House & Wilson’s relationship on the show has evolved somewhat; Wilson has learned a bit from the constant kicks to the head; I’d like to see it evolve a little more. The show might survive without Wilson but it will be severely diminished. House is one of the few shows I know of that not only survives, but survives well, when its cast is changed out–partly because House himself changes so little that it becomes necessary to change up the people around him to keep the show moving–but this would be a blow to the roots. I have a lot of faith in the show’s writers, more than in, say, the writers of Chuck (which is a whole ‘nother topic) that they still have a lot to say about Wilson and can bring him to an even newer, more balanced place. I have faith they could manage without him, but the should would be considerably less. Come back, James!
I’m in law school now, and I haven’t had nearly as much to say about it on this here blog as I thought I would have. I hope to change that, but meantime, one general observation that has made a big impression: Remember when all general pronouns were male? “So the owner, whoever he may be, must take responsibility for keeping the fences in repair.” “Anybody who wants it can have the old couch, provided he will come pick it up.” Or if you wanted to get fancy, usually in writing, you could use the cumbersome “he or she” or “his or her.” “A parent must pick up his or her child by 3:00 each day.”
But people made a fuss, because it’s easier to type one pronoun instead of two pronouns and a conjunction, and it’s sure as hell a lot easier to SAY only one pronoun, so that’s what most people did, so people, womyn and otherwise, fussed. I never really have been in an environment where people took the fussin’ seriously, though. Until now.
Law professors and law textbook authors are very conscientious about this. One of my professors uses at least 90% female general pronouns; the rest, as far as my unscientific observation extends, do a more equitable split. The law books are 50/50ish as well. And I’ve discovered the downside: Sure, ladies, we’re now the doctors and lawyers and federal judges. We’re also the criminals, thugs, overbearing cops, and really bad attorneys being sued for malpractice.
Men used to pay for being the pronoun of general use by being ALL the pronouns of general use, whether somebody was talking about an upstanding homeowner or a nasty loan shark. Innocent victim or accused heinous criminal. Awesome attorney or lousy lawyer. I find it gives me the twinges when my criminal procedure professor talks about a horrible crime in terms of what the accused told the police: “And she asked for a lawyer, but not till after she confessed.” Ugh.
I prefer the old way. We all knew it could most likely just as easily be a she as a he, but we didn’t have to hear females discussed as criminals and screwups in cold blood. Darn you, fussin’ feminists.
All last week there were calls from an “unavailable” number that I didn’t recognize. Some I ignored; some I picked up but didn’t speak first–the machine was smart enough to hang up on me in those cases. Friday night I finally decided to talk to whoever it was to make them stop.
It was the Republican National Committee.
I told the woman at least three times that I would not be making a commitment over the phone, that I knew perfectly well where the website was and how to donate to them. I hope they pay her what she’s worth, because as an attack-caller she’s worth her weight in gold. She was perfectly polite but totally aggressive and untiring. I didn’t hang up on her partly because I’m usually a little too nice to do that and partly because I was sitting there in sheer amazement wondering how many times she would continue speaking after I told her, in increasingly bitchy terms, that I would not be making a pledge over the phone.
Tonight they called back. I had to get frosty with a totally different type of caller, one who was clearly out of her depth and didn’t deserve to be yelled at because it’s obviously not her policy to make repeated calls to people who refuse to pledge over the phone. But she was hapless enough to admit that that is their policy–to call people back who do not donate over the phone. Right–not only did talking to them once not make them stop, but they actually take a refusal as incentive to keep hounding you. I said to her, “Because that will win people over? I think I’m actually going to have to ask you to remove me from the phone list now, which is really a shame. The policy of continuing to call people who refuse is bizarre.” She agreed with me that it was bizarre and said that I would continue to get mailers, just not phone calls. I said, “That’s good, because I don’t want to cut ties to the national party, I just do not want repeated phone calls.”
She said she understood. It’s too bad that her party, which purports to be the one that actually does understand the incentives that drive human beings to take certain actions, does not. Bleah.
…and mandated them all to low-flow, and I said nothing because I didn’t care. I just flushed a few more times … although others took a different approach. At some point they mandated the wine bottles, and I said nothing, because as long as they still have a hole in the top it doesn’t affect me.
Yet about 75 percent said they are not aware of the impending federal requirement for greater energy efficiency that will lead to the phaseout of less efficient lighting.
“Less efficient” by a standard of raw energy consumed, perhaps. “Less efficient” by a standard of, you know, actually lighting things to a visible spectrum and being safe to handle around your toddler, not so much: Incandescents are far more efficient than flourescents on both counts. And there’s this ill-considered boilerplate from GE:
“We’re not sensing a rush by consumers to comply with the looming federal standards,” Kathy Sterio, GE Lighting’s general manager of consumer marketing said in a prepared statement.
“There’s a major shift to CFLs but it’s clearly is a matter of educated consumers choosing CFLs for their strengths,” she said. “Our marketing, advertising and packaging have espoused the value of energy-efficient CFLs for over a decade.”
Such a charming implication, that those of us who still prefer incandescents are uneducated yokels.
So now that it looks like the public “option” is dying, those of us who want the government to stay out of our purchasing and consumption of medical treatment can breathe a sigh of relief, right? Don’t believe it. They will next try to pass some watered-down piece of garbage that is still garbage, probably at the very least to include mandated health insurance. And doesn’t that look like fun? And if they pass that and it’s a boondoggle, they’ll point to it to say “See! That’s why we need the government to run it!” The camel’s nose under the tent.
I don’t understand why I’ve only seen one post anywhere that even mentions the real problem and points the way to a perfectly workable, even fairly cheap, solution: cut the tie between employment and health insurance. How many people even know what that tie is–the reason why most people get medical insurance from their employers? It’s because when you buy it that way, it’s bought with pretax dollars, whereas if you buy it yourself, it’s posttax. So your company is paying some money in on your behalf instead of paying it to you as wages, it doesn’t get taxed, and you kick in the rest off your paycheck, pretax as well. So who do the insurance companies market their plans to? Your employer, who wants to get a great plan that pays for everything that it can hold up as a swell “benefit” of coming to work for them. I’d rather have more money and buy cheap insurance myself–catastrophe-only insurance that would pay if I had to be hospitalized or needed ongoing treatment for a serious illness but that would let me pony up on my own when I go to see my doctor about that damned itchy eczema on my elbow or take my son to his doctor because he bonked his head even though there’s obviously absolutely nothing wrong with him.
Sever the link via changes in the tax law. Either lay the income tax on all money that pays for medical insurance, or take it off of all of it–one seemingly simple way to do that might be to have your insurance company send you a tax form in February, like a W-2, that lists the total of all money you’ve paid in insurance premiums that year, and you file that with your tax return and the amount is deducted from your taxable income. Then insurance companies would have to market their plans to individuals, not corporations, and suddenly paying $600 per month or whatever it is for a small family to go to the doctor a total of seven times in a year doesn’t look so damn good, does it? Buy yourself some cheap catastrophe-only insurance with a high deductible, and wham, you’ve just “lowered your costs.” And the real cost of an actual doctor’s visit would come down too, since the docs would be so happy to have patients who pay cash on delivery rather than cutting through eight layers, minimum, of red tape to get paid less than they charge. You think doctors and hospitals don’t inflate charges because they know the insurance companies won’t pay at that rate anyway? I don’t think that.
I’m no expert in any of these fields; I’ve just been watching what’s going on for a long time and watching Obama attempt to push us off the cliff of socialism. IF they can’t pass socialized medicine, they’ll pass something lesser and expect us to wipe our foreheads and give thanks that we dodged the bullet, Comrade. Don’t do it. Don’t blink. Stand firm and insist that instead of more regulation, they take regulation away. Strip out the tax irregularity that incentivizes employers to “pay” for our medical insurance instead of paying us and letting us get our own. Medical insurance never should have come to this pass; it should be like car insurance, which would never pay to take the car in for an oil change. Deregulate medical insurance and I got your costs savings right here.
The third that hates Huckabee with a fiery passion and the third that loves him with a … fiery white passion. Don’t mess with me, punk.
How hard is this crap? Get divorced before you send love emails to the new chick. Get divorced before you fly off for four days and turn off your state cell phone. This man had a few thoughts of running for president? We can take a divorced president, champ. We can’t take a stupid one–even though for a lot of voters, it takes a lot to prove stupidity. You chose the fastest route. Congratulations, Mark Sanford, you get–new love. Hope it was worth it.
How do you like your Commander-In-Chief? I feel for you, I really do. Sign up to protect America and spend your afternoon recreating New York’s worst nightmare. For a photo op.
Sleep tight, Caldera. Heckuva job, you colossally self-important airhead.
Liberals who advocated unrestricted abortion in the name of government butting out of “reproductive freedom” and universal health care start demanding that the government dictate who may have babies and how many since, after all, with universal health care, we’re all paying for it.
That would be why the smarter among us keep howling NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO to universal health care. Duh.
From interview with Peter Liguori, entertainment chair at Fox:
Is Dollhouse as bad as we are hearing?
Joss Whedon has an unbelievably loyal fan base, and he really knows how to write to that fan base. I expect that they’re going to be there. They’re going to enjoy his show. One of the things about airing on Friday night, a show is not expected to have those boffo ratings.
So you’re not burying him in the Friday graveyard?
No, I’m not burying him in the Friday graveyard. I’m giving him a little bit of a reprieve by being on Friday.
Whew. Nothing like praising a show with faint damns, as Dorothy Sayers would say (yes, it’s Sayers Week here at Chez Anwyn). I’m giving him a little reprieve, to see if there’s any snowball’s chance in hell he can draw in anybody who’s not already in love with either Captain Mal or Eliza Dushku. And if not, then we’ll dump it.
Are people who like Buffy and Firefly completely unreliable indicators of a large enough demographic to keep a show alive? Given the fifth-network treatment of Buffy and Angel and the quick death of Firefly, I’d have to say it seems so. The question would seem to be why? Joss’s shows are about people with somewhat fantastic powers or circumstances (but ultimately still about the human interest), but so are Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings. Is the lesson that if it can’t be marketed to children, as well, then the adults of our stripe aren’t enough? Where does that leave Star Wars? I was three when A New Hope came to theaters–I wasn’t buying a ticket.
The only shows I can think of with a Joss vibe lately are Veronica Mars and Chuck. Veronica survived three years in the fifth-network dimension and suffered from a lack of a coherent vision from her creator. Chuck, however, has spent a season and a half on Monday nights, and while not exactly “boffo,” got itself bought for a full-season renewal this year. It’s holding its own. Despite Liguori’s positive spin about the base and Friday night not holding much expectation, let’s not forget what happened to vampire tale Moonlight on Friday nights. No matter what he says, Friday night is a graveyard for ordinary viewers (i.e. anybody not already frantically devoted to a show plus people who don’t like The Ghost Whisperer). It takes a lot of doing and some blind luck to get a show that does well on Fridays. The question is, what will Fox settle for with Dollhouse? Are they okay with it if it comes in a perennial second behind Ghost Whisperer? And if not, look out for the half-season cancellation, Joss fans.
The folks at Whedonesque, of course, have much, much more to say.
Now that you’re beaten into submission on that whole fuel-efficiency thing, you’re using less gas, but we still demand that you drive less, and oh yeah, we are determined not to lose a single penny of revenue by you curbing the behavior that we demanded you curb to begin with.
The online outline adds: “The governor is committed to ensuring that rural Oregon is not adversely affected and that privacy concerns are addressed.”
How can rural areas possibly NOT be adversely affected except through special exceptions that will no doubt rile suburban dwellers? If I had no choice but to drive ten miles one way to the nearest drugstore rather than the two I drive now, that’s an adverse effect. And please believe me when I say: I’m from North Carolina, I’ve lived in Texas and small-town Indiana, and Oregon outside Portland is the single largest rural area I’ve lived in close proximity to.
They say they’re dealing with the privacy issue–i.e. although while they plan to track the car they don’t plan to record its travel–but I fail to see how that can be assured since the distance tracking will be done, obviously, through GPS. So it seems to be more a case of “Trust us! We promise we won’t track vehicle location even though, obviously, we could!”
Tell me another one, Nanny Salem.