July 30, 2014

"What was almost worse than the actual assault for them was witnessing how their university treated them."

"Rape was like a football game, and that I should look back on that game to figure out what I would do differently."

That's a quote from an End Rape on Campus activist that appears in "Campus sexual assault bill unveiled with bipartisan backing in Senate/Law would require colleges and universities to create a confidential adviser to guide victims through reporting process."

We're told that the football analogy came from some official at the University of North Carolina. We don't have a transcript of the conversation, and I wonder what exactly did the official liken to a football game? The word "rape" embodies a conclusion about what happened. But, you know, even if it was a complicated interaction that the official didn't think should be called rape, the football analogy is terrible.

When is it acceptable to leave your child alone at home or wandering about outdoors?

A list of questions designed to help you answer that question.

You can probably think of some additional/better questions. The text of the article that precedes the list of questions suggests a question that is not on the list: Will your child attract the attention of adults who will feel responsible for helping him?

Maybe that question was left off the list because it seems to be more about your chances of getting in trouble than about the actual welfare of your child. But it is about the child too, because you've probably taught the child not to accept help from strangers, and a stranger who feels compelled to attempt to help a child is going to create a troubling situation for the child.

Now, maybe you think people should mind their own business and leave children alone, but we all have a point at which we would help a child. Maybe there should be a list of questions to help you answer the question when should you approach an unaccompanied child and ask him if he needs help.

I was at Whole Foods here in Madison the other day, and I saw a little child — maybe 2 or 3 — wandering around in the wine and beer section looking overwhelmed and lost. I kept my eye on the child and a store employee had already started to talk to him, so I watched the 2 of them to make sure everything would work out okay, and finally the dad wandered over from the deli and reconnected with the child. At that point I walked away, and as I reflected on what that situation felt like to the child, based on the expression on the child's face and imagining being that small and in that maze, it made me cry.

Do you not want strangers to care about your child?

"He fought like an animal. He fought for people's lives."

"And now his own time has come."

Aw. Gee.

It's Augie.


With Zeus providing background. More Augie at Puparazzo.

"My blog is so serious today!"


"Yeah. I'm dabbling in profundity."

UPDATE: The next thing I thought of saying out loud was: "I need to throw it to some wild zoo animals and have them tear it up, as if it was spiked with catnip, and see if I can get it to look more distressed."

The next thing I actually did say out loud was: "Okay, once you go meta, you've got to step away."

UPDATE 2: There. I've had 1000s of steps away, and I am back, renormalized, and searching once again for the basically bloggable.

"I probably wouldn't have been a poet if I hadn't lost my left eye when I was a boy."

"A neighbor girl shoved a broken bottle in my face during a quarrel. Afterward, I retreated to the natural world and never really came back, you know."

From a list of "What I've learned," by Jim Harrison, author of Legends of the Fall (which he wrote in 9 days, "like taking dictation," but only after he'd been thinking "about the story for 5 years").

"She was embarrassed and I think a little scared that something she intended to be a good-will gesture turned into something that was terrifying the community for a short time."

"In her mind, her motivation was purely kindness. It was meant as a good-will gesture. In retrospect, I think she wishes she would have left a note."

"As someone who grew up with a much stronger sense of my black American roots, and an understanding of African culture distilled primarily through an American sensibility..."

"... I feel as though the term African-American doesn’t quite suit my identity."
That didn’t stop my father from (sort of) jokingly asking, upon my return from Kenya last month, “Did you feel different when you landed in the motherland?” What he meant, of course, was whether I felt as if I’d returned “home” to a place I’d never before been. People have spent their whole lives hoping to find the equivalent of their own personal Zion. Had I?

"The only guide to a man is his conscience; the only shield to his memory is the rectitude and sincerity of his actions."

"It is very imprudent to walk through life without this shield, because we are so often mocked by the failure of our hopes and the upsetting of our calculations; but with this shield, however the fates may play, we march always in the ranks of honour."
It fell to Neville Chamberlain in one of the supreme crises of the world to be contradicted by events, to be disappointed in his hopes, and to be deceived and cheated by a wicked man. But what were these hopes in which he was disappointed? What were these wishes in which he was frustrated? What was that faith that was abused? They were surely among the most noble and benevolent instincts of the human heart-the love of peace, the toil for peace, the strife for peace, the pursuit of peace, even at great peril, and certainly to the utter disdain of popularity or clamour. Whatever else history may or may not say about these terrible, tremendous years, we can be sure that Neville Chamberlain acted with perfect sincerity according to his lights and strove to the utmost of his capacity and authority, which were powerful, to save the world from the awful, devastating struggle in which we are now engaged. This alone will stand him in good stead as far as what is called the verdict of history is concerned.
Winston Churchill gave a great speech on November 12, 1940. 

Repeated word: "sincerity."

"It now appears... that jeans savaged by wild animals are a trend in designer sportswear."

"A Japanese denim brand had the bright idea, at least for raising its profile, of sewing indigo-dyed cotton fabric around rimless tires, sausage-shaped bolsters, and fat rubber balls, and throwing the objects to the inmates of the Kamine Zoo, in Hitachi City. In an accompanying video, the beasts bound from their cages and fall upon their novel chew toys with such relish that you have to wonder if there isn’t a little catnip involved.... When the fabric has been properly “distressed”—i.e., mauled—it is retrieved from the enclosures and made into trousers that are sold under the label Zoo Jeans. (The Japanese are avid consumers of premium denim, the funkier the better. The national obsession with jeans started during the postwar occupation, when teen-agers became smitten with the dungarees worn by their conquerors.) But, 'rather than simply being a marketing gimmick, there is actually value in this from an animal welfare perspective,' the article explains. 'Involving lions and the zoo’s other large carnivores'—tigers and bears—'in the activity is part of what’s called environmental enrichment....'"

From "The Global Business of Sartorial Slumming" by Judith Thurman in The New Yorker.

July 29, 2014

What a wild expression on the face of the chocolate Lab...


... in the presence of a Shiba Inu.

"What is Bob Dylan? Why is Bob Dylan?"

"After listening to him since I was a kid and seeing him live for—gulp—nearly 40 years, I think I’m beginning to figure it out."

I'm not sure if Bill Wyman (the music critic) figures it out or if there's an "it" that needs figuring out, and the article is kind of tl;dr but there's a picture a Bob Dylan riding a bike.

Bob Dylan riding a bike.

Has Bob Dylan ever mentioned a bicycle in a song? Yes. He rhymed "bike" with "like." I ain't no monkey but I know what I like. 

Anti-Scott Walker ad.

From his challenger Mary Burke:

Via Madison.com, where there are a lot of comments, for example, anti-Walker:
Walker's record and words speak for himself. He set up the standard. He failed because he refused train money, the Medicaid money, and the high speed internet money....
And pro-Walker:
Wisconsin has a choice. Walker has created 106,000 jobs in 3.5 years. Mary [Burke] destroyed 134,000 when she controlled commerce in this state. Walker has my vote. Wisconsin first - China last.

"Chastity is so important. It is not only a name. It is an ornament for both women and men."

"[She] will have chasteness. Man will have it, too. He will not be a womanizer. He will be bound to his wife. He will love his children. [The woman] will know what is haram and not haram. She will not laugh in public. She will not be inviting in her attitudes and will protect her chasteness.... Where are our girls, who slightly blush, lower their heads and turn their eyes away when we look at their face, becoming the symbol of chastity?... Women give each other meal recipes while speaking on the mobile phone. ‘What else is going on?’ ‘What happened to Ayşe’s daughter?’ ‘When is the wedding?’ Talk about this face to face...."

Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç lectures the people of Turkey about moral corruption.

The part about women not laughing in public is getting all the attention here in the West, where it's easy to laugh at him, loudly and publicly.

"Kidnapping Europeans for ransom has become a global business for Al Qaeda, bankrolling its operations across the globe."

"While European governments deny paying ransoms, an investigation by The New York Times found that Al Qaeda and its direct affiliates have taken in at least $125 million in revenue from kidnappings since 2008, of which $66 million was paid just in the past year."


... swimming pools.

Drink water and wear socks.

David Lynch makes a nail polish ad.

Via Wired, which explains it, in case you have trouble understanding the color red.

I didn't know when I started watching that the brand of the polish was Christian Louboutin, so I was a bit distracted thinking this better be Christian Louboutin nail polish or there's going to be a lawsuit. (Remember this lawsuit?)

Jesse Ventura wins a big defamation verdict against the former Navy SEAL who wrote “American Sniper."

The estate of Chris Kyle now owes Ventura $1.8 million.
[J]urors heard a videotaped deposition from Mr. Kyle, who defended his writings as accurate. The jurors were presented an array of statements Mr. Ventura made on topics like religion and war over many years, and defense lawyers suggested that his reputation was already deeply complicated... Mr. Ventura vehemently denied claims in the book that he had made derogatory statements about fellow members of the military while in [a California bar in 2006], or had said at one point during the evening that the SEALs deserved “to lose a few.”

Where's that pen? Meade has lost a pen that was very special to him.

It was that cheap little pen with the hotel name on it that he liked so much because he wouldn't care if he lost it.