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Saturday, March 17, 2012

Weekend web readin'

From Roger Ebert's Journal at the Chicago Sun-Times, Hey kids! Anybody here not heard the F-word?
Money quote:
If a director wants to make a film against bullying, it is not for a committee of MPAA bean-counters to tell him what words he can use. Not many years ago, the word rape was not used in newspapers, on television--or in the movies, for that matter. But there is a crime, and the name of the crime is rape, and if you remove the word you help make the crime invisible. 
This is yet another example of the MPAA sidestepping ethical judgments by falling back on the technicalities of its guidelines. It is even more insidious because the MPAA never clearly spells out its guidelines, leaving it to filmmakers to guess--although they often judge by past experience. It seems to me that either the f-word word is permissible, or it is not. If impermissible, nobody should use it at all in a PG-13 film. If permissible, nobody should count. Is it a magic word, a totemistic expression that dare not say its own name? Is it a vulgar equivalent of such a word as G-d?
From Bloomberg ViewFight Birth-Control Battle Over the Counter: Virginia Postrel
Money quote:
Unlike most medications, the article noted, birth-control pills require no medical diagnosis: “A woman herself determines her need for oral contraception; she assesses her own risk of pregnancy ... and the costs and benefits of both pregnancy and alternative contraceptions.” Nearly two decades later, birth- control pills look even safer than they did then, and recent research indicates that women are both able and eager to manage their own purchase decisions. 
Requiring a prescription “acts more as a barrier to access rather than providing medically necessary supervision,” argues Daniel Grossman of Ibis Reproductive Health, a research and advocacy group based in Massachusetts, in an article published in September in Expert Review of Obstetrics & Gynecology. 
Birth-control pills can have side effects, of course, but so can such over-the-counter drugs as antihistamines, ibuprofen or the Aleve that once turned me into a scary, hive-covered monster. That’s why even the most common over-the-counter drugs, including aspirin, carry warning labels. Most women aren’t at risk from oral contraceptives, however, just as most patients aren’t at risk from aspirin or Benadryl, and studies suggest that a patient checklist can catch most potential problems.
From the LaCrosse Tribune, Iowa high school assembly stirs protest
Money quote:
DUNKERTON, Iowa — Administrators, teachers and students did not get what they expected Thursday during an extended school program. 
Everyone anticipated the message from Junkyard Prophet, a traveling band based in Minnesota, to be about bullying and making good choices. Instead, junior and senior high students at Dunkerton High School and faculty members said they were assaulted by the group's extreme opinions on homosexuality and images of aborted fetuses. 
"They told my daughter, the girls, that they were going to have mud on their wedding dresses if they weren't virgins," said Jennifer Littlefield, a parent upset with the band's performance.
Her daughter, Alivia Littlefield, 16, is a junior, and called Littlefield after the event. 
"I couldn't even understand her, she was crying so hard," Littlefield said. 
Littlefield also did not appreciate what she described as gay bashing. 
"They told these kids that anyone who was gay was going to die at the age of 42," she said. "It just blows me away that no one stopped this."
From Addicting Info, Fox News: There Is Definitely A 'War on Women Voters'
Money quote:
When the propaganda arm of the Republican party admits that there is a war on women voters, it’s time to accept that the recent attacks on women’s rights are not coincidental, that they are, in fact, an orchestrated political strategy. Sally Kohn of Fox News writes,
While women voters might rather focus on jobs and the economy, watching Republicans jeopardize women’s health and reproductive freedom while slandering those who try and stand in their way is enough to make women demand not only good jobs and fair pay but political leaders who respect the liberty and rights of women in America. 
President Obama’s campaign may be paying for fliers and advertisements to attract women voters, but in this regard, Republicans are giving him the kind of help that money can’t buy.
Now, to be fair, Kohn does seem to be a token liberal. She’s openly gay and was hired as part of Fox’s new “kinder, gentler” approach. And of course, Kohn doesn’t speak for the talking heads at Fox News. Bill O’Reilly, for example, denies that there is a war on women, going as far as to say, “It’s not about women,” much to the dismay of even one of his own correspondents. According to O’Reilly and his radio counterpart, Rush Limbaugh, the war on women isn’t because of Republican actions, it’s a Democratic conspiracy.
Also.....this ain't readin', but it's definitely worth watching (or, okay, watchin'):

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