The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“Republicans would like to pretend like Congressman Akin’s substitution of superstition for science is a lone problem but it’s not: they’re all magical thinkers, on nearly every issue. They don’t get their answers on climate change from climatologists, they get them from the Book of Genesis. Hence Sharia Law in America is a dire threat, and global warming a hoax.” — Bill Maher

COWBOY UP

After the Aurora, Colorado, shootings at least one Republican (duh!) pol spewed the lunatic opinion that had the patrons of the theater been permitted to carry artillery into the place, they could have shot the shooter up like a swiss cheese and thereby become heroes forever. Oh, and they could have saved a life or two.

Gohmert: “…Was There Nobody That Was Carrying…?”

Because, you know, 19-year-olds attending a midnight showing of a superhero movie in a darkened (natch), packed theater are nothing if not crack shots.

Apparently, that conceit took a hit yesterday when New York cops (who are trained to shoot pistols) opened fire on that guy in the suit who’d killed his former boss at the Empire State Building. So far as we know, the cops did most of the damage to the innocent bystanders, nine of whom caught lead.

One Down, Nine To Go

So, yeah, they killed the guy with the gun but in the process did far more damage than the shooter ever intended to do.

Now, what was that about 19-year-olds with artillery in a darkened theater after midnight?

THE NEWS IS A JOKE

Remember a few years ago how the punditocracy was wringing its hands over the fact that a majority of young people were getting their news from comedy programs like “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report“?

Me? I figured standup comedians and improvisational comics couldn’t do much worse interpreting the day’s events than cerebrally flabby blow-hards like Sean Hannity or Chris Matthews.

A Mighty Wind

Anyway, what passes for today’s current affairs debate has devolved to the point where Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are elderly statesmen. In fact, if one really wants to get to the meat of a pressing issue these days, one has to click on Cracked.com.

Swear to the god I don’t believe in.

For instance, take a recent Cracked post entitled “5 Ways Modern Men Are Trained to Hate Women.”

(And, honestly, could you imagine any broadcast or cable news outlet even touching that topic? With the recent verbal assaults on Sandra Fluke and rape victims, it’s clear — isn’t it? — that too many men hate the hell out of women around this holy land. Someone’s got to be teaching them how to do it!)

Fluke Took A Beating

Post author David Wong (oy, I hope that’s his real name) liberally sprinkles the piece with perceptive gems. He begins by recalling Rush Limbaugh’s attack on Fluke. Limbaugh, Wong rationalizes, “is paid to say outrageous things.” It’s the chimps who follow Limbaugh that scare the bejesus out of Wong: “If you really want to feel all dead inside, you need to listen to what the regular folk were saying.”

He quotes commenters on Right Wing sites who described Sandra Fluke in terms that made it look as though Limbaugh were trying to coo into her ear.

“My Darling Slut”

“Now go to the front page of any mostly male discussion site like Reddit.com and see how many inches you can browse before finding several thousand men bemoaning how all women are gold-digging whores (7,500 upvotes) and how crazy and irrational women are (9,659 upvotes) and how horrible and gross and fat women are (4,000 upvotes). Or browse the ‘Men’s Rights’ section and see weird fantasies about alpha males defeating all the hot women who try to control them with their vaginas.”

No, neither Sean Hannity nor Chris Matthews has touched that one yet.

Wong says movies teach us that it’s a man’s right to be awarded a hot chick after he accomplishes some feat. “When the Karate Kid wins the tournament, his prize is a trophy and Elisabeth Shue. Neo saves the world and is awarded Trinity…, the hero in ‘Avatar’ gets the hottest Na’vi, Shrek gets Fiona, Bill Murray gets Sigourney Weaver in ‘Ghostbusters,’ Frodo gets Sam, WALL-E gets EVE… and so on.

“Hell, at the end of ‘An Officer and a Gentleman,’ Richard Gere walks into the lady’s workplace and just carries her out like he’s picking up a suit at the drycleaner.”

Cleaned And Pressed

Yeesh!

Wong concludes, “From birth we’re taught that we’re owed a beautiful girl…. It’s why every Mr. Nice Guy is shocked to find that buying gifts for a girl and doing her favors won’t win him sex. It’s why we go to ‘slut’ and ‘whore’ as our default insults — we’re not mad that women enjoy sex. We’re mad that women are distributing to other people the sex that they owed us.”

I doubt if one in twenty Gender Studies classes comes close to hitting that nail on the head.

Want more? Wong’s got it. He quotes from a Right Wing site where men were discussing the merits of then-US Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan. One man said the Kagan is, “So fugly, I’d say ‘Don’t even look’!!!” Another man agreed: “This person is disgusting and I would never trust ‘it’s’ [sic] opinion on ANYTHING!”

Oh, Why Couldn’t Obama Have Nominated A Babe!

Wong writes that a woman’s “role in society or level of accomplishment doesn’t matter. Even if she’s a damned candidate for the Supreme Court, the female always has a dual role: to function as a person, and to act as decor.

“And we get pissed if she doesn’t do her job…. She owes it to us to be pretty.”

Man.

Wong has plenty more to say about American misogyny. Go there and read the piece for yourself. After doing so, you’ll understand a lot more about men than if you’d studied a hundred “serious” articles in the New York Times Magazine.

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 ChartsLife as seen through charts.

XKCD — “A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language.”

SkepchickWomen scientists look at the world and the universe.

IndexedAll the answers in graph form, on index cards.

Indexed

I Fucking Love ScienceA Facebook community of science geeks.

I Fucking Love Science

Present/&/CorrectFun, compelling, gorgeous and/or scary graphic designs and visual creations throughout the years and from all over the world.

Flip Flop Fly BallBaseball as seen through infographics, haikus, song lyrics, and other odd communications devices.

Mental FlossFacts.

SodaplayCreate your own models or play with other people’s models.

Eat Sleep DrawAn endless stream of artwork submitted by an endless stream of people.

Big ThinkTapping the brains of notable intellectuals for their opinions, predictions, and diagnoses.

The Daily PuppySo shoot me.

Electron Pencil event listings: Music, art, movies, lectures, parties, receptions, games, benefits, plays, meetings, fairs, conspiracies, rituals, etc.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Twin Lakes Recreation CenterIU Bloomington Cricket Club, Hoosier Cup 2012; 7:30am

City Hall, Showers PlazaFarmers Market; 8am-1pm

Rogers Elementary SchoolKappa Kappa Sigma Garage Sale & Bake Sale; 8am-noon

◗ IU Jordan Avenue Parking GarageFall Bike Auction; 9am

Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural CenterMind Training through Pain & Disability series, presented by Ani Choekye; 10:30am

WonderLabNational Dog Day Celebration: Greyhounds; 1-4pm

◗ IU Mathers Museum of World Cultures“The Arms of the Shire of Mynydd Seren,” demonstration by members of Bloomington’s Society of Creative Anachronism branch; 1:30-4pm

Monroe County Public LibrarySession 3, Basic Literacy Tutor Training; 1:30-5pm

◗ IU CinemaFilm: “Shane”; 3pm

◗ IU CinemaFilm: “Hannah Takes the Stairs”; 6:30pm

Ryder Film Series“The Well Digger’s Daughter” at IU Fine Arts; 6:45pm

Oliver Winery, Creekbend Vineyard — Music: Jenn Cristy; evening, call for exact time

Muddy Boots Cafe, Nashville — Music: Kevin Bruener; 7-9pm

Brown County Playhouse, Nashville — Music: Carrie Newcomer; 7:30pm

Ryder Film Series“Take this Waltz” at IU Woodburn Hall; 8pm

Cafe DjangoMusic: Post Modern Jazz Quartet; 8pm

The Player’s PubMusic: Pet Monkey; 8pm

The Comedy AtticGarfunkel & Oates; 8 & 10:30pm, Both shows sold out

◗ IU Memorial Union, Whittenberger Auditorium — UB Films: “The Avengers”; 8pm

Ryder Film Series“The Pigeoneers” at IU Fine Arts; 8:45pm

Bear’s PlaceMusic: Cooked Books, Energy Gown; 9pm

Max’s PlaceMusic: White Lightning; 9pm

The BluebirdMusic: Main Squeeze; 9pm

◗ IU CinemaFilm: “LOL”; 9:30pm

The Root Cellar at Farm Bloomington — Queen & Bowie dance party; 10pm

◗ IU Memorial Union, Whittenberger Auditorium — UB Films: “The Avengers”; 11pm

ONGOING

◗ Ivy Tech Waldron CenterExhibits:

  • “40 Years of Artists from Pygmalion’s”; through September 1st

◗ IU Art MuseumExhibits:

  • “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 GalleryExhibits:

  • “Media Life,” drawings and animation by Miek von Dongen; through September 15th

  • “Axe of Vengeance: Ghanaian Film Posters and Film Viewing Culture”; through September 15th

◗ IU Kinsey Institute Gallery“Ephemeral Ink: Selections of Tattoo Art from the Kinsey Institute Collection”; through September 21st

◗ IU Lilly LibraryExhibit, “Translating the Canon: Building Special Collections in the 21st Century”; through September 1st

◗ IU Mathers Museum of World Cultures — Reopens Tuesday, August 21st

Monroe County History CenterPhoto exhibit, “Bloomington: Then and Now” by Bloomington Fading; through October 27th

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: