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June 03, 2009

Random Linkage

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

* T. aka Ricky Raw has some appreciative things to say about Vice magazine, and some not-so-admiring things to say about the new binge-drinking young gals.

* Bhetti shares some thoughts about binge drinking in the U.K.

* Alias Clio thinks that the helplessness of the victims helps explain the Catholic abuse scandals. The comments-thread on Clio's posting is an informative gem.

* John Hill gives the thumb's up to a new book that occasional Blowhard Francis Morrone has co-written.

* Martin Regnan offers some tips about how to be an asshole. My favorite: "Take every opportunity to say inappropriate things for little reason."

* Medical doctor MD thinks that "Scrubs" is the most accurate portrayal of the medical profession on TV.

* Alex Birch sees some virtues in a radical ecologist's book.

* After decades of being demonized, lard -- rendered pig fat -- is now not only considered healthy, it's downright chic.

* MBlowhard Rewind: I dissed "Angels in America."



posted by Michael at June 3, 2009


I enjoyed your review of Angels in America. I vaguely recall being repelled when, within the first 15 minutes of one episode, a guy was getting anally screwed by a hustler in Central Park after visiting his AIDS-stricken firend in the hospital. I declined to watch more, but some weeks later was sick or slumming and watched one of the episodes that Al Pacino's portrayal of Roy Cohn was central to. I can't recall anything else except Emma Thompson's angel, which I though was a ridiculous dramatic device.

Posted by: Peter L. Winkler on June 4, 2009 7:17 AM

Thanks for the link, Michael. Just one small correction: I said that the helplessness of the victims helps to explain abuse scandals in general, not merely sexual abuse scandals, nor only those which occur under the auspices of the Catholic Church. Allegations of abuse both physical and sexual have been made against teachers at residential schools run by every major denomination in Canada.

Indeed, my main point was that the common thread tying these scandals together, excluding those in the US, was that the children either had no parents at all, or had parents who did not speak the language of, nor understand, the majority culture in which they lived.

The other common thread, one which also ties in US Catholic schools and, please take note, secular schools, is of course that institutions tend to protect their own, even at the expense of putting children at risk.

I also pointed out that the sexual abuse cases in the US's Church-run schools were different, because they were entirely concerned with sexual rather than physical abuse AFAIK; and because the bulk of the incidents of abuse began at a later date than abuse in Canada, Australia, or Ireland.

That brings me to a suspicion I downplayed on my blog because I cannot confirm it with certainty. During my years of researching residential schools abuse, I found that victims of abuse during the period @1920-1945 were much more likely to complain of physical abuse and neglect. Allegations of sexual abuse from that period are fairly rare, though not of course unknown.

However, students attending the schools after the war were increasingly more likely to complain of sexual abuse, with the greatest number of abuse incidents occuring during the 1970s. This was also about the time when the incidence of sexual abuse in the US Catholic-run school system appears to have reached its peak (according to several sources I saw on online but cannot now track down).

I don't think it's unfair to speculate that sexual abuse incidents began to rise at a time when there was a general breakdown of social and sexual mores in the US. This is, I emphasize, speculation: the terms of our work didn't allow us to gather statistics on the date of abuse allegations. Nor do I know whether the question has been asked or the issues studied outside the US.

Posted by: aliasclio on June 4, 2009 10:49 AM

Eek. Clarification: Where my comment reads "helps to explain abuse scandals in general" it should be "helps to explain child abuse scandals in general".

Posted by: aliasclio on June 4, 2009 12:08 PM

Eek. Clarification...

Even Clio Nods.

Posted by: PatrickH on June 4, 2009 1:51 PM

Thx for the link!!!!!!


*I've been having a lot of fun with my blog lately - fun, what concept, eh?

Posted by: onparkstreet on June 4, 2009 2:26 PM

Yes, lard.

My wife made Carnitas last weekend, slow cooked all day in lard, and lots of it. It was heavenly. I'm sold on it.

A lot of good things are happening in the world of food, it's at least some consolation for the widespread crappiness nowdays.

Posted by: Todd Fletcher on June 4, 2009 4:41 PM

Personally, I reckon the best ever TV doctor drama was the British TV series Cardiac Arrest. It was a very, very accurate portrayal of our working conditions and the type of people one met in a hospital. The nurses union went ballistic after the first series was aired.

Posted by: slumlord on June 4, 2009 8:16 PM

"However, students attending the [Canadian residential] schools after the war were increasingly more likely to complain of sexual abuse, with the greatest number of abuse incidents occuring during the 1970s. This was also about the time when the incidence of sexual abuse in the US Catholic-run school system appears to have reached its peak (according to several sources I saw on online but cannot now track down)."

The standard source on the sexual-abuse scandals in the U.S. Catholic Church is the John Jay Study, which confirms your suspicions. Quote: "75% of the events
were alleged to occur between 1960 and 1984."

Why that should be so is an interesting question, which unfortunately I'm not really able to discuss properly after 2 pre-dinner cocktails.

Posted by: intellectual pariah on June 4, 2009 8:43 PM

Thanks for the reference, pariah. I knew I had read something of the sort, but google searches did not turn it up when I looked for the information.

The last paragraph of my comment was a bit confused. It ought to have said something about how it seemed that sexual abuse incidents had risen in Canada, and probably elsewhere, during the period you name, but that I had no statistics to support this - only those I had read of for the US cases and had been unable to track down.

Posted by: aliasclio on June 4, 2009 11:40 PM

Your "dis" of Angels in America consists of Straw Man arguments and PC whining. I'm beginning to see a pattern in this blog: paranoid conservatism. Don't worry! You don't need a reason to be an asshole. You just are.

Posted by: Ray Butlers on June 5, 2009 9:03 AM

My "dis" of Michael Blowhard consists of Dumb A** non-arguments and PC whining. I'm beginning to see a pattern in my comments: useless leftist hack stupidity. Don't worry! I don't need a reason to be useless and stupid. I'm a leftist hack, and I just am.

As always, my heart and mind are in your

Posted by: Butt Railers on June 5, 2009 9:33 AM

Butter Rails, you're a bore. Michael isn't a conservative and he's not particularly PC, either. (Although I don't know what you meant by your comment that his posts consisted of PC whining - I mean, why would you care, considering that it's your stock-in-trade?)

Blow it out your ear, you windy wolf.

Posted by: aliasclio on June 5, 2009 6:01 PM

You found that post interesting, did you, Michael? Hmm, I wonder why. Links in with Raw's. The UK media have been panicking about the female increases in smoking and drinking.

Not sure what to do about any of it, if there is something to be done!

onparkstreet: I don't like Scrubs much as a show. There's a frustration I have with the characters and their voices and I've had to sit with friends wanting to watch it when I didn't want to too many times.

I should really like medical shows more as a medical student, but the only one I've loved is House, which really challenges me on both medical scientific and ethical levels as well as being good entertainment. It's not realistic, no, but I like learning enough to discern which parts are not.

Grey's Anatomy was okay, as well. Mostly just the drama, not much the medicine.

Posted by: Bhetti on June 5, 2009 9:51 PM

I think poor Bull was trying to pull a funny when he used "PC" to stand for "paranoid conservatism". Look how he turned the tables on all those righties! Now "PC" doesn't mean "Politically Correct", as in toe-the-line within-the-bubble leftist hackery of the kind Rubble means something all bad and right-wing! Even though it uses the VERY SAME LETTERS! I mean, work it out. P. C. PC! Get it? Eh? Get it?

That Rub! Or is it Rutler? I mean Rail! I mean Butt! Isn't he a clever one?

Posted by: PatrickH on June 6, 2009 3:43 AM

Go ahead PatrickH: have the last word. it's your bubble, babe.

Posted by: Ray Butler on June 7, 2009 10:58 AM

Oh Clio, "blow it out your ear you windy wolf"? How absurdly fetching a breezy dismissal.

Posted by: Edifying on June 7, 2009 5:11 PM

It's from an old Warner Brothers cartoon version of the Three Little Pigs. I think Bugs Bunny makes a cameo appearance and utters those lines, but I could be misremembering.

Posted by: aliasclio on June 7, 2009 7:41 PM

It's from an old Warner Brothers cartoon version of the Three Little Pigs.

Oh Yeah, that's a great cartoon.

The Three Little Bops

Posted by: slumlord on June 8, 2009 4:08 AM

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