Condign and refreshingly speedy justice in the Nutmeg State, as reported by the crybaby Progressive:
Balayla Ahmad, a Muslim college student, reported sexual harassment at the University of Bridgeport and ended up getting reported to the FBI for terrorism, reports Think Progress. Her alleged harasser decided to falsely accuse Ahmad of terrorism after learning of her report. Two FBI agents visited Ahmad at home. According to a lawsuit filed by Ahmad, the university expelled her rather than fully investigate her allegations.
The Daily Orange
Miss Krystie Yandoli, "a senior women and gender studies and English and textual studies major" at Syracuse University, launches her bark upon troubled waters at the outset of a life headed for rage and grief:
Occupy Valentine's Day originated on Tumblr courtesy of Samhita Mukhopadhyay, executive editor of Feministing.com and author of "Outdated: Why Dating is Ruining Your Love Life." The Tumblr blog serves as a space for individuals to express their disdain with all the clichés and problematic ways in which Valentine's Day is celebrated in our culture….
I've never been a big fan of Valentine's Day, regardless of my relationship status—not because I don't like candy and not because I don't believe in love. My real problem is the commoditization of love that benefits from capitalist gains and the perpetuation of traditional and limiting gender norms.
After spending countless years in search of alternative ways to celebrate Valentine's Day, I owe Mukhopadhyay a debt of gratitude for spearheading an Occupy Valentine's Day movement.
(February 7, 2012)
And here is the scholarly ordinance developed by Miss Samhita Mukhopadhyay from which Miss Yandoli launched her assault on Valentine's Day and so much else. Heteronormativity, indeed:
This Valentine's Day, enthusiasts are expected to spend approximately $17.6 billion on romance-related goods—jewelry, cards, flowers and chocolates—a ten-year high, according to the National Retail Federation. That's not even the whole picture, when you include all the other things that go along with the "perfect" romantic experience: heart shaped doohickeys, sexy lingerie, bikini waxes, fancy dinners, candle lit romantic massages for two, romantic getaways, puppies and couples counseling. Clearly, the economics of love is serious business.
But despite evidence of how much love costs these days and cultural norms that are evolving away from traditional gender roles in romantic relationships, the commercialization of Valentine's Day continues to communicate traditional and conventional fantasies about gender and love. It's what theorists call heteronormativity: the structures and norms that privilege heterosexual monogamy, while simultaneously stigmatizing behavior that deviates from this model. How is it that heteronormativity still has such a stronghold on the public imagination, despite the fact that more and more people are choosing to delay or forgo marriage or despite the fact in more and more states across the country, marriage is no longer limited to people who are straight? How has it still intact [sic] after the Kim Kardashian marital disaster saga, or the notorious marital flameouts between Kevin Federline and Britney Spears or Katy Perry and Russell Brand? How has it weathered scandal after scandal in which the most ardent supporters of "marriage between a man and a woman" are unable to stay faithful?
(February 13, 2012)
The New York Times of Frederick, Maryland, plots the excruciating development of a new constitutional right along Carroll Creek while executives of the Porta Potty industry can only wait:
The recent Occupy Frederick camp on Carroll Creek provided a reminder that the city didn't have a camping ordinance—and needed one.
Occupy Frederick was well-planned and organized, and it worked with local officials to ensure the encampment was safe, orderly and didn't run afoul of law enforcement or become a genuine nuisance to users of the city's linear park [sic].…
But Occupy participant Robert Fisher argues that being in some out-of-the-way park defeats the purpose of organized protests. If people don't see and/or hear the message, what's the point?
Creating overly stringent or prohibitively expensive requirements involving, for example, sanitary conditions could also have a stifling effect. Occupy Frederick used creekside restaurant and bar bathrooms until their owners asked them to stop. That's understandable, but Fisher asks, "If I'm not spending money in some capacity, does that mean I don't have the right to speak out?"
A restaurant might counter that he or she has the right to reserve bathrooms for paying customers. OK, but does this mean the new law must require that campers on Carroll Creek rent portable toilets?
(February 14, 2012)
In These Times
A very personal public appeal by columnist Miss Suzie Douglas to Mr. Jon Stewart and Mr. Steven Tyler to Get Naked:
I have a love/hate relationship with Rolling Stone, which isn't surprising given that I never was, and certainly am not now, part of the magazine's desired demographic. On the one hand, nearly every woman who appears on the cover must be dressed like a stripper in the final stages of her act. By contrast, Jon Stewart, Steven Tyler and other men on the cover actually wear clothes.
New York Times
Columnist Paul Krugman makes another obscure point about something that Rick Santorum did or did not say that can be heard on the Internet or it cannot, and then there are the Crusades, which—oh the hell with it. Krugman is an acquired taste:
[S]omething has clearly gone very wrong with modern American conservatism.
Start with Rick Santorum, who, according to Public Policy Polling, is the clear current favorite among voters, running 15 points ahead of Mr. Romney. Anyone with an Internet connection is aware that Mr. Santorum is best known for 2003 remarks about homosexuality, incest, and bestiality. But his strangeness runs deeper than that.
For example, last year Mr. Santorum made a point of defending the medieval Crusades against the "American left who hates Christendom." Historical issues aside (hey, what are a few massacres of infidels and Jews among friends?), what was this doing in a 21st-century campaign?
(February 13, 2012)
A Washington Post report on the fabulous whooping cranes proffers a helpful suggestion as to how Mr. and Mrs. Barack Obama, once liberated from the White House glitz, can integrate themselves back into the American mainstream—don bird suits!
The birds are reared by conservationists in bird suits that conceal their human features. The birds become conditioned to follow the suited handlers.
On the migratory route, the cranes follow a small plane flown by a pilot in a bird costume. The cranes think the small glider-like ultralight plane is another bird. The flock flies 25 to 50 miles a day. Once the route is flown, the birds can make the return flight on their own.
(January 10, 2012)
Arty doings in downtown Chelsea, Michigan, involving such famous down-and-outs as the Buddha, Jesus of Nazareth, and even Kelly Clarkson:
Holy Faith Church, 6299 Ann Arbor-Saline Road in Saline, is hosting "Letters Home," an art installation about homelessness in America, through Friday.
The exhibit is the creation of area artist Susan Clinthorne and her sister, Sally Thielen, who together have been photographing and getting to know their homeless subjects in such places as Ann Arbor, Flint, Chicago, New York and along the West Coast. The two artists show the installation for free, making no money from the project.
The purpose of "Letters Home" is to raise awareness of the problem of homelessness and to break down an us-versus-them distinction for the viewer. It features life-sized, cut-out, black-and-white-photo portraits, as well as framed cardboard signs, a shopping cart, a cardboard "shelter" and a light box with a list of famous people who have been homeless—from entertainers like Kelly Clarkson and Halle Berry to religious figures like the Buddha and Jesus of Nazareth.
(February 9, 2012)
New York Times
Spotted on the op-ed page of the remarkable Times, jottings of a sociological and zoological nature with overtones of the clinically insane, and claimed rather proudly by Dr. Charles M. Blow, a man with no prior convictions:
And it's about understanding that masculinity is wide enough and deep enough for all of us to fit in it. But society in general, and male culture in particular, is constantly working to render it narrow and shallow. We have shaved the idea of manhood down to an unrealistic definition that few can fit in it with the whole of whom they are, not without severe constriction or self-denial.
The man that we mythologize in the back of our minds is a cultural concoction, an unattainable ideal, a perfect specimen of muscles and fearlessness and daring. Square-jawed and well-rounded. Potent and passionate. Sensitive but not sentimental. And, above all else, unwaveringly heterosexual and without even a hint of softness.
(February 11, 2012)