Archive for Dyssynergy

Flying solo

Torre DeRoche, who wrote the glorious travel tale Love With a Chance of Drowning (I discuss it briefly here), is on Twitter as @FearfulGirl, though there’s darn little she’ll shy away from:

For the last ten years, I’ve made a lifestyle out of pushing the boundaries of my own fears. I sailed the Pacific despite a phobia of deep water. I climbed Mount Kinabalu despite a fear of heights. I learned to dive despite the sharks. I walked through Italy and India despite the fear of being mauled. I did all of this for the sake of experiential learning, to test out my own hunch that the world isn’t as dangerous and hostile as it’s touted to be. Over and over again, I’ve come to the same conclusion: One must always exercise caution, and not all countries and places are safe, but, for the most part, humans are overwhelmingly kind and the world is overwhelmingly hospitable. Almost always, you are safe.

And people who throw crime rates and stuff at you? Forget about ‘em:

The statements made by authorities and others like it are a blow to every woman’s sense of freedom. They’re potent bundles of psychologically damaging paranoia wrapped up in the packaging of a thoughtful gift. Every time you tell a woman “It’s not safe for you,” and “Be careful, you’re a woman,” you’re undermining her. Telling her that she’s fragile. Stupid. Weak. Incapable. Rape-able.

This fear limits her growth and deteriorates her quality of life. Fear is her greatest enemy.

There is such a thing as being too paternalistic. My daughter will be thirty-seven this year; I have long since learned that she seldom if ever loses her cool. (And I’m pretty sure she didn’t get that from me.)

Comments




Gooder vibrations

The Friar, in the process of snickering at those folks who will pay four digits for very early record pressings, issues the following explanation of the record-making process, mechanical division:

Sound in vinyl records is encoded in the grooves, which are played when the turntable needle moves over them at the proper speed. The grooves are pressed or stamped into blank vinyl discs, and like all mechanical systems the stampers were subject to wearing out. Records pressed earlier in a stamping run were more likely to have grooves that are cleaner and more accurately reproduce the full range of the sound.

Ideally, the cutting speed and the playback speed should be identical, except when they’re not:

Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs stepped in to fill the audiophile niche market. Their Half Speed Masters were special pressings of the albums. They (smartly) realized that not all audiophiles were classical music buffs, and that the rock generation was beginning to come into its own, with big bucks to spend. Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs had made superior quality pressings of albums by using thick, virgin vinyl, and by locating low-generation copies of the master tapes and using those as a source for their albums. The term “half-speed” refers to slowing the cutting lathe to half-speed while cutting the album stamper, resulting in a more accurate and deeply etched groove that held low tones better.

Yep. Those platters were cut at 162/3 rpm, to be played back at 331/3. The short-lived CD-4 quadraphonic LPs were cut at even lower speeds, in an effort to get a 45-kHz signal onto the vinyl.

Still, all these “improvements” aren’t always obvious to the ear, either mine or the Friar’s:

Too many loud concerts have helped my ears have trouble distinguishing all of the Vitally! Important! Distinctions! that are supposed to be in all of this stuff. Those distinctions themselves may be a whole lot of suggestion bias: When you’re told a particular copy of a record sounds much much better than what you’ve been listening to and you agree to part with a few Ben Franklins in order to acquire it, the chances are pretty good that you’re going to believe it sounds better. Sure, a good LP sounds better than an MP3 file, but 1) almost everything does and 2) the idea that there is an experience of listening to some record that’s “worth” four figures is a product of a mindset that is so far removed from the everyday reality most people live in that it ought to draw its own “Occupy” protest.

Had I a bunch of thousand-dollar records, I probably wouldn’t play them at all, lest I reduce their value. Then again, I have always had the most middling of hi-fi systems, to the extent that those systems had any fi at all.

Comments (2)




H-1B about the cheap

Remember when farm workers were imported en masse to California? Today tech workers are being imported en masse to California, and for much the same reason:

The current system to bring in high-skill guestworkers — on H-1B, L-1, and OPT visas — has become primarily a process for supplying lower-cost labor to the IT industry. Although a small number of workers and students are brought in as the “best and brightest,” most high-skill guestworkers are here to fill ordinary tech jobs at lower wages.

The most recent firing of 500 Southern California Edison IT workers, after they trained their guestworker replacements (as a condition of receiving their severance package), is being repeated by the tens of thousands across the country — Disney, Harley Davidson, Home Depot, Pfizer, and Xerox are just a few among the many companies that have all been doing the same thing.

The practice of using the H-1B program to replace American workers is widespread. In fact, currently as many as two-thirds of new IT hires are guestworkers; not because there aren’t enough skilled Americans but instead because guestworkers are cheaper. And if current bills … become law, the number of guestworker visas will be over 100 percent of new hiring needs — if it so chooses, the IT industry can legally hire only guestworkers without even having to look for an American to fill all new IT jobs.

Congress, of course, thought it was clever enough to ward off this easily predictable situation by requiring the Labor Condition Application with each H-1B, which must certify that the incoming worker is being paid no less than the prevailing wage. Now if everyone is on an H-1B, guess what? They’re being paid the prevailing wage by definition.

So I expect the new expansion to pass: Big Tech wants it, and Big Tech is willing to buy the allegiance of Congress to get it. I’m betting it passes by 31 March — which, in California, is César Chávez Day.

(Via Will Truman.)

Comments




Careful with that underboob, Eugenia

Bangkok will make an example of you:

Thailand’s military government warned women on Monday against posting photos of the lower half of their breasts — a current social media trend — saying their actions could violate the country’s computer crime laws.

Thailand’s computer crimes act [of] 2007 bans material that causes “damage to the country’s security or causes public panic” or “any obscene computer data which is accessible to the public.”

It doesn’t sound like a “security” issue to me:

“When people take these ‘underboob selfies’ no one can see their faces,” [culture] ministry spokesman Anandha Chouchoti said. “So it’s like, we don’t know who these belong to, and it encourages others to do the same.”

Lindsey Robertson, writing at Hello Giggles, notes for record:

[T]he edict seems pretty slanted towards keeping women in their place. After all, the ministry has yet to make mention of what sort of selfies, if any, are off-limits to men.

First guy to say “kathoey” gets his peepee whacked.

Comments




A miss, a palpable miss

This plaintive wail was leaked from those wonderful, and presumably sanitary, folks at Scary Mommy:

[I]if you’re squat-peeing in an effort to avoid maybe smearing your thighs in the dead skin cells of strangers, you are not part of the solution; you are, in fact, THE PROBLEM. Not “part of” the problem. But THE problem.

YOU are ruining peeing sitting down for everyone else. Because you, my friend, are the one who is pissing all over the seat.

The tricky thing about squatting is that we women can’t really control where our pee goes, which is kind of the reason toilet seats were invented in the first place. A woman’s anatomy is such that, in squat position, our pee is virtually guaranteed to hit everything but the intended target. We’re not like men, who are armed with what basically amounts to a water gun made of flesh. (Super not-fair, Mother Nature.) When squatting, a woman’s pee could just as easily spray like the “mist” function on a garden hose attachment as squirt straight down into the toilet. It could get on her clothes. Her shoes. The floor. And it will definitely get on the toilet seat.

Inasmuch as it’s the guys who are usually accused of bad aim — well, let’s not go there, and by “there” I mean on the floor surrounding the plumbing.

(Via OneFineJay.)

Comments (1)




A harder sell than usual

Almost makes you wonder if there’s something dreadfully wrong with the place:

Page from tylerhomes.com: For the love of God would someone buy this house?

A check at TylerHomes.com revealed no current listings at $415,000, so either this place has been sold already — or the price has been dropped.

(Via Miss Cellania.)

Comments




Is this science settled?

Maybe it is. Take a look:

We may not know what is “correct,” but clearly we can see the inventor’s intentions.

(With thanks to Chris Lawrence.)

Comments (5)




Thou shalt not skim

Marcel gets a credit card with a chip embedded in it, and he wonders if it’s remotely readable by the Bad Guys:

After reading about the potential risks, it seemed like some shielding wouldn’t hurt anything. But how to know if the shielding worked?

At one work site, I get access to the facility by putting my id card against a scanner. This works even if I just hold my wallet up to the scanner. This seems like a reasonable basis for testing. The first thing I put in my wallet was a piece of what seemed to be metalized paper from a coffee package. Holding up my wallet still activated the door, so a coffee bag probably will not block the scanners the men in black would carry if there were men in black following me.

And so to DEFCON whatever is next:

Next time I went out to that site, I folded up four layers of regular aluminum foil and put that in my wallet. The scanner didn’t work. A week or so later I tried it again, and this time scanner did read my card through the foil. Thinking it might be because the foil had compressed, I opened up the foil and interleaved a piece of paper.

Give the man credit for being thorough. Considering how easy it is to hack the old magnetic stripe, though, the chip almost has to be some sort of improvement.

Comments (1)




New frontiers in customer service

The second of two emails received from meh.com:

Meh here again, about that mistake we made with your order. You bought the two-pack of Eveready Compact LED Area Lights we offered on February 23 and we sent you an Insteon Wireless IP Camera instead. Uh, yeah, sorry about that.

As we said, we’ll be sending out the lamps today.

Now, we hate to lay this hassle on you. But about that camera, well, we need your help in correcting our expensive screwup. If you could do us one of these two favors, you’d really be hauling our fat out of the fire:

1) Return the camera to us, at our expense, of course. We’re still working out a way to minimize the effort required on your part but it should consist of a link to a shipping label that you’ll print out, slap on the box and throw it back in the mailbox with the flag up. We’ll let you know more later this week.

2) Buy the camera, which we’ll sell to you at a punitive discount to teach ourselves a lesson. We hope that by taking our lumps and offering the Insteon wireless video camera for $20 instead of the $34 we sold it for before, you or someone you know can find a silver lining in this mess. If you’re interested, go here to make it official: [link redacted]

Believe us, we weren’t trying to win some award for the world’s dumbest viral marketing campaign, although if we were, this would certainly be in the running. We’re chalking it up to a very costly lesson on the difference between one camera and two lamps.

Stay tuned and stay mediocre –

According to their price check as of the date offered (17 February), one of these cameras sells for $68.99 at Amazon. And it’s mine now.

Comments (3)




Noise and harshness, no vibration

Jack Baruth speculates as to the reason for the suspension of Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson:

The Minitrue report on Clarkson’s dismissal makes reference to a warning he received concerning “racist statements”. Those TTAC readers who are currently wearing an “I Can’t Breathe” shirt in the basements of their parents’ gated-community homes should be aware that “racist statement” means something different in the UK than it means in the US. Here in America, “racist statement” is a term used to refer to the kind of stuff that white kids at Oberlin do because all the actual racists in the area died of old age around the time that Gerald Ford fell down a set of airplane exit stairs.

And, occasionally, OU nasty boys. I don’t think the practice is quite dead just yet, more’s the pity.

In the UK, “racist statement” means “anything that doesn’t meet the principles of IngSoc,” up to and including having the temerity to rev the engine of your Lotus Esprit at a stoplight in the approximate presence of a Muslim immigrant. So it’s in no way plain that Clarkson called for the restoration of slavery or disrespected Haile Selassie I or anything like that. He might have revved an engine or looked in a certain direction or something like that.

Horrors! Off with his head! (He can borrow a helmet from The Stig, can’t he?)

Comments




No better than graffiti

This is, I think, the most sensible stance to adopt in this age of Damn Near Anything Goes:

I’ve been told my campus has a YikYak “community” or whatever you call it. I don’t want to know. I’m not interested in participating or even hearing what goes on there. I feel like, if people are going to say awful things about me, and aren’t brave enough to criticize me to my face? I don’t want to hear what they’re saying about me anonymously, that that kind of posting doesn’t deserve my time or my attention and my often fragile self-confidence doesn’t need to obsess over the venting that someone may have done in a moment of upset (earned a bad grade, was told to put the cell phone away, whatever). Also, I figure a lot of people who do that kind of posting don’t every really think the object of it will read it. (So I’m happy to oblige by NOT reading it.)

Sort of a variation on the theme of “Don’t read the comments.”

There used to be quite a bit of spam, on Twitter and similar places, to the effect of “Did you read what they said about you?” followed by a link to God knows what. The jerks who left it never hung around for the answer, which was “Hell, no, and why should I?” The fact that there are now “reputation-protection” services tells me that there are an awful lot of people out there with awfully thin skins. If your response is “But what if people will think less of me?” I’ll tell you there’s no possible way I could think less of you.

Comments (2)




Meanwhile in the City of No Illusions

A grievance aired too late for Festivus:

A petition filed on change.org calls on the City of Buffalo to change its name.

The petitioner, identified in the post as Mark Beasley, a proclaimed member of the Navajo Nation, says the name “Buffalo” is, “offensive and racist.”

Beasley argues that the name promotes genocidal imagery towards Native Americans because American Bison, also known as buffalo, were slaughtered in order to move Natives off the land.

The petition also calls on Berkshire Hathaway, the owner of The Buffalo News, to drop the term from its name.

Beaslier said than done, Marko. I noticed your little petition doesn’t mention the Buffalo Bills. Then again, with exactly 29 postseason appearances in 55 seasons, the Bills themselves have been routinely slaughtered.

(Via Fark.)

Update: Um, maybe not.

Comments (4)




Work and no play

Toy collector? Nut-uh, says Jack Baruth. You’re a box collector:

It’s the boxes that really matter because you want the toy to be new in the box and such a condition has the dual conditions of

  • new
  • in the box

which means that even the best-condition action figure or Shogun Warrior or Star Bird™ isn’t worth a whole lot unless you have the box. Note that children, for whom toys used to be made, don’t care about the boxes and throw them out immediately. The box is a sort of meta-item for adult collectors, the secondary market. As such, box collecting is a prime symptom of disconnection from the true purpose of the toy. The child plays with the toy; the adult collects the box. It should be immediately apparent to anyone with any soul left whatsoever that the child is the moral and intellectual superior of the adult in this case and that collecting boxes is a miserable, repugnant pursuit in which your humble author only engages pretty much, um, all the time.

This suggests two alternative methods of saving your soul: making your own, in which case there is no box, or buying fanwork — say, a custom pony — whose only box is an anonymous shipping container.

Comments (4)




DST explained

You know the phrase “It’s all good”?

You’ve just seen its antithesis.

Comments (2)




F as in Fail

Remember when grades were considered unchangeable? (After all, they went on your [shudder] Permanent Record.)

No more, apparently, which leads to “Dear Student: No, I Won’t Change the Grade You Deserve,” which includes sample letters as envisioned by various professors and such. I’ll quote just one, from Angela Jackson-Brown, assistant professor of English at Ball State University:

It always amazes me when students feel like their English paper grades should be based on effort. I sometimes wonder: Do you ask the math teacher if she will give you points for trying even though parts of your mathematical equation are incorrect? If you took an astronomy course, would you want partial credit because even though you identified a star as a planet, you at least recognized they both are in the sky? Get out of here with that, my friend. Your working hard should be a given. You’re in college, not kindergarten. Every single person on this campus’s default is to work hard.

Every single solitary day that I enter into my classroom, I find a room filled with hard-working students who pushed themselves beyond their capabilities. You, my friend, have the audacity to send me a sad, tired little email asking me to reward you for breathing in and out and taking up space in my classroom? A place where geniuses are birthing themselves into existence every single day, and not a single one of them is asking for the “I worked hard” epidural to make this journey easy. I have officially laid my head on the desk, which is the universal signal for “I’m done.”

So much for the Gentleman’s C.

(Via Bayou Renaissance Man.)

Comments (2)




Fark blurb of the week

Purina. Dog? Ciao.

(Linked to this.)

Comments




Your Cake, and Edith too

The article is called “How your pretentious local record store asshole got that way,” and it’s a simple collection of incredibly dense questions, observations, and God knows what, posed by the customers to this very store. Some of them are just misreadings: “Do you guys have ‘If I Gotta Love Edith’ by Iron Butterfly?” Others are just a little more complex:

A grown man comes into the store pulling a little toy red wagon…”Do you guys have that movie Alive about a rugby team that crashes and they have to become CARNIVORES?”

At least you can see his interest, though the Radio Flyer is probably harder to explain. And then there’s this:

“You ever listen to the Yardbirds? … Oh man yeah, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, Sammy Hagar!”

Regular infusions of this sort of thing would render me sphincteresque in no time.

Comments (8)




We gotta get out of this place

This is not the plaint of a (soon to be) former Radio Shack staffer, although I suppose it could be:

[T]hings have deteriorated enough that, hard as it may be to imagine, I haven’t been able to find any funny anywhere. Not just at work, but at home, and on the drive home, and in the mirror and trust me, that ALWAYS cracks me up. Decrepitude is hilarious.

CardHole has been sneakily slipping down the slippery slope of “yeah, it’s a crap place and a crap job but at least I get some post fodder, right?” through the puddles of “if I don’t get a day off I am going to rip someone’s head off, fill the stump with cheese dip, and make some tortilla chips my bitch” to “I wonder if I can get up on my porch roof so I can fling myself off and break a hip and thereby not have to go in to hell today?”

When a job gets to the point you will seriously consider breaking a bone or two so you don’t have to go, it’s time to go.

Such, I am told, is the nature of retail: the unholy combination of seriously deranged customers and utterly feckless management plays hell with one’s sense of values.

Comments (2)




Breaking transportation news

TTAC published this Department of Transportation graph yesterday as their Chart of the Day:

Comparative fuel economy of various transit methods

Note that “Buses have relatively low efficiency when ridership is low.”

Gee, ya think?

Comments (3)




In need of a lift

Two weeks after becoming, however briefly, the darling of the nation, James Robertson, the man who walked across Detroit every day for over a decade to get to his job in the next county, has been targeted by scum:

The story of the 56-year-old Detroit factory worker who walks 21 miles to and from work each day warmed the hearts of the nation after his tale of perseverance went viral. Some $350,000 was raised for Robertson — not to mention, a local Ford dealership gave him a brand-new 2015 Ford Taurus.

But shortly after the hype started to die down, Robertson told Vice News that he’d received death threats and that his fears increased when he learned that Arthur Neal, an 86-year-old who claimed he’d hit the lottery for $20,000, was found stabbed to death on Feb. 1 in a house not far from where Robertson was living.

According to Vice News, Robertson’s girlfriend, her adult son and her ex-husband — all of whom live in the boarding house where Robertson was paying $200 for rent — began pressuring Robertson, who hasn’t received any money yet, for a payday.

Detroit’s police have been helping Robertson out:

The Detroit police, who believed that Robertson’s car would be stolen, allowed Robertson to park in their lot and recently escorted Robertson back to the house to gather his belongings so that he could move.

“We had a meeting with him [and] he expressed interest that he did not feel safe,” Police Capt. Aric Tosqui told the Detroit Free Press.

File under “This is why we can’t have nice things.”

Comments (3)




Not approved by the American Phlegm Institute

After five days of antibiotics to aid my bladder issues, it seemed the perfect time for some rogue virus to wander by and torment me for a week or so. As is often the case with such infections, there was a lot of sneezing at sub-ludicrous speed:

The Guinness Book of Records has the record set at 115 m/ph.

Up to 40,000 droplets (particles) can be ejected from your nose and can travel a distance of 2 to 3 metres.

And from this chair, that’s quite enough to splatter the monitor with something vaguely reminiscent of greasy, grimy gopher guts.

Which inevitably led me to this perfectly deadpan description:

Dating back to at least the mid-20th century, the song is sung to the tune of “The Old Gray Mare”. The song, especially popular in school lunchrooms and at summer camps, presents macabre horrors through cheerful comedy while allowing children to explore taboo images and words especially as they relate to standards of cleanliness and dining. Many local and regional variations of the lyrics exist, but whatever variant, they always entail extensive use of the literary phonetic device known as an alliteration which helps to provide an amusing description of animal body parts and fluids not normally consumed by Americans.

At the bottom of the page was a reference to Loudon Wainwright III’s “Dead Skunk”, which seemed logical; however, I did not in any way expect to find this:

The song has replaced the traditional “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” as the 7th inning stretch song at Georgia Institute of Technology Russ Chandler Baseball Stadium.

Okay, you wouldn’t expect the Ramblin’ Wrecks to be droning “Sweet Caroline,” but geez.

Comments (8)




The value of snark

This is the first time I’ve seen anyone attempting to quantify it:

As a number of news sites eliminate their comments sections altogether, Tablet, a daily online magazine of Jewish news and culture, is introducing a new policy charging its readers to comment on articles.

As of today, a reader visiting the nonprofit site that is otherwise paywall-free will have to pay at least $2 to leave a comment at the foot of any story. The move is not part of a plan to generate any significant revenue, but rather to try and change the tone of its comments section.

There are quantity discounts of a sort:

Tablet has set up commenting charges of $2 a day, $18 a month and $180 a year, because “the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal — and, often, anonymous — minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse),” editor in chief Alana Newhouse wrote.

Let us hope that most trolls are broke.

(Via Steve Sailer.)

Comments (6)




Certification blues

I love this. Robert P. Murphy, on whether professionals really, truly need to be licensed by government:

It is a paradox of our age that the interventionists think the public is too stupid to consult Angie’s List before hiring a lawyer, and so they need politicians to weed out the really bad ones by requiring law licenses. Yet, who determines whether a person (often a lawyer!) is qualified to become a politician? Why, the same group of citizens who were too stupid to pick their own lawyers.

Then again, the amount of faith I have in the public of late — look at the yutzim they keep voting for! — suggests that we might not want to go totally laissez-faire all at once.

(Via Coyote Blog.)

Comments




Version 19.8.41

If you were already somewhat miffed by the blithe assumption by Samsung that you’d keep your mouth shut in front of their Smart TVs, miffage is now intensified:

After Samsung calmed us all down, users of smart TV app Plex noticed a Pepsi commercial playing in the middle of content streamed from their own media server within the house. Plex simplifies using your home computer as a media server for smart TVs, streaming devices, tablets, phones, and game consoles. It is not supposed to inject ads in the middle of the program you’re enjoying. Yet that’s what users report happening: Pepsi ads pop up during shows streamed to their sets using Plex.

A spokesperson for Plex told GigaOm that they weren’t adding ads to users’ video streams. Users reported Pepsi ads interjected in other programs while playing programs directly on the TV from their computer, so the app wasn’t serving up the ads. This was caused by the TV, and only users of Samsung smart TVs have reported it.

Q. E. Farking D.

Temperature of hell when you buy a Samsung Smart TV:

  1. 32 °F
  2. 0 °F
  3. -40 °F
  4. 0 °K

Surely no good can come of schemes like this, even if you like Pepsi.

Comments (6)




Yellow Peril 2.0

God help you if you void where prohibited:

A water manager is facing discipline after he was caught urinating in an empty reservoir that supplies drinking water for the San Francisco Bay Area.

San Francisco Public Utilities Commission spokesman Tyrone Jue said Monday that the agency confirmed anonymous complaints that maintenance planner Martin Sanchez had urinated in the 674-million-gallon reservoir in the Sierra Nevada foothills early last month.

Wait a minute. Did they say “empty”?

The reservoir had been drained for maintenance, and officials say public health wasn’t in danger.

Oh. Well, throw the book at him anyway. This is California, after all. Thinking about a crime is itself a crime.

Sanchez, who earns $111,000 annually, was in line for a promotion before the incident. He now faces a maximum penalty of a weeklong suspension without pay.

Some book, huh?

(Via Daily Pundit.)

Comments (3)




A post-mature market

Right up there with Kaiser-Frazer parts:

I was searching Walmart for some writable DVDs for a family project, and I found they still sell blank tapes.

Five tapes for $15.

While you can get 10 DVDs for $10.

It’s the way the cycle goes. Thirty years ago, you could get one tape for $15, or $14.99 anyway. (I bought a case of ten once at a video store — remember video stores? — for $149.90.) Inevitably, the price sank to commodity levels ($1.99, maybe less) before gradually starting back up again.

Comments (4)




Version 19.8.4

An excerpt from the Samsung Smart TV privacy policy:

Excerpt from Samsung Smart TV instructions

An excerpt from a popular novel:

Excerpt from George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four

There’s a lot to be said for “dumb” hardware.

(Compiled by Parker Higgins.)

Comments (2)




Please have a seat

Just don’t think about what you’re doing when you do:

Prototype Hello Kitty toilet seat

About all I can do here is repeat the Atlantic blurb:

An employee for Japanese character goods maker Sanrio displays a prototype model of a Hello Kitty branded toilet seat at Sanrio’s headquarters in Tokyo on February 2, 2015. The device has seat heating and warm water shower functions.

The sort of thing one purchases at the Home Depot — basically, an oval of compressed factory sweepings with a semi-regular hole in the middle — probably wouldn’t even be recognized in Japan.

Comments




Origaming the system

Another example of the method of protest being more entertaining than the actual circumstance being protested:

According to a report from the Times Record News, police say a Wichita Falls, TX man refused to leave the county courthouse while trying to pay his tax bill.

Paying your bill is totally legal, of course, but a county tax official accused him of disrupting the operation and efficiency of the tax office because he handed over his $600 payment with $1 bills folded so tightly, each one “required tax office personnel approximately six minutes to unfold each bill,” police say.

Staff attempted to eject him; when he wouldn’t go, they hauled him off to jail. They didn’t say what he used to post $500 bail. Me, I just want to know how someone in Texas has a property-tax bill of only $600.

Comments (3)




A whole new class of victims

There are apparently people who sit alone in the dark of night, muttering to themselves: “God damn it, I want to be a victim too!” Because, you know, sympathy. And federal programs that have dollars attached.

There can be no other explanation for this:

According to Bella DePaulo and Rachel Buddeberg, the singles activists and authors who wrote a Truthout.org piece titled “Do You, Married Person, Take These Unearned Privileges, for Better or for Better?” discrimination against single people is a problem so huge that it’s actually “jarring” that our culture doesn’t talk about it the way it talks about racism and sexism.

The piece defines “singlism” as “the stereotyping, stigmatizing and discrimination against people who are not married” and “marital privilege” as “the unearned advantages that benefit those who are married,” an “emotional privilege” where “other people express happiness for people who marry but pity for those who stay single.”

“Someone is happier than I am, and it can’t possibly be my fault.”

And apparently there are Jim and Sheryl Crow(e) laws thwarting their happiness:

One example: Under the Family and Medical Leave Act, married workers can take time off to care for their spouse, but single people can’t take time off to care for a person “just as important to them, such as a sibling or close friend.” Note that they did not just describe this as “unfair,” but specifically as “discrimination.”

I surmise that there is a world-wide shortage of big-girl and/or big-boy pants, as no one — no one in the spotlight, anyway — seems to be able to put them on anymore.

Lileks observes:

[E]veryone and every state and every condition needs to be celebrated, or it is not validated; if it is not validated, it is marginalized. If it is marginalized, it is oppressed. If it is oppressed, it is virtuous. Then again, if it’s celebrated, it is virtuous as well. So either way you’re covered.

I think we can just about retire the word “marginalized”: with everyone and his half-sister’s llama crowding into the margins in search of that sweet, sweet victimhood, those of us who stay the hell off the edge are slowly becoming official nonpersons. Obviously it’s discrimination.

Comments (5)