Ten and a half years ago, America was about to go to war. Congress had passed the fig leaf authorization. The troops were waiting nearby. Babylon was fixin’ to experience shock and awe.
PG did not think it was a very good idea, and wrote his representatives in Washington to tell them about it. While he did not think it would stop the invasion, it is good to be on the record as being opposed.
On this Labor Day weekend, we are looking at another war. While ground troops are not discussed… yet … the world is expecting us to kill some Arabs. This time, instead of useless letters to useless politicians, PG is going to write a blog post. It might not stop anything, but it is an effort.
The two Senators from Georgia are Republican idiots. PG is not sure who his congressman is. It is either Hank Johnson or Tom Price. The best thing that can be said is that neither is Cynthia McKinney. A copy of this post might go to the four gentleman anyway.
The best case scenario is for America to send in a few high tech missiles, kill a few Arabs, and let the Civil War go on as before. There is little way to know whether it is good guys, or bad guys, that we would be killing. Is anyone fighting in Syria a good guy? Kill them all, let Allah sort them out.
The worst case scenario is too horrible to consider. Nuclear armed Israel is next door, and enjoys killing Arabs. Nuclear armed Russia supports Syria, and enjoys killing just about anyone. The OPEC nations are nearby, and looking for an excuse to jack up the prices. There are so many ways for this to get out of control, and so many who want more chaos.
Maybe, just maybe, this is a time for America to sit one out. Let Israel take care of herself. Why is using chemical weapons so much worse than depleted uranium shells? How is what Syria does worse that what Israel did in Gaza? What about the reports that it was the Syrian rebels who were using chemical weapons? How will we know we are killing the correct people? The time to think about these things is before America starts to kill women and children.
Pictures for today’s entertainment were taken at the 2011 Dragon Con parade. PG was horrified by the overcrowding at the 2011 event, and chose to not attend this year. The costumes are probably very similar to what was on display today. Very few of the playtime soldiers at this parade will participate in any military action in Syria.
Religion and perfume have several things in common. They are both fun to smell, but dangerous to swallow. A tasteful drop behind the ear is pleasant. Too much, and you will run from the room gasping for breath. Both are cheap products, sold in a fancy bottle, at a steep markup.
Before easy access to water, people did not bathe every day. To cover up the aroma of human existence, many used fragrances. This too is similar to the function of religion.
Perfume has been considered a feminine product. In a clever marketing move, a masculine scent was called cologne, and sold to men. Religion is gross to many people, so it is sold as faith.
Smell is a driving force in animal behavior. Ants used smell to communicate, and perform feats in numbers which would be impossible as individuals. Smells go directly to the brain, without filtering and processing like sounds, sights, and tastes. Religion is the emotional equivalent of odors. Pictures today are from Gwinnett County.
There is a tasteful feature on the innertubes now, A Few Good Reasons Why White People Should Not Wear “Mohawks” or Dreadlocks. Yes, this is another polemic about cultural appropriation. If you want to skip the text, and look at the pictures, no one will get mad. Or get even. If you read the text, you might get odd. It is your choice.
The gist of the tract is “When white people wear “Mohawks” or dreadlocks it twists those hairstyles into symbols of privilege rather than symbols of survival and resistance.” Little is known about why the Natives of Upstate New York wore their hair the way they did. Isn’t calling this hair choice “symbols of survival and resistance” playing into the game of misunderstanding non European cultures?
The tract is not well written. Maybe the author feels like using good grammar is appropriating someone else’s culture.
There is one part of the tract that had PG shaking his buzz cut head. This is a free country. Can’t I do whatever I want? This country has never been free for people of color/non-white people. Certainly, you can choose wear your hair however you want. Historically, however, people of color have not been able to make that choice. This is not why the Bronner Brothers are multi millionaires. Black Americans spend more on hair care products than the gross national product of many African countries.
Both mohawks and dreadlocks are high maintenance affairs. After his struggles with shoulder length redneck curls, PG is not about to shave the sides of a beaver tail every day. And dreadlocks have always seemed to be just a bit on the dirty side. The rastas are welcome to wear dreadlocks, as long as they pass the spliff.
One thing PG has wondered was answered as a result of this polemic. Did the Mohawk tribe really wear their hair that way? When you type “Did the Mohawk… ” into google, the rest of the phrase to pop up is “Did the Mohawk Indians have mohawks?” Someone else has wondered the same thing. Wikipedia has more information.
The mohawk (also referred to as a mohican in British English) is a hairstyle in which, in the most common variety, both sides of the head are shaven, leaving a strip of noticeably longer hair in the center. Though mohawk is associated mostly with punk rock subculture, today it has entered mainstream fashion. The mohawk is also sometimes referred to as an iro in reference to the Iroquois, from whom the hairstyle is derived – though historically the hair was plucked out rather than shaved. … The Mohawk and the rest of the Iroquois confederacy (Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Tuscarora and Oneida) in fact wore a square of hair on the back of the crown of the head. The Mohawk did not shave their heads when creating this square of hair, but rather pulled the hair out, small tufts at a time. … Therefore a true hairstyle of the Mohawks was one of plucked-out hair, leaving a three-inch square of hair on the back crown of the head with three short braids of hair decorated.
They didn’t shave the sides of the head, they plucked the hair out. That does eliminate the need to shave the sides of your head every day. This is not the way the fashion conscious hair people do the modern mohawk. The question arises if this non authentic hairstyle is really cultural appropriation.
Wikipedia goes on to add that this do might not be an Iroquois invention. “The hairstyle has been in existence in many parts of the world for millennia. For instance, the Clonycavan Man, a 2000-year-old male bog body discovered near Dublin in 2003, was found to be wearing a mohawk styled with plant oil and pine resin. Artwork discovered at the Pazyryk burials dating back to 600 BCE depicts Scythian warriors sporting similar mohawks. The body of a warrior occupying one of the kurgans had been scalped earlier in life and wore a hair prosthesis in the form of a mohawk. Herodotus claimed that the Macai, a northern Libyan tribe, “shave their hair so as to leave tufts, letting the middle of their hair grow long, but round this on all sides shaving it close to the skin.” Amongst the Pawnee people, who historically lived along in present-day Nebraska and Kansas, a “mohawk” hair style was common.”
Part of the polemic took a question and answer format. “But, I wear my hair this way as a statement against oppressive cultures and governments. How is that racist?” “You can take a stand against oppression and dominant cultures without appropriating the cultures of the people being hurt by them. Appropriation actually enforces oppression, it does not stand against it. Appropriation is part of the problem, not part of the solution”
To paraphrase this, you can be anti racist without proudly avoiding high maintenance hairdoos. Especially one that bears little resemblance to the actual article.
There was a statement in yesterday’s post . “Black Americans spend more on hair care products than the gross national product of many African countries.” This was tossed out in a careless moment, which is not a good thing to do. Today’s post is an investigation. For purposes of this report, America’s gross national product is the republican party.
Finding out how much African Americans spend on hair care is more google intensive than this slack reporter imagined. Madame Noire has a feature, Black Women Spend Half a Trillion Dollars on Haircare and Weaves! Why? “Black women spend half a trillion dollars to keep our hairstyles tight, our weaves looking good and our “kitchens” tamed. Why do we do this?” The $500 billion figure might include pain and suffering. Target Market News is more conservative, reporting “Personal Care Products and Services – $6.66 billion”.
In the chatter about a Chris Rock movie, Good Hair, the phrase “9 billion dollar hair trade industry” is used. The Magazine Publishers of America report that advertising spending on “Hair Products & Accessories” was $1,242,700 in 2007.
The short answers are “a lot”, and “we don’t know”. It is probably less that $500 Billion. For the purposes of this feature, we will go with a conservative estimate. This would be Target Market News. Since not all “Personal Care Products and Services” are hair related, we will call our number Five Billion. This is probably a conservative figure, but for our purposes it will do.
The second part of the statement was “Black Americans spend more on hair care products than the gross national product of many African countries.” The numbers come from Wikipedia and the International Money Fund. There are sixteen African countries with GNP less than $5 billion. They include: Mauritania, Swaziland, Togo, Eritrea, Lesotho, Burundi, Sierra Leone, Central African Republic, Cape Verde, Djibouti, Liberia, Seychelles, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Comoros, and São Tomé and Príncipe. The last seven have a GNP less than the amount spent advertising hair products and accessories for Black Americans.
Today’s double feature about hair is a repost. Pictures are from The Library of Congress.
PG took the Social Attitude Test. It is 46 statements, with a five point scale that goes from disagree strongly to agree strongly. This type of question makes the data crunching much easier. The SAT is better designed than what you might find at Quizilla.
Starting with number 44, here are the last three statements. 44) Eugenics is tantamount to Nazism, and both ideologies are severely flawed. 45) People should always be willing to seriously question what they believe. 46) If people weren’t so mushy and sentimental, they’d see things more clearly.
Here is the results. Political Values Radicalism 72 Socialism 31.25 Tenderness 31.25 These scores indicate that you are a tough-minded moderate progressive; this is the political profile one might associate with a liberated atheist. It appears that you are cynical towards religion, and have a suspicious and unsympathetic attitude towards humanity in general. Your attitudes towards economics appear capitalist, and combined with your social attitudes this creates the picture of someone who would generally be described as libertarian. To round out the picture you appear to be, political preference aside, an idealist with very few strong opinions.
This concludes our analysis; we hope you found your results accurate, useful, and interesting. Unlike many other political tests found on the Internet which base themselves on untested (and usually ideologically motivated) ideas, this inventory is adapted from Hans Eysenck’s own political inventory which was developed after extensive empirical investigations in the 20th Century. Pictures for this waste of bandwidth are from The Library of Congress.
For the last three years, PG, accompanied by selectively deaf Uzi, has gone out to see the Living Walls. The grafitti festival is a part of the Atlanta summer now. This year it even came to Summerhill.
LW is a volunteer thing. Getting the list of walls can be tricky. This year was even more so. It seems as though the map on the website had four years of walls, with a menu to turn off the different layers. PG is not geek enough to recognize a layer icon, and got confused.
When PG asked about a list on facebook, he was advised “Use your mouse and your mind in conjunction and it is a beautiful thing”. Rumor has it that the 2014 affair will be renamed Living Attitude. Finally, PG got a list of the walls, and made a low tech map.
With several of the walls next to Turner Field, it was advisable to go when the Braves were out of town. Getting caught in ballgame traffic is a strike. Fighting with the Living Walls peep was a strike. In baseball, three strikes and you are out. In bowling, three strikes is a turkey.
The LW tour went smoothly. The first stop was on the north-of-I20 stub of Flat Shoals Road. It was near the spot where Angel Poventud was robbed, while assisting with a previous Living Walls. The first wall was a house, with boarded up windows cleverly hidden. The next stop was a loft building on Memorial Drive. It had three murals, with the best two hidden from the street.
The next stop was East Atlanta. It was festooned in fabulicity, even if the walls were disappointing. By this time the battery on PG’s camera was wearing down. When the four walls on Georgia Avenue were found, there was just enough juice to record the paint. One of those locations was the site of Leo Frank’s house. PG did not hang around.
PG was spending a productive sunday morning. He created a map to the Living Walls grafitti festival. He was in a good mood. Even this link on facebook did not bring our slack blogger down.
Out of a masochistic sense of fairness, PG took a look at the link after he finished the map. “That’s Racist Against White People!” A Discussion on Power and Privilege is the usual headache producing polemic. Here is the third paragraph.
These are White folks who are claiming that the Obamacare tax on tanning beds is “racist” against White people. These are White folks who are claiming that affirmative action is racist against them. These are the White folks who honestly believe they suffer more racism than people of Color.
Lets take a look at those three links. In the first, Republican Congressman Ted Yoho complained to John Boehner about what is sometimes called the “Snooki tax”. The second link, about affirmative action, is linked to a feminist blog. The money quote “Ask any White person how they feel about Affirmative Action, and you’re almost guaranteed to hear that it is “racist against White people” and that it is “unfair” or “reverse discrimination” and that they oppose it.” This article is used as a source for the comment ” These are White folks who are claiming that affirmative action is racist against them.”
The last one, about PWOC thinking they suffer more discrimination than POC, is linked to an article in a British tabloid newspaper. Somebody did a study once, and that was one of the results. The study also showed “Blacks also perceived that racism against themselves had steeply declined from 9.7 in the 1950s to 6.1 in the 90s.”
One of the main points in the Everyday Feminism post was that the word racist is often misused. PG will not argue against that. The article was posted two days before a curious tweet by Chris Brown. “N**** done 6 months community service wit police and the DA racist ass crying to the judge that I didn’t do it. Fuck the SYSTEM! “
The entertainer, who is a POC, got in trouble for publicly beating up his girlfriend. He has had problems with his community service requirment. The amusing thing about this tweet is that the “DA racist ass” is a POC.
Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. These images are Union soldiers from the War Between the States.
0.01 PG made a comment about G-d at a blog. The blog owner wrote PG at 4:09 am about this comment. This is the reply. Pictures are from Gwinnett County.
0.1- The comment about faith in G-d was not intended as a negative one. If seeing things that way helps you, then go for it. I merely maintain that the division between G-d and man is an artificial one. Where does one begin and the other end? Perhaps this unity is not intended. Let no man join together what the Bible has rent asunder.
1- Oh my. I get up early, and try to live a couple of hours before going to work. What a message for first thing in the day.
2- G-d is an orthodox Jewish thing. The idea is that you should not write this sacred name on anything that is going to be destroyed. It is another name for this entity, along with Gott and Allah.
The third commandment says not to use the word “in vain”. To me, this is one of the most powerful of the commandments. It is also promiscously violated by so called religious people. In a perfect world, the G word would only be used for worship or respectful discussion. I violate this rule myself, so I should be careful how I criticize others.
3- Discussion of G-d, with or without respect, is a can of worms. There are lots of opinions. People use these opinions to gain power over their neighbor. It is a mess.
Lately, I have been pondering what I call the “belief paradigm”. This is the idea that we believe in G-d, rather than know her. Jesus worship is a religion based on beliefs. The pros of this religion (maybe what they need is less pros and more poetry) seem to think that their ideas have more truth the louder they are spoken. This belief mongering has cost me a lot of peace of mind in my lifetime.
5- Breakfast is almost ready. I have written about religion many, many times. In a way, it is a traumatic subject that I am working my way through. When you combine religious imagery with intense verbal abuse, you just might become weary of the whole dreary subject.
5a- G-d, God, He, She or It? Maybe it is a she-it. Say that fast and you will get it. Muslims have a branch of the company called that.
5b- The internet is full of places where you can copy-paste the Bible. If you want to quote the magic book on the internet, it is easy to do. There are also lots of people who are happy to tell you what it means. They are best left alone.
6- Thanks for taking the time to put your thoughts into words.
7- The paypal link for donations will be up soon.
Football is just around the corner. The teams are busy with the pre season, and soon weekends will be full of hitting and drinking. Perhaps this is a good time to wonder whether football is worth the human cost. Especially now, with a national debate raging about the future of our health care. Football injuries keep hospitals hopping during the autumn.
This is the annual post about the down side of football. There is a helping of hypocrisy here, as PG enjoys watching the hits. Pictures are from The Library of Congress.
Football season is here. While the games are fun to watch, the players are paying the price. Your health insurance premiums just might be affected.
Football is a contact sport. On every play, the linemen block other lineman to keep them from tackling a back. Someone gets hit on every play. Most of these hits are “clean” and cause only bruises. Some are “dirty”, and cause injuries. Even the clean hits can hurt someone.
It is estimated that 187,000 emergency room visits every year are due to football. What if an illegal drug sent 187k to the er annually? There would be a hue and cry to kill the pushers.
Knee injuries are especially prevalent. An estimated 45,000 knee operations are performed each year due to football injuries. Arthroscopy is a wonderful invention.
With all those helmets slamming into each other, head injuries occur. “The researchers found that there is approximately one catastrophic head injury per every 150,000 athletes playing, or 7 catastrophic injuries yearly. There were 0.67 injuries per 100,000 players at the high school level and 0.21 injuries per 100,000 for college level football players.” Often, the coaches get caught up in the do or die spirit of a big game, and don’t get the player the medical attention that he needs. “Football is a very macho sport. Athletes are taught to play through pain,” …“But concussions range in severity and symptoms, so all a player may experience is a headache several hours after impact. High school players need to be educated in these symptoms and encouraged to self report.”
Even cheerleading squads are reporting more injuries, due to botched stunts.
When you see the players in their youthful glory, you don’t think what they will look like after they quit playing. Many players know this, but the lure of today’s glory justifies the pain of tomorrow. The heroes of yesterday often walk with pain today.
The management of this blog is not responsible for brain damage incurred while reading this post. If you cant take the heat, get out of the kitchen. Those threatened by this discussion, or just are not interested, are encouraged to skip over the text, and look at the pictures. These images, of Union Soldiers of the War Between the States, are from The Library of Congress.
There is a meme, with the text a conservative is a liberal who has been labeled a racist. A few comments followed publication. Someone was paying attention. Uhm…WTF?! ~ its a long story ~ All three labels are useless and misleading. I try not to let the labels of others describe me, but sometimes it happens. It is a bit of poetic license.
The words liberal and conservative are useless. When he started to make the comment, PG intended to refer to those two expressions. Then he started to type.The realization hit … the word racist was just as obsolete as liberal and conservative, and probably misused more often.
The next day at work, PG began to think. If you saw a mushroom cloud rising over Jimmy Carter Boulevard, that is what you saw. Random thoughts began to emerge.
A- The popularity of con, lib, and rac, derive from America’s blind allegiance to the belief paradigm The general thought is that what you believe is more important than what you do. The dominant religion in America is Jesus Worship, which is based on beliefs rather than practices. While America is not officially a Christian country, their thought processes dominate the way things work here.
B- The belief paradigm filters down to the popularity of silly labels.We have people who claim to be small government conservatives, and who support sending 200k troops to a war eight time zone away. You can treat your black neighbors with kindness and grace, but if you say the wrong things on facebook you are considered a racist. It is a funny system.
C- Conservatives use liberal as an insult. Liberals use racist as an insult.
D- No one is certain what the words conservative, liberal, and racist mean. You should beware of anyone who claims to be certain of what these labels represent.
The Celebrity Similarity Test is a gimmick concocted by Dr. Dustin Wood at Wake Forest University. The idea is you answer a few questions, and they tell you what celebrity you act like. “Participants may find some questions to be of a sensitive nature; otherwise there are no known risks associated with this study beyond those that exist in every day life.”
The first question is a series of character traits. People are asked to rate these from 1-7, with 1 = EXTREMELY Undesirable, 4 = Neutral, 7 = EXTREMELY Desirable. This is the type of question with results easy to tabulate. Some of the traits are enthusiastic, excited, kind-hearted, caring, calm, relaxed, intelligent, smart, outgoing, sociable, confident, self-assured. Before long, you will be asked to rate, on the seven point scale, “How much do the following terms describe you?”
The seven point treatment is then given statements like I am satisfied with my life, So far I have gotten the important things I want in life, If I could live my life over, I would change almost nothing. The demographic part of the study begins with “Did you answer truthfully on all these questions? Yes – No.” It then moves on to the traditional age, education, and income variables.
PG does not see a lot of television, so he is not surprised not to know who Allison (The Basketcase) is. This is the celebrity PG matches most closely. Of the five most similar, and the five least similar, the only one PG knows is 3rd least similar Madge Simpson. The other four most similar are Meg Griffin, Severus Snape, Bruce Banner/The Hulk, Brian (The Brain). Threeclassic characters that PG resembles are Lucy Ricardo, Darrin Stephens, and Gilligan.