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The American Dream is Shiny with 0% APR.

I want to talk for a second about my friend’s mom, which is actually an amalgamation of several friends’ moms, but for the purposes of this post will be presented as a singular archetype.

(For a more academic read on cultural values read this good article by Harvard professor Juliet Schor. Or if you’re looking for statistics of US workers compared to European workers read here.)

My friend’s mom is a highly competent and well-salaried woman who is seemingly successful in all personal and professional aspects of her life. I respect her immensely for her management skills and her ability to disassemble a bed and have it stacked for moving in a minute flat. (It was the easiest helping a friend move stint I have ever done, because her mom practically did it all for me.)

MFM works as high level administrative position for a major pharmaceutical company. She has a caring husband with whom she owns a nice house, dresses well, and drives a Beemer. We get along because I’m generally pleasant and avoid political conversation with people with the title of My Friend’s Parents. Little does she know that I’m judging her, not for the qualities or material goods she possesses, but for the tacit arrogance with which she presents them.

More after cut.

Read more…

Categories: Social commentary Tags: american work ethic, ayn rand, laziness, perfectionism, rich people, self-entitlement, work stress, workaholics

Update: Barack’s campaign staff made him a Tumblr yesterday. Keep working that vanguard social media, ’12 staffers.

Mark Morford’s “Why Are You So Terribly Disappointing?” essays is one of my all time favs of his work. It’s over a year old, but still relevant:

Big f–ing deal. We just do not care. It’s all a big disappointment. Hey, I was expecting to be blown away. I was expecting miracles and transformations and multiple twitching orgasms on sight. Do not come at me with tantalizing promises only to reveal that you can fulfill most of them to a fairly good degree, and not far exceed all of them in every imaginable way…

My God, did you hear that pathetic State of the Union? That guy, that President Obama? Disappointing times a thousand, am I right? What the hell happened to him? Why is he so weak and ineffectual? Why the hell can’t he step up and fix the entire planet in under 400 days like he promised he would, in my dreams and fantasies and impossible liberal grass-fed organic tofu greengasms? Doesn’t he know I put a goddamn bumper sticker on my Subaru for him? I’ve never done that for anyone. Bastard…

But the biggest disappointment of all? Turns out one calm n’ brilliant Barack Obama isn’t enough to solve the problem of 535 vile n’ slothful congressional jackals who aren’t Barack Obama. Go figure.

I’m currently compiling Obama’s accomplishments and failures, for the last 3 years, including which ones specifically were blocked by the House Republicans. It might go up on Suite101 later; I’ve been derelict on my independent contract duties.

Categories: Politics or: the art of looking for trouble Tags: barack obama, Mark Morford, Obama tumblr, still like obama

There are many Tumblrs I follow. But as with any social media followings, I can really only care about a few at a time.  Here are a few of my favorites that have been getting more of my re-blogs lately.

1. Kim Jong Il Looking at Things

It’s exactly what it promises. With plenty of stock photos ripe for some photoshopping.  Here’s mine:

2. Shit that Siri Says

STSS shows the smart and not so smart responses of Apple’s new voice controlled personal assistant. These convos remind me of Cleverbot, except more clever.

3. Actually, You’re the 47%

In Response to “The 53%,” the Tumblr set up as the 4chan of anti-Occupy Wallstreet, “Actually You’re the 47%,” highlights the fact that the contributors to the original blog don’t really know if they pay income taxes or not.

“I created a preliminary test to help people figure out if they are in the 53%. Question 1: Are you a babysitter?”

Ylgesias notes on the “only 53% pay income taxes” number trending:

Most people think of the taxes that you pay when you “do your taxes” in April as being your income taxes. It is, in fact, a consolidated income tax and payroll tax. Thanks to some temporary tax cuts implemented during the recession, a very large share of American workers currently have only payroll tax liability rather than income tax liability. So through sleight of hand, you can convince many more than 53 percent of the people that they are part of the put-upon “53 percent” forced to bear the burden of a nation of slackers.

And a bonus Tumblr, for everyone who likes the overlap of hot girls and people that assert their First Amendment by protesting:

Hot Chicks of Occupy Wallstreet.

Categories: Viral Things Tags: 53%, Actually You’re the 47%, income taxes, Kim Jong Il Looking at Things, No, popular tumblrs, Shit that Siri Says, Tumblr

A psychology study from the University of California, San Diego Division of Social Sciences used a controlled version of the New Yorker Caption contest to assess the abilities of men and women to create humor.

Amanda Marcone from Slate comments on the significance of the study:

The study found that out of 16 men and 16 women whose caption-writing abilities were voted on in a gender-blind test, the men did slightly better, but so slightly that it’s pretty much insignificant [Males earning a 0.11 points more out of a possible 5.0 perfect score]… the most interesting findings of the study weren’t about the relative ratings of humor of men and women, but the biases of the test subjects when it came to measuring humor levels of men and women. While the subjects rated men’s and women’s caption-writing abilities roughly equally in a gender-blind test, they were so devoted to the stereotype of women being less funny that the subjects misinterpreted their own rankings.

I think that these trends indicate not that women are intrinsically less funny than men; it’s that not as many women are trying to break into comedy. Only one of the Last Comic Standing’s winners has been a women. Only one of the fourteen of Cracked Columnists is a woman. I’m looking at the line-up for The Comedy Cellar for tonight and there’s one.

But this doesn’t mean the ones that do try aren’t successful. A New Yorker blog notes, “When you look at the last thirty-two contests and factor in productivity, women come out on top. The twenty-two winning men entered an average of 70.22 contests, but the ten women averaged 6.4 entries—and four of them won on their first attempt.”

The results of the UC:SD study and the lack of number of women in comedy denotes larger cultural trends. I think that an important role in shaping these sociological trends, whether it’s that women statistically lack confidence or a notion that only pretty women should on stage, is the influence of early childhood experiences:

In one experiment, five young mothers were observed interacting with a 6 month old called Beth. They smiled at her often and offered her dolls to play with. She was seen as ‘sweet,’ having a ‘soft cry’. The reaction of a second group of mothers to a child the same age, named Adam, was noticeably different. They offered him a train or other ‘male’ toys to play with. Beth and Adam were actually the same child, dressed in different clothes.

-Experiment detailed in my sociology textbook [Anthony Giddens – 2006 – Social Science] to detail the early impression of gender roles. (via emaconly)

-file under ‘why i will not coercively gender my children and let them work it out for their own damn selves’ (via i-sauntered-vaguely-downwards)

Categories: Social commentary Tags: female comics, feminism, gender stereotypes, humor study, New Yorker Caption Contest, UC:SD study, women in comedy

If Herman Cain figures out something he said is unpopular…

“It’s going to be 20 feet high. It’s going to have barbed wire on the top. It’s going to be electrified. And there’s going to be a sign on the other side saying, ‘It will kill you — Warning.’” –at TN Tea Party Rally

“It was a joke. I apologize if I offended anyone. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea culpa.” -‘The Last Word’ with Lawrence O’Donnell

“I’ve also said America needs to get a sense of humor.” – Meet the Press

he was obviously joking.

If he says something that panders to religious moral fundamentalists but infringes on individual liberty …

“I believe that life begins at conception. And abortion under no circumstances.” –interview with CNN’s Piers Morgan on Sunday

“The government shouldn’t be trying to tell people everything to do, especially when it comes to social decisions that they need to make.” -same interview, later

…it’s his personal, not political belief

“As to my political policy view on abortion, I am 100% pro-life.  End of story,” –statement released Thursday to clarify his position

…maybe.

If he doesn’t know what something is…

“First of all, I don’t even know what SimCity is. Okay? I don’t even know what it is. Secondly, it’s a lie. That’s all I can say. I don’t even know what SimCity is,”  -on the claim that his 9-9-9  plan is inspired by SimCity’s default tax rates.

it can go fuck itself because it’s wrong.

   

Colbert offers an explanation for Cain’s inability to follow himself on the issue of blaming yourself for not having a job. Because he wasn’t referring to all unemployed people as lazy, just the unemployed people that are upset and would like to assert their First Amendment rights.

Now, “I don’t have the facts to back this up”, but I think Herman Cain might have a chance in the race if he only had a competent staff, knowledge on international affairs, actual qualifications, and a pizza that doesn’t suck.

Categories: Politics or: the art of looking for trouble Tags: abortion, herman cain contradictions, herman cain hyprocrisy, herman cain quotes, simcity

The 27-year-old takes a size 13 right shoe size while his left is slightly bigger and measures 14-and-a-half. But when he ordered his custom-fit slipper, manufacturers in China misread size 14.5 and accidently made one that’s a whopping 7ft long – size 1,450, or XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXL. A company spokesman for Monster Slippers said sorry to Tom, from Ilford, East London, and explained the mistake occurred because of a “translation error”. –from Mirror UK

That story was everything I wanted it to be.

To buy the Monster Claw Slippers in not size 1,450 here’s the page at Monster Slippers UK.

——

Side note – I feel like I’m reaching a level of blog popularity where I’m actually concerned newspapers are going to complain for me re-posting their images.  I realize I haven’t offered enough commentary and criticism to make my re-use of images have clear standing under “fair use” copyright law. So let me be clear…

Commentary:  That’s a big fucking slipper.

Criticism:  You need to trim your monster’s toenails, sir.  Or at least file them.  They are excessively long and pointy.

Categories: Weird News Wednesday Tags: custom shoes, fair use, giant shoe, giant slipper, weird news

Admiral Bachmann talking about Anchor Babies.

“To a state… where dreams are made and crushed.” -Real quote from the 10/18/11 debate opener, unlike the rest of this post.

Welcome the annotated transcript of The Real World: Las Vegas. I mean, Western Republican/CNN Presidential Primary Debate. Snort your hopes and dreams in Nevada.

Anderson Cooper takes a break from encouraging kids to break their necks to grace us with his silver fox presence for yet another liberal-media-makes-awkward-conservative-associations debate.

Rick Perry: “Waving my hands desperately to address the American People makes me more credible.”

Herman Cain: “I should have gotten an immunity pendant from the last debate.”

Michelle Bachmann: “My flashy outfit could not compensate for CNN’s 5-person-wide camera shot of the stage and their strategic placement of me at the end.”

Newt Gingrich: “I found my centrist God while on a nuclear vision quest on Yucca Mountain.”

Ron Paul: “Avoid the question. Avoid the question. Talk about freedom. Avoid the question.”

Rick Santorum: “Being a massive dick will help me seem more straight.”

Mitt Romney: “I’m going to knife Rick Santorum backstage after this show. I’m not going to bother with Rick Perry, because I think he’s already accidentally knifed himself.”

My analysis of the last debate, specifically the 9-9-9 plan is here. Annotated transcripts of previous debates here and here.

@ChaseRoper tweets, “I’m feverishly taking notes of this debate so I can work up a spec script and pitch it as Saw VIII. #tweetthepress #GOPdebate”

Categories: Politics or: the art of looking for trouble Tags: CNN debate, Las Vegas debate, live-blog, Nevada Debate, October 18 debate, western republican leadership conference