One book, two descriptions…

Here’s how The Globe and Mail starts off their article, “Meet the Radical Homemaker”:

A new breed of stay-at-home men and women is rejecting consumer-focused lives in favour of looking after their families and communities.It can get a little awkward when people ask Rick Juliusson what he does for a living.

“I – I’m a stay-at-home dad,” is his standard reply.

Mr. Juliusson notes he’s also many other things – an independent farmer, a writer and a contract consultant for non-profit organizations. But since he quit his job as an executive director of a Vancouver-based international development agency a year and a half ago and moved his family to a five-acre farm in Duncan, B.C., Mr. Juliusson considers his main role as a father to his two young boys…”

The New York Times article, The Femivore’s Dilemma, takes a different approach:

Four women I know — none of whom know one another — are building chicken coops in their backyards. It goes without saying that they already raise organic produce: my town, Berkeley, Calif., is the Vatican of locavorism, the high church of Alice Waters. Kitchen gardens are as much a given here as indoor plumbing. But chickens? That ups the ante. Apparently it is no longer enough to know the name of the farm your eggs came from; now you need to know the name of the actual bird.

All of these gals — these chicks with chicks — are stay-at-home moms, highly educated women who left the work force to care for kith and kin. I don’t think that’s a coincidence: the omnivore’s dilemma has provided an unexpected out from the feminist predicament, a way for women to embrace homemaking without becoming Betty Draper.

One fascinating feature of the juxtaposition is that the NY Times article really plays up the feminism, explicitly mentioning it several times*– while at the same time framing the movement as all about a new, even more labour-intensive sort of housewifery (albeit an environmentally superior one). The Globe and Mail article, which doesn’t mention feminism, actually describes something that sounds much more feminist– since it’s not assuming that it’s all “chicks with chicks”.

*And, as far as I can tell, coining the really ill-conceived term ‘femivore’. I mean, shouldn’t that mean one who eats women?

(Thanks, Frog, for your help on this one!)

Milgram: Second time as game show?

Scientists can get it past the ethics committees anymore. But TV companies apparently don’t face that obstacle.

A French TV show which invited contestants to give a man increasingly large electric shocks until he apparently died said it was astonished by their willingness to comply.

The Game of Death, which goes out tonight on the state-owned France 2 channel, recruited ordinary people who had no idea they were being set up.

Based on a US psychological experiment in the 1960s, the man apparently being shocked is zapped each time he gets a quiz question wrong.

Each time the show’s hostess urged contestants to turn up the voltage until the man screamed in pain with the audience, who also believed the game was real, shouting “punishment” as encouragement.

Eventually the “victim” appeared to drop dead.

“We were amazed to find that 81 percent of the participants obeyed” the sadistic orders of the television presenter, said programme-maker Christophe Nick.

Happy St Pat’s

I’m sure there must be some happy Irish songs, but the Wearing of the Green is not one, nor is the following.  The pictures are beautiful, though.  The tenor is Michael Londra