Exchanging email with Easterbrook:

Noting that this is the 50th anniversary of Sputnik, the Edsel, “West Side Story” and Boris Pasternak’s “Dr. Zhivago,” TMQ supposed that half a century ago, technology was buckets of bolts while art was magnificent; now tech is magnificent and art is in poor repair. Why? Vox Day of Milan, Italy, author of “The Irrational Atheist,” supposes, “Technical stuff depends on science, art depends on religion. The former is now ascendant, ergo our art leaves something to be desired. That’s Camille Paglia’s theory, anyhow, which is interesting in light of her atheism. Paglia has written, ‘Great art can be made out of love for religion as well as rebellion against it. But a totally secularized society with contempt for religion sinks into materialism and self-absorption and gradually goes slack, without leaving an artistic legacy.’ Richard Dawkins, a prominent atheist, argues in ‘Unweaving the Rainbow’ that science is capable of inspiring greater art than religion, though this hasn’t happened yet.”

You’ll have to wait until TIA comes out, but it contains an interesting comparison of two poems on a related subject, one inspired by religion, the other inspired by science, that demonstrates this concept rather dramatically. The latter really has to be read to be believed.

VPFL Week Four

77 Cranberry Bogs
58 East Mesa WhiteTrash

74 Mounds View Meerkats
50 W.C. Silver Spooners

59 Winston Reverends
29 Village Valkyries

52 Greenfield Grizzlies
48 Black Mouth Curs

52 Masonville Marauders
27 Burns ICU

Week 4 saw the mighty Meerkats finally get a win while Nate changed his team name to a much more appropriate moniker. Rumor has it that he cried at the press conference announcing it.

All about keeping it real

My favorite absurdist defense of Hollywood’s infatuation with violence is the idea that they are just portraying the gritty realism of violence in society:

With new clues, a Philadelphia homicide unit reopens the 1998 murder of Carrie Swett, who had joined the abstinence club, Hearts Wait, just before her death.

Carrie eventually learns the club members aren’t who they claim to be. Tina, the outspoken president, apparently is carrying on a sexual relationship with the youth pastor, Nathan, who oversees the club.

In a flashback scene, Carrie confronts Tina and encourages her to stop meeting alone with the youth pastor.

Tina replies, “You’re just some slut with a whore for a mother.”

Carrie also tells a young man who fears he’s homosexual and two teens who are sleeping together that there is nothing wrong with their feelings or actions.

The members of the club respond to Carrie by calling her “dirty,” “whore,” “slut” and “b****” before stoning her to death.

Last year, the FBI reported that six of the 16,692 murders in 2005 were hate crimes, which includes all crimes attributable to biases based on race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity/ national origin, and disability. None of these six – or 16,292 – murders involved Christians stoning insufficiently abstinent girls, or anyone else, for that matter. Of course, it’s much safer to pretend that Christians stone women to death than make any reference to the particular group that does actually does stone women to death on a regular basis.

Freud has been discredited for decades. It is amazing that his unscientific theories are still being relied upon to attack those who don’t believe that unmititigated promiscuity is a benefit to society.

I refuse to watch any television show that is based on protagonists with any responsibility for investigating crime or involvement with the legal system. They’re uniformly shallow, boring, eminently predictable and inherently authoritarian.

Cognitive dissonance

Single career women theorize as to why men aren’t lining up to date them:

The only men who ever approach me for dates are in their fifties. Maybe it is because they have more confidence and security in themselves and so don’t feel threatened by a woman who has made a success of herself. Men my age never talk to me once they’ve found out what I do. Sometimes, they physically take a step back. I think they assume I am focused purely on my career….

I sometimes wonder if I would be happier if I had chosen a simpler path, but the only thing I have wanted to do is practise law. It can be quite tough, though. I am different in the office to how I am at home. At work, I am the only woman on my team, so I have to be hard-nosed and quite harsh. At weekends, I over-compensate by being really girly, because I don’t want any friends – or potential boyfriends – to think I’m an iron-knickered harridan.

In other words, you’re a bitch, but you pretend not to be when it suits you. Obviously, no man could possibly be intelligent enough to figure out that sooner or later, you’re going to be directing that hard-nosed harshness at him if he’s dumb enough to date you.

Professional women are so clueless when it comes to men that one wonders how they manage to remember to breathe long enough to finish those all-important Powerpoint shows. A few basic pointers:

1. No man has ever been impressed by a woman’s occupation, unless it is stripper, model or professional cheerleader for his favorite team. Honorable mention for aerobics/yoga instructor or nanny.

2. Few men are impressed by women’s salaries. They know perfectly well that most women will quit paid employment the moment they feel they can. A woman’s salary only matters to a man who doesn’t want to support a non-employed wife or have kids.

3. Men with their own careers generally don’t want wives with careers if they want a family. They’re looking for a wife and mother to their children, not a co-husband. Men who don’t have careers are much more open to the possibility, but then, no matter how much money a woman makes, she has no interest in men who makes less than she does. As Spacebunny points out, most women consider her own income to be “her money” while that earned by the man is “our money”. There are exceptions, of course, but this is the general rule.

4. The mere fact of having a career means you are too focused on it in the eyes of most professional men. They know perfectly well what it means since they work with women like you every day, furthermore, they also know that few professional women have any sense of proportion or perspective. You made a choice, now deal with it. Buy a cat… or five, and stock up on Duracell.

5. Men aren’t intimidated by you, your intelligence, your education or your pay packet. They are, however, intimidated by the divorce courts. They are extremely disinclined to dally with the sort of women who show any inclination towards depending upon them.