richardf8: (Default)
Sounds like Imus may have lost his show if I heard the news right this morning.

That's fine, he'll find another venue.

I cannot help but note that its another in a series of similar scandals, whether of racism, anti-semitism, or misogyny.

These things aren't happening because Howard Stern, Don Imus, or Mel Gibson, or whomever are bad people. These things are happening because there is a zeitgeist that eats it up, because there is an audience that is receptive to, and even validated by it.

And when Don Imus finds a new venue it will be because of this infamy, not in spite of it, and the market it appeals to will be even more receptive to a diet of hate. So much so that Imus may find himself in the position of having to ratchet up the volume in order to retain them.

Is this a desirable outcome?

And more pressing: what is this zeitgeist that these speech acts validate it and do we REALLY think we can staunch it by suppression? Sure we can put a finger in the dam where Imus is, but that only increases the flow elsewhere, and I'm not sure who's going to put a finger in Ann Coulter.

When we hear speech we do not like, we are to apt, I think to react with outrage and punish, punish, punish. That makes martyrs, and feeds the perception of oppression held by those who regard their prejudices and perceptions as normative.

I would keep Imus on the air. But I would shuffle McGuirk off elsewhere, and pair Imus with, say, Jeannene Garofalo, a liberal humorist who will only be too happy to call him on his shit in a way that makes him look like a jerk.

Come on - this is Defense Against the Dark Arts 101, guys. The way to vanquish a boggart is to make it look ridiculous.
richardf8: (Default)
I sent this to Senator Dayton today, via his web form.

I expect senate Democrats to fillibuster this nomination. The purpose of an opposition party is to defend the people of this nation from the tyranny of a grasping Majority.

The decisions of Samuel Alito on every court on which he sat betray a consistent elevation of corporate and government power over individual freedom, on topics ranging from the FMLA to discrimination to abortion. His ascendancy to the Supreme Court would eliminate the last, wafer thin, barrier between the US as a Constitutional Republic and the US as a Corporate Feudal State.

If the Democrats Fillibuster, and the Republicans exercise the so called "Nuclear Option," so be it. It would demonstrate the barefaced brutality of the current regime.

However, if the Democrats do not Fillibuster, then we will find that we have already surrendered to a one party state in which elections are as meaningful as they were in Saddam Hussein's Iraq. There will be no reason to vote any more.

Finally, note that Sandra Day O'Connor has agreed to serve until a replacement is found. Her willingness to prevent an actual Vacancy implies a wish on her part that a Justice more reflective of her values than of Bush's replace her.

Do not fail her.
And do not fail the people of this nation.

Do not vote to end debate on this nomination.
richardf8: (Default)
I was thinking about the searching of bags happening on the NYC Subway system, and the old canard that if you're doing nothing wrong then you've nothing to hide.

This is based on the false premise that only evidence of criminal activity demands to be hidden. Modesty, however, demands that we hide things that are not of a criminal nature.

It seems to me that sooner or later these bag searches will force some woman or other to disclose to some officious gubmint prick that she is either a) on the rag or b) on the pill. These searches do more to pull female sexuality into the public realm than they do for male sexuality. And in an environment in which the government seems entirely too concerned about what women do with their bodies, one is left wondering if this isn't a means of legitimizing state scrutiny of women's sexuality.

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