That Whole Rigamarole

Friday, April 11, 2003

The Double Standard

Eugene Volokh posted about vibrators, and for some reason I have been pondering the topic. The reason society grants women their sex toys but ridicules men who use them is that women control access to sex. If we think of a woman using a sex toy to gratify herself (and who doesn't?) then one underlying assumption is that she prefers her sex toy to the available partners. She is a strong, assertive female. If we think if a man using a sex toy on himself (ewwww!) then the underlying assumption is "he can't get laid." He is a pathetic loser. It comes down to economics, as expressed by the punchline to the old joke: "With one of these, I can get as many of those as I want!"

Tuesday, April 08, 2003

Becoming the Story

LOTS of coverage of the several journalist fatalities in Baghdad today, some of it quite irritating. A questioner at this morning's CENTCOM briefing and also a Mr. Simon of "The Committe to Protect Journalists" on MSNBC tonight used the phrase "Western journalists" in implying that US forces ought to be more careful in shooting up buildings that probably contain civilians. As though killing some brown, olive, or yellowish journalists would have been more understandable. Mr. Simon also used the phrase "press hotel" to describe the Palestine Hotel, as though the presence of reporters consecrates that dump in some way. For a tanker, it's just another tall building that someone can whack him from.

Now, our forces have been giving special consideration (for our own political reasons) to mosques and schools. And I could have sworn I heard some journo on the radio complaining about that, too. She wondered why hotels with reporters in them didn't get the same consideration. Short answer: because mosques and schools have special significance, in the letter and spirit of the law, that hotels (even "press hotels") don't. Duh.

I also noted lots of press incredulity about the claims of sniping from the Palestine Hotel, because the reporters there hadn't heard or seen anything. Sorry, but I think benefit of the doubt goes to the soldiers on this one. Some of these people don't seem all that observant to me. That's not to say that there could have been no mistake. Those are common during battles, we have seen plenty of the resulting tragedies. That's probably one the Pentagon suggested that remaining in Baghdad was risky.

A Protest Idea

With the debate about a role for the UN in liberated Iraq, I've been thinking about how we could kick the UN out of New York City. In my basement I have some disused pieces of luggage. I was thinking of shipping them to the UN headquarters as a subtle means of suggesting that THEY GET THE HELL OUT OF TOWN!

But probably shipping big, empty containers to a place like that is some sort of terror attack now, so I'd go to prison or something. Anyone with ideas about whether this type of thing is feasible is welcome to e-mail me.

Company's Coming!

I see that it's been a week since my last post, and that Colby Cosh has a link from his hockey page back to here, so I better post something.


I live near Chicago, but I grew up in Minnesota, and lived in St. Louis for a long time. I followed the North Stars until I moved to St. Louis (somewhat) permanently in 1986 and they became really crappy for a while. I have been following the Blues since then, but I'm a fan of hockey in general more than a total Blues homer. I played hockey recreationally for a number of seasons without any discernable athletic talent. I watch a few games on the dish nowadays, and think about whether I want to return to the late nights of recreational hockey.

I think the Dallas Stars are strong favorites to win the Stanley Cup in 2003, with the next favorite as Detroit. I think every other playoff team in the West would have a close series with whoever wins the East. I don't watch the East very much, but I'm not that impressed by what I have seen from them.