Phew. I had gone what, like, 6 whole weeks without reading an article in The Atlantic written to make a woman feel bad about being unmarried/single? It seemed like forever. Glad that hellishness is over; my self esteem was reaching DANGEROUS levels of stability.
‘Here in America, the girls, they give up their mouth, their ass, their tits,’ the Argentinean said to me, punctuating each with the appropriate hand motion, ‘before they even know the guy. It’s like, ‘Hello.’ ‘Hello.’ ‘You wanna hook up?’ ‘Sure.’ They are so aggressive! Do they have hearts of steel or something? In my country, a girl like this would be desperate. Or a prostitute.’
What is this, the 10th example of The Atlantic shaming women for their life choices and trolling for page views this year?? Come on now. Who the hell is in charge over there? Rush Limbaugh?
Source: The Atlantic
Saints be praised. After nearly a decade of wandering this old blue globe like a keening ghost, lamenting lost love and scorning those that stole it from her, world’s loneliest and saddest woman Jennifer Aniston has finally found someone to settle (down) with after losing Brad Pitt. Yes, her beau of the past 18 months, Justin Theroux, has proposed to her and she has said yes, ending the witch’s curse and bringing light and joy once again to Aniston’s bramble-covered castle. So how about that! Miracles do happen. For so long it seemed that Aniston, an attractive and intelligent woman with lots of money and a busy career, would be ruined, positively ruined, forever. Who would ever love lonely sad dump Jennifer Aniston? But she found someone. Whether she slipped a potion into his drink or called the four corners in her dark and mysterious basement in order to hex his love, it does not matter. The point is she defied the odds. We all thought that Brad Pitt salted her earth after he left so nothing else could grow, but we were wrong. Somehow, we were wrong. So congratulations, Jen. But be careful. Dark clouds are gathering in the east, as Angelina Jolie sits in a heavy wooden chair in her French chateau, reading the news and saying, in a low almost-growl, “Oh really…”
To Quote NWA, “Fuck Tha Police”
A member of the Research Team witnessed officers arresting a protester. A number of officers took the protester to the ground, and restrained him as he lay face-first on the street. The Research Team member heard the protester cry out, and knelt down to observe the arrest. She then witnessed an officer pull back his leg and kick the protester hard in the face. Another witness also saw the incident. Efforts to obtain the badge number of the responsible officer were thwarted by police, who refused to identify the officer and then took him away in a police van.
Despicable. Reprehensible. Illegal.
Source: The Atlantic
Anne-Marie Slaughter is part of the first generation of women for whom it was widely possible to even try to “have it all.” And there’s no doubt that there are unique pressures on women.
That said, men can’t have it all, either. At least, not by the standard Slaughter outlines, and which I happen to think is spot on.
Read more. [Image: Dan Harrelson/Flickr]
I’m not reading another one of these damned articles, responses or rebuttals until someone defines what ‘it' is. It's like trying to calculate a fraction where you don't know the denominator. 'It'—so far—seems to be some amorphous concept of being 'Secretary of State & Mother of the Year & Swimsuit Model of the Year.' I'm not saying there isn't a conversation to be had (one I'd love to have over a beer we pay for with our own money some time, ladyfriends!) but that a conversation not grounded in specifics can't possibly be useful. Although I guess there's value in just moaning generally?
And would it kill the Atlantic to use a photo of person of color or a non-infant to illustrate any of these pieces? I have to imagine there’s at least one black parent out there raising a teenager with a POV to share.
Sad White Babies With Mean Feminist Mommies
The Atlantic is reviving the tired feminist-baiting question “can women have it all.” Le sigh. In celebration of this backlashtastic event, I’ve compiled some of my favorite images that are often the art in these kinds of articles: The mean/frazzled/distracted working white mom (because WOC don’t exist in this narrative) who has been fooled into thinking she can have it all by feminism. Good times.
Note: I haven’t read the piece (it’s not out yet) and for all I know is a scorchingly awesome piece of feminist writing. But the headline/art/cover is just too awful and (knowingly) plays into the anti-feminist cliche the search for work/life balance is greedily trying to have “it all.”
In the Anglo-American common law system, lawyers are encouraged to obfuscate the truth and use sophistry to besmirch the integrity of honest witnesses. In the U.S., it is estimated that upwards of four percent of the prison population is innocent (a staggering 80,000 people, more than double the prison population of Canada) — with some on death row — but more than half of guilty defendants get off. […]
Read more.[Image: Reuters]
This is the single stupidest article about the legal system I’ve read in weeks, and I troll Above the Law regularly. I understand the article’s meant to be international, but I’m only licensed to practice law in the US, so I’ll confine my comments to this continent. One could only wish that the Aussie author, Evan, would have done the same.
Warning: Lawyer Rant Ahead
Now, is the American legal system perfect? Of course not. Far from it and perhaps closer to broken irrevocably than perfection. But this article is (1) structured idiotically so that it’s hard to even understand the arguments, (2) fails to acknowledge why some of the allegedly negative protections are in place, (3) treats the US, UK and Australian legal systems like a monolithic entity, and (4) who the fuck is Justice Russell Fox and why should I be moved by his profundity that “truth walks with justice”? (Answer: Former Australian justice. I’m sorry, but it’s Oliver Wendell Holmes or GTFO, blogger.)
For example, Evan finds fault with the fact that we have a 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination.
Over the last 200 years, judges have invented myriad truth-defeating devices, including a few that conceal important evidence. Here are a few:…The “right” of silence. The rule against self-incrimination is based on a lie by the first legal academic, a charlatan named William Blackstone. It’s estimated to get off about a quarter of guilty defendants.
There’s so much wrong with these statements that I can barely respond. But here are some of my thoughts:
- The right against self-incrimination is contained in the 5th Amendment to the US Constitution. Amendments are passed by Congress and then ratified by 3/4ths of the states. Judges have literally nothing to do with it.
- It was passed 221 years ago. This is actually the closest Evan comes to being right, so he gets a pass.
- Evan put the “right” to silence in scare quotes. Really? Scare quotes around the word “right”? It’s in the motherfucking Bill of goddamned Rights, so I think it’s safe to say it’s a right. Or does Evan think that we have a “right” to the freedom of speech or religion too? Using scare quotes here indicates a deep disrespect for one of the most fundamental documents protecting American citizens in their pursuit of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” But Evan might not have head of that phrase because it’s in the Declaration of Independence.
- A lie by the charlatan legal scholar William Blackstone? The only verifiably correct part of that statement is that there was a famous legal scholar named William Blackstone. But he’s a liar and a charlatan too? We have no way of knowing because Evan provides absolutely no support for his statement, and my background knowledge and perusal of his wiki page reveals none of this scandal. Cool, I guess we’re just name calling now. That’s about the level of this “journalism.” See, Evan, you’re not the only one who can use scare quotes.
- 25% of guilty defendants get off because they don’t walk into their local constabulary and say “Cheerio! I just offed my wife with a toaster because she was making me bloomin’ angry!” OK, maybe. Then again, in true Evan fashion, you’re provided no support for this fact (and I can’t find any online), but it’s about 10 steps up from the mudslinging at ole Billy Blackstone. So I’ll just pretend it’s true.
- And this is where Evan is really, really wrong—in substance. The previous errors are just symptoms of the terminal disease that is complete cranial ineptitude. What’s the alternative to people not having a right against self-incrimination? People are forced to confess. Who? How do we know only the guilty people are confessing? How are you going to “make” them confess? Torture? Sure, because scientists have shown that nothing but the God’s honest truth comes out when you waterboard someone. What if someone still refuses? Are you going to assume they’re guilty because they don’t speak? What if they say they’re innocent? I could go on, but I’ll just sum up by saying that removing one’s right against self-incrimination would not result in more “truth” in this world. It would result in more injustice, false convictions, and questionable police behavior. Would it be great if we could look into someone’s soul and just know they are guilty or innocent? Yes, call me when that technology comes online. Until then, let’s work on reforming the system we have, not blowing up its foundations.
Finally, please note that these are criticisms about just TWO LINES of his article. If I were to address every instance of inaccuracy or idiocy, the length of my post would take down Tumblr’s servers. Not that it takes much to take down Tumblr’s servers, but still. In closing, I’d like to reiterate that I love The Atlantic as a publication, but this is some of the worst writing and reporting I’ve ever seen on a reputable new site. Fox News excepted, of course, ad infinitum.
How Tumblr Made Me Smarter (This One Time)
Yesterday I read a review of Tarantino’s new movie Django Unchained by Ta-Nehisi Coates on The Atlantic. Coates usually has something thoughtful, erudite and earnest to say, sometimes about race. It’s a perspective I like, and his essays are short and clear. Two sentences stuck out at me:
I’m not really interested in replaying the problems of blaxploitation. I don’t  feel like re-litigating Soul on Ice.
I had no idea what Soul on Ice is but thought he was making a joke about some famous (not to me, obviously) all-black version of Disney on Ice or something. It stuck out because he doesn’t usually go for laughs. (I’m an idiot sometimes.)
Cut to this morning when I saw this post on my Tumblr Dash from Old Love—a picture of Eldridge Cleaver and Kathleen Neal with their kid. No idea who these people were, but the look of angry distrust, combined with the fact he was standing in front of a wanted poster led me to look him up on Wikipedia.
Cleaver was, at times, a political activist, convicted rapist, Black Panther, father, author, born again Christian and conservative Republican. In short, a wild only-in-America-type life. His first book was Soul on Ice.
What are the odds, right? So now I’ve spent 30 minutes taking a dip into African-American lit over coffee and put a new book on my reading list. I know people say that the Internet is the Death of Intellect or Publishing or Whatever, but anecdotes like this illustrate—at least to me—that absolutely the opposite can be true.
Dollar $tore$ $weeping the $tates
It’s not poverty that’s driving the boom [of dollar stores], but anxiety. Though 42 percent of the stores’ customer base earns less than $30,000 per year, Dollar General notes that 22 percent earn $70,000 or more.
Dollar stores are concentrated in states with lower levels of education or human capital. The correlation is again significant and negative, even greater than for income (-.77).
The geography of dollar stores also tracks to the country’s political divide. Dollar stores are positively correlated with the share of voters who backed McCain (.52) and negatively associated with Obama voters (-.47).
Hrmmm. In my opinion, anyone who isn’t shopping at their local dollar store is a chump! Discontinued snacks, catholic votive candles and plastic dishes for all!!
A higher-income, over-educated, youngish democrat living in the bluest of blue states
"Wet" Homelessness Shelters
As many of my friends have witnessed, there are a homeless man and woman who hang out behind my house nearly every day. They are both constantly inebriated, and the man huffs something out of a paper bag. Likely glue of some sort. They are there no matter the weather or temperature. (FWIW, we’re cool, and they’ve never come up on my balcony.)
So, I was interested to read this article from Atlantic Cities today about the implementation of so-called ‘wet’ homeless shelters. They are, as the name suggests, shelters where the homeless can drink. As the article explains:
"We are dealing with a unique subset of individuals here,” he says. "These are late stage, chronic alcoholics, normally 45 and older with a minimum of 15 years of street alcohol addiction. They’ve lost everything — families, job, housing. And so they’re transacting their addiction in public spaces."
On the street, Hobson says, “these people have a 5 percent chance of survival.” And furthermore, he says, when they’re out on the street, these folks end up in the emergency room, get picked up by police and often end up in jail, costing taxpayers money. He points to an April 2009 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association that says the chronically alcoholic homeless people cost the city of Seattle two-thirds less housed in Eastlake than they do out on the street.
Honestly, I can see both sides of this debate, but I like the idea of treating alcoholism as the disease that it is, rather than a conscious choice that people make every day. My only concern would be the safety of the other residents, staff and neighbors, but if they can figure out how to have everyone coexist, it’s a wonderful development.