Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Weblog

Blog is short for weblog, which is a compound word made up of web (as in the World Wide Web) and log (a list or diary). So, a list of web places. Because I'm behindhand on my web surfing, all the links below came from Instapundit.

Sexism in society is what I see when Ann Althouse talks about balls.

Here's Michelle Malkin, reacting to Obama's reaction: "Grow a pair, Obama."

And Kevin Drum is all at first I thought it was kinda funny....

"But at the risk of seeming humorless, that reaction didn't last too long. Maybe it's because this kind of satire just doesn't work, no matter how well it's done. But mostly it's because a few minutes thought convinced me it was gutless. If artist Barry Blitt had some real cojones..."

What is this fascination with balls? Jesse Jackson wants to cut Obama's, which presumes their existence. Michelle Malkin thinks they don't exist. Kevin Drum thinks they don't exist on Blitt — they've been oblitterated — though they may somehow exist in fake — or un-Spanish — form. But if Blitt had had real cojones...

... he would have drawn the same cover but shown it as a gigantic word bubble coming out of John McCain's mouth — implying, you see, that this is how McCain wants the world to view Obama. But he didn't. Because that would have been unfair.

Uh... no... because it would have been absurdly cluttered, stupid looking, and hard to draw. Not to mention clunkily literal and no fun at all. Blitt lacks balls because he assumes we have brains?
(links omitted)

All this talk about balls surely is a reaction to Hillary Clinton's campaign. The rampant sexist attacks on her demonstrate just how threatening it is for a woman to presume to aspire to the highest elected office we have, and the discussion of balls (not courage, mind you--courage which is a choice to act in the face of fear--but balls, an emotion associated with a body part that women don't have) reminds us all that you have to have them to be anyone important.

A fascinating article on closet conservatives in Hollywood shows the "idealogical rigidity" that leads to oppression of dissent from the left:

Since the communist-sympathizing Jane Fonda aerobicized her way into the mainstream of Hollywood politics, and about the time that John Wayne died, most Republicans in Hollywood began to shut their mouths. Other Republicans attempt to win over the bullies by referring to themselves as "moderate," "libertarian," "independent," "classical liberal," "pragmatist" or "JFK Democrat."
[...]
The situation in Los Angeles is fundamentally different from that in Washington, D.C., where members of both parties openly embrace their party affiliation (for now). Republicans in the federal government accept that they are the freaks and geeks. Democrats, the "cool kids," have their status affirmed by frequent jaunts to town by Hollywood's "Creative Coalition" - bestowing upon our congressman, Henry A. Waxman, a status he certainly didn't hold in 11th grade. Only a Democrat can recount sipping a latte with Christine Lahti.

In New York while the liberal mind-set dominates - especially in the media - there are enough dominant industries (i.e. Wall Street) in which free marketers flourish. So the outnumbered and the outshouted experience in Manhattan is tempered by pockets of confident oppositionism, which explains the rise of Rudy Giuliani.

But Los Angeles is a one-company town. And because of bullying (or what Democrats would call blacklisting or "political discrimination," if the shoe were on the other foot), Hollywood has become a one-party town. History will show this dynamic hurt both the creative and the political processes.

In the absence of checks and balances, we end up with a system that creates a mainstream film about Ronald Reagan - written, produced and directed by narcissistic and myopic partisans who only viewed the Gipper through the lens of AIDS activism. Like anyone would watch an epic movie about America's victory in the Cold War.

Oliver Stone - a left-wing conspiracy theorist - gets to take a cinematic stab at George W. Bush before he even leaves office. Thankfully, he assures us he will treat the subject evenhandedly.

Every big-screen cartoon warns toddlers of anthropogenic global warming or the wrongs of corporate America. It's almost like they conceived a process to scientifically extract the joys from childhood.

There are tons of movies on Nazi Germany. But why the dearth of stories on the rise and fall of the Iron Curtain? Are there no stories of tragedy and triumph in the 100 million or so dead, or those who came out alive?


You might be surprised at the list of names who are powerful enough to come out of the Hollywood conservative closet; I know I was.

Megan McArdle treads familiar ground to us fannish types with a whinge about women and science fiction and a request for novels to introduce SF to people who don't already read it. The commenters make the usual suggestions.

But I think it's kind of hard to deny that there are a lot of women who do not like science fiction because it doesn't fit into their conception of girly. Stating that you are a woman who likes science fiction, and lots of women like science fiction, is theatrical, but it's beside the point; the demographic is overwhelmingly male. Connie Willis and Megan Lindholm and Sheri Tepper are great (I mean, at least until Tepper went off the deep end and started writing novels that implied men would be so much better if they were . . . women), but they are not the core of the genre. We can angrily declare that SF is so woman-friendly all we want, while women nod politely and bypass the SF section for the mysteries or the bodice rippers. Or we can try to convince them that they are making a tragic mistake, because what they are looking for in a romance novel or a good mystery can also be found in the SF section.

Lastly, at the big guy himself, a round-up of links about the reporting of economic news and who might be pushing the idea of recession for political purposes.

A recession is not a synonym for "a time when some people are hurting and there are worries about the economy," and dismissing efforts to keep the language straight as a reliance on technical mumbo-jumbo seems pretty weak to me. As I've noted in the past, there's plenty to worry about regarding the economy, and it's likely that -- despite all the talk about the "recession" we've allegedly been in for the past year or so despite positive economic growth -- the press is missing economic news that's worse than what it's been reporting. They certainly weren't ahead of the curve on Fannie Mae. Nonetheless, saying that it's a recession because you're worried about the economy is like demanding antibiotics because your child feels bad, without waiting for a diagnosis. People do it, but it's not smart. (links omitted)

He also gets the following emailed comment from a reader:

MORE: Reader Terrence McMahon emails:

"I would say that there are some segments of the overall economy that are in really bad shape. Housing and transportation definitely, and where I live, manufacturers of heavy steel items like automotive lifts and steel shipping containers. Mostly due to the price of fuel. However, unemployment is still low. In the rural area where I live, unemployment is well under the national average and right now, many manufacturers can't hire enough skilled workers.

"But try and remember back to the last real recession, how many people were standing in line to buy a $200 + cellphone with a two-year $100 per month contract attached? How about running out and buying a new TV, PC or laptop? How about a $50 videogame? I'm not going to say it didn't happen, but...

"And you may remember the last time there was a "gas shortage", gas stations actually ran out of gas. I drive all over the Mid-West and South for my job, I pay anywhere upwards of $4 for gas, but I haven't seen one "No Gas" sign. Think this is a bubble? I'll bet you the house I paid too much for.

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