The Things You Learn About Yourself. . .

I just discovered on some very weird site that keeps linking to me (and which obviously is not getting a linkback from me) that I’m 19 years old, have a brother who likes anime, and go to a community college. I also have a friend who works at a fitness club. And I haven’t lost any weight in the past month.

Of course, it’s absolutely true I haven’t lost any weight in the past month, so these guys are right about something.

I wouldn’t mind being all of these other things they impute to me either. I mean, who doesn’t want a brother with an anime collection?

There is, of course, a competing version of events in which I live and work in New York. Why New York, of all places, you’ll ask. Fans project their innermost dreams of a fabulous life onto their idol, hence New York. Sadly, though, their fantasies don’t extend beyond New York.

Those idiots also collect my pictures and compare them to pictures of other women to see if I’m them. Their familiarity with my posts is impressive. They remember them better than I do, which is not surprising because this is what fans do. They try to live their idol’s life vicariously for total lack of their own.

It’s kind of cute to be so idolized by a bunch of complete strangers.

Jokes aside, though, it’s sad that so many people are so pathetic, miserable, and lonely. No, Freud’s work hasn’t nearly been completed yet.

P.S. According to the obsessed ugly little fans at the creeepazoid website, I also used to work at York University in Toronto. 🙂 The stupid little idiots are too priceless.

Oh, How Times Change!

For a very long time, feminists fought for women to be recognized as fully human. They wanted to reclaim the word “people” for women in order to avoid hearing insulting and degrading verbal atrocities of the “people and women” or “human beings and women” variety.

In my own very chauvinistic language, an expression “A woman is a human being’s best friend” is very popular. We also have a very common proverb that says, “A hen is not a bird and a woman is not a person.” You can hear it on television, at the workplace, at school, or in the street all the time.

And now, finally, certain American feminists decided to turn back the clock and proclaim that, yet again, women are not people. And referring to women as people is offensive and wrong:

So I’m reading this CNN story about a dude who hacked into the accounts of famous “people,” also described as “individuals,” “entertainers,” and “celebrities.” There’s something all of these “people” seem to have in common, besides being famous, but I just can’t quite put my finger on what it is…

Of course, if you read an article by a male journalist and saw that he refers to women as “these “people””, you’d probably decide that he is a chauvinistic loser. Why is it, I wonder, that the most chauvinistically piggish anti-women statements so often come out of the mouths of feminists?

Have You Heard of “Feminist Ryan Gosling”?

My blogroll has been overflowing with gushy posts about the shockingly silly  “Feminist Ryan Gosling” tumblr.

I can get how this might be a cute idea if you are in high school, but anybody who is older than that and who has crushes on movie stars and TV actors needs to examine their maturity levels. All of this ooh-aahhs about how Ryan Gosling is “perfect” are decidedly unhealthy when adult women engage in them.

Ryan Gosling is an actor. You don’t know anything about him except the image he chooses to present to the world. And as an actor, he is kind of supposed to be good at playing different roles for the enjoyment of the viewers. You don’t even know what he really looks like. This obsession with the face and the body of a celebrity sounds extremely disturbing. The tumblr itself looks like a stalker’s wet-dream.

And besides, all those feminists who moan constantly about men and the media imposing an impossible standard of beauty on them? Good job being total hypocrites on this one! Because, you know, it’s just as impossible for a man to look like an air-brushed, photo-shopped, computer-generated photo of Ryan Gosling as it is for you to look like Shakira or Beyonce do in any of their videos. So please tell me once again how objectifying people on the basis of their physical appearance is wrong and degrading.

Which Income Bracket Supports the Occupy Protests the Most?

This table shows the percentage of people in each income bracket who are a) favorable, b) unfavorable, c) neutral, and d) haven’t heard of Occupy Wall  St. protests.

Income bracket                           a.      b.       c.       d.

Less than $30,000 35 27 21 16
$30,000 to $50,000 35 28 22 15
$50,000 to $75,000 34 40 18 9
$75,000 to $100,000 33 35 14 18
Over $100,000 44 31 15 9

As you can see, the income category that is the most supportive of the protests is that of people making over $100,000. In all other income brackets, the percentage of supporters of the protests is about the same (10% less that the support the protests enjoy among the 10oK+ crowd.)

Small Children and Personal Space

My niece Klubnikis is not a cuddly child. Even as a small baby, she almost never felt like being cuddled or held for purposes other than breast-feeding. Today, when she is almost two, one has to ask her permission to kiss and hug her. More often than not, the answer is a decisive “No!”

Klubnikis’s mother thought she found a way of sneaking a kiss or two by her daughter. Last night, she came by Klubnikis’s bed and tried kissing her in her sleep. The little girl, however, was vigilant even then.

“No, Mama! Kisses no!” she muttered without waking up.

I have to tell you, it’s a struggle to refrain from kissing this child. She has these velvety apple-like cheeks that seem to beg to be kissed. Klubnikis’s parents, however, realize that their daughter is not a toy or a pet. From the moment she was born, she was a human being with her own rights and needs that have to be respected. A child’s need for personal space has to hold a greater priority than her parents’ and relatives’ understandable longing to cuddle her and cover her with kisses.

As much as we all want to kiss Klubnikis, we always remember that she needs to be brought up in an environment where her personal space and her body integrity are respected. She needs to know that she can always refuse physical contact and expect her wishes not to be dismissed or even questioned.

Often, when a child grows up, parents start offering her lectures about the importance of knowing how to say “no.” Such lectures, however, are completely useless if the kid’s boundaries were constantly violated by those very parents since her infancy.

Identity Crisis

So I’m going about my day, teaching, talking to students, having lunch, and wondering the entire time why I’m not getting any comments on my blog delivered to my mailbox.

After a few hours of zero comments, I get a full-blown identity crisis. Nobody likes me any more! Nobody wants to read my blog! I’m unpopular! Useless! Abandoned by everybody! I need to rethink my entire life strategy!

And then of course I discover that everything is fine, the blog has received many comments, and the only reason I’m not getting them is that my BlackBerry fails to synchronize the mailbox for some reason.

So I had an identity crisis for nothing.

P.S. The stupid BlackBerry also apparently refuses to send my emails, so if this post publishes twice, I apologize.

All Religious Fanatics Are Equally Disgusting

I found this disturbing article via Mike’s blog:

The New York City Parks Department took down 16 signs because they were illegally bolted to city-owned trees on Bedford Avenue in the South Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. As translated by the Jewish watchdog blog Failed Messiah, the signs read: “Precious Daughter: Please move to the other side when you see a man come across.” Another translation ended with: “Move to the side when a man approaches.”

A local resident told the Brooklyn Paper that the signs were intended not as an insult to ultra-Orthodox Jewish women or to make them feel like second-class citizens, but rather “to be respectful.” Abraham Klein, 18, told the New York Daily News: “The signs don’t bother anybody. Men and ladies don’t go together. It’s just our religion.” Faye Grwnfeld, 70, told the Daily News that the signs were “a private thing” — even though they were posted on public property. “It’s taking away freedom of speech,” she said.

Apparently a group of hard-line rabbis may have been behind the signs as part of a campaign to demand “modesty” by women; last June, the group issued a decree against tank tops, according to the Brooklyn Paper.

If the sign is a “private thing”, then hang it on your private property and don’t insult everybody by using public spaces for your ridiculous, hateful bigotry. The tax payers of New York cannot reasonably be expected to pay for the stupidity and hatefulness of a few crazed fanatics.

It doesn’t matter what religion hateful zealots practice. The petty squabbles they engage in with fanatics belonging to other religious groups mean nothing in the face of one shared trait: they are all woman-hating vile jerks of the worst caliber.

What is it with these religious freakazoids and their obsession with “modesty”? Wouldn’t they be better off practicing what they preach and modestly removing all public displays of their disgusting fanaticism into their synagogues, churches and mosques where they wouldn’t be able to offend the sensibilities of those of us who don’t happen to be nasty bigots?

Through the Eyes of a Stranger: Vitamins and Pills

I have always associated the word “vitamins” with fruit, vegetables, and the sun. Only after moving to the US did I discover that, for many people, vitamins are colorful pills that are somehow preferable to an apple or a tomato. Of course, these pills are not simply useless. They can also be dangerous:

Multivitamins and some dietary supplements, used regularly by an estimated 234 million U.S. adults, may do more harm than good, according to a study that tied their use to higher death rates among older women. The use of multivitamins was associated with a 2.4 per cent increased risk of death, according to the study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. . .

While people typically use supplements in the hope of maintaining or improving health, the study adds to evidence that some vitamins and supplements may be harmful, said Goran Bjelakovic, a doctor at the University of Nis in Serbia, and Cristian Gluud, a doctor at Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark, in an accompanying editorial. The research also raises a concern that long-term use of supplements may not be safe, the researchers said.

“We see little justification for the general and widespread use of dietary supplements,” wrote the authors, led by Jaakko Mursu, a nutritionist at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and the University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio.

In spite of this, half of American adults take these vitamin pills. Most of the pill-takers are the same people who wouldn’t eat delicious fresh broccoli if you paid them to do it.

I have a feeling that for many vitamin addicts some sort of a prestige attaches to vitamin pill taking. You see something akin to self-righteousness in a person who is absolutely convinced s/he is being health-conscious by gulping down yet another set of pills.