Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Around The Horn

  • This is one of the scariest things I've read in a long time. It gives real insight into what fascists hardcore feminists really are. Choice, shmoice. It's a review by Slate writer Meghan O'Rourke of Get to Work: A Manifesto for Women of the World by Linda Hirshman. The book's thesis is essentially that women have a moral responsibility to work outside the home.

    The writer says:
    ...[B]uried beneath Hirshman's overblown rhetoric is a useful idea....namely, that our obsession with choice prevents us from asking tough questions about how to achieve further equality. "Deafened by choice, here's the moral analysis these women never heard," she says: Until there is more equity in the cultural norms for child-rearing and household tasks, each time a woman decides to "opt out" she is making a political decision that reinforces an already ingrained social inequality. Women who believe otherwise suffer from a mixture of false consciousness and impractical idealism. It's when Hirshman is at her most radical—when she sets aside the language of personal fulfillment in favor of injunctions about the collective good—that she is at her most valuable.

    ....Her stubborn insistence is refreshing. Unlike others, she is willing to come out and say, in no uncertain terms, that the luxury of making our own decisions as if they had no larger implications isn't ethical at this point in time. If that makes feminism unpopular, so be it; but shying away from persistent inequality by invoking the language of "choice," she observes, is hardly feminism. If you buy her argument, then even if you find it hard to leave your baby at home, and even if you find the workplace sometimes less-than-fulfilling, it's important—to society as a whole—that you work. This sounds extreme, but of course it's the lesson every man is taught when he's a boy: Your responsibility to society—the way to become an adult—is to work.
    Read it. If you're anything but a cyborg, it'll send chills down your spine. In all the ominous talk about "theocracy" you hear coming from the Left, never forget that it's the leftists in America who have the scary totalitarian instinct.
  • A friend and coworker of mine was in New York the other day to interview Ann Coulter, and knowing my fondness for the poison pen, he was kind enough to have her sign her book for me. She wrote:
    To John,
    Best wishes to a great American.
    Enjoy the invective!

    Ann Coulter
    Pretty cool. My friend said she couldn't have been nicer.
  • Yesterday, I saw a headline that said, "University set to fire Ward Churchill." But I momentarily misread it, thinking it said, "University to set fire to Ward Churchill."

    "I'm cool with that," I thought.
  • When I was in high school in St. Louis in 1986, they were having a two nights of concerts at the Fox Theater to celebrate rock legend (and St. Louis native) Chuck Berry's 60th birthday. Among the guests to play with Chuck: Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, Robert Cray, and Etta James, among others. I remember desperately wanting to go (several friends of mine even worked on the sound crew), but I didn't get to. Anway, they made a movie about it called "Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll," which is being re-released on DVD after 20 years.

    The participants in the project found out that Chuck Berry really isn't a very good guy:
    ...Berry refused to show up for filming each day until [a producer] gave him a bag of cash, which is how he used to be paid for his slapdash concerts. She estimates that Berry cajoled upwards of $800,000 out of the production, a hefty sum given that the budget was $3 million. [Director Taylor] Hackford was forced to give up his director's fee in order to stem the tide of red ink but ended up with the DVD rights.
    The director did not find it to be a pleasant experience.
    "Nobody is ever gonna know what really goes on inside that head. No one's ever gonna do the entire picture of Chuck Berry because it's just too deep and dark."
  • Here's the best article ever written about soccer. My own view of the sport has never been better represented:
    The historic [U.S.] game with Italy ended in an epic 1-1 tie. But in what was ballyhooed as one of the greatest games ever played by an American team, the United States failed to score. The goal credited to the Americans was scored by an opposing player who--oops!--accidentally kicked the ball into his own goal.

    Think about this about this for a moment. It just about sums up everything you need to know about soccer, or football, as it is known elsewhere.

    Soccer is the perfect game for the post-modern world. It's the quintessential expression of the nihilism that prevails in many cultures, which doubtlessly accounts for its wild popularity in Europe. Soccer is truly Seinfeldesque, a game about nothing, sport as sensation.
    I'm getting this one framed. (Hat tip: Justin Taylor)

And that's how we play "Around the Horn."

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