Monday, December 22, 2008

When Philosophers Date...

because i love existentialist jokes just as much as the next girl....

(I stumbled upon the following floating about the internet. If you don’t watch daytime TV, you need to be told that this is an imagined transcript of Jerry Springer’s interview show, which often gets out of hand.)

Crowd: Jer-ry! Jer-ry! Jer-ry!

Jerry: Today’s guests are here because they can’t agree on fundamental principles of epistemology and ontology. I’d like to welcome Todd to the show.

Todd enters from backstage.

Jerry: Hello, Todd.

Todd: Hi, Jerry.

Jerry: (reading from card) So, Todd, you’re here to tell your girlfriend something. What is it?

Todd: Well, Jerry, my girlfriend Ursula and I have been going out for three years now. We did everything together. We were really inseparable. But then she discovered post-Marxist political and literary theory, and it’s been nothing but fighting ever since.

Jerry: Why is that?

Todd: You see, Jerry, I’m a traditional Cartesian rationalist. I believe that the individual self, the “I” or ego is the foundation of all metaphysics. She, on the other hand, believes that the contemporary self is a socially constructed, multi-faceted subjectivity reflecting the political and economic realities of late capitalist consumerist discourse.

Crowd: Ooooohhhh!

Todd: I know! I know! Is that infantile, or what?

Jerry: So what do you want to tell her today?

Todd: I want to tell her that unless she ditches the post-modernism, we’re through. I just can’t go on having a relationship with a woman who doesn’t believe I exist.

Jerry: Well, you’re going to get your chance. Here’s Ursula!

Ursula storms onstage and charges up to Todd.

Ursula: Patriarchal colonizer!

She slaps him viciously. Todd leaps up, but the security guys pull them apart before things can go any further.

Ursula: Don’t listen to him! Logic is a male hysteria! Rationality equals oppression and the silencing of marginalized voices!

Todd: The classical methodology of rational dialectic is our only road to truth! Don’t try to deny it!

Ursula: You and your dialectic! That’s how it’s been through our whole relationship, Jerry. Mindless repetition of the post-Enlightenment meta-narrative. “You have to start with radical doubt, Ursula”. “Post-structuralism is just classical sceptical thought recast in the language of semiotics, Ursula”.

Crowd: Booo! Booo!

Jerry: Well, Ursula, come on. Don’t you agree that the roots of contemporary neo-Leftism simply have to be sought in Enlightenment political philosophy?

Ursula: History is the discourse of powerful centrally located voices marginalizing and de-scribing the sub-altern!

Todd: See what I have to put up with? Do you know what it’s like living with someone who sees sex as a metaphoric demonstration of the anti-feminist violence implicit in the discourse of the dominant power structure? It’s terrible. She just lies there and thinks of Andrea Dworkin. That’s why we never do it any more.

Crowd: Wooooo!

Ursula: You liar! Why don’t you tell them how you haven’t been able to get it up for the past three months because you couldn’t decide if your penis truly had essential Being, or was simply a manifestation of Mind?

Todd: Wait a minute! Wait a minute!

Ursula: It’s true!

Jerry: Well, I don’t think we’re going to solve this one right away. Our next guests are Louis and Tina. And Tina has a little confession to make!

Louis and Tina come onstage. Todd and Ursula continue bickering in the background.

Jerry: Tina, you are… (reads cards) … an existentialist, is that right?

Tina: That’s right, Jerry. And Louis is, too.

Jerry: And what did you want to tell Louis today?

Tina: Jerry, today I want to tell him…

Jerry: Talk to Louis. Talk to him.

Crowd hushes.

Tina: Louis… I’ve loved you for a long time…

Louis: I love you, too, Tina.

Tina: Louis, you know I agree with you that existence precedes essence, but… well, I just want to tell you I’ve been reading Nietzsche lately, and I don’t think I can agree with your egalitarian politics any more.

Crowd: Wooooo! Woooooo!

Louis: (shocked and disbelieving) Tina, this is crazy. You know that Sartre clarified all this way back in the 40’s.

Tina: But he didn’t take into account Nietzsche’s radical critique of democratic morality, Louis. I’m sorry. I can’t ignore the contradiction any longer!

Louis: You got these ideas from Victor, didn’t you? Didn’t you?

Tina: Don’t you bring up Victor! I only turned to him when I saw you were seeing that dominatrix! I needed a real man! An Ueber-man!

Louis: (sobbing) I couldn’t help it. It was my burden of freedom. It was too much!

Jerry: We’ve got someone here who might have something to add. Bring out .. Victor!

Victor enters. He walks up to Louis and sticks a finger in his face.

Victor: Louis, you’re a classic post-Christian intellectual. Weak to the core!

Louis: (through tears) You can kiss my Marxist ass, Reactionary Boy!

Victor: Herd animal!

Louis: Lackey!

Louis throws a chair at Victor; they lock horns and wrestle. The crowd goes wild. After a long struggle, the security guys pry them apart.

Jerry: Okay, okay. It’s time for questions from the audience. Go ahead, sir.

Audience member: Okay, this is for Tina. Tina, I just wanna know how you can call yourself an existentialist, and still agree with Nietzsche’s doctrine of the Uebermensch. Doesn’t that imply a belief in intrinsic essences that is in direct contradiction with the fundamental principles of existentialism?

Tina: No! No! It doesn’t. We can be equal in potential, without being equal in eventual personal quality. It’s a question of Becoming, not Being.

Audience member: That’s just disguised essentialism! You’re no existentialist!

Tina: I am so!

Audience member: You’re no existentialist!

Tina: I am so an existentialist, bitch!

Ursula stands and interjects.

Ursula: What does it [bleep] matter? Existentialism is just a cover for late capitalist anti-feminism! Look at how Sartre treated Simone de Beauvoir!

Women in the crowd cheer and stomp.

Tina: [Bleep] you! Fat-ass Foucauldian ho!

Ursula: You only wish you were smart enough to understand Foucault, bitch!

Tina: You the bitch!

Ursula: No, you the bitch!

Tina: Whatever! Whatever!

Jerry: We’ll be right back with a final thought! Stay with us!

Commercial break for debt-consolidation loans, ITT Technical Institute, and Psychic Alliance Hotline.

Jerry: Hi! Welcome back. I just want to thank all our guests for being here, and say that I hope you’re able to work through your differences and find happiness, if indeed happiness can be extracted from the dismal miasma of warring primal hormonal impulses we call human relationship.

(turns to the camera)

Well, we all think philosophy is just fun and games. Semiotics, deconstruction, Lacanian post-Freudian psychoanalysis, it all seems like good, clean fun. But when the heart gets involved, all our painfully acquired metaphysical insights go right out the window, and we’re reduced to battling it out like rutting chimpanzees. It’s not

If you’re in a relationship, and differences over the fundamental principles of your respective subjectivities are making things difficult, maybe it’s time to move on. Find someone new, someone who will accept you and the way your laughably limited human intelligence chooses to codify and rationalize the chaos of existence. After all, in the absence of a clear, unquestionable revelation from God, that’s all we’re all doing anyway. So remember: take care of yourselves - and each other.

Announcer: Be sure to tune in next time, when KKK strippers battle it out with transvestite omnisexual porn stars! Tomorrow on Springer!

the monkey cage

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Elisabeth Hasselbeck's 25 Most Annoying Moments

As compiled by Tracie from If I happen to watch a segment of the View online (because a., it's on before i'm up, and b., the only thing i use my tv for is sega genesis marathons), I usually have to struggle to get through it because Hasselcrack's arguments are so mind-numbingly-rage-inducingly awful, and she talks over everyone else. But Jezebel has compiled this great video that highlights her worst moments quickly, keeping the rage at a minimum and the scornful laughter at a maximum. Whoo!

JUMP! to watch the clip.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

American Women Vs. Saudi Women: What We Can and Can't Do

The blog American Bedu recently compiled a list of things that Saudi women can and can't do. That blog was followed today by the women of Jezebel compiling their own list for American women. Feel free to add to the list in the comments.

Saudi Women Can:

-Have their own bank accounts
-Have their own businesses
-Own properties
-Own businesses
-Make investments
-Have their own driver
-Own a car

Saudi Women Cannot:

-Sponsor a non-Saudi husband for residency in the Kingdom
-Visit a graveyard
-Attend Friday prayers in a mosque unless there is a women's section
-Be alone with an unrelated man who is not a "sanctioned" relative
-Travel alone without the approval of the male mahrem

American Women Can:

-Run for President
-Join the Navy
-Compete in the Olympics (but not in boxing)
-Top the New York Times Best Seller List
-Become men

American Women Cannot:

-Walk alone at night without fear of being assaulted
-Buy birth control pills without a prescription (except Plan B)
-Marry another woman (except in MA and CT)
-Be a Navy SEAL
-Play professional baseball
-Get fat without apologizing for it
-Look plain without getting shit for it
-Look hot or get drunk without "asking for it"
-Be aggressive in school or the workplace without being labeled a "bitch"

Now add your own!

Lolcat Tuesday!

Cum Shot? Bailey's Irish Cream Ad? Why Not Both?!

Bailey's wins our hearts and minds with a new advertisement featuring a pale creamy liquid splashing onto pink feminine lips. Nothing like a little misogyny in the afternoon. Clip embedded below.

Find more videos like this on AdGabber

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Honestly, Who Throws A Shoe??!

I'm so happy something has finally happened in the world to warrant this post title.
Everybody's favorite president, G. Dub, was giving a surprise press conference in Iraq with the Iraqi Prime Minister when an Iraqi reporter threw both of his shoes at him. The reporter then yelled, "This is a farewell kiss, dog". Charming. I love that all the news outlets are reporting that in Arab culture, it's a "sign of disrespect to throw shoes"---it's not like Americans throw shoes at each other to show their unwavering support. I think it's actually a pretty easily translated action. Not that I condone it. I have enough disrespect for G. Dub to throw all of my many capitalist nation granting shoes at him, but I think it's not the most couth move. I get it, he wants the world to know how much Iraqis hate the American occupation. Got it. Point taken. He totally just effed it up for all the other Middle Eastern reporters though. The secret service is so going to make them all wear elastic foot covers, a la hospital slippers. HA.

Clip embedded--if you can't see it, the link is below.

shoe throwing mo fo

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

"Religion is much more of a choice than homosexuality is".

Jon Stewart took Mike Huckabee to task on gay marriage last night on the Daily Show. Huckabee was interviewed for a solid 14 minutes--my guess is Huckabee stipulated a certain amount of time in order to come on the show, and Stewart in return spent almost half of the interview punching holes in Huckabee's religious rhetoric. When Stewart brings up the fact that marriage used be defined as between two people of the same race, making a platform on "traditional" (i.e., non-evolving) marriage, bunk, Huckabee makes the argument that it's not the same thing because black people don't "choose" to be black. AWESOMENESS.
Clip embedded below. If you're reading this post on facebook, click the link to watch the clip.

Huckabee on the Daily Show

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Lolcat Tuesday!

Monday, December 8, 2008

This Ain't Yur Gramma's Lamp featured an article today on 20 new ideas in lighting design. it's pretty neat, ranging from lamps designed to look like torn wallpaper with a soft glow of light pouring from the tear, to a rather morbid neon hanging noose lamp. The lighting pictured is of fields of acrylic tubes filled with optical fibers...sure beats strings of icicle lights...

more websites to check religiously

So I've been a religious fan of for quite a while now. I've been the recipient of many a passive aggressive note in my lifetime, so reading them when they're not directed at me is extremely enjoyable. I was reading the WTF? page of the site, and lo and behold, there were some recommended sites that turned out to be AWESOME:

apostrophe abuse AND the "blog" of "unnecessary" quotation marks

if you enjoy PAN at all you will like these--they sho' tickled me!

I picked some various posts from both blogs this week...

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Real Bill Ayers

William Ayers steps out into the New York Times.

The Real Bill Ayers
by William Ayers
published 12.05.08

IN the recently concluded presidential race, I was unwillingly thrust upon the stage and asked to play a role in a profoundly dishonest drama. I refused, and here’s why.

Unable to challenge the content of Barack Obama’s campaign, his opponents invented a narrative about a young politician who emerged from nowhere, a man of charm, intelligence and skill, but with an exotic background and a strange name. The refrain was a question: “What do we really know about this man?”

Secondary characters in the narrative included an African-American preacher with a fiery style, a Palestinian scholar and an “unrepentant domestic terrorist.” Linking the candidate with these supposedly shadowy characters, and ferreting out every imagined secret tie and dark affiliation, became big news.

I was cast in the “unrepentant terrorist” role; I felt at times like the enemy projected onto a large screen in the “Two Minutes Hate” scene from George Orwell’s “1984,” when the faithful gathered in a frenzy of fear and loathing.

With the mainstream news media and the blogosphere caught in the pre-election excitement, I saw no viable path to a rational discussion. Rather than step clumsily into the sound-bite culture, I turned away whenever the microphones were thrust into my face. I sat it out.

Now that the election is over, I want to say as plainly as I can that the character invented to serve this drama wasn’t me, not even close. Here are the facts:

I never killed or injured anyone. I did join the civil rights movement in the mid-1960s, and later resisted the draft and was arrested in nonviolent demonstrations. I became a full-time antiwar organizer for Students for a Democratic Society. In 1970, I co-founded the Weather Underground, an organization that was created after an accidental explosion that claimed the lives of three of our comrades in Greenwich Village. The Weather Underground went on to take responsibility for placing several small bombs in empty offices — the ones at the Pentagon and the United States Capitol were the most notorious — as an illegal and unpopular war consumed the nation.

The Weather Underground crossed lines of legality, of propriety and perhaps even of common sense. Our effectiveness can be — and still is being — debated. We did carry out symbolic acts of extreme vandalism directed at monuments to war and racism, and the attacks on property, never on people, were meant to respect human life and convey outrage and determination to end the Vietnam war.

Peaceful protests had failed to stop the war. So we issued a screaming response. But it was not terrorism; we were not engaged in a campaign to kill and injure people indiscriminately, spreading fear and suffering for political ends.

I cannot imagine engaging in actions of that kind today. And for the past 40 years, I’ve been teaching and writing about the unique value and potential of every human life, and the need to realize that potential through education.

I have regrets, of course — including mistakes of excess and failures of imagination, posturing and posing, inflated and heated rhetoric, blind sectarianism and a lot else. No one can reach my age with their eyes even partly open and not have hundreds of regrets. The responsibility for the risks we posed to others in some of our most extreme actions in those underground years never leaves my thoughts for long.

The antiwar movement in all its commitment, all its sacrifice and determination, could not stop the violence unleashed against Vietnam. And therein lies cause for real regret.

We — the broad “we” — wrote letters, marched, talked to young men at induction centers, surrounded the Pentagon and lay down in front of troop trains. Yet we were inadequate to end the killing of three million Vietnamese and almost 60,000 Americans during a 10-year war.

The dishonesty of the narrative about Mr. Obama during the campaign went a step further with its assumption that if you can place two people in the same room at the same time, or if you can show that they held a conversation, shared a cup of coffee, took the bus downtown together or had any of a thousand other associations, then you have demonstrated that they share ideas, policies, outlook, influences and, especially, responsibility for each other’s behavior. There is a long and sad history of guilt by association in our political culture, and at crucial times we’ve been unable to rise above it.

President-elect Obama and I sat on a board together; we lived in the same diverse and yet close-knit community; we sometimes passed in the bookstore. We didn’t pal around, and I had nothing to do with his positions. I knew him as well as thousands of others did, and like millions of others, I wish I knew him better.

Demonization, guilt by association, and the politics of fear did not triumph, not this time. Let’s hope they never will again. And let’s hope we might now assert that in our wildly diverse society, talking and listening to the widest range of people is not a sin, but a virtue.

William Ayers, a professor of education at the University of Illinois at Chicago, is the author of “Fugitive Days” and a co-author of the forthcoming “Race Course.”

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Prop 8: The Musical!

a star studded cast sums up the evils of prop 8 via song and dance.

See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die

although, as funny as this it, didn't it come about 6 weeks too late?


So i'm super late to the Banksy party.

Banksy is apparently one of the most subversive and articulate artists of our time. His medium of choice is stencil graffiti on walls and buildings in major cities around the world. His aesthetic is the clean lines and detail of stencil art, and his tone is satirical, political, and sometimes anarchistic.

A friend of mine showed me his book "Wall and Piece", which showcases Banksy's art, around last Thanksgiving and I immediately loved it. But, I apparently forgot about him until my favorite "urban explorer" photog Xavier Nuez wrote a blurb about him and stencil artist Roadsworth on his blog last week.

Banksy is now famous around the world. He has pulled off such stunts as adding his own work to the British Museum of Art (it took something like a week for it to be noticed by museum staff, and it was eventually added to the permanent collection), replacing 500 of Paris Hilton's CDs with original (and rather biting) cover art and jacket, and stenciling a number of rather profound works on the wall that divides Israel from Palestine. His work is a social commentary, one that is most poignant given it's context. There is a great article from last year on weburbanist.

I've also embedded a bbc video about the elusive Banksy. It's about 8 minutes long but pretty fascinating. It showcases some of his most famous works.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Lolcat Tuesday!

oldest lolcat ever! found in an antique shop, dates back to 1905. the caption says "what's delaying my dinner?"

Monday, December 1, 2008

Obama Cabinet Run-down.

Secretary of State: NY Senator Hillary Clinton
A small town girl.
Srsly tho, I am stoked about that one. Shh to the h8ers.

Defense Secretary: Robert Gates(a continuation from the Bush admin)
Gates is one of the few to handle the same post in two prez admins. He was def a huge step up from Donald Rumsfeld. He was high up in the CIA during the Iran-Contra scandal, but his involvement/awareness was never proven.

Nat’l Security Adviser: retired Marine Gen. Jim Jones (also a continuation)
Besides having a great name, Jim Jones is also extremely photogenic! Jones is generally reported to be a bipartisan figure who is down with both Robert Gates and H. Clinton.

Secretary of Homeland Security: AZ Gov. Janet Napolitano
Border state gov. gets to deal with immigration and border security on a nat’l level. Makes sense. I do not envy her new job. GL janet.

Attorney General: Eric Holder
Has been opposed to the bush admin’s enforcement of the patriot act and nsa surveilance, and is in favor of closing down gitmo. I’m a big fan.
If confirmed, will be the first AfAm Attorney General. Obama totes just picked him cuz he’s black. jk. /he does kind of look like Steadman, right?

United Nations ambassador: Susan Rice
Stanford, Rhodes Scholar, blah blah blah. Don’t know that much about her except for those allegations a couple years ago that it was totes her fault that we didn’t catch Bin Laden when he was in Sudan pre-9/11. if you want to read all that gossip hit up wikipedia, I’m tiyurd.

Spaghetti Cat (cat cat cat cat cat)

spaghetti cat's world domination is imminent.