Posts tagged ‘Huffington Post’

The Oscar Curse

Men in the manosphere constantly bring up the fact that in reality women have equal opportunities to men. One cited a Forbes article that did show that women who made equal sacrifices for their career to what men do often make more than their male counterparts. What he didn’t factor in is how often women in the general population make sacrifices for mate and family that account for the difference in the wage gap between men and women.

The real reason why men make more money than women in general is because women make choices at the expense of their careers, often in order to further the careers of the men in their lives. Why do they do this? Because women know that they have a choice: have a happy family life and a peaceful relationship with their spouses or have a fabulous career. We haven’t come very far from the 1980s when the Supermom concept was first bantered about. Women do have careers, but they put their husbands and children first while men don’t have to make such a choice at all.

How do I know this? Well, you only have to look around and know some married women to see the principle in action, but there are actual statistics to back this up. Men are uncomfortable with their women being more successful than they are. Yes, you can have a career. You can even have a successful career, but you still better clean the house and have dinner on the table. And don’t surpass your husband with your career accomplishments because to do so means that you probably won’t have a husband for very long afterward.

If you don’t believe me, then just read this article from the Huffington Post about the so-called Oscar curse. The same thing happens in the general population. We won’t really have equal opportunity until the attitudes of men change. When they are truly okay with women having equal status, then men won’t feel threatened by women who equal or surpass them, and women will no longer have to make a choice between career and family. Men will make equal sacrifices for the family, and more wives will make more than their husbands. Hopefully, it all evens out in the end.

February 1, 2011 at 12:42 am 10 comments

Thirty Rock Star For President

Alec Baldwin

Image via Wikipedia

Actors becoming politicians is nothing new. Clint Eastwood was the mayor of Carmel, Arnold Schwarzeneger the governor of California, and Ronald Reagan was our President. Now, according to a new internet news story, Alec Baldwin would like to try his hand at being a public servant.

This should be good news for me, I know. I know what Alec Baldwin’s political views are, and we agree on a lot of issues. He frequently blogs on The Huffington Post, and he’s actually a pretty decent writer and an intelligent guy.

However, I greet this announcement with the same skepticism that any Republican should feel if Mel Gibson decided to run for the United States Senate. Gibson is almost guaranteed to be politically conservative. But if you were a Republican (and maybe you are) would you want him representing you? Probably not.

Why? Because Mel Gibson is, in a word, whack. This guy is deeply, deeply disturbed. Any two year old can tell that by just looking at the photos on the tabloid covers in the supermarket.

A few years ago someone released a tape of Baldwin yelling at and berating his daughter Ireland. I wouldn’t talk to my dog the way Baldwin talked to his daughter. Baldwin and his ex, Kim Bassinger, have been battling it out in the courts forever about custody issues, with Baldwin accusing her of parental alienation.

And maybe it’s true. Who knows? He even cared enough to write a book on the subject. But after listening to him rant in a voicemail to Ireland most people probably concluded, like me, that Alec Baldwin didn’t need Kim’s help in alienating his daughter. He was doing fine at that on his own.

After that media frenzy life seemed to get normal for Baldwin, and he stayed out of the news for his personal life for quite a long time. Then, again, there’s weirdness with his daughter. As recently as February of this year mainstream news outlets like CBS were reporting that Baldwin was briefly hospitalized when he and Ireland had an argument on the phone that ended with him telling her that he was tired of this and that he was going to take some pills and end it. He then refused to answer his phone when his daughter called. So, she called 911, and the police showed up at Baldwin’s house.

Boys and girls, can you say manipulation? It’s the word for the day. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

Choosing politicians is not just about their intellect and their beliefs and their knowledge of the subjects necessary to govern. I don’t question that Baldwin would probably be better qualified than many people who hold office in America on that score. But when we as Americans choose someone to represent us in public office we also want to know that that individual is sane and that his temperament is well suited to the position. If this is how he behaves with his own daughter, then what can we expect from him if he’s baited by a political competitor, or, God forbid, a foreign diplomat?

Howard Dean, an absolutely brilliant medical doctor with a promising political career, lost any hope in his presidential bid when he lost his temper during a concession speech following the Iowa caucus. This man had a career as a public servant already, and what happened is that he raised his voice, on camera, in front of a nation. His political ambitions were ruined. And maybe, even though Howard Dean was my favorite in the Democratic primaries that year, maybe he should have lost for that reason. He can’t control his temper. Do we want someone who can’t control his temper having access to “the button”?

So, to Alec Baldwin I say: Dude, you’re funny, you’re talented, you’re smart, and we agree on a lot of things. I might love to meet you for a coffee some time. But sadly, Alec, a career as a political leader is just not in your future anymore than it is in Christian Bale’s future. Give it up. You’ve blown it before you started because the American people might vote for an actor, but the American people will never vote for someone that they perceive as being mean, unhinged, or just plain nuts. Sorry.

January 5, 2011 at 12:46 pm 7 comments

Video Pranks

Man in an electric chair.

Image via Wikipedia

It’s interesting to me how with social media nowadays people have so very many more ways of embarrassing other people, sometimes quite literally to death. The Huffington Post today reported on two different instances of video “pranks.”

The first story involves a gay student from Rutgers University who was pranked by his roommate. The roommate, after hearing that the subject of his video wanted the use of their apartment until midnight, set up a web camera in his roommate’s room and recorded sexual activity between his roommate and a same sex partner. He then used Twitter to spread it all over the internet.

That doesn’t seem so funny to me. I think I missed the joke. The kid is now facing a felony conviction for his “prank.” He should be looking at the electric chair, if I believed in the death penalty, that is. The kid who was recorded in the sex tape killed himself, in embarrassment. And now an eighteen-year-old boy has lost his life over a “prank.” Gee, that’s so funny I forgot to laugh.

The second example isn’t as tragic. You might even view it as funny, but the joke is on the wrong person in this instance. A young man named James O’Keefe decided to punk a CNN reporter who was doing a story on him. James O’Keefe is a conservative  most famous for taking undercover video that discredited the activist organization, ACORN, in a stunt that involved him posing as a pimp. The CNN reporter asked for a private interview with O’Keefe, and O’Keefe granted her that interview.

The reporter’s name is Abbie Boudreau, and she has great credentials, but O’Keefe referred to her as a bubble-headed bleach blonde and was planning to video tape her “seduction” on a boat that he had outfitted with dildos and lube, among other things. Click on the link to take a look at O’Keefe. One wonders who he would actually be able to seduce, even if he didn’t come across as one freaky-deaky son of a bitch. His “prank” was blown out of the water by one of his own people, who confessed to Boudreau what she could expect if she boarded the boat where O’Keefe had agreed to set their private interview.

This prank is funny, alright. But the only reason it’s funny is because it shows what an arrogant, lame brained twit O’Keefe really is. Take the sexist, misogynistic nature of the “seduction” out of play and just leave O’Keefe. Really. Look at that picture. Is there any woman who would possibly want to sleep with that man? Sure, he could get laid at a gay club. Some gay men like twinks.

So, to conclude, video “pranks,” not so funny. Or funny, but not perhaps in the way you intended them to be.

September 30, 2010 at 12:34 am Leave a comment

I’ll Weep Into My Royalty Statement

Cover of "Freedom: A Novel"

Cover of Freedom: A Novel

There has been some controversy in the literary world recently concerning the accusations of sexism and the differentiation of serious literature from popular literature. The elitist literary establishment would have us all believe that the only quality writers are white males with MFAs. Their books, by necessity, sell few copies, because the discerning public is a small portion of the public. That’s the theory, anyway.

What prompted the outrage is all the attention paid recently to two books that received heavy coverage in The New York Times. The Times has devoted unusual space to effusive reviews of two books, Freedom by Jonathan Franzen and Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart. Jennifer Weiner, a “chick lit” author that I admire, tweeted, “In summation: NYT sexist, unfair, loves Gary Shteyngart, hates chick lit, ignores romance. And now, to go weep into my royalty statement.”

Weiner’s theory is that when women write about love and family and relationships, then it’s called “chick lit,” and when a man writes about the same things it’s Literary Fiction, destined for a shelf in the classics section. It’s a pretty fair criticism. The literature that’s supposed to be taken seriously, according to the critics, is more often than not, written by men. And hardly anyone reads it.

The funny thing is that this is the opposite of how a “classic” of literature is born. The classics we think of nowadays are not the products of critical darlings but are the books that were preserved by virtue of their popularity. Charles Dickens was a popular writer. Ditto Edgar Allen Poe and Henry David Thoreau and Nathaniel Hawthorne. Their books sold well, but no one accuses them of mediocrity just because more people enjoy reading their books. Just because a book is popular doesn’t necessarily mean that it automatically lacks any artistic merit.

Jennifer Weiner and another writer I admire, Jodi Picoult, who tends to write family dramas, came together for an interview on The Huffington Post to discuss the controversy of the allegation of sexism, along with how the literary world works in general. If you’re interested, then you should check out the conversation. They make some good observations.

I haven’t read either Freedom or Super Sad True Love Story, and both Franzen and Shteyngart are just trying to market their books as any writer would. Maybe they truly are that brilliant. Maybe both these guys would agree with Weiner and Picoult that sexism continues to reign in literary circles. I am providing a link to both the HuffPost article with Weiner and Picoult, as well as a link to a YouTube video that Shteyngart made as a “book trailer” to promote his latest novel. It’s pretty funny.

One thing I do know: In my opinion, not every critic’s darling is actually a good writer. It’s kind of like the emperor’s clothes. One foggy old white man says some other well-educated white man is a great writer, and everyone follows suit. For example, I don’t really enjoy Saul Bellow, John Updike, or William S. Burroughs. I respect that other people really, really get them. But they do not appeal to me at all. Burroughs, in particular, is abstract and unrelatable. I suspect that you have to actually be stoned on heroin while reading him to appreciate him fully. I’d much rather read Jennifer Weiner.

August 27, 2010 at 3:52 pm 1 comment

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