Thursday, January 20, 2005

Why People Like Me Will Have Trouble With the LSAT

Because people like me will have to answer questions like this (no, I'm not making this up, it's in my practice book):

Every adult male woolly monkey is larger than even the largest female woolly monkey. In colonies of woolly monkeys, any adult male will dominate any female.

If the statements above are true, which one of the following must on the basis of them be true of woolly monkeys?

A. Size is the primary determinant of relations of dominance among woolly monkeys.
B. Some large adolescent male woolly monkeys dominate some smaller females of the species.
C. If a male woolly monkey is larger than a female of the species, that male will dominate that female.
D. If a female woolly monkey dominates a male of the species, the dominated male monkey is not an adult.
E. An adult male woolly monkey can dominate a female of the spcies only if that female is also an adult.

You guys don't really think I could answer that question dispassionately, do you?

I'd be more likely to write in an answer, F:

F. If the female monkeys gang up on the male monkeys, they will kick the male monkey's asses, and teach them that female monkeys are vicious fucking fighters when provoked. All the monkeys will be happy and live in harmony after that, and when Big, Evil Male Monkeys try to dominate by sheer force of size, they will be brutally castrated and kicked out of the troop, where they will then be eaten by scavengers, making effective use of "natural" selection. It will be a great day for monkeys everywhere.

Think I could get into law school with that one?


For the record, the answer is D. My initial knee-jerk answer was C, which shows just how many of my own cultural biases I'm carrying around.

Must... learn... to... be... logical....

Speaking of Listening to Yourself..

Nice piece.

As incredible as it sounds, nutrition is no longer the priority for the government's Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The new guidelines put the entire nation on a diet...

via bigfatblog

Food For Thought

I was doing my periodic overview of my eating habits tonight, because I came home and reached for a beer and realized why it is that I don't buy it that often: cause I'll drink it.

Ah, binge behavior.

I'd had alcohol on Saturday night (celebratory dinner), and a beer and a half on Tuesday, and decided last night to pass and opt for Diet Dr. Pepper, which I did again tonight.

Just gotta watch what you're doing. Beer is OK once or twice a week. Every night, it is not. I do find comfort foods/habits fascinating, though. How higher-stress means I've got a greater desire for food, and since I've resolved not to binge eat (and, honestly, I don't have any binge-worthy foods in the house. You can only eat so many eggs and radishes, which is why I have a refrigerator full of eggs and vegetables), how I try to transfer that feeling to something else. The idea is that I'll eventually be able to channel that energy into increasing the amount of exercise I do, but I'm not at that point yet.

Mainly, I'm at the point of, "Can't eat? Can't drink beer? Going to bed."

Instead, I'll catch up on some reading, and fume some more about idiots like Newt Gingrich.

Those Pesky, Pesky Women in the Ditches

Was channel flipping tonight while finishing up my omelette, and found VH1's "I love the 90s." They did a quick soundbite of these immortal words uttered by then Adjunct Professor Newt Gingrich, about why women should be excluded from combat:

"Females have biological problems staying in a ditch for 30 days, because they get infections."

I nearly choked on said dinner. Sound familiar?

I remembered this quote. At the time I would have been like 15, and I remember thinking something along the lines of, "Oh, of course. That makes sense."

No thought on my part whatsoever. No questioning. Just assumption. No, "Infections? Infections from what, exactly? The vagina periodically expells blood, but it's not an open wound."

And I didn't sit and wonder how, exactly, the female guerilla fighters (let alone refugees, nomads, and anybody who didn't have running water everywhere else, in every other time but the last hundred years and not even that, in many places now) in Africa, Palestine, and in the times stretching back behind me, had managed to survive living in ditches, blown out houses, on the back of carts, under freeway passes, and huddled in tents without dying of serious infections from their gaping wounds.

Here's the whole thing, which actually gets worse and worse as it goes on:

"If combat means living in a ditch, females have biological problems staying in a ditch for thirty days because they get infections and they don't have upper body strength. I mean, some do, but they're relatively rare. On the other hand, men are basically little piglets, you drop them in the ditch, they roll around in it, doesn't matter, you know. These things are very real. On the other hand, if combat means being on an Aegis-class cruiser managing the computer controls for twelve ships and their rockets, a female may be again dramatically better than a male who gets very, very frustrated sitting in a chair all the time because males are biologically driven to go out and hunt giraffes."

-Adjunct Professor Newt Gingrich, "Renewing American Civilization" Reinhardt College, January 7, 1995

At some point, they're going to run out of arguments. Question this stuff. Don't let them preach from on high, cause if they can get away with it, they will.

Stomp. Shout. Scream. Yell. Be heard. This is fucking ridiculous. These are the people in the "power" positions who are telling us who we can be and what we can do.

And they're utterly fucking lunatic.

Oh, Shit! Don't Bring Up Roosevelt!

Gorgeous. Gorgeous.

Just fucking gorgeous.

Judy Bachrach is fuckin' awesome.

Thoughts on the Gay Rights Movement

Jason's got a good post up about the state of the gay rights movement in the US.

On the personal level, the case for treating gay people with decency has never been more robust. I would be willing to bet that more people are openly gay right now than at any other time in history [Brutal Women note: in this country, maybe. Not in Greece or Rome or some other places where sexuality was a little more fluid.. for men, anyway]. Acceptance of different sexual orientations has never been more widespread, and despite a recent backlash, the poll numbers still show an overwhelming trend in our direction.

It's well documented that when a straight person actually knows a gay person, the prejudices vanish on both sides. [Brutal Women note: because oddly, it's really difficult to hate a person when you realize... they're a real person. This is important] The water cooler chats, the backyard barbecues, even the family reunions very often go our way so long as we just show up and affirm who we are. Sure, there have been a few failures down here (my own family, for example), but on the whole we have had great success at the very lowest level of politics...

Strong at the highest and lowest levels, the gay rights movement is weak in the middle. The midsections of American politics--school boards, city councils, and state governments--are more solidly against us than any other sector in American public life.

OK, OK, I'll Say It:

"The great masses of the people ... will more easily fall victims to a big lie than to a small one."
- Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Chapter 10

When Jesus said, "Love Your Enemies," I think he probably meant, "Don't Kill Them."

"The truth of that matter is, if you listen carefully, Saddam would still be in power if he were the president of the United States, and the world would be a lot better off."
—George W. Bush, second presidential debate

It's like a bad science fiction novel. A really, really bad science fiction novel.

And Now It Is 3'o clock

No, I actually don't work much for a living, most days. Of course, when we do work, we work.

Just not today.

Hence my increasing restlessness.

This is Why You Don't Shut Up

Cause nobody's gonna know why it's inappropriate or understand how it effects you to hear this crap all the goddamn time until you get up off your ass in protest and scream at the top of your lungs .

You've got to speak the fuck up.

Bet I'll Be Thinking About This The Next Time Sifu Kat's Like, "OK, now it's a jump, squat, front kick, balance, squat!" And I Go: "Oh, Fuck"

From Pound (ignore the stereotyping a moment):

Maybe one night sometime in the future I will be in the parking lot of a Miami nightclub minding my own business, when a well-known rap artist and/or producer and/or promoter extraordinaire will step out of the building escorted by several bodyguards at the precise moment a late-model black Escalade with tinted windows careens past the entrance with a menacing shriek of tires skidding on asphalt, and shots will ring out, and the bodyguards will pop a few back, and then, just a second later, some instinct will compel me to put one leg out, extend the other leg back, and, keeping my feet carefully aligned at shoulder width, dip down and execute a perfect squat lunge just as a bullet zips overhead and misses me by a few inches.

Because there has to be a reason I did about a hundred and fifty of those fuckers today, right? Right?

You Know, I Have To Say It

Secretary of State.

Black woman. And yea, she's a ball-buster. She's smart. She's brutal. She'll kick your ass. First black woman to hold the post. Second woman.

In the history of the US.

I don't want to say "good for you" because she's done it with a foreign policy I don't agree with, and an attitude toward the rest of the world that sickens me, but shit, how many old white men have held the post with the same politics? And no, her parents didn't join the civil rights movement, and there's talk that she's seen as "disconnected" from the black community ("playing white"), but shit.

I gotta give credit where credit's due.

Next up: let's get people into this position who don't have to be bully assholes to get there.

Teenagers have Sex? No Way!

Actually, what I found interesting about this study is that they didn't break up the results based on the gender/sex of the teen. I'm not sure how to read that. More significantly, they didn't ask about "safe" sex - when teens choose to have sex, how much time do you spend thinking about contraception, what do you use, do you just shrug and go "Oh, nobody gets pregnant the first time!" or "of course he doesn't have herpes, he's a nice boy!" etc.

That would be far more interesting. "Teenagers have sex" (and don't tell their parents! Shocking!) is a pretty dull reason/conclusion for a study. I remember condoms being a big, big deal in college. You just didn't have unsafe sex. That's the way it was (same attitude in South Africa, for obvious reasons). In high school, being younger, less informed, I had friends who did some really dumb stuff really dumbly, but college was a different matter. I'd be more interested in how teens approach the potential consequences of sex - physically and emotionally.

"People have sex" is a given. What a waste of money.

For Your Workday Amusement



Dear Sarah "Fan Girl" Williams,

We regret to inform you that you have not been selected as a member of this year's class. Being able to recite, verbatim, the lines from every Orlando Bloom movie, while impressive, is not technically a superpower. Also, the fact that you are prohibited by law from coming within 10 miles of Orlando Bloom might limit our team's scope of service. Thank you for your interest in Xavier's School of Exceptional Youth.

Professor X


For those who think Tom Wolfe's latest is utterly pretentious.

Confessions of a New Coffee Drinker:

This stuff is great! I'm 26! I always ignored it, thinking, "Why start a bad habit?" This is a terrific habit! I get more done in an hour than I used to get done in a week. Coffee! I bought a coffeemaker. It makes the coffee for me in the morning! I open my eyes and it's there! I can see! The difference between tea and coffee is like a merry-go-round to a rocket ship! I like rocket ships! Coffee! I want to go on a real rocket ship. Where are they? Cape Canaveral? Let's go! Coffee helps my creativity. I can come up with something creative out of nowhere. "Larry laughs like a lavicious lunatic!" See!? That was instantaneous!

Maxim Does the Classics.

Boys Pissed Off With Plan B

Idiots. I love Amanda:



"As I figured, the ad for Plan B in Tuesday's Daily Texan would generate at least one outraged letter from a male conservo-virgin. He didn't go so far as accuse the Texan of trying to screw his chances at marriage, but he does come very, very close."

I expect to find advertisements in the paper; even more than usual considering the budget cuts. But the flyer found inside my Texan as I opened it flabbergasted me: a flyer that advertised not just a day-after pill, but a THREE day-after pill!

"Who knew that the sperm could slosh around in there for three days? You ruined this young man's masturbation fantasies for at least a week, oral contraceptive manufacturers."

That if, in the "heat of the moment," you forget to practice safe sex, it's OK because you have a "second chance?"

"His idea of what people do in bed is vastly different from mine. I can see it now--a nubile co-ed in the arms of a hunky frat boy on a Friday night.

"Oh honey, let's forget the condom tonight. On Monday, I can go just wait in line for 3 hours at Planned Parenthood to get a prescription for Plan B, drive over to Walgreen's and get it filled and then significantly reduce my chances of getting pregnant, even though I still may.""

To which I'll add: or, because I didn't know there was such a thing as Plan B and that it was actually available if I took an entire day off work to make the drive, wait in line, fulfill the perscription, I'll drive four hours and pay $300 for an abortion after pushing past hordes of conservatives screaming that I'm a dirty whore and throwing shit at me. Then I'll listen to people talk about "people like me" for the rest of my life, saying I must be a hollow, evil, person who wants to kill herself because I didn't fulfill my breeding duty.

Or maybe I won't risk the drive (I don't have a car or $300) and have the kid anyway, get on welfare to pay for my medical costs, try and marry the frat boy who I'm not really all that into anyway and who'd make my life and his unbearable (who'll laugh at me cause he has a football scholarship), and instead squeeze child support out of him for the rest of his life (law willing), and take up a job at the local burger joint.

Odds are (definately not always true, but I'm going to go there), I'll end up resenting my kid, resenting all frat boys, and kicking myself about how I've blown all of my potential on having a kid I could have waited to have ten years later instead.

There are women who succeed when they fall into this life-altering situation (yes, I know them), and who love their kids and can't imagine living without them. But for every one of those, there are three or four more who are just like a buddy of mine (who was always more brilliant than me) working at Walmart after having married a slack-ass of a kid who's unemployed. Women with this amazing potential, with these incredible dreams, who got caught in the "it's a life" trap, and forgot about their own lives.

I despise being told I have to sacrifice all that I am in order to flush my body of a handful of cells with the self-consciousness of a pancreas.