Friday, September 28, 2007

Sneak Preview Review: Rendition

As a member of the media I was invited to see a sneak preview of the movie Rendition, which, as the title might suggest, is about the process of “rendition” which is when the U.S. ships captives overseas to be tortured for information, supposedly by “other” countries, but in reality by the U.S., likely from CIA or CIA contractors. I’m calling them “captives” (the movie doesn’t) because to call them prisoners would mean they have a legal status when the whole point of rendition is that is a non-legal process.

Because the movie isn’t out yet, I will make my review spoiler-free, although once it’s been released I might revisit it for a longer review.

In short, I’m torn because I’m glad a movie about rendition was made, but unfortunately this movie muddles its message somewhat. A friend who watched the movie with me said this was a very “Hollywood” version of this issue, with all the sharp edges rounded over with pretty people and easy endings. It’s also a shame because there are a lot of very talented actors, from Meryl Streep to Alan Arkin who aren’t given much to do by the script.

The plot involves an Egyptian-born but American-raised man, Anwar El-Ibrahim. (He came to the U.S. when he was 14, yet the character, played by Omar Metwally, has a British accent.) He's a family man married to a very pregnant Reese Witherspoon.

There is a bombing in an unidentified North African country, and shortly there after we see Meryl Streep’s character, with little internal debate or struggle, order the detention of El-Ibrahim who is grabbed and black-bagged after walking off a flight to Chicago.

For a movie about rendition, or extraordinary rendition as its sometimes called, it’s pretty generic about details of the experience. Granted not many “rendered” people have returned to talk about it, but a few have. Read about the Canadian Maher Arar’s experience who was sent to Syria for torture. Part of the problem with the movie is that it keeps itself at a distance from the torture, never letting the viewer become too uncomfortable with what’s on the screen.

I’m really curious why torture-porn movies like Saw III and Hostel can be more graphic and disturbing than movies that depict what kinds of ACTUAL TORTURE that was done to real human beings. (That El-Ibrahim is fictional doesn’t matter. The point is this is happening and has happened. Even today we have no real guarantees, other than President Bush’s word, that the black sites are totally closed down.) Because the torture scenes are blunted, it also makes it harder to really get agitated about what we’re being shown.

Jake Gyllenhaal plays a CIA analyst who is running his first interrogation. The movie follows his perspective most of the time rather than El-Ibrahim’s (who’s almost a by-stander). Gyllenhaal is a good actor and does what he can, but the problem is that the movie isn’t knowledgeable enough to be really insidery (the way Syrianna felt) and it’s not idealistic enough to be artistic. There’s also not much blame pointed to the current administration, who, let’s be honest, is the one currently using these methods. Clinton is name-dropped somewhat conspicuously yet Bush’s name, or the names of anyone currently or formerly in power, is not. The 9-11 Commission Report is also name-checked but without a real sense of place or timing, the movie is somewhat ajar from the “real” world. What we’re left with is a kind of generic story which we’re likely supposed to side with Gyllenhaal, who reminds mostly a bland cipher.

The other half of the movie involves Reese Witherspoon’s character’s efforts to find her husband, mostly contacting a former boyfriend played by Peter Sarsgaard who works in a Senator’s office. Alan Arkin plays a senator and gets in a couple of good scenes, but is also mostly underused.

While I understand the idea of using a sympathetic (and pregnant) wife and son to make the victim seem human, the reality is there is little for them to do other than sit and worry. The wife manages to figure out what happens to her husband in fairly short order (which is somewhat pointless because the audience knows what the character doesn’t) and the rest of the movie toggles between her scenes, and those with Gyllenhaal.

There is also a subplot involving two teenagers in the unidentified North African country, which is tied into the plot. Its this subplot though, that muddles the message one would think the film-makers want to send, that rendition is not something we should be deploying. Instead it almost seems to suggest we simply need to grab the right suspects.

The ending also lets the audience off the hook in an entirely unrealistic fashion.

The more I think about the more this movie leaves me confused as to the intentions of the film. Does it want to be a debate on the issue of torture and rendition, or does it want the viewer to firmly come down against the process? If it’s the former, the points of debate should be much sharper and if it’s the later, I think the filmmakers blew it.

By the way, the debate about whether the U.S. should use torture or should it use rendition are two separate discussions. Torture is happening both on and off U.S. soil these days. And the difference between black sites and Guantanamo might be only a matter of degrees.

The movie is good for at least being an attempt to showcase this issue, and I’ve often thought that only fiction, not documentaries, will be the way to shift public debate. But I keep waiting for there to be a new version of The Crucible that will deal with the torture issue. Perhaps I’m expecting too much, but if there is going to be a truly insightful movie about torture, its likely only going to appear after people (read Hollywood) feel whatever “danger” international terrorists pose has passed. The fact that the Rendition vaguely implies that such methods might be useful, is a cop-out.
The movie comes out October 13.

Friday Cat Blogging: Lena's Eyes

Lena tends to get the short shift on Cat Blogging Fridays but I found this picture of her somewhat arresting (unfortunately it also came out a little blurry). What I found funny was I came home and the apartment was somewhat clean, except my bookbag was on the floor. So of all the places Lena wanted to sit it had to be on top of my bookbag? I guess Lena sits where she wants.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Does Anti-Choice Mean Anti-Technology?

If you haven’t heard the about Verizon turning down NARAL’s plan to send text messages already, here’s the New York Times story. (UPDATE: It was a decison almost immediately reversed.)

I'm actually a Verizon customer for my landline and I'm already debating what I can do to send a message to the company. Maybe I should switch carriers. Do I even want to use the services of a company is just so bone-headed about business? This move on their part, which I'm sure someone thought was going to be less controversial, rather than more, is going to bring a ton of bring them a lot of bad PR and lose them income, both from turning down the campaign and from former subscribers like me. Way to go Verizon!

Anyway two things jumped out at me from the Times article.

One, this really explains what Net Neutrality is in a way that millions of people can understand and appreciate. That’s no small feat considering it’s a pretty complicated issue.

And also, I hope people don’t just dismiss this as a typical “pro-choice/anti-abortion” fight where everyone lines up on either Verizon’s or NARAL’s side depending upon how you feel about abortion. Because this is wrong no matter who Verizon turned down, whether it was the National Rifle Association or Focus on the Family. It’s not like the phone company should have the right to deny an organization a phone line because they don’t like their politics and it’s the same with text messaging. Hence the term “net neutrality” because the carrier shouldn’t get to control content.

Second, this paragraph jumped out at me:

Most of the candidates and advocacy groups that use text message programs are liberal, which may reflect the demographics of the technology’s users and developers. A spokeswoman for the National Right to Life Committee, which is in some ways Naral’s anti-abortion counterpart, said, for instance, that its has not dabbled in text messaging.
Now why is that? Is it that they have thought about it but thought it wasn’t worth the expense or effort? Was it they thought their supporters didn’t know or wouldn’t use the technology?

I do think progressives usually are first-movers on technological innovations, occasionally at the expense of older, more proven political organizing. (Sometimes newer isn’t better, or isn’t better…just yet.) However I don’t think NARAL is going to always have this advantage. Right To Life will probably adopt text messaging soon and I’m sure someone can point to me a technological-sophisticated messaging strategy used by conservative groups (not strategists…members.) We may have first-mover advantage but the thing about politics is that groups learn to adopt new strategies from successively rivals.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Real Estate of Abortion Politics

In case you haven't been following the news in Aurora, Ill, there is a situation where Planned Parenthood built a brand-new clinic that was to open Tuesday. Unfortunately the city got cold-feet and decided (long after the building was built and everything was good to go) to deny a permanent occupancy license. Planned Parenthood took the city to federal court to try to force them to open, but on September 21 the judge refused to grant them temporary permission to open. (The case is still pending).

This article in the local Beacon News shows how the anti-abortion groups are just crowing about their success which they hope to duplicate all over the country now.

I've been covering this over at my other blog, Real Women, Real Voices.

But Ann Friedman at The American Prospect has a good article up about the issues of real estate in reproductive rights.

Plus, I almost feel like I can't stress this enough, Planned Parenthood offers more services than just abortion. They also offer birth control, gynecological care, STI/STD testing and treatment, and family planning which includes pregnancy testing. It drives me up the wall when newspapers, like The Washington Post, feel free to casually label them "abortion clinics" as if that is the only service they provide. My understanding is that its not even the majority of what most PP's do. They probably write more prescriptions for birth control in a week than perform abortions in a year. Or something like that. Why not call them "birth control clinics" instead then, it would be a more accurate moniker.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Friday Cat Blogging: Al Objects To Candy

I was getting somewhat creative with the candy "glamour shot" when Al, with his keen sense of taste and style, wanted to correct my staging. We had classic creative differences. I wanted the bottle lying sideways, he thought it looked better on the floor. Eventually we settled our disagreements.

However he still sniffs at my photo shoots. Sigh...models. What do they know?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Candy Review: Liquor Chocolates

When I was a little kid I have a vague memory of find a box of these chocolates shaped like liquor bottle in my grandparent’s house. I remember tasting one, and then immediately spitting it out. Ewww, those weren’t tasty chocolates at all!

Well that might have had to do with the fact that my younger self had no taste for alcohol, which, heh, clearly now I do.

So when I prowling a candy shop in Tyson’s Corner and saw boxes upon boxes of these curious candies, I wondered if my adult palate was ready for them again.

The candies were made by different liquor companies (and were pricey!) but eventually I settled on buy five for $.75 each. I selected Sambuca, Frangelico, Stolichnaya Orange, Southern Comfort, and Drambuie.

The chocolates are hallow, filled with a liquid which isn’t quite liquor. The texture was like that of maple syrup but for the most part just tasted like a sugar syrup.

Unfortunately the chocolate part for all of them was entirely disappointing. Part of the reason seems to be that these chocolates probably sit around for a while before someone eats one. But the chocolate was waxy and completely flavorless.

Sambuca: The licorice flavor was fairly strong.

Stolichnaya: Even though I have a fondness for vodka I was a little worried about the combo. This was also the one I cut in half and poured the liquid portion into (appropriately enough) a shot glass. The amount of liquid is, of course, miniscule. But it was pretty flavorfully and not like vodka at all. A good orange-y flavor which, had the chocolate been better, might have been a good combo.

Frangelico: This was entirely disappointing! Of all of the chocolates I thought the hazelnut liquor would match best with the chocolate. I’m not sure what I was tasting, but it seemed like a simple sugar syrup.

Drambuie: Admittedly this one left me at a disadvantage because I don’t know what actual Drambuie tastes like. Again, mostly just sugar syrupy tasting.

Southern Comfort: By the time I got to this one I was ready to chuck the whole experiment. These were still terrible chocolates! I also found at least three of them, Frangelico, Drambuie and Southern Comfort to be indistinguishable. I now believe they are merely the same chocolates just wrapped in different foils.

They are cute but terrible.

San Diego Mayor With Gay Daughter Embraces Gay Marriage

Speaking of gay marriage debates, I just found this pretty neat story that the Republican Mayor of San Diego reversed himself on gay marriage, likely because of his gay daughter. Would love to have seen what the debate at home was like.

If only Cheney loved his daughter as much.

Dobson Indicates He's No Supporter of Thompson's

It appears Focus on The Family's James Dobson is still looking for his shining white knight of Republican Christian conservatism.

Unless he’s ready to back a Mormon (which still seems doubtful) I suspect Dobson will end up throwing his hat in with Brownback or maybe Huckabee (who at least is growing viable as a possible Veep pick).

I don’t know who made Dobson "Jesus’ Official Bestower Of Presidential Wreaths" but clearly he thinks he is.

Learning To Blog In Drips and Drabs, II

In another one of my great steps forward, yesterday I figured out some things about blogger and titles yesterday. So anyone who read me on an RSS feed things should find it to read from now on. Also my "Previous Posts" section will be a lot less garbled looking.

However this is also something that involves me going back and fixing every old post. Ugh. But now I know.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Amen, Brother!

Slate is hosting a back’n’forth exchange between David Kuo who wrote Tempting Faith (a book I keep meaning to read) and Hanna Rosin who wrote God’s Harvard (a book I’m afraid to read for fear I’ll see evangelicals hiding under my bed.)

Kuo’s personal story is very interesting. He worked in the White House, had a brain tumor and came out disillusioned by the combination of faith, cynicism and sheer flim-flammery he saw in the Republican Party. (Unfortunately he still absolves Bush of all possible sins…it’s always Bush’s circle that causes the problems…never the fact that Bush allows things to happen exactly as he means them too.)

I’m always fascinated to read stories of people’s personal political transformations, especially those that lead them to a new understand of religion. (David Brock’s Blinded by the Right and Bart D. Ehrman's Misquoting Jesus are two such books).

But Kuo finally hits the nail on the head about politics for the spiritually possessed:

Spiritually, evangelicals need to make it clear (and understand, in some cases) that they can have passionate public-policy opinions without presenting them as holy writ. Why? Because in doing so, they give to the world a Jesus known not by his love and sacrifice but by his political stridency. Believe it or not, Jesus never said, "Blessed are the tax cutters for they shall keep more of their money."
Exactly. It’s perfectly fine for religious-minded to engage in politics. But they have to engage in debate, argument and persuasion like everyone else. And their arguments against sex-education, abortion, and whatever should be grounded in something other than “well Jesus says it should be so, and you have to follow what (I think) Jesus says.”

Now it happens I think once you remove the crutch of using “just because Jesus says it should be so” I think they’ll lose their public policy debates. But maybe it will also cause them to ask themselves why are they arguing for whatever policy they are favoring?

The point I think Kuo was making is that policy debates shouldn’t be by-proxy religious wars despite what some people want to make them out to be.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Candy Review: Strawberry Milkshake Whoppers

Every once in a while you find a rare candy...and then you realize exactly why some things aren’t meant to have a wider market. Whoppers Milkshake Strawberry (yes that is the correct name as you can see on the box) is one of those. I found them at the candy store in Tyson’s Corner mall which I regularly prowl for new test products.

At first I thought Whoppers Milkshake Strawberry was a new product, but I’ve found a few reviews, including Candy Addict’s Brian dating from Nov. 11, 2006. It seems November 2006 was probably about the time it was released.

Now a word about the name, I know most of the reviewers call it Whoppers Strawberry Milkshake, but the reality is that there was actually two “Milkshake” versions of Whoppers. Strawberry and (wait for it) Vanilla. I'll let you readers know if I ever find the vanilla version.

However after tasting this strawberry milkshake version I can see why they only have limited circulation. They’re just not that good. They smell more like cotton candy than strawberry and there’s barely any flavor other than malt. The color is really disappointing, see for yourself. I'm strongly against dull-colored candy, especially when the color can enhance the experience. And dull pink is even more baneful.

I was very disappointed in the lack of strong strawberry flavor because I thought it would mix well with the maltness. Instead I tend to agree with the other reviewers, its mostly just an extra strong sugary taste with a slight wiff of cotton candy-strawberry scent.

Friday Cat Blogging: Sleeping In The Sun

The light behind my kitchen table is really pretty at times and I keep trying to catch Al or Lena as they lay backlit in the sun. This wasn't quite the photo I was going for, but it was the best of the bunch.

Going over past Cat Blogging Friday pics I also just realized there's a pretty high percentage of cats-laying-on-newspapers-on-the-table pics. Hmmm....

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Whoo-Hoo! My Article Is Up on CampusProgress!

Doing a little blogwhoring, my article on The Daily Show in Iraq is now up on

And welcome CampusProgress readers. Why not put your feet up, take a look around. Read my posts on abortion, candy, or Aaron Sorkin.

(Teaser, I have several new candy reviews in the works).

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Good Dancing Is Fun To Watch

Honestly I don't even want to make fun of this clip. This boy is just freaking fabulous.

BTW, I'm also with Jessica on this one. I will personally beat to death the next flabby, unathletic, out-of-shape guy who feels he's in a position to call Britney Spears fat.

Monday, September 10, 2007

VA-GOP And The Press: Update

After writing this post I asked a friend who covers local politics whether he had attended the meeting. His e-mail back to me was highly revealing.

No [he didn't go to the county commission meeting] but I knew that was going to happen because one of those dudes, Wayne Kubicki, told me they were going to do that. I didn’t think anything of it because the local GOP (which is constituted by 5 or 6 dudes) does this every meeting but on a different topic. I guess they chose immigration this month. That’s why this article is crap, because the GOPers do this at every meeting. I think what happened was that Kristin’s editors sent her to the meeting and told her to come back with a story and since nothing was happening at the meeting (which is why I didn’t go b/c I checked the agenda ahead of time and saw that nothing was going on) she had to invent a story out of nothing.
Now I'm quoting my friend with permission and anoymously because he didn't want to publicly insult her, especially because she was put in a difficult position. I've been in that position myself where you have a half-page of notes because nothing happened but, damn it, you were there and the newshole was booked for you and you are expected to produce.

But my friend's perspective does make me realize that he was closer to the actual story (that there was none, this is a regular occurance) and how these kinds of incidents get blown up. I was just listening to a podcast of NPR's On The Media about campaign coverage in a segment called "Padding The Trail."

The National Journal's William Powers looked at campaign coverage and there's a similar example of a reporter watching something that happened countless times before and, almost by accident, turning it into "new" news.

BROOKE GLADSTONE: So now let's go to the last of the three soft story categories that you point to in your column - the "metastories."

WILLIAM POWERS: Yes. These are the stories that are about the story, in a way - stories that are about the contenders using the media to shape their own images, or, secondarily, opponents allegedly taking swipes at each other and the media sort of supposedly seeing the warfare behind the scenes, the prime example this summer I think being the alleged story of Obama's wife, Michelle Obama, taking a swipe at the Clintons over how they run their family.

BROOKE GLADSTONE: Which she really didn't.

WILLIAM POWERS: Which she really didn't, which was a kind of a stump speech she had been giving for some time, but one reporter in Chicago said it - almost in passing in a piece - that it looked like she was taking a swipe at the Clintons, and it just became this giant meta-phenomenon that really amounted to nothing.

It was one of these kind of not really a fully fleshed-out story, but let's do it. What the heck. It's all about how they're playing in the media.

The concept of one reporter noticing something others missed is kind of a tradition in journalism. But what about the reporter that makes the mistake that all the others didn't because they are witnessing for the first time, something that every else has seen?

I know exactly how such mistakes happen and it's really a flaw in the system rather than the individual reporter's fault. It's a systematic failure in the way news is produced.

VA-GOP And The Press: Making Joe McCarthy Proud

In Virginia at some point it was decided that illegal immigrants are "the problem.” Maybe it was about the time the GOP started losing in the state so it was thought this was going to be a great campaign to make sure that stopped happening. I know this coordinated with a national movement to make undocumented workers “the problem” so you know this just was spontaneously decided by state party leaders everywhere that in 2006-07 illegal immigrants were suddenly a campaign issue again.

Anyway I bring up Joseph McCarthy because I was thinking about him in relations to Jay Rosen’s post at PressThink about how the Press got caught flat-footed when covering the Bush administration. I asked him in what other periods did the Press learn it had to change its methods. Rosen suggested, perhaps, the post-McCarthy period.

So with in this mind I was reading this story in the Washington Post by Kirstin Downey “A Board Meeting Blitz by the GOP.”

And I realized, not to put Ms. Downey on the spot for a common mistake, but she is allowing a Joe McCarthy problem to be pushed by her story.

That illegal immigrants are “the problem” is the story the GOP want to push. So they staged a confrontation at county board meeting in a heavily Democratic county (mine as it were). But she inadvertently pushes the GOP line in the context of reporting, correctly, what was said, without demonstrating what is factual.

The story is peppered with quotes and assertions by the GOP about illegal immigration. Meanwhile the Democratic county board members are also quoted, but the statements about immigration aren’t challenged directly because this was not a debate club. The Democratic county board members weren’t there to counter every factual statement made in an attempt to push this frame that illegal immigrants are “the problem.”

This is a short story but reading this paragraph is what reminded me of Rosen’s recent post.

Republicans said they are asking not for immediate changes, but for debate over how to handle illegal immigrants, some of whom are creating "public safety" concerns, the speakers said.

About five weeks ago, an illegal immigrant was sentenced to three life terms and 20 years for the rape of a 42-year-old Arlington woman. She was attacked by the man, a Salvadoran, as she walked along the Four Mile Run bike path.

"We just want a review, given the national situation," said [Rafael Bejar, chairman of the Arlington County Republican Committee], a Cuban American who said that police officers should be required to report immigrants suspected of felonies or violent crimes to federal immigration officials but that in Arlington it is only a "recommended" action. Atkins said he has been told that the county jailed at least 789 illegal immigrants, including some for felonies, in 2006.

Bejar is making an assertion, (who knows if its even true) that he was told there were 789 illegal immigration jailed, including some for felonies, which implies a level of criminality. (Being jailed of course means nothing in itself. People can be jailed for loitering, for protesting, for driving while Hispanic. It does not automatically imply that all jailed people are “the problem.”)

Moreoever Bejar then used an anecdote, which while true, implies a greater level of menace about all illegal immigrants.

One of the point of history I remember being taught in journalism school about the McCarthy era was that the newspapers strenuously objected to Joe’s assertions. On the editorial page. In the back.

Meanwhile the assertions ran in banner headlines on the front.

Maybe it’s just a coincidence that the same day as Downey’s story the Washington Post ran an editorial condemning the Virginia GOP’s tactics. That ran on B6.

Downey’s story ran on C1 of the Virginia edition. (Don’t trust the link, which says it ran on C6. I think it ran inside the Metro section in other editions but I have a picture of the dead tree version to prove it.)

Check out my update on the topic which really changes the perspective of the story a LOT.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Friday Cat Blogging: Fuzzy Overload

I'm pretty sure you couldn't get a fuzzier photo than this one unless you also had Al floating on a cloud WHILE on a sheepskin rug.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

We’re All Props For Propaganda

This article about a series of studies about myth debunking is really depressing to me. Basically I find our human brains sadly illogical and easily mislead.

The conventional response to myths and urban legends is to counter bad information with accurate information. But the new psychological studies show that denials and clarifications, for all their intuitive appeal, can paradoxically contribute to the resiliency of popular myths.
Although I spend a lot of time on this blog debunking bad science studies this one actually follows some of my own research I did on The Daily Show for my master’s thesis.
The research is painting a broad new understanding of how the mind works. Contrary to the conventional notion that people absorb information in a deliberate manner, the studies show that the brain uses subconscious "rules of thumb" that can bias it into thinking that false information is true. Clever manipulators can take advantage of this tendency.
This reminded me of a study on The Daily Show by a Diana Mutz at Annenberg where participants were shown a segment of The Daily Show. One group was told it was a comedy show the other was told it was a news program.

After watching the segments both groups were then asked questions about the information contained in the segments. What was fascinating was both groups participants showed hardly any differences in how much information they took away from the segments. One would think that if you were told you were watching a *comedy* show it would be a sign not to “believe” any information you were presented it.

But it turned out it didn’t matter what the source of the information was.

I’m greatly, greatly abbreviating what the study says, but the article's hypothesis speculated on the concept of passive acceptance of information. Basically that information (particularly when delivered in the form of entertainment or comedy) seems to passively wash into the brain without evaluation. But it’s still *there* for recall. And apparently with recall there is less evaluation about the accuracy or source of such information.

So subjects might not recall if they are reminded of something they heard in an NPR story or in a made-up Jay Leno joke. And if you read the Washington Post article apparently even being reminded of the bad information adds to the recall of bad information! (Yet also *not* hearing debunking is also not helpful in disabusing myths).

Am I the only one who finds this depressing? We're basically big sponges but once we soak up something it never goes away. This is both bad, but I guess also good. Clearly it's how we learn.

I was playing Pub Quiz with some friends and one of the questions was "Which artist so enraged a rival he was attacked with a mallet and forever disfigured."

Nobody on my team knew the answer, but one person thought he'd heard "somewhere" that it was Michelangelo. Turns out that was the right answer. But it was that randomness "I think I heard somewhere, but I don't know if I'm just pulling this out of my ass," that this myth debunking study is talking about. In this case the stakes were low (well we did lose by only one point, so maybe every point mattered). But I recall listening to a "This American Life" story about polling and producer Sarah Koenig visited the John Zogby pollng center. She then went back and called the polled voters to see how they actually voted.

One person was put down as a John Kerry supporter in the poll (this was 2004) and when the Koenig called him back, not only did he *not* support John Kerry, when he related his reasons why he didn't it was because he had completely confused him with Sen. Bob Kerrey. (The voter was incensed about Bob Kerrey's account of killing civilians in Vietnam.)

My guess is that two days after Koenig told this gentleman that his information about John Kerry was completely wrong -- that in fact he was thinking of the wrong person -- he still was going to hang on to that understand of him. Even if he discounted the now incorrect information about John Kerry, he probably would still hold him in bad standing for the stories that weren't even his.

This is just one isolated small example. But it disturbs me because it says we soak up everything and there is no "delete" button in our brains for bad information. Of course we also soak up good information but I worry about the ratio.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Welcome Misogynists

Apparently someone on Tom Leykis’ board decided to link to my post about radio misogyny.

It’s funny because I’m watching a Mad Men marathon today and I recall some have complained that the sexism is way too blatant. I guess this reviewer thought it was obvious no one is outwardly sexist anymore and therefore hitting people over the head with the casual and hateful attitudes of white men from the past is too painful for audiences to bear.

Yeah, it’s so great how it's all changed today. Sexism is totally gone. Gee and I wonder why anyone ever thought there needs to be such a thing as feminism if we’re all equal now?

[By the way, Mad Men is awesome.]