I missed a couple of weeks again! I had really good excuses but never mind that. I’m going to try to hit on a few things that have come to my attention in the last few weeks. Enjoy the rapid fire journey!
South Dakota lawmakers, in a display of “patriotism” passed a law requiring the national motto “In God We Trust” to be prominently displayed in all public schools.
It may feel like this is a violation of the separation of church and state and no doubt that will be tested. I think it will actually stand because “In God We Trust” is actually our national motto and Donald Trump has been allowed to seat two conservative Christian white dudes on the Supreme Court.
You can argue that “In God We Trust” is a shitty national motto and far worse than the one it replaced (E Pluribus Unim or “Out of Many, One) but it doesn’t matter because it’s still the national motto. You could also argue that the word “God” could be referring to any god and not just the Christian god it clearly refers to.
Hiding behind patriotism is the dodge that really pisses me off. I mean they have to do that because if they admitted their motivation was to put God on every public school wall because Christianity just isn’t enough places in our lives already, even Brett Kavanagh and Clarence Thomas might need to stop hitting on their clerks long enough to strike the law down. But the transparency of the act is galling. Of course this is about religion.
If you wanted it to be about patriotism, you’d just pass some law about posting the bill of rights in every school.
For the record, I’d be 100% behind that one. Kids should know their rights. Read More…
Mostly this is so bad it’s funny but you have to be a little upset at the fact they made this horrible and cluelessly racist video that uses the theme from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air (and titled “The Fresh Prints of Bill Here” – I’m not kidding) to educate children in a way Schoolhouse Rock did much better back in the 70’s at all.
The mostly Republican and all white cast put together for the express purpose of teaching kids how legislation works while simultaneously setting poetry back several thousand years is hypnotically painful. Barely ten seconds in, there is a remarkable effort to make the word “chamber” rhyme with the word “there.”
And while I’m sure whoever produced this video will argue that it is about how a Utah State Bill becomes law, it really is exactly the same process covered by a certain bill sitting there on Capitol hill. That video also didn’t feature a bunch of white people unironically trying to dance like black rappers.
The legislators featured in the video can almost be excused for their clueless behavior because it probably wasn’t their idea. But someone thought this up. And shot it. And edited it together. And at no point did it occur to them that what they were doing was going to be a spectacular failure.
Bad Headline Theater
Dear liberal friends. We had a bad election. We are going to have a bad run here and the conservatives are going to do a lot of stuff that makes us angry. At least fifty percent of the time, our anger will be justified.
Some of the time, though, we need to make sure we understand what is making us angry.
Earlier this week, a friend posted this article with the headline “Dino’s Gyros Cans Employee who Took off for ‘Day Without Immigrants’ Protest.”
Now it is true Dino’s Gyros canned an employee who didn’t show up for work and it is true that employee was taking part in the day without immigrants protest. This headline would make you think Dino’s Gyros were Capitalist fucks who didn’t give a shit about causes important to their employees.
And let’s be fair – they may be.
The truth, which we see if we read the whole article, is that they admitted they should not have fired him because he was participating in a legal strike and they offered him his job back with a raise. He turned it down.
Then there is this story which has the headline “Oklahoma Legislature Just Passed the Most Oppressive law Against Women in History.”
In this case, the law in question is pretty horrible. It requires a woman to get permission from the father before she has an abortion, which is some seriously misogynistic bullshit because it takes a woman’s control of her own body away from her.
But – and given the headline this is super important – the law hasn’t passed yet. Later in the article you will read that it has only been passed out of committee.
And believe me, if the legislature actually passes this law as it is written, I’m going to be bringing it up again. And I will find an opportunity to refer to Oklahoma lawmakers as “controlling gibbons who care about the lives and health of women only slightly less than they care about the lives and health of babies once they are born” when that happens.
All the bad laws in the world don’t justify a headline that is demonstrably untrue. In a world where the term “fake news” is used as a weapon, we have to be doubly sure we are precise.
Even though Rey was the lead in The Force Awakens, inside reports suggest that the prevailing opinion was that kids (specifically boys) wouldn’t be interested. Also, apparently girls don’t play with action figures or some stupid shit like that.
They decided that what they really needed was a whole lot of Kylo Ren stuff.
Now don’t get me wrong – Kylo Ren is a great character. I love his conflicted nature and his violent mood swings. He is one of the most dangerous villains I think the Star Wars universe has ever created.
Yes, including Darth Vader.
But the heart of the film is Rey. If you don’t have confidence that kids are going to identify with her and want toys that represent her, why the fuck are you making merchandise for the film?
I mean, if your expectation of the hero is that low, your expectation of the rest of the film has to be lower, doesn’t it?
What’s embarrassing is this conversation has been going on for years. The public has been saying “we want toys featuring the women in these movies” and every time a new film comes out, the response seems to be “well, we didn’t know!”
When in realty, they just didn’t care.
You can’t really escape sexism in most movies but the older the movie, the more likely that the sexism will be overt. Just like the racism in classic films, though, everyone involved in making the films was oblivious to what they were doing.
Nobody was trying to be sexist. They just were. The fact that women weren’t actually delicate flowers who would faint at the slightest provocation didn’t change the fact that women in film were that way. Easiest way to facilitate the monster carrying his victim? Have her faint!
That isn’t really sexism, right? It’s just practical.