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March 18, 2005
And yet, I'm still here

It's been a long, hard week, so I went surfing.

First I was frightened by this but eventually I found myself able to move on.

To places like Avedon Carol on "Barbarians in Suits." I was disgusted, but not at all surprised to see factions on the Right moving so quickly from "torture as an intelligence-gathering tool" (no matter how thoroughly discredited) to "torture for hate." And I was equally unsurprised that this came from the side of the political spectrum claiming a direct hotline to their god. Forget what they say. Watch what they do. The faith many of them have is exceedingly Old Testament in nature.

But I don't have anything against the soldiers o'faith. In fact, I added Jesus' General to the blogroll just today.

No matter what you call it (lexicon, phrases, euphemisms), it all comes back to the same thing. It's the whole "framing" thing that's been getting the political world in a tizzy. For the record, I'm about 25 pages into the book and "Orwellian" doesn't strike me as a bad description at all.

(Since I haven't remembered to mention it recently, I have beliefs that correspond with those who are, today, calling themselves "Progressive" but I am a liberal.)

Heh. Heh-heh. Steve Clemons.

Edward kindly points out to us all that if you're a criminal, you're probably okay dying Catholic, but if you're gay, consider a deathbed conversion to a different faith.

I've never really discussed the subject and while I know it's of importance to many, even those who draw bad parallels, I have to say I'm not on the side of the music/movie file-swappers. I don't steal things, not even electronic files, and I can't really see me siding with those who do.

Via Professor Kim (Hey! Happy birthday!), The Village Voice offers a guide to A Weekend Of Resistance.

This Saturday, March 19, anti-war activists across the country are mobilizing to mark the second anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

Looks like the world is still wondering where all the wimmin are. Via Avedon Carol, Katha Pollit joins the throngs of women waving their arms and yelling, Here! We're right here! And she names names.*

There are actually lots of women political bloggers out there--spend half an hour reading them and you will never again say women aren't as argumentative as men! But what makes a blog visible is links, and male bloggers tend not to link to women (to his credit, Kevin Drum has added nineteen to his blogroll). Perhaps they sense it might interfere with the circle jerk in cyberspace--the endless mutual self-infatuation that is one of the less attractive aspects of the blogging phenom.

I do have to say that that last bit rings amazingly true to me. I do find it a bit hard to imagine women counting coup (Can I still say that? Is that offensively un-PC these days?) over their hit stats the way I've head/read men doing.

Women want to be linked, to yes. But because they want to be heard.

For men, it's about whose is bigger. (Don't be vulgar. Readership.) Men will live for months on the pale reflection of glory cast by a link from a big-name blogger that results in 5,000 hits in one day. I get more of a sense that it's a competition from a lot of men's blogs. I don't so much get that from women's blogs. So, maybe there's one of those male-female divides going on. Men aren't linking to women because women aren't playing the same game.


* Okay, I originally wrote, "for those who still can't see the pantyhose for all the jockstraps, she names names."

So, it's time for me to admit that, as a woman, I self-censor when I'm writing for this forum.

Not so much because I think I should or I have to, you understand. No, in my case it's because I can hear my mother's voice whispering in my ear. "Ladies don't talk about men's underwear in public." So I'm not saying I'm being oppressed by society, because I'm not.

And yet, as a writer, I know my original phrasing was more colorful. More attention-getting. How you write is important. People go back to blogs they find lively and entertaining, or ones full of factual information arranged so that they can easily understand it. That's the quality of the writing.

This digression is going nowhere, isn't it?


If that's all too much, or you're tired of the subject, this NYTimes article about a bookstore in China is fascinating.

Or, probably mostly of interest to women, this entry on women working with women.

Posted by AnneZook at 03:44 PM


Thank you. Birthdays are nice. And actually, that digression reminded me of Jamaica Kincaid's story, "Girl:"
"... always eat your food in such a way that it won't turn someone else's stomach; on Sundays try to walk like a lady and not like the slut you are so bent on becoming; don't sing benna in Sunday school; you mustn't speak to wharbfflies will follow you; but I don't sing benna on Sundays at all and never in Sunday school; this is how to sew on a button; this is how to make a button-hole for the button you have just sewed on; this is how to hem a dress when you see the hem coming down and so to prevent yourself from looking like the slut I know you are so bent on becoming..."

Posted by: Kim Pearson at March 18, 2005 08:01 PM

File-sharing ain't theft, it's promotion. No, really. Janis Ian says her CD sales jumped 300% after she started posting free music files on her site.

I reckon most of those files people download are things they would never have purchased, except for the ones that convince them that they must go out and buy the albums.

Posted by: Avedon at March 18, 2005 08:20 PM

Professor Kim - I think that of all the socialization we women undergo, that of our mothers sinks in the deepest and is the hardest to overcome. (To the extent that we want to.)

And thanks for the quote. Jamaica Kinkaid just hit my list of "authors I must read."

Avedon Carol - I wasn't thinking of music file sharing so much. I do believe that free samples can increase sales.

I was thinking about the growing problem of movie file swapping.

Posted by: Anne at March 18, 2005 08:29 PM