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The Public Blogging of Pomosexuality, Homotextuality, Homophobiaphilia, and Drear Theory (aka Career Theory) [aka Gay4Pay]. We also read the Corner and OpJournal so the right buttock will be punished as well.
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This two part net-radio interview with Malcolm McLaren is very highly amusing. McLaren, the hyperdidactive dandy with the hyper-thyroid voice, is bouncing off the ceiling in his usual entertaining way (some people don't like his enfant-grise, eminence-terrible routine--these people aren't worthy of changing Malcolm's black rubber diapers). His interviewers, in party-killing (but smile-inducing) contrast, are as lively as Shaker wallpaper. They came to whisper and worship. I understand the urge, but save it for Malcolm's memorial service (and keep it under your hat there, too.) The insanely voluble motherfucker is sitting right next to you, he doesn't need much prompting (any prompting at all, I mean), so your questions are more like speed bumps anyway. Do some pushups and jumping jacks before you sit down, get your pulse somewhere in Malcolm's range by any means necessary, try to keep up, ya know, laugh at the funny parts, throw your carefully-crafted, term-paper bullet points away. If you can't figure out how to hold a conversation with a perpetual-conversation monster, you really need to seriously consider shutting up.
The music Malcolm came to praise and play (much of it his "own" new stuff) is less interesting than his banter (his explication of how China got its groove back, for sterling example.) A couple of the gameboy instrumentals stand on their own, and Malcolm's Beijing proteges, the Wild Strawberries, cover Hendrix in a way Jimi would have loved (they cover him with Chinese girls). But most of the stuff is just clever and pleasant mashuppery. Some of it is cleverer than most (The Captain and Tenille Vs Joy Division--Love Will Tear Us Apart, Keep Us Together), but I'm not a big fan of clever in music. Or pleasant. I don't like music I only like, I only like music I love, and I haven't yet met a mashup fit for my mighty love.
This article from the Harvard Crimson never actually tells you what Jada Pinkett Summers-Smith said that gave ritual offence. It looks like they're raising another generation of crackerjack journos up there on the yard:
After some students were offended by Jada Pinkett Smith's comments at Saturday's Cultural Rhythms show, the Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, Transgender, and Supporters Alliance (BGLTSA) and the Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations have begun working together to increase sensitivity toward issues of sexuality at Harvard.
...In order to discuss these concerns and ensure that such a misunderstanding doesn't occur again, Paulus said the BGLTSA and the Foundation are planning a joint breakfast later this week as well as a general discussion forum for all of the SAC member groups.
I don't know how they're going to fit all those acronyms in one room, but I could go for a little breakfast later this week myself. And a nice general discussion, too. That way I won't have to think while I chew my waffles.
Paulus added that the Foundation will issue a letter later this week apologizing for any offense the show might have caused and encouraging concerned students to attend the planned discussions.
Joint breakfasts, letters of apology, discussions. It's a regular academic Hiroshima.
Maybe Michael only agreed to be interviewed by Bashir because he thought the dude was 13 years old:
(SANTA MARIA, CA)...The battle over Mr Bashir’s right to not answer questions began as soon as the short, unassuming journalist entered the Santa Maria courtroom where Mr Jackson is on trial for child abuse, extortion and abduction...
... The British journalist, repeatedly apologising for being too short to reach the microphone on the witness stand, declined to answer four of Mr Mesereau’s direct questions before the break for lunch.
If blank slate is the metaphorical placeholder for the nurturist half of the nature vs. nurture debate, then I propose solid state as its metaphorical opposite, let the naturists henceforth be represented by it. The absolutists on both sides seem almost equal cranks to me, though if I had to pick a side the choice would be easy, and my team sweater would read S.S., not B.S.
I must overestimate the ground won by the solid statists when I get annoyed by their hardcore disciples. The recent Lawrence (I'll start calling him Larry when he starts taking my calls) Summer's hullabollocks revealed that the lag-time between science and academia is greater than even I would have expected. The yet more startling lag-time between science and Scandinavia makes me feel better, at least, about Harvard. Which is not something I was really looking to do--gracias por nada, Norway.
Several years ago I read The Moral Animal, Robert Wright's hardbound exploratorium of the theory and history of sociobiology (rebranded as evolutionary psychology). It's a very good book, but I remember thinking, as I was reading yet another exposition of the necessarily genetic roots of some very specific human behavior, this is more like an endless (and unamusing) Just So story, or a logic game for first generation robots. A few pages later Mr. Wright wrote something to the effect that the dubious reader may begin to feel that the body of evolutionary psychological theory is little more than a collection of Just So stories. It was an excellent bit of authorial mind reading on Mr. Wright's part, but it was less successful as pre-emptive voodoo. I was thinking it, and I continue to do so (in part, anyway).
Evolutionary-psychology tilts, lists, leans and falls to the Evo side of the hyphen. The mind, culture, meme, psyche side is starving for some attention and respect (not that is was ever really getting equal billing). I could explain this all as the genetically predisposed strategy of the biologist practitioners of evo-psych to overvalue (and thus protect, exalt and extend) their own discipline, i.e. their own professional careers, i.e. their own careering selves. But I won't.
On the basic-questions front I also liked this invocation of the global brain and incidental challenge to Dawkin's too reductive selfish gene theory (name for a clam and crab shack near a coastal, college town--Shellfish Gene's). But then I am a pushover for all theories of earth as brain, me as neuron. It's from RU Sirius's Neo Files site, which is worth a leisurely browse. R.U. is getting better, and seriuser, as the years go by.