Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Story A1: Hurricane Ivan, or what I heard on the way to the convention.

I was listening to the radio, headed south to Florida, second biggest population of NewYorkers in the world. The radio announcer said "Hurricane Isaac set to crash Republican National Convention."
Sara, sitting next to me, changes the channel. Apolitical, she doesn't like the news during election season. Which is okay, nor do I. I just can't help listening and getting pissy.
She doesn't like me when I am pissy.
It's difficult to deal with someone who can't help taking the opposite view in any discussion, so she doesn't.
"So," said slowly, "don't take this as an opening, but is it ironic that the party that said hurricane Katrina was the punishment of sinners in New Orleans, is about to get hit by a hurricane?"
I smiled keeping my opinion firmly behind my teeth.
"Or, is this storm going to be a left wing communist plot?"
Communist? I thought. "Communist?". I asked.
"Hurricane Ivan," she said, looking at me through lashes with slightly too much mascara. "The republicans will leave before they have to take the blame."
I started to laugh. She hit me, rising out of her seat to put some force behind it.
"What are you laughing at?"
"Isaac." I said rubbing my shoulder. "Hurricane Isaac."
"Oh," she said propping her bare feet up on the corner of the dash, "I am sure something anti-Semitic will be said about it."

Monday, August 20, 2012

Alex Wagner, MSNBC, and the conversations on women's health/reproductive issue. Or, men like breasts as much as women (do).

The problem with the conversation on women's health issues is topic of sex. Of birth control. The arguments from the "right" are about fucking. The left talks about it as if that was no part in it, or if they do allow for it the couch it in the term "reproductive" health.
These are the wrong terms.
Few people have ever had condoms purchased by their insurance. The right sees no reason that the pill, the sponge, IUD's or fellow travelers should be paid for by insurance. (Yes condoms are often handed out for free, but thats not the same as government mandated corporate purchases for individuals). And there is no similarity between paying for Viagra and the pill. Viagra fixes a problem, a disfunction in the system. A treatment for vaginismus would be a better comparison.
The left sees this as a women's health issue, as if any restriction involving a vagina is unthinkable, even if the restriction only makes restricts provided services, not health. The left likes to think that access to provided services prevents pregnancy. The right feels that sex is optional and people should be held responsible for their actions. The left agrees, at least as it comes to men.
And when the left discusses reproductive health, they discuss birth control that prevents other things than pregnancy. Ovarian cysts, for instance. I think Sandra Fluke raised this one. But this is not birth control. No one argues about preventing ovarian cysts.
So stop couching the argument in feminist terms. Make it about general health. Fix the disfunction and raise the stakes. We need better preventative services in general, so of the pill prevents ovarian cysts, argue for any medication that prevents cysts. That way all cysts get equal prevention. Take sex out, both the act and the gender.
If the pill prevented cervical cancer then the argument would be over cancer prevention for everyone. Of course, the left doesn't get as much feminine support for cancer prevention. Women don't get as tuned in for cancer.
Unless it's also about breasts.
How much money do men and corporations donate to breast cancer every year?
If that does not show a decent response to women's health issues then nothing will.
Men like breasts.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Humans will rise to the level expected of them, or sink to the level they are allowed.

It says something about the Olympics that the medals are now the size of the clocks worn by rappers is the 80s. That the gold is thinner than the aluminum in which they wrap chocolate coins. That we talk of revenge and vindication rather than a well played rematch.
A punch thrown at our soccer players is a horror. A body tackle by an American player a couple of games later is "aggressive" play.
Cheating accepted normal.
When did we become Soviets? Our national pride tied to winning, and any athlete that doesn't run as expected pilloried for the entertainment of people who have managed to capture the world's record in obesity?

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Excremeat, the reason for it all. Or Birbiglia's Hello Kitty Notpad.

Social phobia and general anger. This is better than arguing with my friends. Sort of like Mike's recommendation to put it on paper. Well...his therapist's idea if you believe the stand up.
Originally, I was thinking of ranting on the politics of the day, but every body does that. So I will agree with Stanhope, that whatever I don't understand, or can't do is stupid, then I am going to work out why I think so here.
I agree with Sorkin's judgement that "anonymity is cowardice". Social phobia being what it is, however, I am going to role with it for the moment. Spelling intentional.
Baby steps.