Category Archives: Culture

Culture for the cultured and uncultured alike.

Friday Evening Culture

Jim Croce was taken from us much too soon.  When I was in high school in the Seventies he was still getting a lot of play on the radio, and hearing him always takes me back to those days.  Here, from 1973, is a live performance of what I always thought was his best song:  I Got A Name.

Animal’s Daily News

Facepalm-bearTrigger warning:  this post may offend the hyper-sensitive.  (Fuck ‘em.)  Parental Guidance Requested.  Excerpt:

Students have demanded trigger warnings at Oberlin College, Rutgers University, the University of Michigan and George Washington University as well as UCSB. The Times reproduces an excerpt from an Oberlin “draft guide,” which reads: “Triggers are not only relevant to sexual misconduct, but also to anything that might cause trauma. Be aware of racism, classism, sexism, heterosexism, cissexism, ableism, and other Issues of privilege and oppression. Realize that all forms of violence are traumatic, and that your students have lives before and outside your classroom, experiences you may not expect or understand.” (“Cissexism” refers to prejudice in favor of men and women who identify themselves, respectively, as men and women.)

Seriously?

Kudos, by the way, to article author James Taranto for looking up “cissexism;”  I had not the slightest idea what that was.  You learn something every day, eh?

But I digress.  This story begs several questions, at least three of which are “what the fuck?”  Are college students really so fragile, their poor little minds so insecure, that they are threatened by the fact that someone may disagree with them?  Note that I’m not talking about rape victims or combat veterans who may well be set off by images of graphic violence; I’m talking about the precious little snowflakes who may be butthurt if someone expresses (gasp!) homophobia.

Grizzly-Bear-FaceWhat good is an education – and I use the word in the broadest possible sense – if a student doesn’t learn to handle the fact that someone may not think like they do?  The obvious answer to the rational purpose is “not much,” but apparently some students feel the need to be sheltered from anything that might make them feel a little uncomfortable.

When I was a young fella we had a word for people like that.

We called them pussies.

Animal’s Hump Day News

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Happy Hump Day!

A couple of interesting Mittwoch tidbits from the folks at Reason.com this morning.  First up:  U.S. Customs Seize Kentucky-Bound Hemp Seeds.  Not marijuana – hemp.  Excerpt:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials have seized a batch of hemp seeds heading from Italy to Kentucky’s Agriculture Department. As of earlier this year, cultivating hemp—a type of cannabis plant related to marijuana in form but not function—is no longer illegal in the United States, ending a hysterical, decades-long ban on growing this totally non-psychoactive plant. But apparently no one bothered to tell customs?

Of course nobody bothered to tell Customs – or perhaps Customs knew and just didn’t care.

What the hell was the problem with hemp, anyway?  Marijuana at least is an intoxicant – although it’s unclear, at least to yr. obdt., why alcohol is legal and marijuana isn’t.  But let’s set that aside for now, and focus on hemp.

My grandfather grew hemp during the First and Second World Wars, and somehow nobody was driven into a cannabis-fueled frenzy.  Hemp has a wide variety of industrial uses, from rope to cloth to paper to biofuels.  But because of it’s relation to marijuana – or more accurately marijuana being a type of hemp – the Imperial Federal government has decided to disallow it’s growth in the U.S.?

Someone explain why that makes any sense.

ThisBig-BearThe second tidbit from Reason is more lighthearted:  Are Video Games Art?   Being a casual gamer myself, and having played games like Skyrim and it’s MMO successor The Elder Scrolls Online, I’d say yes, sure – there is an enormous amount of graphic and literary creativity that goes into these works.  It’s one bright spot in American productivity right now – video games are making their creators a lot of money, and they’ve earned all of it.

Rule Five Friday

2014_05_09_Rule Five Friday (1)Well, it was bound to happen:  Florida Man Demands Right to Marry Computer.  Excerpt:

Chris Sevier, a man from Florida, believes he should be allowed to wed his Macbook.

Mr Sevier argues that if gays should be allowed to marry, then so should other sexual minorities.

Mr Sevier states he has fallen in love with a pornography laden computer.

2014_05_09_Rule Five Friday (2)“Over time, I began preferring sex with my computer over sex with real women,” he told a court in Florida.

This appears to be not a passing holiday romance, but a lifelong commitment.

If gays have the right to “marry their object of sexual desire, even if they lack corresponding sexual parts, then I should have the right to marry my preferred sexual object”, he said.

Well then.

I’ve made my stance on social issues (including marriage) very plain in the past, and will do so again here:  I don’t give a damn what people do, as long as they leave me alone.  With that said, I am of the considered opinion – considered again after reading about the nutbar Chris Sevier – that marriage, to avoid becoming a complete farce, should be limited to consenting human adults.

2014_05_09_Rule Five Friday (3)No matter how societal attitudes towards marriage have changed, it is still universally seen as a statement of deep commitment, entered into freely and willingly (at least in Western countries) by consenting, competent adults.  It’s not, as Mr. Sevier so fatuously complains, just an attachment “to their object of sexual desire.”

So is it “intolerant” to think that it’s appropriate to keep it within the species?

Actually, I suspect Mr. Sevier is attempting some sort of a stunt.   What point he is trying to make escapes us for the moment, but this 2014_05_09_Rule Five Friday (4)doesn’t appear to be a serious person with a serious issue.

On the other end of the tolerance spectrum we have our “allies,” the Saudis; in the Kingdom the founder of a “Saudi Liberals” web site has been sentenced to 10 years in jail, a thousand lashes and fined one million riyals.  Why?  Read for yourself:

His website included articles that were critical of senior religious figures such as Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti, according to Human Rights Watch.

2014_05_09_Rule Five Friday (5)Mind you this is country that does not permit women to vote, drive, or leave their homes without a male relative as an escort.  Raif Badawi, the webmaster in question, originally also faced charges of apostasy – a crime that carries the death penalty in the Kingdom.

Civilized people do not conduct the business of state in this manner; but then, civilization has always been in short supply in this part of the world, at least for the last thousand years or so.

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Rule Five Friday

2014_03_14_Rule Five Friday (3)Let’s talk about the War on Women.  No, not the infamous, often-abused Democrat claim about Republican policies (or vice versa, as has happened a time or two.)  Instead, let’s talk about the War on Women being conducted by gun-ban advocates.

“Wait, what?” you ask.  Well, have a read of these two articles, both from the Bullets First blog:

Gun Girls of CPAC – Killing the Stereotype

The Brady Campaign’s War on Women

2014_03_14_Rule Five Friday (1)Money quote from the second article:

The gun is the equalizer that can protect the 100lb girl from the monsters in the night.  From those who would rob innocence and shatter dreams.  The gun levels a playing field for the small and the weak so that we are not a society run by thugs and roving gangs of strong arms.

The Brady Campaign would deny the right of the small to defend themselves against the large.  They would promote reasoning with rabid animals and the moral authority of being raped over killing your rapist.

I would say to use every method possible that would stop one of the most heinous acts from being perpetrated against you.  If you think that the Yale study and the ISP advice is sound I won’t advise against it, it might work.  But I KNOW that 3 shots to the chest with a .45 will work.  If I were a woman I would prefer to have to deal with the fact that I put down 2014_03_14_Rule Five Friday (2)a rabid animal than I would dealing with the fact that that animal raped me.

And that, True Believers, is the whole point.

As a CCW permit holder who carries regularly as I go about my daily business, I am on occasion drawn into the conversation about the merits of carrying a concealed handgun, and the likelihood of it one day saving my or someone else’s life.   Two common comments arise:

2014_03_14_Rule Five Friday (4)Comment: “You know, that gun won’t protect you in every situation.”

Reply:  “That’s true – but it will protect me in many situations, and if I don’t have one, it won’t protect me in any situation.”

Comment:  “I’d be afraid someone would get my gun away from me and kill me with it.”

Reply:  “If I’m ever killed with my own gun, they’ll have to beat me to death with it, because it will sure as hell be empty.”

My own dear Mrs Animal – a small, middle-aged, visibly disabled woman who always has a firearm and usually a blade of some kind concealed about her person – is even more adamant about it, agreeing strongly with the statement above that “3 shots to the chest with a .45,” or in her case, a .380 or a .40 S&W, will sure as hell stop an attacker.

2014_03_14_Rule Five Friday (5)It’s baffling why anyone could make the case for a policy that denies women the choice to defend themselves with the only completely effective tool for the job – the only one that will enable a small, disabled, middle-aged woman to defend herself against a six-foot, twenty year old, male attacker.

Do they truly, as BulletsFirst observes, believe a woman that attempts to foil a rapist with urine, defecation or vomit – or a woman who just submits – is morally superior than a woman who effectively and decisively defends herself with deadly force?

It’s hard to draw any other conclusion.  Fortunately, every year more and more women are calling “bullshit!”

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