A Society of Speech

Two days ago a man asked me why I was carrying so many papers with me. My response was not as articulate as I would have liked it to have been, so this is what I wish I had said: We are a nation built on words and the ideas which those words express, a nation that considers words the ultimate weapon. Of all the constitutional amendments, the very first one sets out to protect speech above all else. It is no accident that it is the first of all amendments nor that it is immediately followed by the protection of arms and a militia. We must speak first and fight second.

How The Mighty Have Fallen

I was just watching Star Trek: The Next Generation, S3E13 “Déjà Q” when Guinan says, “how the mighty have fallen!” That reminded me of a spoken word prelude in a 1990s Cindy Morgan song and got me to wondering about the origin of that phrase so I Googled it thinking it might have been Shakespeare. To my surprise it turned out to be from the Bible! “How the mighty have fallen! The weapons of war have perished!” 2 Samuel 1:27 (NIV)

I Suppose Such Things Are Bound to Happen

Well, it looks like my database maintenance resulted in the loss of some content last Sunday. Fortunately I am an inveterate archivist and I had exported a database backup just before starting. That said, I’ve now lost one post from Sunday evening and two updates to existing posts. But all said and done….I’d rather be certain of recovering lost content that I might never identify than losing edits that I would probably overwrite in a few months anyway. C’est la vie.

Adam and Eve

According to the Genesis (chapter 2) account in which Eve was “extracted” from Adam, that means Adam was the biological sum of man and woman. So Adam became man simultaneously with Eve becoming woman. Man and woman were thus created simultaneously, not sequentially. Man is not preeminent over woman.

On Righteous Causes

Nymphomania and Satyriasis

I was cogitating on the percrptive societal dissimilarities of sexuality while turning the use of “nymphomania” over in my head. The “nymphomania” label (to say nothing of “nympho”) carries an implicit connotation of abnormality and even a subtext of whoredom that is not commensurately accorded to males (the implication being that males are whorish dogs whose sexuality is valueless while the sexuality of women is valuable). There is so, so much to unpack here, but for now I want to mention a particularly interesting preliminary finding. It turns out that there is a male analogue called “satyriasis.” That said, the fact that no one ever hears this word is itself a statement on society’s dissimilar treatment of female and male sexuality.

More Double Standards

Some time back I came across this image and I later scolded myself for not saving it. Then as serendipity would have it, I found it again. This image is very telling on many levels. On the one hand, it shows (as I pointed out previously on double standards) that human nature is human nature whether it is packaged in a woman’s body or in a man’s body. On the other hand, it could be viewed hypocritically. I don’t know in which country this photo was taken, but had the roles been reversed, all hell would ensue. (I would note, though, that the phone screen does not appear to be in camera mode. Of course, the phone also could have been photoshopped to kept it PG.)

Woman "upskirting" man in kilt

Android, Apple, and iTunes 12

When it comes to cell phones, Android and iPhone are like capitalism and communism or democracy and dictatorship. The iPhone is a great product that delivers a reliable user experience. On the other hand, iPhone innovation is unbearably handicapped and stifled by Apple’s authoritarian control over developers. Yes, this does ensure a reliable user experience, but it also prevents good (but imperfect) ideas from reaching users where consumption will give rise to free-market improvement. But for all of Apple’s focus on user experience, it really fucked up on iTunes 12.10.x.Continue Reading

Clothing and Deuteronomy 22:5

Cognitively-challenged Christians are eager to invoke Deuteronomy 22:5—in judgment of women as well as of men—that “woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD.” Some denominations read this as requiring women to wear dresses (or, in the contrapositive, as prohibiting women from wearing pants). Likewise, Deuteronomy 22:5 has been invoked to condemn and deny skirts as menswear. This was certainly my experience when I “saw the light” and “converted” to skirts in 2016, but it has taken me three years to get around to publishing this formal rebuttal.Continue Reading

On Passionate Living

And the truth about me is not that I’m really volatile and I’m unstable, but that I’m really vibrant, and the color of my sorrow is just as bright as the stripes of my delight.Jenny Slate