Tuesday Link Encyclopedia and Self-Promotion

It is juvenile of Harris-Perry to claim that Snowden should come home and face the music. He would be silenced and imprisoned for years if he did that, as would Assange.  Who in their right mind would court such a fate?  So, years later, he could emerge from prison a broken man to be adulated, like Nelson Mandela or something?” I agree completely. It is really wrong to demand this kind of heroism from people when you are completely safe from any harm.

Should people stop writing? A publisher’s point of view. I think the publisher who wrote this is a snooty jerk but I do agree with the main point he is making: graphomania is on the rise.

OK, I feel bad about linking to such an unintelligent blog but I find it unbelievable that the majority of colleges would assign this piece of tripe as “common reading” for 2012-2013. First we condescend to students by offering them crap to read, and the we complain that students are not smart enough. Why not just give them the 50 Shades trilogy and be done with the whole higher education project?

Assange will not rest until he discredits the very concept of whistle-blowing completely.

Americans get scandalized about every tiny little thing that smells of sex but remain completely oblivious to outrageous and embarrassing racism right in front of them. I saw this video and was horrified by how racist it was. Other people saw it and got traumatized by its parody of vaguely sexual gestures.

A brainless jerkwad who has the gall to call all Muslims stupid is so idiotic that he doesn’t even know the difference between ethnicity and religion. This is as blatant a case of projection as I have ever seen. And I’m sorry for linking to yet another idiot but the world has got to know its bigots.

Do you need reasons to hate Canada’s Prime Minister Harper? If so, then I have to ask where it is that you have been hiding this entire time. Still, here is a good explanation of why he is horrible.

A homophobic pastor publicly shares his fantasies about gay sex.

Women who use ‘pull out’ birth control method at greater risk of unintended pregnancy.” OK, I don’t get this at all. What is it that women pull out of when they use this method? Or are we talking about a method that is only used by men and that gives women zero control over whether they get pregnant or not? Note that this piece of complete cluelessness as to gender issues is brought to us courtesy of the most tolerable feminist blog in existence. The rest is worse.

26 thoughts on “Tuesday Link Encyclopedia and Self-Promotion

  1. Interesting:

    Закрытие файлообменников снизило кассовые сборы кинофильмов
    Закрытие крупнейшего в мире файлообменного сайта Megaupload.com привело к снижению кассовых сборов большинства кинофильмов, сообщает Digit.ru.

    Исследователи из институтов Мюнхена и Копенгагена сравнили кассовые сборы кинофильмов до и после закрытия в январе 2012 года файлообменного сайта Megaupload.com, на котором размещались ссылки на кинофильмы, доступные для скачивания и просмотра в режиме онлайн. Сайт, по оценке его владельцев, генерировал до 40% мирового интернет-трафика среди подобных ресурсов. Однако он был закрыт после проведенного ФБР расследования нарушения авторских прав на кинофильмы, а руководство сайта арестовано.

    Читать далее: http://rapsinews.ru/international_news/20130827/268676431.html#ixzz2dCz6caaM

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  2. I have to say I agree and disagree with you on Miley Cyrus, I agree that it was racist but I also thought it was tacky and not all sexy and just vulgar, since she had her start as a whole pop singer with a corny show on the Disney Channel people are going to freak out. I didn’t realize it was racist until I saw the whole clip, I just saw pieces of it online but I see why it’s racist. I don’t know if Miley Cyrus has issues or just no talent, but watching her performance was a real WTF moment.

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    1. Believe me, I’m not a fan of this kind of performance either but the amount of prissy outrage over what is, as you correctly say, vulgar and not even sexy is very entertaining. I first read about it and only then watched and I imagined something really out there. But what I saw was what one can see at any drunken club dancing floor.

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      1. I finally watched the performance. I agree it’s racist and I agree that some people are just “pearl clutching” over something silly. But for me there was something so profoundly inartistic about it. I don’t turn to the VMA’s for art or anything (indeed I haven’t watched the VMA’s for years.) But still, before the headliners were at least well choreographed–performances that looked like they took planning and time. This is the first “headline” performance that I can really remember looking so sadly haphazard.

        I generally profoundly disagree with Camile Paglia. But she had an interesting commentary where she suggested that Miley simply needs more art education. I am inclined to agree. I saw the performance and thought: is this what American “folk art” has come to? From Blue to Jazz to this? I happen to think that rock and pop music are forms of art. But I didn’t see art or pop or even something orchestrated in anway. I just saw a young girl aimlessly wandering about the stage with a foam finger.

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        1. Yes, the performance was amateurish and badly prepared. More than anything, it looked like drunken club dancing an hour before closing time. Well, after that insipid show of hers this is almost an improvement.

          I hate that show because during one of my campus visits the hiring committee told me I was out of touch with the younger generation because I didn’t know who Hanna Montana was. So I came home and watched the bloody thing. Bleh.

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      2. Paglia also made a great point on contemporary pop stars not having the time to develop their performer chops by playing smaller, more intimate venues at the beginning of their careers, and needing all sorts of silly props/”shocking” show concepts to cover up for their undeveloped charisma.

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  3. I don’t get the miley being racist thing..
    I’m surprised you linked to that article since it talks so much about how the black dancers are ‘objectified’, and doesn’t make a clear point what exactly is racist about borrowing dance moves black people have used in music videos.
    “We should be able to say that no woman should ever be shamed for how she dresses or expresses her sexuality while at the same time saying that white people need to be really fucking careful about how and when they express their enthusiasm for black culture.”
    I completely disagree with this. What is wrong with ‘acting black’? Is it racist for a black person to square dance in a music video and wear an gap polo?

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    1. “I don’t get the miley being racist thing..”

      I don’t think she’s being deliberately racist. Crude and unthinking, yes. Very much so.

      “What is wrong with ‘acting black’?”

      Watching the video I thought of the good old days of classic Hollywood. You’d have white dancers who’d learn a lot of cool moves from black dancers. The white dancers would then get star billing and perform those dance moves, while their teachers got no screen time (except maybe in the part of a servant or another prop for the white character, but not on an equal footing). Sometimes the white performers even put on ‘blackface’ because it was cool to pretend to be black. Anyway, these white performers would be dabbling with ‘blackness,’ while not really having to understand what it meant or putting up with any of the stigmas associated with ‘blackness’ – They were just using it for fun and to make some money in entertainment and let out their ‘wild side’ (because ‘black = wild,’ right?) Then they could just scrub the ‘blackface’ off and move on after having indulged themselves.

      I’ll put it to you this way, Anonymous. It’s one thing to celebrate different aspects of a culture (look, cool dance moves!) – it’s quite another to exaggerate some attributes from it and use them in a grotesque money-making spectacle (and to show how you’ve become more sexual by ‘being black’ because all black women are aggressively sexual, right? Remember ‘black = wild’); that’s what ‘blackness’ is to Cyrus – some superficial trappings of rebelliousness and wildness.

      Anyway, given the long and distinguished history of mainstream white U.S. culture exploiting black culture, when a modern-day performer chooses to ‘act black’ (as if there’s one way to ‘act black?’ In music alone, there’s a long history of diverse black performers…) they’ve got to stop and think about what they’re doing. Are they acting as if the people who came up with these moves are on an equal footing with them, or are they appropriating some elements of the culture and relegating the originators to the shadows, to occasionally be trotted out and spanked or treated in submissive or degrading fashion? How did Cyrus relate to the black women she was dancing with?

      “Is it racist for a black person to square dance in a music video and wear an gap polo?”

      Nope. It also isn’t racist for a white musician to play blues on a saxophone. Except of course if he or she is doing it in ‘blackface.’

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      1. “(and to show how you’ve become more sexual by ‘being black’ because all black women are aggressively sexual, right? Remember ‘black = wild’); that’s what ‘blackness’ is to Cyrus – some superficial trappings of rebelliousness and wildness.”

        I don’t think that performance shows that in any way. Why do you think blackness = wildness to her? She’s wild, and she has black backup dancers.. that isn’t enough.

        “while their teachers got no screen time”

        That isn’t how it is in this situation. There is LOTS of screen time of black women twerking. I also think the racist implications are confounded with the issue that Miley didn’t invent twerking, therefore, she shouldn’t be allowed to make money off of it. If that’s the case then no black people who didn’t invent twerking should be able to profit from it. But nobody is saying that. As far as I can tell, ANY black person could make money twerking, right? Also, twerking may be featured in her performances, but that doesn’t mean she’s really making money off of that..

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    2. “What is wrong with ‘acting black’? Is it racist for a black person to square dance in a music video and wear an gap polo?”

      – Could I please be spared racist outbursts on my blog. Jeez, you turn away for 2 minutes and this is what happens.

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  4. “That isn’t how it is in this situation. There is LOTS of screen time of black women twerking.”

    Lack of screen time wasn’t the only issue I brought up in my comment; just one of them. As I said, sometimes even in those days black dancers would get screen time in movies. Just in certain ways in relation to the white performers.

    “confounded with the issue that Miley didn’t invent twerking, therefore, she shouldn’t be allowed to make money off of it.”

    This isn’t about whether she should be ‘allowed’ to make money off of it.

    “Why do you think blackness = wildness to her? She’s wild, and she has black backup dancers.. that isn’t enough.”

    Yep, it’s purely a coincidence, if you ignore decades of cultural history and perceptions of black people. And Cyrus’s own push (or her handlers’ push) to have her transition from a “good girl” Hannah Montana type to a “slut type.” Simultaneous with her pushing for a more “urban” or “black” sound to her recent music. And in the video, wearing next to nothing as her black female backup dancers grind around her as giant teddy bears whose faces are mostly concealed, and then moving to her twerking against a fully dressed white male.

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  5. In the comments there is a link to a good Russian children – parents lj.
    http://zicer.livejournal.com/

    With posts (by a father!) like:

    Моя младшая дочь (6.5) заявила: “Все-таки для многих взрослых дети – игрушки”.
    Выяснилось, что к такому выводу она пришла, когда совершенно незнакомая женщина позволила себе потрепать ее по щечке, потрогать волосы, спросить, настоящие ли они. То есть, отнеслась к ней, как к объекту, который по собственному желанию можно потрогать, погладить, поиграть с ним, наконец. Желанием объекта, понятно, в этом случае обычно не интересуются (действительно, кто же спрашивает игрушку, хочется ли ей играть!)

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  6. Or this excerpt, which I never thought of:

    Рассказать, как проще всего организовать человеку проблемы с общением во взрослой жизни? С этой задачей (вероятно, все-таки, не формулируя ее) с легкостью справляется множество родителей. Достаточно всего лишь регулярно отвечать, когда кто-то задает вопрос не вам, а ребенку. Например, вопрос: «сколько тебе лет?» Ответ (ваш): «нам уже четыре». Или «ну скажи дяде, сколько тебе лет». Или «почему же ты молчишь, тебя же спрашивают»… К этому же методу нужно отнести и многочисленные публичные «что нужно сказать?..», «до-свииии-дааа…..» и т.п. Еще одно яркое проявление того же явления – встревание взрослого в чужой разговор со вставками типа «помнишь, мы были…», «я тебе рассказывал(а)…», «мы это учили…» и прочая, прочая, прочая.*

    Таким образом, мы раз за разом мешаем ребенку построить собственные отношения с другим человеком, постоянно прерывая их, развивая в направлении, которое кажется правильным нам, навязывая банальные общественные модели, делая его заложником собственных комплексов.

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  7. I asked you about teaching, and want also to ask your opinion on this post:
    http://zicer.livejournal.com/7095.html#comments

    фронтальное (относительно учеников) местонахождение учителя, посадку «лицо к спине», лишающую учеников возможности встретиться взглядом, ровные ряды парт и пр. С точки зрения дидактики в этом нет практически никакого смысла. Что же это? Ответ для меня очевиден: это наиболее простой способ управлять личностью. Причем в основном, путем подавления.

    Зачем? А затем, что иначе учитель не умеет. Может только вырубить ток. выключить энергию, лишить ученика его права на собственное поведение, даже на самум концепцию собственного поведения. Глядя в затылок впереди сидящего, отвлекаться труднее. А на самом деле – думать труднее…

    Возьмем, к примеру, одну школьную тему. Признаком чего является шум в классе? Классический ответ: признаком того, что ученикам не интересно… А на деле – все наоборот. Когда нам интересно – мы шумим, обсуждаем, высказываем свое мнение. Для того, чтобы принять материал, нам необходимо его обсудить – «присвоить».

    скажем, для того, чтобы сосредоточиться кому-то необходимо походить взад-вперед, однако он обязан сидеть «сиднем». Или еще: кому-то в 5 лет легко и просто учить математику сидя 30 минут, а кому-то достаточно 15, а дольше – тупик… Мне могут возразить: «но ведь нельзя же построить систему, которая учитывает склонности каждого». Еще как можно! И разговаривать в классе, и вставать, и идти к предмету разными путями, и работать в разных ритмах.

    Since I come from family of math teachers: how is the last paragraph possible, if you have 20-30 students who need to know X by the lesson’s end, according to the school program? How can students talk, if a teacher tries to explain (again) to somebody, who hasn’t understood?

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    1. Yes, precisely. This is why teaching has moved away from this model everywhere except in the FSU. I, for instance, place students in groups so they face each other. This allows me to give personal attention to those who are falling behind and give more challenging tasks to those who are ahead of everybody in a way that nobody notices and no resentments are generated. My goal is to have at least one personal interaction with each student during class time. A personal interaction means we make eye contact and exchange a couple of sentences or a joke that nobody else hears. This way I’m constantly plugged into everybody and they are plugged into me. Of course, the communication style has to be adapted individually to each student.

      The model described in this quote is, indeed, completely counterproductive and very militaristic. Even when I had a huge classroom of 78 students, I did all I could to escape from this model.

      Are you planning to become a teacher?

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      1. I also agree completely with the point about silence. As I always say, silence is appropriate for a cemetery, not a classroom. If the students sit there silently, I know that the class is not working and I need to take measures. The perfect class is when everybody talks, discusses, laughs, moves around, interrupts each other, argues, etc. The general rule is that students need to be producing something at least 60% of class time. When they sit there silently and write things down, they are not producing anything. Also, an average human being stops listening after about 10 minutes. If you talk for longer, you lose everybody’s attention and what is the point of that?

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    2. “Еще пример, который многие с ужасом вспоминают и одновременно пытаются вытеснить из памяти – организация процесса еды в детских садах и школах. Когда вам предлагают некое блюдо (зачастую не самое аппетитное) и всеми силами заставляют его съесть, вне зависимости от ваших желаний и личного вкуса (опущу в данной статье подробности известных мне и многим читателям извращенных способов насилия с целью добиться поедания обеда). А при этом еще и врут, объясняя, что хорошие (!) дети съедают все до конца.”

      – This is one of the most insidious forms of child abuse, by the way. One has to be really disturbed to try to force a person to eat against their will.

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  8. Feministe has also written about Miley Cyrus:
    http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2013/08/27/roundup-miley-cyrus-needs-to-stop/
    You have often criticized the site, but I believe not ideal feminist sites also fulfill important functions.

    I also liked AM at Pandagon post:

    Larry Kudlow Is Worried You Care About Cuddling Animals, Like A Woman
    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/08/28/larry-kudlow-is-worried-you-care-about-cuddling-animals-like-a-woman/

    It’s just Larry Kudlow mocking environmentalists who have concerns about animals losing their habitats because Larry Kudlow supports the Keystone pipeline and is willing to use a variety of rhetorical tricks to get people on his side. But that, of course, is the point.

    But really this isn’t about rigid arguments, but about tapping deep anxieties about gender in order to taint environmentalism. Kudlow all but comes out and says that in order to “prove” that the viewer is not soft and feminine and weak and womanlike, he has to oppose the environmentalists and support the pipeline. It’s about redirecting concerns over evidence and real world effects to issues of identity and the male audience’s need to prove they aren’t women. This tactic also works on a lot of women, firing off their need to prove that while they are women, they aren’t That Kind of woman, that they are special snowflakes.

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    1. Just wanted to add that gender identity is involved not only in sexism and homophobia, but also in outwardly unrelated matters, like opposition to environmentalism, probably also in demand from politicians to be tough on crime / other countries, etc. Would be interesting to see which % of demands for violence against X (nature / countries/ US own citizens) springs from gender insecurities (and insecurities in general) and which from other reasons (cold rational self interest).

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    2. I don’t know who this Kudlow fellow is but he sounds like a remnant of the old times that are dead and gone even in this feminism-challenged country. Today’s men under the age of 40 fall all over themselves to prove they are sensitive, “soft”, and not too macho. Construction workers share stories of how they cry at the movies, retired athletes share their collection of recipes, and police officers get insulted when you ask them if they like guns. These are all real stories from my dating experiences with Americans.

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  9. It’s a strange and tragic world:

    WATCH: IDF soldiers ‘abandon patrol to party with Palestinians in Hebron club

    Channel 2 said that the club was frequented by members of a Palestinian clan known for its pro-Hamas tendencies.

    http://www.jpost.com/Defense/Report-IDF-soldiers-left-patrol-to-party-with-Palestinians-in-Hebron-club-324605

    In an Israeli article it was rightly noted that those soldiers could have easily become Gilad Shalit Numbers 2 and 3. While being on Palestinian shoulders, their weapons could have been easily taken, they could’ve been stabbed, etc. As the saying goes, God guards fools and children (sometimes) .

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  10. This comment on America Blog (I know, they use Disqus, but content still matters) made me think of you, partly because it praises South American literature, and partly because it condemns Russia:

    Indigo


    23 days ago
    7
    0

    +

    We can stop tracking the sources now. What we’ve got on our hands is a vast data base built up from many sources with more information than ever previously available. Kewl, huh? I don’t think so, actually, but reversing this trend is on a par with reversing climate change. It ain’t gonna happen. So here we are. Coping tactics include: denial, anger, depression, bargaining, acceptance. Moving past acceptance (in the sense of here-we-are) the question becomes Now What? The aluminum foil hat has been around for many decades but is, whether actual or metaphorical, ultimately foolish. Ditto the UFO-ologist response.

    So we adjust, we change our personal filing systems, we lower our profile where possible (Google allows a semi-ritual drop out option), we pay cash rather than card, and we get about our little lives the way we always have. For further hints on living the life in a totalitarian surveillance state, read any of the astonishing novels of Garcia Marquez or the delightfully deceptive short stories of Borges. South American literature is miles ahead of us in talking about the wonders of life under a dictator. We have much to learn. Maybe we shift to an Edwardian Steampunk wardrobe. Meanwhile, the anti-gay pogrom in Russia continues to be ignored by our Betters.

    see more

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