Sunday, February 11, 2007

Weekend Wrap-up 2-11-07

Been a while since I did one of these, so...

Dollar coins
A new dollar coin is going to be introduced later this week. The good folks at the U.S. Mint are hoping that if you weren't crazy about Susan B. Anthony or Sacajawea, then maybe you'll like a series of dollar coins that feature all the U.S. presidents. Yes, even George Bush ("Dubya", that is). I figure that those who have a strong dislike for a past or present president will be using those dollar coins in such a way to express their dislike for that president. Well, it's their money, I suppose. The Mint has been trying to substitute the dollar bill for quite a while, but with no success. There's even been a $2 dollar bill at one time. My suggestion: Make the Washington dollar into the new $2 bill. That only makes sense, I think - but what do I know?

Harvard's new president
I had wondered why Harvard's new president was news. I figured at first that it was because it was Hah-Vahd, and that was supposed to be reason enough. But once I checked out the first paragraph, then I figured it out. Hah-Vahd was where the previous president got into hot water because of his statements about genetics and gender being one possible reason why there is a dearth of women in the maths and sciences. Of course, nowadays you just can't say stuff like that, even if it might be true. The truth is supposed to be because we are an oppressive patriarchic society that keeps women out of higher places because the old boys don't want no dames where they are at. Nope, to make it something other than that means that you're one of those oppressive patriarchic types, and you just can't be trusted.

Well, hopefully the hiring of a female president will solve all of that, and there will be no more of this nonsense about genetics and the lack of women in the maths and sciences and stuff. After all, Hah-Vahd no doubt hired this woman because she was an ace at math and science, which will bounce the genetics theory out the door. Yep, surely she was hired because of her abilities, and NOT because she happened to be a woman. Yeah, I'll just leave it at that and move on to the next topic.

The Vagina Monologues
And speaking of not treating women as body parts, coming soon to my fair city is The Vagina Monologues. Okay, I'll admit that I never read the book. Judging by what I've heard about it so far, I'm not sure I want to. It's NOT because of the topic of women discussing their vaginas (although I'll admit that I'm no more likely to read a play about women discussing their vaginas than I would a book of men discussing their penises), but because it seems so - I don't know - stupid, I guess. I can see discussing women's experiences in other parts of the world, but to discuss women's experiences in other parts of the world as it relates to their vaginas...?

All this time, men have been conditioned to not treat women as just "tits and ass" - and yet this book does basically that. Is it supposed to be okay if the objectification is done by women? Also worthy of noting is the fact that the play originally contained a monologue in which a 13 year old was given alcohol and raped by a lesbian. In the play, the girl had said that it was a "good rape".

Uh-huh. This criticism has been countered by making the 13 year old into a 16 year old; but apparently, she's still given the alcohol, and still taken advantaged of. This still falls under the definition of statutory rape, and last time I checked, that was still illegal. It's this particular monologue and the lack of outrage from feminists over the story that largely keeps me from reading TVM. Rape is supposed to be wrong - no matter how it's done or who does it, and for feminists to not be outspoken and outraged over it makes me seriously question their credibility over their alleged concerns for women and their rights and safety.

Understand that I have absolutely nothing against plays that tell of the plight of women living in a man's world. More power to you, I say. But I think that there has to be better plays than TVM. I don't see how men are supposed to see that objectification of women as being wrong if a play of women doing basically that is glorified. It's called "sending conflicting messages". Maybe it's because I'm just a man, but TVM just seems so wrong in so many ways.

Anna Nicole and the astronaut
I never thought that anything would displace from the front pages the Iraq war and the amount of death and carnage that is going on. Once again, I am wrong. Sigh. When will I learn? The sudden death of Anna Nicole Smith, plus the surprising behavior of one of our NASA astronauts has taken over the headlines. There's really nothing that I can say about Smith that hasn't already been said many times over, so all I'll say is that I'll be praying for her young daughter, who is now in the unenviable position of being at the center of an estate and custody dispute. As for Lisa Nowak, it goes to show that even a woman skilled in math and science can still fall prey to human weaknesses (I guess she didn't go to Hah-Vahd).

But what Anna Nicole and Lisa Nowak demonstrate is the often schizophrenic judgment on the part of the media of what makes the front page. Again, I didn't think anything would displace the Iraq war, but to be displaced by something like this...? In recent days, the front pages of many newspapers have come to resemble gossip columns instead of hard-hitting journalism. And the media wonders why their readership and viewership is dwindling...

Election '08
Well, it's official. 3 Democratic candidates have thrown their hat into the ring, and at least one Republican is close to doing the same. I'll say right now that of that foursome - Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, and Rudy Giuliani - I wouldn't vote for any of them. Nope, if you want to make for an election that will be unprecedented, then go with Joe Lieberman for the Dems and Dr. Condoleezza Rice for the GOP. That way, you have two unprecedented candidates running for office. Thing is, I still probably wouldn't vote for either of them, but at least such candidacies would be VERY interesting to keep up with.

The '08 election is also likely to be a good time for an independent to also make a run for it. Well, that's if they don't pull a'92 Perot and pull out just when a movement is building! The recent Texas governor's race showed that an independent can succeed if he or she plays their cards right. Texas actually had TWO independents, and if it hadn't been for that fact, then one of them might have had a much stronger showing. I think this shows that the good people of this nation are primed for the right person to step in. Such a person would have to have a combination of a charismatic personality, independently wealthy, a flair for timing, and a personality that comes across as sincere and genuine (as opposed to many of today's politicians, who come across as manufactured and processed as canned meat).

At this time, I know of no one whom I could suggest as well as vote for. I'll have to think about that some more. But I do believe that the time is right for an independent to step in. If Perot hadn't fumbled away his opportunity back in '92, who knows where our nation might be right now? Now's the time for a new Perot to step up. And not screw up this time!

Have a great week, folks!

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