Thursday, June 25, 2009

Random thoughts

Bookworm has an interesting piece on Real Men and the Babyish Guys of Hollywood Movies. I agree with her but think that the attitude is far more pervasive and iterative than she realizes. In the comments section I point her to Kim du Toit's essay on the Pussification of the Western Male.

Segueing into other news, I just had an issue with a co-worker. While I think that Sanford should have been smarter, I also contend, that, as a Southern-raised gentleman, his actions also broke Southern social norms. Also, the governor of a state just can't disappear for five days. He's not just a guy. His behavior says he wanted to be caught. The same with Edwards and others that have had what turned out to be affairs that went public.

My example, which apparently put my co-worker's back completely up, was that of the Southern idea of a 'close friend of the family'. This euphemism is dedicated primarily to same-sex partners or hetero lovers. This social convention gives a person the chance to still be a part of society, with their partner, within social limits. This is a difficult concept to explain it is something you either grok or don't.

It is completely open--everyone knows (not cheating) but is not in-your-face which allows people to ignore the behavior if they wish. My co-worker completely lost his marbles at the thought that this could be considered to be a good thing, because it cannot, in his mind, be considered to be a healthy thing. I'm guessing further conversations with this person will not be forthcoming.

Do I excuse Sanford's behavior? No I don't. He cheated on his wife, he possibly used public funds to finance his cheating, he snuck around (and sneaking to another country is especially difficult) and socially he gave his family no way to maintain their illusion, and save face, which is tantamount down South. The logical part of me thinks that there were a lot of other ways to do this without completely destroying himself, his family, and everything he's worked for politically.

The romantic in me, though, hopes that he found someone worth throwing it all away for.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

But what if they attack with a pointed stick?

Okay, this almost seems like a Monty Python skit but it's real.... The government of Great Britain (not so great, I'm thinking) is deciding that taking the points off of knives is going to keep people from getting stabbed to death. One of the tragic things is that this is only one step off of the US government trying to make knives that you can open with one hand illegal.

When you contrast this with the fact that the French government is actually taking a stand and is wanting to eliminate the burkha as acceptable clothing, it seems that the world is going a bit wonky. Before anyone gets their knickers in a knot, I do believe that people should be able to wear what they want (or nothing at all for that matter) within certain social limits and due to the fact that sometimes you just need to have pockets for your stuff.

However, as a safety issue, and due to the creeping nature of Islamic fundamentalism, and perhaps that bit of feminist in me, I think that the full burkha should be banned. In Florida, they tried to take an issue to court because a woman wanted to get her driver's license picture taken while her face was covered. Additionally, the burkha is a cultural icon, not a religious one, although I'd get arguments on that as well. If you want to wear a scarf on your head, fine. But, just as I get creeped out by folks wearing full ski masks (which is generally not acceptable unless one is skiing), I want to be able to see a person's face.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Quote of the day...

From High Plains Drifter (1973):

"Well it's what people know about themselves inside that makes 'em afraid."

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Wah frickin' wah!!

I'm just prefacing this with the fact that I am pro-gay marriage due to the fact that the act and deed of marriage (which is a religious act--the joining of two souls into one) has become inextricably intertwined with the civil contract that is the joining of households/goods/insurance, etc. into one by our government and unless and until those two portions of what has come to be known as 'marriage' are separated for everyone, then I have to firmly put myself in the gay-marriage corner.

That said, I find it.... interesting... that gay folks have their collective knickers in a twist because the Obama DOJ has come out in defense of DOMA-the Defense of Marriage Act which passed in 1996. For those with no sense of history, Clinton was in the White House then and won his second term in office in 1996 (can't blame Bush for this one, folks). Gay committees and activists are incensed and shocked (SHOCKED) that the DOJ used examples such as incest and underage partners in its brief defending DOMA.

But of course it was okay for the Obama DOJ to classify as 'possible terrorists' our returning military personnel and pretty much everyone else who didn't walk the Politically Correct line--using the outliers of a social group as their examples to justify their position. Hmmmmm... I'm sensing a trend!

In this case, though, I think the Obama Administration is alienating its funding base. There are a LOT of very wealthy two income/no kids gay households out there and the Kool-Aid they drank is starting to wear off as they realize that the Administration is basically willing to screw everybody and anybody in order to meet its own goals and that they told people what they wanted to hear in order to get elected. Oh the shock, oh the horror, oh the surprise! It'll be interesting to see how this plays out in the next little while.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Joining the meme....

Bookworm is trying to start a "Boycott ABC" meme over at her place. This is in response to ABC taking their place as a state-run propaganda organization on June 24. We don't watch ABC very often anyway and once the IPOD came into our lives, we don't watch TV nearly as often either--good music and blog reading are a fine substitute to the 'idiot box' which, by the actions of ABC, is getting more idiotic by the day.

All of the mainstream media news organizations are disqualifying themselves from my possible viewing one by one. Can't stand CBS and Katie Couric after both the Couric interview with Sarah Palin and their morning-show 'interview' with the woman who owns the consignment shop where Ms. Palin bought a lot of her clothes (that was the last straw). Can't stand CNN after the Chicago Tea Party kerfluffle. MSNBC is a freakin' joke with Chris Matthews and his thrilling tingles and some of that bleeds over to NBC proper. Guess if I'm going to watch news on TV, it'll be Fox or I'll just read my favorite blogs instead.

All that said, I'm more than willing to join the boycott and will pop off a few phone calls to ABC and a couple of their advertisers (ABC is owned by Disney so maybe a call there too).

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back.....

From American Thinker, Pamela Geller writes about her quest to honor the victim of an 'honor' killing in Canada. She talks about the obstacles that she encountered trying to find a way to remember Aqsa Parvez, a girl whose family didn't want her remembered because she had 'dishonored' them by not wearing a piece of cloth on her head. Ms. Geller describes the father lurking around Aqsa's school trying to catch her in the act of not wearing the hijab or (gasp) talking to other students who may well be boys. She details the problems that she had trying to find a place as a memorial for Aqsa since many of the Canadian facilities she contacted wouldn't help her due to fear of backlash from the Muslim community. At the end of the article, she details the marble bench and park that are going to be dedicated to Aqsa Parvez--she will be remembered.

In contrast, universities in India are banning girls from wearing jeans in order to keep them from being harassed by male students.

The creeping (and creepy) acceptance of such things in a modern culture truly make me fear for the future. I'm not a screaming feminist but things like the above make my blood boil. The fact that Aqsa's father had nothing better to do than follow his daughter around and check on her behavior is indicative of the 5th grade mindset of strict Islamists. And now in India, they are planning on expelling women for wearing clothes that they feel are 'too revealing'.

Now, for myself, I've taken it as a complement when guys yell and whistle--I'll answer them back with a bow and a wiggle. If I feel it's gone too far, I'll answer back with a raised middle finger and if someone is touching me and I don't want them to, the offending digits will be removed forcibly. But I live in a country where I can do these things. If a woman in India or a Muslim country would answer back (in either case) the way that I would react then she could be whipped or stoned. Canada, England, Norway (not so much France anymore) are allowing free Western cultures to be co-opted and replaced by archaic and backward thinking. Unfortunately the women in those countries will be the first to pay the price.

Friday, June 5, 2009

This is really funny!

Via Chas Clifton at Hardscrabble Creek. You HAVE to watch this! The 1939 vision of the future but with a tweak.

Does ANYONE think this could really help??

There is talk of sending ALGORE to North Korea to negotiate for the release of the two reporters who 'accidentally' crossed the border and got caught. I know people who have been to South Korea and there is no 'accidental' crossing into North Korea--the border is pretty well marked. The machine guns, walls, fences, military personnel, and that little thing called the DMZ might have given it away.

Okay, before I sound like a heartless hag, I'm sorry that they were stupid enough to get caught and I'm sorry they were stupid enough to think that being reporters for ALGORE's TV channel would be enough to shield them from any consequences. Okay, so maybe I do sound like a heartless hag but I just can't stand stupidity such as this.

Michael Yon and others go in with eyes wide open and no net--they won't count on anyone getting their hash out of a fire that they get themselves into.

Back to the topic at hand though... How can anyone, with any modicum of sense, think that sending ALGORE to North Korea will do anything?? Once he starts berating them for not recycling and lack of use of solar power, things will only go downhill from there, although he might given them credit for developing alternative energy sources, like NUCLEAR.

Or else he'll go in promising ANYTHING just so he can get those two reporters back. Need more nuclear material so you can tweak your bombs? Sure!; need more rocket fuel so your missiles can go longer-range? No problem! Maybe he'll promise Kim Jung-Il a ride on his houseboat...


ETA: Per B's comments, they went in through China. My bad. BUT, I can't believe that they accidentally strolled in. There would have to be some kind of signage, troops, etc. since I don't believe that China and North Korea have an open border. Another thing, if ALGORE goes in to negotiate, his 'gravitas' comes from his former position as the Vice President of the United States. If he goes in wearing that hat, he could make things MUCH worse for the country and for his employees.