May 22, 2006

Couple Things Real Quick-Like

First: A thorough analysis of the likely unintended consequences of, and questionable science behind, those CDC guidelines for pre-pregnancy care (briefly touched on here) from TP with Page Numbers. Conservatives and libertarians alike ought to be able to sink their teeth into this post; it's one of those I found difficult to excerpt because the whole thing's a beaut, but here's a bit:

Just as secondhand smoke (a negligible danger) was blown out of proportion “for the children”, you know that everything on this list will be blown out of proportion, too, so that the CDC can continue to expand its bureaucratic scope. If that leads to loss of freedom, such as private businesses being banned from permitting legal activities such as smoking on their premises, so what? Unintended consequences be damned.

And (I told you it was difficult to excerpt!):

US low birth weight deaths are generally a result of medical techniques that save high risk fetuses that would be the subject of spontaneous abortions in other countries, and of course those babies die at an increased rate. Sure, some of those deaths are due to poor prenatal care, but not as many as that paragraph would have you believe. The CDC is using those statistics to increase funding for its prevention programs, which are of equivocal value, (given how poor decision making is what led to a lot of these high risk pregnancies in the first place***) and the AMA and every other do-good, anti-freedom group has just been handed a “for the children” excuse to try to regulate the lives of millions of women. For the feminists who believe that the struggle is about freedom, rather than government empowerment, and for the libertarians who believe the same, these guidelines do not bode well.

[Emphasis mine.] Now THAT, damnit, is what I am talking about. Don't miss the excellent examples of prior CDC shenanigans he provides, either. Hey, did you know you probably have arthritis?

Second: I was going to do this up as a little comic until I recalled that, sadly, I cannot draw. It is too bad, because sometimes I think you can get ideas over with comics better than you can with boring old words, but what can I do? I can't draw and I don't have time to hunt for clip-art and I'm not funny enough to pull it off besides. So just imagine it this way:

Your roommate, or your spouse, or whatever--a friend, anyway--brings over a DVD that he raves to you is the last word in Star Wars parodies. "Do they do the whole series?" you ask, quaking a little at the thought of spending over 12 hours in front of the television. "No, no, of course not," your friend assures you, "they just poke fun at everything Star Wars. Runs about 90 minutes."

"Okay," you agree.

So you sit down, and you watch a scene in which two monkeys fling poo at each other.

"Uh . . ." you begin. "Just wait, it gets better," promises your friend.

Forty-five minutes later you have watched . . . forty-five minutes of monkeys flinging poo at each other. Your friend has been laughing fit to kill the entire time, pausing only to gasp out praises like "perfect" and "oh man exactly."

"Dude, is this all there is?" you finally ask. "It's just monkeys flinging poo at each other. How is this a Star Wars parody?"

"Oh man, you just don't get it, do you?"

"No," you say, "I recollect no monkeys in Star Wars. Ewoks, sure. But they didn't fling poo at each other."

"The poo is symbolic," your friend explains. "But I mean, other than that, this is just dead-on. I can't believe you don't get it! Everyone loves this movie."

Now you're suspicious, because you recall that "everyone" has traditionally liked a whole bunch of things that you don't including, at one dark point in history, Love Boat and Fantasy Island.

"Have you even seen Star Wars?" you demand of your friend.

"Oh come on," he says, clearly disgusted with your nonstop fun-spoiling, "Everyone's seen Star Wars."

"But have you seen Star Wars?"

"I said 'everyone,' didn't I?"

"I don't think you've seen Star Wars. This is nothing like Star Wars! This is one endless scene of monkeys throwing poo at each other! No robots! No light sabers! No 'Force'! No Jedis! No space ships! NOTHING!"

"Okay," your friend admits, "I didn't really see any of the Star Wars movies. But I had this dorm mate in college who was really into the whole thing, and he was kind of a slob, the kind of guy who never flushes the toilet? So to me, this is perfect."

"And the fact that monkeys and poop have nothing to do with the actual Star Wars series, that doesn't bother you a bit."

"Geez!" your friend shouts. "Would you lighten up? I can't believe you're getting so bent out of shape over a little comedy!"

Anyway, that is roughly what it is like to do any feminist blogging: Some buttmunch can always be counted upon to point and laugh and go, "Look at the hysterical poo-flinging monkeys! Ha, ha!'"

Which is pretty funny, until you look at the posts about the CDC from feminist bloggers and realize that they don't live up to the hype. They fail to deliver on the hysteria front, nor do they incorporate poo or monkeys. What they actually do--and I mean no offense with this remark, because consider the subject a minute--is pretty dull. They start from a news article and respond to that, and research some more and respond to that, and bounce some ideas off each other along the way, and just basically do what all bloggers do, feminist or otherwise.

Though that's not to say you can't find some, ah, very passionate commentary if you look hard enough, something Mr. Bingley apparently did.

To Mr. Bingley I can say only this: Dude, you're linking blogs from I should not have to say anything else, but I will: Feministe averages 2,724 hits a day - modest by some standards, but nothing to sneeze at (and easily over 10 times what I manage, I should add. But then, I am very lazy.). Pandagon doesn't publish Sitemeter stats, but does very respectably according to Technorati. Bitch, Ph.D. averages 4,492.

But no, let's go with what that chick on myspace had to say about it. It's like how when you want to tackle the hot conservative issue of the day you go straight to Free Republic instead of to Instapundit or Captain's Quarters, am I right?

And now I must leave off to do my chores. A woman's work is never done--at least is isn't around here, primarily because it so seldom gets started in the first place.

Happy Monday, peeps.

Posted by Ilyka at May 22, 2006 12:41 PM in hell is other people

Point taken. I was really looking at what they were saying and not really paying attention to where or their size. I really didn't have to look that hard; I simply pulled random posts off technorati.

And I agree, John's post, like most of his, is a beaut.

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at May 22, 2006 01:15 PM