Your government can't agree on much these days, but they sure do hate those loud TV commercials.
Thursday, October 07, 2010
Wednesday, October 06, 2010
When a Canadian couple found out that the child their surrogate was carrying had Down syndrome, they wanted her to abort. The surrogate was determined to carry the pregnancy to term. Under the agreement they signed, if the surrogate wanted to continue with the pregnancy, she would have to raise the child herself.
This is really...complicated. Jezebel:
Friday, October 01, 2010
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
According to the poll, Obama has lost favor among many voters who supported his candidacy in 2008 but have since come to doubt he is a mammal. While these Americans concede Obama may not specifically be a cactus, most believe he is a plant of some kind, with 18 percent saying the president is a ficus, 37 percent believing him to be a grain such as wheat or millet, and 12 percent convinced he is an old-growth forest in Northern California.
When asked why they agreed with the statement "President Obama is a large succulent plant composed of specialized cells designed for water retention in arid climates," many responded that they "just know," claiming the president only acts like a human being for political purposes and is truly a cactus at heart.
White House officials have asserted that the nation's 44th president is a person.
This. Is. Perfect.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
The feature story of the most recent New York magazine is on Jon Stewart and The Daily Show. I love The Daily Show, and the timing of the article is perfect because Stewart has really been on fire lately, especially with his coverage of the "Ground Zero mosque" insanity. The article gives a peek into what it's like to work behind the scenes (hint: awesome), briefly covers the history of the shows history and what makes The Daily Show such a success. Stewart's frustration (and ours, as well) lies not just with one political party, but both, and with the news media.
The road trips to Philly and to the 2000 Democratic convention in Los Angeles reshaped The Daily Show, but not in the way Stewart had anticipated. “We were at that point merry pranksters—guys on a bus going, ‘That guy looks like Richard Gephardt!’ ” he says. “The more we got to meet people [in the media], it was—‘Oh! You’re fucking retarded! You don’t care!’ The pettiness of it, the strange lack of passion for any kind of moral or editorial authority, always struck me as weird. We felt like, we’re serious people doing an unserious thing, and they’re unserious people doing a very serious thing.”The profile is a bit quote-heavy, but I didn't mind because I like what Stewart has to say. The catharsis people get from watching the show makes it a bit easier to get through the news the next day.
Yet as appalled as Stewart was by the politicians, his greater scorn was increasingly aimed at the acquiescent and co-opted news media. “I assume there are bad actors in society,” Stewart says. “It’s inherent in politicians to be disingenuous. And a mining company wants to own the company store—as it is in SpongeBob. Mr. Krabs just wants to make more money. He’s not concerned with SpongeBob’s working conditions—although SpongeBob is putting in hours that are not humane, even for an invertebrate. I assume monkeys are gonna throw shit. I get angrier at the people who don’t go ‘Bad monkey!’ or who create distraction that allows it to continue unabated. The thing that shocked me the most when I first met reporters was the people who would step aside and say, ‘Boy, I wish I could say what you’re saying.’ You have a show! You are a network anchor! Whaddya mean you can’t say it?” Stewart says.
“Even if you’re eating delicious chocolate cake, there are moments you feel like, ‘I’ve had too much,’ ” Stewart says. “Now replace ‘chocolate cake’ with ‘shit taco’ and you know what our day is like every day. But this is not a fragile country. I’m not suggesting we couldn’t find ourselves in deep conflict. But we had slaves, and we fought a civil war; now we’re down to Glenn Beck being hyperbolic with his audience about nostalgia. This too shall pass.”
Monday, September 13, 2010
Ines Sainz is a Mexican sports reporter who attended a Jets training session on Saturday and is claiming she was harassed by members of the team. According to her and a witness, the coaches deliberately threw passes in her direction, which set up "potential collisions with the defensive backs in the drill" and was greeted with "hooting and hollering" (also described by a witness) when she entered the locker room. Public relations staff did not intervene.
I know very little about sports. What I do know is that after games or practices reporters enter the locker room in order to interview the players, making it a mutual workspace for the journalists and the players. So, being a work environment, the same rules prohibiting sexual harassment should still apply, and the players and reporters should be treating each other with a mutual professional respect.
According to Sainz and a witness, this isn't what happened. Although the harassment is a viable story on its own, what I was the most interested in was how the media portrayed the story. Let's start with how I first heard it, on the radio this morning.
I've talked about my morning radio habits before, criticizing z100 for their not always politically correct commentary. However, in the battle of the morning shows this morning, z100 proved itself to be on the (mostly) right side of this story. Scott and Todd in the Morning on PLJ, however, was not.
Here's what they both got wrong: immediately describing what she was wearing and that she is totally hot. They describe this because they think it's important to the story, because with many sexual harassment/assault stories, one of the first questions people think of is "well, what was she wearing?" This is common victim blaming behavior, even though what she was wearing is irrelevant.
Carla Quinn on PLJ did not think that it was, calling her out on her tight pants. Even though Quinn "defends women 99% of the time," she dismissed this as a "story about nothing," and the men on the show agreed with her. As long as nothing sexually explicit was said, or none of them were "taking their/her clothes off," it's not that big of a deal, according to them. On z100, as well, they spoke of her outfit, and that she's really pretty, as if excusing the hooting and hollering. Skeery Jones on that show said she deserved it, walking in with an outfit like that, to which Carolina yelled at him for "sounding like a caveman." He said men just can't help it when they see a woman dressed provocatively, so what did she suspect would happen? Danielle suggested that maybe she dressed like that because she was interested in getting a date with one of the players.
Elvis Duran, the host of the z100 morning show, finally came in as the voice of reason, saying, maybe what she wearing wasn't work appropriate, but that still doesn't excuse the behavior. We are all human beings and deserve respect. Yes! How sensible.
Elvis and Carolina handled the issue well, but the same can't be said for some of the other members of the morning show. And comparing them to how it was discussed on PLJ, I'd give them the upper hand here. But there is so much wrong with these discussions! First, the clothing issue. Stop asking "what was she wearing?", and as part of the media, please stop including this information in your sexual harassment discussion because it perpetuates the idea that is an important and relevant part of the story. Secondly, I am tired of the "men can't help it" excuse. Men are not animals, they are people, and they can control what comes out of their mouths. Why do we set such low expectations for them? It's insulting to assume they all must lose control when a pretty lady walks by, and by giving them the "men can't help it" excuse, it feeds the cycle of some men doing and saying inappropriate things towards women. We should be able to expect more from them.
I understand that as morning shows, they are supposed to be full of commentary, which usually skews controversial- the more controversial they are, the more listeners they will probably get. So they aren't considered to be a primary news source. The NY Post, more of a tabloid than a credible news source, didn't really help this situation with their story (the last line is "A bikini-clad Sainz has been featured in numerous photo spreads." Seriously?). The Bergen Record, covering the North Jersey area, had two pieces in their paper today. One was a female sports columnist who called the Jets out, saying that the locker room is her workspace, too. They also included a short blurb that did not make an mention of what she was wearing, but instead listed the facts: the NFL is looking into the Jets treatment of a female reporter, what she reported happened to her, and a brief statement from the NFL spokesman. Which is how the reporting of this incident should look like.
Friday, September 10, 2010
A long time ago I wrote about vanity sizing, which is when designers lower the size on their clothes to make consumers feel better about themselves, even though measurement-wise they are a much larger size (this explains the "Marilyn Monroe was a size 14!" myth- she wasn't TODAY'S size 14). I thought this was a female-only practice, but it turns out men get it just as bad. Check out this chart:
I always suspected Old Navy was the worst offender! No, I don't wear men's clothes, but the women's clothes from there run really big. Same for the Gap. I routinely have to buy a size or two down from what I buy at other retailers.
This is messed up. This is actual incorrect math we're talking about here- not something that can be subjective like "small" or "medium."
Image from Esquire.