On Tuesday, Emily Yoffe at Slate wrote an article suggesting college girls shouldn’t drink so much if they don’t want to get raped. I’m sure it got a lot of hits, which was probably the point. As usual, it got a lot of people annoyed. And the people getting annoyed got a lot of different people annoyed. Then we all end up exactly at the same place every goddamn time.
By now, anyone interested has seen Neil deGrasse Tyson’s slaps at Gravity’s science. There are other space nerds who have done the same. Leroy Chiao notes that Sandra Bullock and George Clooney are far too attractive to be astronauts, which is actually unfair — Sandra Bullock and George Clooney are far too attractive for almost anything.
It’s a standard comedy trope that dentistry techniques were developed by Torquemada. The only technical advances made since then have been sterilization and making the metal hooks sharper. You’ll be happy to know that’s no longer true.
My apologies if this comes off a little macabre. You know how I am about sharing new experiences, and this was definitely a new one.
I promise I’m not going to keep going on about this. Maybe I need to see a nice, stupid movie to talk about…
You’re all aware of what happened with Arrow. I’ve had a lot of dogs in my life, but for whatever reason, this is the first time I actually had to make the hard choice. Sometimes they died unexpectedly, as with Vandal a few years ago. Other times it was my mom who made the decision because I wasn’t around or was too young.
Having now made that impossible choice, there are things I wish I’d known beforehand.
Those of you who follow me here or on Facebook have seen me post about my dog Arrow. Specifically, the medical issues he’s been having for the last few months, mostly caused by being 16 years old. Arrow’s life had been growing increasingly burdensome, as it ultimately does for all of us who get very old.
This morning, it was clear he’d had enough. We quietly and peacefully set that burden aside.
I said on Facebook that I was eager for the new royal baby to show up because he or she has no connection to the George Zimmerman business. I think we’re all ready for a not-short break from that.
But I thought about it while pounding on the treadmill. (That’s what you do to treadmills, right?) I think there’s a better option.
Prince Trayvon Juror B37 Middleton-Windsor
This is the perfect name. Sure, Trayvon is a boy’s name and Juror B37 is a girl’s name, but we only have one data point for each. The royal couple can be trendsetters.
King Trayvon (or Queen Juror B37, whichever) will be the most popular British monarch to Americans of all time — even more than that really hot one in The Tudors.
Maybe Prince William is playing a deeper game. Think how his father and grandmother will react. The Queen will simply explode (though more for the Middleton-Windsor part than anything else) and Charles will have a Rage-O-Cardial Infarction. William could become a father and the next king all on the same day.
The only danger is if Charles gets his hands on William’s throat before he has his coronary event. Kate would become a widow, she would skip the whole “Queen Consort” thing*, and jump straight to queen mum for the newborn King Trayvon. I don’t know if she would be regent until he turned 18. “Reached his majority” I think is the term. That should give her time to behead the shit out of some people.
For example, she could behead Prince Harry. She would have to, because he would raise a rebel army with the battle cry “I say, chaps! I am bloody well not dipping the codgers to someone named Juror B37, toodle-pip!” We would have the first British dynastic wars since the mid-15th century.
Back in America, a civil war in England would be devastating. President Obama would frown a lot. Lindsay Graham would blame it on Benghazi. John Boehner would vow to condemn the bloodshed but then fail to get the House votes to do so. John McCain would get an erection so powerful he would literally turn himself inside out.
That is going to be some great television. And the whole thing would fall apart if Charles or the Queen got wind of it before the birth. They could have William drawn and quartered, making Harry only the third naked/drunk/Nazi-uniform-owning royal heir in British history. And we thought they weren’t telling us the name only to fuck with the media — admittedly, a good enough reason.
I will be very happy. Hail to the king, baby.
* As things stand now, Kate will be queen when William ascends the throne. She’ll be queen consort, which is a different bucket of peasants from what Elizabeth is (queen regnant). As the queen consort, she has the title but none of her husband’s power. Sort of like Prince Philip — except Philip can’t get the “king” title because he can’t be ranked above the queen in the actual line, since the people who thought the system up were big ol’ sexists.
We owe a huge debt to Texas congressman Michael Burgess (R-Onanism) for this discovery.
Armed with this knowledge, I am starting a petition to change the United States Motto to Unum de multis (“out of one, many’). It makes more sense than the old E pluribus unum or even the more modern Pro se quisque (“Every man for himself”).
In Michael’s own words (and pay attention — he’s an obstetrician):
This is a subject I know something about … Watch a sonogram of a 15-week baby, and they have movements that are purposeful. They stroke their face. If they’re a male baby, they may have their hand between their legs. If they feel pleasure, why is it so hard to believe that they could feel pain?
That is obviously ironclad reasoning, but I think Representative Ruboneout needs to re-think one thing: this particular proof-of-life technique isn’t a boy’s club. The ladies can also… ummm… slide into home. The GOP has its problem with women already; no need to exacerbate it by telling girl fetuses they can’t… er…. work out at the Y.
Normally, when a Republican dumbass starts speaking about reproduction issues, lots of people (including myself) beg to have the idiot removed from office. But I hope we get to keep Michael the Milker. (Maybe we can remove him from the vice chairmanship of the Subcommittee on Health though?)
You keep being you, Michael. I’d offer you a high five, but… not this time.
Warning! Huge spoilers for both the new Man of Steel movie and the Superman movie from 1978.
The new one isn’t bad. It’s better than its Rotten Tomato score, which I guess evens the scales. The new Star Trek movie isn’t as good as Rotten Tomatoes would have you believe. Henry Cavill does well, even after shaving his mustache.
There’s one thing that troubles me apart from the internal inconsistencies that I guess I have to live with. (Seriously, Hollywood — there are talented writers who know and love this character. You don’t have to keep hiring the same hacks.)
Flash back to 1978 or whenever you punk kids saw the original Christopher Reeve Superman. After the opening scene on Krypton, we meet Superbaby’s Earth parents.
We jump to Clark’s high school years, where Pa Kent dispenses from his Wisdom Faucet about how maybe he shouldn’t worry about playing football. (Why did you even land in Kansas then?) The emotional heart of the movie is set up when Pa dies from a heart attack and Clark realizes that despite all he can do, he couldn’t save his dad’s life. It’s a subtle and important message, especially for a comic book movie.
Later, the message comes full circle when Lois dies. Superman is suddenly getting shit from Marlon Brando about not interfering when he remembers his dad’s death. Then this happens.
Okay, that part was dumb and watered down the message into “Superman can’t save everyone but he will literally move heaven and earth for his girlfriend.” Why he didn’t just fly the planet back a couple of hours and stop both the missiles before they launched is a mystery.
But it’s not as much a mystery has how the new Superman turned out so stable and grounded while being raised by a seriously clueless and deranged Earth Dad.
Pa Costner here is worried about how people will react to a flying superpowered alien living among them. He even hints that Clark should have let a bunch of kids drown when their schoolbus goes off a bridge. I’d call that a morally ambiguous Daddy Teaching Moment.
What is less morally ambiguous is the dumbest death scene in recent memory. The Kent family is driving along when traffic suddenly stops because a tornado is forming. In Kansas, they don’t know much about dealing with tornadoes, you see. Clark and Pa are herding everyone under an overpass when Ma Kent realizes they left the dog in the car. Pa Kent rushes up with a recently abducted girl child as Clark is about to go save their dog, secure in the knowledge of his perfect safety. Pa hands him the girl instead and goes back to the car himself. He manages to get the dog out (who wisely runs like mad away from the tornado, because that dog is smarter than anyone who appeared in The Postman) and then stands there and waits for the tornado to whisk him off to his doom while Clark watches in horror and the rest of us watch in confusion.
“All my powers, and I totally could have saved him easily. If the tornado hit, I could meet you guys back at the farm and start trying on new glasses and hair dye.”
It was weird to see, and baffling to understand. I’m not sure what it says about us in 2013 where we get a Superman who lets his idiot father die because he’s afraid of the press. It’s two dozen rural Kansas farmers! So you get a blurb in the Weekly World News and funny looks at the feed store. Lex Luthor is going to give you a lot worse than that later.
Not that we had to deal with Lex Luthor.
Ah, Michael Shannon. You are a good General Zod. And I’m glad to know the legacy of obviously crazy characters will continue after Willem Dafoe is gone. But there is only one Zod I’m kneeling before.
One good thing
I did enjoy the movie, and I’ve always liked Superman. One thing I like about him is that he is invariably portrayed as a dog owner. Most often it’s a standard Earth dog, but always a medium to large one. For awhile in the 60s and 70s, he had a superdog named Krypto.
Always liked Krypto, but he’s kind of an absurd concept. Sure, a humanoid alien with super powers pretending to be a normal man? No problem. A canine alien with super powers pretending to be a normal dog? Too much. But at least Superman has a dog. No wonder he’s seen as morally superior. Does this universe even have cats?
Actually, the attempts in the 60s to give Superman a cat didn’t catch on. Streaky the Supercat lives with Supergirl on a different planet in recent comics continuity. I’ll be curious to see if she adopts six or seven more.
Anyhow, the movie is fun. The stupid death scene is good for a laugh if you don’t overthink it too much, although I can’t help myself. I understand they’ve already greenlit the sequel: Superman returns to Smallville, plows up his fields, builds a storm shelter and waits for his father’s ghost to appear. I hear Costner is consulting on the script. In the meantime, watch The Tudors so you can see what Superman looks like when he has an awful lot of sex.
Lastly — a quick look at how the original should have ended. Enjoy!
TL/DR version: please recommend some conservative web sites or podcasts for someone who wants to learn the conservative thought process.
If you pay attention to me here or on Facebook, you’ve probably seen me mix it up with the politics. I’m no political scientist, but it’s easy to get caught up in the nuttiness.
I’d describe myself as an extreme social progressive but much more moderate on fiscal and foreign policy. That might be because I know little about economics or foreign relations. Averages out to fairly liberal, I suppose. At least left-leaning enough to understand the liberal philosophy even if I don’t always agree with it.
When arguing with conservative friends and family, I’m often getting the “liberals just want handouts from the government” and “lefties don’t want to work for a living” and “stop posting pictures of your damn dog.” Now, I know this is nonsense — liberals are not simply looking for someone else to pay for them, and my dogs are charming. But the conservative media and information sources and talking heads all say this is true. Mitt Romney made a similar comment in his infamous 47% speech.
So how can you get past that? Any meaningful political discussion (and I am truly tired of the other kind) must come from a similar understanding of terminology, right? How can I make my point about a liberal position if the reaction is this tired “you just want free stuff” crap?
What I tried (to so far no success) was to challenge the conservatives in my life to spend a month with liberal media/web sites/talking heads. It might not change anyone’s minds on any issues, but maybe they would learn that liberals aren’t all unwashed hippies who have no desire to contribute to society beyond whatever we get from drum circles. After that, we can at least move past the character assassinations and ad hominem attacks and talk about issues like grownups, right? How could that be a bad thing?
Knowledge may not always be power, but ignorance is invariably weakness.
Recently, it hit me — I don’t have the moral authority to suggest that of my Republicans. I have been a conservative in the past and listened to talk radio and all that, but I haven’t done so recently. Certainly not since the Tea Party started influencing the Republican platform. Being staunchly socially liberal, I tend to gravitate to information sources that are also pro-LGBT issues, pro-women’s reproductive rights, and all the other stuff that denotes a rainbow-flag-waving-white-guilt-victim-who-hates-fetuses. And while I don’t listen to a lot of talking heads, when I do it’s usually Rachel Maddow — she’s intelligent and silly and polite to her guests even when they disagree with her (though she gets few people from the right on her show).
This is where I need your help.
Fortunately, all my shows are on summer hiatus. Almost, anyway — Pretty Little Liars just started season 4, but I binge-watch those later.
So I am going to immerse myself in conservative media. I want to discover what there is behind their fiscal policy — I assume there’s more to it than “Reagan said so.” I do not understand supply-side theory enough to know if it works if implemented “properly.” The liberal media would have me believe it’s all pandering to the voters and obstructionism against a liberal president. I have similar questions about foreign policy and immigration reform.
The problem is I have no idea where to look for in-depth discussions like this. Someone please tell me. Are there websites or podcasts where you get conservative philosophy? I don’t have cable or listen to a lot of radio, so watching Fox and listening to Rush Limbaugh live aren’t really options. And life is too short to waste time on WorldNetDaily or anything spewing forth from Alex Jones.
Does anyone have any suggestions? Not looking for conspiracy nuts or religious nuts — I can find plenty of those on my own. Rational people writing or saying rational things, even if I disagree with their conclusions: that’s the goal.