Saturday, November 23, 2002

Ooo goody...look! It's NOW's 2002 Primetime Feminist Report! So listen up, all you male sexist pigs out there...shame on you for wanting to look at hot chicks in panties! Football and wrestling will be the downfall of civilization, and there simply aren't enough programs on television focusing on the struggles of impoverished and overweight single-mother Muslim lesbians living in urban decay.

What is television's role in our society? Is it simply entertainment, fantasy, an escape? Or should its potential to influence, persuade and inform be taken more seriously?

It should be all of those things, really. For an organization that claims to celebrate and encourage "diversity", they sure are critical of the fact that this is exactly what television does.

We've said it in previous reports, and we'll say it again—the situation comedy is a sorry place for women on TV these days. They must be beautiful, thin and younger than their male counterparts, and willing to use their sexuality for laughs and titillation.

So, my question is, what's wrong with being beautiful, thin and young? Women use their sexuality every day to get what they want. If NOW thinks television should reflect real life, why is it a mistake for sit-coms to make a joke of this?

In workplace comedies, women characters often shrug off sexually harassing behavior that would be unwelcome in the real world.

But TV is not the real world. It's TV. It's fake. NOW is underestimating, perhaps even patronizing, the very group of people they claim to represent. Intelligent women do not model their lives after characters on television. They do not learn their lessons or make important decisions by asking themselves "what would Ally McBeal do in a situation like this?" I watch comedies to be entertained, not informed. If those comedies happen to mock a certain type of woman - be the type fat, irritating, loud, rude, sexy or whatever - they are, in fact, depicting a certain reality. Is anyone from NOW going to deny that women like this exist?

In family comedies, women frequently play the sensible, hard-working wife/mommy to a lazy, immature husband.

Are they suggesting that "sensible" and "hard-working" are bad? Where's the outrage of making buffoons of men?

Sadly missing is a strong, high-profile comedic character in the tradition of I Love Lucy, Murphy Brown, Mary Tyler Moore or Roseanne. Do the characters of Rachel (from Friends), Grace (from Will & Grace) or Reba qualify to fill that role?

I don't watch a lot of prime time programming, so I admit that I have no idea who "Reba" is, but from what I've seen of the characters Rachel and Grace, they are independent, strong-willed, and professional women. I thought that having the opportunity to be such a woman was exactly what feminism was supposed to be about? Or is the issue here that they also happen to be thin and beautiful? If so, jealousy is not one of the most likable character traits that women possess, so why cave into it so easily?

Will the networks give the women on new shows such as Life with Bonnie or Less Than Perfect the right material to take on the mantle?

I haven't heard of either of those shows, but if they fail, it's not because of some anti-feminist agenda of the network. It's because people aren't watching for a combination of bad scripts, bad acting or lack of an interesting premise. What NOW seems to want here are more programs about mediocrity. The characters can't be too fat or too thin. They shouldn't be attractive, because women viewers might get an inferiority complex, but they can't be too ugly, either, otherwise you're making fun of ugly women and that's not nice. They shouldn't be "sensible", but they certainly can't be stupid. Hard-working moms are out, for re-enforcing the notion that a woman's place is in the home, and professional women are okay, but they should have some type of traditionally masculine job, like tough detective or firefighter.

Where are the powerful, funny women of color?

Interesting that they should ask this. In the real world, a powerful, funny woman of color is National Security Advisor, and some of their lefty allies have berated her for being too "white".

Field analysts commented on the low level of maturity in primetime TV and its overall lack of interest in social issues.

"Field analysts"? You mean, people who watch a lot of TV? I spend all day taking an interest in "social issues". When I watch prime time television, it's usually to get away from them. Concerning yourself with the plight of the working class, sexual harassment, gender inequality (whether real, or in the case of NOW, almost entirely imagined), and world hunger during your every waking moment isn't really all that healthy, you know. All this little "report" is is a thinly vieled excersize in elitism. It complains about the sort of programming that is popular, as if the "little people", who don't have the wits to know what's good for them, were stupidly lured into watching low-quality television shows, when they should be watching "Masterpiece Theatre" and documentaries on PBS.

Of course some television programs make stereotypes of women. But they also stereotype children, fathers, the elderly - you name it. And what of the several networks touted as "women's television"? They constantly run movies and shows that depict men as violent predators, rapists, and misogynistic meatheads unable to control their own pricks. Does that sound like every man you know? If so, it's certainly no fault of your television that you keep bad company.

Friday, November 22, 2002

Er . . . um . . . whoops!

San Antonio police, who continued to apologize Thursday for storming the wrong Southwest Side duplex, said they'll meet next week to review the foul-up that sent an innocent man to a hospital with minor injuries.

Officials said SWAT team members apparently were confused in the darkness Wednesday night by the cluster of look-alike dwellings in the 5900 block of Fairshire Road, even though officers spent two days watching a duplex there in an effort to serve a warrant on a man they suspected of dealing drugs.

"Everything was done by procedure," Deputy Police Chief Rudy Gonzales said of the SWAT unit that won state honors the past two years. "It was just an honest mistake made by SWAT officers at the location."

We have a show already called America's Dumbest Criminals. Anyone think of doing a show called America's Most Imbecilic Cops?

*Sniff, sniff* Do I smell a lawsuit?

Thursday, November 21, 2002

You know, I hate to admit this because it makes me sound like a cold-hearted bastard, but I wasn't one of those who grieved in spectacular and overwrought when Kurt Cobain died. I remember hearing about it while driving in my car, and listening to a Chicago rock station, and I was appalled at the way the disc jockeys and the callers were bemoaning his loss. From what was being said on the radio, one would have thought that it was the disciples of Socrates lamenting his encounter with hemlock.

For my part, my reaction then was my reaction now: I didn't revel in the fact that Cobain was dead, and I am generally deeply sorry to hear of the death of any human being, but I also thought him to be one seriously f*cked up individual.

And now, my suspicions are confirmed by this article which gives some of the more . . . er . . . interesting details of Kurt Cobain's diary. What is also interesting is the effort the media went through to try to excise from its reporting some of those interesting details.

Stomach the following passage, if you can:

The quality press faced a bigger dilemma as they lassoed the Cobain cash cow. Kurt's status as a cult figure guarantees a certain uncritical readership, and who wants to mess with that? Thus Newsweek, which put Cobain on its Oct. 28 cover, perhaps wisely neglected to draw readers' attention to diary entries like this: "I am a male age 23, and I'm lactating." While other men have sexual fantasies about voluptuous women, "when I close my eyes I see lizards & flipper babies, the ones who were deformed because their mothers took bad birth control pills. I'm seriously afraid to touch myself."

As icky as that is, Newsweek surely found something far more disturbing, in a list it published alongside other anodyne extracts (on subjects like music and the evils of heroin addiction.) "I like punk rock. I like girls with weird eyes. I like passion. I like to feel guilty for being a white American male . . ." What the cover-boy also included in that list, but some censor snipped: "I like to make incisions into the belly of infants then ---- the incisions until the child dies."

Now, why in the hell were we not told this by Newsweek? Is it because it didn't find the passages of enough prurient interest? Surely not--what could be more sick than Cobain wanting to perform horrific acts like those described in the last paragraph? Is it because Newsweek thought the passages should not be given any publicity? Well then, why give the entire work publicity in the first place? All they did was cause people to want to go to bookstores and purchase the diary, and find the disgusting content for themselves (I saw the diary myself when I went to Barnes & Noble last week. It was displayed prominently at the front of the store). In addition, by not including the more controversial (to put it mildly) content, Newsweek seems to have been determined to whitewash Cobain's demented fantasies out of existence.

And that last part is really interesting. Is it any wonder whatsoever that so many celebrities believe themselves to be above public approbation and condemnation? They have so many enablers working for them. Some are in their personal retinue, and they get paid to foster and foment the various bizarre and incomprehensible dream worlds that celebrities live in. But others are in the media, and they act as unpaid hacks--seeking to excuse, justify, or just plain cover up the worst kind of behavior and thought imaginable.

Wasn't the thing that finally killed Kurt Cobain the fact that so many people were unaware of his serious mental and emotional problems in the first place? How many others are in that state in the celebrity world, and are having their behavior enabled by others? And even more importantly, how many non-celebrities and former/present Nirvana fans will be allowed, by this whitewashing, to believe Cobain to be someone to be idolized and looked up to--thus perhaps increasing the chances that they might embrace his demons instead of seeking to avoid them? I know I sound like an old dandy saying all of this, but Kurt Cobain was not someone to be looked up to. He was not someone to be idolized. To the extent that he had a musical gift (and I, for one, found him to be one of the the most un-gifted musicians of any genre), the celebrity that gift led him to attaining helped fuel his downward spiral.

Yes, I regret the fact that Kurt Cobain died. And I certainly regret the manner in which he died.

Even more than that, however, I regret the manner in which he lived, and the life that was denied him. If Kurt Cobain's writings are now to be popularized, it would do well for all of us to focus on the sickness that surrounded his psyche for much, if not all of his life. Ignoring it won't make it go away.

For the record: this is how I feel on this issue. -Emily

This guy needs a blog in the worst way.

Although, please, let's not let him post here.

Wednesday, November 20, 2002

And on the Seventh Day, we shall rest:

Scientists in Rockville are to announce this morning that they plan to create a new form of life in a laboratory dish, a project that raises ethical and safety issues but also promises to illuminate the fundamental mechanics of living organisms.

J. Craig Venter, the gene scientist with a history of pulling off unlikely successes, and Hamilton O. Smith, a Nobel laureate, are behind the plan. Their intent is to create a single-celled, partially man-made organism with the minimum number of genes necessary to sustain life. If the experiment works, the microscopic man-made cell will begin feeding and dividing to create a population of cells unlike any previously known to exist.

My question is why in the hell am I not in on this matter? I always wanted to be a deity, to create life, watch it grow and mature, and then to compel it to bow down and worship me. Instead, here I am, a normal person, just standing on the sidelines whilst others play Jehovah? Pourquoi?

I promise no floods. No destruction of tiny little Sodoms and Gomorrahs. I'll even let the new organisms eat apples, if that is what they truly desire. Just prostrate yourselves before me, and all of this I shall give to you.

Now you tell me: What is so terrible about this deal?

I’ve managed to toddle from the sofa to my desk. I’m under orders to keep my feet elevated, but stewing and staring at the TV is getting unbelievably boring, so I thought I’d pop in and say hi. I’m also under strict orders not to drink, but hey, there’s another convention tossed out the window. I can’t read for too long – it gives me a horrible headache and the words get all squinchy (I’m typing this in Word at about 50 pt font), so aside from the idiot box, I’ve been entertaining myself by popping copious amounts of prescription drugs and taking pictures of my feet. I’ve shown up at work a few times, but only under duress.

I see that Peter took my “Two small guidelines otherwise anything goes” request and ran wild with it. Also, please note that everything Pejman wrote about me in his first post, with the exception of the “drinking anyone under the table” bit, was a complete lie. Pej, darling, I’ve worked really, really hard to earn my reputation as a bitter and cynical bitch afflicted with brazen stupidity, and I’ll not have you spreading these nasty rumors about my being a “nice” or “knowledgeable” person.

I’ve also seen that an Engle has come and gone in my absence. Our boy just gets more and more irksome, doesn’t he? I understand, Matthew, that American newspapers devoid of gratuitous tits must seem boring in comparison to their British counterparts, but we are sort of under the feeble impression that the foremost purpose of newspapers is to inform. That’s just our silly way. And here’s a tip for the future: you’re supposed to read newspapers, not penetrate them. I mean, I’ve heard of perverts who try to penetrate certain wool-toting creatures or particular items of fruit, but Matt, a newspaper? That’s just sick.

Well, my stompers are puffin’, so I’ve got to go prop them back up. I should be up to speed by early next week. At least I’d better be, so that I can relieve the fellers from their voluntary posting duties. After all Hanukah is on the way, so Pejman’s got to get to baking holiday cakes with the blood of Muslim children (those filthy Jews like to do that, you know). Mr. Briffa needs to work on his tan and resume chasing mice around his apartment, and poor Juan hasn’t had a free moment to masturbate for almost a week now.

And Briff, if I were you, I’d seriously consider investing in some libel insurance.

Thanks, guys. You’re the best. See you soon.

I know that the reason I was asked to contribute stuff here while Emily is away is so that I can give you lovely and delightful stories like this one to peruse, and then leave you to wonder what in hell has happened to society.

I mean, come on! Exhibitionism can't get much worse than this, can it?

Can it?

Some day I really, really hope I get paid for the near libelous crap I spew out every day. I know it can't be that hard. Hell, this Harley Sorensen guy does.
It's a rhetorical question with no response required . . .
That's like saying "It's a twist top bottle that requires the top being twisted off."
Suppose there was such a thing as a time machine.
Ooo! Imagination time! We're going on an adventure!
Suppose all the bad-guy Germans of the 1930s and 1940s -- the Gestapo, the Brownshirts, the Blackshirts -- were fed into the time machine and emerged as modern-day Americans. Suppose they all still held the beliefs they had when they died.
I'm supposin'. I'm supposin'!
So my question is, Which political party would they support now, Democratic or Republican?
Well, it's tough to say. Economically speaking, they'd probably like the Democratic camp due to their love of a heavily regulated and directed economy. Plus they saw government spending and jobs programs as central to the economic well being of the nation. Socially speaking... Oh wait. He doesn't want a point by point discussion. He just wants to slur. Well, I won't play along.
Just wondering.
No you weren't, you sanctimonious shit-tickler. You were using the old overly-clever trick of rhetorical question to make an accusation all the while being able to claim you weren't. You are saying that Republicans and those who voted Republican are Nazis and their sympathizers. I'm sure you're delightfully droll at all the parties, but you're sadly transparent on the page.

I don't have the patience for the rest of his stuff. Basically night has fallen. The camps are built. Bush is president and emperor for life. Death is coming on Republican wings. Blah blah fucking blah.
Harley Sorensen is a longtime journalist and liberal iconoclast
Juan Gato is a longtime jazz fusion sousaphonist and fat drunk.

Tuesday, November 19, 2002

You know, I will be more than willing to step in for 007 if I get to enjoy all the . . . er . . . fringe benefits.

Oh, and staying alive would be nice as well.

Matthew Engel. What the crap are you still doing here, you limey sleazeball? I thought we'd deported you.

The elite American press prides itself on its old-fashioned inaccessibility: grey type, don't-read-me layout, and, on a bad day, totally impenetrable prose.

Impenetrable? IMPENETRABLE? I'd like to penetrate you and your tiny Wanker ass with a rocket launcher, you Euroweenie dirtbag. Now here's some penetrable prose for you:


Monday, November 18, 2002

Because I continue to fear the threat of The Rusty Knife let me take the opportunity to link to this excellent article on the influx of technology in the classroom--a positive development which would be that much more powerful if only it were accompanied by a decline in political correctness, and an increase in school choice.

Not that I have an agenda, or anything . . .

When I was told by Emily that I had to update a couple times while she was out, I asked if there were any specific instructions. She just told me to be "retarded and mean just like you are on your site." It's nice to know I'm respected. So, here I go giving you crap that's retarded and mean.
Women from the Washington area and across the country gathered in front of the White House yesterday to kick off a four-month, 24-hour vigil to protest the possible war with Iraq.
Ooo! A vigil. Time to light the candles and sing the songs of peace and love as some long-hair strums a gentle acoustic tune.
"We feel that this is a time when our country is in great danger," said organizer Medea Benjamin, 50, of San Francisco.
So she noticed the attacks against our country and the willingness of those like Saddam to support and applaud them. Good for her!
"The Bush administration has begun a course of militarism and violence that will beget more violence."
Oh, dear. I take that back. She didn't notice that regardless of Bush's reaction, there are a bunch of people who have decided to use violence and militarism against us. Instead for her, it's the "cycle of violence" about to "spiral out of control" as Bush "beats the drums of war." I just had to make sure all the clichés were laid out.
At least 30 women and a few men
Well, someone has to bang the drums for the dance circles
attended the rally, which started at Lafayette Square and moved along Pennsylvania Avenue NW -- a small presence compared with the tens of thousands who converged upon Washington last month to protest any military action against Iraq.
I thought they were protesting the privatization of water, freeing Mumia and the fact that we still hold on to the quaint notion of private property and, oh yeah, war against Iraq
But yesterday's crowd said that what it lacked in numbers it would make up for in persistence.
Like a chihuahua that won't let go of the cuff of your pants.
At least six will stay in the park in four-day shifts until March 8, resting on the ground in sleeping bags or on benches, organizers said. Some said they will fast for days or even weeks. Many of the women wore pink jackets and buttons that read "Code Pink -- Women for Peace."
Don't these people have jobs?? Then again, they are probably unhirable. "I will not wash that dish unless I am paid at least 1/4 of the CEO!"
"Bush says Code Red; we say Code Pink!" they shouted. "Women united -- We'll never be divided!"
Oops. Looks like I missed a cliché. Thankfully loonies can always be counted on to supply them.
Many were members of human rights or women's groups, such as the National Organization for Women. Others were simply mothers or grandmothers who wanted to let President Bush know that they don't want another war. They want money to go toward health care, education and other social services instead, they said.
All these mothers sitting out for days and weeks at a time? No wonder they want more money for social services. Someone needs to be watching over their kids while these mothers are out saving the world, and it might as well be the state.
"We are the mothers and wives and sisters of those who will be killed for oil," said Anise Jenkins, 53, a D.C. activist who works as a secretary.
OIIIIIIIIIIIIIILLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL! After watching these I always hear that as an echo by Helium.
Loree Murray, 81, sported a button that said "Hail to the Thief" above a picture of Bush. "The women, we're trying to teach peace. We're trying to teach the president something," the D.C. resident said.
"Hail to the Thief"! Goddamn that's clever! You see, "thief" rhymes with "chief" so they are, with that delightful pun, expressing the idea that Bush stole the election! What a triumph of wordsmithing! What triumphal idiots!
The protest was peaceful, with a few police officers on hand to monitor activities. There were no counter-protesters, except for one man who walked past the group and shouted, "War will be declared on us even if we don't do anything."
He's squashing their dissent! Evil man! Patriarchy alert! Patriarchy alert!
Diane Wilson, 54, traveled from a small town in Bush's home state of Texas to participate in the vigil. A commercial fisherman who last year earned $12,000, she said she wants the Bush administration to spend more money on health care than war. She has never had health insurance. She plans to fast for 40 days and had her last meal -- several slices of pizza -- Saturday night.
Fasting. One thing I have no sympathy for are people who go on showy, childish hunger strikes. It's the same as holding your breath until you turn blue. Except when you go out, you don't wake up again to annoy the hell out of us anymore. Sounds like she has a really sucky job. And if she can afford to just pack up and spend months in DC, I'm going to guess there isn't much family holding down there. Mayhaps she should move and find a better job.
"I want to tell Bush and Congress exactly how we feel in small-town America," she said.
Couldn't send a letter?
Kristi Laughlin, a human rights activist from San Francisco, visited Afghanistan in June to see for herself the aftermath of the U.S. bombing of Afghanistan. She said Kabul looked like the site of an archaeological dig.
As opposed the gleaming wonder it was under the Taliban. Back when they had a Six Flags and everything.
"To see where our money goes and the end result of our production of weapons and distribution of weapons, to me it was a sobering reality," she said.
Reality? Did she bother to notice the women not getting beaten? Did she notice soccer being played in the stadium instead of hangings? No, of course not. She had on her shitty anti-American blinders.
Laughlin, 33, said that too often the Bush administration relies on aggression rather than negotiation. The money spent on military campaigns is needed elsewhere, she said, to help women and children.
For The Children™. Of course it is. I suppose we could save the money for when we have to rebuild yet again after we are attacked. At least they kept their clothes on.

Are we sure that the last poster was Peter Briffa? Because that language sounds particularly Emilyesque.

Sunday, November 17, 2002

"The truth is out".

Or so says that hairy-assed feminist and kangaroo-fucker, Germaine Greer.

"Men are much more trouble than they're worth"..

No, they ain't. I like 'em hot and horny. And lots of them.

"Sisters are doing it for themselves".

Not all of us, sister. Vibrators are no substitute for a nice, fat prick.

"Discarded males of all ages loiter in the streets, looking for trouble to get into and finding no lack of it".

Yeah? and discarded females are loitering in the opinion pages of the Wanker. Who gives a shit, fucktard?

"Male security guards shoot male football fans in Bratislava, male fans howl racist abuse and hurl chairs at each other, males train as suicide bombers, male heads of state stroll about discussing whether they could get away with another shooting war on the women and children of Iraq, and their male flunkies zoom around the world trying to talk other males into joining in".

And this is a bad thing?

"The Beltway Sniper turned out to be a man"..

And a towelhead. But don't bother to mention that, you cretin.

"And those "children" ejected from school for threatening to kill their teachers are actually boys. It doesn't do to say so. A kind of mad squeamishness prevents us from quantifying the nuisance value of maleness, possibly because if you actually tell men that they are damned nuisances, they are likely to behave even worse".

Look here, Germaine. Why don't you go and have a lie down? You've been pumping out this sicko feminist bullshit for thirty years, you're like a stuck record. So why don't you go away with your nice big Mr. Softie, stick it up your vag, and give us all a break, y'know? We don't want need that feminist groove thing anymore. Go away, and drink plenty of beer. Or fuck off and die, you cunt.

( Story stolen from a much more polite Briff. )