- So anti-feminist and former “positive incest” advocate Warren Farrell is running for Governor of California. So if you’re convinced that the most pressing issue in this election is discrimination against men, or perhaps if you just think that incest is frowned upon more than it ought to be, here’s your candidate. (Via Trish Wilson, of course).
- Speaking of Farrell, he’s one of the candidates whose views are given in the Likely Story’s “Virtual Online Debate.” I note that Farrell’s opinion that “a pregnant woman should notify the father immediately [of her pregnancy]; if either wishes to care for the infant-in-process, then the fetus must become a child” is another way of saying “women should only be allowed to have abortions if they can get the father’s permission.”
- Mark Evanier is an outlaw, man, an outlaw!
- Speaking of Evanier, nothing I’ve read today has given me more pleasure than his ongoing summary of the obscure Dick Van Dyke comic book. Be warned, though: he does give some of the gags away. Some people really dislike it when gags are given away.
- The Slacktivist discusses “The Javert Syndrome” – the theory that police become so attached to the guilt of “criminals” they catch, that even proof positive of innocence cannot change their mind. He suggest therapy.
- I’ve been watching a lot of Farscape lately – I just got through the end of the second season. What I like about this show, I’ve decided, is that it’s simply far more grotesque than most shows in the “have starship – will wander” genre are. I like grotesque.
- The Right Christians talks about “the importance of ‘some’” – that is, that it’s importance that when progressive criticize Christians, we make it clear we’re criticizing certain conservative Christians, not all Christians – many of whom are, or should be, potential progressive allies.
- How to explain American Foreign Policy to your Child. As Half the Sins of Mankind points out, the child in question is “implausibly well-informed.”
- An interesting BBC article on the struggles of Iraqi women to be free now that they’ve been freed.
- Another, better link listing last meal requests on death row. I have no idea why I find this so interesting… but I note that cheeseburgers are the most popular meal of those about to die. Via the similarly fascinated Lumpley.
- Speaking of Lumpley, he also let me know about a new role-playing game, Universalis, which looks very interesting – an approach to role-playing (or, in this case, story-telling) mechanics quite unlike anything else I’ve seen.
- Easily Distracted argues that superhero comics, to remain interesting, must begin to account for how strange superhero universes are… “To make them more real, they’re going to have to accept and embrace and evolve the unreality of the setting and all the humanity it contains, not just of the main characters. If superheroes can teleport to the moon, maybe fewer ordinary people would be on the subway. If a villain kills a hundred people, maybe he’ll be executed.” He’s correct if we’re talking about old-time readers, but I think superhero comics are instead set up to perpetually attract new readers, who are more thrilled by the unrealistic stuff that has gotten old to Easily Distracted.
In the end, I think his post of a few days later - in which he writes, “find someone with a firm, distinctive, original grasp of what entertains, amuses, delights and inspires, give them some money and stand back and watch what happens” – is a better guide to producing great superhero comics, or great anything else.
- Claude Steele’s classic Atlantic article on “Stereotype Threat” – reporting on his research showing that Black students perform below their abilities on tests where they, as Blacks, would be expected to do worse than white students – is something I’m linking to just so I can find the link easily in the future.
- Greg’s Digital Retouching Portfolio is just fascinating – particular for seeing how women’s bodies – even the bodies of professional swimsuit models - are “touched up” to be good enough to show in advertisements. No one human qualifies as beautiful, apparently. Via Feministe.
- Trish Wilson rips apart “Marriage Initiatives.” Go Trish!