Links for April 16th through April 17th

  • Amazon's very bad day
    A great deal of racism, homophobia, etc., happens not because anyone particularly wants to be racist or homophobic, but because the ground has been tilted that way by arrangements made long ago and if you're not constantly on the lookout it's easiest to roll downhill. [...]

    UPDATE: Soft Skull publisher Richard Eoin Nash begins by observing that Amazon arguably has some particular obligations to GLBT people, having been the direct cause of the destruction of their community centers over the last ten years. Stronger words follow.
    (Emphasis in the original.)
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  • White People in the News, April 13th 2009
    On dog yoga classes:

    “Doga runs the risk of trivializing yoga by turning a 2,500-year-old practice into a fad,” said Julie Lawrence, 60, a yoga instructor and studio owner in Portland, Ore. “To live in harmony with all beings, including dogs, is a truly yogic principle. But yoga class may not be the most appropriate way to express this.”

    She is correct, the most appropriate way to express yogic principles is by wearing $100 stretch pants at an expensive yoga studio. Failing that, the second most appropriate way to express your devotion to yoga is to do it at home with a holy DVD and yoga mat from Target.
    [...] white people are paying $15-25 per session to hold their dog in the same position as other white people. This is considered a relative bargain.
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  • This time, a real blog post on “Observe and Report”
    I have no problem with putting rape in a movie, or even using it for dark comedy, which could, in theory, be done well. I’ve often strained against feminists who claim there’s entire categories of things that can’t be joked about. But if you’re going to put rape in your movie, put rape in your movie. Don’t put a rape in your movie, and then create a faux “out” so that the sexist idiots who see your movie can tell themselves it wasn’t really rape. [...]

    The first half is a hilarious satire of this middle American overblown cult of masculinity, but then halfway through, Hill loses his appetite for having an anti-hero protagonist and starts setting up villains for the protagonist to struggle with and become a hero by default. If it had ended halfway through the movie, then it would have been really great, but he ends up using the exact same trope—the protagonist’s wife has sex with the more powerful man and the newly minted hero gets his revenge on both of them—as he does in “Observe and Report”. The satire is over, and the whole thing is a nerd’s revenge against evil women and more successful men. And even though the movie starts off satirizing the cult of masculinity, but the end of the movie, the basic rightness of the cult is upheld as the hero wins by pissing on his wedding ring in a manly man fashion, and winning a battle of physical prowess.
    And in conclusion, the test of time will reveal that "Homer's Enemy" was one of the greatest works of 20th century television.
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