From the category of “questions I’m too lazy to research,” how is it that famine happens on such a large scale? From what I understand, hunger is always been a problem, even when the human population was less than 1 billion people, so the growing population can’t be the only factor. Also from what I understand, we *do* have enough food to feed everyone in theory, but it’s getting the food to those who need it that is the sticky wicket. Why is food distribution so difficult/impossible? What, if anything, can we do about this?
I realize this is old news, but I heard about this months ago on NPR and it really bugged me:
In Phoenix, A New Quest For Diverse Public Pool Lifeguards
One of my favorite comments to this article was: “Just who I want to save my butt when I’m drowning or having trouble is some kid who isn’t a strong swimmer. I ALMOST hope one of their graduates fails at saving someone to show how stupid this ‘quota’ system is. Give the job to the best QUALIFIED person to apply.”
I my own self commented:
“I agree with the other comments. NPR should not be showing sympathy to kids who are ‘uncomfortable’ with lifeguards who are of a different race. This is racism, plain and simple, and NPR is complaining that these kids will not learn how to swim because the lifeguards are white. In catering to the kids’ alleged
‘need’ for same-race lifeguards, you are simply perpetuating racism. How would you like it if I said that I only wanted to swim in a pool that had Jewish lifeguards? You’d think I was pretty sick.”
I don’t know why this keeps preying on my mind since it doesn’t affect me (I’m not a lifeguard, don’t live in Phoenix, etc.). Ordinarily, I like NPR, so the fact that I disagree so much with the tone of the article feels funny.
This isn’t even the only example out there of political correctness trumping reality. (As I like to say, would you rather be politically correct or actually correct?) Anyone out there know why this is such a bee in my bonnet?
I have a lot to say to the Phoenicians whose idea this “reverse racism” lifeguard thing is, but I think I’ll sign off for now:)
I have nothing really interesting to say about having attended the Reason Rally (I’m sure everything has already been said by people much better than me), but I wanted to air something that kinda bugged me on a completely different topic.
I came across the book, The IT Girl’s Guide to Becoming an Excel Diva. I sarcastically thought to myself, “I bet this has to do with buying designer shoes,” and son of a bitch, it did, according to the copy on the back.
I know this isn’t the worst thing in the world, but I found it pretty offensive that female stereotypes are perpetuated like this, especially in this day and age. The stereotype goes that women have a very finite and shallow set of interests, especially expensive ones like fashion and especially shoes. It’s something you see fairly often. You’d think it’s offensive enough not to get past the publisher.
I complained to my BFF Karl, who is a man and, while I wouldn’t really call him a feminist, is all-in-all very modern thinking when it comes to sexism. His response was that since there really are women like the book was describing, it wasn’t offensive. After all, the market is only supplying the demand.
True enough, but I still thought that perpetuation of such sexism crossed a line. Suppose that the book was selling racism, not sexism and you’ll better see my point of view. Can you imagine a book called, let’s say, “Excel for Cool Blacks”? What if its copy was about bling and rap music? See what I mean?
What do youse think?
In the category of Questions I am Too Lazy to Research, I don’t understand how the third world produces so many children. When I ask this question, people misunderstand me. I understand that birth control may not be available to women (or men) in poor countries, and that women may be under enormous social pressure to reproduce, but that’s not what I’m getting at.
Poor countries have a high fertility rate (as in how many children a woman bears). In fact, this is a measure of how poor a country is. They also have short doubling rates, meaning it takes a short period of time, compared to wealthy nations, for the population to double.
My question is this: how can allegedly starving women produce to many children? After all, you can’t really get pregnant and produce living offspring if you are malnourished, and in turn those children can’t survive long enough to contribute to a high doubling rate.
And if these women really are well-nourished enough to get pregnant again and again, what is this I’m hearing about how all those people are starving? How do you reconcile this?
Put it another way: if you have two ponds with fish in them, and one has more food (is wealthier) than the other pond (is poorer), you would expect the poor pond to be unable to reproduce all that much. In human poor countries, they reproduce a lot. Dig?
No matter how you slice it, I think overpopulation is a root of a lot of our other problems. (Says the woman who is trying to get pregnant!)
Maybe I need to talk to a demographics expert? How do I get the answers?
In light of the Occupy Wall Street movement, I got to thinking about the book The Devil Wears Prada and the movie based on it. As is often the case, the book was much better than the movie.
Maybe this is sour grapes, but I say as both a writer and a reader that the book’s ending was weak. (Spoiler alert) The main character, Andy, finally tells her boss, the monstrous and superficial fashion magazine editor, “Fuck you” and that was pretty much it. The movie’s ending was, alas, even weaker, with the editor getting humanized through a divorce, which did nothing to add interest to her character as a villain IMHO, and in the end being a positive force in Andy’s life.
Here is an ending that I think would have been more satisfying.
I would have had Andy tell off her boss *good and proper,* not just a simple “fuck you.” Since everyone in the industry hates Miranda the editor so much, Andy could have gotten any magazine job she wanted, and Miranda’s enemies would bring down Miranda’s editorship. How the mighty have fallen! Now she has to get a low-paying, entry level job and gets a taste of her own medicine. Or perhaps she could do a 180 and join the Peace Corps.
Can you believe the above pic is a cake?!
Sex and the City brought it out of the (erm) closet, but I’m sick to death of hearing the stereotype that women love shoes, specifically expensive ones. OK, I get it: we’re the fair sex, and looking good is important to us, and we appreciate beauty in objects, but I think this shoe stereotype is particularly offensive. It perpetuates the idea that females are shallow and materialistic, and furthers the idea that we are gold-diggers so that we can use men’s money for material pursuits such as shopping. People seem to have the idea that women and girls are silly and do silly, useless things. The amassing of designer shoes seems to epitomize this.
I was more than once criticized as a writer trying to get more money: “You just want it to buy shoes.” I’ve heard the same thing about abortion: women just want to abort their pregnancies so that they can afford to buy shoes. I’m sure.
Girls are encouraged at a very early age to be into this stuff. I have seen at least one children’s book teaching girls how to love shopping for shoes. Just what we need, right? 🙂
Not all women are shoe-obsessed, or even shopping-obsessed. True, many are, and many of you might say, “Well, if the shoe fits…” True enough, maybe this is one of those times when the stereotype is accurate, but I’m still sick of seeing it everywhere. I’ve seen the shoe fetish (fetish in every sense of the word) in the form of cookies, umbrellas, Christmas tree ornaments, and tzotzkes. All hail the high heel!
Tangentially, I’ve heard of rich women getting surgery on their feet so that they can wear designer shoes better. Hello, Darwin Award in the making!
It’s telling how Israel’s enemies, by which here I really am targeting American liberals (of which I am one), charge Israel with racism. If they knew a bit more about the country, they would find it difficult to maintain this accusation.
First off, let me say that Islam is a religion, not a race. Also, most Arabs/Muslims are not “browner” than most Israelis. Many people have remarked on the irony that Israelis and Arabs look so much alike.
Not all Jews in Israel are blond-haired, blue-eyed Europeans. Like Muslims, Jews can be of any race. If you don’t believe me about Israel’s diversity, please go over and see for yourself.
(Tangentially, while we’re on the subject of racism, it’s worth noting that racism is serious in the Muslim world. Sadly, blacks would have no relief moving to the Muslim world and may be shooting themselves in the feet.)
If your real accusation is that Israel is unfair to Muslims, than “racism” is still not the correct charge and you’re only calling it “racism” out of ignorance. I need to repeat it because it keeps coming up: Islam is a religion, not a race.
Let’s look at how Israel behaves about race. One concrete episode comes to mind.
In the 1980s and 1990s, in the spirit of bringing Jews sanctuary in Israel (which is what I see as the purpose of Israel), Israel’s government, on its own dime and by its own initiation, airlifted Ethiopia’s Jews to come live there. We are talking about 120,000 blacks. In addition to footing the bill to bring these black Jews to give them a better life, the government paid for immigrant absorption centers to feed, shelter and find employment for Ethiopian olim (Hebrew for new immigrants to Israel).
On its own dime. By its own initiation. To 120,000 blacks to live with them.
Has any other country in the world done something like this? I’m asking non-rhetorically. I don’t know what the opposite of “racism” is, but that’s about as far from “racism” as you can get.
The purpose of Israel is to provide a sanctuary for Jews. Put bluntly, we needed a place to be safe from everyone else.
I read an interesting book, A Chicken’s Guide to Talking Turkey With Your Kids About Sex, not realizing that it had a Christian slant. Since I don’t have kids (although will soon inherit a step-daughter), you might wonder why. I have long studied sexuality and am a strong advocate of sex-positive sex education for children AND adults, and am greatly troubled by the ignorance and counter-productive ideas out there.
Anywho, the authors advised girls (the book was aimed at kids, as well) that guys didn’t find it sexy when girls wore skimpy clothing such as that epitomized by Britney Spears’s influence. First, you think someone should have alerted Madison Avenue. Next, are they advising girls to wear more conservative clothes in order to attract boys? Are they saying that guys really do find looser clothing that covers more to be sexier on girls and women? Since the authors thumped modesty throughout the book, this strikes me as a strange double message, but that’s religion for you.
I am by no means a prude, but I am troubled by the trend of young girls wearing, for lack of a better word, slutty clothing. When I was a kid, there was no such thing as thongs for children. I essentially wore jeans and t-shirts like everyone else and I don’t remember anyone caring about “skinny” jeans or sexy shirts. I expect any girl who wore them would have been subject to ridicule: “You’re trying to attract guys, huh?”
Once I wore a sleeveless summer dress in third grade and the kids commented, someone negatively, that I was showing my shoulders. Shameless! I’m not saying we should force our daughters to wear birkas, but there must be a healthy medium someplace.
In any case, what did the Xian authors want, exactly? Modesty for the sake of modesty, or modesty for the sake of attracting boys?
Sometimes being female is a very confusing minefield…
I’d like to know what my male readers think with regards to modest vs. skimpy clothing.
Oh, one more thing: the authors advocated to fathers that they should personally measure their daughters for bras. I would rather have drunk poison. At least there might have been an antidote for that.
Just kidding. This is Not My God, a site for the personal aspect of atheism. I'm putting together a book with that title, having already 20 interviews lined up, but I still want to hear from more of you.
I've expanded the blog to include material not related to atheism, including rants, raves, consumer issues, curmudgeonly matters and other miscellany.
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