October 10th, 2014


Nesuko Goes About Things

Happy birthday, Kirsty MacColl, the penultimate chapter of my web comic, The Casebook of Boschen and Nesuko, is now online for free.

This is one my favourite Kirsty MacColl songs. It's sweet and sort of optimistic while at the same time it paints a portrait of a certain kind of misogynist I've encountered all too often and how guys like that can force women to harden.

I finally got around to watching the clip from Bill Maher's show last week that has generated a lot of controversy, one in which Bill Maher and Sam Harris argue that Islamic culture is filled with intolerance while Ben Affleck argues Maher and Harris are racists. Which, first of all, I found pretty funny given how all the Iranian characters in Affleck's Argo are two dimensional and most of them are stereotypes (my review).

I would be inclined to find fault in Affleck's perspective simply from the fact that he has trouble allowing Maher and Harris to speak. And when he starts yelling, he seems to be taking Maher's and Harris' own position--both sides talk about dissenting voices in the Muslim world that aren't adequately covered in the media. The basic problem seems to be that Affleck is insisting that Maher and Harris are attacking a race while Maher and Harris seem to be arguing they're attacking a belief system. Michael Steele in the middle seems to spin everything to inoffensive and useless grey.

It's true Maher is unwise for joking about a stereotype for Arab deal makers and his reference to Filipinos is a bad analogy. But I think the points Maher and Harris make about countries governed by religious beliefs being antithetical to liberal ideals are certainly a true and troubling, particularly the point that severe punishments for renouncing the religion is not a radical practice. The Wikipedia entry on apostasy in Islam is a very good and extensive read that references many and varied sources. The neutrality of the article is in dispute and the talk page has some illuminating discussion.

I would like to observe that Affleck continues to seem like stupefyingly bad casting for Batman.

Twitter Sonnet #674

Door jam arachnids may know the elbow.
Chimes'll question teachings of gold bubble.
It's horrible for teeth and the crossbow.
Dead grass or leaves give horses no trouble.
Verdant damage germane to hotels waned.
Crowded dowry auctions shame the police.
The gold mirror roast forest stag was feigned.
Action amphibians raise the deceased.
High end striped bow tie transcriptions fade out.
Plastered radish dominions yearn for red.
Coaster skirt crinoline leaves the steel route.
Only oranges know what the apple said.
Funnel mugs're making orange space in brains.
Spirits lift 'til caught by tentacle reins.