Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Strange phenomena

  • The movie Catfish: Real? Not real? John and I watched it last weekend, believing it was a mockumentary. By the end we realized it was supposed to be real. But is it? I don't know. Has anyone seen it?
  • A mountain lion was shot at the H&H Car Wash in El Paso, Texas. This is one of my parents' favorite lunch places. They have good carne guisada.
  • Marfa, Texas, has become a hipster destination (or, if you prefer, the object of postmodern tourism). There's even a restaurant in NYC designed to emulate it: "Marfa NYC captures the spirit of its West Texas namesake within the urbanity of the East Village." It's so banal, it's sublime.
  • I lived in Texas for 22 years and the only thing I ever heard about Marfa was that it had lights. (I always thought they were like aurora borealis but apparently not.) See also Prada Marfa.
  • See also: Taos Hum (just one of several geographies with unexplained hums, AKA The Hum).
  • See also: "Julia" and other unexplained sounds. (Sexism or no sexism, pages like these are my favorite thing about Wikipedia. See also: Inventors killed by their own inventions.)
  • By the way, this Slate article is bullshit: "The idea that these gender imbalances represent gatekeeper bias was demonstrably false even before the Wiki reality check ... Famously, Wikipedia has no gatekeepers. Anyone can write or edit an entry, either anonymously or under his or her own name. All that is required is a zeal for knowledge and accuracy ... Wikipedia provides a naturally occurring control group to test the theory that females' low participation rate in various public forums is the result of exclusion." Spoken like someone who has never actually tried to write or edit a Wikipedia page. It's de facto, not de jure, gatekeeperism, and anyway the problem is not who is doing the editing per se but the implications of that on the resulting content, given our pervasive reliance on it as a source. (Also, I thought DoubleX was Slate's attempt at a feminist "department"? So why are they publishing writers who say things like "the shameless legerdemain with which contemporary feminists and their allies preserve the conceit of a sexist society"? Ugh.)

17 comments:

  1. One of my favorite Wikipedia lists: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sexually_active_popes

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  2. I'm not a Texan -- carne guisada is mountain lion?

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  3. there's a restaurant for the emulation of every place on earth in nyc

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  4. It just means "stewed meat" ... so, yeah, could be!

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  5. I love the postmodern tourism post you link to. I've wanted to visit Salton Sea since I read the (very good, very short) book CUT AWAY by Catherine Kirkwood.

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  6. I must hat-tip Carrie Murphy for sharing that post.

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  7. It's true I am a feminist and like 90% of my body is made up of "shameless legerdemain"

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  8. I want to create a perfume called Shameless and then release a lighter flanker version called Shameless Legerdemain.

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  9. Heather Mac Donald is a conservative, by the way.

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  10. Shameless Legerdemain

    So perfect, the bottle can be in the shape of some dex'trous fingers pulling a quarter from between a pair of legs

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  11. Matt, I gathered that from her grody rhetoric. I'm more confused on what DoubleX is supposed to be.

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  12. I think Slate, like the Atlantic, specializes in a sort of mechanical contrarianism that appeals to the self-hatred and/or obsession with "other viewpoints" of (part of?) their readership. It seems easiest to do this with "human nature" issues like feminism (see: Flanagan, Caitlin) and/or race, crime, etc. And there's this annoying fact that, as far as most people are concerned, anything written by a woman about women's issues has a claim to being "feminist."

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  13. I hate the catchphrase for DoubleX: "What Women Really Think About [politics blah blah]" -- it's so Cosmo! A la "What your man REALLY wants in the bedroom." Like all women/men want/think the same thing.

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  14. Clearly you haven't read Steven Pinker's book _The Blank Slut_ in which he argues that all women want the same thing.

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  15. Somehow that text didn't make it into my cog sci curriculum.

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