Friday, February 03, 2012

Random Thoughts

:: Well, first let's talk about Susan G. Komen for the Cure and their bout of terrible decision-making. Today they decided to remember that they're a charity and charity shouldn't be conditional on ideology and reversed their earlier decision to stop funding Planned Parenthood. What a spectacle they created of themselves this week when they decided to pull out of Planned Parenthood with a shitty excuse about it being under investigation and basically aligned themselves with one of American politics' dumbest ideological conflicts, basically marking themselves as pro-life because when you're pro-life you of course want to make it harder for poor women to get screened for breast cancer.

I think they've been disingenuous when they say it's not political, especially with Karen Handel, Palin-endorsed failed gubernatorial candidate, at the wheel. And especially considering the business Komen's been doing with George W. Bush and Merck. Saying you won't do business with Planned Parenthood because it's "under investigation" is a bullshit thing to say when you've made a financial partnership with George W. Bush, a man who recently canceled a trip to Switzerland because he was afraid he'd be arrested for war crimes.

If Komen really wants their apology to carry weight, they should make Handel resign. I see others have resigned already. Cancer doesn't discriminate, and neither should cancer charities.

And how about their earlier decision to stop giving grants to stem cell research? Can we reverse that, too?

Either way, Komen has stained their charity and it's going to stay stained when they inevitably cave in to right wing ideological demands again. I see people asking now about Komen head Nancy Brinker's half-million dollar salary. See what you get? The damage is done and you did it.

:: I also think it's worth noting that the public outcry managed to dismantle a PR machine that had been working on its defense since December in a matter of days. We got SOPA and PIPA delayed indefinitely, we got this decision reversed... I don't know, seems like America is better at protesting than I've given it credit for.

:: Also, a SOPA question: the FBI didn't need SOPA to take down Megaupload. So what is the point of SOPA? Other than, as usual, the desperate desire in Washington and the relatively (in terms of overall economic impact) small entertainment industry to control everything you do and how you do it.

:: I just want to recommend The Pictorial Arts Journal by Thomas Haller Buchanan. I'm late to this one, an outcropping of his Pictorial Arts blog, a daily stop of mine on the web. He started doing this in September, and it's fantastic. You all know I love illustration art, and I especially like to read about it from people who are passionate.

:: I don't look at the nu-52 as though they're really the DC Universe anymore (not since Emo Harry Potter Superman), so I'm not too terribly annoyed about what they're doing with Captain Marvel. Or Shazam, excuse me. The reasons Geoff Johns gave for not calling the character Captain Marvel anymore were pretty dopey; apparently we're all too dumb to understand that his name isn't Shazam, because DC has been branding him that way forever. Dude, it's okay to just come out and say that you don't want to call him Captain Marvel anymore because of the decades of legal hassles with Marvel Comics. I wonder if the wizard is still named Shazam or if they're both going to be Shazam or if there's even a wizard anymore and it won't all be aliens, since everything in the nu-DC seems to be aliens. Eh. I'm looking at this as a whole new character and just don't care about even reading it, so no skin off my nose. I do find the idea amusing, though, of Shazam trying to introduce himself and turning into Billy Batson (or whomever, because having it be a kid is going to be too passe for a company trying so aggressively to be cool) and falling to his death because he said the magic word...

:: The Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act didn't do dick to close the income equity gap, so can you please stop throwing this in my face every time I'm a little critical of Obama?

:: Another very interesting post on the subject of "proper English" and African-Americans and the institutionalized racism of minor linguistic differences.

:: In an attempt to “even things up” while the Virginia senate debated a controversial and upsetting anti-choice bill that would require abortion providers to force women to undergo a vaginal sonogram (an invasive procedure) before going through with the procedure, State Senator Janet Howell proposed an amendment — before obtaining a prescription for erectile dysfunction drugs, men would be subject to rectal exams and stress tests. (Genius, especially for people who want to apparently force women to name the baby and paint the nursery before getting an abortion, yet consider boner pills a serious medical issue.)

:: A French court labeled scientology a fraud, not a church, that targets vulnerable people for financial gain. Jeez, why stop with just the scientologists?

:: Thank you, Jaquandor, for reminding me why I don't ever need to do an 80s Revisited on St. Elmo's Fire.

:: Anyone else see the Ferris Bueller commercial for Honda? Ouch. What a piece of garbage. It was just doughy, friendless Matthew Broderick, dead inside, reminding us he only made a couple of decent flicks, and here's the best one, so why not buy a minivan? I do always like to see Brian Stepanek working, because I love that guy, but this commercial... ugh. I kind of hate seeing my favorite line from one of my all-time favorite movies used to push shitty Hondas. Still... it's not like Matthew Broderick was really going to be able to re-create Ferris, was it? Pretty joyless.

Also, the Superbowl Volkswagen commercial does a shitty job of advertising Volkswagen, but a fantastic job of advertising Star Wars. And have you seen the Verizon commercial with Artoo Detoo? Love it.

:: Can we all just stop talking about Mitt Romney? He's gonna lose, he deserves to lose, and he's only running to protect his capital gains tax. Otherwise, he has nothing. Nothing to offer, nothing to say, except choice cliches like "This campaign is about more than replacing a president. It's about saving the soul of America." Which is just fucking creepy coming from a guy who is a member of a religion that retroactively baptizes dead people without the consent or knowledge of the families... Still, at least he's not a white supremacist asshole like Ron Paul. (I know, Paulites, I know: "educate yourself." He's not a white supremacist asshole, he just hangs out with white supremacist assholes and lets racist papers go out in his name and then denies culpability even though he's 100% for personal accountability. Ask him about it sometime when Congressman Government Spending Is Wrong is charging his state for his first class flights.)

:: "Accidentally" posting your tits on Twitter is the new version of newsjacking for attention. Not smart enough to make an ideological comment on a political issue? "Accidentally" show the world your nipples and then delete the picture everyone already saw. I'm waiting for Patricia Heaton to do both at once.

:: Who the fuck cares what David Furnish and Elton John have to say about Madonna? Neither of them have made a decent album this century, anyway.

:: Governor Jan Brewer of the fascist hell-pit that is Arizona said that after finger-wagging President Obama on the tarmac, she felt "threatened" and he was "arrogant." Did she just call the President uppity?

:: I've been seeing a lot of annoying stuff on the web this week about how ebooks are bad and Kindles are going to bring down the precious tactile sensation of reading a book. I am really, really sick of reading this bullshit. I really am. It amounts to a bunch of passionate screeds against the idea that people might have alternate means to access literature. What, reading on an e-reader doesn't count, or something? No one's forcing you to do it. But if someone wants to carry around a pad that allows them to access hundreds of free classics of literature, how is that a bad thing? It just seems like a stupid thing to be precious about. "What? People READING??? I shan't stand for it!"

Thanks to the intelligentsia once again proving that they don't actually want to share access but instead want to jealously guard their personal preference (as well as a generation who thinks that hanging out with a lot of books equals reading), I now have to sit and watch the bizarre phenomenon of people arguing that progress is wrong and technology is bad for America... on the internet.

:: And finally, it's Black History Month. So if you're one of those complete idiots going on Facebook and whining about how having a Black History Month is racism against white people, please pick up a history book. And hit yourself in the head with it. Repeatedly. Until you black out.


daveawayfromhome said...

I personally love the e-book... except for the third-party monitoring for the purposes of marketing. Until they make an opt-out for that, I'll cast a dim eye on an otherwise wonderful piece of tech.

Nathan said...

So are you suggesting the governor of a state that refused to celebrate Martin Luther King Day might be racist? Nah, couldn't be.

As for the e-book issue, I think people can read however they want to, but I don't like it when people say stuff like, "Books are obsolete, man!" Because, well, they're obviously not. And people still do buy CDs. Hell, people still buy vinyl records. If there's one thing recent years have shown us, it's that nothing is obsolete as long as someone remembers it.

Roger Owen Green said...

Re SOPA et al- I'm more worried about ACTA. Go to BoingBoing, which is monitoring it - see, e.g., THIS

Roger Owen Green said...

Oh, and re Black History Month - see Slavery By Another Name on PBS on February 13. The most shameful activity of American brutality that most people never heard of.

Daskaea said...

Last comment about Black History month made my LOL so hard, I shot water out of my nose. This is why I shouldn't read your posts while sipping a beverage. You make me chortle with your wit. I love you.