the truth about Thanksgiving

You all know how I feel about holidays (if you don’t, here’s a summary, I LOATHE them), but out of all of them, I hate Thanksgiving most of all. I enjoy the practice of it (I am still remembering the vegan feast Erin and I made last year and gorged ourselves on), but hate the myth it is based on. So, before you start dressing up like Pilgrims and Indians and thinking that your dinner is like the first one where the “Indians” showed the pilgrims how to make popcorn and shit, have a gander at “The Real First Thanksgiving” from the awesome book Lies My Teacher Told Me. Yes, it’s a bootleg scan (thanks to Brandon), but would you expect something else from me?

the_truth_about_the_first_thanksgiving.pdf

go blue hens?!@!?!?

Some weird stuff going on with the social justice/diversity programs at U of D. Gosh, I feel so disconnected. I barely remember being an RA there. All the info I can find right now is from conservatice orgs, so it’s hard for me to find out what is going on.

…of the day

STUPID IDEA of the day

Boy’s Family Upset At Unflattering Awards – Education News Story – WCAU | Philadelphia and I thought I hated children

TIME WASTING SITE of the day

strange maps

WHAT I’M READING of the day

Diabetics risk health to feed obsession with thinness Sadly, this doesn’t surprise me.

SONG of the day

Shannon, “Let the Music Play

the media is inexcusable

As the nation mourns, media producers wet their pants with excitement over the details of the VT tragedy. Most major news stations are stationed down there ripping each other apart trying to get a crying student on camera.

Was it truly nexessary for the video that Cho Seung-Hu made before the killings to go public?  How is that for the family and friends of the victims? They most certainly could have just turned that over to investigators. No, the nightly news had to have the best rating.

Stores are already taking advantage of the demand for “Hokie” wear.

And don’t even get me started on this.

insiginificant info

I know my earlier comments about VT may sound insenstive, but seriously, if you know me, you know that I have widely innapprpriate emotional responses. Those of you that were with me during 9/11 probably remember my dumb comments during that. I am not taking it back, it’s just how I deal with things. It still hasn’t sunk in, even though I have been watching CNN for about three days straight now. [Also, have you noticed how some prouction intern has designed all sorts of fancy logos for them? Ridiculous. And the two reporters in the scene trying to grab a reaction from any grieving student they could get their hands on.]

So what’s my way to deal with it? Totally indulge in trivial shit.

I’m torn. Lucky You looks like the crappiest movie ever, but Eric Bana, you make my heart pitter-patter. I may need to catch like a 10am viewing of this so no one sees me.

Trainspotting sequel? Danny Boyle…just stop. No.

Could you die from cuteness?

I think I may already have a contender for my favorite album of the year.

This is interesting. Some guy writing a fad diet claims that cardio training is a complete waste of time. At first I thought that was ridiculous, but…I didn’t really start losing weight until I did weight training. Hmmmm. It can’t be that bad for you. I don’t know.

Also, I will be in the Bay Area in the first week of May. Isn’t that crazy? Me, actually leaving the East Coast. My crazy notion of wanting to move to California is actually coming closer to a reality. It was like some zany idea that I had one day, and then when it actually may happen…it’s weird. Especially when I stumbled across this. It’s not exactly my story, but a lot rang true.

Virginia Tech

Along with you, I am also pretty freaked out by the Virginia Tech shooting. My heart goes out to everyone there. But my question is, can we get these kids to take a public speaking course?

student: “I was in Shanks Hall, which is located in the upper portion of campus, and we were having class, and all of a sudden we had e-mail saying that, like, there was a shooting on campus and then we were updated with it saying that, like, classes were being canceled and to stay where we were. … Right after we got that e-mail we heard five shots on campus, and we could hear the emergency speaker system. So we all got down under the desks and moved away from the windows.

There must have been at least over 20 or 30 cop cars and ambulances. Like, every street was lined with them. I did not see like openings at all, like, it was really scary. All the cops had, like, vests on, and some had guns in their hands and everything. I felt like I was in a war zone, or in the middle of like the city, or something. It was just very, very unsettling.”

I’m watching CNN and MSBNC simultaneously, and is it just me or are the producers jumping for joy about the coverage this will bring them? I think they already have a logo. And how many times are they going to play the tape with the gunshots and the screaming? And then the anchor saying “listen to that CARNAGE!”. Jeez.

Another update: I am really sick of all the press criticizing how the police handled it. How in the hell does anyone prepare for something like this? Now they are criticizing them for not having security guards at the dorms at all times. Practically every school on a suburban campus has a dorm that is easily penitrable. They were criticising them for not doing a radio boradcast. Who the hell listens to the radio? Also, how do you lock down a campus of 30,000 within minutes? Lay off. It’s a tragedy that no one expected.

Go Blue Devils

I’ve been asked to share my thoughts on the Duke LAX rape case being dropped.

What the Duke rape case fiasco and the U.S. attorney scandal have in common-Slate Magazine

Duke lacrosse players: Case closed – CNN.com

ABC News: Charges Dropped in Duke Lacrosse Case

I am suppressing my gut reaction to cry bullshit automatically. Honestly, I am still not convinced that the men are innocent, and I am not entirely convinced that they are guilty (but I can’t get that awful email one of the players wrote out of my mind). While there are certainly a lot of flaws to our legal system, it really is all we have to count on. Sinply put, without the due process we would be reduced to nothing more than Salem witch trials. If all these unethical things did not happen, would the verdict of the trial have turned out differently? Hard to say. I can’t use moral relativism when I decide who gets due process or not.

It is a little fucked up that the players were suspended and all the media attention before a verdict was reached. That maybe was more of a PR move for Duke Athletics rather than a punitive thing. I think all the media hoopla also affected the validity of the trial and the whole thing. This isn’t the direct fault of the players necessarily, but I think you have to ask WHY is got the media attention to begin with. Is it because they were privileged white kids? If this were a poor urban youth, would people be in an uproar? Would it have made a high-profile case, thus resulting in the flawed trial?

I think one of the players mentioned the whole thing about the unfairness of someone being able to have a high priced attorney on their side. In a fair, just world, everyone would be assigned an attorney and that would be that. However,because there is a market for it, it exists. Why should we expect someone who is a gifted attorney to decide to be a public defender when they could make 10 times as much as a private attorney? So you can’t really blame the individual defendants for being “privileged” for hiring a high powered attorney. If I were in the situation I would probably do the same.

A note about DNA sampling: I think people were expecting the DNA from the rape kit to be the deciding factor in the case. Believe it or not, DNA evidence in sexual assult cases are rarely ever clear cut. There is very rarely good evidence take from the survivor that is a reliable for dcientific testing. If there even is at all.

My feelings go out to the woman who was involved. I hope this situation does not contribute to the belief that women commonly cry rape for attention or to be vindictive. Because some people actually believe that happens all the time, which is so infuriating to me. I still think something happened, even though we will never know what. I am quite positive that intitially coming forward with the accusations was no picnic for her either.

Then we get to the monolithic issues about the culture of men’s college athletics. This is something I directly deal with, probably on a day to day basis. Again, it would be very easy of me to blame the individuals on teams for being misogynist, homophobic assholes and call it a day. You have to look at the things around it, the socialization of this whole male identity, and the culture surrounding it, and the expectations set up by coaches/parents their whole lives. Not that people can say they are helpless victims of circumstance, everyone still has an individual choice of how to act. Then you have to look at sportls like lacrosse and hockey, and realize that these are sports that are cultivated and supported in well-off communities and schools, so there is the whole privileged, white, prep school culture which is a monster on its own. And then you need to look at how coaches are role models for teams and how they promote violence, rejection of anything not remotely masculine and the peer culture of social norms maintaining the “cult of masculinity”. I don’t even know how to start even breaking rhe surface, both in talking about it and actually challenging it in real life.

god bless the higher education system

Sorority Evictions Raise Issue of Looks and Bias

Worried that a negative stereotype of the sorority was contributing to a decline in membership that had left its Greek-columned house here half empty, Delta Zeta’s national officers interviewed 35 DePauw members in November, quizzing them about their dedication to recruitment. They judged 23 of the women insufficiently committed and later told them to vacate the sorority house. The 23 members included every woman who was overweight. They also included the only black, Korean and Vietnamese members.

I can’t say I’m surprised…but the question is that I can’t believe they actually thought they were being logical.

lost…for twenty five years

This is pretty much my worst fucking nightmare. This is also why I can never watch An American Tale.

  BANGKOK, Feb. 7 (UPI) — A woman who boarded the wrong bus on an attempted shopping trip from Thailand to Malaysia has returned home after 25 years.

Jaeyana Beuraheng told her eight children she accidentally boarded a bus bound for Bangkok instead of Malaysia, and once there she boarded a second incorrect bus because she could not read or speak Thai or English, The Times of London reported Wednesday.

Beuraheng, who speaks only the Yawi dialect used by Muslims in southern Thailand, said the noise and traffic of the big city confused and disoriented her, leading her to board the second wrong bus to Chiang Mai, near the border with Burma.

The woman said she spent five years begging on the street in the city and was often mistaken for a member of a hill tribe because of her dark skin tone.

She was arrested in 1987 on suspicion of being an illegal immigrant and was sent to a social services hostel when authorities were unable to determine her origins.

However, last month, three students from her home village arrived at the hostel for training, and they were able to communicate with Beuraheng and help her find her way home.

Homophobia is okay when it’s funny

An update on the Snickers commerical:

A lot of Super Bowl viewers didn’t snicker at a Snickers commercial that aired during the game; instead, they complained so loudly that Masterfoods, a division of the Mars candy company, decided not to show the spot again and removed it from its website. The spot showed two men eating a single Snickers candy bar from opposite ends, accidentally kissing (like the spaghetti-eating pooches in Lady and the Tramp) when they reached the cener, and reacting with disgust and anger. The commercial was extended on the website with members of the Chicago Bears and Indianapolis Colts also registering their disgust at the kiss. Among organizations that complained about the spot were the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and the Human Rights Campaign. In announcing its decision to yank the spot, a spokeswoman for Masterfoods observed that “humor is highly subjective.” She added: “Feedback from our target consumers has been positive, and many media and Web site commentators on this year’s Super Bowl lineup ranked the commercial among this year’s best.”

Who is this spokewoman? Humor is subjective? Just because people like it means it’s okay? Lots of people like segregation too. Asshole.

Source

Update: apparently, this is a form letter someone in their PR cooked up to send to all the complaintants. They are not taking any responsibility and essentially saying, because SOME people did not find it funny, it runied it for everyone else. They didn’t have the intent to offend. What the fuck? They are exploiting people’s homophobia and violent urges to sell their fucking candy. What kind of message does this sends to people about what should be done to people who are gay?They knew the intent.

here we go again

I guess that it is National Show Your Bigotry Week at our nations’ colleges.

Yale U. Investigates Alleged Hazing of 2 Freshman Tennis Players

 

By BRAD WOLVERTON

 

Yale University is weighing whether to punish members of its men’s tennis team after reports surfaced this week about an alleged hazing incident that has riled gay and lesbian students.

 

Last fall during dinner hour, according to several students who witnessed the incident, a group of athletes escorted two freshman players dressed in women’s underwear into two campus dining halls, where the first-year students stood on tables and sang, “You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman.”

 

The players — Connor Dawson and Matt Schimmel — reportedly had homophobic slurs written on their bodies. According to witnesses, the athletes had words that included “I’m a faggot” written on them in marker, and an arrow drawn down their backs, along with the words “Insert here.”

 

Many gay, lesbian, and transgender students were offended by the team members’ actions, Ben Gonzalez, a Yale sophomore and coordinator of the campus’s Queer Resource Center, said in an interview on Thursday.

 

In response to the incident, several gay and lesbian students met on Monday with Betty G. Trachtenberg, the university’s dean of student affairs, who plans to help organize a forum between athletes and concerned students to raise awareness of gay and lesbian issues.

 

In an e-mail message sent to a gay and lesbian student group on Wednesday, Brandon Wai, captain of Yale’s tennis team, apologized for the incident, saying that he and his teammates “meant no harm to anyone” and that in hindsight, they believe their actions were inappropriate and harmful.

 

In a statement, Thomas A. Beckett, Yale’s athletics director, said that the university is “extremely disappointed” by the team’s actions, which he described as “inappropriate initiation” activities.

 

The university and athletics officials plan to investigate the matter further before deciding on any punishments. In the meantime, the team’s players will be allowed to keep competing.

 

Yale officials have avoided referring to the incident as hazing. But according to the university’s Student-Athlete Handbook, any activity that requires “indecent exposure of the body” is considered hazing.

Are you kidding me? That’s not an apolgy. That’s a “I’m sorry that I got caught” apology. The only thing that I hate more than groups that haze are people that willingly are hazed to belong to that group.

If these are out future lawyers, we are fucked.

If this wasn’t enough, we also have law students doing it.

“I was aware of a pervasive lack of understanding between cultures,” he said. Greco believes that lack of understanding set the stage for what’s happening on campus right now. There has been tremendous fallout from an off-campus party this weekend. The theme was “Bullets and Bubbly” and people who went dressed in so-called hip-hop attire. “Bubble jackets with hoods, baggy jeans, doo-rags, basketball jerseys, medallions,” Greco said.

I think I am the ignorant one because I always assumed that everyone knows better than to “dress up” as the worst stereotypes and mock a group of people. How can someone actually do that on a weekend, then look their Black classmates in the face on Monday?

urban sprawl affects health?

Weighing In on City Planning: Could smart urban design keep people fit and trim?

Researchers have evidence that associates health problems with urban sprawl, a loose term for humanmade landscapes characterized by a low density of buildings, dependence on automobiles, and a separation of residential and commercial areas. Frank proposes that sprawl discourages physical activity, but some researchers suggest that people who don’t care to exercise choose suburban life. Besides working to settle that disagreement, researchers are looking at facets of urban design that may shortchange health.

I totally believe this! My life/health was totally different in NYC and DC. This is why I need to get OUT OF THE SUBURBS NOW!

what in the

Sex offender, 29, attends school as 12-year-old.

Holy crap. What a great Lifetime movie plot.

A spokeswoman for that school said: ‘He was quiet. He turned in his homework. There were no discipline issues. He was never sent to the principal’s office. By most accounts he was aloof and kept to himself.’

I think they were actually upset when they found out and wanted to keep him as a student. Wtf?

Rodreick initially met Stiffler and Robert James Snow, 43, on the internet. He reportedly kept up the pretence that he was a young teenage boy while living with them by shaving his body hair and wearing makeup. Stiffler and Snow were ‘very upset when the detectives told them they had been having a sexual relationship with a 29-year-old man, and not a pre-teen boy

omg.

[The sheriff's office] added: ‘This is the weirdest case I’ve seen in 18 years. If it wasn’t so sad it would be funny.”

You got that right.

It’s like a train wreck. This is horrible and awful, yet I want to know more.

Clone this, assholes.

Well Rush Limbaugh accused Michael J. Fox of faking Parkinson’s, or something like that, right? I can ignore that crap because Rush is probably doped up on prescription drugs and shoving his car trunk full of dead hookers. But then this ad pops up starring a couple of athletes and Patricia Heaton, who I hate more than life itself. More for her shitty show and more for the fact she dares to call herself a feminist. And Jim Caviezel- just because you played Jesus doesn’t make you Jesus. This is obnoxious because this is all actors and athletes- people who rely on being completely able-bodied and healthy for their jobs, and wealthy enough to afford any advanced treatments for any of the disease if they should so be inflicted.

The Truckee River killer?

I saw the video of the supposed killer of JonBenet Ramsey in the middle of the night last night and I thought it was part of a freaky dream I had. Apparently, it’s real. He was with her when she died? What? Does anyone else think someone is paying this guy to take the heat?

the big lump in my throat

Sometimes this sets me over the edge. And by sometimes I mean everytime. The Senate passed a bill regarding stem stell research and Bush is expected to veto it. Sorry to bring it down to the lowest common denomonator, but I can’t wait until Bush develops Parkinson’s or Alzheimers and I can remind him that he can’t find a cure because maybe that cell in some test tube maybe has a brain and is a person.

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censorship?

The Brooklyn College mfa thesis exhibition was closed down due to "strong sexual content" and now there is a rally of supporters. Aside from the censorship issues and the whole question of what makes art, I find it hilarious because what did people expect? Modern art is all about exploring sexual themes. Pratt would have been closed every day if they knew what was going on.