Saturday, May 22, 2010

The vengence fantasies of little girls

I finally watched Hard Candy. Holy fucking shit batman. I don't know if men could understand how much the world changes for little girls. I can't even nail down the threshold. For some of us it's when you first get boobs, for some earlier. But suddenly you're public property and men put their hands and mouths in places they shouldn't. Men, old enough to be your father, start saying things about how they could split you in half.
So i loved Hard Candy. 11 year oldme wanted to do the same thing to the family friend who thought my having breasts meant he coud stick his tongue down my throat. 15 year old me wanted to do the same thing to the male teachers who looked down my shirt and then made me ashamed because they got hard.
This movie should be on the horrible/awesome list and Ellen Page's character is my new favorite vengeful girl. There's even a Polanski reference. If you inner teenage girl is feeling a bit bruised and silenced, and your stomach can take it, you should watcht it.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

What's a dollar worth

Seems like a simple question, right? It's worth 100 pennies. But dollars aren't real things. I mean the paper and ink they a printed on are real, but their value is made up.
Think about what you can buy with a dollar. Roma tomatoes are about 2 bucks/lb right now. 4 toms are about 1/2 a pound. So all the seeds, dirt, water, the labor to plant and pick and ship, the gas for the tractors and trucks, the floor space in the store, the stockers and the clerks, even the plastic bag that you put your toms in are worth less than a buck (gotta leave room for profit). Or for a more simple example, if you pay 1000 bucks a month for 200 hours of childcare (Less than minimum wage at 5 bucks an hour but a good average) a buck is worth 12 minutes of childcare.
Have you ever wondered why we hold things that are crucial to our existance, like food and clothing and childcare, to such a low value but give much more weight to people who do jobs that aren't crucial to our existence?

Monday, May 17, 2010

The amazing ability of otherwise rational people to be fooled by magical thinking

You might think from the title that this is an anti religion post. It's not.
I am gobsmacked on a daily basis by folks who think that things like national borders and money are real, concrete things. They are no more real than the words i am typing are. These words are symbols, they represent an unspoken agreement between you and i in order to share ideas. But that doesn't make them real. I could type the word sportscar or steak or toothbrush, but none of those things will appear. You can draw whatever lines on a map you want, but it wonk make an impenatrable crack in the earth appear. If people think the piece of paper with a dead president on it is just a piece of paper, then it won't spend anywhere.
Perhaps that is the point. If we hold on to magical thoughts like 'i have x amount of money' or 'my country, sweet land of liberty' then they don't have to admit to the giant con game we've all been played by.