Archive for the ‘Isms’ Category
Glenn Reynolds says something so incisive about lefty movements:
“I’m beginning to think that most lefty movements are just about broken people trying to manipulate the rest of us so they can feel good about their broken selves.”
If you want to find broken selves, visit Netroots Nation, the lefty grassroots conference. I attended a couple years ago and it was depressing.
At Netroots, one of the women’s bathrooms was renamed. There was a computer printed sign on white paper that said, “UNISEX” or “All Genders” or some such taped over the “Women” sign. Basically, anyone could go in there.
So, for the couple days of the conference, every time I had to go to the bathroom, I went to the Pansexual john hoping that something exciting would happen. Would I see a man dressed as a woman? A woman dressed as a man? How would I know, if I did? Would I feel weird peeing around sexually ambiguous strangers? Would they feel weird around me, a middle aged woman dressed in traditional American garb signifying patriarchal expectations and oppression? (I wore jeans and a shirt.)
I figured the bathroom would have no shortage of visitors considering the conference attendees. There was the LGBT table. The Take-A-Picture-With-Michelle-Obama table had no line. The NOW booth gave out pink condoms. Patchouli wafted through the air. Self-unaware socialists would hazily ask you questions from behind their tables while selling campaign buttons. Incongruously, the Teamsters and the UAW and other big, burly, angry looking union members lumbered amongst the hippie riffraff. Surely, some of the above would go to the gender ambiguous (cis-and trans- gender had yet to become trendy) bathroom.
To my disappointment and delight, I had the pleasure of a pristine potty every time nature called. In fact, I’m pretty sure I was the only person to use the Gender Ambiguous bathroom the entire weekend. If you’ve attended a conference, you’ll know the joy of finding an unexpectedly spotless and empty bathroom. I had not just one empty clean stall but 20 of them to choose from. It seemed too good to be true, so I used only that bathroom every time, and every time I peed alone. Water closet nirvana at Netroots!
Netroots, the left’s radical heartbeat, was and is a collective persecution complex fighting a phantom enemy Out There (but mostly the evil Koch Brothers.) Even at Netroots, there were no sexually ambiguous people looking, like Goldilocks, for a bathroom that fit them just right. Or at least the persecuted went out of their way to find either a Men’s or Women’s bathroom. See how much self-loathing even lefties must possess?
I felt oppressed being at Netroots, but not by the bathrooms or lack thereof (although, if I had been intent on a women’s bathroom, I’d have had to go up or down stairs). The collective vibe felt, well, heavy, to borrow the 60’s term. All these miserable, yes broken, people fearful that a person might feel bad about being left out–of a bathroom. It’s pure projection. These folks feel left out, marginalized, weird, and consigned to loser status. To feel better about their sad selves, they inconvenienced the majority–who were, ironically, women. I’d blame the patriarchy but I loved having my own bathroom.
Here’s what Lefties are worried about today, in case you think that their movement is promoting very important topics most days and save their silliness for Netroots conferences:
The Burden of Home Cooked Dinners (to be followed up by the evil rich people who eat out and kill the environment)
Jennifer Lawrence’s Boobs [Scant mention of Muslim Rape Gangs]
Cool girls fade out and become less interesting the minute they have a real thought. Otherwise, they’re just entertaining, frothy nothingburgers–an idealistic creation to make people feel better. At least, that’s my sum up of this piece about Jennifer Lawrence and the “cool girls” before her.
Pardon me if I don’t get so overwrought about this. Every once in a while, a woman comes along who has male interests, enjoys the company of men because of those interests, and she’s also incredibly beautiful. What the less pretty or less talented or more stereotypically female or as tomboyish but less feminine women don’t understand is that this girl, then woman, isn’t trying to be something. She is this person.
What can she do but be what she is?
In Lawrence’s case, she’s self-deprecating. She admits to be a virtual shut in. She isn’t a gad about (i.e. screwing around with male stars in succession). She is beautiful. She has a job. It’s not a world-changing job. It’s not a self-sacrificial job (like being a nun or nurse or fire fighter). It’s acting.
Jane Fonda’s job was to act. She was good at that. And then she changed the equation. She used her beauty and platform to lecture Americans about what they should believe. She changed her job title from actress to activist. Well, okay, that’s her choice. But don’t get angry when her fan base dries up because they disagree with her politics.
Sean Penn’s politics are naive and kinda make people hate him. They don’t hate him because he’s beautiful. They hate him because he’s stupid and uses his platform as a spoiled, rich actor to rail against the very system that benefitted him. Fonda is in the same category.
Are people bigoted against the “cool guy”?
If Jennifer Lawrence’s star falls, it will be because everyone likes to see the guy at the top topple. It’s a nasty reality of success. Once a person achieves it, there are multiple people who would love to see the person fail.
Jennifer Lawrence mitigates that far fall by stumbling over herself. She takes herself down a notch–whether it’s conscious or not. So, average person sees the beautiful, bawdy Ms. Lawrence and remembers falling at a wedding and doesn’t feel so envious. They pull for her because she’s human.
Well, most pull for her. For some, she can’t fall enough. One wonders what a woman must do to please other women.
Barack Obama exasperates Vladimir Putin. How is it in the U.S.’s interest, Putin wonders, to have complete chaos in the Middle East? Doesn’t President Obama understand that a Qaddafi or Mubarek is preferable to blood in the streets and radical Islam in charge? And why would you leave a potentially winning hand on the Iraq table when you’re pot committed? Why play small?
The exasperation galvanized Putin. If Obama will be weak, someone needs to be strong and it might as well be him. So, Putin humiliated the President in the New York Times. He negotiated in Syria. He’s giving his blessing to candidates in Egypt. He’s bullying the Ukraine. In short, Putin is filling the vacuum. Who will stop him?
Still, for a strong man like Putin, who deals in measures of strength as a commodity, President Obama’s unnecessary weakness makes little sense. Certainly, President Obama’s ideology isn’t that distant from Putin’s. In fact, President Obama has consistently advanced a quasi-socialist America–increased taxation, increased redistribution, an enlarged and empowered state, more regulation, more central control, media harassment and threats, using the government to investigate political opposition, etc. All these decisions, while not nakedly Marxist, certainly aren’t limiting the state and shrinking its power.
So why wouldn’t this statist aggression be pushed around the world?
Here is where President Obama differs from President Putin: Vladamir Putin loves Russia and views the state as an extension of himself. In contrast, President Obama does not like America. Further, he views his own country and people with suspicion. President Obama believes in worldwide redistribution and believes that Americans don’t deserve their power, wealth, or status. So, he cedes it or straight up gives it away.
President Obama’s loathing for colonial powers makes him averse to using the US’ power on the world scene even when it makes him personally look weak and pathetic.
For Putin, the notion of separation of self and state is absurd. He is a Russian. He is proud of his country. He is fond of communism. He chafes at the loss of power and face since the days when the Soviet Union split up. He seeks to regain glory for the state of Russia and by extension, himself.
Obama is a man divided. He wants personal prestige but he is not willing to claim it if it means making America look great. So, he’ll give a grand speech in Egypt, but he won’t make a grand decision there. He’ll say provocative words to the Russian president, but he won’t do anything.
We Americans can take little solace in President Obama’s playing small on the world stage. He doesn’t like America very much except to the extent it makes him a media personality. As long as he wins a Charles Barkley interview while expanding the state, that’s enough. Being a celebrity trumps being a statesman.
So expect more weakness on the world stage. Expect Vladimir Putin to fill the void. Expect China to test limits. Expect more turbulence and confusion. Expect more tyranny. Expect more communism.
Don’t expect President Obama to care about America’s interests. He’s too busy tending his own.
Related to this: Jonah Goldberg has a piece up today about the Nazis and socialism. It’s an interesting read. What occurred to me, though, is that Obama is a “true” Marxist in contrast to, say, Putin. Obama is an internationalist. He wants all the worlds workers to unite. That’s why he cheerleaded Chavez (fist bump!) and seemed unworried about the Muslim Brotherhood a thoroughly socialist organization with socialist goals.
As Jonah notes, the dewy eyed world proletariat uprising fails when faced with reality as nation states have their own aims and they often conflict (see Nazis versus Stalinists). Does President Obama have provincial American concerns? Does he worry about America’s loss of face in the world if the proletariat in Egypt or Libya or China or Russia wins? It sure doesn’t seem like it.
The War on Women panel featuring Elizabeth Warren revealed much about the leftist perspective on abortion. In an act of public bullying, one of the three speakers, Darcy Burner of Washington (the others being Elizabeth Warren and Mazie Hirono of Hawaii), asked women who had had an abortion to stand up in front of other attendees.
It was difficult to estimate the number of women as they were sprinkled through out the audience. They stood alone while Burner admonished the attendees to hold their applause.
Then Burner asked the others seated in the audience to stand and give these women a standing ovation. The audience complied enthusiastically.
I sat during this spectacle.
Burner said,”If you are a woman in this room, and statistically this is true of about 1/3 of the women in this room, if you’re a woman in this room who has had an abortion and is willing to come out about it, please stand up.”
She continued, “Now, if you are willing to stand with every woman who is willing to come out about having had an abortion, please stand up.”
Nearly everyone stood.
Burner said,”This is how we change the stories in people’s past. We need to make it okay for women to come out about the choices they make.”
The left will say that they’re not pro-abortion, they’re pro-choice or they’re pro-women. It was clear, though, that abortion itself was elevated as something good and something to be celebrated.
The speaker and the audience was honoring women who had an abortion as though the action was an objectively good thing.
You can listen for yourself here:
Burner had some other interesting advice, too. She spoke of the six elements of Power versus the less effective, in her mind, use of Force by the Republicans. I don’t know if her speech was an allusion to the book Power vs. Force: The Hidden Determinants of Human Behavior-Author’s Official Revised Edition 2012.
Anyway, her advice, shortened for brevity’s sake (her whole speech is on the audio) is as follows. As much as possible, these are direct quotes from Bower’s speech:
In the war on women there’s an obvious application of economic power. Bower mention that women make 80% of consumer buying decisions. She talked about all the products made by the evil Koch brothers and how it is difficult to keep track of their products.
“It’s a difficult thing to remember all the things you’re not supposed to buy,” she said.
So Burner suggested an iPhone application that would scan the product to see “how good it is for you to buy.”
Get women to vote.
Cultural Power – stories we tell about ourselves
Burner spoke of changing the culture through TV and how it’s paid huge cultural dividends. She used as an example the perception of gay people now.
“Because of television, now everybody has a gay best friend whether they do or not.”
This is where Burner talked about coming out about abortion would change the culture to positively value it. She found it offensive that there was still a fight for abortion rights and cultural acceptance.
Perhaps one of the most shocking parts of Burner’s presentation, second only to the abortion talk, was her prescription to gain moral power.
She consistently recommended using people who were innocent to get public opinion on their side. She included the use of children as a means to change public perception. Her examples included an old lady at an Occupy rebellion with a bloodied face and a young teen on the ground.
1. Innocents — the protest has to use innocent children (explicit advocacy for using children)
3. Use of official force
4. Widely communicated
5. Shocks conscience
Burner said that it was about “high time we pass the equal rights amendment.” She suggesting using older women as the face of the campaign. The “American public considers older women to be innocent.” So, older women should be used for the equal rights movement.
Here she talked about proactive steps to combat the War on Women.
What to do in the next year, to go on offense in the War Against Women:
1. Boycott everything that “feeds the Koch brothers machine.”
2. Get women to vote.
3. Court/police power: proactive suits against discrimination; shareholder lawsuits
4. Cultural power: coming out project about women who’ve had abortion
5. Moral power ERA protests
6. Build networks. “One of the biggest holes in the women’s movement. We need a network of networks.”
Darcy Burner’s presentation gives insight to how the left sees women and their place in the world. It is abortion focused and rooted in the past.
UPDATE: Read all the history of Brett Kimberlin here.
How low will they go? Silencing the opposition is not only encouraged, but paid for on the left.
The Left looses in the arena of ideas. When they speak freely and share their point of view (collectivism, state-ownership, transfer-the-wealth, union thuggery, post-birth abortions), the vast majority of Americans disagree.
It is only by obfuscation and attempting to bully the opposition into silence that the Left wins. Only today, this is what S.E. Cupp endures because she won’t toe the leftist thought police line.
This May, my seven year anniversary blogging rolled by. In that time, my site has experienced Denial of Service attacks, I’ve received death threats, had a real-life stalker, my site had more DOS attacks and hacking attempts, I was called a racist on the front page of the Huffington Post the day after Obama was elected, people have photoshopped me in unflattering ways, I’ve been called every vile name in the book, and another Huffington Post writer excavated my personal and professional life–looking for dirt, evidently–and trying to intimidate me on Twitter.
Most of this, I have never written about and even now, I’m keeping it general lest I give some stupid leftist the attention he or she wants.
Being a conservative woman blogger is not for the faint of heart. And even still, it’s much better now than it was six years ago.
Michelle Malkin had to move her family to protect them. Now, it comes out that Ed Morrissey has been dealing with his hell. There are many, many more people who have privately shared the abuse they’ve received. They stay silent because talking openly and giving attention is often exactly what our opponents want.
Now, as reported by Michelle Malkin, this:
Over the past year, Aaron Walker (who blogged as “Aaron Worthing”),Patterico, Liberty Chick, and now Stacy McCain have been targeted by convicted Speedway bomber Brett Kimberlin because they dared to mention his criminal past or assisted others who did. The late Andrew Breitbart warned about Kimberlin and company.
I have spoken directly with both Patterico and Aaron about their ongoing battles.
The mainstream press, not just the conservative blogosphere, needs to hear and report their stories.
This is a convoluted, ongoing nightmare that combines abuse of the court system, workplace intimidation, serial invasions of privacy, perjury, and harassment of family members. McCain was forced to move with his family out of his house this week, and has just gotten a small taste of what Aaron and Patterico have been enduring over the past year. Aaron and his wife were fired from their jobs after their employer feared the office would be targeted next. Convicted bomber Kimberlin has filed bogus “peace orders” against Aaron, when it is the Walkerswho are the victims, not the perpetrators.
This abuse MUST STOP.
The media needs to report this.
And the lefties who purport to hold peace and love as high attributes need to call out their violent, menacing, terrorist brethren.
Please stand with these brave researchers and writers. Please support them in their quest for truth. Please hold the bad guys to account.
Who is Brett Kimberlin?
Brett Kimberlin is the face of the American political left.
Kimberlin is a convicted bomber. He even has a nickname: “The Speedway Bomber.” Back in 1978, he set of a series of eight bombs in Speedway, Indiana, one of which blew the limbs off Vietnam Vet Carl DeLong, who later committed suicide because of his injuries. Kimberlin is also a convicted drug dealer. In 1988, he claimed that he sold drugs to Dan Quayle, but there was nothing to corroborate this claim. Given Kimberlin’s far left politics, it’s reasonable to believe that he was lying for political effect. Incidentally, you won’t be able to discover any of this through Wikipedia — it’s been scrubbed.
And here’s Ann Althouse talking about how the left exposes personal information to try to silence you.
Instapundit has a round-up.
Barack Obama’s promotional materials, as late as 2007, said he was born in Kenya. Read about it here and then, come back.
Why would he do this? It seems crazy.
Imagine you’re a hippie kid. Your dad is some Kenyan big wig. Your mom is a self-important sociologist doing such important work that you, Barack Obama, must be left home with grandma and grandpa.
You are boring.
You are a mixed race kid on Hawaii in the sixties which is not a big deal because everyone has Hawaiian blood and has mocha skin. You are relatively wealthy and end up at a prep school with other wealthy kids.
You have to justify your existence.
No mom. No dad. Rather provincial, if privileged, Hawaiian life, but lots of questions from peers.
What do you do?
Well, nothing, other than smoke dope, do cocaine (expensive – but no big deal for rich kids), and hang out acting like a badass.
And then, there’s privileged college which you navigate by being mundane and calculated.
You don’t find yourself there. You just find out how you don’t want to self-identify.
Like Elizabeth Warren, it’s really not enough to be a white, privileged kid. Or even a mixed-raced privileged kid.
It takes some resume juicing to be legit in the diversity crowd.
So, you lie.
You pretend you’re a man of the world. You tell people you were born in Kenya. You brag about your time in Indonesia.
You don’t talk about Hawaii.
You don’t talk about your white mother.
You don’t talk about your white grandparents who raised you and gave you a conventional, privileged upbringing.
You pretend you’re part of the victim class.
You pretend you’re worldly wise.
You idealize your Kenyan roots and lie about having tight ones.
You create a whole tapestry of falsehoods about yourself — not only does it make you feel better about being abandoned, it gives you credibility with those who judge not on the content of your character but the color of your skin, the exotic nature of your past, the superficialities of diversity.
Hippie lefties, it turns out, are kinda biased against people with conventional upper middle class American backgrounds.
Barack Obama wasn’t born in Kenya.
Barack Obama didn’t have some tortured, hard-scrabble youth.
Barack Obama was a materially indulged, emotionally deprived typical American child of divorce.
It’s his conventionality that embarrasses him.
And that’s why he lied.
MORE QUESTIONS. Bookworm says:
Normally, in the years since the Civil Rights movement, the answer would be “Yes, being half-black (not half-white, but half-black) should have given Obama the leg-up he needed to parlay mediocre grades and a drug habit into a shiny diploma from one of America’s best institutions of higher education.” Obama’s problem, though, was that he came of age at a very specific time in the annals of affirmative action. To appreciate this, you have to know that Obama, who graduated from high school in 1979, must have started looking at colleges in 1978.
When it comes to college admissions, 1978 isn’t just any year. It’s a very special year. It was the year that the Supreme Court decided Regents of the University of California v. Bakke (1978) 438 U.S. 265.
Allan Bakke was a young man with an excellent academic record, who nevertheless got turned down by 12 medical schools. When he applied to the medical school at UC Davis, and was again rejected, he learned that he had almost certainly lost out on the opportunity to attend that medical school because UC had set a quota for admitting non-white people in order to meet the University’s “diversity” requirements. Bakke sued. In a deeply fragmented decision, the Supreme Court held that this race-based admission process was unconstitutional.
Governor Scott Walker’s campaign spokeswoman Ciara Matthews finds herself on the receiving end of misogyny by feminists and leftist press.
Her crime? She waited tables at Hooters while going to college. Steven Elbow asks the penetrating question:
But to the direct question: Were you a Hooters girl? She said, “I was.”
Matthews said she waited tables for the popular restaurant chain — which features tasty chicken wings and waitresses in short shorts and low-cut tops –- while attending college at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas.
“So you guys want to write a story that I waited tables in college,” she said. “I’m confused as to why that’s a story.”
Well, she may have a point. What makes news is not always easy to pinpoint. But as we say in the biz: You know it when you see it. [Emphasis added.] And with a recall election looming in which she will often be front-and-center as Walker battles to keep his job, details that might otherwise be ignored become interesting.
Like porn? So, working at Hooters is like story porn? That’s the allusion that this writer made:
The phrase was famously used by United States Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart to describe his threshold test for pornography in Jacobellis v. Ohio (1964). Obscenity is not protected speech under the Miller test, and can therefore be censored.
I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description [“hard-core pornography”]; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it, and the motion picture involved in this case is not that. [Emphasis added.]
The expression became “one of the most famous phrases in the entire history” of the Supreme Court.[1
But that’s just the beginning. Jezebel publishes a provocative picture of Ciara. Because, you know, conservative women get what’s coming to them.
And Ciara’s story comes on the heels of feminists doubling down on attacking Ann Romney.
Oh, and don’t forget Amanda Marcotte and the feminists over at Pandagon. Some women are more equal than others, just ask Amanda.
And then there’s Time Magazine’s Judith Warner piling on Ann Romney, too. Her implication is laughable. As though, she, Judith Warner, is somehow more touch with the suffering masses than Ann Romney.
On the positive side, one feminist, Wendy S. Goffe at Forbes, said this:
I thought of all this when the news broke recently about Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen’s comment that Ann Romney “never worked a day in her life.”
I don’t know Ann Romney, but as a working mom, I don’t know how she found the time to raise five children. And by the way, Ann Romney has multiple sclerosis. Her life sure sounds a lot harder than going to an office, where someone else makes the coffee, and I know my daughter is well cared for by a nanny that is the closest thing to Mary Poppins in the 21st century.
As a Democrat, I am simply embarrassed by that comment. Rightly distancing himself from Hilary Rosen, President Obama came to Ann Romney’s defense, and the defense of all stay-at-home moms, saying that “there’s no tougher job than being a mom. . . Anybody who would argue otherwise, I think, probably needs to rethink their statement.” I am proud to have a president who is in touch with his constituents, regardless of political party or appearances.
I also feel privileged to have the job that I do and the ability to hire a nanny. Frankly, I don’t have the skills to raise five children.
Many liberals are wholly hypocritical about how they treat conservative women–whether they’re young, beautiful up-and-comer working outside the home women or middle-aged, working inside the home moms.
They hate conservative women and attacks are fair game.
That’s too bad because it seems to be the opposite of what the Women’s Movement was supposed to be about.
None of us lead the lives our appearance suggests. We each lie in bed at night with our personal terrors as to what life could be, or about what life is like right now, and whether we have the strength to get through it. Clothes and money rarely can make that go away.
The women’s movement loses all credibility with it’s “choices for me, but not for thee” and creating the abortion litmus test.
When conservative women are destroyed because they dissent from popular feminist opinion, all women lose. Why can’t liberal women see this?
Pinterest is sexist….against women. Seriously, that’s the position of Victoria Pynchon who says:
Pinterest Frames Women’s Interests within Tight Gender Boundaries
Go on over to Pinterest and try to find a category for business, marketing, management, entrepreneurism, politics, activism, reproductive choices, negotiation, finance, investing, law, consulting, journalism, or pretty much anything having to do with women working for a living.
This is, in a word, ridiculous.
Go to Barnes-N-Noble and what do you see? Racks of home improvement, cooking, house and garden, and fashion porn. That’s right, porn. It’s fantasy for the average woman, who comes home to her crappy couch and Hamburger Helper.
Where does she come home from? Work. What does she read because the last thing she wants to do is watch the news and/or think about business? Traditional Home, Better Homes & Garden, or in my bigwig President of a division at a Fortune 500 corporation sister: Rolling Stone (I know, I don’t get it either) and Conde Nast Travel or something.
What’s in these magazines? Beautiful pictures, mostly. Some human interest stories. Tips for living.
Why, just like Pinterest!
Yesterday, President Obama’s Pinterest team pinned some garbage about how awesome he is and so I trolled the pins. I linked to the truth. I disputed on a factual basis. No one disputed the facts, mind you. They disputed whether I should be talking about politics.
“Pinterest is a happy place,” one pinner said.
I’m figuring that Pinterest has done tons of market research and knows exactly what women want. Just as random porn sites know exactly what men want.
Is this a gross overgeneralization? Of course.
I noticed the constrained categories on Pinterest, too. Eh. I’ve worked around them. I have a Best Practices business page. I have a Tech Talk page. I have an America the Beautiful page. And then there’s the Politics of Freedom page.
They have lots of followers. My recipes page has more. Yes, I’ve used some of them–even women who own a couple business have to eat, and horrors! might like to cook.
What seems sexist to me is that a woman would consider a site dedicated to what most women consider interesting discriminatory.
After years of attempted gender reconstruction, and after years of women working (and nearly 80% of women do), women are still wired as women. That is, what stimulates them visually is, say, different than men. And that’s okay.
Being a girly girl is okay. I say that as a woman who has always liked “guy stuff” more–Google search metrics pegged me as a 50 to 60 year old man interested in technology and politics.
What bothers me is that to be a feminist, one cannot have traditionally feminine interests without being perceived as “less than”. Who is discriminating again?
If the majority of women like gardening, cooking, home improvement, kids crafts, and fashion, what do I care? Really? Why in the world should the difference bother any other woman?
I suggest the tomboys among us embrace Pinterest. It’s finally a female-dominated social media platform. It’s beautiful in form. It’s aspirational in substance.
Pinterest has the men joining in droves, too. As the demographics even out, categories will probably be added. Why? Because the market demands it.
It’s not discrimination. It’s Marketing 101 in practice.
But really, if men have to submit their boards to categories of the Matriachy’s standards, is that so bad?
My friend Adrienne Royer says this:
There’s so much stupid here, I don’t know where to begin.
1. Pinterest is still in beta. You MUST ASK FOR AN INVITATION. The women who are there are there because they want to be. Pink, lace and pretty houses aren’t being forced down their throats.
2. You’d think a writer at Forbes could do some research. Pinterest was started by a group of guys. Unless these men miraculously understand women better than any XY chromosome in history, the adoption of the site by women was purely accidental.
In fact, Pinterest was started to be an idea board for creative thought leaders. The main founder has a degree in architecture and worked at Facebook. He was into design, typography and photography. He thought the site would take off in the creative class.
The way women have taken to it has shocked everyone, including Silicon Valley.
3. The real story isn’t that Pinterest isn’t forcing the patriarchy down our throats. The real story is that women love social networks, the ability to share information that is vetted by trusted people and the ability to research. The real story is how Silicon Valley is still a boy’s world and women are pretty much shut out. Right now, there are all kinds of venture capitalists scratching their heads and wondering how Pinterest became some popular because none of them ever thought about designing a social network that would draw women.
Why aren’t they harping on that?
Nothing written about The Hunger Games movie is right. Why? The movie isn’t right. Is it worth seeing? Absolutely.
It didn’t occur to me while watching the movie, but when I read Ed Morrissey’s review (meh, derivative) and then this Socialist’s site (best movie ever), I knew something was wrong with the movie. And when I read this Psychology Today review, I knew something was wrong with the psychologist and our culture [More about that in another post].
People who saw The Hunger Games saw a different movie depending on whether they read the books or not. On the optimistic side: most teens read the books. On the pessimistic side: most parents had not. This lead to two very divergent perspectives on the movie.
The Hunger Games trilogy books describe a dystopian, post-Civil War future where the central government is rich off the backs of twelve districts of slaves. The central government uses technology, coercion, and laws restricting any form of self defense (no guns..no bow and arrows, even–thus Katniss’ hidden, handmade bow and arrows).
The central government controls by dividing commerce. There are agrarian, fishing, and in Katniss’ case, energy producing districts. Katniss’ father died as a slave in a coal mine to produce energy not for his business or his employer but for the government who would then redistribute the commodity in just enough measure to keep work going to meet the needs of the other districts and to keep the central district in the luxury they were used to.
The oppression, lack of ownership, lack of right to bear arms, lack of free speech, lack of freedom of association, and the central-command misery induced by this situation were never clearly spelled out in the movie. Those who read the books, filled in the blanks. Those who didn’t, took home an entirely different message.
As one liberal reviewer said it, “This is a movie about the 99% and the 1%.”
Uh no. This book was about the oppression of communism and the failure of redistributionism. It was also a book about self-determination and freedom. These are all very American concepts.
The personal despair caused by the oppression really wasn’t fairly portrayed, either. Peeta fed a starving Katniss (a little CGI work to show her emaciated would have been helpful) at great risk to his own life due to reducing his ability to trade on the black market. His mother would beat him.
After Katniss’ father died, the family was starving. Her mother had completely lost her mind. Collectivism creates individual misery.
Meanwhile, the central government was indulgent: a combination of Elizabethan England, coked out models, and crass material excess. Their entertainment was Roman gladiator meets reality show spectacle where children fought to the death as tributes to “peace”. All the districts, including the central one, offered up one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 as tribute and penance for their warlike past.
The premise of the book was so horrifying to me, I had to put the book down. My daughter, in contrast, seemed strangely unbothered–until she saw the movie.
And the horror of it all would is compounded by no context. If it isn’t made clear what the characters will be fighting against, it’s difficult to grasp their desire for freedom. That is, if they’re free and just down on their luck, that’s a different story line. If rich business owners in each district controlled all commerce, that would tell another story.
That would be the storyline the left wants to promote–thus, the 99 and 1% reference.
Critics and fans of the movie must read the books. Without the story, what is a pretty good movie already, becomes an excellent, and scarier, movie. They’re not tough reads and they’ll give the needed context.
Whether it was intentional or just lost on the cutting room floor because of film length, more attention to the foundational why of the story would have helped.
In the next post, I’ll talk about whether children should attend the movie and how to talk about your kids who do go to the movie.
Bill Maher, liberal, pretend libertarian and over all, failed comic, decides, finally, that the outrage over, well, everything, has finally all become too much. From his editorial in today’s New York Times:
When did we get it in our heads that we have the right to never hear anything we don’t like? In the last year, we’ve been shocked and appalled by the unbelievable insensitivity of Nike shoes, the Fighting Sioux, Hank Williams Jr., Cee Lo Green, Ashton Kutcher, Tracy Morgan, Don Imus, Kirk Cameron, Gilbert Gottfried, the Super Bowl halftime show and the ESPN guys who used the wrong cliché for Jeremy Lin after everyone else used all the others. Who can keep up?
This week, President Obama’s chief political strategist, David Axelrod, described Mitt Romney’s constant advertising barrage in Illinois as a “Mittzkrieg,” and instantly the Republican Jewish Coalition was outraged and called out Mr. Axelrod’s “Holocaust and Nazi imagery” as “disturbing.” Because the message of “Mittzkrieg” was clear: Kill all the Jews. Then the coalition demanded not only that Mr. Axelrod apologize immediately but also that Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz “publicly rebuke” him. For a pun! For punning against humanity!
The right side of America is mad at President Obama because he hugged the late Derrick Bell, a law professor who believed we live in a racist country, 22 years ago; the left side of America is mad at Rush Limbaugh for seemingly proving him right.
If it weren’t for throwing conniption fits, we wouldn’t get any exercise at all.
Please stop apologizing, Maher implores.
Here’s how the right’s outrage machine got started Mr. Maher–just for your edification. (I will admit, I worried about this tactic for fear it would stop being ironic and become the New Right’s political correctness.)
See, for years, decades even, the Left’s number one weapon in its arsenal has been outrage over nothing. Let me make a list:
Silent Spring (Environmentalism outrage)
The new Ice Age (Environmentalism outrage)
Sensitivity training (racism, sexism, minority outrage)
Poisoned apples (Environmentalism outrage)
DDT (Environmentalism outrage)
Any kind of cultural joke…ever. (See isms above)
Words, and worse, ideas, started to be censured. Like the prohibitionist knitting circle of yore, leftists have cluck clucked their way into power by being the church ladies aggrieved at every blond joke, straying eye, proper use of word (niggardly!!!), scientific disagreement, and on and on.
In response, the right of center side decided to throw the selective outrage back at them.
There’s a lot of pent up fury. How would you feel about being hectored over every meaningless and stupid aside (MACACA!!!!).
So, conservatives through New Media, are holding the left to their own race-baiting, sexist, offensive-language standards.
Big surprise! The left turns out to be more racist, sexist, degrading, closed-minded, and ugly than the right–something that minorities who have defected from the left know all too well.
And now, when Bill Maher is finally taking some heat for being the sexist jackass that he is, he’s crying foul.
In the years before New Media, everyone just wink-winked and chortled at how edgy and clever and brave Maher was while castigating conservatives who said far less offensive things.
Restricting speech on one side was such a great tool. Everyone hated conservatives and laughed at liberals. And then they realized they were the butt of the joke.
Now, liberals are hated too.
Liberals have themselves to thank for this fine politically correct mess.
See, I’m a free speech absolutist. Do I think it’s despicable to make fun of Sarah Palin’s kid and calling him a “retard”? Yes. Do I want to be able to use the word “retard”? Yes.
As in, Bill Maher is a retard.
To have any credibility whatsoever, he should have been decrying the politically correct war on words from the left years ago, but of course, that didn’t serve his political ends.
My concern on the right is that we’re becoming as bad as the left–that is, we’re actually starting to believe the outrage we’re pouring at the left.
My concern is that rather than being outraged at the leftists phony outrage and throwing it back at them, we’re becoming as politically correct and insufferable as them.
As long as Sandra Flukes exist and screech about inequality over nothing, the right has every reason to thrown their hypocrisy back at them.
The minute, though, we buy into political correctness and start being just like the lefty church ladies we loathe, the whole battle has been lost.
Humor, art, science, technology can only thrive where new, outrageous and edgy words and ideas thrive.
Conformity of language is conformity of culture. Stasis.
Free speech. Cherish it.
It would be nice if Bill Maher could have found his outrage at outrage when the leftist outrage machine has survived on outrage fuel. But then, Bill Maher’s not a great mind or comedian. The irony is lost on him.
Bruce of The Conservatory notes what Maher really wants:
In essence, Maher wants to be able to say anything he wants and not have to apologize for it.
Please, do so. And don’t apologize. That is fine with me.
But … and you knew there had to be one … that doesn’t mean what you say is consequence free. You still get to pay the price for what you say.
That’s really what Maher wants to see go by the boards, make no mistake about it. He really wants no-penalty “free speech”.
Sorry, no such thing. Never has been, never will be.
Great piece from Dorian Davis: Get a sense of humor.