aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
O’Reilly: sex hypocrite
Managers of the Dayton Daily News have received more than 1,000 e-mails from fans of Fox News talk show host Bill O’Reilly after O’Reilly’s Web site and television program slammed the paper for an editorial that he says makes it “the most friendly (newspaper) to child rapists” in America. [...]
“We never defended Judge Connor’s decision to sentence a child molester to a year of house arrest and five years’ probation,” Bruce said Tuesday in a prepared statement. “What we said is that if the judge deserves to be removed from office, then due process should be followed - the same sort of due process that Bill O’Reilly relied upon when he was sued (for sexual harassment) and, ultimately, settled out of court.”
O’Reilly was sued in 2004 by his former producer.
When the suit was settled out of court for an undisclosed sum, O’Reilly called the lawsuit and the media lashing he took for it “a brutal ordeal” and thanked his listeners for having “given me the benefit of a doubt when some in the media did not.”
Bruce wondered why O’Reilly won’t give Connor the same benefit of a doubt.
LATER from Nicholas Lemann in the New Yorker:
[MSNBC’s Keith] Olbermann has repeatedly conferred on O’Reilly the top place in a “Worst Person in the World” competition, and, probably more to the point, when discussing O’Reilly he often finds ways to work in the word “falafel.” That is a reference to a sexual-harassment suit that a former Fox News producer named Andrea Mackris filed against O’Reilly a couple of years ago. (The case was settled out of court, but not before it got extensive press attention.) Mackris produced what she said were quotes of O’Reilly on the phone discussing things that he imagined they might enjoy doing together. The most notorious of these was a scenario in which they would be in the shower and he would massage her with a loofah, a scrubby sponge-but then, as he went on talking, he slipped up and referred to it as “the falafel thing,Ã¢â‚¬Â� which is funny not only because the picture of smearing wet mashed chickpeas on someone’s body is profoundly unerotic but also because the mistake seems to be a peculiar by-product of O’Reilly’s suspicion of things non-American. That’s why, for O’Reilly, “falafel” is a fighting word.
The “falafel warrior” has a new book coming out in October.
NH Gay marriage ban voted down
The New Hampshire House voted overwhelmingly Tuesday against a proposed amendment to the state constitution to ban gay marriage.
The late afternoon vote was 207-125.
The amendment would have defined marriage as the union of one woman and one man.
It won’t be the last.
Chef stays. Hayes stroke? Sign the chefgate petition!
Soul singer Isaac Hayes may have quit his job [but] the tenth season of “South Park” will launch on Wednesday with a new episode titled “The Return of Chef!”, marking the “triumphant homecoming” of lusty school cafeteria cook James “Chef” McElroy to the show, the network said in a statement.
It is not yet clear who is providing Chef’s voice, said a spokesman for US TV channel Comedy Central… A synopsis of the new episode titled The Return of Chef states that the boys notice “something about Chef that seems different. When Chef’s strange behaviour starts getting him in trouble, the boys pull out all the stops to save him.”
My sources say that someone quit it for him.
I can tell you that Hayes is in no position to have quit anything. Contrary to news reports, the great writer, singer and musician suffered a stroke on Jan. 17.
THINK ABOUT IT:
What if everyone that was offended by an episode by an episode of South Park—or any other satire—could suddenly have an episode taken out of circulation? There wouldn’t be a lot of show left…
We have to teach Tom that censorship is wrong!
I stand by my suggestion that Matt & Trey should demand the same kind of control over content and distribution that stars like Cruise have over their movies.
Some of the biggest names in Internet advertising—from Netflix to PeoplePC to GreetingCards.com—not only are feeding into the annoying problem of pop-up ads but are also doing very little to keep their messages away from the self-installing software that fuels the pop-up ads, according to a report released yesterday by the Center for Democracy and Technology.
In many instances, computer users unintentionally install the advertising software—known as adware—when they respond to online solicitations, which rarely come from the advertisers themselves. The annoying ads, which are planted by a complicated web of ad companies and brokers that the advertisers use to help spread their messages online, tend to appear faster than computer users can close them and often lead to a computer slowdown, according to the report.
I maintain computers for a living. It doesn’t just causes slowdowns. It kills computers! Netflix claims to be vigilant. Others claim we’re fair game:
“We object to the overall premise that consumers are duped into installing our software,” [180Solutions’ chief executive Keith] Smith said. “It’s no different from what’s on television. People are paying for this content by agreeing to some ads.”
I’m fine with explicit agreements to watch ads in exchange for content and I believe there is such a thing as ads we want. But the more companies pull stupid tricks like 180Solutions, the harder it will be to ever convince the public that’s true.
Here’s the CDT Report. It praises companies too, including America Online, Dell, Verizon and Major League Baseball.
Via Ed Felton’s Dashlog.
The First Amendment’s been bought and paid for!
Long ago, actually, but we still don’t seem to realize it.
Michael Crighton has an excellent op-ed in the Sunday Times on the isane overreach of US patent law, the limits of which are to be tested today before the Supreme Court. In dispute is the increasingly common practice of pharmaceutical companies, research labs and individual scientists of patenting specific medical procedures or tests. Today’s case deals specifically with a basic diagnostic procedure patented by three doctors in 1990 that helps spot deficiency in a certain kind of Vitamin B by testing a patient’s folic acid levels.
Under current laws, a small royalty must be paid not only to perform the test, but to even mention it. That’s right, writing it down or even saying it out loud requires payment. Which means that I am in violation simply for describing it above. As is the AP reporter whose story filled me in on the details of the case. And also Michael Crighton for describing the test in his column (an absurdity acknowledged in his title: “This Essay Breaks the Law"). Need I (or may I) say more? [...]
It seems everything - even “laws of nature, natural phenomena and abstract ideas” (AP) - is information that someone can own. It goes far beyond the digital frontiers we usually talk about here. Yet the expansion of the laws of ownership - what McKenzie Wark calls “the relentless abstraction of the world” - essentially digitizes everything, and everyone.
William Safire on ‘gay’, 1981 & now
In his weekly NYTimes’ Magazine “On Language” column of September 27, 1981, he begins by discussing the term ‘geezer’ which I, like he, like:
I like the word ‘’geezer.’’ A century ago, this dialect form of ‘’guiser,’’ or one dressed in the guise of a mummer, meant an old person, particularly a woman; over the years, it picked up and then partially dropped a connotation of eccentricity, but turned mainly masculine. It can now be used either in derision or with affection to refer to old people, particularly - to my ear -outspoken old people, usually men.
Then moves on to euphemisms:
Anybody who is so sensitive about the word ‘’old’’ that he insists on being called a ‘’golden ager’’ or ‘’senior citizen’’ is too old to cut the mustard of controversy. I am middle-aged; I wish I were young again, but I don’t get any surge of youthful energy out of calling any crises in my middle-agedness midlife. ‘’Old’’ is something nobody likes to be (except considering the alternative), but if you are old, then old is what you are, and calling yourself venerable or in the sunset years isn’t going to make you any younger.
Ah, but aren’t euphemisms generally a way of making people feel better about what they are? Yes and no. Cripple is a word that hurts, and is limited to afflictions of the limbs, while handicapped has a connotation of built-in sympathy and dignity, and is a broader term covering any sort of disability. Certainly ‘’handicapped’’ is a euphemism, but so what? Euphemism is not always bad, nor is a change in terminology always euphemistic: Yesterday’s insane asylum is not today’s mental hospital.
So euphamism and change in terminology is ok, unless the affected group asks for it: Thus his rejection of the term “gay:”
Are these decisions all by-guess-and-by-God, or are some standards at work here? One criterion that emerges is the source of the pressure for change: If it is spontaneous, or fills a linguisticpsychological need, then it should be accepted, but if it comes in the form of fiat from government or demand by pressure group or propaganda for a movement, then it can rightly be resisted.
Without communication disorder or speech disfluency, I resist the word gay just because homosexual-rights groups insist upon it; I don’t say queer, because that is a slur, but homosexual is neutral and accurate. If lesbians argue that ‘’homosexual’’ should be limited to men, I would put up a feeble fight -arguing that the homo is the same as the ‘’man’’ in ‘’mankind’’ and covers women, too - but I’d cave in; if many people used the separate terms, that differentiation would be in the direction of precision.
Those nettlesome homos insist upon it. My experience was, and I think history now shows, that it was “sponaneous.” And I do note that even then he “resists” the term “gay,” he doesn’t “reject” it.
A couple weeks later, John Simon took him to task, ‘’You are waxing prolix in your middle age!’’ and he got 208 letters, six postcards and a telex from people who know the difference between Latin and Greek derivations.