Archive for February, 2006

Theme Song

February 28, 2006

 

Hippie Girl and AG were talking about AG’s ‘I heart my fans’ t-shirt on Sunday.  It was concensus that AG needs a theme song.The following songs were suggested:
 

Smells Like Teen Spirit
Barbie Girl
Head Like a Hole
I Will Survive
Kryptonite

What do you suggest? 

A Career

February 27, 2006

Rice-a-Roni said in class yesterday, “AG, I know what your calling in life is.”:

 Adorable Girlfriend, M.D.

Psychiatrist to Psychiatrists

 AG suggested it to Dr. Easy E. saying he’s pretty messed up from his patients and their woes.  He didn’t find it funny.  Guess he has no sense of humor and/or Blue Cross Blue Shield that doesn’t cover sessions.

 

on freedom, reason, and the rising tide of bullshit

February 26, 2006

Yesterday, veteran patriarchy-blamer Twisty Faster posted this little gem:

To counterbalance what I must characterize as my recent spate of “eeew, look at that repulsive thing!” posts:

Feminists have a vision of women, even women, as individual human beings; and this vision annihilates the system of gender polarity in which men are superior and powerful. This is not a bourgeois notion of individuality; it is not a self-indulgent notion of individuality; it is the recognition that every human being lives a separate life in a separate body and dies alone. In proposing “the individuality of each human soul,” feminists propose that women are not their sex; nor their sex plus some other little thing—a liberal additive of personality, for instance; but that each life—including each woman’s life—must be a person’s own, not predetermined before her birth by totalitarian ideas about her nature and her function, not subject to guardianship by some more powerful class, not determined in the aggregate but worked out by herself, for herself. Frankly, no one much knows what feminists mean; the idea of women not defined by sex and reproduction is anathema or baffling. It is the simplest revolutionary idea ever conceived, and the most despised.

Andrea Dworkin. Right-Wing Women. “The Coming Gynocide.” 1983.

And I think that just about says it all.

In other news:

I’ve heard several journalism majors flapping their talk-holes over the past couple of days to the effect that there is some “irony” involved in the fact the very same Europeans who so passionately defend the right of a newspaper to publish cartoons about religion would put David Irving in jail for holocaust denial. This group of self-appointed experts included Newsweek’s Middle East Regional Editor Christopher Dickey (who keeps in close touch with the Arab Street from his bureau in Paris), for whom both are free speech issues, differing only in the significance ascribed to them by Europeans and Arabs due to different historical experiences.

To which I say: bullshit. Holocaust denial is illegal in many places because it involves assertions that are verifiably false about an historical event that resulted in the deaths of millions. It is not illegal because it offends people, but because it encourages denial and distortion around the dark center of the great disaster of occidental civilization, and in the wake of that catastrophe, Europeans have committed to the maintenance of historical truth and the accuracy of cultural memory in order to safeguard the future against further disaster. In any case, there is very little “free speech” protection for outright lies.

On the other hand, the protection of speech that makes fun of godbags somewhat less than incidental to the Enlightenment tradition, which was in a significant sense a struggle against the priests and their tradition. If there is an antithesis of the Enlightenment view of individual freedom of thought and expression, it would be that one has a “right” to never be offended because of one’s religious beliefs, which in the technical parlance of political philosophy is called “being a fucking baby”.

So, no. Saying that the murder of 10 million people didn’t happen is not the same as drawing a funny picture of Jesus or Mohammed or whoever. Not by a long shot. To believe that these are equivalent cases is to believe that culture is as important as living, embodied human persons. I don’t think that’s an uncommon belief in our multicultural age. One can find every manner of bullshit being peddled in the name of cultural relativism, from cutting off women’s clitorises to running over protesters with tanks to the murder of gay and lesbian people. Always, the cry goes up: “This is our way! Respect our culture! Help! Eurocentrism!”

I do not believe that culture is sacrosanct, and I have grown dismayed with the extent to which liberal thinkers get caught up in the multiculturalist game of reifying and essentializing culture. At the heart of the liberal tradition there is a view of the human as more than simply a constituent part (or instantiation) of her culture. Rather, we have believed that the person is inviolable. If the culture holds a different view, then the culture and its traditions are changed. The autonomy and dignity of the person trumps the majesty and organic unity of the tradition.

As the critics of human rights will always point out, all of this represents the values of European culture. These ideas are themselves culturally determined. And that is true. In the sense that the Enlightenment heritage of individual liberty is non-negotiable to me, I am openly and strongly ethnocentric. I favor cultures that provide more freedom and less humiliation for human beings. I oppose cultures that provide less freedom and more humiliation. I fully recognize that the desirability of freedom and the undesirability of suffering are completely culturally determined, and that in the end one can only say “this is how we prefer it”. But still, we can say that. I prefer freedom.

The culture that makes the dignity of the individual non-negotiable is of course an ironic culture in the sense that it can – and does – turn the critique on itself. I would argue that the great democratic revolutions of the 18th century, the movements for the rights of women, non-whites and laborers in the 19th century, and the women’s and gay liberation movements of the 20th century all represent an expanding application of the principle that where cultural practice and individual dignity collide, cultural practice must give way. Furthermore, I think any regular reader of this site knows that I am at least as disdainful of American Evangelical godbag assholes as I am of the Muslim godbag assholes in Europe and elsewhere.

But everywhere the tide of bullshit rises. Everywhere people are crushed and stunted in the name of religion, or culture, or tradition. While the middle-brow blow-hole journalists that pass for public intellectuals these days equivocate and compromise, who will simply say that human freedom is more important that religious sensibilities?

Enlightenment is man’s leaving his self-caused immaturity. Immaturity is the incapacity to use one’s intelligence without the guidance of another. Such immaturity is self-caused if it is not caused by lack of intelligence, but by lack of determination and courage to use one’s intelligence without being guided by another. Sapere Aude! [Dare to know!] Have the courage to use your own intelligence! is therefore the motto of the enlightenment.

Immanuel Kant, “What is Enlightenment?”, 1784

Richard Rorty has said that if you take care of political freedom, truth will take care of itself. So what happens when no one cares one whit for either?

On a totally unrelated note: does anyone have any suggestions for wine that pairs well with Thai food?

Another Ph.D. jumps AG’s shark

February 25, 2006

Today was Environmental Health from a Public Policy Perspective.  The course is unorganized by a bunch of academics, aka, Ph.D.s  They are as tragic as the Canadian Curling Association sometimes. AG has been less than thrilled with the course since the twinkies arrived on the first day.  The twinkies are the “little kids”.  You know, the 20 year old trust fund babies who  cried their way into the graduate course and are going to graduate soon, save the world, live on love and futons and all the bullshit that will get squandered away  in a Corporate America job and a little bit of authority around the age of 26.  Needless to say, hitting Coogan’s Bar before class is a requirement for AG to deal with the dearth of ineptitude in the front and back of the classroom.  As it is, AG asks her not-so-secret-Jewish-eye-candy for a valium right before each class. At least though, there is some hot Jewish eye candy to feast the eyes upon. Small miracles!

The Ph.D.s are all from the same department in the school of medicine.  The course is an opportunity for them to self promote and pat each other on the back on their misuse of research funds.  They also like to give smacks on the ass to demonstrate how impressed they are with each other.  Today’s ego maniac was a woman who has a name like a hooker.  If you know what school AG attends, you can easily decipher from the Environment Department who she is.  Her mother was clearly just a cruel person when she named her. 

Hooker was on her soap box, sorry, was at the podium praising herself for the work she is performing in New Orleans in clean up efforts of mold in homes in the aftermath of Katrina.  After providing the class with an opportunity to watch a simulated snuff video on bleaching and Fosters 40-20, Hippie Girl asked Dr. Self Impressed whether it was a good idea to use bleach on walls, given the toxic effects household cleaners pass into the air.  Also there is a lot of  ripping out sheet rock infested with dust, mites and mold and throwing it on front yards for sanitation workers to transport to Mississippi.  Hippie had a good point asking what the long term effects are of the towns with the landfills the sheetrock is dumped in.

Dr. Porn Star in a manner of kissing her own ass, suggested that the issue of mold in homes is as big of an issue as the Iraq War and showed utter disdain for the fact that her actions could potentially cause an additional environmental threat.  In an act of concession, one of the other Ph.D.s thanked Hippie for her question and inquired why the walls needed to be ripped out, if the bleaching process is supposed to be effective.

Without even blinking an eye and from outer space, Porn Star quoted the Bible and the New Testament.  What?  Where did that come from and what does it have to do with this conversation? AG’s mouth and head flew into the air.  It was the most random conservative agenda pushing that AG has seen since Bush tried to say his Coke addiction is no longer a concern since he found G@d, while speaking in 2000 to elderly constituents in San Jose, CA.  AG said screeched, “Separation of Church and State.  I am NOT paying $25,000 a year for you to push your ill conceived Bush Agenda”. 

WTF?  NYC isn’t safe from “academics” or Jesus freaks anymore?  AG isn’t doing homework tonight because the world has clearly come to an end.  Again, AG is hating on chumpwads with professional degrees.

 

Cole and Bryant

February 25, 2006

It never ceases to amaze AG how life can be so connected. During classes yesterday there was a discussion of the painters Cole and Bryant’s depiction of the Hudson River Valley.  Lose the Noose blogged about the painting here because Alice Walton purchased the artwork.  It was a wonderful lecture that reviewed art and how it depicted the thinking of the time and the process of the building of the Croton Aquaduct in Croton Falls, New York in 1832. 

The purchase is very befitting for the Walton family.  The evil cobag Walton family.  What AG learned is the picture represents how the political leaders of New York City at that time viewed nature.  They saw the land as lush and theirs for the taking. This is evidenced by the fact that approximately 40,000 acres of water stretching 125 miles north of Manhattan have been claimed for the NYC water supply.  Three watersheds make up this vast project: Croton, Delaware and Catskills.   

Today, you can see these waters.  For instance, there are frequenlty swans swimming in the Somers Reservoir on AG’s way to school as Metro North makes its way to Harlem. The body of water sits on bustling I-684 insulated by Pepsi Co. and IBM Corporations.  It’s very comforting to know that dust and pollution from highway traffic and the cancer causing bridge and tunnel trains shoot right into the waters that dot the the highway like dandelions.  You know Pepsi and IBM are also taking good care of the Hudson waters too. That same water will later be filtrated and consumed by New Yorkers. It’s also comforting knowing that NYC owns these bodies of water and only 7 total non water acres of land in the entire 125 mile stretch.  Yet, it forces laws on the communities that hosts its water supply and the land it does not own.

Not only did the political leaders during the early 1800s coin NYC as ‘Gotham City’, they decided water should come from Westchester County.  This was done with the intent of cutting the suburb out of the process and subsquent profits.  Had they been successful in their inital plans, a canal would have run between South Street Seaport in the Lower East Side to Litchfield County, Connecticut.  They saw nature as theirs for the taking.  It was lush, it was plentiful and it should be theirs, all theirs.

This is exactly the kind of political action that personifies Wal-Mart today.  Wal-Mart doesn’t care about Westchester County, Putnam County or any county for that matter in America other than the one Bentonville resides within in Arkansas.  The Wal-Mart family continues to act as though not only is America theirs for the taking, the global world is also theirs as they bastardize Canada, China and various other lands.  They do so to line their own pockets at the cost of infringement on others culture, community and freedoms.  Wal-Mart, unlike the aquaduct, is nothing to celebrate.

AG laughs last as Wal-Mart continues to fight for space in Boston and New York, while K-Mart* smiles on 8th Avenue in Manhattan and Bostonians recently showed support for Target* in Downtown Crossing, but not Wal-Mart. 

*K-Mart and Target are nearly as evil asWal-Mart.  Yet, Wal-Mart is the winner of the Koufax Cobag Douchemart Awards.

Porn Star Names

February 23, 2006

If AG were a porn star, the following names would be serious contenders on the list of potential screen nams:

Amber Ashley Waves

Genesis Riley

Raven Kincannon

Selena Pink

Sara Moist

 

No use for Organic Chemists

February 22, 2006

AG works with this total nutcase.  Case-in-point:

 A Ph.D. from the Chemistry group came to AG’s office area today.  Let us begin with his name.  To protect him, we won’t reveal it.  Suffice to say, his name is amusing.  His first name is the same as his last name with an ‘s’ at the end., i.e. Peter Peters or Walter Walters. This amuses AG to no end.  He has one of those names that can be shortened. So, AG calls him something like “Dr. Ben Ben”. 

 This guy graduated from a mediocre institution.  Fine, he wasn’t Harvard, Columbia or Yale material.  Not everyone can be that, but some professional presentation should have been conveyed to him. It’s not like this  company is going to teach it after AG had to discuss with her manager, the cobag CEO calling her patients “fat ladies”. Ben is about 36 years-old and apparently married.  He is a total mess.  The wife deserves a medal, along with his former doctoral advisor.

To begin, he’ll give his opinion on anything and everything, whether asked for it or not.  He also thinks because he is one of the longest employees in the organization, he can use it for leverage.  Right, because Corporate America is a meritocracy.  It’s not who you know honey, it’s who you blow.  Seriously, this man has a Ph.D.? 

He recently wanted a conference room that a colleague of AG uses every Monday morning for project managment meetings.  The meeting is hosted by the CEO of the company. Thus, he was denied usage for his meeting. He said to an adminstrative assistant he should get the room because he has worked here the longest.  To which AG replied when the gossip circulated back, “Priority over employment status, MoFo.  CEO over little Chemist.  (The CEO is a Harvard trained M.D.) So, M.D. trump Ph.D.  Shut the f#ck up!”  Snap! AG is from the tri-state area. (Gavin M. can back AG up on Joisey girls here).   AG don’t play…

Jumping back to today, Ben Ben shows up with his hair tossed around like a milkshake.  The twinkie temp asked him if he was “OK”.  That led to a 20 minute conversation.  Whe he came back to, he yammered on about how he needed some batch records. She informed him that he would need to see another department staffer.  He went off:  “I need it today. I need it now.”  Then he started demanding she call the other staffer.  Cowboy is seriously needing a whooping now…

AG sitting in her office watching the whole scene go down like a bad crack deal was like, “First, you are in the wrong department.  Second, your failure to plan, does not result in anyone else’s emergency.  Yesteray, you needed stuff STAT. And it was addressed STAT. You appear on a regular basis demanding you need things STAT.  Therefore, either you need to attend some time managment courses or you are just being unprofessional in an effort to get your way.  Either way, it’s unbecoming of a staff member at your level. Especially with how much time you have put in with the organization. Should you have any further questions, feel free to discuss them with the CEO or Human Resources and ask them to call me with any concerns.”  And since then, he has not been seen in this location.

 And that dear friends, is handing a Ph.D. his ass.  If you cannot control the three P’s: power, penis and Ph.D., don’t come knocking at AG’s door.  M.D. trump Ph.D.!

MoBlogging Test

February 20, 2006

Just seeing if I can post from the web browser on my SideKick (“Mobile Blogging”, or “MoBlogging”, since here in the future we’re so doubleplusbusy we don’t have time for extra words).

I’m at Discount Tire, waiting for my tires to be replaced. So so boring. Next up, more boredom at the oil change shack. Then I need to go do laundry, because frankly, I’m almost down to the thong in terms of underwear options, and I really consider the thong to be an option only if the alternative is going commando.

this guy next to me is eating taco bell while he waits. The smell is going to make me hurl, I think.

Happy Preznit’s Day!

Poetry Korner

February 19, 2006

If it were easy to be good,
And cheap, and plain as evil how,
We all would be its members now:
How readily would we become
The seamless live continuum
Of supple and coherent stuff,
Whose form is truth, whose content love,
Its pluralist interstices
The homes of happiness and peace,
Where in a unity of praise
The largest publicum’s a res,
And the least res a publicum;
How grandly would our virtues bloom
In a more conscionable dust
Where Freedom dwells because it must,
Necessity because it can,
And men confederate in Man.

(more…)

housekeeping

February 19, 2006

I just want to point out to everyone that the order in which links display on the blogroll is randomized, so if you were on top of the old list, and now you’re not (for today), just cool your jets, it’ll reshuffle you eventually.