“Now I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country.”—George S. Patton, June 1944 (via historical-nonfiction)
There’s been a lot of talk these last couple of weeks about “hipster racism” or “ironic racism”—or, as I like to call it, racism. It’s, you know, introducing your black friend as “my black friend”—as a joke!!!—to show everybody how totally not preoccupied you are with your black friend’s blackness. It’s the gentler, more clueless, and more insidious cousin of a hick in a hood; the domain of educated, middle-class white people (like me—to be clear, I am one of those) who believe that not wanting to be racist makes it okay for them to be totally racist. “But I went to college — I can’t be racist!” Turns out, you can.
Environmental destruction is a form of violent oppression, and many forms of life share this similar kind of experience. Ecofeminism focuses mainly on likening the oppression of nature to the oppression of women. As a topic, ecofeminism can supply an endless river of discussion; this blog intends to merely touch the tip of the (melting) iceberg, from topics ranging from food justice to beauty commercials to the history of witches.
Lifehacker reader Gabriel Wyner was tasked with learning four languages in the past few years for his career as an opera singer, and in the process landed on “a pretty damn good method for language learning that you can do in limited amounts of spare time.” Here’s the four-step method that you can use, too (and you don’t have to invest hundreds in a language course like Rosetta Stone).
Georgia Governor Signs Welfare Drug Testing Bill Into Law
Georgia Governor Nathan Deal approved a bill on Monday evening that will soon require all applicants to the state cash assistance program to pass a drug test. The law will face legal challenges from Georgia civil liberties groups. The Social Responsibility and Accountability Act, as the law is called, will take effect on July 1st. It closely resembles a Florida law that in October was blocked by a federal district judge citing “constitutional infringement.”
At least two-dozen other states are now considering laws that would require TANF applicants to undergo drug tests before receiving benefits. The laws have gained widespread support despite scant evidence of a problem to be solved. In the four months when Florida’s law was in play before it was blocked in October, only 2.6 percent of applicants tested positive for drugs.
“Witch” is a word that was sullied by various groups of long ago, but it’s been reclaimed by herbalists like me. Witches and the word “witch” have many meanings in many cultures, but for the purposes of this post, I will touch on just one context, one dark moment of history: The suppression of witches—or healers who were mainly women—in medieval Europe that went on for centuries, and the themes behind those witch hunts that still appear in society today.
“If you know someone who’s depressed, please resolve never to ask them why. Depression isn’t a straightforward response to a bad situation; depression just is, like the weather. Try to understand the blackness, lethargy, hopelessness, and loneliness they’re going through. Be there for them when they come through the other side. It’s hard to be a friend to someone who’s depressed, but it is one of the kindest, noblest and best things you will ever do.”—Stephen Fry
Truly one of the funniest Daily Show segments in recent history. Click the link for the video itself.
The Daily Show’sAl Madrigal exposed the closed-mindedness behind the city of Tucson’s ban on ethnic studies in the most elegant way possible: let a member of the local school board make himself look like as much of a fool as possible. Two days after the report aired, the fun part is starting: watching people try and distance themselves from the scrutiny Madrigal has forced upon the issue.
A new wave of Republican lawmakers barged into office after the 2010 elections on promises of fiscal responsibility and a reigning in of government spending. Jobs. The economy. Econo-jobs. While everyone was Tea Partying their pants off and puking star spangled vomit into the potted plants, eager for the tax breaks that never came, newly-elected conservatives wasted no time to get to what they were really after: women’s reproductive rights. And it turns out that attacking birth control and abortion rights is a really great way to totally fuck the economy up.
The internet can be a scary place. In my early days of using the web, I passed my angry pubescent days innocently trolling chat rooms powered by America Online, mostly to harass fans of shopping mall punk Avril Lavigne.
I spent my free time accosting what I assumed were fellow misguided teenagers, even though my own music library was filled with the questionable sounds of Linkin Park, Kittie, and Papa Roach. Whilst undoubtedly irritating, my joy in prank calling restaurants and angering people online was mostly a benign past time. Had I been a teenager in Arizona today, my antics could have landed me with a criminal record before I even reached high school.