Target Women: Time to Catch Up

Somehow I missed the Target Women series of videos and its sarcastic take on ads and media targeting women.  This post will be short because they are hilarious and I have a lot to watch.  Two that made me laugh uncontrollably.

Dating Advice: Target Women


Dating Advice: Target Yogurt (who knew that my eating yogurt since college was so counter to gender expectations)

Diverse Allusions for a Four Year Old

So, my daughter is blowing bubbles in her chocolate milk.  My joking response, I’m going to call you Motor Boat like a character in a great book.  The reference is to a minor character in Zora Neale Hurston’s classic Their Eyes Were Watching God.  Over time perhaps I can develop this train of thought and in 10 or so years get her to read the book.

To balance things out the other response I have to bubble blowing is the line from Shakespeare’s Macbeth “Bubble, bubble toil and trouble.”

I know I’m a literature geek, but a bit of subconscious cultural influencing never hurts.



Colonization Pac-Man Graphic


Great graphic posted by 1491s.  The details are telling like the year 1628 (founding of Massachusetts Bay Colony)  as the score and the creation of Oklahoma in the middle, but the greatest part is the use of a modern metaphor to graphically illustrate a historical issue from one point of view.  Great pun in the comments referred to this as “pac-manifest destiny.”

David Stern using Domestic Violence to Make Point about NBA Draft

David Stern being interviewed

Public figures really should not use references to domestic violence as rhetorical devices in arguments about relatively trivial matters.

On Jim Rome’s show radio show “Rome is Burning,” Rome asked NBA Commissioner David Stern about the NBA draft being rigged.  Stern, upset with the question, tried to make a point about asking loaded questions by then asking Rome, “Have you stopped beating your wife yet?”  According to ESPN, “Since Rome has no history of spousal abuse, it appears that the commissioner was using a traditional loaded question as a tool to make his point — that the question itself, in this case about the lottery, presumes guilt.”

I understand the idea here of giving an example of a loaded question.  However, this particular loaded question was a poor choice.  Given the seriousness of domestic violence as an issue, using reference to wife beating to score a points about the allocation of players in a game (yes, basketball no matter how big a business is a game)  is wrong.

There is a part of American culture which perceives domestic violence as something trivial, witness the piece sleeveless T-shirt unthinkingly called a “wife beater.”  Stern’s remarks do not help counter that trend.

On Ashton Kutcher doing an Indian Accent in Brownface

This video clip does a much better job than I ever could responding to the ridiculous Popchips commercial featuring Ashton Kutcher in brownface.  Does contain some obscenity, so do not play loudly at work, in front of impressionable youth, etc.



Note: all the publicity around this ad makes me wonder how much this was a mistake and how much it was strategy.  I was never aware of Popchips until now.



Tanning Tax Racist? Pale People Unite!

Allen West

As a genuine, authentic pale person (or melanin impaired if you prefer), I smiled when I read about Allen West attacking a 10% tax on tanning as racist.  West, who is African-American stated, “You want to talk about something that’s really racist? They have a tanning tax..I’m not tanning.”  Now this tax is not really an issue for me; if they taxed sunblock on a sliding scale with a higher rate the higher the SPF,  then I would have trouble.  Nonetheless, I found the assertion unique, outside of affirmative action, one does not often find arguments about government discrimination against white people. The only problem, non-white people tan also, so this is really only as I said, discrimination against the pale of all races.

Now that they are taxing tanning, should I get some of these pills?

Stretched Connection Award Winner–Black Dog Syndrome

Saw an article on canine color bias that begins with the line “Since there is prejudice toward Blacks, is it  that hard to believe that this bias extends to the canine world too?”  The article then goes on to talk about Black Dog Syndrome (BDS), its definitions and the question as to whether it exists.  The tie to the black hat for evil, white hat for good cowboy movie tradition also appears.  There seem to be so many variables here, that I cannot really give much credence to BDS; in fact, I thought this was an early April Fools joke or escapee from The Onion.  I guess this sort of supposed bias is an issue, but should I worry about color stereotyping next fall when I link witches and black cats.

Who could be biased against this dog?

Thinking Too Much Again–Dalmatian Plantation

Sooty dalmatians heading for a plantation...

Been thinking about language and diversity too much.  Heard a line from the book 101 Dalmatians.  A character at the end after all the dogs return home says something like “we can have a dalmatian plantation.”  My ears pricked up.  Did I hear “plantation”? Wait, weren’t those dogs covered in black soot as a disguise just a page earlier?  Primarily white characters covered in black make-up, a plantation, what is Disney doing here?  Then I calmed down an realized the word plantation was probably there for the rhyme. Sometimes a story about a bunch of cute puppies being rescued is just a story about a bunch of cute puppies being rescued.

Squinney Becomes Squintey Becomes Controversy

A squinney or thirteen-lined ground squirrel (Wikipedia)

Controversy has errupted at Iowa State University over the use of derogatory slang that could instead be a mistyped refference to a ground squirrel.

According to a post at Angry Asian Man concerned students and faculty at Iowa State sent this letter to the campus newspaper:

“We are responding to the racially insensitive remarks towards Asians and Asian Americans published in the “Just Sayin'” column in the Feb. 21 issue of the Iowa State Daily. The statements – “Just had a staring contest with a squintey. They are fearless” and “I just saw a squintey inside the building…they have started the invasion” – have raised concern among many ISU students, staff and faculty.”

Certainly those lines they quote sound bad, especially the reference to invasion (coded reference to yellow peril?).  But, what if a squintey is in fact not a person but a misidentified squirrel?  According to Wikipedia, a reliable source for word on the street language use if nothing else, a “squinney” is thirteen-lined ground squirrel found in the Midwest.  The editors of the paper state that this situation is merely the result of an unfortunate misspelling.  Squinney the squirrel became squintey the racial epithet because of an editorial goof.

I actually buy the editors’ explanation.  Angry Asian Man argues that racism often is covered by claims of innocent confusion, and thus action had to be taken.  I agree that the action taken was necessary given the actual words that were printed, and the complaint does raise sensitivity, but as a sign of pervasive racism, not so much.

Leap Year Marriage Proposals: Tradition and Mockery

There have been a number of articles on the tradition of women proposing to men during leap year, what was a once in four years chance to reverse the power dynamic and give women the chance to take the initiative.   I did not know of this tradition.  However, I saw on Slate this supposedly humorous series of postcards illustrating the tradition and making fun of women taking advantage of the opportunity.  They show how the tradition may have existed, but was more of a joke, and how those who might take advantage of it faced mockery.