An Inclusive Litany
Men were again the big winners in the Super Bowl ad extravaganza—many more men than women were employed to act in the commercials, and much of the content of the ads was directed at the male viewer.
The humor was clearly aimed at young men, with women being the butt of many jokes. A number of ads featured exclusively male casts, while others had only one or two female characters. The large majority of movies advertised were violent, male-oriented action flicks. The ads did not feature or appeal to a wide age range, starring mostly young, thin and able-bodied actors.
No female sports stars appeared in any of the ads, compared with at least six male athletes. And male celebrity spokespeople outnumbered females as well, though by a smaller margin. Exploitative promos for ABC programs came under fire from viewers, as did several of the "message" ads, which our feminist monitors felt were manipulative and misleading.
On the positive side, monitors noted that a significant number of people of color appeared in the commercials this year, and that racial diversity was prominent in several ads.
[Ed.: USA Today reports that while African Americans are disproportionately represented in the military, they're actually underrepresented among combat units. One theory for this distribution is that blacks are more attracted to support roles that provide educational benefits, while another blames "lingering racism." Conyers later led five other congressional Democrats in a lawsuit that claimed President Bush had no constitutional authority to wage war against Iraq, despite an earlier 296 to 133 vote (77 to 23 in the Senate) that seemed to settle the question.]
[Ed.: I get bored just thinking about how this was decided.]
According to her testimony, Laura went to a party in which she was alone with four boys drinking beer. She told two of the boys that she didn't want to have sex with them, but nevertheless engaged in heated foreplay with both, to the point of undress, which she said she enjoyed very much.
The second boy left the room, and the first boy had intercourse with Laura. He stopped after his condom kept coming off, which Laura said was a sign they "shouldn't be doing this." After the first boy left, the second, John, re-entered the room and initiated intercourse. She did not say anything at this point, or push him away.
Laura testified that the two rolled over so that she was on top for about five minutes, but that he forced her to continue by grabbing her waist—with one hand, since the other was in a cast. After they rolled over again so that he was on top, Laura told John that if he cared for her, he would have waited.
Soon afterwards, she said "I should be going now," and "I need to go home." Because it took John Z. an estimated minute and a half to cease after hearing these words, he was convicted of rape.
[The study's lead author, Jianguo Liu of Michigan State, said] the government should consider offering tax incentives for empty-nesters to share their homes, or penalties for people who choose to live alone. Government policy should also discourage urban sprawl, he said, which disrupts the natural habitat of animals and plants. "This can be a wake-up call for people to realize how their lifestyle impacts the environment," he said. "Each household can make a difference." ...
[Former Green Party candidate for governor of Massachusetts Jill] Stein said some novel solutions might include cohousing developments in which people retain privacy, but also share some common spaces. Cohousing is not only better for the environment, she said, but offers emotional advantages of a village-like atmosphere for young and old. Too often, she said, people fail to see the social benefits of living in closer quarters or enjoying communal spaces.
Stein, who has one child in college and another still at home, said she and her husband plan to evaluate their single-family living situation when they become empty-nesters.
[Ed.: Note that in the old days, couples would stick together merely for the sake of the children.]
Even non-transgender people may be victims of discrimination because they defy commonly held expectations about masculinity and femininity, such as the man who is fired because he is "effeminate" or the woman denied a promotion because she is "too masculine."
If she had lived, Mary Jo Kopechne would be sixty-two years old. Through his tireless work as a legislator, Edward Kennedy would have brought comfort to her in her old age.
These semiotic felines do exactly what a deconstructionist would predict: rather than containing the stain, they disseminate it. Everything turns pink. The chain of signification is interminable and, being interminable, indeterminate. The semantic hygiene fetishized by the children is rudely violated; the "system" they imagined is revealed to have no inside and no outside. It is revealed to be, in fact, just another bricolage. The only way to end the spreading stain of semiosis is to unleash what, since it cannot be named, must be termed "that which is not a sign." This is the Voom, the final agent in the cat's arsenal. The Voom eradicates the pink queerness of a textuality without boundaries; whiteness is back, though it is now the purity of absence—one wants to say... of abstinence. The association with nuclear holocaust and its sterilizing fallout, wiping the planet clean of pinkness and pinkos, is impossible to ignore. It is a strange story for teaching people how to read.