Beware the Man Who Knows One Thing

OK, let me admit this first and get it out of the way: I used to be a big fan of Scott Adams.In the early 2000s, I regularly read Adams' Dilbert strip and subscribed to his newsletter, "Dogbert's New Ruling Class". I signed up for the jokes, but in retrospect, what I overlooked was the condescension. In between the office anecdotes and corporate-jargon humor, Adams insisted that his fans were naturally superior, that they're the ones who see how the world really is. In Ayn Rand-esque … [Read more...]

Some Thoughts on Cultural Appropriation

This summer, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts staged a "Kimono Wednesdays" event where visitors were invited to don the traditional Japanese garb and pose with a Claude Monet painting of his wife wearing a kimono. But the museum was taken aback when protestors showed up in force, accusing the event of perpetuating dehumanizing "exotification" of Asian culture. Ironically, the Japanese cultural attaché didn't see what the big deal was:"We actually do not quite understand what their point of … [Read more...]

Weekend Coffee: December 13

Coffee

• An editorial on Charisma News accuses atheists of "the height of intolerance" for, basically, existing during the Christmas season.• Mormon Feminists on the Brink: The LDS church has a long record of fierce and diehard opposition to feminism. Their resistance to LGBT rights is well in line with the church's reactionary history.• Hampton Beach, Virginia is an epicenter of the American religious right, the home of Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network and Regent … [Read more...]

Atlas Shrugged: Randian Fidelity

WeddingRings

Atlas Shrugged, part III, chapter VIn her days as a Hollywood screenwriter, Ayn Rand met and later married an actor named Frank O'Connor, apparently for no reason other than that he was classically handsome and fit her conception of what an ideal man should look like. O'Connor was never a household name, and his acting career fizzled out. He lived the quiet life of a househusband, devoting himself to gardening, painting and especially to drinking, while Rand supported them with the income … [Read more...]

What the Bible Gets Wrong About Hymens

I appreciated this subversively feminist video from College Humor debunking myths about the hymen (SFW, anatomical talk but no explicit imagery):Watching this made me think of the infamous Old Testament law that decrees what to do if a man suspects the bride he purchased of not being a virgin on her wedding night:"If any man take a wife, and go in unto her, and hate her, and give occasions of speech against her, and bring up an evil name upon her, and say, I took this woman, and … [Read more...]

The Case for Prayer-Shaming

In the aftermath of yet another horrific mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, this one apparently committed by a Muslim couple inspired by ISIS, the Daily News ran this amazing front page:An early look at tomorrow’s front page… GOD ISN’T FIXING THIS: https://t.co/eKUg5f03ec pic.twitter.com/j4gEFg9YtJ— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) December 3, 2015This was, of course, a callout aimed at Republican candidates who have no response to the continuing bloodshed in Ameri … [Read more...]

SF/F Saturday: Jessica Jones

I have a new favorite show to recommend: Marvel's Jessica Jones, just released in its entirety on Netflix. It's technically a superhero show, but unlike any superhero show I've ever seen before.Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter) is a private eye living in the New York City neighborhood of Hell's Kitchen. She doesn't look intimidating, but she has superhuman strength: she can throw a man twice her size across a room, twist a padlock off a door with her bare hands, or jump so high and so far that … [Read more...]

Atlas Shrugged: Damn the Humanitarians

RedCrossStamp

Atlas Shrugged, part III, chapter VDagny is at a formal dinner with Jim and the other influential looters, since that's where all major policy decisions are made now. The collapse of civilization is barreling toward them like a freight train, and everyone in the room knows it, but the bad guys are carefully avoiding the subject while insisting that all their problems are minor and there's still a chance to turn things around:"There's trouble in California," said Wesley Mouch sullenly. … [Read more...]

I’ll Say It Again: Richard Dawkins Doesn’t Speak For Me

I haven't written until now about Ahmed Mohamed, the gifted Texas teenager who was arrested for bringing a homemade clock to school to show off his engineering prowess. Ahmed's teachers claimed that they thought the device was a bomb, but it's obvious that the real reason for their absurd overreaction was racism and xenophobia (Ahmed and his family are Muslim and of Sudanese descent). Anything even slightly out of the ordinary from a brown or a black person triggers panic reactions and … [Read more...]

Christian Terrorism in Colorado

You probably don't need me to fill in the details of the latest shooting rampage in gun-sick America. This time, the target was a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado. After a multi-hour gun battle with police, the attacker was captured alive, but not before he'd killed a police officer and two civilians.By now, these slaughters are a drearily familiar story. Other than the city and the number of people killed, they all follow pretty much the same template, and all you have to do is fill … [Read more...]


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