Shaming Sexists and Racists Online as a Form of Justice?

Earlier this year, tech consultant Adria Richards was attending a programming conference when she overheard two male developers make what she considered to be sexist comments. She tweeted a photo of the men to call them out, and sparked what would come to be known as "Donglegate." As a result of Richards' tweet, one of the developers lost his job, as did Richards. Meanwhile, blogs, Twitter streams, and comment sections discussed the affair with language that was frequently obscene in its hatred, … [Read more...]

Reality TV: Making Western Civilization Smarter and Better?

I hate reality TV. Yes, there may be some "reality" shows with redeeming values, but on the whole, I find it represents a nadir of entertainment. It encourages and celebrates narcissistic, sociopathic, and unconscionable behavior in its subjects, and through shrewd manipulation (i.e., editing), makes it easy for viewers to develop a sense of smug self-righteousness as we watch the drama unfold before us.But not everyone agrees with me. For example, anthropologist Grant McCracken believes th … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Are You Dad Enough?

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.Like just about everyone else in the blogosphere, I noticed the May 21, 2012, cover of TIME Magazine featuring Jamie Lynne Grumet breast-feeding her toddler. The cover features a stylish, attractive woman doing something socially unconventional in this country, and doing it in what even the photographer admits is not a typical pose. Next to the pair is the headline “A … [Read more...]