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« Women's Brains, Men's Brains | Main | Erotica Policies »

June 17, 2005


Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

* Fred Himebaugh's not just a terrific art-music composer, he's one of the most mischievous (in a brainy way) bloggers out there. Or should I turn that sentence around? Anyway, The Fredosphere recently celebrated its first birthday, so let's lift a toast to many more years of culture-blogging fun. You can sample Fred's music here. This linkathon provides access to many of Fred's showiest postings.

* Jetski vs. surfer.

* I thought James Gannon's response to Howard Dean's notorious crack -- the one about how the Republican Party is the "white, Christian party" -- was brilliant. Sample passage:

If the Republican Party has become the "white, Christian party," as Dean charges, it's partly so because the Democratic Party has made white Christians feel so uncomfortable in its ranks.

* Lynn Sislo has been doing a lot of inspired linking lately. I also enjoyed reading about some of Lynn's childhood memories. This one especially: "Coke bottles with the name of the city and state where they were made on the bottom." Talk about evocative! At least to those of us d'un certain age...

* Every now and then The Fat Guy takes a break from pokerblogging to let some political opponent have it with both barrels. A smokin' show.

* Jim Kalb has some typically smart words about "liberal tyranny."

* John Derbyshire thinks the space shuttle is a grotesque and lethal waste of money.

* Extensive research reveals that today's college girls are majoring either in kissing each other or in flashing thong straps. The same evidence suggests that the most popular major among college boys is taking phonecam photos of college girls.

* Three quarters of Americans say that, when it comes to watching movies, they'd just as soon watch at home. Some interesting data about this year's movie theater business:

Hollywood is in the midst of its longest box-office slump in 20 years, and 2005 is shaping up as the worst year for movie attendance in nearly a decade ... Even the blockbuster debut of 'Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith' last month couldn't arrest the slide.

* Some bloggers aren't the wide-ranging, free-associating type. Some bloggers have strong, well-defined themes.

* It's official: audiocassette tapes are on their last legs.

* According to Derek Lowe, one thing that summer lab interns are good for is inadvertently blowing things up.

* Vdare's Edward Rubenstein reports that almost 25% of the people who receive Supplemental Security Income are immigrants -- up from 3.2 percent in 1983.

* A sensational and so-true paragraph from Theodore Dalrymple:

Those future historians (assuming that an interest in the past survives) will be struck, I suspect, by the confusion in our society concerning sexual boundaries. On one hand, almost no sexual display is forbidden, and the most casual of liaisons is perfectly normal; on the other, university professors dare not be alone in a closed room with a female student for fear of accusations of sexual misdemeanor, and in some offices the most mildly flirtatious of remarks is taken as little short of rape. Extreme licentiousness thus coexists with a Puritanism that out-Calvins Calvin. One minute we are told that anything goes, and the next that we must carefully censor ourselves for fear of permanently traumatizing anyone who might overhear supposedly salacious remarks. At last, Herbert Marcuse’s concept of repressive tolerance seems to make some sense: We can do what we like so long as we live in fear.

* Lynne Kiesling explains why ethanol is a dirty fuel. It's not just because of the politics involved.



posted by Michael at June 17, 2005


The visible thong straps are known as "whale tails," on account of their similarity to the horizonally oriented tails of diving marine mammals.

Posted by: Peter on June 17, 2005 10:46 PM

"Whale tail" is a great term! Is it meant to refer to the size of the female can? Or just the fluke-flipper-like shapes that thongs carve out?

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on June 18, 2005 11:36 AM

Well-defined themes? Cheeky, cheeky (literally). Why do you 'make' me click on these links? I am sort of a prude, you know :)

Digital cable with movies on demand has completely destroyed going out to the movies for me: there are always some quirky, arty things for 'free' and so I watch those! I used to love going out to the movies, but now I just don't think of going anymore. I mean, it is different to see a movie in the theater, but I never think of going anymore. Poor theater owners.

Posted by: MD on June 18, 2005 2:03 PM

Hmm, those next to last couple sentences kind of repeated each other, didn't they? Sorry.

Posted by: MD on June 18, 2005 2:05 PM

Whale tail indeed refers to the shape, no size implications involved.

Posted by: Peter on June 18, 2005 2:09 PM

MD -- I love the idea of a blushing MD! And to think that I'd been under the impression that the very first thing a doctor had to become was very objective about the body ... But, sorry: I should probably put "NSFW" or something like it (NFP -- not for prudes?) on such links ... Still, a blushing doctor ... That's pretty great.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on June 18, 2005 2:44 PM

"Extensive research..." heh, heh.

Posted by: azad on June 19, 2005 10:17 PM

Tapes were done for once it was clear that metal tapes weren't going to take off, which as a pity as today's metal tapes are amazing and have hardly any hiss.

Posted by: Scott Campbell at Blithering Bunny on June 20, 2005 7:54 AM

I love the line---we can do whatever we want, as long as we live in fear. If that's not America today!!....

I understand that visible thong straps and kissing each other turn guys on. I really do. But I just can't help feeling like all these young girls are growing up to be are...SLUTS. I don't like them. They may be fun playthings for guys--I get it--but they aren't interesting or mysterious or even slightly concerned with the universe. I don't think they will make good parents. I don't think they will contribute a major work of art. I can't help it--one woman's opinion---I think they are losers. I can't help but wonder who the hell raised these girls, and what does that say about them? And I know SOMEONE will now pile on and say "lighten up." Is is so awful to not want everyone to be so damn light that they are a twinkie? Is a little dense, rich chocolate mousse cake so out of line?

OK, tantrum over.

Posted by: annette on June 20, 2005 9:32 AM

Surprised how little traction the "white Christian" article produced.

I also was once a Democrat. Not so much a Republican, now, as I am an anti-Democrat. Yes, I'm white, straight and Christian.

Got tired of being the whipping boy of the Democratic Party. Got tired of being a member of the only group that is supposed to demure from pursuing its self-interest. Got tired of being the self-sacrificing saint who steps back so that blacks, gays and women can pursue their self-interests with a vengeance.

Thong panties, I don't care much about. Look pretty uncomfortable to me. Some women look good in them. Some women should stick with the above the waist briefs. I sell them in my Cafe Press store. Don't be taken in by how women look and behave when they are 20 years old. Doesn't mean much. Most of them will be sexless matrons by the time they're 35.

But. I do know that I'm very tired of the Democratic Party's act. I'm not on this earth for the greater glory of blacks, gays and women.

Posted by: Stephen on June 20, 2005 10:24 AM

I'll never understand why thongs are considered attractive. When I see one, I think string up ass. Of course, when I first discovered that some men really like asses, I was horrified because it struck me as being vaguely scatological. Like when dogs sniff each other's butts. Just ick.

Posted by: lindenen on June 20, 2005 12:47 PM

Oh, Lindsey, you miss on the whole culture.
German culture.

Posted by: Tatyana on June 20, 2005 1:06 PM

"Doesn't mean much. Most of them will be sexless matrons by the time they're 35."

Wow. You've had a sad life! And apparently met a lot of sad women! Kissing other women while drunk and showing their thong is not..uh...the only way to manifest sex. Not even the best way! :)

Posted by: annette on June 20, 2005 1:15 PM

Actuall, annette, I was married to one of the most beautiful and sexy woman in the world. She passed away nine months ago. Take a look:

View the tribute that I put up to her.

I'm not at all impressed by 20 year old women. They're just aping the pack. And, yes, they will almost all be sexless matrons by the time they are 35... if not sooner.

Fakery has become commonplace. It has become so common that people now value the fake over the real.

Posted by: Stephen on June 20, 2005 1:22 PM

Yes, Stephen, we're all aware by now of your beautiful departed Philippino wife (and your beautiful tribute to her) as well as your beautiful Philippino girlfriend.
As to the sexless matrons - the rest of now-20-somethings apparently will be married to closeted gays (in Stephen's world), so who cares how they would look at 35?

Posted by: Tatyana on June 20, 2005 1:35 PM

Yes, Tatanya, you should study my wife in depth. I doubt that you are anywhere near aware enough.

I suggest devoting your life to nothing else.

You might learn something. (Then, again, I'm realistic enough to know that that is unlikely.)

Here, I'll stick something in your craw. My girlfriend, in addition to singing with me, manicures my fingernails and toenails. She doesn't argue with me about who does the dishes.

Like my wife, she seeks to be complementary instead of argumentative.

And, yes, the young women are almost uniformly boring and sexless. Every year they seem more souless and less interesting. Stuffed full of egotism and individualism for reasons that are a complete mystery.

Everybody's a tart in college. It's easy. Doesn't take any guts at all. Boring.

Posted by: Stephen on June 20, 2005 1:44 PM

I'll take leave of this conversation.

However, I want to posit a truly fascinating theory. I don't post much on comment site, because some people almost invariably start screaming at me that I'm dominating the conversation, or that they remember so well what I said so many moons ago.

Could it be that this means that I actually have "ideas?"

Read the latest post on my site: I addressed this subject pretty thoroughly in "I'm Old Fashioned."

Have at me. Give me a thorough working over. I exit stage... well, not left.

Posted by: Stephen on June 20, 2005 1:50 PM

Oh, no no no, Stephen, please don't leave.

I'm sure you're full of ...ehem ...other instructive immortalities I (and other argumentative and sexless females) can benefit from.

(also, conservatives consider shameless self-promotion a tasteless and invasive. Traditionally.)

Posted by: Tatyana on June 20, 2005 2:00 PM

*Laughs* Stephen, you never fail to make me gag. That alone is impressive, given how much time I've dedicated to suppressing that reflex.

Of course, one of the issues I'm dealing with in my current relationship is tangentially related to the conservative relegation of your girlfriend to domestic duty -- my Vietnamese boyfriend seems to want an agreeable wife-like companion and can't understand that I have trouble fitting myself into that role. I'm simply much too argumentative. The idea that you and my homosexual Vietnamese professional boyfriend have much in common amuses me immensely, I assure you.

Posted by: Michael non-Blowhard on June 20, 2005 4:17 PM

P.S. He also likes country music and jazz and was raised a Baptist. So I'm dealing with a cultural two-fer!

Posted by: Michael non-Blowhard on June 20, 2005 4:18 PM

I'm a little late to the party, but for what it's worth I think that Stephen's site - - is beautiful, in sentiment and appearance.

Posted by: ricpic on June 21, 2005 1:42 PM

Has anybody noticed the relationship between the college girls displaying their thong panties and the paragraph quoting Theodore Dalrymple?

I have.

And, thank you, ricpic. Beauty is the reason to live.

Posted by: Stephen on June 21, 2005 4:08 PM

Aw, Stephen, I saw that post you made and so quickly deleted -- I appreciated the reference, even if I thought your logic was a bit shaky.

Posted by: Michael non-Blowhard on June 21, 2005 6:25 PM

Didn't delete the post. Scheduled it to post at 8 a.m. tomorrow. Put it up briefly for proofreading.

Posted by: Stephen on June 21, 2005 11:27 PM

I go away for a couple of days and return to find people calling each other names? Dudes! Name-calling is emphatically not encouraged around here. Can't we find ways to disagree in a civil way? Come to think of it, "Civil Disagreements" is a good name for a blog ...

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on June 22, 2005 5:09 PM

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