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“Amusing Ourselves to Death”: News media and the public’s desire to be entertained vs. its need to be informed | Media Matters for America
Journalism cannot serve its role as an institutional check on the powerful if it is driven by a need to maximize profit. The press can’t be afraid to be boring, but changes in the industry’s economic landscape over the past 20 years show what happens if it can’t keep our attention.
journalism  tv  media  politics  neilpostman  entertainment  whatnow  civics 
4 days ago by dirtystylus
Dr. Steven W. Thrasher on Twitter: "I find it wildly confusing that 18-year-olds—who can vote, who can be sentenced to death if they commit certain crimes, who can be sent off to war to die—are legally tied to their parents in an infantilizing manner
I find it wildly confusing that 18-year-olds—who can vote, who can be sentenced to death if they commit certain crimes, who can be sent off to war to die—are legally tied to their parents in an infantilizing manner to get health insurance or qualify for student aid. It’s—weird.
The family functions in neoliberal society as a site for the state to offset economic liabilities onto. An 18 yr old who can be conscripted as a soldier deserves Medicare. What neoliberalism grants is private insurance from parents (IF they have parents (if THEY have insurance))

An unfortunate turn in Gay Inc politics was a move from desiring healthcare for all (to free all from hetero/sexism), which was replaced by the “targeted” (@pocojump) goal of expanded health insurance thru same sex marriage. David Eng calls this a kind of trickle down economics.
Adrianne Rich wrote of “compulsory heterosexuality.” When Mayor Pete calls for access to higher ed to be determined for *legal adults* by their parents, I think this is a kind of compulsory heterosexism as well, and a kind of compulsory infantilization.

By demanding LGBTQ young adults specifically (& young adults in general) be bound to their parents’ earnings WHICH THEY DON’T CONTROL to receive public education past age 18, Mayor Pete is using the family as a locus of social control in the most cynical, conservative way.

To say young legal adults must go through their parents to access healthcare or education allows their parents to hold biopower over the lives of adults. Medicare for all or free college for all would grant much more freedom to 18 year olds. But when they must go to their folks->
as legal adults who are basically hostages for the means of life itself, their parents can wield homophobia over them. Demand their trans “adult children” not get hormones or gender affirming surgery. Deny birth control. Wield stigma.

It’s not good, and it makes no legal sense.
No wonder old Dems like the youngest candidate (Pete) & young Dems like the oldest (Bernie):

Pete is trying to reinforce the existing, conservative social order.

Bernie is offering something akin to queer liberation by way of liberated access to learning & health.
politics  berniesanders  healthcare  children  neoliberalism  marriage  twitterthread  by:stevenwthrasher  via:rogre 
11 weeks ago by dirtystylus
Why Can’t New York City Build More Gems Like This Queens Library?
Today, City Hall has all but abandoned design excellence. A disconnected mayor demonstrates zero interest in good design or architecture or much of anything related to the physical fabric of the city and urban planning.
Jobs are now awarded to the lowest “responsible” bidders, which effectively means the lowest bidders. An architect on the excellence roster recently described to me a project on which the low bid was from a contractor with a long record of failure. The D.D.C. had just put the contractor on notice for the company’s inability to complete other projects, the architect said. Needless to say, the contractor got the job anyway. With predictable results.
How can the city attract good builders if the hiring process favors bottom feeders?


Or attract the best architects if the city often strips them of basic tools they employ to ensure the work is carried out properly?
The city also does its budgeting year-by-year. How can any public agency plan a multiyear building project when it can’t even be sure the money it needs will be there?
No wonder the golden ticket for many city agencies is the so-called “pass through” contract, which means a project has received ample private funding up front and is being overseen by an organization responsible and competent enough to handle construction itself. A few weeks ago, the New York Public Library unveiled its new Van Cortlandt branch in the Bronx. Library officials made sure to structure the financing to get the pass through.
Construction was completed on time and on budget.
Which means the city can clearly do better.
nyc  library  politics  via:nikisanders 
november 2019 by dirtystylus
White evangelicals love Trump and aren't confused about why. No one should be.
When Trump used the term “American carnage” in his inaugural address, evangelicals listened; they too, believed America is in decline. Their imagined powerlessness, and the need for a strong authoritarian leader to protect them, is at the root of their racial and social animus. Their persecution complex is a heady mix of their fear of “socialists,” Muslims, independent women, LGBT people and immigration. Their feelings of fragility, despite positions of power, make them vote for people like Donald Trump — and morally suspect candidates like Roy Moore. Rhetoric, not morality, drives their voting habits.
evangelicalism  evangelicals  by:antheabutler  religion  christianity  donaldtrump  politics  unitedstates 
september 2019 by dirtystylus
How We Get Free: Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective
"If Black women were free, it would mean that everyone else would have to be free." —Combahee River Collective Statement

Winner of the 2018 Lambda Literary Award for LGBTQ Nonfiction

The Combahee River Collective, a path-breaking group of radical black feminists, was one of the most important organizations to develop out of the antiracist and women’s liberation movements of the 1960s and 70s. In this collection of essays and interviews edited by activist-scholar Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, founding members of the organization and contemporary activists reflect on the legacy of its contributions to Black feminism and its impact on today’s struggles.

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor writes on Black politics, social movements, and racial inequality in the United States. Her book From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation won the 2016 Lannan Cultural Freedom Award for an Especially Notable Book. Her articles have been published in Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture and Society, Jacobin, New Politics, The Guardian, In These Times, Black Agenda Report, Ms., International Socialist Review, and other publications. Taylor is Assistant Professor in the Department of African American Studies at Princeton University.
book  intersectionality  feminism  blackness  blackwomen  by:keeangayamahttataylor  politics  via:beep 
september 2019 by dirtystylus
Can Everyone Be Excellent? - Alfie Kohn
But boy, do we love to rank. Worse, we create artificial scarcity such as awards — distinctions manufactured out of thin air specifically so that some cannot get them. Every contest involves the invention of a desired status where none existed before and none needs to exist. This creates an adversarial mentality that makes productive collaboration less likely, encourages gaming the system, and leads all concerned to focus not on meaningful improvement but on trying to outdo (and perhaps undermine) everyone else.

Most of all, it encourages the false belief that excellence or success itself is a zero-sum game. The sociologist Philip Slater once remarked that the manufacture of scarcity is the principal activity of American culture. Indeed, he added, many people “find it difficult to enjoy anything they themselves have unless they can be sure that there are people to whom this pleasure is denied.”
education  parenting  politics  mediocrity  culture  via:susanjrobertson 
september 2019 by dirtystylus
'Send Her Back': The Battle That Will Define Us Forever - The Atlantic
Omar must be defended, but not because of her views on Israel, gay rights, or progressive taxation. You needn’t agree with her on any of those things; in fact, you needn’t like her at all. But she must be defended, because the nature of the president’s attack on her is a threat to all Americans—black or white, Jew or Gentile—whose citizenship, whose belonging, might similarly be questioned. This is not about Omar anymore, or the other women of color who have been told by this president to “go back” to their supposed countries of origin. It is about defending the idea that America should be a country for all its people. If multiracial democracy cannot be defended in America, it will not be defended elsewhere. What Americans do now, in the face of this, will define us forever.
by:adamserwer  unitedstates  race  immigration  racism  donaldtrump  whatnow  politics  democracy 
july 2019 by dirtystylus
Twitter Lessons From A Writer Who Grew Up Online
Fast-forward to 2016: I am on Twitter for hours and hours and hours every day, so it’s not entirely surprising that I am also lonely and depressed. I am tweeting through it all and I am handsomely rewarded for my social media impulses: My follower count balloons to 10,000 and it just keeps getting bigger. To me, that means I am special and I am doing something right. I’ve successfully capitalized on the internet notoriety I received from my first viral tweet to realize my career ambitions—I am freelance writing for whoever will have me and my Twitter brand is key to my hustle.
twitter  career  mentalhealth  community  politics  by:evepeyser 
october 2018 by dirtystylus
Lady Gaga’s oversize suit was a very successful political fashion statement.
“As a woman who was conditioned at a very young age to listen to what men told me to do, I decided today I wanted to take the power back,” Gaga said. “Today I wear the pants.”
politics  clothing  ladygaga  fashion 
october 2018 by dirtystylus
Metafoundry 30: Confusion Matrices
Just as many English words are default male (unmarked), with a changed ending to connote female (marked; think 'actor' vs 'actress'), she argued that men's dress can be unmarked but women's dress is always marked. That is, there are decisions that men make about what they wear that are defaults, that aren’t even seen as a decision. In contrast, every decision that a woman makes about what she wears—heels vs, flats, pants vs, skirts, the length of a skirt and the height of a neckline, haircuts, jewelry—is freighted with cultural baggage. Take makeup. Especially in professional settings, for a woman, not wearing makeup is a noticeable, and notable, decision: marked. But for a man, not wearing makeup is not a decision—nobody notices when men aren't wearing makeup: unmarked. (Of course, a man wearing makeup is very marked indeed.)
clothing  gender  politics  culture  by:debchachra  women  misogyny 
october 2018 by dirtystylus
Good Friday world | Salon.com
I am going to walk to the library. It's so beautiful out. The hills of my town are lush and green and dotted with wildflowers. The poppies have bloomed, and 5 o'clock is no longer the end of the world. I am going to check out books by P.G. Wodehouse, some Goon Show scripts and a collection of Mary Oliver poems. Libraries actually make me think lovingly of my mother. I am not sure if this will lead me directly to the two tablespoons of forgiveness, but you never know. You take the action, and then the insight follows. It was my mother who taught me how to wander through the racks, and wander through a book, letting them take me where they would. She and my father took me to the library every week when I was little. One of her best friends was the librarian. They both taught me that if you insist on having a destination when you come into a library, you're shortchanging yourself. They read to live, the way they also went to the beach, or ate delicious food. Reading was like breathing fresh ocean air, or eating tomatoes from old man Grbac's garden. My parents, and librarians along the way, taught me about the space between words; about the margins, where so many juicy moments of life and spirit and friendship could be found. In a library, you could find miracles and truth and you might find something that would make you laugh so hard that you get shushed, in the friendliest way. There was sanctuary in a library, there is sanctuary now, from the war, from the storms of our family and our own anxious minds. Libraries are like the mountain, or the meadows behind the goat lady's house: sacred space. So this afternoon, I'll walk to the library. And I'm going to give them 50 bucks, too, in the name of peace, because their budget will be severely cut back in the name of war.
by:annelamott  essay  politics  easter  war  library 
september 2018 by dirtystylus
Gabrielle Blair on Twitter: "I’m a mother of six, and a Mormon. I have a good understanding of arguments surrounding abortion, religious and otherwise. I've been listening to men grandstand about women's reproductive rights, and I'm convinced men actual
I’m a mother of six, and a Mormon. I have a good understanding of arguments surrounding abortion, religious and otherwise. I've been listening to men grandstand about women's reproductive rights, and I'm convinced men actually have zero interest in stopping abortion. Here's why…

If you want to stop abortion, you need to prevent unwanted pregnancies. And men are 100% responsible for unwanted pregnancies. No for real, they are. Perhaps you are thinking: IT TAKES TWO! And yes, it does take two for _intentional_ pregnancies.

But ALL unwanted pregnancies are caused by the irresponsible ejaculations of men. Period. Don’t believe me? Let me walk you through it. Let’s start with this: women can only get pregnant about 2 days each month. And that’s for a limited number of years.

That makes 24 days a year a women might get pregnant. But men can _cause_ pregnancy 365 days a year. In fact, if you’re a man who ejaculates multiple times a day, you could cause multiple pregnancies daily. In theory a man could cause 1000+ unwanted pregnancies in just one year.

And though their sperm gets crappier as they age, men can cause unwanted pregnancies from puberty till death. So just starting with basic biology + the calendar it’s easy to see men are the issue here.

But what about birth control? If a woman doesn’t want to risk an unwanted pregnancy, why wouldn’t she just use birth control? If a women can manage to figure out how to get an abortion, surely she can get birth control, right? Great questions.

Modern birth control is possibly the greatest invention of the last century, and I am very grateful for it. It’s also brutal. The side effects for many women are ridiculously harmful. So ridiculous, that when an oral contraception for men was created, it wasn’t approved…

… because of the side effects. And the list of side effects was about 1/3 as long as the known side effects for women's oral contraception. (https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/11/03/500549503/male-birth-control-study-killed-after-men-complain-about-side-effects?platform=hootsuite)

There’s a lot to be unpacked just in that story, but I’ll simply point out (in case you didn’t know) that as a society, we really don’t mind if women suffer, physically or mentally, as long as it makes things easier for men.

But good news, Men: Even with the horrible side effects, women are still very willing to use birth control. Unfortunately it’s harder to get than it should be. Birth control options for women require a doctor’s appointment and a prescription. It’s not free, and often not cheap.

In fact there are many people trying to make it more expensive by fighting to make sure insurance companies refuse to cover it. Oral contraceptives for women can’t be acquired easily, or at the last minute. And they don't work instantly.

If we’re talking about the pill, it requires consistent daily use and doesn’t leave much room for mistakes, forgetfulness, or unexpected disruptions to daily schedules. And again, the side effects can be brutal. I’M STILL GRATEFUL FOR IT PLEASE DON’T TAKE IT AWAY.

I’m just saying women's birth control isn’t simple or easy. In contrast, let’s look at birth control for men, meaning condoms. Condoms are readily available at all hours, inexpensive, convenient, and don’t require a prescription. They’re effective, and work on demand, instantly.

Men can keep them stocked up just in case, so they’re always prepared. Amazing! They are so much easier than birth control options for women. As a bonus, in general, women love when men use condoms. They keep us from getting STDs, they don’t lessen our pleasure during sex…

… or prevent us from climaxing. And the best part? Clean up is so much easier — no waddling to the toilet as your jizz drips down our legs. So why in the world are there ever unwanted pregnancies? Why don't men just use condoms every time they have sex? Seems so simple, right?

Oh. I remember. Men _don’t_ love condoms. In fact, men frequently pressure women to have sex without a condom. And it’s not unheard of for men to remove the condom during sex, without the women’s permission or knowledge. (Pro-tip: That's assault.) (https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2017/04/24/stealthing-removing-condom_n_16209510.html?platform=hootsuite)

Why would men want to have sex without a condom? Good question. Apparently it’s because for the minutes they are penetrating their partner, having no condom on gives the experience more pleasure.

So… there are men willing to risk getting a woman pregnant — which means literally risking her life, her health, her social status, her relationships, and her career, so that they can experience a few minutes of _slightly_ more pleasure? Is that for real? Yes. Yes it is.

What are we talking about here pleasure-wise? If there’s a pleasure scale, with pain beginning at zero and going down into the negatives, a back-scratch falling at 5, and an orgasm without a condom being a 10, where would sex _with_ a condom fall? Like a 7 or 8?

So it’s not like sex with a condom is _not_ pleasurable, it’s just not _as_ pleasurable. An 8 instead of a 10. Let me emphasize that again: Men regularly choose to put women at massive risk by having non-condom sex, in order to experience a few minutes of slightly more pleasure.

Now keep in mind, for the truly condom-averse, men also have a non-condom, always-ready birth control built right in, called the pull out. It’s not perfect, and it's a favorite joke, but it is also 96% effective. (https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/birth-control/withdrawal-pull-out-method/how-effective-is-withdrawal-method-pulling-out?platform=hootsuite)

So surely, we can expect men who aren’t wearing a condom to at least pull out every time they have sex, right?

Nope.

And why not?

Well, again, apparently it’s _slightly_ more pleasurable to climax inside a vagina than, say, on their partner’s stomach. So men are willing to risk the life, health and well-being of women, in order to experience a tiny bit more pleasure for like 5 seconds during orgasm.

It’s mind-boggling and disturbing when you realize that’s the choice men are making. And honestly, I’m not as mad as I should be about this, because we’ve trained men from birth that their pleasure is of utmost importance in the world. (And to dis-associate sex and pregnancy.)

While we’re here, let’s talk a bit more about pleasure and biology. Did you know that a man CAN'T get a woman pregnant without having an orgasm? Which means that we can conclude getting a woman pregnant is a pleasurable act for men.

But did you further know that men CAN get a woman pregnant without HER feeling any pleasure at all? In fact, it’s totally possible for a man to impregnate a woman even while causing her excruciating pain, trauma or horror.

In contrast, a woman can have non-stop orgasms with or without a partner and never once get herself pregnant. A woman’s orgasm has literally nothing to do with pregnancy or fertility — her clitoris exists not for creating new babies, but simply for pleasure.

No matter how many orgasms she has, they won’t make her pregnant. Pregnancies can only happen when men have an orgasm. Unwanted pregnancies can only happen when men orgasm irresponsibly.

What this means is a women can be the sluttliest slut in the entire world who loves having orgasms all day long and all night long and she will never find herself with an unwanted pregnancy unless a man shows up and ejaculates irresponsibly.

Women enjoying sex does not equal unwanted pregnancy and abortion. Men enjoying sex and having irresponsible ejaculations is what causes unwanted pregnancies and abortion.

Let’s talk more about responsibility. Men often don’t know, and don’t ask, and don’t think to ask, if they’ve caused a pregnancy. They may never think of it, or associate sex with making babies at all. Why? Because there are 0 consequences for men who cause unwanted pregnancies.

If the woman decides to have an abortion, the man may never know he caused an unwanted pregnancy with his irresponsible ejaculation.

If the woman decides to have the baby, or put the baby up for adoption, the man may never know he caused an unwanted pregnancy with his irresponsible ejaculation, or that there’s now a child walking around with 50% of his DNA.

If the woman does tell him that he caused an unwanted pregnancy and that she’s having the baby, the closest thing to a consequence for him, is that he may need to pay child support. But our current child support system is well-known to be a joke.

61% of men (or women) who are legally required to pay it, simply don’t. With little or no repercussions. Their credit isn’t even affected. So, many men keep going as is, causing unwanted pregnancies with irresponsible ejaculations and never giving it thought.

When the topic of abortion comes up, men might think: Abortion is horrible; women should not have abortions. And never once consider the man who CAUSED the unwanted pregnancy. If you’re not holding men responsible for unwanted pregnancies, then you are wasting your time.

Stop protesting at clinics. Stop shaming women. Stop trying to overturn abortion laws. If you actually care about reducing or eliminating the number of abortions in our country, simply HOLD MEN RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS.

What would that look like? What if there was a real and immediate consequence for men who cause an unwanted pregnancy? What kind of consequence would make sense? Should it be as harsh, painful, nauseating, scarring, expensive, risky, and life-altering…

… as forcing a woman to go through a 9-month unwanted pregnancy?

But is it worse than forcing 500,000 women a year to puke daily for months, gain 40 pounds, and then rip their bodies apart in childbirth? Is a handful of castrations worse than women dying during forced pregnancy & childbirth?

Put a… [more]
politics  culture  womenshealth  misogyny  abortion  policy  health  healthcare  equity  birthcontrol  women  by:gabrielleblair  twitterthread 
september 2018 by dirtystylus
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