Raznor's Rants

Costarring Raznor's reality-based friends!

Monday, July 31, 2006

A response to AW

Posted by Raznor

Well, I'm at a point at my thesis that I really can't do much more before meeting with my advisor later today, so I thought I'd write this response to a comment AW left in this post. First some background info.

Over at Feministe, Zuzu wrote a post about the uselessness for women to try to follow the "be careful so as not to be raped" advice that is so prevalent, finishing with this:

So, which is it? Don’t go to bars, don’t leave the house, or don’t stay home?

In the comments, ginmar made the observation:

[H]ave you noticed how rapists get the community’s sympathy whiel the victims get slammed? Have you noticed pregnant single mothers are either sluts or lying sluts who just trap men? Any of that ring a bell? I could go on.

AW responded:

No. Doesn’t ring a bell in the slightest. Not everyone lives in the same circumstances as apparently you do. Your community is pretty shit isn’t it.

To which ginmar responded angrily, saying:

Aw, troll. Go read Our Guys, Virgin Or Vamp, or any other books on rape. I’m not your fuckin’ mommy.

This devolved into an argument and eventually AW got banned.

I'll pause here for a moment and say a word about ginmar. For those like me who frequent a lot of feminist threads, ginmar is a pretty familiar face. She is a passionate radical feminist, and has a very confrontational writing style, that may appear rude at first. But she is also very intelligent, and I've found adds a lot to a discussion so that she'll often leave me questioning my own internal assumptions.

Anyway, when weekly rob came in and defended AW against ginmar (after AW had been banned) I felt compelled to reply by saying

the thing is, when aw says “your community is shit” he’s not implying that he’s lucky and lives in a good community and expressing sympathy to poor ginmar for happening to live in a shitty community, he’s giving a snarky condescending comment that ginmar doesn’t know what she’s talking about. And it requires at best a willful ignorance and blinding by his male privelege. AW is a man coming into a feminist space. He has to do the work to attempt to understand the perspective of the women here, not the other way around. And if he refuses, then what can he possibly add to the conversation?

Well, being banned from Feministe, AW decided to come to my blog and post

This is unfair really. I am in fact doing exactly what you say I'm not doing in your first sentence. I'm very lucky to live around the enlightened people who make up my community. It's partially self-selecting, since I'm mainly in a very large university town where I have a pick of people to hang around with, and don't have to mix with sexist idiots. But I realise not everyone else is so lucky.
And I meant what I said. Not what it was taken to mean. I genuinely think the people who have those opinion (blaming rape victims etc) are Shit. I expected her to agree.

I was also suggesting that blanket statements, rarely contain any sizeable truth, since the variety of human experience and etc is very very wide.

You say that I have to do the work to understand those women around me on the feminist website, rather than they working to understand me. And that's fair enough. And I would have explained what I meant - as I just did above - had I not been summarily banned. I tried to explain myself, but was prevented. So I hardly feel it is a case of me being willful.

Well, earlier in his comment, AW shows himself to being a Muse fan, thus I am now predisposed to liking him. So I'm willing to concede that AW had the best of intentions. Nonetheless, with maybe the elimination of the word "willful", I stand by what I said.

I'll ignore the fact that no matter how much AW defends it, his initial comment seems very snarky to me. Anyone who posts on web forums will come across a time when a poor choice of words will make a comment seem much different than intended. But even giving him the benefit of the doubt, it shows a profound ignorance of something that is extremely obvious to people like Zuzu and ginmar - that is that it is his male privelege that allows him to ignore the prevalence of rape. Maybe he's not noticing slut-shaming that victims of rape go through, but slut-shaming is something that can easily remain hidden from those not on the receiving end, and it serves a purpose to keep victims of rape from speaking up. And sadly, this goes on even in progressive communities.

Maybe AW is right about his community, and it would be great if he were. It would be nice if there was a community where slut-shaming does not go on for victims of rape. But the thing is, AW is not in the position to be able to determine that about his community. And until he realizes that, there is not much he can add to a feminist discussion.

Young Ray Davies Weighs in on Revolver

Posted by Ross

As a companion piece to my write-up of the Ray Davies concert, here is Davies' 1966 track-by-track analysis of Revolver, which appeared in last month's UNCUT (though I have seen it printed elsewhere, as well):

Taxman "It sounds like a cross between The Who and Batman. It's a bit limited, but The Beatles get over this by the sexy double-tracking."

Eleanor Rigby "I bought a Haydn LP the other day and this sounds just like it. It sounds like they're out to please music teachers in primary schools."

I'm Only Sleeping "Much prettier than 'Eleanor Rigby.' A jolly old thing, really...definitely the best track on the album."

Love You Too "This sort of song I was doing two years ago - now I'm doing what The Beatles were doing two years ago."

Here, There And Everywhere "This proves the Beatles have got good memories, because there are a lot of busy chords in it. It's nice - like one instrument with the voice and guitar merging. Third best track on the album."

Yellow Submarine "This is a load of rubbish, really. I take the mickey out of myself on the piano and play stuff just like this. I think they know it's not that good."

She Said She Said "This song is in to restore confidence in the old Beatles sound. That's all."

Good Day Sunshine "This'll be a giant. It doesn't force itself on you, but it stands out like 'I'm Only Sleeping'. This is back to the real old Beatles. I just don't think the fans like the newer electronic stuff. The Beatles are supposed to be like the boy next door, only better."

And Your Bird Can Sing "Don't like this. The song's too predictable. It's not a Beatles song at all."

For No One "Better than 'Eleanor Rigby' - the French horn is nice."

Doctor Robert "It's good - there's a 12-bar beat and bits in it that are clever. Not my sort of thing, though."

I Want to Tell You "This helps the LP through. It's not up to Beatles standard."

Got To Get You Into My Life "Jazz backing - and it just goes to prove that Britain's jazz musicians can't swing. Paul's swinging better jazz than the musicians are playing, which makes nonsense of people saying jazz and pop are very different. Paul sounds like Little Richard... it's the most vintage Beatles track on the LP."

Tomorrow Never Knows "Listen to all those crazy sounds! It'll be popular in discotheques. I can imagine they had George Martin tied to a totem pole when they did this!"

Friday, July 28, 2006

Friday night music

In a tradition started by Atrios, I thought I'd do some late night music blogging. In honor of me getting the latest Muse album today, I thought I'd post one of my favorite songs of theirs. Enjoy.

Concerning the Ray Davies Concert the Bekka and I attended July 16 at the Wiltern Theater

Posted by Ross

Playing for a standing room-only crowd on the ground floor, Ray was lively, energetic, and looking considerably less harsh and bald than recent photos have indicated. He came on stage with a green guitar, white sneakers and a pair of skin-tight, scrote-squeezing jeans, opening with that great identity anthem, "I'm Not Like Everybody Else."

I love the Kinks. They were maybe a year behind the Beatles, and if they weren't as good as the Fab Four, they were close. I would even go as far as to say, if any band could have been the Beatles, it was the Kinks. And I wouldn't say this of the Stones or the Who (The Beach Boys are excluded because they're not British). Plus, the Kinks' catalogue dwarfs that of the Beatles.

Ray's new album is tremendous. Interestingly enough, though, he didn't perform three of my favorite songs on that album, the title track "Other People's Lives," "Stand-up Comic" and "Life After Breakfast."

Being stoned out of my gourd (as per usual concert-going protocol) I was filled with all kinds of dark thoughts when Ray played "20th Century Man," the opening track from the Kinks' masterful 1971 album Muswell Hillbillies.

How could even a stone-cold sober person not be filled with dark thoughts when this is the song's first stanza:

This is the age of machinery,
A mechanical nightmare,
The wonderful world of technology,
Napalm hydrogen bombs biological warfare

And clearly, I was not alone in these forboding revolutions of the subconscious, as, when the song came to a close, the bald middle-aged gentleman in front of me raised both hands high in the air, exposing sweat-stained pits as he flashed "double-devils."

At least from my place two-thirds of the way toward the back of the balcony, it was hot and stuffy at the Wiltern, wafts from the wheezing A.C. drifting our way with dissatisyfing infrequency. The sound, also, was fuzzy and distorted at times. I'm not sure why this was, as I've been to other Wiltern shows where the sound was amazing. I had probably the worst seat in the theater when Dylan was there, and I was certain I was hearing the most beautiful music being played on planet earth.

I went slack-jawed when Ray played the opening strands of the sweet, but somewhat goofy, "Celluloid Heroes." Don't get me wrong, I love that song, and considering it's an appropriate one for a Hollywood audience, maybe I shouldn't have been too surprised to hear it. He played a truncated version, ending it with Greta Garbo, who "Turned her back on stardom, because she vanted to be alone." He didn't make it to the lyric that always moves me: "Stand close by Bette Davis, because hers was such a lonely life."

Despite the uncomfortable temperature, sometimes shaky acoustics and having our water bottle confiscated by security on the way in (can you say cotton mouth?), the concert was a whole lotta fun. Davies insists upon his audience singing along as much as possible and will, from time to time, completely stop the music on stage and make the audience carry the tune. I like to sing along at concerts, but sometimes feel self-conscious, so I appreciate getting a prompting from the big man on stage.

The night's playlist:

1) I'm Not Like Everybody Else
2) Where Have All the Good Times Gone
3) After the Fall
4) All She Wrote
5) 20th Century Man
6) Next Door Neighbor
7) Creatures of Little Faith
8) Over My Head

while the band took a break, Ray did three acapella requests, singing a round or two of the choruses of:
9) Victoria
10) Sleepwalker
11) A Gallon of Gas

12) Harry Rag
13) Dead End Street
14) Sunny Afternoon
15) Things Are Gonna Change (The Morning After)
16) Til the End of the Day
17) Celluloid Heroes
18) Oklahoma U.S.A.
19) The Tourist
20) All Day and All of the Night

Encore 1:
21) A Long Way From Home
22) The Getaway (Lonesome Train)
23) Tired of Waiting For You
24) Set Me Free
25) You Really Got Me

Encore 2:
26) Low Budget

Let's Do a Friday Random 10

Posted by Raznor

I'm desperately trying to get my Master's thesis finished by the end of next week, so posting will likely continue being light. Then I'll be moving to Seattle in September, so yeah. Busy.

But I thought while I'm working I could still do a FRT, so enjoy. Leave one in comments, those readers who still check by here.

1.) "Don't Ask Me I'm Only the President" - Badly Drawn Boy (how utterly appropriate)
2.) "Heresy" - Nine Inch Nails
3.) "Wonderboy" - Tenacious D
4.) "Back of My Hand" - Rolling Stones
5.) "Lazy Flies" - Beck
6.) "Via Chicago" - Wilco
7.) "Too Much of Anythning" - The Who
8.) "It's Hard to be a Saint in the City" - Bruce Springsteen
9.) "Deep" - Citizen Cope
10.) "Division Day" - Elliott Smith

And there you go. Have fun.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Who in their right mind wouldn't love George Harrison?

Posted by Raznor

Here's the former Beatle singing the Pirate Song.

(h/t Atrios)

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

I'll send this one through the tubes

posted by Raznor

John Stewart on Ted Stevens amazing understanding of technology:

I mean, sweet Jesus. This is the man who may hold the future of the internet in his hands!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

DailyKos Flame War Makes Fox "News"

Posted by Raznor

This is hilarious.

The most prominent disgruntlement came in a "diary" written and posted Saturday by Maryscott O'Connor, who describes herself as a "contented and fulfilled ... denizen of the Daily Kos community," and is now the proprietor of My Left Wing, "a spin-off of Daily Kos."

O'Connor, who was actually the subject of a 2,181-word front-page Washington Post article about the liberal blogosphere published in April, began her July 8 diary entitled "Something is Rotten in Blogmark":

"Sometimes I am embarrassed to call myself a member of DKos. This is one of those times. There is a sort of groupthink, Lord of the Flies kind of behaviour at DKos over certain issues that absolutely makes me nauseated," she wrote.

O'Connor was referring to a diary by another Kossack, Richard Silverstein, published at DKos on June 26. It openly addressed some of the issues raised by The New Republic's Jason Zengerle as well as The New York Times' David Brooks.

Via Chris Bowers who adds

This is hysterical--in every sense of the word. Fox News is seriously dedicating time to a Dailykos flame war? Could they grow any more obsessed with the progressive netroots? I've been around since the very beginning, and I have seen all of the flame wars. As far as flame wars go, this ranks somewhere between the fight over no extended entries on front-page posts, and the fight over the Brown--Hackett Senate primary in Ohio. If you think this is a flame war, then your obsession with the progressive netroots is clearly new and you have really come late to the party. If our flame wars are news, why not rank them? Basically, I mean, if you really want to talk about flame wars, then why didn't touch the whole early 2003 Nader thing (#4 all time) the great 2005 pie-fight (#3 all time), the post-election kurfuffle over election fraud (#2 all time), or even the dreaded all-time flame war: SYFPH (Best. Flame. War. Ever.). But somehow the first major post-Yearly Kos flame war is news to Faux News.

How astonishingly pathetic. The whole thing reminds me of Sixteen Candles when Anthony Michael Hall (the writer of this article) somehow gets Molly Ringwald's (Dailykos) panties, and thus becomes cool among the computer geeks (the Faux News audience) for doing so. Or, perhaps, a better analogue: all those teenie boopers who thought that Nirvana's best album was their MTV Unplugged recording (what's Bleach?). Even better: people who thought that Enterprise was a really great show, but had never heard of Star Trek (I'm saying this as someone who liked Enterprise, but who thinks that Spock and Jean-Luc Picard vie for the title of "epitome of Star Trek greatness").

Read the rest.

(h/t Crooks & Liars)

Sunday, July 09, 2006

How Conservatives Argue

Posted by Raznor

Go read this. Now. You'll be glad you did.

(hat tip: Echidne)

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Alberto Gonzalez is either an idiot . . .

Posted by Raznor

Or he thinks we are. Take a look at his comments regarding Hamdan:

The Supreme Court decision that ruled against the Bush administration's plan to try suspects being held at Guantanamo Bay prison has "hampered our ability" to deal with terrorists, the U.S. attorney general said Saturday.

...."What this decision has done is, it's hampered our ability to move forward with a tool which we had hoped would be available to the president of the United States in dealing with terrorists," Attorney General Alberto Gonzales told CNN.

Via Kevin Drum who adds:

Can somebody please explain to me why the Bush administration takes the consistent position that the involvement of the Congress of the United States is something that ipso facto "hampers" our ability to deal with terrorists? Do they think Congress is unpatriotic? Too weak minded? Untrustworthy? What's the deal?

I for one am sick of any time the Administration is made to be accountable for anything they always say "War on Terror".

Speaking of Hamdan, Glenn Greenwald has a great summary of the decision. Most significant is this (emphasis his):

Strictly speaking, the Supreme Court did not enforce the mandates of the Geneva Conventions against the administration, nor did it hold that the administration is required in the absence of Congressional mandate to comply with the Conventions. To the contrary, the Court here was enforcing Congress's "express condition," when authorizing the President as part of the UCMJ to create military commissions, "that the President and those under his command comply with the law of war." The Court was enforcing the statutory requirement against the administration that it comply with the law of war with regard to military commissions, not the Conventions themselves.

Keep that in mind as the right wing talking heads explain how this proves the Geneva Conventions are obsolete. Yeah, you knew they were bloviating out of their assholes already, but maybe you weren't aware how much.