Posts from April 2001

Cops more likely to arrest women on public disturbance infractions

Teen crime down, but more girls are going to jail [Salon], often for no clear reason other than overt gender bias. As it turns out, young women are much more likely to be arrested than young men if they are committing public disturbance or other behavior that cops can attribute to boys being boys. The message: Shut up, girls, and be good! Go on out there and have some fun, boys.

Fight Club and Boy Culture: Teaching Men the Wrong Lessons Books publishes a trashy lovefest for Fight Club on the occasion of a convention in author Chuck Palahniuk’s honor at Edinboro College in Pennsylvania. In case anyone was still wondering whether Fight Club really is venomous Backlash purification-through-violence boy culture bullshit, this report will hopefully dash all doubts. What kind of enlightened critique of contemporary masculinity does Fight Club present?

In his presentation on Fight Club: Beating Men Out of Submission, Bowling Green State University graduate student Rafael Colon Gonzalez agrees: Tyler Durden’s role in creating fight club is to save these men who are controlled by capitalism. The violence that Tyler wants men to take hold of is normally only fed to them as spectators.

That’s right, boys: corporate capitalism turns us into passive women (We’re a generation of men raised by women; I’m not sure another woman is what we need, Tyler spews). Therefore, the way to revolution is to beat people into a bloody pulp. Meanwhile,

In Human Services and Their Failure as a Therapeutic Tool for Men, Oelke says that what makes men feel good about themselves is being able to look in the mirror and see a man they can respect — not a coward, not a slave, not a charlatan. This can only be achieved by the building of character. From a young age, little boys are taught that when they have a problem … they settle it like men. So they fight. This rite of passage has been taken away from today’s man, and we’re all suffering for it.

How shall I put this delicately? HORSE SHIT! We live in a culture where one out of every four women is beaten and/or sexually tortured by an intimate partner and over half of all people — women and men — suffer physical or sexual assaults. Almost universally this violence is committed by men. We have male cops that murder black people, male soldiers who torture fellow soldiers because they might be gay, male fraternity boys who gang rape women in order to prove their Brotherhood. And now you’re telling me that men are being emasculated, that we’re all suffering for it, and the way to liberate ourselves is to beat the shit out of each other? Take your Robert Bly and Cliff Notes Nietzsche, and go home. What we need is a world in which we don’t settle things like men and in which we no longer delude ourselves into thinking that men are liberated by exercising masculinity through brutality or sexual domination.

The Possible Uses of a Ronald Reagan Monument

Sometimes reality is so damn surreal that it simply defies satire. Such is the case with the Republicans’ continuing cult of personality for Ronald Reagan.

In the end though, I do hope that they build a Reagan Monument on the Washington Mall. Why? Because left-wing protestors are often down around the Mall, and we need a place we can vandalize! I mean, sure, Thomas Jefferson could be a real jerk, but if you mess up his monument most people won’t understand and will think you’re just a bunch of good-for-nothings. But defiling the Reagan Memorial would be appropriate, understandable, and relevant to the current political climate! It’d be great!

"Project Censored" needs a makeover

Meanwhile, I should point out that I agree with Brooke Shelby Biggs on The Unbearable Lameness of Project Censored [MOJOwire], that Project Censored has become predictable, boring, and is not actually exposing anything we hadn’t already heard about, since its own success has produced a bounty of left-wing and alternative press publications which break the stories well before the Project Censored kids get their hands on them. While Shelby Biggs seems to think that Project Censored should simply be discontinued, I do think that releasing a survey or newsletter of the top 25 left-wing Stories of Record is a good thing for helping get attention and clarify our priorities. But Project Censored needs to drop the name and the moralistic rhetoric, because when all of its stories are coming directly from reports in pre-existing publications — whether mainstream or alterna-stream — it simply is not breaking any silences anymore.