[links] Link salad remembers the age of thirty-seven

A reader reacts to Green — Not so much with the liking, it seems…

Everybody Loves Cthulhu — John R. Fultz on Cthulhu’s Reign, a forthcoming DAW anthology in which he and I both have stories. Nice cover, which coincidentally could have illustrated my piece.

Elissa Malcohn with a brilliant haiku

xkcd on “The Flake Equation” — Required reading for all skiffy types. The mouseover text is priceless.
Where neon falls like rain — I want to see the lightning storms there.

What Can Economists Tell Us About Teenage Sexual Mores? — Fascinating on several levels. Incidentally, I’m getting very tired of the term “pre-marital sex”. It’s incredibly heteronormative and full of unexamined cultural assumptions that are inherently stigmatizing. How about “sex”?

Emergency contraceptionThe Edge of the American West on, among other things, conscience laws for pharmacists and healthcare providers. Frankly, those conscience laws are utter bullshit, pandering to the worst impulses of the Right. Don’t like part of your job? Get a different job. Forced pregnancy enthusiasts don’t deserve special protection at the expense of the needs of the people they’re sworn to serve.

An open letter to conservatives — A generation of conservative hypocrisy and idiocy, in one fell swoop. With citations in case you want to think it’s all made up. And as the author mentions, nothing on the American left approaches nearly this level of nuttery.

Roger Ailes to Fox News’ Glenn Beck haters: Stop ‘shooting in the tent’ — Hah. And yes, that would be Roger Ailes, Reagan’s political strategist, who is now news director at “Fair and Balanced” Fox News. Your Liberal Media.

http://www.amconmag.com/larison/2010/03/23/still-waiting-for-the-pushback/ — Conservative commentator Daniel Larison on that “single greatest pushback in American history” the GOP keeps talking about. When 50% of respondents say that they are pleased or enthusiastic about some high-profile, controversial thing the government has done, this is not normally the prologue to political annihilation for the people in charge of the government in that year’s election. Dream on, conservatives.

Frightening GOP behaviorOf course, the American people have spoken, and in November 2008 elected a Democratic White House and Senate and House of Representatives. But, elections and the workings of our democracy including the idea that the losing party respect the outcome of elections appear to be alien concepts to today’s GOP. Yep. Elections have consequences. The GOP is happy with the system when they win. Sore Losermen.

points me to “The Authoritarians” — A book on authoritarianism which explains the Palinite/Tea Party wng of the GOP more concisely than anything I’ve seen. You have to know a lot nowadays to stake out an intelligent, defendable position on many issues. But you don’t have to know anything to insist you’re right, no matter what. Dogmatism is by far the best fall-back defense, the most impregnable castle, that ignorance can find. It’s also a dead give-away that the person doesn’t know why he believes what he believes.

?otD: Have you ever driven through Paris in a sportscar in the rain?


3/24/2010
Writing time yesterday: 1 hour, 45 minutes
Body movement: 30 minutes on stationary bike
Hours slept: 7.5 (faily well)
This morning’s weigh-in: 234.6
Yesterday’s chemo stress index: 4/10 (but still sick)
Currently reading: [between books]

3 thoughts on “[links] Link salad remembers the age of thirty-seven

  1. Jaws says:

    Gotta watch out for those Freudian-slip typos, there, Mr Hawaiian Print Shirt Guy:

    Since Hollywood has popularized post-martial sex so much, we shouldn’t be too surprised when economists try to study pre-martial sex.

    Oh. You meant pre-marital. As Emily Litella would say, “Ooooooh. That’s different. Never mind.”

    1. Jay says:

      I dunno. Pre-martial sex has some interesting possibilities. Sacred Band and all that.

      Meanwhile, I have fixed…

  2. Cora says:

    I dislike the term “pre-marital” sex myself as well as the extreme emphasis placed on marriage in the US in general. From an outsider POV, it seems to me as if in the US there is still the assumption that everybody will get married and that everybody will do so at a fairly young age. The median age at first marriage in the US is definitely lower than in Europe.

    The assumption that almost everyone will get married is crap. Even if you exclude gays and lesbians, who aren’t allowed to marry in most of the US (personally, I suspect that the extreme emphasis of marriage in the US is the reason why same-sex marriage is such a big issue there), there will still be hetero- and bisexual people who will never marry, because they have issues with the problematic history of the institution of marriage. And the vast majority of these people will have sex.

    Since the 1950s and 1960s the marriage rates have fallen all over Europe, both West and East. I think in some Scandinavian countries, only about half of longterm couples (both gay and straight) are married. Many couples live together for years and have children before they get married, if they bother at all, and no one cares nor are there widespread cries of woe regarding the imminent breakdown of society. So terms like “pre-marital” sex and the assumption that it’s a bad thing are problematic when you expect either to get married at some distant point in the future or not at all.

    The percentages of young women having sex before marriage mentioned in the Freakonomics post seem fishy to me as well. Because people in the past had sex outside marriage, sometimes quite a lot, depending upon social and economic background.

    I grew up in rural North Germany, where sex before marriage was not just common but pretty much the norm even in those extremely conservative times 50 to 100 years ago. There is a saying here, “Who wants to buy the cat in the bag?”, which means that basically a young farmer will “testdrive” a potential wife to see if she is fertile. As a result, most of the older women in my old neighbourhood, now in their 70s and 80s, were pregnant upon marriage – one even got married after she had her first baby, as her husband didn’t get home from WWII fast enough. Interestingly, this pattern persists even through the generations. My old classmates, whose families have lived in the area for a long time (whereas my parents had moved to the country from the nearest city), still get “unexpectedly” pregnant at some point and marry afterwards, though nowadays they often wait until the kid is there.

    As for non-rural areas, my working class maternal grandmother and her two sisters (born between 1915 and 1923) all had sex before marriage. One got pregnant at 18 and married her boyfriend, another managed not to get pregnant and also eventually married her boyfriend, the third allegedly had a string of illegal abortions and only got married in her 30s, when she noticed a pregnancy too late. Meanwhile, another grandmother (not biological, she was my grandpa’s second wife) got married for the first time at the age of 50. She certainly wasn’t a virgin. And these women weren’t sluts or anything and at least one was very religious. These were normal women of their time.

    As for emergency contraception, I like the British approach where it is freely available over the counter (I think you can buy up to three pills at a time), whereas in Germany you have to get a prescription, which can cause problematic delays with such a time-sensitive medicine. For me it would probably be quicker to hop onto the next flight to the UK and get the morning after pill from the airport pharmacy than to make an appointment with a doctor, get a prescription and go to the local pharmacy. Coincidentally, there was quite a bit of trade in morning-after pills going on at the English department of my university. Female exchange students would buy them over the counter in Britain and bring them back for others.

    As for pharmacists and doctors having moral objections to contraception – oh please! If you really have moral objections, get another job. Interestingly, these pharmacists only have moral objections to the pill, but not to viagra, anti-depressants, homeopathic and herbal medicines or any other medication that might be considered controversial.

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