John Tierney may not be as razor-sharp incisive a science writer as, say, Gregg Easterbrook, but he sure does come up with interesting things to say about science, particularly vague social science as it pertains to reinforcing widely held preconceptions about women.
Now, after a computer analysis of three decades of hit songs, Dr. DeWall and other psychologists report finding what they were looking for: a statistically significant trend toward narcissism and hostility in popular music. As they hypothesized, the words “I” and “me” appear more frequently along with anger-related words, while there’s been a corresponding decline in “we” and “us” and the expression of positive emotions.
So, a computer was programmed to examine the lyrical content of 30 years worth of the popular songs that the teens enjoy, and this proves that the teens are becoming, like, totally self-centered little shits -- which is what it has for centuries been hypothesized that the teenagers are turning into, of course, only now we have computers to prove what colossally awful shits they totally are, the little arseholes.
Someone wrote an algorithm to make sure rap does not unnecessarily make the rest of pop music too self-centered in regards to Scientific Studies of Generational Narcissism.
A study of song lyrics from 1980-2010 that paid attention to genre, markets, specific artist biographies, distribution, influences, technological changes, and so on, could perhaps prove as majestically revealing as the unbound tits of Santa. Getting a computer to count random bullshit to prove an abstraction, though, only expresses genius in the sense of cleverness in the idiot fields of managing to extract grant money and managing to win the brainless approbation of shithead NYT "science" writers.
Twelve days after opening "Atlas Shrugged: Part 1," the producer of the Ayn Rand adaptation said Tuesday that he is reconsidering his plans to make Parts 2 and 3 because of scathing reviews and flagging box office returns for the film.
"Critics, you won," said John Aglialoro, the businessman who spent 18 years and more than $20 million of his own money to make, distribute and market "Atlas Shrugged: Part 1," which covers the first third of Rand's dystopian novel. "I’m having deep second thoughts on why I should do Part 2"....
"Why should I put up all of that money if the critics are coming in like lemmings?" Aglialoro said. "I’ll make my money back and I'll make a profit, but do I wanna go and do two? Maybe I just wanna see my grandkids and go on strike."
Mr. Bernanke spent much of his academic career arguing that the Fed should be less opaque, and, as chairman, he has put his ideas into action. Now it’s time for those of us in the media to hold up our end of bargain. In the spirit of democratic accountability, we should ask hard questions — and we shouldn’t let him get away with the evasions and half-answers that members of Congress too often allow Fed chairmen during their appearances on Capitol Hill.
One question more than any than other is crying out for an answer: Why has Mr. Bernanke decided to accept widespread unemployment for years on end, even though he believes he has the power to reduce it?
Obviously, the real question Bernanke needs to answer is how Obama's release of his long-form birth certificate means we can finally have an adult conversation about slashing the deficit via massive cuts to entitlement programs.
For anyone willing to examine this issue objectively it should be clear that Obama and his team were the instigators behind the "birther" movement. It served as their tool with which to paint those of us on the right as kooks.
So the law firm that John Boehner hired to save the Defense of Marriage Act has backed out. According to NRO, the firm has knuckled under to a vicious hate campaign consisting of gay rights activists saying the firm should not be arguing publicly in favor of discriminatory legislation, and pulling cruel stunts like this:
HRC had begun efforts to request law schools deny King & Spalding recruiting opportunities if they specifically forbade enterprises that violated their own anti-discrimination policies.
Horrors. As NRO's William Duncan gasps, "there are few limits on what gay marriage supporters will do to marginalize those with whom they disagree."
But, gosh, they might not do anything actually illegal -- that might be a "limit." Heck, maybe they'd just confine themselves to stuff like boycotts and online activism, activities which perhaps differ from lynching in certain key respects.
The prevailing passive-aggressive wingnut attitude on this issue, as is so often the case, is eloquently expressed in a petulant email sighfully reproduced for public consumption by Sr. Kathryn Jean Lopez.
What an act of cowardice.
In defending their decision to represent unpopular clients on the Left, lawyers routinely hide behind the principle that unpopular parties and causes are entitled to legal representation. No one who is silent on King & Spalding’s cowardice can be thought to believe in that principle.
Hee hee. The most salient point is not that DOMA is "unpopular."
It's that DOMA is bigoted.
Opposing DOMA is a civil rights issue. And the National Review is once more taking the exact sort of position on a civil rights issue which is the hallmark of its storied history.
Power Line is making the same sniffy case in championing Paul Clement, who quit as partner in order to defend the right of the House of Representatives to prevent homosexuals from having equal rights as heterosexuals, and brings up the already ubiquitous "leftist lawyers defend terrorists" trope:
As Clement noted, defense of DOMA is "extremely unpopular in certain quarters." But lawyers represent unpopular clients and unpopular causes all the time. Many of America's most prominent law firms lined up to represent terrorists, including those associated with the September 11 attacks, in various legal proceedings. On the left, it is apparently fine to advocate for mass murderers, but not for the House of Representatives or the traditional definition of marriage.
Just because a principle is "unpopular" is not in and of itself a reason to defend it, though, even in court. For instance, Nazi skinheads arrested for setting fire to a synagogue deserve competent representation, sure, but if their attorney attempted a defense based on Nazi principles... well, that attorney would be commonly derided as incompetent.
That everyone deserves their day in court is an excellent principle in regards to criminal trials, which is what the lawyers representing Gitmo inmates are saying those trials ought to be.
Whether bigoted legislation ought to enjoy the same protection is less clear.
If you want to claim that you're some sort of Lawyer Hero for standing up for a questionable argument as to how the legal system ought to optimally operate (i.e. "all federal legislation deserves to be represented by disinterested but powerful private law firms just like all accused criminals deserve a public defender") in order to champion bigoted laws that deny equal rights to a certain class of Americans, be my guest, but don't expect future generations treat you like you're Atticus frickin' Finch.
I rarely have anything good to say about Ross Douthat. But the smarmy dimwitted twerp's lastest emanation, while fatuous, can be discovered to contain a nugget of an idea, which just goes to show the value of carefully examining blind squirrel scat.
Doing away with hell, then, is a natural way for pastors and theologians to make their God seem more humane. The problem is that this move also threatens to make human life less fully human.
Atheists have license to scoff at damnation, but to believe in God and not in hell is ultimately to disbelieve in the reality of human choices. If there’s no possibility of saying no to paradise then none of our no’s have any real meaning either. They’re like home runs or strikeouts in a children’s game where nobody’s keeping score.
I find questions about the existence or nonexistence of God deeply boring. I dislike even the term "agnostic" because to accept it would mean accepting a definition of who I am relative to an issue in which I am utterly uninterested. I would rather be labelled "aDiamondbacksBullpen," because whether or not Arizona has credible relief pitching is to me a question of greater moment than the reality or otherwise of the Supreme Deity. (If God exists, the major league pitcher he most closely resembles, of course, is Rollie Fingers. There can't possibly be an argument about this.)
But I still quite like the idea of Hell. Perhaps this is the residual Jesuit-inculcated catholicism of my youth; or perhaps it's just what William Blake pointed out long ago -- Heaven is dull, Hell is interesting.
Beyond that. Most of the people I have known who I would classify as "good" don't occur to me as people who ever needed a Heaven, especially. Douthat mentions Gandhi regarding the always embarrassing interfaith issue of who deserves hell, which has of course historically been more usually reserved for unbelievers than it has been for assholes. But did Gandhi need heaven? Or was he content? Or MLKing. Wasn't he, you know, content? Or say my mom. Fussy, nervous, on some matters (confessedly) loony: but as to the the state of her soul? Content.
No. Heaven is not necessary.
Hell now. That is a different bag of imps.
Because don't some assholes just have it coming?
If there’s a modern-day analogue to the “Inferno,” a work of art that illustrates the humanist case for hell, it’s David Chase’s “The Sopranos.” The HBO hit is a portrait of damnation freely chosen: Chase made audiences love Tony Soprano, and then made us watch as the mob boss traveled so deep into iniquity — refusing every opportunity to turn back — that it was hard to imagine him ever coming out. “The Sopranos” never suggested that Tony was beyond forgiveness. But, by the end, it suggested that he was beyond ever genuinely asking for it.
Is Gandhi in hell? It’s a question that should puncture religious chauvinism and unsettle fundamentalists of every stripe. But there’s a question that should be asked in turn: Is Tony Soprano really in heaven?
Substitute "Dick Cheney" for the fictional "Tony Soprano" and, sure, I can see that.
Hundreds of thousands of dead people because of messianic bullshit that was always obvious bullshit...?
I doubt that Cheney will go to his end content; I'm sure the worm of rationalization gnaws.
Having his nuts ripped off eternally with a fiery pitchfork would be kinda schweet, though. And only fair.
Now, "Mildred Pierce," isn't the recreation of something that happened in reality, but it is the recreation of an old and (for some people) very familiar movie. Kate Winslet is playing Joan Crawford. Now, it's not the same as watching Faye Dunaway play Joan Crawford in "Mommie Dearest," because both Joan and Kate were playing this fictional entity Mildred, but, come on. It was Joan Crawford. Winslet has the challenge of getting us to not think about Crawford.
Now, Kate's doing a fine job of not being Joan Crawford, but... the real thing here is melodrama, and Joan was more truly melodramatic, which means that Kate, by trying to be more authentically human, gives us a less genuine melodrama.
The very religious Belief Net has a happy uplifting slideshow for Easter about how if you are a wife, you need to be less of a needy bitch and go make your husband a martini and then take out the garbage, because the Bible says so. You need to put on a special bracelet that reminds Jesus to remind you that you are such a selfish painintheass. Doing so will make you happy and free!
Solomon described many wives when he said, “A nagging wife is like a dripping rain drop. Stopping her complaints is like trying to stop the wind or trying to hold something with greased hands.” (Proverbs 27:15-16)
God says our griping, grumbling, nagging and venting attitude is wrong and when a husband feels criticized, and nagged the marriage is sliding down a slippery slope. But there is hope! Tell your gripes to God and not to your husband (Psalm 142:1-3) and put on a no-griping bracelet. What is that? Any bracelet you put on your right wrist and change to the left when you gripe. Then you move it back when you grumble again. This exercise helps us as wives to be aware of what is coming out of our mouths. I promise you will learn and understanding is the first step to change!
I'm surprised only a bracelet is recommended, and not, say, a soldering iron, or a wet microwave oven, or a python glued to nine angry kittens and an irate bonobo.
I wanted to grow in Husband Gratitude. I bought myself a “Thankful Journal” and once a week I wrote what I was thankful for in this man I live with. As I wrote down my “thankfuls,” I was surprised how long the list grew. As my list grew, so did my heart of gratitude. My attitude changed. Yours can too!
MollyI would only do something half this creepy in order to mess with my head. It'd work, too, which I suppose I should not concede...
But there's more!
I’m going to tell you a secret: men and women are different! I somehow don’t think you’re shocked. Can a wife really get close to this husband who is so different from her? Absolutely. It begins with understanding his “gap.” God says both husbands and wives have gaps and their gaps are not the same. A wife has a “love gap” and a husband has a “respect gap.” And God’s plan is to fill your husband’s “respect gap” through you, by your words of encouragement and admiration.
I don't need my wife's help with my actual "gap." I can scratch my balls myself, thanks. And I do. Ask anyone.
But also, I'm envisioning MollyI saying to me, "God wants me to tell you about how you have amazing testicles. He's checked it out and said, ooo-la-la. He saw it in your gap." She'd probably mention this as we're getting the kids out to meet the school bus in the morning. That would be the best time for this conversation.
I see emotional intimacy as entering into each other's life and hearing not just the words but the heart. And then opening your mouth and pouring courage into the one you love.
Jesus gives a big thumbs up to snowballing. If you're married, mind.
It is as if you come alongside your husband on his journey through life and speak words to encourage him when life is tough. You choose words that build him up and tell him, “I respect the man you are becoming!”
The man you are is kind of a weenie, but you might want to hang around, hoping....
For the past twelve years, I’ve traveled around the world teaching Christian women about the joys of sexual intimacy. I’m sad to report that many wives are afraid of sex, disappointed in sexual intimacy, hindered by guilt over their wrong choices or confused over what a godly and sensuous wife looks like.
Secular humanism, I denounce your assault on the clitoral orgasm, in God's holy name, because this would be the situation in which women tend to pronounce said holy name most fervently.
He longs for every wife to revel in the beauty, the holiness, the joy of intimate oneness and pleasure. Read Proverbs 5: 15-19. What do you see in these verses? I see pleasure. I see delight. I see fun. I see freedom, abandonment, intoxication and ecstasy. This is what God wants for me and for you!
I agree. These are surely the most masturbated-to Bible verses ever.
Women! Manually stimulate the clitoris during intercourse! It makes sex better! Jesus meant to say so, but he unfortunately got nailed to the tree before he could explain exactly how this works...
I remember talking to Sadie, a precious young woman who had suffered horrible sexual abuse. She described her intimacy with her husband as "tolerable."
Our God is a God who heals!
So, someone found the clitoris. There are worse come to Jesus moments, if that's the right verb.
I pray joy and delight will be your words too.
(Psst: so, God bought Sadie a vibrator. And now she has a rock... she should keep the vibrator and throw away the rock. But I'm just suggesting.)
Throw the rock of bitterness away. When I have 'mad' to throw off, I go outside, pick up a rock, name it bitterness and hurl it as far as I can. "Lord, forgive me for hanging on in my heart. I’m throwing off the anger and bitter feelings toward my husband."
Try not to throw away the Rock of Bitterness like a girl.
And now we pray: My Father, teach me how to trust You. I want crisis to bring my husband and me closer together. I’m up when things are good and down when they’re bad. I long for us to grow closer together in the hard times. Please help me!
Gosh. You can't invent any dirty jokes out of that paragraph...
MollyI&I try for this thing where we consider each other "people" who "talk to each other." We're kind of flawed and not perfect as individuals, to say the least, but this "talk to each other" stuff has been working for us for a couple of decades now, so maybe it works at least as well as the "respect gap" shite...
Very busy week, sorry about the sparse posting. Subscribers may expect rebate checks annny day now.
What have I been busy with? Oh, this teaching college writing thing. Which is a dreadful, dreadful business. It's essentially a nonstop gay Lenin sex fantasia with Mexo-Muslim overtones, and not so much the more respectable enterprise of browbeating winded guttersnipes into ceasing their detestable boo-hooing and consequently genuflecting to the language of Milton and Shakespear.
After spending four depressing days this month at a meeting of 3,000 writing teachers in Atlanta, I can tell you that their parent group, the Conference on College Composition and Communication, is not really interested in teaching students to write and communicate clearly. The group’s agenda, clear to me after sampling as many of the meeting’s 500 panels as I could, is devoted to disparaging grammar, logic, reason, evidence and fairness as instruments of white oppression. They believe rules of grammar discriminate against “marginalized” groups and restrict self-expression.
I don't go to CCCC meetings, or to MLA, for reasons of meh. And sure there are silly panels at such events. But I sort of made this deal with myself: as soon as the right wing starts to feel ashamed of wildly cheering on asinine, expensive wars based on bullshit, I won't give a rat's ass what they say about anything at all that occurs in academia.
My only experience with this topic occurred when my teaching the Inferno inspired a student to give a copy to her incarcerated brother-in-law to set him straight.
Sarah Higinbotham of Georgia State University, like her seven co-panelists, had a soft spot for incarcerated victims. Although she did not intend it this way, I think we can see a solution to the country’s plummeting literacy levels in her video of two North Georgia inmate-scholars. These high school dropouts proudly recited extended passages from The Merchant of Venice and Measure for Measure—and not in the Ebonics that CCCC panelists would insist “honors” their culture. So consider: If it can be done in prisons, why not the places where these panelists teach, like Rutgers, Georgia Southern, and Ohio State? If they have authority figures, regimented schedules, strict rules, dress codes, and discipline, regular college students too might be able to recite difficult passages of speeches, as well as to memorize the parts of speech, logical fallacies, spelling rules, the coordinating conjunctions. . . . the possibilities are endless!
I have no more jokes.
Treat 18-year-old composition students like convicts, and hooray! WIN!
This is not exactly my approach to writing instruction. Lamentably, the state is cutting back on under-the-thumbail torpedos. I blame unions.
Very few people have the luxury of being freely obnoxious. Most people have to watch what they say for fear of offending their bosses and colleagues. Others resist saying anything that might make them unpopular.
But, in every society, there are a few rare souls who rise above subservience, insecurity and concern. Each morning they take their own abrasive urges out for parade. They are so impressed by their achievements, so often reminded of their own obvious rightness, that every stray thought and synaptic ripple comes bursting out of their mouth fortified by impregnable certitude. When they have achieved this status they have entered the realm of Upper Blowhardia.
Yes, Donald Trump is a blowhard with a licence to talk utter crap, but then again, how the fuck does this differentiate him from David Brooks?