April 29, 2006

The Essence of Immaturity

Last night my boyfriend cooked us a fish entree--this stuff, in fact, but with cod instead of catfish. That meant I had to mix up a batch of the spice mix used for it: Emeril Lagasse's "essence." It's just paprika and cayenne and oregano and thyme with garlic and onion powders, plus salt and pepper--no big deal.

It didn't even strike me that funny at the time, that there's some goof out there calling a pedestrian spice mixture like that his essence. I was only annoyed that I hadn't halved the recipe, because we wound up with way too much of this stuff.

Today, however . . . .

"Oh, hey--your soup?"


"It's been kicked up a notch."

"Did you--"

"Yup. Partake of his essence!"

"Damnit, I knew there was something--all I can taste is thyme. It's like Thyme with Bacon. Here, taste it."

"No way, I hate bean with bacon. Besides, I'm not that kind of girl."

"Would you quit saying things like that?"

"I don't understand about the thyme, though. I only used a little. Just enough for you to be able to savor Emeril's essence."

"STOP it! I can't even look at this stuff now."

"I'm sorry. I thought it essential."

"Let's essence up your salad."

"NO! I--oh wow, that is just sick if you think about it."

"How do you think I feel?"

"'Waiter, there's an essence in my soup.'"

"Why didn't you just douse the hot dogs in it while you were kicking things up a notch?"

"Yeah . . . I could have hollowed them out, you know, and put the essence IN them. So it'd be more--"

"I'm throwing the essence away. It's not having a good effect on you."

"No way! I used the last of my garlic powder for that shit!"

UPDATE: It occurs to me that in substituting cod for catfish, my boyfriend won himself an evening of rubbing another man's essence into his cod pieces.


Posted by Ilyka at 01:43 PM | Comments (11)

April 26, 2006

I Give Up

I am behind on--well, you name it, I'm behind on it. Cleaning, washing, homeworking (both educational and financial), emailing, telephoning, despamming the blog (did you notice the other day, how I sort of forgot to do that? What a mess, huh?), thank-you notewriting . . . I mean, the cat is current on his insulin shots, I never neglect those--but other than that, everything here on my end is one wrong move away from DISASTER.

I'll see y'all after my final, say about May 15 or so. Then I will be able to tell you whether I succumbed to the temptation to write on my class evaluation, "Look, I wanted to learn Spanish, not marry it," and also whether or not I was able to write it in Spanish.

Posted by Ilyka at 02:01 PM | Comments (3)

April 21, 2006


So my Spanish class had its Colombian Night Wednesday. It was . . . interesting. Made me rethink some things. Here are some of my "rethink" moments:

  • While the event was still being set up, a film about Colombia played, narrated in Spanish. I was trying to follow along as best I could when one student's mother sitting near me stage-whispered to her daughter, "I feel so bad for that country. Those poor people." My professor, proudly wearing a Colombian soccer team shirt, was busy assembling decorations on the other side of the room and did not hear her.

  • The first presentation of the evening was done by one of the students using PowerPoint. Here is what I learned about Colombia, going strictly off his slides: Colombia achieved independence from Spain in 1810. Then, they started selling the rest of the world drugs. Then, Pablo Escobar rose to prominence as a drug lord. Then Escobar was killed. This was presented as an overview of Colombian history en total.

  • My professor was helped in setting up this event by another Spanish professor, a very charming and frankly pretty sexy gentleman who is a native of New Mexico, of Mexican-American descent. He leaned down and said to me, "You know, somehow I think there might be more to that country than las drogas." I smiled and told him I thought he might be right. My own professor wore a blank expression that could not really be described. Wait, yes it could: "Poker face." With a dash, only a dash, of disappointment.

  • One student's food offering for the night: A bag of Tostitos and salsa.

  • Another student's food offering: Fettucine Alfredo.

  • I made sobrebarrigas, in case you were wondering; I started with the recipe on this page (scroll down) and then tricked it up just a little bit, based on other variants I found online. I'm going to make it again, because it was fantástico and the ingredients are muy baratos, and we need more food like that in this house.

  • The student's mother who "felt so bad" for Colombia struck again, this time at the other professor, the frankly sexy gentleman from New Mexico. "So she's from Colombia," chirped Señora Pie en Boca, "but where are you from?" "From here," he replied, smiling. "I know, but where are you from?" The smile faded. "From here," more grimly. "Yes, but--" "MEXICO," the other professor said shortly. "Oh!" beamed la señora, but the other professor had already turned away from her.

    This was a simple "cultural activity" for a simple class of about 25 college students. It had been planned for nearly a month. It took place within 100 miles of the Mexican-American border. The participants were largely natives of this area. They grew up here, including the student's mother with a fondness for the sweet sweet taste of her own foot (of course I asked her; did you really think I wouldn't?).

    Never tell me what a dread specter of oppression "multiculturalism" is in this country again, or I will smack you in the face with a bag of authentic Colombian Tostitos.

    UPDATE: The boyfriend reminded me of one I'd forgot. I can't believe I forgot this; with any luck you'll understand why I can't believe I forgot it in a moment:

    A student we'll call "Tim," originally from Lauren's home state, stood up to give his presentation. This is his presentation in its entirety, verbatim:

    "I can't really cook anything, so I drew this picture. It's an Indian, and he's sportin' some coffee."

    So. Maybe I forgot that one because subconsciously, I kind of wanted to forget it?

    Posted by Ilyka at 12:56 PM | Comments (18)
  • April 19, 2006

    Dear Would-Be Philosopher Kings of the Internet

    This abuse of the concept of logic has got to stop.

    If I encounter one more dude in the Feministe comments passing off his demonstrably biased assumptions as "logic," even as that "logic" is being shown to be "not very logical at all, actually," I am going to lose my mind. Claim logic as the exclusive domain of your sex if you must, guys, but then, please: Acquaint yourselves with what the hell the stuff IS before attempting to use it. Hint: If it leads you to an absurd conclusion like, "You hope this woman's telling the truth; therefore, you hope she was raped!" . . . it's probably not "logic."

    I assert that if you continue to pervert logic in the service of such silliness, this man has more claim to being the intellectual heir of Aristotle than you do. Also (and I add this purely for spite), he is much more wealthy, handsome, and talented than you are, O Aspiring Aristotle of Mom's Basement.

    That's point one.

    Point two: This abuse of the Socratic method has also got to stop. Here is a comment I received today:

    A question, though.... why are you hanging around a mailing list when your default assumption to explain something you don't like includes labelling the people there as racist?

    That was written in response to this portion of my post:

    Someone on a mailing list I'm on recently posted about having been the victim of a crime; but it wasn't a rape, and this person was the right color.

    Number of people who challenged this person: Zero. Because we don't do this with any other crime.

    . . . and that comment would have been quite the Socratic little zinger, I guess, if only it hadn't depended on the three false premises that (1) I had called anyone "racist" or that (2) to do so was my "default assumption" or that (3) I employed this assumption to "explain something [I] don't like."

    That's a fucking boatload of false-premise goodness to cram into one question. But I know why some guys like to employ this method: It's so that when you call them on it, they can go all virtually wide-eyed and innocent and say, "But I was just asking a question."

    Yes! Yes, you were! But here's the thing: When your first-grade teacher told you there was no such thing as a stupid question?--That teacher lied to you. Further, I am not your mommy. I'm not going to be stricken with guilt at having come down on you so harshly for your faux-innocent question. YOUR QUESTION WAS IRREDEEMABLY STUPID, Socrates.

    You are hereby all sentenced to courses in Remedial Philosophy.

    To be taken only after you pass Remedial Reading.

    With a grade of "B" or better.

    Posted by Ilyka at 11:34 AM | Comments (7)

    Something I Hope We Can All Agree On (Again)*

    "Goddammit, I fucking draw the line at the sexploitation of nine-year-old girls."

    I do not generally issue so-called "cuss warnings"--I have this weird idea that you are all adult enough to click the "Back" button yourselves--but for this? Major cuss warning.

    Not that I find it undeserved, given the subject, and not that I don't have a filthy mouth myself. And not (before anyone gets on my ass about it--though they will anyway, because intrapost disclaimers never do a damn bit of good) that I agree with every single premise in the post linked above. I don't endorse it a hunnert percent.

    Then again, odds are real super-good that I agree with more of it than you think.

    The subject of the post is vile, yes, but not surprising. Anyone who's read the Harlan Ellison essay entitled "Our Little Miss" could have seen this one coming.

    UPDATE: It should go without saying, but you click the link included in the post linked above at your own risk.

    People exaggerate too much anymore, and especially on the internet; but it's no exaggeration for me to say right now that, as a result of my foolish compulsive clicking . . . I think I'm gonna be sick.

    *Because it turns out I called an entry by this very title already, unsurprisingly. "I'm crazy for recycling" sounds better than "I'm an uninspired hack," though, so that's the claim I'm staking.

    Posted by Ilyka at 01:25 AM | Comments (3)

    April 18, 2006

    Casting Aspersions

    The next time I encounter some tool in a comments thread cautioning against a rush to judgment in the Duke lacrosse rape case--and I must say, I have never read so many cautions against a rush to judgment in my life, about anything--I'm going to ask them to tell it to LaShawn Barber, who pronounced the whole affair a "fake rape" last week. Oh, don't worry: LaShawn's hopped aboard the "let's not have a rush to judgment" train now, of course.

    It's okay to rush to judgment, so long as you rush in the right direction. Besides, we have to do something! We have to do something about the feminists and the race-baiters who hate America. They're the ones who rushed to judgment first. They're the ones who took the accuser's statement at face value, can you imagine?

    Someone on a mailing list I'm on recently posted about having been the victim of a crime; but it wasn't a rape, and this person was the right color.

    Number of people who challenged this person: Zero. Because we don't do this with any other crime. A portion of the blame for that must be assigned to Tawana Brawley, but that doesn't explain why we were reacting so defensively to rape accusations before Tawana Brawley. Don't kid yourselves: Rape victims were smeared as lying sluts before Tawana Brawley and, if this case is any indication, they'll continue to be smeared as lying sluts long after.

    All Brawley did was make those smears more adhesive.

    LaShawn's busy giving the thumbs up to fatuous articles at Men's News Daily that caution young men to "stay away from feminists and strippers." She would do better to be reading about the actual experiences of black women who attend Duke University:

    Christopher: As a black female, you go to a party, you're expected to dance, you're expected to be sexually provocative. You [are expected to] want to be touched, to be grabbed, to be fondled.

    D. Williams: As if they're re-enacting a rap video or something. As if we're there to be their video ho, basically. We can't just be regular students here. We can't just go to a party and enjoy ourselves.

    Christopher: And just dance with your friends.

    D. Williams: No, it can't be just that. It always has to be something more. And you wonder why there aren't a lot of black people at white parties, why we self-segregate.

    Christopher: You go to a party, you get grabbed, you get propositioned, and then you start to question yourself. Did I give him some reason to think that I wanted to hook up with him in the bathroom? Stuff like that. And there is no reason. There's no reason unless I said, "I want to hook up with you in the bathroom." There's no reason to make that assumption. But it happens all the time.

    A lot of black girls come together and share this. "This has happened to you, too?"

    D. Williams: You realize you're not special. It happens to all of us here.

    Christopher: I had a friend come over for a study date and her friend just outright propositioned her, and he didn't understand why she was offended and asked him to leave. Another guy was outright, like, I've never been with a black girl. And when she got offended, he offered her money. People don't take that seriously. People don't care.

    Jamie Bell, a Duke freshman: I care. I'm from Durham. I didn't grow up in a sheltered, white community. My public high school was 50 percent black, 50 percent white. And I've noticed the segregation between black and white people on Duke campus. But honestly, I didn't know that's why it happened. And that's something I would want to know. If you don't think that anyone would listen, that's really sad.

    Maybe they don't think anyone would listen because so often, no one does--least of all LaShawn Barber, who in her own special way is accomplishing the same thing Tawana Brawley did: Making the road that much rougher for the next rape victim.

    (Many thanks for the link to the Independent article to the Constructivist, who sent me this link, which got me to the Independent. I chose to highlight the Independent piece here, time being annoyingly finite, but both are worth a read.)

    UPDATE: Ah, I knew I was forgetting something--it's Blog to Raise Awareness About Sexual Violence Day. An excerpt from the post:

    Sexual violence comes in all shapes and sizes and does not discriminate when choosing its victims. Although statistics show that the majority of victims are indeed women, it could be said that the burden of silence lies even more heavily upon male survivors.

    The effects of sexual violence affect all of us. It is an international ill that all countries must wage a war against. It is a crime that happens in our very own backyards as well as across oceans. No one is immune; everyone is vulnerable. And as such, all should feel equally compelled to speak out.

    Discussing sexual violence is not always easy, and it is certainly never pretty. But it is absolutely necessary in a world where rape, sexual abuse of children, human trafficking, female genital mutilation, and honour killings continue to take place every day. Silence only perpetuates these practices and crimes. We must speak out.

    I wish I could add anything to that, but I can't. Perfectly expressed.

    Posted by Ilyka at 07:24 AM | Comments (7)

    April 17, 2006

    Can't Post Right Now, Thoroughly Creeped Out

    I did the dumbest thing tonight--I let myself get caught up in reading that Underwood dude's weblog.


    I don't even know where to start.

    Maybe here: I'm like this with the true crime/serial killer aficionados--I give them a wide berth. I give the whole true crime genre a wide berth. I'm really loathe to read anything with an "inside the mind of a savage killer!" slant to it.

    I believe the victims get short shrift when people get caught up in the true crime stuff too much. I know some people make little symbolic gestures like being sure to state the full names of the victims, and to include photos of them in happier times, you know, BACK WHEN THEY WERE ALIVE, and blah blah blah, but let's cut the shit here, true crimers: When you're writing 17 chapters about a killer, you're focusing on the killer.

    It really bothers me. I've been involved in a violent crime; luckily, the intended victim survived, and I'm okay, too. We did all right. But I'll tell you, the big reason I mostly never tell anyone about it is because I can't stand seeing people get their True Crime Faces on. Their eyes go all wide, and they practically salivate requesting every mundane detail about the whole gory thing, and it becomes clear to me right away that they're no longer seeing me, I'm no longer a human being to them, I'm just the source of their latest fix.

    I can't stand that. Even the nicest, most well-meaning people will do it to you, too. They can't help it. It's the freakin' culture, the culture that peddles this awful shit as entertainment. After awhile, how else are you gonna see it?

    So I don't even get the luxury of being able to hold it against anyone personally. I'd have been that way myself, probably, had things been different.

    "No, but--wait, okay, I don't mean to pry here, but--how much blood?"

    All of which is to say that I have to despise myself for getting caught up in this freak show. There's a little girl DEAD, and I'm sitting there thinking, "Hey, maybe one good argument against women dating self-identified 'nice guys' is that sometimes, it turns out all they really want to do is to EAT PEOPLE."

    Remind me from now on: "If it's got a link to crimelibary.com in it, Ilyka, just don't read the damn post."

    Posted by Ilyka at 11:05 PM | Comments (9)

    April 15, 2006

    "Only Whores Use Frozen"

    Hey, they can't help it! It's heavily discounted at the Prostitute Grocery Emporium and Co-Op! You'd use frozen too if you could get it that cheap!

    Really, I'm all out of tricks on this one. I just don't know what to say.

    (Via Sadly, No!)

    Posted by Ilyka at 06:26 PM | Comments (16)

    April 14, 2006

    Right-wing Reading Lists

    I admit the first thing I thought on reading this story was, "Rick Santorum wrote a book? C'mon, who really wrote it?"

    Then I thought, "I'd trust this story a lot more if it were published somewhere besides in a press release from the Alliance Defense Fund."

    Then I thought, "Wow, these book recommendations are pretty poor quality, actually."

    All kidding aside, of course I don't think a complaint of sexual harassment should be filed against a librarian just because he recommended conservative books. Which is why I'd really like to see the complaint itself, not just the letter about the complaint sent by the ADF.

    The problem seems to be not Savage's book recommendations per se, but a book review posted on Amazon.com:

    The basis of this frivolous complaint is an excerpt of an Amazon.com book review that the complaining professors, not Mr. Savage, e-mailed to university faculty and staff after Mr. Savage suggested several books to the First Year Reading Experience committee.

    But here's what I don't get, assuming the nature of the complaint is as stated by the ADF:

  • Wouldn't it occur to you, if you were offended by these recommendations, that filing a complaint about them would only wind up conservatives and send them into We're the Real Victims Here mode? There are entire organizations just waiting for things like this to happen so they can pounce on them; so, what, you should feed them?
  • Failing that, wouldn't it occur to you that filing sexual harassment claims over book recommendations demeans legitimate sexual harassment complaints?
  • But whatever. Back to my main point: These are dreadful books, mostly, in my view. Not because they're dangerous or controversial or any of that nonsense, but because (with the possible exception of the Bat Ye'Or title; I haven't read it myself) they appear to be sloppy, slapped-together efforts with a main theme of "Things Were Better Back When." You know, before the radicals, the feminists, the gays, and other subversive groups Corrupted America?

    I don't know, maybe it's just me, but I don't think the way to introduce students to right-wing thought is to sell it to them as a compendium of the wit and wisdom of Grandpa Simpson.

    They aren't what I'd recommend, in other words. But then, I'm not a so-con. So I'd probably go with these:

    Parliament of Whores, P.J. O'Rourke: Yeah, it's primarily a humor book, but (a) P.J. is remarkably fair compared to the current dismal crop of Republican authors (he's quick to note that most people who work for the government do so because they believe government can fix problems, not because they want to steal your money and oppress you), and (b) it's worth it for the line about the difference between the political parties: "Democrats are also the party of government activism, the party that says government can make you richer, smarter, taller and get the chickweed out of your lawn. Republicans are the party that says government doesn't work, and then they get elected and prove it."

    The Road to Serfdom, Friedrich Hayek: Except (hangs head with shame), I've never read it. I KNOW--how can I recommend a book I've never read? First, because it comes up all the time among the right-leaning. It's a classic. Second, because it drew a favorable remark from, of all people, George Orwell: "In the negative part of Professor Hayek's thesis there is a great deal of truth. It cannot be said too often--at any rate, it is not being said nearly often enough--that collectivism is not inherently democratic, but, on the contrary, gives to a tyrannical minority such powers as the Spanish Inquisitors never dreamt of." Yeah, I have some nerve recommending a book I haven't read myself but come on, hands up who believes the librarian above actually read the Bat Ye'Or book? See, that's what I thought. Besides, I'll get around to it eventually.

    Lost Rights: The Destruction of American Liberty, James Bovard: I did actually read this one. I don't recall it having been quite so hysterical as the Publisher's Weekly review makes it out to be ("A bit less bluster and more discretion would have produced a more effective polemic."), but then, I also probably came to it with more innate sympathy than the Publisher's Weekly reviewer did. My biggest complaint about Lost Rights?--It's fucking depressing.

    Lest you be too quick to throw Bovard into the wingnut bin, note that he's better described as libertarian than conservative--and he's not the biggest fan of the current President. I haven't read his recent books on the subject, but I probably will at some point.

    Anything at all by Robert D. Kaplan: I wanted something foreign-policyish here and was going to recommend Balkan Ghosts, but then I thought, "No, The Arabists!" and then I thought, "Wait, he has a book out about the military now, doesn't he?" and then I thought--so you see. Anything at all. And again, compared to the current crop of hysterics dominating political bookshelves, Kaplan is staid.

    What would you recommend? (UPDATE: I mean, suggest any 3-4 books on any subject at all that you'd choose to introduce someone to your pet ideas. That includes religion, feminism, left-wing politics, scuba-diving, cooking, misanthropy--you name it. Knock yourselves out.)

    (Alliance Defense Fund press release via Ace of Spades.)

    Posted by Ilyka at 10:44 AM | Comments (11)

    April 13, 2006

    Weakest Link, My Ass

    Girl has guts, is all I have to say. Ain't no Wheel of Fortune up in there. Turns out the whole process is a lot harder than buying a damn vowel.

    Posted by Ilyka at 03:30 AM

    In Which a Lifetime Codependent Mourns the Missed

    Am I the only blogger who frets over missed searches?

    I don't mean fretting over search terms that have obviously missed. One I get all the time is, and I quote, "Lindsay Lohan nipple slip." I have one response to that:

    HEY! WRONG BLOG! You want The Superficial! Now fuck the fuck off!

    No, I mean the near misses. I mean those instances in which someone types in something that you recognize as being vaguely on a subject you once broached, but not exactly dealing with it.

    Am I the only one who wants to reach out over the internets and scream, "Wait! WAIT! I know I didn't deliver exactly what you you were Googling for, but actually, your original and very-clever search term has given me new ideas that I'm ready to discuss now?"

    Am I the only one who does this?

    I am?


    Posted by Ilyka at 02:51 AM | Comments (3)

    Remedial Anatomy

    I have been enjoying Persephone's Box today. But about this, I just . . . I mean, I tried to think what . . . it's like . . . look, I have no idea what to say about this:

    When my oldest daughter was a baby, her dad and I were discussing what to call her genitalia as she's getting changed and as she begins to label her own body parts. I said "vulva" of course, because that's what the whole exterior section is called. He argued "vagina" because that's where she pees from.

    Wait, wait! That'd be one thing in and of itself, but then, I kid you not, the dude tries an appeal to authority:

    Ahh, what? He was vehement in his insistence that all women urinate out of their vaginas. "I've known more women than you have, so I should know." It didn't matter to him that I've been living in a woman's body for my entire life. I eventually brought him a medical textbook to teach him how it all works.

    Sage? You are a much nicer person than I am. Because I would be telling everybody. It would not just be my best party story, oh, no; and of course it goes without saying that I would blog about it. Oh, of course.

    But I would go beyond that. I would literally be telling this to every person I met:

    Waiter: So that's one Mesilla combination plate, red, no beans, and one Alamogordo burrito plate, green, with shredded beef?

    Boyfriend: Yes. Oh, and could we get--

    Me [to waiter]: Hey, did I tell you? He thinks women pee out their vaginas.

    Waiter: Er--is that so?

    Me: I'm not kidding! I had to buy him an anatomy textbook!

    Boyfriend [through clenched teeth]: Thanks for dinner, because YOU'RE BUYING THIS ONE.

    I would spread that story far and wide. It would eventually wind up on Snopes.com. Marked "Status: True."

    Yes. She's definitely a nicer person than I am.

    Posted by Ilyka at 12:48 AM | Comments (5)

    April 12, 2006

    Bracing Against the Inevitable

    In comments to the previous post, Darleen Click writes:

    Jill just ASSUMED these guys were rapists. Hey, privileged white guys, black woman QED.

    I didn't touch the Duke case from the git-go precisely because it just smacked of the worst kind of politics, but when DNA evidence came out and suddenly DNA wasn't "important" any more, then it got to me. No presumption of innocence for these guys, even when court ordered tests come back showing NO LINK to the victim. At a minimum, 44 lacrosse team members are NOT rapists, but you'd never know that listening to Nancy Grace on CNN for crissakes.

    Rape is not a football game where we tout up the winners and losers in a court case and high five each other for another win for "our side".

    I'm interested in justice. It's one of my hot buttons. And justice is served up to individuals, not groups.

    Some of the blogsphere got rightly slapped around for the over-the-top nasty stuff said about Jill Carroll. The MSM in the Duke case needs the same kind of slapping around.

    I'm doing that thing I said I don't usually like to do--promoting something out of the comments and writing a post about it. I'm not doing it to eviscerate Darleen; I'm doing it because she gave me a good jumping-off point.

    I went back and looked at all the posts at Feministe to see if Jill had really "just assumed these guys were rapists." For primary-source fans, those posts are:

    Gender, Class, Race, and Rape

    More on the Duke Rape Case

    (Even) More on the Duke Rape Case

    Don't Read This.

    Those Duke Boys Just Needed a Dose of Chivalry

    Boys Will Be Boys

    I'd have to conclude that you could certainly look at the whole mess as Jill assuming these guys were rapists. I don't see it that way. I see it as Jill assuming the victim to be credible.

    There's a subtle difference there, but it's worth noting--because we generally don't assume rape victims to be credible, we as a society. The first thing we tend to do is look for ways to discredit her (and I say "her" because most rapes are perpetrated by men against women). Was she out late? Dressed wrong? Working in the wrong profession? Going places she shouldn't have gone?

    Jill, and others who have blogged about this, are not wrong to focus on the racial makeup of the case, because it invites more, not less, opportunity to discredit the victim.

    "Oh, she's playing the race card."

    Which is why I find Darleen's Jill Carroll reference so interesting--because Darleen compares Ms. Carroll to the Duke University lacrosse team members, not to the unidentified rape victim. And yet, I just read this last night:

    In case I'm incoherent, my main point is not that Jill Carroll was a saint or that she wasn't against the war, but only that she was a victim. Hostages are the victim and terrorists are the bad guys. In the middle of a crime, one does not attack the victim, you go after the criminal. That's all.

    . . . and I was struck by the similarities.

    Just not in the way Darleen was.

    In the middle of a crime, one does not attack the victim, one goes after the criminal. Wow. Sounds so simple put like that.

    Why can't we start doing this with rape?

    What I get out of the posts about this case is a sense of bracing against the inevitable. The very first comment at the very first post on the subject at Feministe encapsulates it:

    Well we know what is next don’t we. She is black and working as a stripper so she is obviously a whore and everything that happened is her own fault.

    Whereas the Lacrosse are hard-working hero jocks who could not possible rape anyone.

    And here's what disgusts me: The right did a shitty job of proving that commenter wrong.

    So, that black woman said, “No,” eh? First, she’s in a profession where she’s expected to do tricks for clients. Second, she’s walking into a house full of young, drunken athletes, who happen to be white. Third, she called the police and complained once; then she went back, but then left. And then she went back again! That’s a peculiar way of saying “No,” it seems to me. These racist black people just want a role model victim, with mistreatment wreaked upon the weakest of the weak: the black woman. All she has to do is cry, “rape by white male!” and she rules the world.

    Weak? How about “strong” – as in a strong manipulator?

    But she had to have the money, right? She just has to feed those children, pay that tuition, rent, car payment, and books. She’s not on welfare, scholarship, or assistance of any kind? Well, whatever she does receive may not cover her expenses. That’s quite possible.

    But, exotic dancing—and then to cry “abuse”? This may be pushing victimhood beyond reason.

    There's too much to be disgusted by here, and Jill already did a fantastic job of taking this apart. But I'd like to focus on the last two paragraphs, because if you can look me in the eye and tell me most conservatives wouldn't be just as quick to demonize the woman had she been receiving government assistance--if you want to tell me conservatives don't get all up in arms about welfare mothers and the welfare state and the way the gub'mint coddles Those People all the time, then only two possibilities exist: Either we inhabit completely different dimensions, or you're full of shit.

    I know that most of the conservatives I know consider FrontPage magazine the redheaded stepchild of conservatism. I see very few bloggers on the right ever source it, and there seems to be an unspoken consensus that Horowitz's enterprise suffers from a bad case of the crazy. (Side note to liberal bloggers: Most of us don't read Townhall that often, either. I think you're their biggest fans.) Nonetheless, it says something to me that we'll stay quiet about columns like this one while asking "the left" to "purge the moonbats." Something about a beam in one's eye, you know?

    One difference, one very obvious difference, between Jill Carroll and the unidentified rape victim, is that in Carroll's case we had evidence immediately that a crime had occurred. We had evidence immediately regarding who committed it. We don't have that in this case, and in that sense, Darleen's point is valid: It's wrong to presume to know, in advance, who did what.

    But I believe also that there are vast differences of degree between players being suspended and undergoing a criminal investigation, and a woman being called a lying, manipulative slut who deserved what happened, if anything happened; besides, she wanted it to happen, she was asking for it by working as an exotic dancer, she's clearly just using these poor, innocent boys as a meal ticket--dear God, if we're not to presume anything, then that includes not presuming she's lying. That means something may well have happened to her, and that means that now, on top of the original humiliation and degradation, conservatives have heaped on this woman additional scorn and debasement. Where the fuck are the family values in that?

    In the middle of a crime, one does not attack the victim, one goes after the criminal.

    That's all.

    P.S. I didn't want to have to spell this out, but I'm not a big fan of the ad hominem around here, unless someone is such a prick as to tempt me beyond resistance. However, I'm the one who decides who's that much of a prick, because I rule with an iron fist, don't you know. So snark against Darleen on your own blog. I know you've got one. Thanks.

    UPDATE: Before anyone else suggests I am making this case into a political banner, let me cite the words of a student present at Nifong's conference at Duke the other day:

    "I'm angry at two groups, and the Duke lacrosse team isn't one of them," said North Carolina Central senior Shawn Cunningham, a political science/criminal justice major. "I feel sorry and pity for them.

    "Who I'm angry with first of all are those who choose to blame the victim. (Applause.) The second group I'm also angry with is all these people with cameras and all these people with notebooks, because the press has disrespected this young lady. (More applause.) They have minimized my sister to a stripper and an exotic dancer. ... You don't identify her as a mother, you don't identify her as a student, you don't identify her as a woman." (Standing ovation.)

    That, right there, especially (but not only!) where I have added emphasis, is my issue. Not identity politics, not collectivization, not rape culture.

    I cannot possibly be any more clear on the subject and, from here on out, I'm not even going to try to be--I'm just going to assume you're either unable to read, or engaging in hackery.

    I have a longstanding policy of doing my level best to ignore dishonest hacks. I can recommend it. It is very good for the pursuit, and even the occasional achievement of, serenity.

    Posted by Ilyka at 10:47 AM | Comments (9)

    April 11, 2006

    Duke, Etc.

    All I have to say about the feminist blog commentary on the rape allegations against members of the Duke lacrosse team may be found here.

    It brings up for me an incidental note:

    If you're incapable of comprehending and accepting that feminist blogs focus primarily on feminist issues, I suggest you simply don't read feminist blogs. It's that simple. I'm talking to all y'all thumb-sucking titty-babies out there. You know what you remind me of? Creationists who hijack usenet groups about evolutionary biology, or Scientologists who try to shut down threads for cult survivors, or child-free advocates who barge onto infertility blogs--that kind of thing. You're a damned nuisance, you don't contribute anything so advanced as actual ideas, all you do is threadjack, and holy Gott im Himmel, DO YOU PEOPLE WHINE.

    And speaking of the threadjacking and the whining, I have made something for my cherished "Men and Women Are Different" commenters: Your very own blog! Here's all the info for it. Log in and change whatever you like! It's ALL yours! I'm giving it to you for a present!

    Username: ReallyItsTrue
    Password: theyare
    Email: menandwomenaredifferent@hotmail.com
    Email password: theyrenotthesame

    See if you can take that baby to the top of Technorati. I'll bet if you worked hard and applied yourselves, you totally could! It's such a fresh, fertile concept and, let's face it: It just doesn't get said often enough!

    Spread the news! Speak truth to power! Preach ye the gospel! Men and women are different!

    There, I feel strangely tranquil all of a sudden.

    AND FURTHERMORE: Ready to dismiss the charges as wholly fabricated, label the lady a worthless lying tramp, suggest she be prosecuted as such, and slam the book shut on the whole business, as some have been? Why, I do suggest you shut your ignorant pieholes there, Judgy McJudgersons!

    Nifong said prosecutors were awaiting a second set of DNA results, but did not say how those differed from the tests reported Monday. Nifong added that in 75 percent to 80 percent of sexual assaults, there is no DNA evidence to analyze.

    The district attorney said a rape case can built on testimony from the alleged victim and other witnesses. Nifong also said the hospital exam of the woman has led him to believe a crime occurred at the March 13 party.

    According to court documents, a doctor and a specially trained nurse found the alleged victim had "signs, symptoms and injuries consistent with being raped and sexually assaulted."

    Okay? Okay.

    THAT'S WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT: I may never know its author, but with this post, I am in love:

    When you start making me (OR MY KIDS) uncomfortable, you have declared war on Culture&Tradition, and we (Americans) do not have to stand for that. So if you want to be a Transvestite or a Butchy Bitch or whatever you call it nowadays, well, you'd better get your trucker's license or a ham radio set. Need I say more?

    Yes! Much, MUCH more! Keep up the good work! Start spreading the news! Number one with a bullet, baby!

    I love the parenthetical clarification (Americans). That just makes the whole thing, doesn't it?

    UPDATE, FINAL: More here.

    Posted by Ilyka at 01:20 PM | Comments (16)

    April 10, 2006

    Idle Thought While Researching Comidas Típicas de Colombia

    If Americans really are too fat--and the consensus seems to be that we are--then that, I assert, results more from our collective exercise deficiency than from the foods we eat. Inventors of the Big Mac? Yes, that's us all right, but come on: Even this overweight American can only recoil in horror from a dessert recipe calling for nine egg yolks and 1-1/2 pounds of sugar.

    UPDATE: Furthermore, your average Irish-American potato-lover (yo!) is a total fucking amateur, because to the best of my knowledge, even the Irish haven't figured out a way to put three different varieties of potato into one dish. And they didn't then make it their national dish, either.

    UPDATE, AGAIN: I swear on any sacred item you offer me that my professor has this photo posted on her "Sobre Colombia" page:

    My boyfriend is now firmly convinced of two things:

    1. I have the coolest profesora ever.
    2. Someday, somehow, he will visit Colombia.

    "Of course you will!" I chirped in response to item 2. "Blindfolded!"

    Posted by Ilyka at 09:27 PM | Comments (1)

    Moses and Meryl

    Meryl reviews the Ten Commandments remake, as only Meryl can:

    So, if it was God who parted the Red Sea (and we know it was really the Reed Sea, not the Red Sea, but let’s not go there for now, this is Hollywood), how come Moses went “Argh!” and “Ugh!” when the sea was parting? Because, like, y’know, uh — he didn’t do anything but lift that staff. And come on, nobody is that out of shape.

    Well, I might be that out of shape, if the events of yesterday afternoon are any indication. Even the atheists should be praying that I am never called to lead anyone out of the desert. Or into the desert. Or two blocks down the street, for that matter.

    Read the whole thing and enjoy.

    Posted by Ilyka at 08:56 PM | Comments (0)

    April 09, 2006

    I Went on a Hike

    Someone in this house forgot that Sunday is a day of rest. That someone is not me.

    Very stiff/dusty/achy/sunburned/bitter. More later. In the meantime you can look at all the pretty pictures.

    Posted by Ilyka at 04:51 PM | Comments (3)

    It Is Hubris' Birthday Today

    He just turned 21, of course.

    Everyone say "HAPPY BIRTHDAY, HUBRIS!" And then encourage him to make use of the guest login he's been issued here.

    Posted by Ilyka at 12:10 PM | Comments (8)

    Mr. Nice Guy

    Dear Man Who Introduced me to the Unsurpassed Joy of Jackie Chan Films:

    Hi! So! Operation Condor, yeah, it had no plot, but it was great. First Strike? Great. And I'll take your word for it that the DVDs ordered direct from Hong Kong in the original Mandarin-or-whatever are even extra great.

    Me gusta Jackie Chan. ¡Si! Did you know I even tried to watch the Disney version of Around the World in 80 Days? Even though it sucked? Even though, five minutes into it, I knew I could not continue? On account of the suckage? But I persevered for what must have been, gosh, almost 20 minutes. Just because it had Jackie Chan in it. JUST BECAUSE. I love him THAT MUCH.

    So, thank you. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for enriching my world with the J-to the A-to the C-to the K-to the I-to the E to the C-to the H-to the A-to the N.

    Yes, I typed all that by my own self. Because I love Jackie Chan films that much. This is all your fault.


    Why, why, WHY did you not mention to me that Mr. Nice Guy combines celebrity-cheffing with the trademark Jackie Chan ass-kicking? This is like Iron Chef if Iron Chef were any good anymore. Hey, how would you expect me to deal with the one-two knockout punch of celebrity-cheffing and ass-kicking? Would you expect me to spontaneously combust with happiness? Because I think you would perhaps be justified in thinking that!

    The man makes fresh pasta from scratch, WITHOUT A PASTA MAKER. I mean he makes it using only the dexterity of his hands. And then, and then, God bless him, he kicks all kinds of ass.

    This is my movie. If it only contained an Uncle Bob, and tequila, and an easily-expressed moral, it would surpass Urban Cowboy as my movie. Oh, yeah, the plot?--I don't CARE. It has celebrity-cheffing, and it has ass-kicking, in the same film. This movie officially RULES MY WORLD.

    I am just saying, it was very mean of you not to tell me about it. And even if you told me about it and I forgot, YOU SHOULD HAVE REMINDED ME.



    Posted by Ilyka at 02:48 AM | Comments (5)

    April 07, 2006

    Let Them Eat Cake

    This may be the stupidest thing I've read in awhile, and I've read a lot of stupid this week. But Ann Althouse, for sheer vapidity, you take the cake:

    A classic feminist question is why must it be women's job to make men good? One answer is that men will be so horribly bad if we don't.

    I'll leave the issue of whether "why must it be women's job to make men good" is really a "classic feminist question" to people better versed in feminist history than I. I'd like to focus instead on this notion that women should serve men because if we don't, "men will be so horribly bad."

    (Permit me this opportunity to remind everyone that it's the so-called "gender feminists" who really hate men.)

    This is Bill Cosby and the chocolate cake all over again. I can't believe we're still hearing this. Do you know what I'm talking about? It's this bit by Bill Cosby--I don't know where it's from and no longer remember where I first heard it*--where he tells the story of his wife nagging him one morning to, just for once, be the one to get up early and get the children their breakfasts so she can sleep in. For once, please God, let her be the one to sleep in on a Saturday!

    So as the Cos tells it, he gets up, utterly clueless as to what his children actually eat in the mornings, or where anything is located in the kitchen, or, well, anything at all about his own offspring and the house in which they all live, and so in the end, stumped, he simply lets the children persuade him to give them chocolate cake for breakfast.

    The wife gets up, sees the kids face-planted into plates of chocolate cake, and shrieks at Cosby to GO TO HIS ROOM.

    "Which," Bill concludes, smirking, "is what I had wanted to do in the first place."

    I don't know what Cosby's point with that story was but I'll tell you what I get out of it: When you think your man is playing dumb with you just to get out of doing his part around the house, you're probably right. See, otherwise, I have to believe Bill Cosby is too brain-damaged to find a box of Rice Krispies in his own kitchen, then perform the complex operation of decanting Krispies and milk into bowls--and while that's tempting to consider, ultimately I can't buy it.

    From what I can tell of Ann's post, to be a Christina Hoff-Sommers feminist (and we all recall what I think of that oxymoron), and to be receptive to Harvey Mansfield's premise in Manliness, you must embrace doublethink in the most fervent way. You must hold, simultaneously, the idea that men are intelligent enough, driven enough, and self-sacrificing enough to put themselves on the moon; and the idea that they are incapable of exercising any of these qualities to accomplish anything that might, however meagerly, help women--whether that's doing their share of the dishes, learning to sit still in class, or eradicating rape.

    You must hold, simultaneously, both the idea that men possess superior logical and analytical skills, are more rational; and the idea that men are utterly flummoxed, to the point of being no longer able to follow simple linear thought processes, when placed into that most ordinary of rooms, the kitchen.

    You must hold, simultaneously, the idea that men can endure worse hardships than women, living for months under threats of dehydration, starvation, and isolation-induced hysteria; and the idea that men cannot reach "the higher ethical levels of manhood" without, you guessed it, more fucking blood, sweat, and tears from women.

    It is this level of irrationality that fuels my disgust with Hoff-Sommers, Mansfield, and any other "oh no, wimmen are emasculating us!" whiner out there. And for the life of me, I cannot see what this has to do with conservatism except in the purest sense, that sense of wanting to stand athwart history, yelling "Stop!" Harvey Mansfield certainly does seem to want women to Stop. Don't you know your commitment to excellence in life is hurting men, bitches?

    But notions of standing athwart history aside, the idea that it is women's responsibility to civilize men is antithetical to conservative ideals of self-reliance, self-sufficiency, and self-sacrifice. I do not understand the current conservative fascination with claiming that men are the real victims in modern life. I do understand that I have grown immune to these complaints. I do not care if men "will be so horribly bad." It is my view that too many of them already are so horribly bad.

    It is further my view that ethics of accountability and responsibility demand that men fix the problems of men--not me. Or, as Hugo Schwyzer puts it:

    This is complementarianism (the notion that the two sexes have predetermined, specific roles to play in human relationship) at its worst. It burdens women with the task of making men better. It liberates men from taking responsibility for taking the primary leadership role in nurturing younger men into ethical, responsible adulthood. And it implies, none too subtly, that destructive and violent men become that way because of women's failures, not because of their own personal choices as males.

    (Hugo has some emphasis in the original, but that above is mine.) Hugo also brings his faith to bear on the issue:

    My Christian side cries foul as well, even more loudly. As Christians, men and women alike, we are called to become ever more and more like Christ. We all know the Epistle:

    When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.

    Paul didn't write:

    When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. With the constant pressure and encouragement of women in my life, I became a man; I put childish ways behind me only because my mommy and my wife helped me ascend to the higher ethical levels of manhood.

    Men and women alike are called to be "new creations" in Christ. As Genesis makes clear, rigid gender roles with their strict complementarianism are a holdover from the Fall, but in Christ all things are made new. To me, that has always meant that as a believer, I can never, ever, ever, ever, say "I'm just a man, I can't help being the way I am."

    I guess we don't have to worry about Hugo feeding anyone chocolate cake for breakfast. But it's okay if he does, because we can bank on Hoff-Sommers, Mansfield, Ann Althouse, and all manner of "equity feminists" to excuse him for it. He can't help it! He's a guy! That makes him almost as good as mentally deficient! (But, right, it's feminists who hate men.)

    I admire Hugo tremendously for putting the burden of achieving excellence where it belongs. Thanks, man, for not putting it on me or on any other woman.

    We have enough to do in a day, thank you.

    *Oh-ho! Here it is.

    UPDATE: Althouse updates her post to note that "some hotheads" out there "don't get" her sarcasm, and in fact:

    I heartily resist the notion that it is women's work to make men good.

    It's good to have the clarification, but honestly, I don't think I'm the only one who didn't get the sarcasm, and that sarcasm goes curiously unmentioned even as commenters on the post react to the statement literally, beginning with the third comment in the thread:

    It is comments or "questions" like these that make me absolutely dismissive of "feminists":

    "A classic feminist question is why must it be women's job to make men good? One answer is that men will be so horribly bad if we don't."

    Imagine the reaction if a similar but different construct was used from the other side. "A masculinist question is why it must be a man's job to make women tough. One answer is that women will be so horribly wimpy if we don't."

    Followed by:

    The problem Gerry, is that you have all these women crusaders on a crusade to change men who are perfectly fine as they are. The result is a continual buzzing of harrassment day-in and day-out that bleeds life of its beauty. I think the problem is that these female chauvinists have good intentions, and so are entirely oblivious to the harm they are causing in the world. They make the world a worse place for the majority of men, and we shouldn't validate their delusional perspective by presuming that men are naturally bad and need improvement.


    A classic feminist question is why must it be women's job to make men good? One answer is that men will be so horribly bad if we don't.

    I guess it depends on how you define "horribly bad". The PC thought seems to be that men are responsible for all that's bad in the world, war, famine, slavery, oppression, and everything else. This has been going on for a long time and if something could be done I think that it would already have been done.

    Finally Ann herself jumps in:

    I hope people are reading the whole article. The answer I present for the "classic question" is taken from Mansfield. It's not the feminists who say women are needed to civilize men. It's the traditionalists!

    . . . but while she correctly attributes Mansfield's sentiments, I don't see a whole lotta indication that his answer is one she "heartily rejects."

    So, is it me? Am I stupid? Am I just some hothead who doesn't get the sarcasm? Or is this simply the same routine every Friend of Glenn pulls when they're insulted? Because, you know, when you link an article with:

    I've been ignoring that book "Manliness" by Harvy C. Mansfield, but Christina Hoff Sommers is writing about it -- in the Weekly Standard -- so I'm going to pay some attention

    And that article is basically one long handjob for Mansfield, culminating in:

    The world of gender studies has never before had to confront anyone quite like this solitary rogue male professor of politics. Critics will rail against his excesses and feminists will be indignant and offended. But many women will be charmed by his effrontery, and grateful for the truth and wisdom in Mansfield's elegant treatise.

    Then maybe, I don't know, people would have to really fine-tune their sarcasm detectors to pick up on it?

    Well, it's back to ignoring the so-called big bloggers, for me. Because I just don't get their sarcasm, for one, and for another, they never engage their critics directly, with links, because They Have Too Much Dignity for That. I'm tired of their ridiculous pretensions, the whole "We're up here; you're down there" nonsense that has turned the writing on most big blogs dry, dull, and joyless--an awful lot more like their nemesis, The Mainstream Media, than most of them prefer to admit--because that's what Glenn Reynolds likes and that's what Glenn Reynolds links. To hell with them all.

    Posted by Ilyka at 12:41 PM | Comments (33)

    April 06, 2006

    Lotion and Panties

    He's not buying them for his girlfriend, and he's not buying them for himself. For whom, then, is Ryan purchasing lotion and panties? Oh, you'll see.

    Posted by Ilyka at 10:45 PM | Comments (5)

    No, I Don't Ever Really Get Tired of Them

    Besides, either it's this, or I find some way to take a photo of all the DUST that's been blowing around for 'bout the past month now.

    Do you think that I kid you about the dust? I assure you I do not kid about the dust.

    UPDATE: Luckily, dust-encrusted nerves can always be soothed through the magic of roasted red peppers marinated in vinaigrette with Roma tomatoes and garlic.

    I do not, of course, eat them as pictured above. I have only arranged them like that for your benefit. Normally I consume them straight from the Tupperware, because I am that low-rent, yes, but also because they are just that good.

    Posted by Ilyka at 05:43 PM | Comments (6)

    For the Animal Lovers

    Two things: One, I missed Helen's birthday. I am sorry, Helen; I am a terrible person. Many happy returns, belatedly.

    Two, and more important, Helen is thinking of having a fundraiser for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. She's maybe planning to sell t-shirts emblazoned with an image of the lovable puppy she's adopted from that organization. Personally, I hope she chooses this one:

    You can lend your support or just read more about it here.

    Posted by Ilyka at 01:06 AM | Comments (3)

    April 05, 2006

    Feminism in the Military

    I'd love to hear Beth's reaction to this excellent post on the subject:

    This came as perplexing to me, both his mention of the females and his response. "Why do you say that?"

    He shook his head, frowning and blowing out another plume of smoke. "Why do you think? How many females we got in our platoon?"

    "Ramos and West. Why?"

    Colton fixed me with a wry look of scorn. He glanced back toward the living room, then turned again to me. He whispered.

    "Look, dude, First doesn't want 'em. All they do is slow us down. Bring our PT scores down, make us fuckin' look bad."

    I took a drag, shrugging him off. "How do you figure? Ramos got like a 290 on her last PT test."

    "Yeah, and she's what? Forty?"

    "Thirty-six," I corrected him. "And she only did 15 fewer push-ups than I did." I exhaled. One of the local wives walked through with dirty silverware. "Don't care who you are, man, at thirty-six? That makes you a stud."

    I have a real weakness for posts that use dialogue effectively. In fact, I think I'm beginning to have a real weakness for the entire blog--it's called The Calm Before the Sand, and you can get to know its author here:

    "Milo Freeman," of course, is a pseudonym; the surname borrows from the name of my paternal great-grandmother, while "Milo" is a pet name from an old girlfriend, from the Greek Milos, or "Soldier." As of yet, I don't feel entirely comfortable posting under my real name, due to concerns about administrative repercussions. So, for the moment at least, Milo Freeman will have to suffice.

    I should begin by divulging some information about myself. I'm a U.S. Army specialist with the Corps of Engineers, just shy of my 23rd birthday. I've been in the Army since early 2004, and have been serving on Active-Duty since July of 2005. I'm currently stationed in central Germany with my wife, and my unit has recently received orders to deploy to Iraq, sometime later this fall.

    If you stop by (and I think you should, because the dude writes beautifully), wish him well.

    (Via comments at Feministe.)

    Posted by Ilyka at 11:46 AM | Comments (0)

    April 04, 2006

    In Which I Alienate Whatever Remains of My Conservative Readership

    . . . which I think is down to about two, maybe. Unless Ith has already read me this week; then it's one.

    Oh, well, what the hell. Listen:

    If I read one more self-righteous back-patting piece by one more pompous naturalized citizen of these United States, bragging about how THEY got into this country LEGALLY even though, yes, it was a hassle and yes, it cost them money, but by gum they saw it through and did things The Right Way blah-diddy-blah-blah-blah, I'm gonna puke.

    And then I'm gonna save up my money until I can afford to fly 'em down here, and then we're gonna take a little trip over to Juarez.

    I've never been myself, so it'll be an education for the both of us. But let me tell you, if you can look out the car window as we're zooming down I-10 and honestly tell me that if it were your misfortune to have been born there, you'd willingly stay there, and/or deal with the corrupt officials and the waiting lists and the money you don't have because you weren't born with a pot to piss in, and you'd dot all your i's and cross all your t's rather than just sneak across to feed your mama, your papa, your kids, your grandparents, YOURSELF . . . not only are you lying through your teeth, but I'm gonna have to throw you out the car for even trying to pull that one on me.

    The speed limit on I-10 going past Juarez is 60, but I'm not good with speed limits. I do about 70. Consider padded clothing.

    No way in hell am I awarding Good Citizen points to some joker immigrant, especially some joker immigrant from the British Isles or Western Europe, for coming here legally. Of COURSE you came here legally. You know why? Because you could, dumbass. Because it was possible where you came from. No corrupt official stole your application fee and then laughed at you when you tried to get it back. Nor did that application fee constitute the onliest money you had.

    I don't know what to do about the damn U.S./Mexican border, frankly. I haven't got a clue. All I'm trying to say is that people who were fortunate enough to be able to come to this country all legal-like ought to take a minute to consider why that was, and then take another minute to be grateful for it, and then take another minute to ask themselves whether their situations were really so exactly similar to the situations of the guys I see riding around in the backs of landscaping trucks every day.

    You know whose opinion I could listen to on the subject of immigration? The opinion of some guy who got here in a homemade raft. But you, the one who flew over on Lufthansa? You need to shut up and sit down, amigo.

    I'm not saying it's impossible to come here legally from Mexico. But it's damned difficult in a way you, I, and anyone else who hasn't lived it can't begin to imagine. And meanwhile, if you're impoverished and living in a Mexican border town, every day you're looking at the promised land. Every day. Tell me that wouldn't get to you. Tell me you wouldn't ever say to hell with it and just vote with your feet.

    You want to tell me you wouldn't ever even think of sneaking across that border, O Upright Naturalized Citizen?

    Let's find out.

    Posted by Ilyka at 11:08 PM | Comments (17)

    April 03, 2006

    Culling the Herd

    The man makes an excellent point: I can't plan for shit.

    What I love are the people in the comments arguing with him, though. Oh, yeah, that's gonna work swell.

    Posted by Ilyka at 09:21 PM | Comments (4)

    Also Thumbs Up To

    . . . Beth, who's never funnier than when she's on a tear against someone; in this case, Debbie Schlussel. But this is the part, regarding the release of Jill Carroll, that I really have to give a hell-yeah to:

    She’s an American, and the terrorists are the enemy. Those who attack Carroll practically legitimize her being taken hostage. Guess what, Debbie? Islamofascists don’t give a shit if an American is a conservative or liberal, or even if they’re antiwar. We’re AMERICAN, which to them is wrong no matter what. If anyone is acting sympathetic to the terrorists, it’s those who act as though she shouldn’t have been released–or worse, deserved what she got.

    What she said.

    Posted by Ilyka at 11:10 AM | Comments (5)

    In the Words of Others

    Two posts that hit me on a personal level about women and faith: Jill of Feministe on God and abortion rights, and Dooce on Mormons, polygamy, and the overall status of women in the Mormon faith.

    I don't have much to add to either, except this tidbit on the Mormon thing: The day my seminary teacher ended an argument with me about whether polygamy would occur in the afterlife by asking me, "If you want to breed chickens, how many roosters do you need?" was, though not the day I actually left that church, the day I knew I one day very, very soon would leave that church. It cemented the whole deal in my mind--or more accurately, the revolting smirk on the face of that man as he asked that question did.

    (You know, I'd still like to kick that guy in the balls. Brother Searle, wherever you are, please know that yea verily, thou art a douchebag.)

    And I did leave that church. For anyone who wonders why, then, I would turn around years later and convert to Catholicism, another religion often accused of assigning second-class citizen status to its women, I can only offer this: Because when you've been taught to compare women to breeding hens, a religion that teaches you to call on them for intercession with the Almighty is actually a mind-blowing upgrade.

    I should add that Jill is kicking all kinds of ass lately, as with this post about ugly feminists, which as we know is really all feminists. You know what I like to do sometimes? I like to sit and wonder how feminists can be simultaneously ugly and promiscuous. It's like pondering the sound of one hand clapping for me.

    Posted by Ilyka at 09:25 AM | Comments (4)

    April 01, 2006

    I Think It's Called a Vicious Circle

    The only thing funnier than this parody site is the reaction to that parody site, which perfectly justifies the parody, which provokes the outraged response, which further reinforces--okay, I gotta lie down a minute, my head's spinning.

    Posted by Ilyka at 08:46 PM | Comments (8)