Thursday, October 28, 2010



- noun

  1. The type of liberal who defends this shit.
  2. Gawker.

Melissa at Shakesville says it all.

Half-Monkey, Half-Person: Evolution and Equality

Photo: Young black spider monkey
A monkey.
A human.
A bonobo.

Recently, Glenn Beck said this:
I don't think we came from monkeys. I think that's ridiculous. I haven't seen a half-monkey, half-person yet. Did evolution just stop? There's no other species that's developing into half-human?
First, we did not "come from" monkeys. We share a common ancestor with modern monkeys.

Second, I'd like to address right-winger's repulsion at the notion of our common ancestry with other primates, and its relationship to attitudes about equality.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Doing History Badly

I'm watching this show on History Television called Ancients Behaving Badly. It examines the behaviour of historic figures and places them on a scale between psychopath and goal-driven killer. It's incredibly cheesily done. The episode is about Julius Caesar.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Suspense is Killing Me ... RAGE!

Voted for Smitherman. Waiting with baited breath to see who wins. If Ford is the next mayor of Toronto, I will seriously cry.

UPDATE: Fucking fuck. How the fuck do we go from David Miller to Rob fucking Ford? HOW?!?!?!

I can't believe we've got this asshole with his shitty useless pound-stupid ideas, homophobia, killing Transit City... Ford is a god-damned fucking embarrassment to the city and people voted for him! 


I'm done. Good god-damned fucking night.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


So apparently some researchers determined the 50 funniest (English language) jokes, some how. Here is the list. Most of them are not that funny. Only a couple are sexist or racist. A couple of them did make me smile:
34. There was a man who entered a local paper's pun contest. He sent in ten different puns, in the hope that at least one of the puns would win. Unfortunately, no pun in ten did.
48. Went to the corner shop - bought 4 corners.

Reading these made me want to share a couple of my favourite jokes. 
What's green, fuzzy, has four legs, and if it falls out of a tree and onto your head, it'll kill you?

Friday, October 22, 2010

New Comment Policy!

You might notice that I've added a comment policy (see tabs above). It's pretty simple: Don't be an obvious troll.   See the policy for examples and to leave comments.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Okay, is it just me, or does this: 

make you picture this:

Monday, October 18, 2010

A Message to Men

So, this is on Postsecret this week:

First of all, if a woman with Barbie's proportions existed in real life, she would snap in half at the waist. A real life Ken would not. Just wanted to get that out there.

But that's besides the point.

A Picture of US Politics

Not infrequently do I comment that there is no left wing in USian party politics to speak of. Not infrequently, people argue about this fact with me. The website The Political Compass has given me the means to illustrate what I'm talking about. Instead of placing people on a simple left-right spectrum, the political compass maps people's economic positions along a left-right axis, and people's social positions along an authoritarian-libertarian axis. Here is where US Senators fell as of 2008:

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Princess Boy

I might not have new posts up over the next week. In the meantime I'll just post interesting stuff without comment. Like this video, about a boy who prefers to wear dresses, and his mom, who wrote a book about it that is now being used as an anti-bullying tool. Please share your thoughts on the video in the comments.

As of this moment, the comments on YouTube are actually kind of interesting,if you're inclined to check them out. The comments at The Daily What, which is where I found this, have devolved into a flame war, and Godwin's law has even come into play.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Case For Hyphenated Identities

Back in July I read this article, "What Are We Supposed To Call White People?" by Adriel Luis, in the Race In America section of The writer relates an incident where a white classmate got offended by the phrase "white folks". Luis notes that while visible minorities have put time and energy into debating what to call themselves collectively, the same can't really be said for whites. He lists some suggestions for alternatives to "white". The point of the article was not so much to actually raise the question of what white people should be called as to get people thinking about who gets to name whom what and within what framework - Luis points out that not being white himself, it's not really his question to raise.

I, however, am white, and I actually do think that it's a question worth raising. One that I think might possibly have the potential to de-normalize whiteness in some small way. (Equivocal!)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Rejecting Binaries: Men Have Curves Too

In my post on washroom signs, I noticed that one of the variations on the male-as-universal/female as specific trope was, men are people and women are people with waists.

the male is indicated by horizontal vertical lines topped with a circle and the female is a similar design but one of the lines is hourglass shaped the male has a simple rectangular silhouette but the female has an hourglass shape

I was reminded of that the other day when I was walking downtown and passed this sculpture, "The Pillars of Justice" in front of a courthouse:

Again the male figures do not have waists and hips.

Then I saw photos from this fashion show, the theme of which was, "men's wardrobe meets women's bodies". Apparently, this is from the designer's ready to wear collection.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

What A Picture Is Worth

This photo was taken in Copenhagen, by someone who goes by Hanjosan on Flickr. The context of the photo is not given. We don't know where the women are or what they're doing. We don't know what their relationship is or how they're interacting. We don't know what their daily lives are like.

We read our own assumptions into those blank spaces. People look at the Muslim woman's inscrutable expression and see very different things.

"She doesn't look happy."

She looks "timid."

"She looks like she wanted to cry at any minute. Maybe she knows what will come if she gets home..."

"She has a look on her face like 'Where's the stone gonna be coming from???'"

She's a "brave girl."

She's "powerful."

"This sista's got the sass!"

"This girl is a badass. I would not fuck with her."

"The girl holds onto her values but somehow makes her look and her life her own."

What we think we already know determines what we make of new information. Our prejudices are self-reinforcing. We construct other people in our minds and determine who they are before we ever meet them.

If you're reading this blog, you've likely experienced this truth. The different comments that this photo has received are just another demonstration of that.

Family, and the Conservative Inability to Conceptualize Change

Okay, so the Vanier Institute's study about Canadian families was just released, based on census data that, according to the Globe and Mail, "suggests the profile of the typical Canadian family is undergoing some surprising changes." Of course by "surprising changes" they mean, "the same changes that have been taking place for a couple of decades now, and are not surprising at all."

About 42% of Canadians 15 and older are single, though half of them were previously in a long-term relationship, and either the relationship ended or their partner died - a result that makes sense considering how long people are living and our aging population. The aging population also explains the fact couples with children are now the minority.

Couples are getting married less and living in common-law relationships more - often hypothesized to be the result of ebbing religiosity. On the other hand, the report notes that most couples see cohabitation as prelude to marriage rather than a substitute. Common-law couples with children are the fastest growing type of family - nearly 15% of children under 15 live with common-law parents, when twenty years ago that number was less than 5%. Meanwhile, around 66% of kids live with parents who are married, down from 81% twenty years ago.

You can find the entire report here. I haven't had the chance to look it over in detail yet, but it seems very interesting. But then, I'm one of those people who loves looking at statistics and charts. Especially when it comes to the changing nature of the family, I find it really interesting to observe the broad movements in our society, and examine the impact of generational change, waves of migration, economic factors, and law. Good stuff.

Anyhoo, the way that I heard about this study in the first place was that I recently cyber-sauntered over to a Canadian (C)conservative blog that I troll sometimes (called Searching For Liberty, run by a Mr. Harvie), and lo and behold saw a post topped with this image:

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Homophobic Bullying Happens In Canada Too

Canadian gay pride flag

Many of us have been shocked and saddened by the tragic deaths of gay youths that have resulted from homophobic bullying these past couple of weeks in the United States. As Montreal Simon points out, the problem of bullying and harassment has received far less attention here in Canada. This is not because there is no problem. Recent data being collected in Canada on homophobic bullying in schools shows results very similar to those in the USA.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Feminism Ruins Everything

Right Wing Watch linked to an editorial from Concerned Women for America called, "It's (Some) Women's Fault" by Brenda Zurita. It was linked to a while ago (around June 30), and the arguments are even older than that. Really the author doesn't say anything that hasn't already been said hundreds of times over the last twenty years... but I wanted to critique the article. So I did. Because this is my blog and that's how I roll.

Right off the bat it's funny how cagey she's being about which women she might be blaming, when we all know she's talking about feminists. And what exactly is "it" that Zurita is blaming feminists for, you might ask? "It" is the fact that she could not get a seat on the bus the other day on her way to work. Seriously.