Quick Hit: Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged

April 6, 2009

More from That Dude Who Sends Me Cool Email Forwards:

There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year-old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.


eloriane blogs the NOOZ

February 24, 2009

Remember that guy who sends me awesome email forwards? He recently sent me a link to a New York Times news article called What’s Wrong with Summer Stiers? It’s about the new Undiagnosed Diseases Program at the National Institute of Health, which brings together experts from all different specialties to investigate about a dozen really, really weird cases per year. It’s pretty long, and so is my response. Here’s how it opens:

Her breasts are beautiful. This is a surprise. Seeing them looking so healthy and normal reminds you how young this patient is and what her life might be like if her body hadn’t started to disintegrate in her childhood. If all you could see were her breasts, you would think she were perfectly fine. But that would be like the blind men trying to describe the elephant when each one focuses on a single part. Look at the rest of this patient’s torso, and you start to get a sense of the fuller story. A little bit higher, near the left clavicle, you notice a bump beneath the skin marking the implantation site of her vagus-nerve stimulator, which delivers an electrical impulse to her brain every three minutes to stave off the seizures that would otherwise plague her. A little lower, on the right-hand side of her abdomen, you see a hole and a permanently implanted tube through which she has hooked herself up to peritoneal-dialysis equipment every night for the past five years, to flush out the toxins that her ruined kidneys cannot.

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See what I mean about amazing email forwards?

November 21, 2008

I think I have to start a new tag for the awesome stuff I get in my email, it’s so frequently amazing. Take a look:

43 white men, and Barack

Yeah. This is why, even though I still wish Hillary Clinton was going to be my president– this is why I am nevertheless awed and even cautiously optimistic. I know he will eventually disappoint me. But man, does that line-up ever look good with him in it!

More from the randomly-forwarded-emails files

October 22, 2008

Made of awesome:

I get pretty awesome forwards, actually, especially considering the right-wing rubbish that I know a lot of you are getting.

In other, related news: I’M VOTING RIGHT NOW! Yeah! I scheduled this post so it would be true: RIGHT NOW! VOTING! DEMOCRACY IN ACTION!

It’s the first time I’ve ever voted, actually, so expect some kind of post afterwards. Potentially not until tomorrow, but eventually.

A forwarded email: “I’m a little confused.”

September 17, 2008

All right, I got this in my email from That Guy who is always sending forwards, and I was really excited because he’s a super-liberal That Guy, and I opted in to his mailing list because he always finds cool stuff.

I liked it well enough, except for one paragraph. See if you can spot which one!

I’m a little confused. Let me see if I have this straight….

* If you grow up in Hawaii, raised by your grandparents, you’re “exotic,

* Grow up in Alaska eating moose burgers, a quintessential American

* If your name is Barack you’re a radical, unpatriotic Muslim.

* Name your kids Willow, Trig and Track, you’re a maverick.

* Graduate from Harvard law School and you are unstable.

* Attend 5 different small colleges before graduating, you’re well

* If you spend 3 years as a brilliant community organizer, become the
first black President of the Harvard Law Review, create a voter
registration drive that registers 150,000 new voters, spend 12 years as
a Constitutional Law professor, spend 8 years as a State Senator
representing a district with over 750,000 people, become chairman of the
state Senate’s Health and Human Services Committee, spend 4 years in the
United States Senate representing a state of 13 million people while
sponsoring 131 bills and serving on the Foreign Affairs, Environment and
Public Works, and Veteran’s Affairs Committees, you don’t have any real
leadership experience.

* If your total resume is: local weather girl, 4 years on the city
council and 6 years as the mayor of a town with less than 7,000 people,
20 months as the governor of a state with only 650,000 people, then
you’re qualified to become the country’s second highest ranking

* If you have been married to the same woman for 19 years while raising
2 beautiful daughters, all within Protestant churches, you’re not a real

* If you cheated on your first wife with a rich heiress, and left your
disfigured wife and married the heiress the next month, you’re a

* If you teach responsible, age-appropriate sex education, including the
proper use of birth control, you are eroding the fiber of society.

* If, while governor, you staunchly advocate abstinence only, with no
other option in sex education in your state’s school system while your
unwed teen daughter ends up pregnant, you’re very responsible.

* If your wife is a Harvard graduate lawyer who gave up a position in a
prestigious law firm to work for the betterment of her inner city
community, then gave that up to raise a family, your family’s values
don’t represent America’s.

* If you’re husband is nicknamed “First Dude”, with at least one DUI
conviction and no college education, who didn’t register to vote until
age 25, and once was a member of a group that advocated the secession of
Alaska from the USA, your family is extremely admirable.

OK, it’s much clearer now.

Didn’t catch it? Let me narrow it down for you.

* If you have been married to the same woman for 19 years while raising
2 beautiful daughters, all within Protestant churches, you’re not a real

* If you cheated on your first wife with a rich heiress, and left your
disfigured wife and married the heiress the next month, you’re a

Okay, set aside the fact that they’re almost all ad-hominem attacks. Also set aside the fact that it’s kind of ludicrous to be framing this election as Obama vs. Palin (since McCain is, y’know, his actual opponent). Can you tell me, in an essay that is all about comparing Obama and Palin, why does THIS ONE paragraph (and no others!) suddenly compare him to McCain instead?

I mean, it’s a total non-sequitor. My first response was, “Woah! They allow gay marriage in Alaska now?! And nobody thought it was worth mentioning that she was A Dirty Lesbean?!?”

The proper parallelism here was not to bring up McCain’s wife, but to bring up Palin’s husband. Actually, since the point was supposed to be about being a “real” Christian, I would’ve left out the spouses entirely and tried talking about Palin’s failure to live up to certain Christian values (I am sure she has done this in many demonstrable ways, as most of the self-righteous “Christians” have). Or, since we’re not actually a theocracy around here, and there are no religious tests required to become president (HA!), I would have left out religion entirely and just moved on to the next point!

There are plenty of much better ways to handle this. Why did we suddenly bring up McCain’s infidelity, as if that had anything to do with why he’d be an awful president? It doesn’t.

I mean, I know why it switched, I know it’s because Palin’s a woman, but I just can’t figure out which of the many ingrained misogynist thought processes led to this point. Do we require that presidents be faithful husbands, a feat Palin can’t accomplish because of her vagina, and which McCain must be called in to fail at for her? Or it is because only men’s religions matter, since women aren’t given power in religious institutions? Seriously, does anybody have any thoughts as to what’s going on here? It’s such a bizarre divergence from the rest of the essay that I know there’s something happening. I just can’t figure out what.