Posts Tagged ‘moral panic’
* 5 Charts About Climate Change That Should Have You Very, Very Worried. I was worried already!
* If every state of the USA declared war against each other, which would win? Hard to imagine anyone but California or Texas walking away from this thing in one piece.
Kevin Clash out at Sesame Street as second accuser surfaces. What a quintessentially American, tragic fall from grace. Alongside everything else, I’m amazed they let Being Elmo go forward under these circumstances; the Children’s Television Workshop couldn’t have done more damage to their brand if they’d tried.
Mary Elizabeth Williams says this can’t kill Elmo. If the flames of the moral panic get hot enough, it definitely could.
* The CEO Who Built Himself America’s Largest House Just Threatened to Fire His Employees if Obama’s Elected. If anything this makes the already excellent Queen of Versailles even more awesome.
* “We are athletes, we are not gladiators,” Winston told Kansas City reporters. “This isn’t the Roman Colisseum. People pay their hard-earned money to come in here. I believe they can boo, they can cheer, they can do whatever they want. But when you cheer somebody getting knocked out, I don’t care who it is, and it just so happened to be Matt Cassel, it’s sickening. It’s 100 percent sickening. I’ve been in some rough times on some rough teams. I’ve never been so embarrassed in my life to play football than at that moment right there.” I wonder if the NFL will exist in 20 years.
* And your Tumblr of the night: Fuck No Sexist Halloween Costumes.
* A week ago, no-olds was a novelty; today it is one of the profession’s most cherished traditions. I’ll just recycle my jokes from Twitter: “Anyone who’s been on market longer than that knows how quickly Harvard and Yale turn asst profs over. They want it to be a surprise.”
* When ideologies collide: Man Accused of Threatening Woman with Handgun for Smoking While Pregnant.
* Chait: Mitt Romney created his most recent campaign shitstorm by launching an attack that was, simultaneously, an absurdly disingenuous argument built upon a series of demonstrable lies. After an initial period of recrimination andlashing out at the media, Romney and his allies are insisting that he was absolutely correct all along. It is a remarkable testament to the party’s ability not just to engage in spin but create and sustain an alternate reality. Meanwhile, SEK is having too much fun with his smirking-Mitt meme.
* Should We Stop Referring to Student Loans as “Financial Aid”? Researching 2000s college aid admissions on behalf of my brilliant cousin, it’s struck me how decisively “no-loan aid” has become a new marker of elite status in recent years for Ivy and Ivy-Plus schools.
* Lost and Found: NPR has all your vintage photographs.
* And of course you had me at “New Monkey Discovered.”
The Republican-led Arizona Legislature is considering a bill to fund an armed, volunteer state militia to respond to emergencies and patrol the U.S.-Mexico border.
* Via my dad: Soviet Bus Stops.
* Occupy my dad: Class war is intergenerational war.
* Rortybomb: Two Steps Toward Tackling Our Current Student Loan Problems. Robert Cruickshank: …any student loan reform proposal that does not include some form of principal writedowns is not likely to be very effective.
* Chris Newfield: The real issue is that imposing higher teaching loads and more on-line instruction on public universities won’t reverse the relentlessly growing gulf between elite privates and their once-elite public peers.
* A new AAUW study shows there’s an easy way for young women to avoid sexual harassment in schools: just avoid being either pretty or not pretty.
* Marriage equality increases property values. Is that a good enough reason?
* Also on the equality front: Dan Harmon kind-of, sort-of apologizes for the way Community treats gay and trans people.
* Everybody still hates Romney. Poor guy.
DuBois’ sentence needs to be placed in this emergence of race-thinking and cultural relativism; doing so helps clarify the extent to which the very concepts he is using to describe the emergence of race thinking (and the challenge it poses to his own universalist humanism) are being torn apart by the shifting conceptual foundations beneath them (in many ways, necessitating the increasingly ironic tone he adopted at this moment in his life). The manner in which “the world” is changing is, in essence, an argument over what the term itself signifies: “the world” which once considered itself universally representative of “Universal Man” has, in discovering itself to be white, discovered itself not to be “the world” at all, but only a particular fraction of it. But this also makes me want to read a lot into DuBois’ description of the way whites become “painfully conscious of their whiteness.” That pain makes a lot more sense if we place it in context of a great loss: the realization that “white” people were neither a numerical majority nor a necessary consequence of historical teleology was a painful loss of universality that, for many, would never stop smarting. And it makes a lot more sense why such people would begin to hate, rather than simply have contempt for, people who were not white: such people represented — indeed, embodied — the very reality of that loss.
* Once again xkcd shows off its uncanny knack for reading my mind: “There are two or three songs out there with beeps in the chorus that sound exactly like the clock radio alarm I had in high school, and hearing it makes me think my life since junior year has been a dream I’m about to wake up from.”
* So that settles it, we’re never leaving: Oilfield With Estimated 1.8 Billion Barrels Of Oil Identified In Afghanistan.
* Also in food news: I guess I’m the last to know they’ve been cloning meat and milk for sale in the U.S. Gross.
* More on the future of renewable energy in North Carolina, in Independent Weekly.
* I think this study comes as close to proving that men are scum as any could: Men are more likely to cheat if they earn less money than their female partner, but they’re also more likely to cheat if their partners are financially dependent on them…
* If temperatures were not warming, the number of record daily highs and lows being set each year would be approximately even. Instead, for the period from January 1, 2000, to September 30, 2009, the continental United States set 291,237 record highs and 142,420 record lows, as the country experienced unusually mild winter weather and intense summer heat waves.
* France urged to repay $23 billion in compensation to Haiti. Sounds like a good start.
* Your moral coward of the night: Harry Reid.
* Your morally odious moron of the night: Ross Douthat, who apparently believes violence, intolerance, and discrimination are essential and praiseworthy components of America’s liberal tradition.
* And I really can’t believe I’m getting sucked into this nonsense, but all right: Photos of Stuff the Same Distance from the World Trade Center as the “Ground Zero Mosque.”
Here’s the great Daily Show segment on birth-citizenship panic that aired last night.
* “Tea Party Lights Fuse for Rebellion on Right” (New York Times)
As the meeting ended, Carolyn L. Whaley, 76, held up her copy of the Constitution. She carries it everywhere, she explained, and she was prepared to lay down her life to protect it from the likes of Mr. Obama.
“I would not hesitate,” she said, perfectly calm.
* “The Movement: The Rise of Tea Party Activism.” (New Yorker)
As spring passed into summer, the scores at local Tea Party gatherings turned to hundreds, and then thousands, collecting along the way footloose Ron Paul supporters, goldbugs, evangelicals, Atlas Shruggers, militiamen, strict Constitutionalists, swine-flu skeptics, scattered 9/11 “truthers,” neo-“Birchers,” and, of course, “birthers”—those who remained convinced that the President was a Muslim double agent born in Kenya. “We’ll meet back here in six months,” Beck had said in March, and when September 12th arrived even the truest of believers were surprised by the apparent strength of the new movement, as measured by the throngs who made the pilgrimage to the Capitol for a Taxpayer March on Washington, swarming the Mall with signs reading “ ‘1984’ Is Not an Instruction Manual” and “The Zoo Has an African Lion and the White House Has a Lyin’ African!”
The first two rules of Terrorball are:
(1) The game lasts as long as there are terrorists who want to harm Americans; and
(2) If terrorists should manage to kill or injure or seriously frighten any of us, they win.
These rules help explain the otherwise inexplicable wave of hysteria that has swept over our government in the wake of the failed attempt by a rather pathetic aspiring terrorist to blow up a plane on Christmas Day. For two weeks now, this mildly troubling but essentially minor incident has dominated headlines and airwaves, and sent politicians from the president on down scurrying to outdo each other with statements that such incidents are “unacceptable,” and that all sorts of new and better procedures will be implemented to make sure nothing like this ever happens again.
Meanwhile, millions of travelers are being subjected to increasingly pointless and invasive searches and the resultant delays, such as the one that practically shut down Newark Liberty International Airport last week, after a man accidentally walked through the wrong gate, or Tuesday’s incident at a California airport, which closed for hours after a “potentially explosive substance” was found in a traveler’s luggage. (It turned out to be honey.)
As to the question of what the government should do rather than keep playing Terrorball, the answer is simple: stop treating Americans like idiots and cowards.It might be unrealistic to expect the average citizen to have a nuanced grasp of statistically based risk analysis, but there is nothing nuanced about two basic facts:
(1) America is a country of 310 million people, in which thousands of horrible things happen every single day; and
(2) The chances that one of those horrible things will be that you’re subjected to a terrorist attack can, for all practical purposes, be calculated as zero.
The rapid introduction of full body scanners at British airports threatens to breach child protection laws which ban the creation of indecent images of children, the Guardian has learned.
Ministers now face having to exempt under 18s from the scans or face the delays of introducing new legislation to ensure airport security staff do not commit offences under child pornography laws. Via Cynical-C.