Feb 242015

Last Friday at its peak. Tomorrow should be considerably more impressive.

Saintseester and I have long laughed at The Weather Channel’s ridiculous practice of naming winter storms, because a) the names aren’t necessary; and b) absolutely no one uses them. ‘Seester had the awesome idea of naming them after breakfast cereals. So, we’re expecting Winter Storm Cheerios tomorrow.

You see kids, hurricanes need names because they are renegades. No one’s quite sure what they’re going to do, and there might be more than one at a time. Winter storms are just the normal weather pattern. They’re lines of thunderstorms, but cold. Are we going to name thunderstorms next? (Maybe I shouldn’t say that too loudly…)

So, tonight is the first night this winter that we’ve really been able to enjoy the threat of inclement weather properly. School and work are already closed, so we can go to bed without setting an alarm, look forward to sit-down breakfast, and so forth. Aaron’s excited about breaking out the chessboard after the pancake dishes are in the dishwasher.

Sounds good to me, big man.

 Posted by at 7:37 pm
Feb 172015

So I guess the Fifty Shades of Grey movie is out. The book on which it is based is known to me mostly by the crude joke about smelling your wife’s fingers to know whether she’s reading it. I haven’t read it. Lea thought it was plodding, with little plot.

The erotic novel is, of course, not a new idea. We’ve had them as long as we’ve had novels. I can remember flipping through some of the books my stepsister read and being amazed at both the level of detail and how long it would go on. I can’t recall ever trying to write about a sexual encounter at length, but I bet getting much past a paragraph or so without sounding silly is pretty tough.

I just looked the title up to make sure I had it spelled correctly and was astonished to discover six showtimes every day this week for it at our nicest theater. Apparently it’s every bit the phenomenon the book was/is.

It’s unlikely I’ll read or see it, so I have no firsthand knowledge of it. I think I’ve been able to get the gist, though. And while the libertarian in me is all about leaving adults to do what they consent to doing, it’s depressing that it’s this story that’s such a sensation. We have a woman a half a hair’s-width removed from girlhood who is so devoid of self-respect that she’ll submit to all manner of abuse and manipulation because the guy’s rich. Or do you really think she’d put up with all of the front-end stalking and other creepiness were its perpetrator Franklin, the night manager at the Super Target?

I’m sad this is such a sensation simply because of the “relationship” dynamics. There’s certainly nothing emulable by decent people here. A lot of what gives erotic submission its charge is that the person submitting has power/respect/standing that s/he is deliberately setting aside to enter the situation. Submission entails forfeiture of strength, and Ana (I looked the names up) has no such strength to forfeit. She’s basically a mouse in a cage. I don’t like thinking about a lot of readers and/or moviegoers identifying with either one of these people.

Consider that it might be a much more powerful story, and not nearly so repugnant, if it were the wealthy and successful person submitting to the college student.

 Posted by at 3:00 pm
Feb 082015

OK, social media gurus. Riddle me this. A few months back I unfollowed five accounts on Twitter because they were all posting the same content (almost always links to listicles). Each account belonged (ostensibly) to a different attractive young lady with a non-trivial amount of followers (tens of thousands). Each account followed me first, and […]

 Posted by at 12:24 pm
Feb 062015

Mr. President, the Crusades ended over 700 years ago. Furthermore, their causes, effects, and methods generate intelligent disagreement and discussion. Reasonable people can defend polemic territory all over the ideological map. ISIS is lighting people on fire now. ISIS is cutting people’s heads off now. ISIS is stoning women to death now. It is unambiguously […]

 Posted by at 10:45 am
Jan 262015

In the spring of 1989, at UAH in my Introduction to Philosophy class, there was a girl named Carol whose eyes were the greenest, most lustrous things I’ve ever seen. They were pools of molten emerald. She sat several rows over and slightly further forward, so we’d have opportunities for eye contact as Dr. Cling […]

 Posted by at 10:00 am

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