The meltdown is coming!

An hour on the road in Texas and no sane talk show to listen to.  So I listened for a while to an insane, and therefore somewhat riveting, right -wing one.  Two people were talking and claiming that one of them, A (I didn’t know who, though I suspected) had the following  interesting features:

a.  He had the truth and only spoke the truth.      glen beck

b. He has 4 tapes with the truth on them, one of which will bring down the administration.

c.  He is only frightened of being unfaithful to his core values and losing his soul.

d.  He’s urging us to get prepared for a really hard time, one when you can’t count on institutions that support you now. 

Now this was scary.  A asked B for an example of a really hard time, and B mentioned the exvacuation of Houston, which sort of was tried when hurricane Rita threatened to come on land at Galveston.  About 3 million people tried to get out of Houston, which was pretty catastrophic, given there are pnly two main roads going north, away from the Gulf.  The  stores were pretty much bare, there was no money in the ATM’s and no  gasoline in the city.

So that’s what the  meltdown will look like, and we need to get prepared  for it.  We need to gird our loins or whatever you do when an unspecified meltdown is coming.  Certainly, we need to be very wary. 

We are talking very serious and prolonged scare tactics.

Then one of the said that, as I suspected, the  other is Glen Beck, who has best  sellers on   I couldn’t bear any more, but I had heard a commercial for the Survival Seed Bank.  In the coming meltdown, these seeds may be worth more than gold.   These seeds will provide a lifetime of  food for you and your family.

And that’s the truth.

Can’t think why he’s dressed like a Hollywood fascist dictator, but the book is about tactics for winning arguments, so I  suppose there’s some connection.

Fashion blacks up

For reasons best known to themselves – or at least, their photographer – French Vogue decided to paint a white model black for its recent photoshoot.

Unsurprisingly, this fashion faux pas has pissed a few people off. For one thing, blacking up has an uncomfortable history. At a time when non-whites were being discriminated against in all manner of ways, white performers painted themselves black to entertain other white people. Not too pleasant, eh? For another thing, black models find it notoriously harder to find work than their white counterparts. So it’s a bit insulting for Vogue to imply that they’d rather paint a white model black, than hire a black model. Imagine if philosophy conference organisers got male philosophers to dress up in skirt and heels rather than inviting a female speaker. Seems rather ludicrous doesn’t it?

You can read two Guardian pieces about the issue here, and here.

The whole debacle did get me thinking about drag queens, which I know some feminists deplore for much the same sort of reasons as the ones I cite above. It seems to me, however, that the cases are importantly different. When I’ve got some more time, I’m going to try and cash out this intuition. But what do you think?

CFP: Changing Families in a Changing World.

The Centre for Research on Families and Relationships (CRFR) is holding their 3rd International Conference on 16th-18th June 2010 entitled Changing Families in a Changing World.

We live in times of enormous change on personal and global levels. Families are more diverse and more likely to change, with divorce, separation, stepfamilies, international adoption, increased life expectancy in some parts of the world and decreased in others, and a growing divide between rich and poor at local and global levels all becoming more prevalent. At the same time global recession, uncertainty about the impact of environmental degradation and increase religious and civil unrest provide a changing backdrop against which families live their lives.

What happens to families in this changing word? How do they deal with the way in which global changes impact upon their lives? What do we know about these changes and how they play out in and across different parts of the globe?

CRFR’s international conference will address these issues and invites paper and workshop proposals.

Jon Stewart takes on 30 Republicans who voted against the Franken rape amendment

Update: it seems that this vid can only be viewed in the US – sorry UK FP-ers!

Remember this hideous story of the KBR/Haliburton employee whose contract forbade her seeking justice for being gangraped and then locked in a storage container for 24 hours? Al Franken passed a law to deny federal contracts to companies that punish employees who complain of rape of discrimination. Well, as the title of this post suggests, here’s Jon Stewart taking on 30 Republicans who voted against Franken’s amendment.