Wednesday, July 25, 2007

This sounds like a....

The ever envelope-pushing FOX Network will be debuting a new show this Fall called, "If Women Ruled the World," that sounds simple enough. FOX sends a bunch of people to a remote island, puts the women in charge, then sets up cameras to, presumably, watch the men suffer. Or watch the women bicker. Or watch whatever gender stereotypes will no doubt be perpetuated in this train-wreck-waiting-to-happen. And we'll all watch, as the world gets turned "upside down."

And yet something seems off. A remote island. Dominant women. Subserviant men. Things being turned upside down. It kinda sounds like a porno movie. Right? Has FOX finally jumped the shark of bad taste? Will they actually air pornography and call it original programming? I, for one, think that is exactly what would happen...if only they could.

At the Pitch:
Producer- "Okay, so, it's a remote, primitive island, and the women rule the men, and then they all start fucking each other."
FOX Exec- "Woah, woah. I love it. Really. I do."
P- "Great, great."
FOX- "But--and here me out, here--take one step back."
P-"Uhhhh, I don't follow."
FOX- "Let's just cut it at: the women rule the men."
P- "So they never start fucking each other."
FOX- "No, no I don't think they do."
P- "But that's the heart of the show."
FOX- "Look. I love the everybody fucking each other. I think that's great. Not sure it'll get past the censors."
P- "Well, can they at least wear a bunch of torn clothing and be sweaty and oily and totally toned and hot and--"
FOX- "Yeah. Yeah, we can do that. That's totally different."

Here is the actual Press Release, for your reading pleasure.

What if it was "a woman's world"? What if women made ALL the decisions? If men were their obedient subjects?

These questions and more will be explored when a group of strong, educated, independent women, tired of living in a man's world and each with a personal axe to grind, rule over a group of unsuspecting men used to calling the shots on WHEN WOMEN RULE THE WORLD.

The unscripted series will reveal how women and men react in a world where women are in charge and men are subservient, and each gender's ability to adapt to a new social order will be put to the test.

The participants will be brought to a remote, primitive location where the women will have the opportunity to "rule" as they build a newly formed society – one where there is no glass ceiling and no dressing to impress. For the men, their worlds of power and prestige are turned inside-out and upside-down. And for these women, turnabout is fair play!

In order to win, the men must accede to the women's every demand, 24/7. Here, women command and men obey. Over the series' duration, the men will be eliminated by the women until one last man is standing.

How will the men react? How will the women treat the men? Can women effectively rule society? Will the men learn what life is like for some women in today's world? Will this new society be a Utopia or a hell on earth? And in the end, who will be man enough to succeed in the new social order?

Mariuana is everywhere, where was you brought up?

CNN today highlights a new study saying that...wait for kids are abusing prescription medication! What?! No! Not college kids! Apparently students have set up "black markets" of drug sharing on campuses accross the country. How could this have happened? These kids have found a way to relax, dull pain, reduce anxiety, increase academic performance, and, if they're the lucky ones with a prescription, make a little money on the side. Which they will spend on beer. Which is not a drug.

How could we ever have seen this coming?

The study says how kids are abusing Vicodin, Vallium, Adderall, Ritalin, and Xanax, potentially even more than they are abusing mariuana. Then it goes on to say, and this is priceless, that college kids are abusing prescription pills because, according to CNN, they "percieve them as safer [than marijuana]."

Now, I don't know what kind of douchebag kids they surveyed, but I've never been in a dormroom and heard someone say, "No, I'm gonna pass on that joint. It's dangerous. Gimme a Vicoden-Adderall-Xanax cocktail. Man, you guys are crazy smoking weed like that. Ow, my heart really hurts all of a sudden."

Also, what kid is "abusing" prescription drugs, ostensibly because it makes them feel good, or provides escape, or whatever, but doesn't like to smoke weed. Just as it's absurd to claim that kids think that prescription drugs are safer than weed, it is equally ridiculous to claim that kids who are naturally drawn to one substanance won't naturally be drawn to another one. I'm willing to bet that 75-90% of college kids that buy pills from their friends for recreation/academic use also smoke a fuckton of weed.

But wait, there's more. This kills me too. The articles implicitly claims that pills are easier to get than pot, which is, at least on every campus I've ever been on, is like saying Pepsi is easier to get than Coke. Maybe...but the difference is statistically irrelevant. And I don't think it's even true.

Then, one doctor claims that pills are prefered over weed, because with pills, "[college students] don't have to go to the streets and deal with some guy they don't know and get marijuana where they don't know what's in it."

2 things about that. First, where is the token campus drug-dealer? Come on, colleges. What college kids are trolling skid row looking for a "marijuana fix?" The guy you buy weed from lives down the street from you, and he's probably in your Philosophy of the Mind class. Second, when can we as a nation just fucking accept that if you buy weed from someone you don't know, it's not gonna fucking kill you. There's this weird meme in our society that there are people spiking their stash with rat poison and they can't wait to sell it to you. Now, I'm sure that you can find stories where shit like that has happened, but 95% of the time, the worst case scenario is that it's just shitty weed. Not homicide weed.

Now, in writing this, I admit to engaging in no illegal activities, and these opinions come to me from going to high school and college and living in New York and having my eyes open to what is around me. This CNN bullshit is just so far off base you have to say something about it. But this is all just stuff I heard about.

"Good News" has gotten so relative lately

Douglas Macgregor, a former Army colonel, said today that under Donald Rumsfeld the Special Ops was turned into a "giant killing machine." Macgregor expects we'll see changes with Rummy's departure and a new head of Special Ops. One of the changes, Macgregor said, was that in the future, "The emphasis will be on, 'If you have to kill someone, then for God's sakes, kill the right people [emphasis added]."'

That really seems like it should go without saying.

Rummy: Men, go out there and get the job done.
Spec Op: Who is our target, sir?
Rummy: Just start shootin'. Bang bang.
Spec Op: Shouldn't we try to kill the right people?
Rummy: Say again?
Spec Op: The right people, sir. Isn't that who we should try to kill?
Rummy: Look, I created a "giant killing machine." What about that don't you understand?

In a related story, Joe Torre announced today that in the future, the NY Yankees will attempt to play only the team they are scheduled to play on that day. "No more playing baseball games were not even supposed to be involved in anymore," Torre said after a humiliating defeat by the Astros and the Cardinals. Torre went on to say, "under Steinbrenner, the Yankees have been turned into a giant killing machine. Too bad we can't play baseball very well."

Support "Support the Troops"

The Democrats recently sent a war funding bill to the White House with no Time Tables or mechanisms for withdrawl attached. Many liberal activists wanted Majority Leader Reid and the rest of the Senate Dems to vote down a bill that many saw as a blank check for the President. Joe Biden, however, voted for the bill, saying, "As long as there are troops who are in a position where, if we don't fund them they are going to be hurt, I'm not going to cut off funding" (via thinkprogress). Joe Biden is right. His clear mischaracterization of de-funding shows he understands the importance of building strawmen, and then knocking them down. Allow me to explain myself.

Whenever anyone, be them Dems or Repubs, politicians or pundits, talks about de-funding, they speak of it as though one day American soldier will run out of ammo, and that'll be that. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. If congress decides to stop funding a war, they speak with the military and set a date at which the troops can be brought home. After that date, there is no funding for the war, but by that time, we have no more soldiers in combat.

Sen. Russ Feingold articulates his position thusly,
"[Congress] must use its power of the purse to safely redeploy our troops from Iraq. Mr. President, let's not be intimidated by the intentionally misleading rhetoric of the White House and its allies when they try to prevent any discussion of any real action by Congress to end the war. This isn't about "cutting off funds for troops." It's about cutting off funds for the war...By setting a date after which funding for the war will be terminated -- as I have proposed -- Congress can safely bring our troops out of harm's way."

Feingold is virtually the only member of Congress to explain and de-mystify the argument for de-funding, while people like Joe Biden continually buy into the "Support our Troops, gotta fund the Troops, their funding is gonna run out and they'll be stuck in Iraq", paradigm. And I love Biden for that.

He gets it. He gets that it's not about "Support the Troops" the military strategy, it's about supporting "Support the Troops" the ad-campaign. And that's who America needs as its next President. Someone who understands the importance of slogans and images, not logic and empirical data.

Biden understands that slogans and marketing are responsible for America's prominence in the world today. McDonalds' "I'm lovin' it" and Nike's "Just Do It" have led to American Hegemony all over the world. His faith that "Support the Troops" could have the same outcome militarily that other slogans have had economically is historically grounded.

Sure, maybe it'll take some time, but why actually support the troops, when you can "Support the Troops." Biden gets it. And the Senate Democrats who voted for the no-exit funding bill, including Majority Leader Reid, get it to. The only people who don't seem to get it are 45% of Americans who support defunding. And 57% who support a funding bill with time tables, which Glenn Greenwald expertly explains are indistinguishable from de-funding.

So Feingold, Greenwald, nearly 60% of American taxpayers, shut up. If we turn our backs on our ad-campaign, we're admitting defeat. Yes, a Democratic Congress could bring the troops home at any time, by simply refusing to fund the war, but how would that look? It might maybe potentially be characterized as weak. For some reason. Much better to capitulate and continue funding a war you were elected to end. Support the banners. Support the bumper stickers. Support the lawn signs. But for the love of god, let it stop there.


I'll tell you one thing I love about America: High Fidelity. That is a great movie, set in a great American city, with great (mostly) American music.

I'll tell you one thing I hate about America: High Fidelity the Musical. That is a piece of trash, and also the most cripplingly ironic tragedy of all time. They took a movie about how important great music is in your life and they turned it into showtunes.

In the movie there's a great line that goes, "If you really wanted to fuck me up Laura, you should have gotten to me sooner!"

In the musical it goes,
"Top 5 break-ups of all time
Number 5 (big smile) Sally Jane..."
Next thing you know there's Jazz Hands making an appearance.

I did this bit at a show once and someone came up to me and said, "You know, first of all it was a book, and it was by a Brit."
I said, "well, the fact that we took it and made it awesome and also totally shitty makes it even more American than before."

Look at what we did with beer.