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Archive for April, 2007

I was trying to tell some friends last night about this cartoon, and my explanation began with, “you know those i’m-in-your-whatever-cat-picutres.” which, it turned out, they did not, and the more I tried to explain it, the more I sounded like a loon, so I eventually resorted to trying to find some examples for them.

I started by googling “i’m in yr, cat pictures.” And — wow! — did you know that there are a whole slew of posts and articles dedicated to explaining this “joke?” Anyway, the explanations were so earnest and serious that I found them pretty much hilarious, especially this one:

I’M IN UR X Ying your Z. This construct, based on i’m in ur base, killin ur d00ds has morphed into a catch-all structure for annotating cat pictures.

Just thought I’d share.

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I can’t believe this is still going on in the Ohio legislature: legislation to require strip clubs to shut down at midnight and customers to remain at least 6 feet from performers at all times.

It’s so ridiculous, because there’s no way it can even be plausibly explained as anything but an attempt to force strip clubs and strippers out of business. I mean, even if you’re arguing that strip clubs are bad for neighborhoods or whatever (which I wholeheartedly disagree with, but that is an argument that is made), this is not a logical extension of that argument. There’s no logical excuse for either of those requirements, other than to try and backhandedly shut them down by nitpicking them to death. It’s so frustrating, especially because while it may will hurt the club owners to a degree (closing early), the people it’s really going to hurt the most are the dancers, who could no longer give lap dances or accept tips on stage. It’s much like arresting prostitutes for prostitution — criminalizing the people who have the most stake in the matter but the least culpability, if you look at it in those terms, and a gross and blatant example of the kind of illogical but sadly popular lawmaking that says if you don’t like something, or find it offensive, that’s good enough reason in and of itself to restrict it or shut it down.

And what’s especially reprehensible is this:

In fact, in a floor debate more puzzling than pointed, most senators who spoke condemned the measure. “I would suggest to you if it were a silent vote, I’m not sure it would pass,” Sen. Larry Mumper, a Marion Republican, said as the debate on Senate Bill 16 wrapped up.

So it’s another case of lawmakers being scared into voting for measures they don’t really support for fear of facing the wrath of conservative christian groups.

But kudos to this guy:

The measure … is being pushed by Citizens for Community Values, a group of social conservatives from the Cincinnati area. And it just so happens that the CCV posse ended up in the lunch line at Einstein’s Bagels, just across High Street from the Statehouse, behind a Dayton-area strip club owner, Luke Liakos.

Fed up with the CCV, which spent the morning making its case to a House committee about why strip clubs are harmful to communities, Liakos decided to have some fun.

“They went to put their order in and the lady at the counter said, ‘We kind of have a problem. That guy just bought all of the bagels in the place,'” said Liakos. “They all kind of looked down the line staring at me. I thought it was pretty comical.”

The dozens of bagels bought by Liakos (about 85 or 90 bucks worth, he said) didn’t go wasted as the Baby Dolls manager called en route to the Mid-Ohio Food Bank to donate his bread.

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Ilyka’s got this great post at Pandagon about the preponderance of “experts” on the Internet who pop up in the wake of things like the Virginia Tech shootings or the Supreme Court abortion decision recently to tell you that THEY KNOW exactly why things happened or why things are good or bad or etc. etc. etc. Mostly an enjoyable post all around …. except — and I’m going to nitpick here — for this sentence:

It’s been made especially plain throughout April that the most insulting thing you can tell a fundie, a men’s rights activist, a libertarian, a pro-life absolutist, or a bigot, is simply “You don’t know.”

Awwwww, man. Really? You’re gonna lump us with the fundies and the bigots and the men’s rights activists?

I see this crop up from time to time on blogs like Pandagon (which is, like, one of my favorite blogs in the whole wide blogosphere, so I mean no disdain), or in a recent City Paper article about the madman shooter from the fall at Virginia Tech, or in reviews of action movies that use the word “libertarian” to describe crazies who blow up a lot of stuff ….

I know a lot of smart and well-reasoned and not-crazy libertarians, including: me, Raee, my ex-boyfriend/roommate, my ex-boyfriend/roomate’s ex-roomate’s boyfriend, a Christian hippie we use to do theater with, Raee’s brother, and my dad, not to mention all the friends and other people I’ve met at specifically libertarian-oriented events and all the “professional libertarians” I know.

And most of these people — like, 98% — are very intelligent, thoughtful, rational, open-minded human beings who have never honestly advocated anarchy or completely abolishing income taxes or whatever it is that people think libertarians do. They do not live in mountain-side huts hoarding guns and plotting the overthrow of the government. They are not just apologetic Republicans who want to be able to smoke pot. And they don’t go around talking about Ayn Rand all the time (another thing you hear about libertarians ALL THE FUCKING TIME from non-libertarians). (Now would not be the time to bring up that I went to an Ayn Rand Super-Double-Objectivist Monster Truck birthday party a few months ago).

In fact, I have only once met any of Those Sort of libertarians in person, ever, at a Reason Magazine happy hour, although they are the sorts you frequently find commenting on Reason’s blog (which is why I generally don’t bother with the comments section there — smart writers, stupid smarmy commenters) or at Protein Wisdom and such.

So I’m not saying that Those Sorts of libertarians don’t exist. But liberals have hippies, okay? And feminists have Maureen Dowd, remember? So sometimes libertarians have crazy apologetic-Republican-smarmy-douchebags, sure. But mostly not. I swear.

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Thanks to my friend Gynine for this nice piece of news.

Let’s weigh in on this, is it right or wrong not to tell someone you are filming them? I’m sure we’ll add go privacy this and privacy that. How many of you are going to click and see it though? I won’t tell.

In a bet that we could get famous on the internet by the end of the semester, we decided to broadcast our friend’s life on the internet to millions of viewers (Without actually telling him.)

How creepy. It’s like Justin TV but even more voyeuristic. Watch at your own will but remember….

Ryan doesn’t know…so don’t tell Ryan.

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Because of school projects, my printed word diet lately has consisted solely of a strange combination of articles about copyright and 1990s issues of Us and People magazines (and, as a break, Elements of Style by the late great Wendy Wasserstein), but today I finally got around to catching up on some news/blog reading. Things that I have found particularly interesting:

1. Via Kerry Howley at Reason, Camille Paglia, professional misguided orator of cultural wonkery, blames the Virginia Tech shootings on “the crisis of masculinity in America” and “the snobbery of the upper-middle-class professional.” Apparently, according to Ms. Paglia, Cho wouldn’t have shot all those people if only he could have worked in a factory or hopped on a freight train, and if those uppity girls he was stalking would have just been flattered by his attentions and had pity sex with him, and maybe it’s somehow tied to Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears.

Julian Sanchez points out that “hidden amid all this swill is actually a moderately interesting question, to wit: How does greater sexual openness in a culture affect those who, for whatever reasons, aren’t getting any?

The problem is that the least productive imaginable way to approach that sort of question, guaranteed to yield precisely zero generalizable insights, is to use a deranged mass murderer as your starting point.

2. Rainbow Girl provides a useful misogynist/trolls guide to talking to feminists.

Step one: Cite Essential Difference.
The conversation may have started on unequal pay, sexual violence, or discrimination, but it is your duty to immediately direct the conversation to the fact that women are inherently different from men. This first step is crucial, because everyone knows that essential difference legitimizes and therefore neutralizes oppression.

Step Four: Incite Fear.
Ok, she may be have reasonable requests, like not to get raped, or not to get called a slut for getting raped, or whatever, but don’t forget about those other feminists. You know, the real man-hating ones that are really militant and violent. They are true representatives of the movement and The Feminist, by sheer taxonomy, must be part of this group if she defines herself using that word. Be careful not to actually cite specific examples of man-hating feminists, firstly because it will expose the fact you don’t know of any, and secondly because it could create an uncomfortably detailed tangential argument for you in which you are exposed to even more feminist theory.

3. Snarkery at its finest: This American Life Completes Documentation Of Liberal, Upper-Middle-Class Existence

In what cultural anthropologists are calling a “colossal achievement” in the study of white-collar professionals, the popular radio show has successfully isolated all 7,442 known characteristics of college graduates who earn between $62,500 and $125,000 per year and feel strongly that something should be done about global warming.

“We’ve done it,” said senior producer Julie Snyder, who was personally interviewed for a 2003 This American Life episode, “Going Eclectic,” in which she described what it’s like to be a bilingual member of the ACLU trained in kite-making by a Japanese stepfather. “There is not a single existential crisis or self-congratulatory epiphany that has been or could be experienced by a left-leaning agnostic that we have not exhaustively documented and grouped by theme.”

4. Addison from Grey’s Anatomy is getting her own spin-off. This guy says its a good thing, because all the other characters have begun to suck:

The backdoor pilot for the spin-off, which will also feature Tim Daly, Taye Diggs and Amy Brenneman in its cast, airs next week. While I’m naturally skeptical of spin-offs, I hope this one is good, and that Addison can bring the chief, Callie (Sara Ramirez) and Karev (Justin Chambers) with her, so I no longer have any reason to watch “Grey’s” proper. What began a few years ago as a fluffy, entertaining mash-up of “ER,” “Friends” and “Sex and the City” has become a show so deeply in love with itself that it no longer notices or cares how the rest of the world views it. It’s still the hottest thing on television that doesn’t involve Ryan Seacrest, but the emperor has no scrubs.

He points out that Meredith’s character is too self-absorbed and “was never that interesting or appealing to begin with,” and that Izzy is currently “shattering all TV records for irrational, judgmental, horrid behavior.” I like Meredith, but that’s because I always fall for the spoiled, narcissistic waifs.

And, yes, I know, I’m ending on a Grey’s Anatomy note here. I said things I find interesting, not earth-shattering, okay?

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illegal biking

Now this is just silly: DC requires people to register their bicycles or face bike impoundment.

Via DCist:

The problem, of course, is that actually managing to register your bicycle to comply with the law is close to impossible. Local police and fire department offices are not regularly equipped to deal with cyclists’ requests to file the correct paperwork, and the vast majority of D.C. bicycle owners are technically riding on unregistered vehicles. The City Paper article chronicles a few instances of MPD using this law as a pretense to detain “suspicious” people, which stinks of harassment.

Plus, in order to register, you have tho show proof of ownership of your bike.

The Washington Area Bicyclist Association, however, has a campaign against mandatory bike registration (and a surprisingly fancy Web site).

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No more juice, Jose.

It’s baseball season (exclamation!). All right boys and girls, are we ready for stories on ‘roids and corked bats? I’m hoping for good-old Yankees better loose baseball season, personally that’s my opinion. But if by chance, you are a Yankees fan or even a steroid fan, put down the needle and go see the eye doctor. The LA Times had an interesting article on the new trend in baseball, improving eye sight through surgery.

Now, they’re among a growing number of professional athletes focusing on new and improved technologies to recover lost vision skills.
Not all the attention is coming from players with damaged or diminished eyesight. Even players with normal vision are turning to everything from laser surgery and tinted contact lenses to eye-strengthening exercises and high-priced “ocular” machines in search of a competitive edge.

Impressive isn’t it. It’s like RoboCop, but instead it’s a baseball player.

Or getting the team to spend the money, which is what Carlos Beltran did when he signed with the New York Mets before the 2005 season. Included in his $119-million contract was a clause that required the Mets to purchase an $85,000 “enhanced ocular device.”

Just thinking how amazingly awesome this might be, seeing your favorite baseball pitcher squint his eyes and out shoots a laser beam. How wicked would that be? Okay, okay, I digress is successful? I mean going under the knife for baseball? As long as there is no crying in baseball.

The device is a high-speed pitching machine that fires specially marked tennis balls at speeds up to 155 mph. Players try to read the markings as the ball flies by, an exercise intended to improve both focus and concentration. The Kansas City Royals, Seattle Mariners, Chicago Cubs, Cleveland Indians and the Olympic champion U.S. women’s softball team have experimented with the ocular machine.

And if all else fails, and you favorite team happens to be the Cubs,

Then there’s the Rigoberto Betancourt method. The former coach of Cuba’s national team taught pitchers to focus more sharply by having them throw while blindfolded.

Interesting stuff, this eye sight surgery in baseball. I’ll have to catch a game with my favorite team–Go Indians, and see what they’ve got. Made some day, I’ll see the lasers.

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