Cops defy stated public policy and harass a reporter trying to take pictures of public buildings in the nation’s capital.

Awesome.

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Dept. of Bait and Switch

July 16, 2014

Newsflash: 96.6 percent of Americans identify as straight. Which is kind of surprising since America has been told, over and over, that 10 percent of the country is gay.

This figure was trumpeted so relentlessly that eventually people kind of thought it was a low-end estimate. Which is why, two years ago, Gallup found that the average American guess that 24 percent of the country was gay.  (In the new CDC study, 1.6 percent of people identify as gay or lesbian.)

At some point in the near future we’re going to start getting data on the actual number of same-sex unions and only then will society get a sense of the real magnitude of the trade it seems to have made.

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Refusal to correct an “error.” Though in Vox’s defense, it’s really hard to sort out what is and isn’t true if the “facts” aren’t on Google.

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The news of the “‘death’ of Archie” (as they put it on the CGC slabs) shocked–shocked–America yesterday. And not just because Archie is now “dead”–the publisher, Archie Comics, announced that he was going to buy the farm back in April. No, the real shock was that it turns out Archie was assassinated. Gunned down while valiantly saving the life of his friend. Who’s gay. And also gay-married. And a politician. Who’s crusading against gun rights. While dealing with Iraq-war related PTSD.

Okay, I made up the last part but everything else is true. A few thoughts:

* Archie isn’t really dead, of course. Only the Archie of the Life with Archie series is dead. The regular Archie in the regular Archie series will keep plugging along.

* How relevant is Archie? I mean, from the hundreds and hundreds of items in the news yesterday, you’d think it’s a pretty big deal. Well in June the regular, flagship Archie title came out with issue #656. It was ranked #327 on the sales chart. Anyone want to guess how many copies it sold? Bueller? Bueller?

4,063

Not a typo.

* But Archie is a dynamo compared to Life with Archie. In May, the most recent issue of Life, #35, sold 2,064 copies.

* The stunt is perfectly in line with a company that’s experiencing massive internal turmoil. But it makes you wonder: Didn’t they get the memo at Archie Comics? Gay is yesterday. The future is trans! You have to wonder why the transphobic writers and artists at Archie are happy to include well adjusted homosexual characters, but have no room for trans-characters in their stories. It’s this sort of cis-gender bias which is holding back sales of comic books and keeping them in their ghetto subculture. It’s not like the character of Jughead hasn’t been silently signaling her true gender identity for years with her tiara. If only they’d be more inclusive.

The lesson we can all take from this, I think, is that the people who run Archie Comics are small-minded bigots and that Archie got what he deserved.

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The Pregnancy Pre-Nup

July 13, 2014

A 36-year-old Slate writer who’s not sure that she wants to have kids says that she thinks what might get her over the hump is having a “pregnancy pre-nup” with her husband specifying exactly her do’s,  don’ts, won’ts, and can’ts.

This is a capital idea and I encourage her to be as rigorous and detailed as possible in drafting the document. America’s entitlement system needs all the future taxpayers it can get.

And besides, what could possibly go wrong?

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Over at the Reparations Atlantic Monthly there’s a piece up about how racist the WWE is because they’ve never had a black WWE world champion. Which is slightly problematic because of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. But the point here isn’t just another example for the “media ignorance” tackboard. It’s that the actual history of race and wrestling is pretty interesting.

For example, in David Shoemaker’s excellent history of pro wrestling, The Squared Circle, he talks about how, for decades, promoters would only cast black wrestlers as babyfaces. That’s because they knew audiences would accept them as faces. But they worried that if a black heel made too much heat–that is to say, was too good as a villain–then audiences might riot.

As a consequence, a sign of real racial progress in wrestling was when promoters felt comfortable enough with audiences to cast black wrestlers as heels.

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You know who’s really racist? People who do yoga.

July 8, 2014

I’m pretty sure (?) this isn’t a joke. But you never know: “Racism is so implicit that you never even notice that it’s a white girl on the cover every single time,” added Amy Champ, a PhD from the University of California, Davis, who wrote her dissertation on American yoga. “But when you begin to […]

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Romney 2016!

July 8, 2014

Every once in a while I feel like a piece was written just for me.

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About Patent Trolls

July 7, 2014

Over at the Standard I’ve got a long-ish piece about patent trolls which, of course, isn’t really about patent trolls.

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Breaking News!

July 3, 2014

Guys who build an app designed to help men to get to frictionless, anonymous, sex with girls are jerks who objectivize women. That said, there is an interesting philosophical question at the heart of this piece. So the guys who built Tinder employed (or “co-founded”) with a gal who was their head of marketing. Her signal […]

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Vodka!

July 1, 2014

Big news today: OGS Vic Matus’s long-awaited book on the history of vodka is out: Vodka: How a colorless, odorless, flavorless spirit conquered America. It’s a really beautiful book, full of gorgeous, full-color reproductions of great vodka ads and pictures of the trade. And tons of great history and reportage, too. I cannot recommend it […]

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How to Deal with Racism in Ethnic Studies Classes

June 30, 2014

This entire piece is beyond parody–I kept looking for a tip-off that it was being done tongue in cheek. But my favorite part comes from Wash U. prof who dismisses the liberal bona fides of his racial studies students: The complaint I receive often, while teaching at a private, elite institution, where many students think […]

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