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Archive for July, 2004

And You Thought We Were Bad

Friday, July 30th, 2004

This little beauty arrived in as a warning in the package of my spiffy new computer desk.

A quick aside:

Friday, July 30th, 2004

Al Franken is a moon monster.

White House Commits Plagiarism, Avoids Academic Probation

Friday, July 30th, 2004

In a recent speech, President Bush stated that Fidel Castro supports prostitution, citing a quote by the Cuban leader:

“The dictator welcomes sex tourism. Here’s how he bragged about the industry. This is his quote: ‘Cuba has the cleanest and most educated prostitutes in the world.'”

It would be quite a revealing admission coming from Castro, except that the quote was taken out of context and lifted out of a Dartmouth undergraduate’s paper. Furthermore, the quote’s source in the student’s paper wasn’t even footnoted.

Speaking in 1992 to the Cuban parliament, Castro actually said, There are prostitutes, but prostitution is not allowed in our country. There are no women forced to sell themselves to a man, to a foreigner, to a tourist. Those who do so do it on their own, voluntarily. We can say that they are highly educated hookers and quite healthy, because we are the country with the lowest number of AIDS cases.”

Castro retorted on Monday and charged that Bush, due to his history with alcoholism, could be having a difficult time distinguishing between relevant and inconsequential information.

Here’s an interesting interview with the student, now a law student at Vanderbilt University. (LA Times registration required, or go to BugMeNot.com to avoid registration).

C-C-C-C-Colors!

Friday, July 30th, 2004

This may require registration, but it’s a beaut: the city of Oxnard, Ca. has banned the Dallas Cowboys’ signature blue star in an attempt to cut down on gang violence. Coincidentally, guess which California city will host the Cowboys’ training camp this Saturday?

Ah, must be nearly football season.

Mixed Nuts

Thursday, July 29th, 2004

In case anyone other than me finds this sort of thing funny, the Eugene Weekly letters page has kicked off one of their semi-annual hissyfits over the erotic chat and “escort” services that run in the back by the personal ads. The impetus, this time, was this piece, which I swear I have seen run a dozen times in one form or another since I’ve lived here.

Best quote, courtesy of one Christopher Logan:

I turn gingerly to the back pages, hoping that “No Exit” will make me laugh, which it often does. But I know that in those pages, girls I’ve never met are going to be staring at me, and they WANT ME BAD. Only they don’t. They want a hundred bucks or whatever. They want to exploit me and have no interest in my feelings or personality beyond what it takes to acquire what I’ve worked hard all day to earn.

Can you hear the tiny violins playing? It seems a little much to expect interest in feelings and/or personality from hookers, really. Also, No Exit can bite me.

(Incidentally, I realise that pointing this out makes me a bad person, but one of the correspondents this time is even named “McWeeny”.)

As to the piece by Schmidt, there absolutely are issues to be raised about sex workers’ rights, coercion, and abuse. (In each of these cases, incidentally, the prohibitionist mindset cannot be said to have done anything whatsoever positive for women’s rights.) Unfortunately, as long as people like Schmidt blithely conflate pornography with prostitution with sexual violence, shamelessly describe the sex industry as “enslavement and exploitation” or “sexual slavery”, and – hey, why not? – make comparisons to white supremacists, I don’t think those issues are ever going to make it to the table.

UPDATE: With regard to the Logan quote, Courtney points out that interest in your feelings or personality will probably only cost another $25.

Kerry In “Right Of Nixon” Shock!

Thursday, July 29th, 2004

At last, a voice of common sense from the community.

Astonishingly, the Democrat Party had been doing everything in its power to alienate me. Their attempts to disenfranchise my right to have my candidate for president [guess who! – ed.]listed on the ballot is comparable to attempts to prevent Americans of African heritage from voting.

Of course it is. Now, put the axe down and back away from the polling station.

Jesus: Hot or Not?

Thursday, July 29th, 2004

Emerald columnist Porscha Collette Carey seems to be running out of ideas and this is only her third column. Not only does she resort to writing about something that was in the latest Cosmopolitan, but she also tackles the topic of Jesus and his apparently newfound popularity in America. Undaunted by the fact that this topic was covered ad nauseum around the time ‘The Passion’ was hitting theaters, Carey uses Jesus t-shirts and Christian pop music as proof of Jesus’ popularity among Americans. And I always figured that the religion named after him was enough evidence that Jesus was pretty popular already.

The Fine Art Of The Interview

Wednesday, July 28th, 2004

The Democratic convention is clearly reaching some kind of apex of tedium, which means that the press coverage is getting better and better:

Matt Welch (Reason): Yeah, I mean, you see how tired people are, just pre-emptively tired, even before the convention, of discussing how theres not going to be news there, that theyre going to be there and theyre not sure why. OW! FUCK!

Dave Barry: Matt just stuck his finger into a Budweiser can and — I hope this will appear — is now bleeding from a self-inflicted wound. And you know what? Were now on the wrong side of the security, so theres no hope for you. We cant get you any help.

Ze Didn’t Start The Fire

Wednesday, July 28th, 2004

An old quote just brought to our attention, here. Consider the case of Senator Toby Hill-Meyer, encountered in full performance-art flow:

All performers identified with more than one race, challenging the idea that they should fit neatly into one ethnic category. But Hill-Meyer, a women’s and gender studies major, also questioned the practice of fitting into a single gender category. Hill-Meyer has requested for the purposes of this article that the Emerald refer to Hill-Meyer using the gender-neutral pronouns “ze” for “he” and “hir” for “him.”

“I’ve had stories that I needed to tell for awhile,” ze said. “When it comes down to it, the pronouns that people use for me is not the point. I don’t feel that any gendered pronoun is appropriate for me. I’m trying to get the recognition that people see a more complex person.”

Complex, indeed! And so very, very deep. I really think ze’s on to something here: the pronoun hegemony has beaten “us” down for too long. I can only applaud the ODE’s sensitivity, and pledge to refer to Hill-Meyer as “ze” and “hir” as often as I possibly can. And I will, believe me.

Horribly Politicized Government Agency Launches Smear Campaign

Wednesday, July 28th, 2004

The 9-11 Commission? The FCC? Those tricky bastards over at the NSA? Nope, NASA! As it’s from Drudge you’ve all seen it already, but seriously, I can’t believe that this woman from the DNC actually thinks that NASA of all agencies is trying to smear John Kerry. By my estimation, Kerry is more likely to throw massive amounts of cash at everyone’s favorite complete waste of time, so NASA is probably more likely to support. But then again, Bush did propose that “man on mars” thing, so maybe the DNC has a point. Conspiracy!

“I Guess People Really Love Celebrity News And Gossip!”

Tuesday, July 27th, 2004

A joke? A hack? Either way, something seems to have gone askew at NZ Bear’s Blogosphere Ecosystem, as perennial top-dog Instapundit has – at time of writing – been upstaged by, um, this.

(We, meanwhile, languish in the mid six-thousands. Action must be taken. Someone find some pictures of Hillary Duff, stat.)

Two Tubs Of Old Dr. Cripple’s Patented Face-Shortening Balm!

Tuesday, July 27th, 2004

Predictably, I’m loving this. Especially the Jerry Brown interview.

Style Points At The DNC

Tuesday, July 27th, 2004

Here‘s a transcript of Clinton’s speech; I link to it only because it omits my favorite part:

He proved that when he picked a tremendous partner in John Edwards. Everybody talks about John Edwards’ energy, intellect, and charisma. The important thing is how he has used his talents to blah blah blah

In the actual speech, if memory serves, it went something like “…energy, intellect, and charisma – and frankly, I resent him.”

As is the way with these things, the content was neither here nor there. It’s just refreshing to hear a politican speak in complete sentences. What kills me about listening to Bush is that someone has clearly told him that dramatic pauses are useful, and so he tries to get them in at an average of once every five seconds, which unfortunately makes him look as though he’s having teleprompter issues. For his part, Kerry’s speaking manner makes it look like he’s channeling spirits. I keep expecting his eyes to roll upwards in his head.

Clinton, meanwhile, continues to overshadow his own party’s nominees. Watching Bill Bradbury try to follow him at Mac Court the other year was just painful.

Now, I see a few scary costumes out there, but I gotta tell you the scariest costume of all is the idea that Gordon Smith will serve six more years in the United States Senate.

That’s a zinger there, Bill. That quote’s so good you could dress yourself up in it. Jesus.

This One

Saturday, July 24th, 2004

Is for you, Tgraf. [Courtesy Blog]

FINALLY!

Friday, July 23rd, 2004

I have moved out of Eugene. I now reside in Texas, I’m not sure what to think about that really. I’ll do my best to, you know, start posting to the blog again shortly. I apologize for my lack of contribution. Carry on.