Weak Resadieu

by zunguzungu

An anti-rape condom that BITES OFF PENISES:

…what Ehlers is trying to do is to stop rape now, and by any means possible. She even recognizes that her product may get some women killed, but she justifies this with the thought that at least it could prevent further murders. Her tactics may not prove particularly effective, and they certainly aren’t pretty, but they come from a desire to fight back against attackers. Rape-aXe can’t prevent rape, but in its ideal form it could turn the tables on the rapist, causing him pain, humiliation, and possibly even bringing him to justice. Furthermore, despite the many problems with the conception and design of Rape-aXe, its existence has already accomplished something important: it has opened the dialogue about rape. The shocking nature of a dick-ripping condom makes people, male and female, sit up and take note. Some have suggested the Rape-aXe will do the most good simply by inspiring fear in the hearts of potential rapists. I’m not sure this will happen. However, it has brought new voices into the discussion about rape and rape culture, and while “raising awareness” may not feel like a victory, it is a small step towards a world without rape.

I enjoyed this evisceration of Paul Berman, a very silly man. And this article on the Roberts court was a nice reminder that Kagen or no Kagen, we’re still going to spend the next generation watching Roberts destroy as much that is decent in government as he can. And this interview with James Galbraith is sort of awesome, especially at the end where he’s all “you think we’re finished? The interview is over when I say it’s over.” But this is the key exchange:

EK: You think the danger posed by the long-term deficit is overstated by most economists and economic commentators.

JG: No, I think the danger is zero. It’s not overstated. It’s completely misstated.

As usual, Ludic Despairmakes me want to watch shit I’ve never heard of:

I can only imagine the script and editing departments at MGM as the producer waltzed in one day to make the following announcement: “The new “Dr. Kildare” movie no longer has Dr. Kildare in it, so all of his footage has to be taken out.  Instead we’re going to foreground Gillespie and introduce Dorn as a new sidekick.  Also, it’s going to be more of a comedy now, even though it’s about a guy on a homicidal rampage.  Oh, and one more thing, a cute little dog is brutally murdered in the opening 5 minutes of the picture, so you’ll have to get around that.  Now get to work!” It is a task that seems like a dare between two drunken screenwriters.  “I bet you can’t write a light-hearted character-based comedy…with a serial killer in it…and with an adorable dog killed in the opening scene.”  “No problem,” says his friend, seconds before falling into a pool of his own vomit on the floor of Musso Franks.

Keguro is a very nice writer:

Homophobia exists in Africa, as does influenza. This comparison is only partly gratuitous as I am interested in scales of virulence. We know that African bees are the deadliest; the sun in Africa is hotter than anywhere else in the world; viruses from Africa are the most malicious; and the simple cold, when caught in Africa, destroys the entire body within 3 hours. We know, as well, that such statements are already racialized, their silent and present object being the vulnerable non-African white body.

We know that rape in Africa is worse, because African men are so freakishly endowed; that mortality rates in childbirth are higher because babies have such freakishly huge heads and the women have all been infibulated; we know that arson is an insufficient term because fires burn much hotter; and we know, oh we know, that prefixing a term, any term, with the word African, is always about scales of virulence.

DeLong, worth quoting in full:

The most astonishing and surprising thing I find about Washington DC today is the contrast in mood between DC today and what DC was thinking a generation ago, in 1983, the last time the unemployment rate was kissing 10%. Back then it was a genuine national emergency that unemployment was so high–real policies like massive monetary ease and the eruption of the Reagan deficits were put in place to reduce unemployment quickly, and everybody whose policies wouldn’t have much of an effect on jobs was nevertheless claiming that their projects were the magic unemployment-reducing bullet.

Today…. nobody much in DC seems to care. A decade of widening wealth inequality that has created a chattering class of reporters, pundits, and lobbyists who have no connection with mainstream America? The collapse of the union movement and thus of the political voice of America’s sellers of labor power? I don’t know what the cause is. But it does astonish me.

Who will buy this tee-shirt for Sepoy?

Along with Slacktivist’s scorched-earth campaign through the Left Behind series, this very-close, very-slow reading of a very-bad book is well worth the peak into the mind of a management zombie it gives you (that is, the insight is worth the revulsion you get from seeing how the thoughts get made).

I didn’t know he was still alive:

In Cannes next week, Godard, now 79, will be presenting what many believe will be his final feature: Film Socialisme. In advance of the premiere, the arch-provocateur has made a subversive trailer, which lasts under two minutes and shows not just highlights but the entire film speeded up. In the frenetic digital age, Godard is telling us, audiences don’t have the time or the patience to go to festivals to watch 35mm prints of art-house movies in cinemas. They want instant 90-second gratification on YouTube.

Who the criminals are:

IN THE SPRING OF 2004, Nikhom Intajak, a 35-year-old rice farmer in Thailand’s Lampang province, met a labor recruiter who made him an attractive offer: a contract to do farm labor in the United States. He’d work for three years and earn the minimum wage of $7 to $10 an hour, depending on where he was deployed; best of all, he’d be a legal temporary worker, protected by American laws…he wasn’t surprised when the new recruiter, Pochanee Sinchai, asked for one as well. He was, however, taken aback by the size of her demand: The job in America would cost him $11,700 up front…Three years of work in America at $7 an hour would come out to about $50,000. If one-fifth of that went to Sinchai, Intajak figured, then so be it.

…Intajak worked there for about three months. The pay, $8.53 per hour, was reasonable enough, he told me, but the work was so unsteady that he earned far less than he had been promised. Some days there might be eight hours of work, other days four—or none. After witnessing 30 or so coworkers get sent home after only a few months’ work, Intajak began to realize that the contract he had signed back in Bangkok guaranteed nothing like three years of steady employment. Rather, he was eligible to work as many hours as Global saw fit to give him, for up to three years—as long as Global chose to renew his visa. If it didn’t, if the work ran out, or if he did anything to displease his bosses, he’d have no way to pay off the $11,700 he’d borrowed. Ever.

…The experiences of Intajak and his coworkers are the increasingly common outcomes of these pressures. A 2007 report from the Southern Poverty Law Center notes that H-2A workers have so few rights that abuse of the system is not limited to a few “bad apple employers,” but systematic and predictable.

Terry Eagleton on the autobiography of Fidel Castro written by Norberto Fuentes:

There are some things, like clearing your throat or falling in love, that you can only do for yourself. Even Prince Charles can’t delegate dying or digesting to a valet. Writing your autobiography would seem to fall squarely in the category of the undelegatable; yet here we have an autobiography of Fidel Castro written by somebody else.

A nice reading of the British electoral confuggle, filtered through the ghost of Karl Polanyi.

…one of the interesting paradoxes of neo-liberalism. While governments are not permitted to ‘pick winners’, or disupt market mechanisms, or perform industrial policy, nor can they be ambivalent. They must be strong and absent all at the same time. Jamie Peck argues in this paper that the paradox of neo-liberalism “is that it can live neither with nor without the state”. Or as David Harvey puts it “neo-liberalism needs a certain sort of nationalism to survive”. The state’s authority is therefore strictly Schmittian, residing not in any goals or values, but purely in its strength. From the neo-liberal perspective, a state that lacks strength is almost as bad as one with a normative agenda. What Britain is witnessing right now is this paradox imploding…