November 24, 2017

Little things that don't play anymore: Al Franken says he's "a little disappointed" that Chelsea Handler's blouse is not a pajama top.

From last June:

Everything seems so wrong in retrospect.

Would you rather have a wife or be a wife (with "wife" understood as the traditional stay-at-home helpmeet)?

New York Magazine just reprinted "‘I Want a Wife,’ the Timeless ’70s Feminist Manifesto," by Judy (Syfers) Brady:
I want a wife to make sure my children eat properly and are kept clean. I want a wife who will wash the children’s clothes and keep them mended. I want a wife who is a good nurturant attendant to my children, who arranges for their schooling, makes sure that they have an adequate social life with their peers, takes them to the park, the zoo, etc....

I want a wife who will keep my house clean. A wife who will pick up after me. I want a wife who will keep my clothes clean, ironed, mended, replaced when need be, and who will see to it that my personal things are kept in their proper place so that I can find what I need the minute I need it. I want a wife who cooks the meals, a wife who is a good cook. I want a wife who will plan the menus, do the necessary grocery shopping, prepare the meals, serve them pleasantly, and then do the cleaning up.... I want a wife who will care for me when I am sick....

I want a wife who will take care of the details of my social life....

I want a wife who is sensitive to my sexual needs, a wife who makes love passionately and eagerly when I feel like it, a wife who makes sure that I am satisfied. And, of course, I want a wife who will not demand sexual attention when I am not in the mood for it....

... I want my wife to quit working and remain at home so that my wife can more fully and completely take care of a wife’s duties.
There is only one comment up over there:
I asked a man once if he wanted someone who would do all of these things. He replied with an emphatic 'yes', eyes practically glazed over imagining it. Then I said to him, 'me too.'
Since flipping sex roles is the point of the essay, why didn't the commenter think of flipping her question? The famous old essay is a woman's experimenting with the idea that the man's role in a traditional single-earner household is preferable. I say ask the man: Would you like to do all of these things for a woman you love if that woman did all the outside-of-the-household work and brought home an ample income?

And I note that the famous old essay says nothing about yardwork and car maintenance. I searched the article for "car" and found "care" 10 times, but not one "car." There's nothing about mowing the lawn and gardening. But include all that in the flipped question: How would you like to be the stay-at-home partner in a marriage, dealing with all the tasks that are not the income-producing job that is the full responsibility of the other partner? I'll bet a lot of men would say I'd like it (or I'd only like it if you could assure me other people wouldn't look down on me).

4 other observations:

1. The essay has 2 references to mending clothes. Who spends much if any time mending clothes today? In the old days, clothes were (I believe) much more expensive (in relation to income) than they are today, and women had sewing kits and baskets of "mending" (that is, things that needed mending). It wasn't just sewing buttons back on and closing the occasional burst seam. It was darning socks and stitching on patches. Mending is one aspect of traditional wife-work that's just not anything anymore. There's also much less ironing.

2. Shopping for clothes and other household items is much, much easier. Even though, in the old days, women could outfit the kids by sending mail orders to Spiegel or Sears, it's much easier today to find almost everything you need on line. (By the way, please use The Althouse Amazon Portal.) The clothes are also, as noted, much cheaper, and almost never in need of ironing. Clothes for children (and adults) are much more casual today and much easier to assemble into appropriate outfits and keep clean and presentable. (We did not wear T- and sweat-shirts and jeans to school in the 1960s.)

3. Let's talk about sex. Both partners — whether they're the single-earner or not — should be saying both "I want a partner who is sensitive to my sexual needs" and "I want a partner who will not demand sexual attention when I am not in the mood for it." Was the author of the essay saying she'd prefer to have a sexual partner whose consent is a nonissue, who feels obligated to perform whenever called upon and only when called upon? Is she saying, I want a "wife" because I want to be the one who gets to sexually control the other person?

4. The answer to the questions at #3 is probably no. The author is satirizing very selfish men to show how bad unequal roles can be. She doesn't explore the potential for a good division of labor in a single-earner household. I'm not saying she should have had to do that. It's a short, humorous, very memorable essay. But it does manipulate readers to think, I'd better have a career of my own and get out of the home, or I'm an easy victim.


"Mom puts recorder in child’s backpack to catch bullying, now... charged with felony use of device to intercept oral communication and misdemeanor contributing to the delinquency of a minor."

November 23, 2017

"Lazy Meade bastard’s turkey."

That's video by Meade and title by Meade (based on the comment by Yancey Ward, here, "That Meade is a lazy bastard").

"She was 17 when I met her, and... we've been married now almost 42 years."

Let's think about Franni Bryson. Here's Al Franken, last June, talking about the love of his life:

What made you think you could be an actor?

"The search for the Argentine submarine ARA San Juan reached a 'critical' point on Wednesday amid fears the 44 crew members..."

"... could be on their last day of oxygen, as the country’s navy said they had found “no trace” of the missing vessel.
“We are continuing with this phase of search and rescue. We are in the critical part, it has reached the seventh day in terms of oxygen, supposing that for seven days it has not had the capacity to go the surface and renew the oxygen. But we are not dismissing the other options, that it could be on the surface.”

More than 4,000 personnel from 12 countries are now scouring the South Atlantic search zone, braving stormy conditions with high winds and waves up to seven metres high....

The British contingent has drawn insults from far-Left figures in the country where the dispute over the Falklands remains contentious. Leaders of the Workers’ Party and of radical Left wing group Quebracho branded British forces “pirates” and occupiers on Twitter, but were widely condemned by Argentine users.

"Malia Obama's Harvard boyfriend revealed to be British student Rory Farquharson who was head boy at Rugby School."

That's very nice. Good luck to the lovely couple.

ADDED: Jeez, how do you pronounce that name? It's pronounced just how it's spelled, Farquharson.

"I changed my mind. I decided not to roast a turkey after all. Here. Here's your turkey."

Said Meade, tossing this on my toast plate:


ADDED: And if you're thankful for the Althouse blog and want to support it, you can buy Epic Turkey bars at through this link — click the arrow to see all 11 flavors — or anything else at Amazon through The Althouse Portal. The frugal Meadhousehold is thankful for your kind support, on special days and normal days.

"Isn't Thanksgiving more deserving of a naysayer? I mean, really, we eat dinner every day."

"Is it that for Thanksgiving--as opposed to Christmas--you are only asked to give thanks, not presents? To give thanks and eat dinner. But you must give thanks and eat dinner in a way that outdoes the thanks-giving and dinner-eating of other days. I do think there should be a Scrooge/Grinch analog. The Thankswithholder. The Ingrate."

That's what I said on this blog's first Thanksgiving, which I'm reading this morning as I scan old posts under the "Thanksgiving" tag, looking for something to say about Thanksgiving. I want to acknowledge the special day, but I prefer normal days. As I said in 2014, on the topic of refraining from doing Thanksgiving (because your family members have other plans, which had been portrayed in the NYT as a virtuous letting-go):
I love when doing nothing — especially when it avoids a lot of effort — amounts to the higher path. Virtue in not acting. That applies to a lot more than Thanksgiving. As for Thanksgiving, I always appreciated it when my sons' father wanted them over. Thanksgiving is the last weekend of the semester, and there follows a lovely, long winter break. Thanksgiving is precisely the weekend when I am not looking for more of a workload. So I was glad to step back and let the ex-husband have the boys over. If I got extra points — kindness credit — for letting go, that was nice, but I was always openly grateful for the relief. I was glad to do nothing. It's Thanksgiving, and as they say — and I truly mean it: Thanks for nothing!
The second Thanksgiving on this blog introduced a character, the Thanksgiving squirrel: "Find some critter to eat." He was back the following year — "Oh, my! There he is! It's the Thanksgiving Squirrel! Keep safe everyone. Boil your meat well" — but then I forgot about him... until just now. Ah! Just think of all the things we've forgotten. No, you can't. You've forgotten. Unless you've got notes somewhere, like the archive of a 13-year-old blog, replete with tags. But if you're like me and you love the negative space of life and you see the joyful meaning of "Thanks for nothing!," then you can be thankful for all the things you've forgotten.

ADDED: In the stories with a Christmas naysayer, the narrative arc is toward yea-saying. The Scrooge/Grinch of Thanksgiving would find the true (i.e., conventional) meaning of Thanksgiving, in its most essential form.

So he'd begin with remarks like mine: It's just dinner. We have dinner every day.

And in the end, it would be...

He HADN'T stopped Thanksgiving from coming! IT CAME!
Somehow or other, it came just the same!
And the Gurkey, with his gurkey-feet ice-cold in the snow,
Stood puzzling and puzzling: "How could it be so?"
"It came with out stuffing! It came without pie!"
"It came without cranberries, and I don't know why!"
And he puzzled 3 hours, till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Gurkey thought of something he hadn't before!
"Maybe Thanksgiving," he thought, "is not about food."
"Maybe Thanksgiving... is more of a mood!"

November 22, 2017

At the Buttoned-Up Café...


... you don't have to relax.

Talk about whatever you want in the comments, and please consider supporting this blog by shopping through The Althouse Amazon Portal

"Not only did people look the other way, but they went after the women who came forward and accused him."

"And so it doubled down on not only bad behavior but abusive behavior. And then people attacked the victims."

Says Kathleen Sebelius, the former secretary of Health and Human Services and Kansas governor, talking with David Axelrod on his show "The Axe Files."
Sebelius extended her criticism to Hillary Clinton, and the Clinton White House for what she called a strategy of dismissing and besmirching the women who stepped forward—a pattern she said is being repeated today by alleged perpetrators of sexual assault—saying that the criticism of the former first lady and Secretary of State was "absolutely" fair. Sebelius noted that the Clinton Administration's response was being imitated, adding that "you can watch that same pattern repeat, It needs to end. It needs to be over."
It's still too little, too late. Too easy to say this now when it's convenient. Nevertheless, good to hear.

"An international survey has revealed that spirits are often associated with feelings of energy, confidence and sexiness..."

"... but on the flip-side anger and tearfulness – while red wine is the drink most commonly linked to relaxation, but also tiredness."

"Mature women"?

Apparently not!
U.S. Rep. Joe Barton, R-Ennis, released a statement on Wednesday apologizing for a graphic nude photo of him that circulated on social media earlier this week.

"While separated from my second wife, prior to the divorce, I had sexual relationships with other mature adult women," he said. "Each was consensual. Those relationships have ended. I am sorry I did not use better judgment during those days. I am sorry that I let my constituents down."

It is still unclear how the photo got onto social media, who put it there, or whether its posting would constitute revenge porn, which is illegal under Texas law.

"The department head... said there might have been alternative explanations for the professor’s behavior including 'maybe he just needs his eyeglasses adjusted'..."

"... (to explain the breast staring), 'he might be on the autism spectrum,' 'he might just be socially awkward like Albert Einstein was' and 'do you think maybe you’re more sensitive than other people?'"

From "UW-Madison dean acknowledges school's failure to address sexual harassment" at the Wisconsin State Journal.

For reference, here's Larry David getting out of a social gaffe (racial, not sexual) by lying about having Asperger's syndrome:

But it should be noted that some people with Asperger's Syndrome have been speculating for years that Larry David is on the spectrum and that Jerry Seinfeld has diagnosed himself as "on the spectrum":

Maybe all that great "observational" comedy has to do with the autistic tendency to focus on exactly what isn't the focus for the nonautistic.

In that clip, Jerry talks about comedians being the only people that he feels "completely relaxed" around. Maybe that suggests some insight into what's wrong with Louis C.K....

Meanwhile, on the tech front: "'I see things differently': James Damore on his autism and the Google memo/ He was fired from Google for arguing that men may be more suited to working in tech than women. Now James Damore opens up about his regrets – and how autism may have shaped his experience of the world."

Where are you on the spectrum from "This excuse is bullshit" to "We must empathize with and accommodate the differently abled"?

"Brolliology" — the book about umbrellas.

Reviewed here, in The Washington Post:
A typical chapter skims the metaphysical and the dialectical, with the umbrella described variously as creating a “portable room,” as a “private sky” and “a hat with a handle.” Its combination of replaceability and contingency even “reads like a textbook symptom of late capitalism.” An early-19th-century article by J.S. Duncan classified umbrella wielders into familiar types such as the Sky-Striker and the Shield-Bearer, both of which species remain alas all too common to this day. And Rankine does not neglect such memorably sinister instances as the mysterious Umbrella Man present at Kennedy’s assassination and the 1978 murder of Bulgarian dissident Georgi Markov by way of a poisoned ferrule.
Here, you can buy it at Amazon. It would make a nice Christmas present especially alongside a stylish umbrella.

I'm making an "umbrella" tag now (and adding it retrospectively). It's a tag I've considered making before, so I'm reaching a tipping point. Absurdly, every time I've checked to see if I have an "umbrella" tag, I see that I have a tag "Obama's umbrella." (Weirdly, that tag has 5 posts. 6 now.)

Now, I'm tempted to by "Brolliology" just to see if the author discussed Obama's umbrella. No, I don't need to. There's a search-inside-the-book function at Amazon, and Obama does not make an appearance in "Brolliology," but that doesn't mean it's not a good book. Quite the contrary! I'm browsing around in it and like it a lot. Plenty of amusing illustrations. And it has what I love: miscellaneousness.

There. I bought it.

"The forces of chaos and public disorder disrupted another democratic institution Monday night in Madison..."

"... our elected Dane County Board of Supervisors, under the banner of “Derail the Jail.” Yes, these nut cases want NO JAIL at all! (We’ve written extensively about them.) Who do they represent? Maybe the sociology department at UW-Madison and the John Nichols chapter of the Socialist Workers Party. No one else. Because even Madison alders voted for more police just last week. No, even the smaller and more humane jail proposed for Dane County — really, a mental health hospital with bars — is too much for the anarchists."

Writes David Blaska, passing along this video of the disruption (which includes chants familiar from the 2011 Wisconsin protests, such as "This is what democracy looks like" (apparently, what democracy looks like is chaos)):

I am trying so hard to resist clicking on any click bait articles like "This Is What It's Like to Be the Only Trump Fan at Thanksgiving Dinner."

How about you?

Are you reading the politics-at-Thanksgiving articles? free polls

Phrases from the past: "Crotchgate" and "pro-sex feminism."

After writing that post about Gayle King adjusting her position relative to Charlie Rose, I created a 2 new tags: "Era of That's Not Funny" and "Trump's Access Hollywood remarks." Both tags can be applied retrospectively to the archive, but the second one is going to take a long time, and I'll get to that eventually. The first one is a more recent concept, and I'm only applying it retrospectively to posts where I've used that exact phrase, and that task is done. But in searching for the phrase, which I failed to put in quote marks, I turned up a few random things, including, from December 2006, "Camille Paglia on... it's not my word.... 'crotchgate.'"

What was "crotchgate"?! I see that there's something right now that's got a #crotchgate and Donald Trump has even weighed in:

Oh, I see. A college football player grabbed his own crotch (in a taunting gesture):

But what was "Crotchgate" in 2006? It was something I only blogged about because Camille Paglia took it on: Some female targets of paparazzi — Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan — were flashing their pantsless crotches. Paglia said:
"These girls are lowering themselves to the level of backstreet floozies. It angers me because I fought a bitter fight to get feminism back on track and be pro-sex at the same time. This is degrading the entire pro-sex wing of feminism.... [T]hey are cheapening their own image and obliterating all sexual mystery and glamour, which are the heart of the star system... These are women who are clearly out of control because the old studio era is over. The studio system... guided and shaped the careers of the young women who it signed up. It maximized their sexual allure by dealing it out in small doses and making sure you don’t have -- what has become here -- a situation of anarchy."
So the women are bringing the anarchy of too much uncontrolled sex?! That's not how it looks today, after the Weinstein revelations. But, of course, Weinstein and the men like him were active back in 2006, exercising control, trying to wrest "small doses" of "sexual allure" out the actresses for their own gratification. But, as Paglia put it then, the "girls" were "lowering themselves." And Paglia expressed anger, because it interfered with her "wing" of feminism: "pro-sex feminism."

Is anyone talking about "pro-sex feminism" — or "sex-positive feminism" — these days? Searching for both terms in the news of the last month, I find only a reference to Taylor Swift song lyrics and a description of a 1986 movie character (who's being brought back for a new TV show).

No one seems to be jumping at the opportunity to reconcile "pro-sex feminism"/"sex-positive feminism" with the new, staunch, zero-tolerance approach to sexual abuse. I'm sure many of those who write about feminism today are too young to remember the feminism of the 1980s, so they're unlikely to see that the things that are happening now resemble what sex-positive feminism fought against. And won. For a while.

But nobody wants to talk about sex-positive feminism now, and no female pop stars are seeking attention by giving paparazzi an unobstructed view of naked crotch.

ADDED: By today's standards, the flashing of naked crotch is considered sexual abuse. If a man were to do it, he'd be professionally and socially dead. 

AND: I've done the retrospective adding of the tag "Trump's 'Access Hollywood' remarks." 49 posts so far, including this one. I might do a project of analyzing my personal reactions over time. I'm told I really changed over time, and obviously the context has changed.

"CBS This Morning" may have fired Charlie Rose, but it used to revel in his sexual creepiness.

It's been a running joke on John Oliver's show for years:

Charlie Rose's "CBS This Morning" co-host Gayle King just happened to be a guest on Stephen Colbert's show last night. We're told she was already scheduled and, when the Rose story broke, she considered canceling, but Colbert's show is on CBS, and I assume I'm looking at CBS trying to extricate itself from the Charlie Rose story. And Gayle King isn't just committed to CBS, she's got her own reputation to keep clean. Watch the mind-numbing performance of Gayle King who plays dumb and cloyingly emotional:

1. In Colbert's introduction of King, he says she "delivers the hard news as co-anchor of 'CBS This Morning' and delivers the good news as the editor-at-large of O, the Oprah Magazine." Was "hard news" an intentional reference to Charlie Rose, whose penis is in the news? If innuendo was not intended, I believe it would have been noticed after it was written and edited out, so I say it was intended. Deniable, of course. Everything's deniable, like King's I-knew-nothing! routine.

2. Less than half-way through this clip, I was pausing and researching signs of lying. King is looking down and to her right (as if she had notes down there she needed to read) and scratching her cheek (at 2:02 (I've seen myself on video many times touching my cheek when I know I'm saying something that's has an element of deceit)). And look at her fist at 2:55.

3. "This is very difficult for me" — King's tactic is to make this a story of her emotional journey. Colbert plays a supporting role, with softball questions like: "Are you angry?" To which King answers: "I am a variety of emotions. There's certain some anger. There's some sadness. There's compassion. There's concern." It's so complex! "You can hold a variety of emotions around one particular incident."

4. At 3:52, she repositions and goes back to "what these women are going through." But what I want to know is what she knew and might have done to help "these women" before the news story broke and had an impact on her career. We have to start listening to women. King has been a professional in woman-oriented media for a long time. She didn't just recently get a clue about these issues. But the Colbert audience gives her a massive cheer (as she interlaces her fingers and works her hands back and forth).

5. Women will continue to speak up, King tells us in an impassioned tone, because "they're now being believed." She has to say "they," though she's a woman, because if she said "we," it would seem as though she had a story to tell.

6. King says that men need to "join the conversation." How? Men have to condemn sexual harassment and not make fine distinctions. They have to say that "it's all bad." So... not really a conversation. "All of it is really unacceptable." There's nothing to debate. Oh, but then she says, "By the same token, I want to be able to joke and laugh with friends without thinking I'm going to be called into human resources. But we all know the difference. What that is. We do." We do? Is it that talking is different and you can joke? But look at the most famous joke on the subject: "And when you're a star they let you do it. You can do anything, grab them by the pussy, you can do anything." That has plainly been dumped into the all-of-it-is-really-unacceptable category. (No wonder Siri is telling me, "Ann, I don't really know any good jokes. None, in fact." It is the Era of That's Not Funny.") [AND: As Ignorance is Bliss asks in the comments: "So who put a pubic hair on my Coke?"]

And here's Gayle King talking about the Rose story with Norah O'Donnell on their show, "CBS This Morning" yesterday:

That's very stiff and stilted. The 2 women are scripted to say what's been decided as the correct way to save their show. It goes on and on, and I'm saying that after stopping the clip at 2:12. There's no way, no matter how much longer they talk — the clip goes on for another minute — they are not going to get to the topic I want to hear discussed: What did you know? If you didn't know, why didn't you know? What good are you in your women-helping-women role on morning TV if you didn't recognize the monster who sat next to you for 5 years?