Saturday, May 27, 2006

No, no, no.

THE coach of the Iraqi national tennis team and two of his players were shot
dead in Baghdad, apparently for wearing shorts, in a district where Islamic
radicals have started to enforce brutal, Taleban-style law.

They were fricken tennis players (a subject close to my heart) and for that they get killed. Yeah- democracy is certainly on the march in Iraq- right out the door.

Argh! This is one of those stories that just makes me mad and sick all at the same time. I am tired, so very tired of people (Christian, Muslim, and Jewish alike) forgetting that the whole "Not taking the Lord's name in vain" part of the bible means not killing people because you think God says it's OK. It is not ok to kill someone because they are not doing what you tell them to do.

Ok, so maybe the 10 commandments aren't exactly in the Qur'an- but this is:
"....anyone who murders any person who had not committed murder or
horrendous crimes, it shall be as if he murdered all the people."

Wearing shorts, playing sports, buying mayonaise or being a woman who drives are not horrendous crimes.

Wingnuts of any religious flavor need their screws tightened a bit. They seem to have come loose.

Agnostic Proselytizing

I guess it’s faith weekend here at the White Papers, so I am putting my two cents in.

I am a die-hard agnostic. I lean far enough that I should break the last thread and become an atheist, but something prevents me. Maybe it’s my own unwillingness to lose Pascal’s wager. Or maybe that last little thread is what faith is all about- believing in something without any proof of it being true.

Now having faith and being religious are two different things. I am not, nor will I ever be religious. I firmly believe that religion is a creation of man and that like most creations of man- it is fallible. I believe that organized religion is a structure placed over something that humans do naturally just fine. And structures, being prone to hierarchies, are prone to corruption and to the motives of those at the top of the hierarchy that are not to the benefit of those at the bottom. Those with power (just like in all bureaucracies) will do what ever they need to keep power. They never act against their own best interests.

I know that those of you who are religious are wailing “but not all churches or religions are like that” But they all are created by man- and therefore they are all prone to mistakes. I prefer to make those mistakes myself, rather than making a mistake based on what someone else tells me I should do or believe. And I believe in taking responsibility for those mistakes. Because I acknowledge that I am human, and fallible, then my mistakes are not a reflection on God, but evidence of the struggle we all go through in life. By giving my moral responsibility to an organization like a religion, taking responsibility for my own mistakes then becomes a reflection on my religion and therefore- God. But God cannot be fallible, and if I am following the guidelines of a religion that speaks for God, then I cannot acknowledge my own mistakes and take responsibility for them. Little Flower’s post on Ken Lay is the perfect example of this. Someone who is doing bad things but thinks they are ok because God is on his side. My own story is the exact opposite. I did what I thought God wanted me to do and couldn’t figure out why all I wanted to do at the end of the day was drown myself in the bathtub with a bottle of vodka and a straight razor at my side.

About five years ago I went through a massive struggle with depression. I had been doing everything I thought I was supposed to be doing: working hard, devoting myself to my child, taking care of a physically and mentally ill parent, not having any fun because a good mother is supposed to give up herself for her family. You know- no sex, drugs or rock n’ roll. Everything around me was soul-crushingly awful. And I couldn’t understand it. I was being good- why would I be so miserable if I was doing what I was supposed to be doing. Why was God putting so much crap on me?

The problem wasn’t so much that I was suffering because I was doing what God wanted me to do, but I was suffering because I was trying to follow society’s idea of what I was supposed to do. I’m a mother, and a young, single one at that, so I thought I was supposed to sacrifice myself in order to prove that I am a good mother. I remember being so self-righteous. I was not going to be one of those Jerry Springer types who had a new baby-daddy every week or neglected their children while they went out to clubs. The Kid never even stayed with a babysitter till after he was two, and then it was only for an hour every week so I could do volunteer work. But I was miserable and being self-righteous is a lonely thing.

Then everything that I had carefully built up was knocked down in the space of a few months. I lost my job and my home. But by losing those things that I had struggled to keep, I found out that I was trying to hold onto to things that I didn’t really need or want. By becoming what I was most afraid of- I gained the freedom to choose my own path. And I realized that God wasn’t punishing me for some un-clarified sin, but that I had been responsible for my own misery because I wasn’t doing what I needed to do. I got a lot less judgmental about other people and discovered friends who were generous and kind. Without them, the Kid and I never would have made it.

I am now a rock n’ roll mom who cares very little what the tweed-clad parents at the Kid’s school think of me. I am perpetually poor and freely admit it. I have little ambition to ever be wealthy, or even middle class. I have sex – a lot of it, with different people- and I never feel bad about it. I have amazing friends who are all human and fallible and generous and kind. I still have low points, but I know that everyone has low points. When things go badly I look to see what I can do to make a change, and if I can’t change it -I roll with it. When things go well, I toast with a vodka tonic and a bad karaoke version of a They Might Be Giants song. I act ethically because it is the right thing to do, not because it is what I am supposed to do. I’m responsible for my own behavior, and I don’t dream about bathtubs and straight razors anymore.

I have a crush on Arthur Frommer

I'm listening to Travel with Rick Steves on NPR and he's interviewing Arthur Frommer- the originator of the Europe on $5 a day. It's no secret that I would sell a kidney or a sliver of my liver to travel. As soon as the Kid heads off to college, I plan on giving up a permanent address to live out of a suitcase. Thanks to Rick Steves packing light tips, I think I can successfully manage that life with little more than my pink convertible carry-on backpack (they don't make it in pink anymore- haha).

But why do I have a crush on Frommer? Comments made by Frommer in his guide to Branson, Missouri about the racism and lack of minority employees in his travel guide got attention from local newspapers. Because of that, all the places Frommer wrote about now have at least one token African American employee.

Damn- I wish they had a transcript online- I am not good at doing dictation quotes from broadcasts and I am way too lazy to keep re-playing the podcast. Forgive me if quotes are horribly paraphrased.

Frommer said that he believes in pushing to fully implement Jefferson's idea that "All men are created equal". He unabashedly declared himself a liberal. And then he went on to talk about how a free society should have no limits on where they are allowed to travel during peacetime- specifically pointing out the ban on travel to Cuba.

It's really a good interview- go download the podcast .

It's Not Corporate Fraud- It's a Test From God!

So you thought the Enron scandal was maybe about corporate thievery or the need for regulation of the energy industry, what with the Bush Administration having appointed Enron foxes to guard the financial henhouses.
According to Ken Lay, it's about his relationship with God.
After his conviction, Lay maintained his innocence and quoted the apostle Paul's comfort to the persecuted (back in the days when persecution meant a slow, painful death, mind you) : "All things work to the good for those who love God."
See, California consumers might have been ripped off to the tune of $9 billion, and Enron investors and employees may have lost tens of billions, some losing their life savings. But the real story is that it's been a test of the faith of Ken Lay, who sees himself as Job....

So one day in 2000 Satan gets engrossed in his iPod and winds up walking into the throne room in heaven.
"Hey God," he says, scratching a horn and turning down the Bright Eyes song, "Everything is greaat. Notice how I have had all the people in the globe under my thumb since the '60s."
"Not my humble servant Kenny Boy Lay," God says. "For that, I have blessed him with unimaginable riches."
"Yeah, but take the money away and he will curse you," says the red one.
"No way."
"Way. Wanna bet?"
So God sent stock analysts and accountants to create illegal offshore accounts that were discovered by the government, who set upon Enron and destroyed it.
But Ken Lay refused to curse God, even after surrendering many of his personal mansions.
A few years later, God sees Satan. "I told you, Ken Lay remains faithful."
Says Satan: "He hasn't had it tough enough. Throw him in prison and without his mansions and servants he will curse you."
Thus was Lay convicted of a crime he did not commit. And still he praised God, ...

Hopefully Lay will serve a long term, giving him time to ponder another Biblical precept, the one about how hard it is for a rich man to enter the Kingdom.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Give me hardcover copy of that agenda!

There are certain words and phrases that should be innocuous but are used by some people with a sneer or a snarl to show that they disdain the thing they are talking about. The most obvious example is “liberal”. (And I won’t even get into how most people are completely fucked up by the actual origin of liberal politics- but it’s why I describe myself as progressive instead of liberal). But it is not the only one.

Consider “Politically Correct”. To be politically correct means to act in a way to cause minimum offense. But whenever I hear the term used it is by people bragging about how “not politically correct” they are. I generally tend to accept these statements as meaning “I am a bigoted asswipe who doesn’t mind announcing my stupidity in public”.

Then there’s “Secular Humanists”. The conservative Christians like to tell us that secular humanists are the cause of evil and will be the downfall of our “Great Christian Nation”. But what are secular humanists about exactly? (Oh Wikipedia- how I love thee!)

Some Tenets: Need to test beliefs, reason, evidence, ethics, search for truth, and building a better world.

Wait- how is testing a belief a wrong thing? And where in the bible does it say that by searching for truth and having ethics you will bring about the downfall of mankind?

And we can’t forget the “Homosexual Agenda” that is out to destroy families and marriage. First- has anyone ever seen an actual homosexual agenda? Is it leather-bound, or paperback, or maybe just a hastily scrawled manifesto that has been zeroxed a million times and handed out at the secret Gays Against Families meetings where to gain entrance you have to produce the severed head of your wife and children? What, you’ve never seen it either?

There is no homosexual agenda. There are reasoning, ethical people (both gay and straight and everything in-between) who think that people should have equal rights, including marriage. Period. I have never met someone who supports gay marriage that wants to break up all heterosexual marriages and convert people to being gay. If you have- let me know cause I would really love to see that straw man in person.

And then there’s “Modern” as opposed to “Traditional”. This one is a little different in that it is “traditional” that is used in a positive spin way- think “traditional family values”- much more frequently than “modern” is used as a smear. However, in a comment today at another site someone bragged about being “biased against modern feminists”. (as if feminists of any period have been anything but modern- feminists are always fighting the traditions that keep them from autonomy over their own lives and bodies). But why throw out tradition? If people did it for hundreds or even thousands of years- is it really so bad?

It was traditional to wipe your ass with a handful of leaves. It is modern to use toilet paper. It was traditional to bathe once a week, it is modern to shower everyday. It was traditional to be uneducated and illiterate. It is modern to be educated and able to read. It was traditional to have your marriage arranged without your consent. It is modern to choose to marry whom you want, if you want to marry at all. It was traditional for women to marry young, get pregnant often, have lots of miscarriages or stillbirths, watch their children die young of disease, and die from pregnancy complications with alarming regularity. It is modern for women to use birth control, marry later, have fewer children but that are more likely to reach adulthood, and not die from pregnancy quite so often.

With that I will say that I am a politically correct, secular humanist and modern feminist that fully supports the homosexual agenda. But only if it’s a hardcover - paperbacks will never last through the second coming or the downfall of our Great Christian Nation.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Ahhh- I love Otto without hope too!

Random Question

Why, for the love of god why would someone steal my box of tissue off my desk?

Seriously, I get one box of tissue for the year. It's not on my desk or in my lab or in the lecture hall next door. Since it would have to physically leave the building to be somewhere else on campus- I must assume that aliens have tractor beamed it into space.

I wonder if I could arm wrestle the secretary for her kleenex stash?

UPDATE- Kleenex box has been found. One of the instructors used for a visual demonstration in class this morning. No aliens or arm wrestling involved.

The Stranger Poll Is Back!

I was bummed that there was no Stranger Poll last week. How will we ever know if we are pro or anti- functional alcoholism?

But the poll has returned this week and The Stranger wants to know Daddy or Twink when it comes to what you want in a politician.
(Go figure- I want both a twink and a daddy- why should you only have one when you can have them both).

In other Stranger news- after last week's Police Beat featuring the soulful stylings of my grocery store and this week's take on the police state, Police Beat may be my new favorite column.

Fursday Fun: Shall We Play A Game?

Can you name the band that these lyrics belong to? If you can- you get a virtual cookie (or a big fat virtual lickery kiss- your choice).

All lyrics are by the same band. Hints- I LOVE this band. I think it's the closest thing to Dickens set to music (shut up- I know they made musicals out of Dicken's work- but they are generally smaltzy and this band is not). The band is playing at the Gorge this weekend.

  1. but you, my soiled teenage girlfriend
  2. find him, bind him, tie him to a pole and break his fingers to splinters
  3. But oh, the smell of burnt cocaine!

Thinking about new economic realities

Wired has an interesting article on The Rise of Crowdsourcing. It squares with a report I came across recently from a UK think tank on the "Pro-Am" phenomenon, as well as some of the discussions I’ve been following on Longtail economics.

The original article on "The Long Tail" by Chris Anderson, in Wired, Oct. 2004, & here’s an MP3 podcast at IT Conversations: Chris Anderson - Economics of the Long Tail.

It’s interesting & exciting, but as the Wired article highlight at the very beginning, it has profound implications for professionals. What does the labor market & the economy look like as more & more tasks are broken down for distributed processing. As an artist & a photographer, I think the digital distribution trend is fantastic. But I’m not sure what things look like when design, photography, & even R&D are handled by a vast distributed network of oddball specialists who will do the task dirt cheap (or even free) because they think it’s cool, or consider it a hobby.

To Follow Up on Little Flower's Guest Blog

A quote from Scary Scarborough about Bill Clinton and the invasion of Bosnia:

"Well, I just think it's a bad idea. What's going to happen is they're going to be over there for 10, 15, maybe 20 years."

But my favorite has to be the Decider's own:

"Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the President to explain to us what the exit strategy is." --Governor George W. Bush (R-TX)

Click here for some more hypocrisy from wingnuts

New Word

Premature epostulation: When a blogger (ok- me) types too fast and is way to lazy to check typos before posting. This is followed by a post-posting state of mortification and a quick jaunt to the edit tab with the hope that said typos will not be noticed.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

I made a blog roll!

Ha! I added peeps that I like to read (lots o' partiarchy blaming- in case you can't tell)

If there is someone else I should add lemme know.

Smells Like a Smackdown

During the Newt Gingrich phase of the Republican revolution I lived in Gingrich's congressional district in Georgia. Actually, the Kid's daycare was just a few doors down from Gingrich's local office. Everyday, stuck in rush hour traffic, I would imagine myself throwing eggs at his office in the steamy southern heat. But it was Georgia, and going against Newt could get you in serious trouble. So I went and volunteered for the Democrats.

I am more than a little surprised at Gingrich's current criticism of the people who inherited his legacy. But, whatever. We always knew that Newt was more opportunist than true believer.

What I am surprised by is seeing a Democrat with some serious fucking teeth deliver a smackdown. US Rep Tim Ryan needs a WWF wrestling name. It's almost like he hit them with folding chairs- their own folding chairs.

Go watch this- Un.Able.To.Govern.

(Hat tip to Feministe for both this video and the Jesus Musical. My slack ass forgot it in the original post)

The Punchline's the Thing

I have no love for the English only people, not only because it is a ridiculous waste of time, but because where would I learn my foreign swear words if everyone here only spoke English. I can now call your mama a whore in English, Spanish, Italian, Farsi, Hindu (or is it Hindi- I can never remember) and Russian. Not to mention the things I can say about your mom and a goat. It's time for me to learn a phrase or 2 in French.

On that note -there's an interesting op-ed from the LA Times about making English the official language in the same way the French have standardized their language.

But the punchline, oh the punchline. It's not about your mama and the barnyard animals, but it's pretty good.

Tears of Joy

I know it's not Fursday yet, but I couldn't wait. This little video clip had me laughing so hard there are tears streaking down my face.

Name calling for grown ups.

I said in comments on the Americablog big girl brouhaha that had Aravosis simply apologized and moved on this wouldn't be an issue.

Today in the land where grown-ups live everyone's favorite spinster aunt, Twisty Faster, has shown us how to get over using insults that insult people other than the intended. How does she do it? By using the bible of English and the Mecca of all things wordy- the OED.

Fucktard happens to be one of my favorite words to say. It pops with the t on the second syllable like nothing else. But I have put it out of my vocabulary for the last few months because it does sound like retard. My alternative, fuckwad, does not have the plosive effect. Fuckard, Twisty's alternative, also lacks that pop.

So kids- I need an insult that starts with Fuck, pops on the second syllable, and doesn't insult anyone other than the intended.

Fucktart (though that may be too much like calling someone a whore- but I think it sounds like poptart)

Oh Yeah- Guest Blogger Kicks Ass

Alright kids. I would like everyone to give a warm welcome to a friendly guest blogger. Little Flower has some ass kicking to do on those that call dissent treason. (And now a line from a Seater Kinney song stuck in my head- "Dissent is not treason but they talk like it's the same)

Here it is: Winning Enemies and Influencing Terrorists by Little Flower

Is anti-war sentiment tantamount to being pro-terrorist? To anyone with an ounce of nuance in their brain -- or a shred of decency -- the answer is a no-brainer.

Unfortunately, lacking brains and decency is a requisite in the bizarro country of Joe Scarborough. Last night, Joe and his guest, Nevada Senator John Ensign, pushed the
latest GOP-hack version of the old saw that patriotism means never criticizing a Republican.

Said Ensign: “Well, what I‘ve said is political leaders need to be careful when we are at war on the words they say and how they say them because the insurgents and the terrorists that are around the world will use those words to recruit, they‘ll use those words to fund-raise and if they can think they are breaking our political will back here, it will just encourage them to carry the fight on.”

Asked for an example by Unholy Joe, the divorced defender of the Catholic faith, Ensign said, “Well, Senator Kennedy when he was talking to Abu Gharib compared those to the Soviet gulags. To compare Americans with the old Soviets I think is just outrageous and the Dick Durbin talked about Guantanamo Bay and compared us to the Nazis down there. And I just think that comparisons like that do a real disservice as to American soldiers and marines everywhere. And I think it‘s irresponsible and I do think it gives some recruiting efforts a boost to the terrorists. It increases the fundraising and it gives them the political will to fight on saying they think that America is a paper tiger and if they stay the course, that they will break us. They think it happened in Vietnam and they think it will happen here in Iraq ... I think any time a country is divided, it plays into the enemy‘s hands. Lincoln talked about this. A house divided against itself cannot stand. Even going back to the civil war, General Lee looked at the press that was happening in the North. It‘s a reason he took the battle to the North and figured if he just had one or two more victories up there, the political will in the North would be shot and he would have victory. And the insurgents overseas are looking at our political will back home ...”

Now one could go into the history of Vietnam, or the Civil War, to refute his individual points, and give Ensign deference due a senator. But a proper reaction is more visceral: “Stop lying, you anti-American asshole.”

Terrorists are not encouraged or emboldened by the dissent of American politicians, be they Democratic or the growing number of Republicans. Those Iraqis that attack U.S. soldiers are encouraged and emboldened by the fact that we are occupying their country, have killed tens of thousands of innocents, imprisoned tens of thousands more -- most of them innocent, by our own military’s account -- trampled on their religion and generally turned their lives into bloody hell.

The whole killing-them-to-make-them-like-us meme is doomed to fail. Because the act of killing creates hatred that doesn’t quickly go away. It always has and always will, at least until Jesus comes back, which he had better do soon if the neocons stay in power because otherwise there might not be anyone to save.

It is not that John Murtha talked about soldiers murdering an innocent Iraqi family that makes the terrorists want to kill us -- is the fact that we slaughtered an innocent family that breeds the lust for revenge.

It’s not that Seymour Hersh wrote about Abu Gharib that breeds enemies -- it is the fact that we are torturing and raping and killing Iraqis. Before Hersh exposed the scandal, we might not have known about it here but they sure as hell knew about it there.

Does an unemployed Iraq man -- whose brother was shot dead at a roadside stop, whose cousin is in jail for no reason, who doesn’t have electricity most of the time, whose kids can’t go to school for fear of being kidnapped, who has to carry a gun to buy food, who can’t go out at night without fear of being murdered by his ethnic opponents -- does he wake up in the morning and say to himself: “That Ted Kennedy doesn’t like Bush. Praise Allah, now I can find the heart to join the resistance.”

The answer is obvious to any person with a functioning brain. The fact that people like Scarborough and Ensign -- who are not brain-damaged, they just play the part on television -- know what they are saying is horseshit ...

Worse, it is anti-American. True patriots speak their minds. Ruling over a silent oppressed minority is the fervent desire of Communists or dictators, which is a point that needs to be made over and over.

More suggested reads: Nurses and Immigration

An article in the NY Times points to the other side, but seldom heard part of the debate: selective immigration. As I pointed out before, the immigration debate when it comes to jobs that pay poorly is different than the one for high-skilled positions: Congress wants to raise the quota for immigrant nurses. This action hurts poor countries in many ways that are better explained in the article. But there's more. There are enough qualified applicants for nursing positions in this country, but not enough people willing to accept the lousy pay to teach them. Hence, our misguided one-sided, every nation must bow to us attitude not only drains much needed asssitance in places where it is needed, it also prevents willing participants here from taking jobs that would help the economy and their local communities.

Nothing is ever as simple as it seems!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Suggested Reading

Cause I'm doing *actual* work today.

Alternet has a sweet interview with everyone's favorite history proff, Howard Zinn.

Greg Palast thinks we've either hit the peak oil point or it's just a made up number. I love Greg Palast, but I am not sure what to make of this.

The Stranger has an interseting article about my ulta-progressive congressman, Jim McDermott and the republicans that are out to get him.

The Guardian has a story about a prototype nuclear fusion reactor.

Also from the Guardian (and one of my hot brains- George Monbiot) about the selfishness of second homeowners in Britian.

Monday, May 22, 2006

The Red Queen Says Watch This

I have said that the only thing that would ever tempt me to marry would be if I could elope to Venice with Cary Grant. But actually it is the character that he plays in this movie, People Will Talk, that I really want to run away with.

This movie, made in 1951, is still timely. The movie mangages to cover topics like evolution, farm subsidies, unplanned pregnancy, academic snobbery, unjust legal systems, and everything that makes my heart beat a little faster. It does have a bit of 50's chauvinism, but for the time it was made it is deliciously progressive.

If you need a happy little pick me up and like watching small-minded men made smaller by their own devices- watch this movie.

Bitch, cunt, pussy - just don't call him a dick!

There is a bit of a debate ranging in the parts of the blogosphere over a the use of the term big girl to describe a male senator from Kansas. The break down is this- the guy that wrote it is a gay democrat and defends his use of the word because it's part of the gay vernacular. When confronted with the fact that people find it offensive- he thinks that there are bigger problems in the world and we should concentrate on those instead of fighting over the use of sexist insults.

What he doesn't get, and what his defenders don't get is that this is the basic fight. Everything else is just gravy. You either think that each individual person should be judged on their own merit, or you believe that there are special groups that are more deserving of consideration than others. While you may not consciously subscribe to the second group- every time you disparage someone based on their sex or race or who they have sex with, or every time you use a group based on their sex or race or who they have sex with to insult someone- you are showing yourself to be someone who thinks that people do not all have the same basic human value.

Next time you go to throw an insult at someone- think about what you are really trying to say. Are you trying to call someone a coward- try spineless, gutless wonder or milquetoast (one of my faves) instead of calling them a pussy. Want to call someone weak- how about jelly fish, sad sac, or big baby instead of calling them a girl.

Or you can just use generic insults with modifiers. Two of my personal favorites are asswipe and fuckwad. I think belching fuckwad works great for someone with a big mouth and no sense. Itchy asswipe is good for people who are just annoying.

Why Do Men Hate Women

Just in case you are wondering, my beautiful work at home job has engulfed me as of late; my mind has been so much into PHP/MySQL/Linux (I love open source software) that I haven't been able to get my head around anything else. I have tendency to come and go, so get used it.

Anyway, the RQs constant reminders to not forget the feminine has been ringing loudly in my head for weeks though the topic has been in my head for years. I know this is a generalization, but one has to wonder: why do men still hate women?

Yes, I know the situation has changed. Women have more and better rights than they did forty years ago. More women now apply for school in the U.S. than men (in fact, there is a female glut for applications). Women are portrayed as strong and responsible to the point where men are seen as non-thinking shirkers. Yes, women, at least in this country, do have it better than they used to.


We are not close to a women president (Hillary will present some major problems) and the female representation in Congress comes nowhere close to representing the population of women in the U.S.

Homicide kills more pregnant women than all natural causes combined.

It is okay for a women to act like a man, take a man's name and wear men's clothes. But men do not take on women's names, crossdressing is considered humorous or worse to both men and women and for the most part accepting the feminine is something that couples keep between themselves. "Act like a man", or "man up" is still advice most men give to other men. Advice to the contrary is never heard.

And then there are reproductive rights. The war on abortion is alive and making headway. Teenage prenancies are up because access to contraception has been restricted. Viagra and Cialis are money makers, but where is the "male pill"?

On the extreme end, Islamists, for the most part, want to keep women in the Dark Ages. Without going too far, I just don't understand how a women's body can be considered such an issue to the point where only a husband cans see it (yet the husband could defile another woman and blame the woman for the defilement). I really don't know where to go on the Islamist view of females, but the hatred of women seems a given in their case. Of course there is also the situations in India and China, where girls are aborted in favor of males to the point where male populations has been skewed to 60% or more.

This may offer a clue. Perhaps, man's hatred of women was ingrained over such a long period of time that it is difficult to expunge from our cultures. Society does not change overnight. Having said that, I do wonder where women's issues are headed. Even those who benefit from feminism, deny its existence ( I am not one of those feminists!). I do not blame anyone; taking on an unpopular cause requires a strong personality that obviates many of the things we enjoy in life: friendship, normalcy and regular work-week.

I suppose I don't have an answer that fits in this space. I could say that in light of the history of hatred women have faced, we should encouraged by the progress we have seen, but that is a cop-out.

I can give a short answer that I tell my white friends about racism. If you are a man, and you hate misogyny, talk to other men about it. Women can only do so much. The change must come from within.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Red Apple Tunes

Ruthzilla is visiting my couch for a bit and we walked down to the the Red Apple to get dinner fixins (turkey tacos if you must know). Upon reaching the store- she realized that we were in front of The Red Apple of the Stranger police blotter fame.

Having lived and worked in this neighborhood for years, I am well aware of the soulful greatness that is played while I cruise the aisles. Mephistopheles has noticed the music too and (except for the wine selection) really likes how much cooler the people and the music in my ghetto grocery store are than the up-tight, rude, wealthy, pasty types at his Magnolia Thriftway. (FYI- Thriftway is the exact wrong name for the place- a better name would be Overpriced Pretention Shop).

It is not unusual for the Kid, the Devil, or me to be humming (sometimes outright singing) to Respect Yourself or I'll Be There while trying to figure out what the heck to have for dinner. If anything by James Brown or Curtis Mayfield comes on - I may shake my ass a little. It's impossible not to.

The only problem is Sunday evenings (when the neighborhood gentrifiers come out to shop) the music changes to some crappy 80's schlock. Hopefully this is just a fluke and that I will always be able to get my soul fix in the same place that I get the cheapest avacados on the west coast.

UPDATE: According to the Devil, the Red Apple was playing soul yesterday instead of the 80's crap. Maybe the Stranger piece helped end that little bit of hell.