aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Thursday, November 15, 2007
So maybe Sonny should pray every day
Gov. Sonny Perdue said Thursday morning that he’s not gloating over the fact that it rained a day after he held a prayer vigil at the Capitol.
“This is hopefully the beginning of more,” Perdue said from Canada, where he is on a trade mission. “One rain won’t refill the reservoirs. It is great affirmation of what we asked for.” [...]
“As we do all we can from a conservation standpoint, virtually all of us know we are dependent on rain. I am just a person who believes it comes from God,” Perdue said.
While almost all of metro Atlanta got rain, most rainfall totals were only around a quarter-inch or less.
Big whoop! He pulled this stunt last July, too, but in Macon instead of on the statehouse steps so it got less press.
He got a quarter-inch last time, too. And some noticed that, just like this time, the forecast was calling for the drizzle that came when he scheduled his event.
We deserve to be the laughing stock we are because this is what passes for good-government in Georgia.
The Older Boyfriend
WSJ Online on the Older Boyfriend episode:
One early-episode joke was a crash course in dealing with viewer feedback and balancing the show’s tone with acceptable taste. In “The Older Boyfriend” episode, Ms. Hasler says, “If you’re in junior high and you’re dating someone who’s out of high school, he’s a pedophile. And pedophilia’s a disease. Would you date someone with cancer? No.”
The remark drew a torrent of angry responses on the program’s Web site, and in emails. But Ms. Hasler remains unapologetic. “We have no intention of changing our style or changing the type of humor we use,” she says. “We’re going to make the same jokes that cause the same amount of controversy.”
WSJ on The Midwest Teen Sex Show
They call it frank, funny and controversial:
[The] wry, pointed presentation has helped the show lure thousands of viewers since its debut this past summer. Some may have been attracted by the provocative title, but this isn’t pornography. Instead, it aims to teach teenagers about sex using risquÃƒÂ© sketches, explicit language and anecdotes that draw on the teenage experiences of its two 28-year-old creators—host Nikol Hasler, the aforementioned woman, and Guy Clark, an aspiring filmmaker.
The two felt that existing sexual-education efforts were far too prim—and boring—to be useful to teens. Their podcast focuses less on birds-and-bees basics and more on real-life scenarios teens are likely to face. [...]
Amy Bryant, the editor of Planned Parenthood’s site TeenWire.com, says she has mixed feelings about the show. “On the one hand, it’s edgy and gets teens talking about their health,” she says. She’s concerned, however, that the content isn’t medically reviewed. (The show’s Web site has a disclaimer that “all advice given is simply opinion and should not be taken as fact.")
It’s the show’s tone, not overall subject matter, that has drawn more criticism. Deborah Roffman, a sex-education teacher who works in Baltimore schools, says, “I can see why it would be very popular with kids. It’s daring, it’s very open, and it’s funny, and it has information that they would find very useful. “At the same time, it is satirical in nature,” she says, adding that unless teens are intellectually sophisticated, it’s not “the right vehicle.” She says further: “The entertainment value of this material is not the same thing as its educational value.”
I have to agree that by itself it certainly isn’t enough. But to get things going and, er, fill the void left by the adult abdication of our obligation to educate and given my objections to criminalizing kids I think they’re absolutely right on!
What’s good for the Goose…
His copyfighter’s emphasis is on her indignation that the studios don’t want to share download revenue with the writers:
When you illegally download something and the network doesn’t get any money for it, they call it piracy. But when you download something or watch streaming video with commercials and the writers don’t get any money for it, the networks call it promotion. DON’T LET THEM GET AWAY WITH THIS. Steal from the networks. You KNOW how much they hate it. But we’re not supposed to hate it if they steal from us.
Alan cautions, “I’m not particularly keen on a recommendation to steal, even from the Cartel thieves, but it definitely captures the spirit of what this debate is about.”
Judgement Day: Intelligent Design on Trial
I’ve been making my way through Nova’s look at the Dover, PA court case brought by parents after the school board voted to include a statement about Intelligent Design in the biology curriculum.
I’m watching with my nephew - a product of Dover schools - who now lives with me. He was there for the fourth through seventh grades (and yells at the screen, “I know him/her!"). His brother still lives in Dover.
The Nova piece is available for viewing online beginning tomorrow. My antipathy to reenactments aside, it’s an excellent portrayal of what happened. Here’s the preview:
The Market and Intelligent Design (reprise)
As I watch Nova’s Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial, I am reminded again of a piece by John Allen Paulos.
Paulos says that evolution’s been proven and Intelligent Design refuted, but “rehashing the refutation” isn’t his goal because “those who reject evolution are usually immune to such arguments.”
Rather, what he does is point to what he calls ”a surprising crossing of political lines:”
Let me begin by asking how it is that modern free market economies are as complex as they are, boasting amazingly elaborate production, distribution and communication systems? Go into almost any drug store and you can find your favourite candy bar. And what’s true at the personal level is true at the industrial level. Somehow there are enough ball bearings and computer chips in just the right places in factories all over the country. The physical infrastructure and communication networks are also marvels of integrated complexity. Fuel supplies are, by and large, where they’re needed. Email reaches you in Miami as well as in Milwaukee, not to mention Barcelona and Bangkok.
The natural question, discussed first by Adam Smith and later by Friedrich Hayek and Karl Popper among others, is who designed this marvel of complexity? Which commissar decreed the number of packets of dental floss for each retail outlet? The answer, of course, is that no economic god designed this system. It emerged and grew by itself. No one argues that all the components of the candy bar distribution system must have been put into place at once, or else there would be no Snickers at the corner store.
So far, so good. What is more than a bit odd, however, is that some of the most ardent opponents of Darwinian evolution ÃƒÂ³ for example, many fundamentalist Christians ÃƒÂ³ are among the most ardent supporters of the free market. They accept the market’s complexity without qualm, yet insist the complexity of biological phenomena requires a designer.
They would reject the idea that there is or should be central planning in the economy. They would point out that simple economic exchanges which are beneficial to people become entrenched and then gradually modified as they become part of larger systems of exchange, while those that are not beneficial die out. Yet some of these same people refuse to believe natural selection and “blind processes” can lead to biological order arising spontaneously.