More mainstream than I thought

Brand U. is an interesting op/ed in the today’s NY Times, especially in light of my own column this week:

I RECENTLY did some research for a satirical novel set at a university. The idea was to have a bunch of gags about how colleges prostitute themselves to improve their U.S. News & World Report rankings and keep up a healthy supply of tuition-paying students, while wrapping their craven commercialism in high-minded-sounding academic blather.

I would keep coming up with what I thought were pretty outrageous burlesques of this stuff and then run them by one of my professor friends and he’d say, Oh, yeah, we’re doing that.

One of my best bits, or so I thought, was about how the fictional university in my novel had hired a branding consultant to come up with a new name with the hip, possibility-rich freshness needed to appeal to today’s students. Two weeks later, a friend called to say it was on the front page of The Times: “To Woo Students, Colleges Choose Names That Sell.” Exhibit A was Beaver College, which had changed its name to Arcadia University. Applications doubled.

I also had created a character, a former breakfast-cereal executive who returns to his alma mater as vice president for finance (to give something back) and tries to get everyone to call the students customers. It turns out Yale was already doing that.

It seems I’m not the only one with doubts regarding the value of a university degree….

A hit with the ladies

I have an idea that amuses me. Someone will do it sooner or later, although I can’t imagine Aardvark jumping on this one. I can’t imagine anything sending college feminists stark raving insane like an “American Rapist” line of t-shirts, with slogans like:

“We both know you want it!”

“ROHYPNOL – helping sociopaths score since 1992”

“I’m big enough, I’m strong enough, and doggone it, I have a knife.”

“I am inevitable, relax and enjoy me.”

“NO means MAYBE” (on the back) “MAYBE means YES”

“Actually, it is about sex.”

“If you didn’t want it, why are you dressed like that?”

“See you after the candlelight vigil”

“What time are you planning on walking alone to your car?” (Somebody posted that here yesterday, that was good.)

“It’s my night and you can’t have it back.”

and, of course, “Duke Lacrosse”

They’d have to be printed on wife-beaters, naturally. You see, as PJ Wodehouse demonstrated so beautifully with Sir Roderick Spode, the only way to shut up fascists is to mock them. “Did you ever in your puff see such a perfect perisher? Footie bags? Pah!” It is in the feminists’ interests to set men back on their heels by insisting that all men are rapists, or at the very least potential rapists, so, (to turn a feminist technique on its head), only by claiming the title with pride will we completely eliminate what they want to be its potential power over men.

Plus, any way you look at it, it’s funny. Not as funny as a group of rabid feminists chanting “cunt, cunt, cunt” together, but funny nevertheless.

On a more serious note, there’s no question that suffering a real rape, (as opposed to a “near rape” or a “date rape”) is somewhat traumatic for either a man or a woman, in much the same way that a vicious beating is traumatic. But in my experience, parental divorce leaves deeper and more lasting psychological scars on women; it is ironic, then, that feminists are so concerned about mythical rape while simultaneously celebrating divorce.

An obvious case of bad luck

Either Lady Fortuna or Master Priapus appears to have it in for that Duke Lax stripper:

The woman who says she was raped by three members of Duke’s lacrosse team also told police 10 years ago she was raped by three men, filing a 1996 complaint claiming she had been assaulted three years earlier when she was 14. Authorities in nearby Creedmoor said Thursday that none of the men named in the decade-old report was ever charged but they didn’t have details why….

According to the Creedmoor police report in August 1996, when the woman was 18, she told officers she was raped and beaten by three men “for a continual time” in 1993, when she was 14. She told police she was attacked at an “unspecified location” on a street in Creedmoor, a town 15 miles northeast of Durham.

It’s an outrage! A terrible scourge on society! Clearly men should not be permitted to gather in groups of more than two, especially in the vicinity of this unfortunate woman.

The reason those three men weren’t charged, of course, is because as a BLACK and a WOMAN, she was assigned a negligible social status and therefore may be freely VICTIMIZED by the higher status members of the PATRIARCHY. Well, that, or she’s just another lying strawberry….

UPDATE: It occurs to me, there is a possibility that the skeptics like myself and the rape-addled feminists are both right. I mean, perhaps there really are 100 million American rapes per year, but they all happen to a very small number of very unlucky ladies. I mean, there must be some reason why certain women repeatedly report getting raped and since we are assured that women never lie about these things, this may very likely be the answer.

UPDATE II: This bit from anonymous was amusing.

First off he [Vox] knows nothing of rape statistics, nor the sociology or psychology of rape and the fact that most rapes go un-reported..

Actually, he is perfectly capable of reading the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report (and has, in fact, read several years’ worth), and he is aware of the fact that most “rapes” go unreported, which he explains is due to the logical reason that they are neither rapes nor criminal acts.

He is interested to learn more about the sociology of rape, especially an explanation of the sociopathy of American women who, for some mysterious reason, happen to report rape at large multiples of the rate in other First World countries, for example, Dutch women report one-fourth the rapes, UK women report one-tenth and Japanese women report one-thirtieth the attacks suffered by those poor, much-ravished Americans.

As for the psychology of rape, he merely notes that he knows rather more about it than the squalling feminist crowd considering that by their very generous definition of rape, he has cheerfully committed it on numerous occasions. He merely wonders: if the bottle of wine cost more than the woman would charge for sex, is it still rape?

A Once and Future Pirate

In the interest of being open-minded and flexible, I tried turning over a new leaf and actually paying for a piece of entertainment software. Naturally, I first obtained a pirated version and a crack and discovered that yes, indeed, I did want to play this particular game. Unfortunately, the cracked game generated an amount of graphic garbage, caused the mouse to move like molasses and screwed up my display upon exiting, so I determined that I would, for once, exchange some valueless pieces of paper for said software product.

I soon felt powerfully confirmed once more in my total disdain for intellectual property as it relates to software when the same problem immediately evinced itself and continues to do so despite monkeying about with DirectX updates, ATI driver settings and so forth.

But at least I paid for the software, so I can get the benefit of technical support, right? Oh, my aching sides! (wipes tears from eyes) That’s funny. The pirates know more and offer better support than the poor slobs on phone duty, assuming you want to wait 20 minutes to talk to them.

With all the modding communities that have sprung up, I give it 5-7 years before the first true, high-quality open source games start to appear. In fact, if there are any programmers interested in such buccaneering endeavors, I have an OpenGL/D3D engine, access to a classroom full of 3D artists who will take any rendering or animation assignment I want to give them and a pair of game designs. Let me know if you’re down with OSD and you’re interested.

And the Baptists head for the showers

Baptist Center for Ethics
Nashville, TN
April 21, 2006

Dear Fellow Baptists:

The time has come for Baptists to speak positively about public education and to take proactive initiatives that advance a constructive future for America’s public school system.
We recognize the need for reforms in public schools, as all organizations need reformation, including churches and corporations. Reforms to improve all facets of public education should be a constant goal of our nation.
While every family is free to decide the course of their children’s education, we believe it is wrong for Baptist leaders to urge Baptists to exit the nation’s public school system for homeschools and Christian academies and to equip that cause.
We decry the anti-public school statements that identify public schools as “the enemies of God,” that label the nation’s school system as “a dark and decaying government school system” and that claim public schools are converting Christian children “to an anti-Christian worldview.” We urge a halt to the demonization of public schools.
We believe Baptists should recommit themselves to public education, not as a means toward converting school children, but because it is the right thing to do. We believe public school children are God’s children who deserve the nurture of a good society, the prospect for a good education and the equal opportunity for a good life.
We call on Baptists to recommit themselves to the separation of church and state, which will keep public schools free from coercive pressure to promote sectarian faith, such as state-written school prayers and the teaching of neo-creationism (intelligent design).
We call on Baptists to recommit themselves to a just society. A just society will ensure that every American child has an opportunity for a good education and that public schools have the resources necessary to provide such an opportunity, achieving the highest standards possible.
We call on Baptists to recommit themselves to the nation’s founding principle of “E Pluribus Unum.” A society based on unity out of diversity will embrace every child and recognize the vital role public schools play in achieving national unity.
We, the undersigned, pledge therefore to

pray for public schools;

show our support for public schools through worship services that affirm all school-related personnel;

advocate for a high wall of separation between church and state that is critical to good public education;

pursue a just society that benefits every child;

speak up for the role public education plays in democracy, especially the unity it creates in the midst of diversity so necessary in our society;

challenge religious voices who demonize public education; and

share this letter with others.

Well, it’s nice to see that the Episcopalians, Methodists and Lutherans will have some company in their slouch towards total cultural irrelevance. And for the record, I think it is unnecessary to demonize the public schools, as they already contain no shortage of evil and destructive spiritual beings also known as “teachers”.

I suddenly feel so pure

Carrie Lukas attempts to count up the victims:

One in four women is the victim of rape or attempted rape.

This familiar statistic comes to mind as the rape indictment of two Duke University lacrosse players dominates national news. It may be a fitting backdrop for this scandal, not just because the statistic reminds us that all women are vulnerable to this terrible crime, but also because the evidence behind the number is dubious.

“One in four” has been repeated so often on college campuses and in the media that many people accept it without question. Few know how it was calculated. Few ask, because asking implies questioning its veracity, and, in this post-feminist era, it’s taboo to question sex-crime data or the claims of any alleged rape victim.

Christina Hoff Sommers of the American Enterprise Institute delved into these uncomfortable waters in Who Stole Feminism. The one-in-four statistic, she found, was derived from a survey of 3,000 college women in 1982. Researchers used three questions to determine if respondents had been raped: Have you had sexual intercourse when you didn’t want to because a man gave you alcohol or drugs? Have you had sexual intercourse when you didn’t want to because a man threatened or used some degree of physical force… to make you? And, have you had sexual acts…when you didn’t want to because a man threatened to use some degree of physical force… to make you?

Based on women’s responses, researchers concluded that 15 percent of women surveyed had been raped and 12 percent had experienced an attempted rape. Therefore, 27 percent of women — more than one in four — were either the victims of rape or attempted rape. This is the origin of the one-in-four statistic.

27 percent. Or 3 percent. Why not just announce that there is no such thing as rape, ergo, problem solved. Zero is within the range of error, after all.

As regulars know, I find the constant fixation on rape as the evil of all evils to be tremendously amusing. This is not because it’s usually an uncrime, which is to say, the supposedly criminal act is based solely on the self-proclaimed victim’s feelings, but because a) rape has seldom been less common than it is in the modern United States, and, b) its frequency, whatever the actual rate might be, is largely thanks to those very women who are loudly screaming their heads off about their right to do whatever they want wherever they want, and to do it unarmed.

Right. Try dressing like a Jew in Saudi Arabia and let us know how that goes…. Oh, but that’s not a modern and enlightened Western culture. Okay, then, try it in Londonistan or Amstarabia, then. Now you’re just blaming the victim!

The childishness of the female perspective on rape, even on the part of the less silly commentators, can be summarized in the following statement: “Regardless of the exact figure, rape is a terrible crime too prevalent in our society.” Such outrage, such soaring rhetoric, how very lovely, Miss Lukas. Now, do try naming a historical society where it has been significantly less prevalent… and please delineate three primary differences between those societies and our own.

And then there’s this gem: “It certainly is possible that this revised estimate understates the frequency of rape — women may be reluctant to admit having been violated even in an anonymous survey.” Or maybe they are too eager to admit it, given how often they are proven to recant. Picking a number out of the air would be as meaningful, that certainly seemed to work for the author of the “women beaten on Super Bowl Sunday” fiction.

Fortunately, our ever-doughty feminists have provided us with solution to ending this terrible crime once and for all. As a potential rapist myself, I can do no less than my part in bringing this terrible scourge on our society to an end:

If you have the opportunity and ability to rape a woman, just don’t do it!

That should take care of that! Because, as everyone knows, the only reason people do bad things is because no one ever told them not to. If 50 years of murderous and totalitarian government couldn’t eliminate guns in Communist China, what are the odds that a country that can’t locate 12 million people who can’t even speak English can Take Back the Night on behalf of drunk and stupid college girls?

Book swap

For various reasons, I have an increasing number of doubles and unwanted novels. As people here appear to be somewhat more inclined to reading than not, I was wondering if anyone here would be interested if I put together some form of blog book swap wherein books might be bartered in a manner that would provide everyone with more value than we’d all be likely to get from a used bookstore.

Let me know if you’d have any interest in this, if enough people do have books they’d like to exchange for others, perhaps it would make sense.