Wednesday, April 07, 2004

On Bitches and Whores

I used a sleepless night in deep research of the blogoland area that is called 'Comments'. Quite a few blogs have them, mine included, though right-wing blogs for some odd reason tend not to allow commenting very much. Isn't the free exchange of ideas an important part of the free markets -religion? Anyway, I wanted to find out how commenters on political blogs use gender-related language when the topic isn't gender itself. The idea was to see what people do when they are not on their guard about sexism, for example.

The results are interesting, though I must warn you that no statistical significance is implied here, and I'm not going to give you a single mean or standard deviation; just some questions and guesses about what might be going on in this region of the cyberspace. Most of my data comes from reading the comments sections over a period of two days on just a few blogs, and what I say here may have no relevance in any wider sense. Or then again, it may.

What I found was a frequent use of the terms "whore" and "bitch". The term "slut" also appears, though not in any of the quotes I include here. These are all words that describe women who behave against the norms of the society either sexually (whore and slut) or in terms of aggressiveness (bitch), but the way they are used by blog commenters is different:

Who taught these bitches in the White House how to invade and conquer

Of course, these pampered millionare GOP whores threaten to move their teams if the voters don't approve a tax hike to pay for new luxury stadiums

One more time to blogwhore my comparison on Vietnam and Iraq

It's different, because the whores and bitches in these quotes are men, or at least not necessarily women, and the acts of whoring and bitching are defined differently: not as sex-related, but as unprincipled prostitution of ones ideas rather than of ones body and as pure nastiness, respectively. Reading them this way gets more complicated when the topic in the comments also happens to be a woman:

Not only did I get one hour less worth of sleep because of daylight savings or whatever it is last night, I was woken up to the inane blatherings of that worthless whore Cokie Roberts. She said something like ""If Richard Clarke hadn't destroyed Bush's credibility, Bush is actually doing quite well!"

Now she is a Media Whore Emerita and her comments don't have to have any tether to reality,

I can't stand the sanctimonious bitch. She reminds me of the Church Lady from SNL

I find my reading here shifting from the traditional definitions of bitch and whore to the ones that I think the blogoland has adopted. The overall effect is to make me feel that the woman is double-condemned here.

Not all blog comments-sections use whore and bitch in these ways. They can also be used to convey racism, as in this example:

I'll be a good crack 'ho in yo bitchinass blog, honky

What's interesting about this is the way terms denigrating women are used twice as often as terms denigrating race in this short statement, yet the final impact, on me at least, is purely racist. So somehow all these examples take traditionally derogatory female terms and make them into something else.

And now to the really fascinating question: what does this all mean? Is the mainstreaming (if this is mainstreaming) of nasty female epiteths a sign of decreased sexism? If men can be sluts, whores and bitches, too, aren't we all now more equal? Or is the real trend something completely different: the mainstreaming of misogyny under the disguise of this new wider interpretation of the terms?

I truly don't know. What do you think?

A postcript (April 9). This is a reprint of an exchange I had on the comments-section of Eschaton tonight:
Comment 1:
Person X,
I can smell your cunt.

My comment concerning it:
Person X,
I can smell your cunt.

This I found quite insulting. As if there's nothing worse in this world to be than a woman. Surely you can think of better ways to beat a troll.

Comment 2:
Echidne, grow some fucking cultural literacy, would you? Just google the phrase, add it to your netflix cue, and shut your runny hole.


Meanwhile, in Turkmenistan

President Saparmurat Niyazov of Turkmenistan is a man of some astonishing ideas:

In a televised address at an agricultural academy, Niyazov took note of the gold teeth of the female student who welcomed him.
"Don't take offense, your gold teeth are very beautiful, but you, young people, look much better with white teeth," he said, exhorting them to take better care of their teeth, according to the Interfax news agency.
"I watched dogs when I was young. They were given bones to gnaw ... Those of you whose teeth have fallen out did not gnaw on bones. This is my advice," he said

My dogs would probably agree, but you just try to take a bone away for them, even if it's for the purpose of keeping your own choppers nice and white.

This is not the only shocking thing Niyazov has done in Turkmenistan:

Niyazov has banned all opposition and controls all branches of government and the media. Golden statues and busts of the president are scattered across the country, and his portrait is on every banknote and coin.

He is also a dear friend of the United States...

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

The Mrs. Degree

Women's Enews has an interesting article about marriage and highly educated women. Traditionally, more educated women were less likely to be married in the U.S., but this seems to be changing. As the article notes:

In 1980, a woman with three years of graduate school was 13 percent less likely to be married than a woman with only a high-school diploma. By 2000, that gap shrank to less than 5 percent...

More surprisingly, while the general rate of marriage among women aged 40-44 is falling, the most educated women in this age group are actually marrying at increasing rates:

... Rose found an overall decline in the percentage of women between ages 40 and 44 who were married. In 2000, 72 percent were married, down from 81 percent in 1980.
The decline in marriage rates for women in that age bracket is roughly equivalent for more- and less-educated women. Between 1980 and 2000 marriage rates for women with a high-school education declined 5 percentage points to 91 percent. For women with college education, the rate declined by the same 5 percentage points to 88 percent.
Women with three years of graduate school, meanwhile, have bucked the declining trend. For them the marriage rate has actually increased by 3 percentage points, to 86 percent.

What explains this change? One researcher speculates that marriage has become more egalitarian and less about division of labor between the sexes (i.e., about women cleaning and keeping house and about men going out to work).
Would this change affect the desirability of marriage for men and women in the same way? I wonder. It still seems to me that even researchers sometimes assume that all women (whatever their sexual orientation or other values) want to get married, and if they don't marry the reason must be that nobody asked them. I'd like to see a study looking at women's own decision-making in greater detail.

Still, this snippet of news is important, especially given the continuous mythmaking in the media about the unhappily liberated successful women who can't "get" a man or babies. Remember Sylvia Hewlet's lament about the professional barren women? Remember the urban myth that a forty-year old woman is more likely to get killed in a terrorist attack than to get married? Remember that "you can't have it all"? Somehow I doubt that the injection of these new pieces of evidence will have much evidence on this particular anti-feminist enterprise. It's far too ingrained in the so-called liberal mainstream media.

Another Poll... Plus Some Unrelated Ramblings

About Bush's job approval. It has dropped to 49%, its lowest level in 2004. The 'strongly disapprove' category beats the 'strongly approve' category by one percent. Whether these results matter at all is quite a different question. But horoscopes are fun to read, too.

The drop in Bush's job approval probably has something to do with what's happening in Iraq; to hand over power in that country in less than three months' time seems to me to be pure lunacy. No-one asked me, of course. More's the pity.
Elsewhere, I hear that China has at least eleven million eternal bachelors. Why is that, the BBC News wonders? Could it possibly have something to do with the still prevalent Chinese view that prefers boys to girls, combined with the strict limits on the number of children per family? But the real reason is the low value attributed to girls, not only in China but all over most of the world. Rather than worrying about these eleven million unmarried men, maybe we should worry about what happened to the women who in a different world might have married them.
And then some really good news, also from BBC! We are going to get Ruport Murdoch for good here in the U.S.! He's moving his headquarters from Australia to New York, so that he can keep a closer eye on all his media outlets here to see how well the brainwashing is going. Aren't we lucky? Or aren't the Australians lucky?

What U.S. Drug Companies Say

That importing cheaper drugs from Canada and other countries would be unsafe, would lower incentives to market generic drugs, and would increase drug prices in other countries. Not very surprising that they would say this; it would have been more interesting if they had pushed for drug importation at any cost.

But are these claims true? The last one probably is, at least in those countries where the government doesn't regulate drug prices. This prediction comes from standard economic theory of a firm which prices the same product differently in two different markets. This is only possible if resale can be stopped, or in our case, if the importation of Canadian drugs to the United States can be stopped. If resale is impossible to stop, the two market prices will become roughly equalized (ignoring the effect of any tariff or tax differences between the countries), and the most likely outcome is that the country with previously lower prices will find them go up. Incidentally, the firms' profits will also decline, which is why they are fighting the drug importation plan.

The Canadian government might not let Canadian prices rise, though. The health care system north of the U.S. border has much more government control over things such as prices, and this makes it harder to predict the impact of drug exportation on the Canadian markets.

The truth of the first claim of the drug companies, that imported drugs would be unsafe, clearly depends on the quality control system that is practised in the countries of origin. It's pretty hard to pretend that Canadian drugs would present any health dangers to American consumers, as long as the sellers use the same system of requiring physician prescriptions before filling orders for prescription drugs. Which they do. Importing drugs from some other countries could be more dangerous. Still, there are ways of insuring the quality of imported drugs (we do it all the time with other imported products), and quality problems exist with domestic drugs, too. Also, if the alternative to imported drugs for some poor American consumers is no treatment at all, the likely unsafety of such drugs should be compared to the unsafety of an illness possibly remaining altogether untreated.

But there are already cheaper alternatives for poorer consumers, say the drug companies. These are the generic drugs, i.e., medications which don't have brand names but do have the same chemical components that make brand name drugs effective. Would importing drugs reduce the incentives to market such generics? Maybe, but the current marketing efforts of generics aren't exactly noticeable, either, perhaps because there is a lot less profit in marketing them.

I think that drug importation should be allowed. Aren't we all now devoted followers of the free markets? Wasn't NAFTA supposed to make all of this continent into one big supermarket? Well, here, finally, is an opportunity for ordinary Americans to benefit from it.

Monday, April 05, 2004

Something I want to Share!

I am worried that I put my readers off by being so divine and perfect. Just to reassure you that my life isn't all roses and nectar, either, I am going to let you into a big secret: I am a Red Socks fan. That's enough of a burden for anyone.

So now you can feel sorry for me and have all sorts of other fuzzy, nice feelings! AND I get more visits. Is this what humans mean by someone having 'social intelligence'?

Right-Wingery 101: How To Interpret Fallujah

Thanks to Atrios, I have finally met Kathleen Parker. She's a right-wing journalist and columnist, and must be a good one. After all, in 1993 she won

>...the H. L. Mencken Writing Award issued by The Baltimore Sun. The judges praised Parker for "singing another note on the subject of family values and following the tradition of H. L. Mencken in attacking ignorance and stupidity with vividness and originality."

The new note on family values she sings is the normal conservative lament. Her Townhall biography reveals the fascinating fact that she had four stepmothers, and this may explain her take on family values: the sins of the fathers and so on. Anyway, I digress.

The reason I wanted to write about Parker is the promise of finding someone on the right who has vividness and originality in the attacks against ignorance and stupidity; someone who would actually be fun to read. Maybe even a new Dorothy Parker. We'll see if Kathleen is one. She's going to be our guide on the question how your average American right-winger interprets the horrible events in Fallujah where four American civilians were killed and their dead bodies then burned, mutilated and hung from a bridge. She's going to teach us how to see the world through right-wing eyes, and she's going to be vivid and original while doing it. What a treat!

Here we go then. She begins thus:

I suppose it would be considered lacking in nuance to nuke the Sunni Triangle.
But so goes the unanimous vote around my household - and I'm betting millions of others - in the aftermath of what forevermore will be remembered simply as "Fallujah."

Wouldn't it be lovely were justice so available and so simple? If we were but creatures like those zoo animals we witnessed gleefully jumping up and down after stomping, dragging, dismembering and hanging the charred remains of American civilians whose only crime was to try to help them

"To nuke the Sunni Triangle" means to destroy it by using something called weapons of mass destruction, in this case of the nuclear sort. The effect of such 'nuking' would be to kill most living things in the area, as well as all the foetuses still inside their mothers. I thought this was a no-no for Parker.

But she's willing to make an exception in the case of Iraqis, or at least in the case of those Iraqis who happen to live near the ones she describes as zoo animals. It took me some time to connect this zoo story with Fallujah, until I realized that Parker is talking about the Iraqis who participated in the mutilation or cheered it. She calls them zoo animals. Why zoo, I wonder? Who has caged them? Nevermind. What we can conclude from Parker's opening comments is that she thinks a nuclear attack would be a good equalizer for the murder of four Americans, and that it wouldn't really be that terrible, given that some who would be killed behaved in a manner which she thinks would fit zoo animals.

We are also learning that Parker believes millions of others to have the same opinions. These millions must be right-wingers. Ok.

But then Parker rises to the expected high moral level, and tells us that using weapons of mass destruction on the Sunni Triangle isn't really such a good idea; instead we Americans must stay calm:

But keep our heads we must. Calmly we must transcend the primitive lust that compels ignorant others to mug idiotically for cameras.
Our revenge will be in facing down enemies who, though unworthy adversaries, impede the worthy goal of stabilizing a country whose future may predict our own. To retreat now would merely feed the terrorists' appetite for America's immediate failure en route to her ultimate demise

And who are the primitive muggers for cameras? Perhaps American politicians? Or maybe she means the zoo animals in Fallujah. But 'we' (the American right-wingers?) are not like that: we are rational, cool and logical planners of important military strategies. The most important of these is to guarantee that we don't see the same future in the good old U.S. of A as we would see in Iraq without our military intervention.

I'm not sure what the similarities are supposed to be. Does Parker mean that the American Christian fundamentalists are having similar takeover plans here as the muslim fundamentalists harbor in Iraq? If this is the explanation, how would the American troops in Iraq help? Shouldn't they be brought home to defend us against the much more immediate domestic dangers? Or am I getting all confused here, and Kathleen is just telling us the old Republican story of how the 9/11 terrorists really were Iraqis though everybody knows they weren't?

We then learn that Parker wants the United States to stay in Iraq to avert this horrible American demise. She also wants more international help for all the averting:
We have no choice but to stay the course and fulfill our commitment. That said, it would be nice if the international community would step up to the plate and insist on justice. This isn't just America's war, but America's response to a war that was brought to us.

I thought that the international community had stepped up to the plate over a year ago. Millions of people all over the world protested against the Iraq war, and I suspect that most of them thought their protest were for justice. But Parker sees things differently: the international community should come in aid of the unfairly attacked United States. It doesn't seem to trouble her that 'America's response to a war that was brought to us' meant attacking a country that had nothing to do with the bringing of that initial attack. As far as I know the guilty party was an organization called Al-Qaieda, not the bogeyman called Saddam Hussein. But clearly my way of thinking wouldn't do in the right-wing circles; instead I should view the Iraq war as a logical consequence of the 9/11 carnage and the international community as lacking in proper cooperation if it doesn't occupy Iraq, too.

Parker has more to say in the same vein, but I have covered most bases already (See! I can do baseball analogies, too!) She ends her column by reminding us about the zoo animals one more time:

Still, a well-placed MOAB smack in the Sunni Triangle ... but then, we are not animals. A reel of Rambo will have to do.

There you have it: the proper right-wing views to hold, all presented to you in a vivid and original manner by Kathleen Parker. I think Dorothy Parker was a better writer by far, but Kathleen is quite entertaining in her own way.

Sunday, April 04, 2004

Which Conservative Pundit Are You?

Take this test at World O'Crap, and find out!
I am 1/3 Ben Shapiro, 1/3 Jonah Goldberg and 1/3 Ann Coulter. I think the test needs some tweaking...

Saturday, April 03, 2004

Bye, bye Athena!

I just waved goodbye to her! She threw some kisses back and disappeared in a puff of dark cloud. Then I collapsed.

But it was a good visit: the only thing that suffered was my blogging career. I just didn't have enough time, and I get all crooked-eyed from sipping on the nectar nonstop. So I apologize for not being my usual scintillating self.

I bet you want to know what happened. Well, Athena was kind of stiff at the beginning. She didn't take to the snakes very much, and when Artful Asp drew a picture of her with an enormous bottom, Athena sulked for a few minutes. But things got better after a while. I plied her with made-up stories about how loved she still is and how famous she's becoming among the feminists, and she lapped it all up.

Then she told me several risque stories that I hadn't heard before. Some of them would make your hair (if you have any) stand up, and would be on the front pages of most newspapers in this world. But I have sworn to remain silent about them. At least for a time. Let me just say that Athena is a lot hawter than all that steel and marble would make you suspect.

We also spent some time laughing at the U.S. politics. She finds the neocons extremely funny, and she's planning to work some sort of a joke on the freepers. (She knew nothing about blogging, by the way, and I had to enlighten her there. She really took to Atrios, though of course she prefers me.) We'll see if the freepers think the joke is hilarious, too. Athena sometimes has a rough sense of humor.

And then we imbibed some more nectar, and she got all weepy and teary about the past glories and all that crap. I have no time for self-pity, especially as I don't need any, so I started tickling her and then we practised some new assassination techniques on each other and also worked a Wild West act of lariat throwing with the snakes as the rope. It was a little childish perhaps, especially as she kept changing my lariat snakes into strings of chewing-gum and the snakes found this disrespectful. Anyway, we then went shopping at a mall! I bought a Marilyn Monroe outfit (I can do the head on my own but the clothes are a bit trickier), and Athena bought a new helmet and a set of Wusthoff kitchen knives. It was a real girly bonding time! Just the two goddesses together.

Well, then I fell asleep. I'm not that used to the way gods and goddesses get drunk anymore, but falling asleep was a big mistake, because Athena had gone out boy-scouting in the meantime. I did save everybody, pretty much, and I do apologize for any damage she caused to the bar furniture and the cars parked outside. I'll pay for all of it.

But this morning she was really nice and repentant about everything. She taught me a goddess trick I didn't know before, and even invited me for a visit! And as she was taking off Artful Asp burst into tears. It looked so sweet, and Athena was quite touched. It's good she didn't know that Asp had poisoned all the nectar she drank and had waited with great excitement for the coming death contortions. I did tell the snakes that venom doesn't work against goddesses, but Asp is an optimistic little one, and she was bitterly disappointed when she realized that if Athena would die it wouldn't be in front of us.

But on the whole it was a very successful visit, don't you think so?

Fingerprints and Photos Required

Welcome to the United States of America!

A program requiring foreigners to be fingerprinted and photographed before entering the United States is being expanded to include millions of travelers from some of America's staunchest allies, officials said Friday.
The move affects citizens in 27 countries - including Britain, Japan and Australia - who had been allowed to travel within the United States without visas for up to 90 days. Officials said the change was prompted in part by concerns that terrorists might try to exploit those exemptions.

And will this help to find any potential terrorists among the flocks of tourists eager to spend their money here? I don't know. The answer obviously depends on the number of potential terrorists that have their photos and/or fingerprints on record somewhere. Without such prior records the process seems pretty pointless.

It will certainly reduce the number of visitor to the U.S.. Most vacationers don't like to be treated like crime suspects, and there are plenty of other interesting places to visit instead.

Friday, April 02, 2004

Republicans in Hell

While walking down the street one day, a Republican head of state is tragically hit by a truck and dies. His soul arrives in heaven and is met by St. Peter at the entrance.
"Welcome to Heaven," says St. Peter. "Before you settle in, it seems there is a problem. We seldom see a high official around these parts, you see, so we're not sure what to do with you."
"No problem, just let me in." says the Republican.
"Well, I'd like to but I have orders from higher up. What we'll do is have you spend one day in Hell and one in Heaven. Then you can choose where to spend eternity."
"Really, I've made up my mind. I want to be in Heaven," says the Republican head of state.
"I'm sorry but we have our rules." And with that, St. Peter escorts the Republican to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to Hell. The doors open and he finds himself in the middle of a green golf course. In the distance is a club and standing in front of it are all his friends and other politicians who had worked with him, everyone is very happy and in evening dress. They run to greet him, hug him, and reminisce about the good times they had while getting rich at expense of the people. They play a friendly game of golf and then dine on lobster and caviar. Also present is the Devil (a Republican, too), who really is a very friendly guy who has a good time dancing and telling jokes.
They are having such a good time that, before he realizes it, it is time to go. Everyone gives him a big hug and waves while the elevator
rises. The elevator goes up, up, up and the door reopens on Heaven where St. Peter is waiting for him.
"Now it's time to visit Heaven." So 24 hours pass with the Republican head of state joining a group of contented souls moving from cloud to cloud, playing the harp and singing. They have a good time and, before he realizes it, the 24 hours have gone by and St. Peter returns.
"Well then, you've spent a day in Hell and another in Heaven. Now choose your eternity."
He reflects for a minute, then the head of state answers: "Well, I would never have thought it, I mean Heaven has been delightful, but I think I would be better off in Hell."
So Saint Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to Hell. Now the doors of the elevator open and he is in the middle of a barren land covered with waste and garbage. He sees all his friends, dressed in rags, picking up the trash and putting it in black bags. The Devil comes over to the Republican and lays an arm on his neck.
"I don't understand," stammers the Republican head of state. Yesterday I was here and there was a golf course and club and we ate lobster and caviar and danced and had a great time. Now all there is a wasteland full of garbage and my friends look miserable.
The Devil looks at him, smiles and says, "Yesterday we were campaigning. Today you voted for us!"

The source of this joke is here.

One of those things you really should know

If Barbie were life-size, her measurements would be 39-23-33. She would stand seven feet, two inches tall.

But what about her feet? What shoe size would she take? Something very small I suspect. How would she walk on those tiny feet, given how front-weighted her body is? Lurch, totter, lurch, totter? Like some sort of a tiptoeing monster.

If she was actually to come alive in life-size, she'd also need surgery to let her heels come down once and a while. And as this is not a family blog I can reveal that she'd also need extensive surgery in her pelvic area.

No, Barbie is not a good role model for anybody.

Dear Charles

Sometimes it pays to rummage in old files: I found this pearl developed by an oyster also known as Charles Krauthammer. It was in a review of the movie "Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World":

Weir's restraint carries into a remarkable austerity regarding women. In the movie's version of a love interest, a Brazilian beauty in a small boat selling wares offshore to the sailors of Captain Aubrey's ship catches Aubrey's eye for a moment at a considerable distance. For about five seconds you see Aubrey (Crowe) returning her glance.
And that is it. Indeed, that scene marks the only appearance of women in the entire two hours of the film, setting a new record for sexual austerity in an epic, a record previously held by "Lawrence of Arabia."
(Bolds mine.)

It's so good it needs to be repeated: "Indeed, that scene marks the only appearance of women in the entire two hours of the film, setting a new record for sexual austerity in an epic". Hmmm. I wish someone told Charles that normal people don't necessarily think that women act in movies only when sexual titillation is called for.

Thursday, April 01, 2004

A Snake's Eye View on Some Recent News

I refuse to write about the 9/11 commission scandal, about what the Bush administration knew or did not know, about who lies and why. There are plenty of very good blogs about all this, and they show us very convincingly that the Brooklyn Bridge is still a very good buy. Which is sooo depressing.

Let's look at something more cheerful instead. First, there are very good news for the mice: they can be vaccinated against the SARS virus. This makes it much more comfortable for them to travel to the Far East. Humans are very kind to the mice; sometimes it seems that almost all medical research has to do with the well-being of our four-legged friends. Can mice take artificial sweeteners without harm to their health? Can we solve extreme obesity in mice? Will Prozac work to keep the mice positive while hunting for the cheese? Large libraries consist of all the crucial findings on Mouse Health.

Too bad that humans are rather different from mice, and that not that many of the mice findings generalize terribly well to other mammals. I'm old enough (very old as humans count!) to remember countless mouse health revelations that ultimately had nothing to do with the health of humans. Still, studying mice is a lot more harmless than some other human activities (except from the mouse point of view).

If all these people weren't studying mice, they might be making movies like Mel Gibson. What do I think about his latest take on the last days of Jesus? This is what Father Thomas Hopko, a Christian, thinks about it:

Whatever the cinematic and artistic merits of Mel Gibson's film, "The Passion of the Christ," and whatever the conversations it provokes, it hardly portrays the fullness and depth of Christ.

Gibson's passion is a monotonous and misleading exaggeration of one aspect of the scriptural Christ's suffering and death to a distorting degree. His Jesus is God's suffering servant whose passion is reduced to his being ridiculed and beaten with a sadistic brutality far beyond what the four Gospels record. The film's relentless emphasis on Christ's physical sufferings which, contrary to scripture, begin already in the Gethsemane garden, and the almost comic ugliness of the villains - the priests, the soldiers, Judas, Herod, Barabbas, the devil figure and its child, the faces in the crowds - capture the viewer's attention and serve more to conceal than to reveal the fullness and depth of the passion's multiple meanings.

The sacrifice of a grain god is of course common in many older religions, and sacrifices of all types have always been popular in human religions. It's an extension of commerce to the supernatural realm: If I give you my son, will you give me victory and power? There is also something about the suffering of others that appeals to the worse instincts of some, yet portraying this suffering as a just sacrifice makes watching it ok, not sadistic or anything. In fact, it makes watching a holy experience. This is nothing singular for Christians. All humans seem to do it.

I don't pretend to understand Christianity, but I'm sure that the story of Christ has more important lessons (the Sermon on the Mount?) for us than the one Gibson chose to portray: That it hurts to be crucified. A lot.

It also hurts some to be a victim of racism. The University of Notre Dame has a spokesman in Paul Hornung that the university would probably prefer not to have:

Football great Paul Hornung said in a radio interview that his alma mater, Notre Dame, needs to lower its academic standards to "get the black athlete."

Where is this "black athlete" with the low academic standards? Who is she or he? And how did Hornung find out about this person if Notre Dame is still oblivious?

It is racist to stereotype a whole class of people in the way Hornung did, though maybe he doesn't know any better. I guess he will learn soon.

But what are universities for, anyway? If they are for team sports, why not just dispense with all the fusty academia and make all college campuses into big training camps for football, basketball and ice hockey? We can still have the alumni come and picnic at the games, and we can still have media coverage for the institutions. Plus, we'd save a lot of money and get rid of the evil lefty-liberal professors at the same time.

Maybe this will happen in time for my next snake's eye review of news.