Saturday salmagundi

Bruce Garrett provides a helpful set of definitions:

A militant homosexual is a homosexual who doesn’t think there is anything wrong with being a homosexual. A militant homosexual activist is a homosexual who acts like there isn’t anything wrong with being a homosexual.

I wonder if this perhaps applies to other terms as well.

A militant feminist is a woman who doesn’t think there is anything wrong with being a woman.  A militant feminist activist is a woman who acts like there isn’t anything wrong with being a woman.

• In a similar vein to that dismaying anti-gay “rap” video we discussed earlier this week, NTodd relays a report that the Gaede twins — once better known as the white supremacist pop duo Prussian Blue — have renounced the racism they used to sing about. The girls blame their mother for indoctrinating them into the “home-schooled country bumpkins” who recorded that hate-filled music.

• And Jamie the Very Worst Missionary has a good addition to our discussion of Stupid Things Adults Say to Children:

I can distinctly remember being called out by a teacher for giving a Ritz cracker to a friend. She said, loudly, “Jamie, will you be giving everyone a cracker?”

I believe I looked up at her with all the innocence of a 7-year-old, and thought, “This teacher is so effing stupid. I’m holding three crackers in a sandwich bag. How could I possibly have enough for everyone?”

And then she made my friend give the cracker back! Because the world is CrazyTown.

• Headline: “Lausanne Puts Away Evangelical Christian.” I read that and for a moment I thought church discipline was getting out of hand, but then I realized it was just a high school basketball game.

• Two reactions to this post from Alvin McEwen. 1. I think he makes a good point about the sensibilities here. 2. I would also love to visit Rickie Dillard’s church.

The sensus fidelium is screaming as loud as it can. But it seems no one in a funny hat is listening.

• The New Hampshire state legislature is still too big.

• “Will The GOP Broaden Its Appeal? A 30-Year History” There is nothing new under the sun.

• The Consumerist reposts a classic primer on a key strategic tool for consumers: “How to Launch an Executive Email Carpet Bomb.”

• I would just like to say that Malaysia is awesome and that the president and/or prime minister is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I’ve ever known in my life.

What’s that? It’s too late to get in on the Malaysian payola gravy train that those write-for-hire right-wing bloggers got rich on?

Oh. Well, in that case, never mind.

Mark Evanier posts a video of the odd magician Tom Mullica. Mullica, as Evanier says, “did bizarre things with cigarettes. I don’t think anyone’s doing this kind of thing today and with good reason.”

True. As Mullica himself says of his act, “It’s not how, but why?”

I’ve got an old instructional video of Mullica’s around here somewhere that I bought back in the day when I got cast as the devil in Damn Yankees. He was a big help in coping with a script that included such otherwise-unexplained stage directions as “pulls a lit cigarette from thin air.” No asterisk, no notes in the back of the script explaining how one does this. Just the simple direction that, on cue, you as an actor must reach into the air in front of you and pluck a lit cigarette out of nowhere.

• John Fea posts a nice video of the Man in Black singing at a 1971 Billy Graham revival at Texas Stadium. Fea writes: “Only Johnny Cash could get away with singing songs about hangovers, wishing he was ‘stoned,’ and shooting a man ‘in Reno just to watch him die’ and then follow that up with a performance at a Billy Graham crusade.”

Yep. And the great thing is that whether it was “Folsom Prison Blues” or “Peace in the Valley,” you believed every word.

• Paul McKinley is “a convicted felon who served nearly 20 years in state prison for burglaries, armed robberies and aggravated battery.” He’s also the apparent winner of the Republican primary for a special election to fill the U.S. House seat vacated by former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.

The candidate has not shied away from his arrest record during the campaign.

“I’m the ex-offender trying to save the next offender …” McKinley said.

If McKinley loses his House race, I’d urge him to run for Illinois governor. Since four out of the last seven of the state’s governors have ended up in prison, I think it would be refreshing to have someone pay their debt to society first, and then head to the governor’s mansion, instead of the other way around.

 

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    It’s never okay to lose emotional control and take it out on a child.

  • banancat

     Wow, strawman much?  I never said it’s ok to lose control and take it out on a child.  You’re clearly not reading what I’m saying.

  • banancat

     No, I am so tired of people claiming that emotion automatically makes something irrational.  His argument could have been framed in a way that didn’t sound like emotion is inherently suspect.

  • P J Evans

     I think the problem is yours.
    I understand what he was saying.
    I don’t understand your responses.

  • AnonymousSam

    Yeah, I’m confused. I’m a big proponent of using the emotions which benefit you most to your advantage, whether that means channeling anger into determination or assuaging the pain of being unjustly hurt, but I can’t see anywhere within this context where negative emotions should be used as the basis of judgment when dealing with a child. The power balance is too grossly unequal for it to be a rational decision, hence “irrational.”

  • AnonymousSam

    Um. Now here’s an interesting new law. Short version: Iowa is planning on making no-fault divorce illegal in any case with children under the age of 18 present within the home. The only eligible divorces will be those involving abandonment, adultery or felony convictions.

    http://blogs.citypages.com/blotter/2013/03/iowa_gopers_advance_no-fault_divorce_ban_amid_concern_divorce_makes_girls_promiscuous_video.php

    The reason? Because when children are present in divorces, they  become promiscuous.

    Yeah, the Republicans aren’t even bothering to pretend they don’t hate women now. They’re just going to make it their excuse to do anything from now on.

  • EllieMurasaki

    What in the FUCK.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     Yeah. I noticed this a few days ago, file under “GOP Magical Thinking.”  Force two parents who hate each other* to stay married for the sake of the kids, and that will magically make them a functional family.

    Because goodness knows, having two parents who desperately want out of the marriage and who have explicit legal reason to blame the child for being stuck in this pathological marriage is sure to be better for the mental health of a developing teenage psyche!

    (* Obviously not all divorcing couples hate each other, but the existence of some who do is among the many reasons this law is a terrible fucking idea. Also, I suspect “We really want out of this marriage but are legally compelled to stay in it” will do wonders to cause some people to evolve from “Not hate, but wanting very much not to be married to” to “hate”)

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     You know how back in the day, it used to be common for people in a loveless marriage to decide to stick it out “for the sake of the children”?

    And then in the late 80s or so it started becoming conventional wisdom that this was a bad idea and typically the children noticed that their parents’ relationship was pathological and this ended up giving the kids issues and causing them to adopt unhealthy attitudes about how relationships were supposed to work?

    Well, Iowa’s saying “Fuck that noise, we’re legally mandating that cultural shift of the late 80s away. What could possibly go wrong?”

    I will note that the proposed law would still allow “at fault” divorce, for things like infidelity or abuse. Because it’s important for them (to be able to say) that this law isn’t going to compel women to stay in abusive relationships

  • AnonymousSam

    For that matter, since divorce under fault is still legal under this bill, what stops couples from escalating it into very, very ugly territory? Lying about adultery, abandonment, criminal behavior? Like that’s going to be better on the kids?

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     Straight-up magical thinking. The assumption here is that those divorcing couples are just being fickle and putting a couple of road-blocks in front of them will make them stop and say “Eh. An unfulfilled life trapped in a loveless marriage isn’t that bad I guess.”

    After all (they assume), these things are probably all just about some uppity dame deciding to ditch her man because he isn’t “sensitive” enough for her and gets bored listening to her yammering or something.

  • http://loosviews.livejournal.com BringTheNoise

    Just to add to the utter fucked-upedness of this whole debacle: The State Rep introducing the bill is using his ACTUAL GRANDDAUGHTER as an example of the potentially-promiscuous kids out there – http://wonkette.com/504333/iowa-rep-asks-whole-state-is-my-granddaughter-a-whore

    Thanksgiving gonna be AWKWARD this year.

  • Lori

     

    Because goodness knows, having two parents who desperately want out of the marriage and who have explicit legal reason to blame the child for being stuck in this pathological marriage is sure to be better for the mental health of a developing teenage psyche!   

    My first thought was that someone did not think through the implications of legally incentivizing getting your kids out of the house before you file for divorce.

  • Lori

     

    And then in the late 80s or so it started becoming conventional wisdom
    that this was a bad idea and typically the children noticed that their
    parents’ relationship was pathological and this ended up giving the kids
    issues and causing them to adopt unhealthy attitudes about how
    relationships were supposed to work?  

    In fairness, I think the CW on this has shifted again. Absent an abuse situation, divorce doesn’t seem to have noticeably better outcomes for the average child than staying together for the sake of the children. Some kids do better if their parents stay together, other kids do better if their parents divorce. There are so many factors that determine how things turn out for a given child that there is no way to issue blanket advice. It’s wrong and dangerous to try to legally mandate staying together for the children, and I think that bill is an awful idea. However, it’s not any more true to tell every unhappy couple that they should divorce because their kids will be better off if their parents are happy, or at least not unhappily together.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     Okay. Honestly, I kinda think more of the rep now. Because it looks less and less like he’s acting out of some kind of principled stance on divorce and parenting and child-rearing, and instead he’s just pissed off at the guy who broke his daughter’s heart and is lashing out legislatively.

    So, like, he’s a dangerous incompetent who has no business in a position of power. But he’s just incompetent, not actually working to a systematic plan of institutionalized nuttery.

  • Consumer Unit 5012

     Ever since Nixon’s Southern Strategy, the Repubs have banked on stoking
    white resentment against non-whites, and since Reagan, have moved to
    blatantly sucking up to rich people and blowing smoke up their asses by
    telling them all the things they want to hear about themselves.

    It might not be as good an election-winning strategy as it once was, but it’s a very profitable one.

    http://www.thebaffler.com/past/the_long_con/

  • Liralen

    Non-BS reason:  I was taught that it was very rude to eat in front of people who had no food.  I should either share whatever I had with everyone, or go hungry too.

    If that’s considered BS, I’m sorry to hear it, but it’s an interesting lesson in how culture differences can cause misunderstandings.

  • http://stealingcommas.blogspot.com/ chris the cynic

    You are completely right.  That’s a non-BS reason.  I’ve never personally seen it put to use, but it’s definitely not bullshit.

  • http://dragoness-e.livejournal.com/ Dragoness Eclectic

     YMMV. I have used it in the past where I now use “Internet atheist” — i.e. “rude asshole that joins religious discussions so he can call us ‘a bunch of sheeple’ and make mocking comments about ‘idiots who believe in the magical wish-fairy in the sky’, all while patting himself on the back about what a superior and enlightened specimen of humanity he is, apparently oblivious to the fact that he is indeed a species of troll.”

  • http://dragoness-e.livejournal.com/ Dragoness Eclectic

    Well, historically, “at-fault” divorce laws resulted in (a) people driving to Nevada for quickie no-fault divorces, and if that wasn’t available, (b) making up horrendous “at-fault” excuses and blackening the spouse’s reputation as much as possible, or (c) abandoning or murdering the spouse.

  • Carstonio

    The religious right’s arguments about divorce are only superficially about the quality of the child-raising. These folks are all about the fathers. Not as positive male role models to complement the positive female role models, but as stern disciplinarians asserting their alleged natural authority over their families. There are numerous reasons why some households don’t include fathers, but the right focuses only on the cases where this is a deliberate choice, the Murphy Browns and the lesbian couples.

    I’ve said for a while that “children need fathers” as an argument against same-sex marriage involves assumptive leaps that are unclear, even while I acknowledge the demagoguery involved in the argument. The most charitable interpretation is that they believe all women desire to be mothers regardless of orientation, and that lesbian couples will naturally seek to conceive or adopt. They don’t seem to assume that gay male couples will also seek fatherhood. But groups like NOM often sound like they’re expecting SSM to tempt straight married men to abandon their families and run off with Raoul the poolboy.

  • http://www.oliviareviews.com/ PepperjackCandy

    Last I heard, if the couple is “still friends” and getting along, then the outcomes tend to be better for the kids if they stay together, particularly if the parents find a way to work out their differences, rather than just wishing them away.

    If the relationship is openly dysfunctional — if one of the partners is abusive or unstable — then the outcome tends to be better for the children if they divorce.

  • AnonaMiss

    Non-BS reason:  I was taught that it was very rude to eat in front of people who had no food.  I should either share whatever I had with everyone, or go hungry too.

    That’s a very good point. Though I was never taught this myself, I have encountered a lot of people who were raised with this courtesy.


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