What I’m Reading

Warren discusses American exceptionalism on his blog, Auspicious Scuttlebutt:

There was a time when the Fourth of July was more than a Close-Out-Fire-Sale-Explosion-Spectacular, more than a $20 a head fireworks show, instead more of a family gathering, a picnic and some easily entertaining sparklers, flowers and a few bottle rockets.

Today every day is the Fourth of July. Monster Chevy Trucks with Huge American Flags festooned across the back window (presumably to obscure the well hung gun rack in the back); self-proclaimed “true Americans” participating in reality TV shows, shooting endangered wolves from helicopters and decrying the excesses of our Socialist government, who’s apparently demanding we don’t eat dessert anymore; Extreme politics is becoming extreme domestic terrorism in light of today’s shooting of Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

A well-timed and expertly-executed take-down if I’ve ever seen one, complete with the promise of more.

Innocent Smith discusses Robert Wyman’s lecture on the biology and history of abortion, and the circular nature of the debate itself.

Erin Matson on the tragedy of eating disorders, after the announcement of French model Isabelle Caro’s death from anorexia.

imnotme on red vs. white wine:

Next, and less importantly is that I find a certain affinity with red over white wine that is something akin to gender bias. I won’t lie, drinking white wine or blushes has always seemed more of a feminine choice to me, even though I know that is ridiculous.

All right, the whole post isn’t about gender bias and wine, but it’s an interesting thought, anyway. Gender-based stereotypes about types of wine people drink? Can’t we just have a fucking glass of wine without thinking about gender? It’s interesting because no, we really can’t, sometimes. And also, sometimes it’s fun.

I sometimes go on these stretches where I just look for the most delicious-looking food on the internet and drool over it for a while. I recently found a few, and today I even made one. It turned out all right. I used both cream of chicken and cream of broccoli instead of just one can cream of chicken (it only wanted 1 can for 4 chicken breasts– I used 3 chicken breasts and one can wasn’t anywhere near enough) so the flavor may have been a little different. Canned cream of broccoli is never very satisfying.

Sady Doyle candidly discusses some of her reservations on maintaining a public space that includes details of her personal life that have been historically proven to put their publishers in danger.

My former employer’s future isn’t looking too good anymore, what with ongoing lawsuits, regulators, caps on profits, and poor people getting a small measure of justice in banking. I can’t say I’m terribly sad about the news. I’ll probably write more in-depth about this later.

We should really all just quit Facebook, immediately.

In the world’s most (hopefully) obvious news ever, watching women cry doesn’t give men erections.

In a moment of glaring hypocrisy, Keith Olbermann calls for Palin & Co. to accept responsibility for their part in the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords. He falt-out ignored, refused, nearly scrubbed his “tangential” part of perpetuating rape apologism and victim-blaming during all of #mooreandme. Didn’t mean to talk about this again, and hardly have an opinion on Olbermann, but this is just too overt and unchecked. You want transparency and accountability? That means you are subject to it, too! Why haven’t you repudiated your brush-off of the charges against Assange? Moore had the decency to go on television and show his support, even if he didn’t ultimately own up to what he did. Another way in which issues primarily affecting, or at least perceived to be only affecting, women are so often thrown under the bus, which means that they aren’t taken seriously as human issues, but just as extras, ad then, only when politically convenient.

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14 Responses to What I’m Reading

  1. Daran says:

    Can’t we just have a fucking glass of wine without thinking about gender?

    I don’t know. but your post just prompted me to pour myself a glass.


    • April says:

      Red or white? 😀

    • Daran says:

      Red, though not for gender reasons. The health claims for red are stronger than for white, which is my excuse for buying the stuff.

    • April says:

      I like red, myself. Whites usually taste a little too sweet for my taste.

    • Jim says:

      You should intensify your study in this area! There are lots of dry whites out of washington and California. Rieslings especially but then also some pinot grigio/gris can be really light and dry. For something with more heft there are some pretty dry sauvignon blancs and semillons from Washington, and for that matter a lot of the mid-priced blends tend dry. They are just called “white table wine” or whatever. Some are a sip of heaven at about $7 a bottle or about $20 for one of those 3 liter boxes.

  2. Warren says:

    Red just tastes better anyway… especially when it’s cold outside.

    Thanks for the support! It feels good to write about real stories for once.

  3. Danny says:

    I’ve never really noticed the gender relation to choice of whine color.

    Oh and about the cooking feel free to check out my line of Weekly Menu posts where I post my more memorable recopies.

    • Daran says:

      I’ve never really noticed the gender relation to choice of whine color.

      Have you not? I think women tend to go red in the face when they whine, while men go purple.

    • Danny says:

      I really have not but that’s just the result of not being around many wine drinkers. In fact I can only think of one woman that I know that drinks wine (and coworker) and she drinks white. Hell I myself put down about 1 bottle of Merlot (red) a month.

    • Jim says:

      The folklore you tell your son is to never trust a woman who doesn’t like red wine and rare beef. And I would tell a daughter not to trust a man who doesn’t like raw oysters for basically the same reason, and I suppose I would add he had better be able to tolerate those horrible sweet umbrella drinks now and then.

    • elementary_watson says:

      This sounds … vaguely sex-related … , but, sorry, I don’t get, like, at least half of it …

  4. Jim says:

    I posted this over at Innocent Smith’s, but I thought you might liek to see it too, April:

    You touch on another issue and one that I think is more basic to the debate, the issue of individuality. Abortion rights are necessarily argued in the context of individual rights.

    WRT to abortion this breaks down, because in preganacy you have two separate persons in one body for a period of months. Traditionally the pragmatic approach has been to negate the personhood of the fetus because pregnancy and birth, and infancy for that matter, were pretty chancy. In some cultures even newborns did not have full personhood and weren’t even named until some period had passed – ie. it looked likely that the kid would survive. So it was senseless to equate the personhood of the fetus and the mother.

    Well, time change. There was a time when we any of us hardly had any personhood outside our clans and femilies. In most places women were so economically dependent on the crops that only men grew or the herds that only men guarded or the raids that only men went on that they were really not viable individuals. Times have changed, and initially it was simply a legal fiction of economic independence, but perhaps in our lifetime women will truly produce as much value as men do, building roads and drilling for oil and all the rest to the same extent that men do. There are significant cultural hurdles, but we are on our way.

    It’s a lot more complicated or subtle when you are talking about something going on in a person’s body, and the issue is exacerbated in a culture that institutes each person as a sovereign indivudual. we have tried all the alternatives to that, and we have agreed in our culture that they are nightmarish, and we like indivuduality. It’s just that we have to recognize that it is a cultural construct when it comes to the extreme we take it too. We have the decide how far we can ride that horse.

    As a practical matter, I can imagine only a very few hypothetical instances where the women herself is not obviously the most well-informed authority to decide the question. Married women may be one such example, since reproduction is not an indivudal matter in a monoecious species and since we already have precendent where individual autonomy is not absolute – in many states until recently, and maybe still, a married man could/can not get a vasectomy without his wife’s permisson.

  5. Jim says:

    This is what I am reading – I hit Volokh conspsirac just to blow the cobwebs off.I’m not a lawyer and most of that stuff is gibberish to me, so I thought it would be good mental exercise to read and try to make sense of it.

    Here’s a post on a Mass Supreme Court dicesion on foreclosures. The comments are deliciously bitchy. (In a completely non-gendered, derived from ‘bicker’ kind of way)


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