sitting on the edge of the sandbox, biting my tongue

September 25, 2012

That 17%

Filed under: music, politics — Tags: , — edge of the sandbox @ 9:32 pm

Crazy conservatives believe that Obama is a Muslim.  Except for me, of course, because I’m totally sane and I think he’s an atheist.

Enter Obama supporter Madonna who, to the cheers of the audience declared POTUS a “black Muslim” in what LA Times declared “bizarre endorsement”:

“Y’all better vote for … Obama, OK? For better or for worse, all right?” she implored concertgoers, who cheered loudly in reaction to her sentiment. And then she said this:

“We have a black Muslim in the White House.”

But we don’t. Obama isn’t Muslim, despite an oft-referenced poll that 17% of Americans believe he is. The blogosphere is divided with theories that she’s either being sarcastic or, quelle horreur, misinformed.

The singer is probably senile by now, but it’s not just her.  The audience was quite approving.  Stanford Prison Experiment notwithstanding, a number of his supporters believe that Obama is a Muslim.

UPDATE: The hamster-cheeked singer is now saying that her statement was ironic.  She needs to look up “irony” in the dictionary.


Bad Girls on Oxytocin

Filed under: feminism, relationships — Tags: , , — edge of the sandbox @ 11:18 am

In a series of Freudian slips President Obama let us know that in his view our allies are “noise” and the murdered American ambassador is “bump in the road”.  Elizabeth Warren looks more and more like a compulsive liar.  And I’m going to write about relationships.

“Why didn’t we tell them?” asks Leslie Loftis.  A young woman who had the brains to be admitted into Princeton confesses:

During the second semester of my freshman year, two of my closest female friends and I created an “Accomplishment Chart,” complete with a star for each “accomplishment” we had achieved. One of those friends had been dating a freshman boy since September and she had only one star. My other friend and I would taunt her ruthlessly for her lack of “accomplishments.” We, on the other hand, were plenty accomplished. Whenever I looked at the star stickers adorning my section of the chart, I would always laugh out loud, remembering the awful, drunken hookup that each star symbolized. There were many nights, though, when I couldn’t sleep from cringing at those memories. But I wouldn’t take those experiences back. Without them, I would have never realized how much I hate the hookup culture here.

It wasn’t until the end of my sophomore year that I finally started regarding my freshman hookups as mistakes. This was partially because I had a hard time admitting that I had messed up. For me, to regret a decision was on par with saying “I screwed up big time,” which I could barely admit to myself, let alone a peer. And the desire to seem like I already knew it all, despite never having lived on my own before, kept me from asking questions when I first got to Princeton. But even if I had, there were elements of the hookup culture I would have never been able to anticipate, let alone seek advice about.

I have to say, if after a year of bad sex this young lady figured that hook up culture sicks, she got out easy.  She could have picked up a disease or seriously screwed up her life.  But here is Temple of Mut with an excellent essay on why women are casualties of casual sex.  It has nothing to do with culture or feminism, it’s hormonal:

During millions of years of human evolution, the female system has been designed to begin a cascade of oxytocin production during two specific events: 1) When being intimate with a male; 2) When breast-feeding an infant. On the other hand, human males have very limited oxytocin levels (and actually release some of the little oxytocin they produce when “involved” with the woman of the moment).

Now, oxytocin is a wonderful thing. It energizes people, and makes them feel good about life. It enhances the immune system, as well as boosts other biochemical processes in the human body. Personally, after strawberry margaritas, oxytocin is my favorite chemical (and I have a graduate degree in chemistry, so I know chemicals).

However, as with everything else pleasurable in life, there can be a bit of a downside. Once a woman generates oxytocin, she will usually want to do everything in her power to keep up the production levels. For example, there are tales of women who nurse their babies past toddler-hood (until 3, 4 or 5 years in age). This is related to the fact these women want to continue releasing oxytocin (even though they will have other rationalizations).

The same thing is true following intimate relations. Oxytocin production can be stimulated in a woman through her lover’s voice, scent, sight and touch. This fact explains a wide range of female behaviors that follow intimacy. For example, women will call up their new partner frequently. They will steal their lover’s shirts to enjoy the scent. They will invent excuses to see the man-of-the moment. And the more oxytocin these women generate when with their lovers (or by talking to them), the more emotionally attached they get.

As they say, read the whole thing.  As a pop number from decades ago had it, you might like him better if you sleep together.  What Romeo Void didn’t warn us about is that you might like him too much:

Many feminists egg on young women to engage in no-strings-attached sex like certain men, but historically that’s not how women are “bad”.  As Mut explained, women don’t have much to gain from sleeping around.  The way women “have” men is by not sleeping with them, by making men lust after themselves, but not giving up sex.  A not-so-secret admirer is a fabulous ego-booster, and in certain circles one-sided friendships of this nature are quite common.

Granted, having a page is not an “accomplishment” that a young lady will decorate with a star on a chart — that would be gosh.  She has to be content with gossip that recognizes her as the girl who broke somebody’s little heart.  Even then, being a tease is rather dead-endinsh — but so is being a Cosanova.  However, getting a man interested and keeping him interested through decades of relationship does require some female talents.

I’ll be back shortly with a post about identity.

UPDATE: Linked by Legal Insurrection — many thanks to Professor Jacobson.

September 23, 2012

Russian Grrrls Infiltrate IKEA

Filed under: politics, Russia — Tags: , , — edge of the sandbox @ 1:26 pm

There was that old rumor that IKEA doesn’t know how to do business in Russia — you see, they have no experience in bribing.  And now IKEA website published a picture of women in colored balaclavas, like that of the imprisoned dissident rockers Pussy Riot, and angered the country’s owners.

pussy riot ikea ad

The caption, which reads “New life at home”, was provided by IKEA.  Not planed by the grrrls, but just perfect in terms of delivering the message.  The casual yet menacing posture of the models is excellent too

The offending picture was entered the contest for a new catalog cover by somebody who goes by “Starovoitova” in Yekaterinburg.  After nearly a month online, the picture was replaced with the message “Photo removed.  IKEA is a commercial company and acts outside politics and religion.  We cannot allow our advertizing to be highjacked for propaganda of any kind.”  Oh, I don’t know about that “any kind” bit.  I think the good Swedes would allow some political and religious content.

Anyhow, this is what the contest page looks like now:

ikea pussy riot

As you can see, the Pussy Riot photo was winning, although as of today it’s likely to be overtaken Klechko on lower left, who is doing some sort of fun dress up gimmick.  They were previously in 4th place, but now boasting 1407 “likes”

Good luck to “Starovoitova”.

September 18, 2012

Lets Talk About the 47%!

Filed under: politics — Tags: , , — edge of the sandbox @ 4:05 pm

That 47% of Americans pay no federal income tax has long been discussed in conservative circles.  The mainstream media, on the other hand, is not interested in bringing up the fact that nearly half of us don’t pay our fair share.  Now that Jimmy Carter’s grandson recorded Romney’s comments about it, newsmakers are trying to turn the remarks into a gaffe of “bitter clingers” magnitude (via Instapundit) — except that they swept the “bitter clingers” story under the rug.

What about the substance of Romney comments?  Did you drive to work this morning?  Do you know that every other motorist you encountered on the road contributes nothing for that road’s maintenance?  If you turned on the news, you might have heard about the defense cuts that seem all but inevitable, even as our troops are fighting Islamists.  Is it because one in two don’t pitch a penny towards the common good?

It’s not just that they don’t contribute, but they take, and they’ve been taking more and more since Obama was inaugurated.  The number of Americans receiving foodstamps skyrocketed.  When in 2008, 30 million took advantage of the entitlement, today the number is 46 million — and don’t forget, the federal government is actively recruiting recipients.  The “low”-“income” residents of the country qualify for numerous other federal freebies, like cell phones and paid-for preschool.  And coming soon: free birth control for middle age college students.  Sandra Fluke, I wish I had your problems.

The country does look like it’s heading in California’s direction.  So few people her pay state taxes, voters have very little incentive to consider the costs of extravagant experiments, like the notorious SF to LA bullet train.  The fact that said extravagant experiments are bankrupting the state is conveniently overlooked by the free-loading masses — note the 2010 midterm Democratic electoral victories.

On the other hand, by a 54 to 39 percent margin American voters prefer smaller government (via Instapundit).  That’s just 39% who want a bigger government.  Granted, that’s a poll of voters, not the general population, and voters are more likely to be taxpayers than free-loaders.  Still, that 54% must include a fair number of patriotic Americans who want to pay their fair share, but currently do not.  Perhaps they would like a job, not a hand-out, and they agree with the GOP nominee.

September 17, 2012

A Much Needed Pick-Me-Up

Filed under: fashion — Tags: , — edge of the sandbox @ 3:35 pm

American embassies might be burning, our civil liberties are under attack, but I’m going to channel my inner Obama and write about fashion.  Because I need an outlet.

I have to sort of admire Project Runway’s contestant Ven Budhu.  Ven was born in an Indian family in Guyana and immigrated to the US at age four.  It must be his third world background or the fact that he’s presumably gay (well, he’s a fashion designer, and no, I don’t have gaydar). Whatever it is, he opined that men are usually better designers while women are more practical.

Although this opinion might be difficult to absorb in some cicles, Ven was stating the obvious.  Women usually design something we’d like to wear.  It can be elegant, like Donna Karen, or have counterculture appeal, like Anna Sui, but female designers have themselves in mind.  Men, on the other hand, use female bodies and cloths to create wild flights of fancy.  In feminist lingo it’s called objectification.  Ven could have made his opinion more biting, and simply say that men are visionaries, and women are not, but he didn’t.  Seeing how he’s set up as jerk of the season, Ven is unlikely to be eliminated any time soon.

To be sure, people in creative professions are jerks.  Visionaries are jerks.  Ven Budhu is most certainly a jerk, given how he treated a plus-size client of his (and it’s not like he is in great shape himself).  Ironically, Ven himself is a designer with clear mainstream appeal.  He can cut a garment masterfully, to be sure, but it’s easy to see why his fellow contestants think of him as a one trick pony.  He thought of a great way to use folds to make his gowns look like flowers, and he keeps doing it again and again.  Most women would like a dress with a prominent flower on it, I know I would.  I’m sure he can be the toast of the year, but staying power requires greater vision.

project runway

Ven Budhu and his creations

Ven is in a much better position than, say, Elena, who fancies herself avant guarde, but from what I’ve seen lacks vision.  She a big psycho, though, and her entertainment value alone can be her the ticket to Bryant Park.

Speaking of people who didn’t deserve to go to Bryant Park, let alone win, Anya joined the judges in the last episode.  She didn’t have much to say about the designs she was supposed to evaluate because she doesn’t know how to design.  Oh well.  That’s reality TV.

September 12, 2012

Legal Jihad on Disney

Filed under: politics — Tags: , , , — edge of the sandbox @ 2:18 pm

On the last anniversary of September 11 I wrote that the terrorist attack was a great PR victory for Islam.  Islam drew inordinate amount of attention and virtually any discussion of this religion not framed in politically correct terms can be labeled “hate’.  Never mind that real life hate is what motivates terrorists and their supporters, like those storming the US embassies in Egypt and Libya.  There are Muslims in this country who are working towards mandating Islamic law in American institutions.

We were heading for Disneyland when the news of a Muslim woman suing the theme park broke last month.  Imane Boudlal worked for Disney for two years before she insisted on wearing her hijab to work.  She was told to either remove it or work “backstage”  (note: “backstage” is a Disney term; they refer to their employees as “cast members”).  Disney attempted to accommodate the plaintiff, offering her a bow-tied bonnet, a compromise she refused.  After repeated refusals to either work remove the hijab or accept a “backstage” position, Boudlal was suspended.  Not surprising that she didn’t want to be part of the production.  The most interesting part of this story is that Ms. Boudlal claims that she learned that she can wear her hijab to work from her citizenship exam.  Really?  Well, one can get a few questions wrong but still pass the exam.

I wrote about a Muslim woman suing for hijab before, in that case the suit involved Abercrombie.  If an employer wants a certain look for his venue, it’s his prerogative to ask his employees to comply; no individual has the right to work for any employer, only the right to look for work.  I’m not sure why a devote Muslima would want to associate with a company known for rehashing old pagan tales or steamy ad campaigns.  What’s next, the right to cover one’s hair at Hooters?

I don’t believe religious Muslim men are entitled to Disney jobs either, and they will be unable to hold those jobs because the company doesn’t allow facial hair.  I suspect we always hear about the litigious girls in hijabs because bearded men would not solicit much sympathy.

Women solicit sympathy, but hijabs?  While in Disneyland I saw a woman clad in a niquab (the kind of gear that only leaves her eyes open) and a long-sleeve dress made of heavy fabric.  That’s in Orange County in August, mind you.  The front of her gown was soaked with sweat.  She was chaperoned by a man in a light cotton shirt.  Sad.

Disney is notoriously particular about it’s image.  Forget uniform and facial hair, I took my daughters to the Princess Faire, where I photographed her next to Disney princesses and had them sign her ticket.  They probably teach them how to sign their names.  They put on a show for little girls, and every detail has to be just perfect.

Disney Princesses sign our ticket

One of the Princesses who signed our ticket was Jasmin of Aladdin fame who looked like she might be of Arab decent, but had no issues baring large parts of her body.  And by the way, I seriously doubt that a film like Aladdin can be made today; it’s just too un-PC

Customer service kind of sucks in this day and age, but not at Disney parks.  I was amazed by how friendly and helpful all of their employees were.  I assume they are all devotees of children’s films and are pretty excited to work in a theme park.  But the fact that they are required to wear a uniform might also be a factor: They know much is expected from them.

September 3, 2012

Happy Labor Day Wishes to The Commander in Chief

Filed under: parenting, politics — Tags: — edge of the sandbox @ 4:30 pm

I’ve been in Mommyland full time lately, but how can I pass the opportunity to contribute to National Empty Chair Day.  It was promoted heavily on Legal Insurrection and Temple of Mut had some great early pictures and links.  Anyhow, this is my contribution, produced by DH:

Empty Chair Day


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