appointed him head of the Office of Economic Opportunity, the antipoverty agency. Rumsfeld named Cheney as his deputy, and the two set out to gut the program-- the beginning of the Republican rollback of the Great Society, what we saw in New Orleans this fall."
Deconstructing Cheney, by James Carroll, Boston.com, November 7, 2005 (hat tip to Rude Pundit)

Basically, if it was bad, Cheney did it. Is the word sociopath starting to ring true for anyone else?

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 01:30 PM PST [Link]

How to outsmart automated phone systems

IVR Cheat Sheet to Find a Human

Dial-a-human shortcuts
All via Cursor.org, November 7, 2005

I could have used this when I got back to the US in 1996. Voice mail was my biggest culture shock, and I still hate it.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 10:37 AM PST [Link]

"A Democratic member of the Senate Judiciary Committee said Sunday he believes Samuel Alito will get an up-or-down vote on his Supreme Court bid.

"'We should commit,' said Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del., minimizing prospects of a Senate filibuster that would prevent final action on President Bush's choice to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor."

I'm with Julia, shut up, Joe Biden. Whose side are you on? People of Delaware, what's with this guy?

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 08:11 AM PST [Link]

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