The Obligatory Adjustment of Allah’s Definitions

Filed under:Priorities,Sad — posted by Anwyn on August 21, 2006 @ 1:14 pm

I had a cutesy little–operative word, little–post in mind on this woman and her excruciating five minutes of fame to the effect of: “How to spot a quality man? One who knows to steer clear–far clear–of this debacle of a human being who uses the phrase ‘fat single mothers’ as an epithet and considers children ‘parasites.'”

But Allah upped the ante by expressing sympathy that I can’t leave unchallenged. Specifically:

???Lower your standards and stop pursuing women who are out of your league. There are lots of fat single mothers out there who can???t find dates either.??? [Allah says:] That???s partly why I sympathize with her. She???s getting killed for telling the truth. In general, I mean. Not about her being one of those out-of-your-league women.

Falling for a single mother does not require “lower standards.” It may require an adjustment of priorities. I can easily understand how at first glance most single, childless men are going to steer away from a single mother, but that has far less to do with the woman’s personality, brains, looks, or anything else that people look at in a potential SO and far more to do with the the fact that children are an immediate, upfront, and very serious complication to any relationship. No single mother in her right mind is going to encourage a relationship between her child and her date–hey, you mean some single mothers have right minds and brains in them?–unless she’s pretty convinced he’s going to be around in the long term, which is a lot of pressure for a nascent relationship. Then there’s the child’s father, if living–hey, you mean some single mothers might be widows, rather than man-eating divorcees or sluts?–another man who is, if he’s in the picture, by obligation to the child, necessarily a fixture in the woman’s life. Then there’s the simple fact that a child complicates even the most ordinary aspects of dating–getting a babysitter, not taking off on some hot weekend getaway on a whim, etc.

But all these are adjustments in the circumstances of a relationship that a man could be willing to make for a woman who, in matters of personality, brains, looks, or anything else that people look at in a potential SO, meets his standards.

The only “standards” issue a single mother might violate simply by being a single mother is “possible sluttiness.” And even that’s qualified “possible”–you simply don’t know the circumstances under which the child was born unless you get to know the mother. If she doesn’t meet your standards, don’t date her, but don’t assume she doesn’t meet your standards because she’s a single mother. As with most other labels and categories, you can’t presume to define an individual based on that one aspect of her identity, and it’s not “truth” to suggest otherwise. It’s meanness.

As for “fat,” I’m not dim enough to pretend that weight is not a standard women are measured by, but Ms. Passey’s undisguised venom for mothers and children does not leave room for the suggestion that she regarded “single mother” as any less an insult or criterion for lowered standards than “fat.” If a woman’s looks, including her weight, do not meet a particular man’s standards for a date, that’s his call. If a man counts a woman out based solely on single motherhood status, that’s a call to count that man out of the “quality” section.

Do not miss Ace taking Ms. Passey apart, as it gave me the best laugh I’ve had in a week. Thanks, Ace!

PS, what is with the commenters at Ace using Ms. Passey’s self-proclaimed geek status to bash on geek girls, band geek girls, and flute-playing geek girls?!? Serenity=awesome; if you don’t know my LotR cred, check it out; and yes, I was both a flute player and the drum major of my HS band, and thanks, Alyson, for ruining that for the rest of us.

Update: To be clear, I am no more suggesting that a woman can be defined by her weight than by her status as a single mother. When I say “If a woman’s looks, including her weight, do not meet a particular man’s standards, that’s his call,” what I mean is “If a man is not attracted to a particular woman, and one reason why might include her weight, that’s his call.” All I’m really saying here is that if a man passes on a woman he’s attracted to and could be compatible with because the fact that she’s a single mother, that fact by itself, or overweight, that fact by itself, violates a standard, then his standards are off. Carry on.

PSA: Dead Man’s Chest a Dud

Filed under:Movies,Reviews — posted by Anwyn on August 20, 2006 @ 11:22 pm

The new Pirates of the Caribbean is a waste. And that is such a shame.

I simply cannot understand how some screenwriters can write awesome first movies and then turn out the worst sequels imaginable. To be fair, there are other writers credited for both Zorro movies and for the story of the first Pirates, but Chest is apparently, lamentably, all their own.

I don’t even have the heart to rev up a full review. Suffice to say that in the first film, Johnny Depp ruled; in this he was a victimized afterthought going through the motions. In the first, the characters’ motivations were made clear and their behaviors compatible with them; in this there were extraneous characters thrown about willy-nilly and supposedly known quantities acting bizarrely contrary to their former natures. The first was sharply sequenced and well paced; this had about five expositions that didn’t give us the information we needed, split the supposed protagonists up into too many parties to reliably keep track of, and spent far too long on meaningless action scenes that weren’t even that enjoyable for their own sake. Interesting side note: the writers evidently love Return of the Jedi not wisely but too well; a few clumsy nods to Lucas & Co. in no way made up for the faults of the scenes they inhabited.

I’m too depressed about the writing to bother scoring off the actors. They just didn’t have enough to work with. When Johnny Depp is phoning it in, you know you have a serious problem. And the worst part of all? **SPOILER** (more…)

Transgenred Fun

Filed under:Cool,Music — posted by Anwyn @ 10:55 pm

Music jumping genres. This is great. (h/t Allah at Hot Air, reminding you that if it’s acoustic, it’s “hippie.”) I suppose it would be funnier if I had known anything about the song or Outkast before I watched it, but since I didn’t, it was more musically impressive than funny, especially since I garnered from the context of the video what he had to work with going in. The original lyrics seem to consist of the idea that love is sex and thus not an exception to the adage “nothing lasts forever.” But since Mat Weddle of Obadiah Parker leaves out the overt sex stuff, the song morphs into a lament over being stuck in a relationship that is really over. Better song, to my way of thinking.

And since we’re on the subject, check out my favorites, Nickel Creek, and their stirring rendition of “Toxic,” performed originally, I am reliably informed, by Britney Spears. They did this when I saw them play last winter, too, but I am just too unhip to recognize Spears songs when I hear them and had to ask my neighbor in the audience. Didn’t stop me from enjoying watching Chris shake it, though. This YouTube version was the pick of a bad lot in the sense that it 1) had audio and video tracks synched up; 2) showed all of the band members (I always get a kick out of watching Sean on guitar, solid as a rock, while Chris hotdogs); 3) wasn’t blocked by somebody’s head in front. It’s not as close up as would be optimal, especially if you haven’t seen Nickel Creek before, but … c’est la vie. Enjoy.

Two RomComs Make a Right

Filed under:It's the Jihad,Movies,Reviews — posted by Anwyn on August 19, 2006 @ 3:47 pm

Though I’m depressed as hell to find out the Lebanese army isn’t just cowed, but will be actively assisting the Hezbollah jihad, there isn’t much I can do about that, or even say, except that when the “legitimate” Lebanese army fires on the Israelis, we will officially have arrived at WWIII.

So for a little weekend escapism, let’s review two of this year’s romantic dramadies, The Break-Up and The Lake House.

The title of this post and the description “dramadies” are somewhat misleading, since Break-Up isn’t romantic and Lake House isn’t a comedy. The former is a depressing real-life “comedy” starring real-life couple (long may they last) Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston, while the latter is a redemptive escapist romance/fantasy drama starring Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock. As something of a disclaimer, I would see a movie starring Reeves and Bullock as romantic leads if it consisted of them reading the newspaper to each other for two hours … which, let’s face it, is a lot like what they do in Lake House. But their chemistry remains right on throughout; has been since Speed.

I saw these two in back-to-back weeks. Break-Up left my jaw on the floor because–**SPOILER**– (more…)

Stars Get It Right

Filed under:Cool,Television — posted by Anwyn on August 17, 2006 @ 11:18 pm

This is cool. (h/t Bryan at Hot Air and Hot Air commenter RobertCSampson for the full ad.)

In contrast to this piece of ignorant tripe (h/t Mike Lief) signed by some of the usual suspects, including Sarandon and Penn, it is refreshing, to say the least, to see some of my favorites who know how to put the blame where it belongs. Particularly I was tickled to see the name of Joshua Malina on the list–he made me love him in Sports Night but unfortunately only made it to The West Wing just as I wrote it off as ER in the White House.

I wonder why ad signer Pat Sajak doesn’t write for Human Events any more? That piece pretty much sums up my view on celebrities preaching politics: Do it all you want, but don’t whine when it affects your popularity far more than it affects national policy.

Allah doesn’t believe they mean it. (See this comment thread.) I don’t believe they’d even bother unless they do mean it. They have nothing to lose by keeping silent, and much to lose by putting their names to that ad.

RIP Bruno Kirby

Filed under:Movies,Sad — posted by Anwyn on August 16, 2006 @ 11:32 pm

Bruno Kirby has passed away at age 57. Among other performances, he gave the world two of the heartwarmingly funniest turns as Billy Crystal’s best friend in both City Slickers and When Harry Met Sally.

Harry: “So I say to her, ‘Don’t you love me any more?’ You know what she says? ‘I don’t know if I’ve ever loved you.'”

Jess: “Ooh, that’s harsh.”

[They do The Wave.]

Jess: “You don’t bounce back from that right away.”

Harry: “Thanks, Jess.”

Jess: “No, I’m a writer; I know dialogue, and that’s particularly harsh.”


Ed: “You pick one. Your favorite one. And you just get that one from then on. Every day, for the rest of your life, the same cereal. And then you wake up one morning, and you’re just not hungry any more.”

Phil: “You can’t get an erection.”

Ed: “Hey, pal, I can get an erection any time I want. Watch.”

Finished TiVoed 24

Filed under:Reviews,Television — posted by Anwyn @ 10:53 pm

Late to the party, I know. I watch a lot of TV during the season, some less hot but still watchable shows get recorded and left till the summer, and 24 is a newcomer–this was my first season. And it was awesome. Kiefer Sutherland is fan-frickin’-tastic as Jack Bauer, and although the rest of the show at first had me struggling to suspend disbelief regarding the technical wizardry, timing, and inhuman task management of these people, I soon learned to forget all that and go along for the ride.

But I’m a little surprised that in his detailed summary of the show, Rick Moran apparently made no comment on the 24‘s skate-near-the-edge portrayal of President Logan as a corrupt, oil-motivated, power-mad executive who’d do anything, include endangering American citizens at the hands of terrorists, if it would satisfy his political aims. I flew into a huge rant at the screen when I realized where they were going with this. Isn’t it bad enough that people actually believe these kinds of things are possible in Bush’s world without having a major network TV show stir the pot?

I guess it’s fortunate that the frustrated writers, if they really do believe their own concoction, are left to vent through fiction. I’ll still be watching next season, but it would be nice if their agenda wore a few more clothes.

Unwanted, Dead or Alive

Filed under:Abortion — posted by Anwyn @ 7:07 pm


I know something about the state of mind a woman can enter when she discovers she is unwillingly pregnant. But I will never understand the depravity necessary to take this action:

Police were called to the Hialeah clinic on July 20 after a report that a person–identified by Overton as clinic owner Belkis Gonzalez–took the infant and placed it in the biohazard bag.

It is infuriating that a law called Born-Alive Infants Protection Act is needed in this country. After the birth of a child, no matter how many weeks along, its subsequent entombment in a plastic bag or any other form of action that leads to its death should be prosecuted under applicable homicide laws. And the killers jailed for life.

Via Rightwingsparkle.

New and Improved Attack

Filed under:It's the Jihad — posted by Anwyn on August 10, 2006 @ 10:47 am

What’s a better attack? One that’s prevented.

Quote that should have been thought through: London police Deputy Commissioner Paul Stephenson: “Put simply, this was intended to be mass murder on an unimaginable scale.”

Wrong. Your friends across the water can imagine the scale very well.

Gone Fishing Camping

Filed under:Miscellaneous — posted by Anwyn on August 9, 2006 @ 2:43 pm

A few days of smelling like smoke, sleeping on the ground, and hacking and coughing our way through the wilderness, since son and I both have a cold. Hooray!

Balance-Point Parenting

Filed under:Mothering,Priorities,Sad — posted by Anwyn on August 8, 2006 @ 1:26 pm

Carol Platt Liebau has a link to an excellent article by Kay Hymowitz recommending against the multitude of high-tech gadgets available to parents to spy on their children. I agree with Hymowitz and Liebau. This is not smart parenting, and as Hymowitz says:

Your 11-year-old son wants to take a public bus for the first time: Absent a GPS phone, you think about his judgment, how he handles money, how alert he is to his surroundings. With GPS, parents are trying to make an end-run around careful, and admittedly difficult, deliberation.

That’s the point, followed by this commenter at Liebau’s:

Carol – This is a more complicated matter than your post (or Hymowitz’ piece) makes it sound. Where does the parent’s duty lie? With the safety of the child or the moral support of the child? Also, who says the youths have to be aware of the tracking?

Keeping the child safe and encouraging the child’s independent development are objectives that overlap but change in priority over time. The younger the child, the more helpless to affect events around them, the more important the parent’s responsibility to keep the child safe–at the same time showing the child what kind of choices and behaviors keep them safe. As they grow and take those lessons, implicit or explicit, to heart, we expect them to exercise the same good judgment in keeping themselves safe. So it’s a two-column chart: at birth, the “Safe” column is all the way up to the top while the “Moral Development” is down near the bottom. As the child grows, “Safe” drops and “Moral Development” rises. When they reach a balance point on any particular issue, that is the decision point for a mom or dad: Is my kid mature enough to take on this responsibility himself? If “not yet,” that’s fine. If “yes,” you have to be prepared for the kid to screw up and deal with that as it happens. At least you’re basing your decision on your own judgment and knowledge of your child–and not on the GPS data that says your kid went somewhere other than where he told you last night.

As for “who says the youths have to be aware of the tracking?” all I can say is, if you can use the tracking data without tipping your kid off that you are spying on them, you must be a lot smarter than I am. A kid who’s being spied on will become sullen, lie more (why tell the truth? Mom can find out what she needs to know the hard way!), and be even more difficult to deal with–not to mention lose trust in her relationship with her mother. Too sad. Not worth it.

Choose Courage and Common Sense

Filed under:It's the Jihad,Sad — posted by Anwyn on August 6, 2006 @ 9:14 pm

The cover of Newsweek in the grocery store today showed Nicolas Cage as a firefighter in Oliver Stone’s World Trade Center and the headline, “Oliver Stone’s 9/11: Controversial Filmmaker Chooses Courage Over Conspiracy in ‘World Trade Center.'”

The King of Conspiracy would have fared poorly in theaters had he chosen “conspiracy” on this topic, but the fact remains that as a filmmaker, he had a choice. 1) Tell the story as we saw it happen, as evidence indicates that it happened, and as the victims experienced it happening. 2) Tell it as nutjob crazies looking to make some kind of name for themselves pull it straight out of their asses.

You have to see these videos, especially the first, to believe that anybody could be so callous, so cruel, and so dumb. Message to Dylan Avery and company: You are alive and pushing this garbage precisely because our government doesn’t play that way. Grow up. Stop watching so many conspiracy thrillers. Or if you must watch them, pay attention to the part where the only guy who cottons to the conspiracy runs for his life during the whole film. Start living in the real world.

With thanks to Allahpundit.

Adam Baldwin’s Firefly Scripts to be Auctioned for Charity!

Filed under:Cool,Television — posted by Anwyn on August 5, 2006 @ 7:52 pm

And what a charity. Via comes the word that Adam Baldwin will auction off all of his shooting scripts from Firefly and Serenity, proceeds to benefit the Marine Corps–Law Enforcement Foundation, mission to “encourage the spiritual, moral, intellectual and physical development of children through education.” Adam Baldwin: stand-up guy in a pretty cunning hat.

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image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace