“[Paul] Ryan should stop being so lovable. People who intend to hurt other people should wipe the smiles off their faces.” — Maureen Dowd
I came across this while wasting time on I Love Charts:
Scroll down to Big Mike’s Playtime for more links to things you can do while you’re supposed to be doing something else.
TRYING TO GET A FOOT IN THE DOOR
How weird are the interwebs?
Someone submitted a comment for my approval today. It read: “The clarity in your post is simply nice and i can assume you’re an expert on this subject.” (All sic.)
So far so good, right? The commenter seems to be a fine, perceptive, and noble soul. I like being called an expert on any subject.
The Acknowledged Expert
The comment continues: “Well with your permission let me to grab your feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please continue the gratifying work.”
Clearly the commenter is a tad iffy about certain niceties of the English language but that’s alright, he or she possesses admirable taste.
So I tried to find out who this person is. Turns out he or she is from Italy, which explains the Chico Marx patois.
Oh, Those Italians
Then I noticed the commenter’s name. Feet Lovers.
Yup, Feet Lovers runs a website called Foot Worship Fun. Its introduction reads, “There is nothing more beautiful, in a taboo sort of way, than a womans beautiful feet. [Again, all sic.] Her painted toes, the curves, her soft soles and firm heels.”
The home page has tabs for pages entitled, among others, Footsie Babes, Feet in Nylons, and Beautiful Soles.
Banned In Several Countries
I’m not going to link to the site because it’s hardcore porn. You’re on your own, curiosity seekers.
So great, a foot fetishist thinks I’m a terrific blogger. Or, more likely, the whole thing is just a scam to smuggle malware onto The Electron Pencil World Headquarters mainframe.
This blogging is a fascinating business.
A PhD IN IGNORANCE
More specifically, the Republican turn away from science.
Republicans, after all, are leading the march.
To wit: Tennessee this year passed a law allowing public school teachers to prattle in class about “alternative” theories to human evolution and climate change. The law was introduced by a conservative Republican state senator and passed by a veto-proof Republican statehouse majority.
Jesus Rides A Dinosaur
Mooney says a recent study of Americans found that the more highly educated conservatives are, the more they’re likely to declare themselves mistrustful of science and its practitioners. How’s that for a stumper?
When liberals paint their broad brush stroke picture of conservative Republicans who hew to the Bible rather than the textbook, they like to conjure the image of a backwoods yokel with several teeth in his head.
The Tennessee law, after all, was introduced by a legislator whose name is Bo.
So, now liberals (including me, natch) have to rethink their stereotype. Okay, our stereotype. In fact, Tennessee State Senator Bo Watson graduated magna cum laude in biology from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
Bo Watson, Man Of Letters
Mooney calls it “the smart idiot effect.” Educated conservatives who eschew science, Mooney posits, have a commensurate “higher level of political knowledge and engagement.”
Mooney cites another study that indicates the Right over the last 40 or so years has become top-heavy with “‘authoritarians’ — a generally conservative personality type characterized by cognitive rigidity, viewing the world in black-and-white terms, and holding fixed beliefs, often fundamentalist Christian ones….”
And because the scientific method in its purest form is anti-authoritarian, it only made sense that the New Right would see science as the enemy.
“[N]aturally, this led to decreased trust in scientists and their institutions, especially among the most politically attuned conservatives…,” Mooney writes.
The Culture Warriors on the Right, Mooney explains, began creating alternative expert institutions to wage battle against the liberalism of colleges, universities and other scientific institutions. They set up think tanks like the Heritage Foundation and the Cato Institute to churn out a new anti-academic, anti-liberal body of information (and misinformation).
People began to become expert, in other words, in being non-expert.
Sometimes this game we call democracy gets all too confusing.
THESE BOOTS ARE MADE FOR WALKIN’
Here’s how I waste my time. How about you? Share your fave sites with us via the comments section. Just type in the name of the site, not the url; we’ll find them. If we like them, we’ll include them — if not, we’ll ignore them.
❏ I Love Charts — Life as seen through charts.
❏ XKCD — “A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language.”
❏ Skepchick — Women scientists look at the world and the universe.
❏ Indexed — All the answers in graph form, on index cards.
❏ I Fucking Love Science — A Facebook community of science geeks.
❏ Present & Correct — Fun, compelling, gorgeous and/or scary graphic designs and visual creations throughout the years and from all over the world.
❏ Flip Flop Fly Ball — Baseball as seen through infographics, haikus, song lyrics, and other odd communications devices.
❏ Mental Floss — Facts.
❏ The Universe — A Facebook community of astrophysics and astronomy geeks.
❏ Sodaplay — Create your own models or play with other people’s models.
❏ Eat Sleep Draw — An endless stream of artwork submitted by an endless stream of people.
❏ Big Think — Tapping the brains of notable intellectuals for their opinions, predictions, and diagnoses.
❏ The Daily Puppy — So shoot me.
Electron Pencil event listings: Music, art, movies, lectures, parties, receptions, games, benefits, plays, meetings, fairs, conspiracies, rituals, etc.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 16, 2012
◗ Monroe County Public Library — It’s Your Money series: Talk to an Expert, confidential half-hour sessions; 4:30-6:30pm
◗ IU Auditorium — Culturefest, learn about IU history and campus cultural diversity, music, dance, food, art, etc.; 4:30-7:30pm
◗ Nick’s English Hut — Fundraiser, 10% of food sales plus waitperson’s tips go to Stepping Stones; 5-8pm
◗ Bear’s Place — B-Town Bearcats; 5:30pm
◗ Muddy Boots Cafe, Nashville — Shelf Life; 6-8:30pm
◗ IU Cinema — Film: “Beasts of the Southern Wild”; 7pm
◗ IU Art Museum — Culturefest after-party; 6pm
◗ IU Wells-Metz Theatre — Drama, “Solana”; 7:30pm
◗ Serendipity Martini Bar — Team trivia; 8:30pm
◗ The Bluebird — Uncle Kracker; 9pm
◗ Max’s Place — Wake the Dead; 9pm
◗ The Bishop — Kink Ador, The Vorticists, Brown Bear Coalition; 9:30pm
◗ Ivy Tech Waldron Center — Exhibits:
“40 Years of Artists from Pygmalion’s”; through September 1st
◗ IU Art Museum — Exhibits:
“A Tribute to William Zimmerman,” wildlife artist; through September 9th
Willi Baumeister, “Baumeister in Print”; through September 9th
Annibale and Agostino Carracci, “The Bolognese School”; through September 16th
“Contemporary Explorations: Paintings by Contemporary Native American Artists”; through October 14th
David Hockney, “New Acquisitions”; through October 21st
Utagawa Kuniyoshi, “Paragons of Filial Piety”; through fall semester 2012
Julia Margaret Cameron, Edward Weston, & Harry Callahan, “Intimate Models: Photographs of Husbands, Wives, and Lovers”; through December 31st
“French Printmaking in the Seventeenth Century”; through December 31st
◗ IU SoFA Grunwald Gallery — Exhibits:
Coming — Media Life; August 24th through September 15th
Coming — Axe of Vengeance: Ghanaian Film Posters and Film Viewing Culture; August 24th through September 15th