Posts Tagged: debates

Ambivalence: Always An Option

Our choices, apparently, are these: either damn any Serious Woman who's worn lipstick while photographed, or take her Chanel habit as providing serious insight into her intelligence and/or soul. How awful that sounds. Let's reclaim being ambivalent about fashion magazines, instead.

-I'm here for this and am furthermore always here for the cause of reclaiming being ambivalent about literally anything that makes us feel ambivalent: we've probably all got too many micro-feelings that don't amount to anything except for a carefully ordered set of personal stances like tchotchkes on a wall. But at the same time, tchotchkes can be comforting and hard stances make the world go round, and I [...]


The Shark Has Pretty Teeth, Dear: Why I Teach Women Self-Defense

I took my first empowerment-model self-defense class in 1999, and I've been teaching it since 2000. For 14 years, I’ve been deeply invested in this way of helping women, children, and other targeted populations discover their power and reduce their risk of harm.

Empowerment self-defense, or ESD, was developed by feminist activists who rejected the old, male-designed-and-taught self-defense models of the '50s and '60s. They wanted a system that taught practical skills within the context of rape culture; one that addressed the physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and social/cultural components of self-defense. The ESD model is constantly fine-tuned by the people who teach it; today, for example, the National [...]


Last Night's Chats

Ken: Oh it's the closing statement, I can see the phony sincerity on Ryan. CREEPER. Choire: He has his Bobby Jindal camera face on.

Last night on The Awl, Ken Layne and Choire Sicha live-blogged the debate with the sound off. There are GIFs; it's lots of fun.

What do you mean, was I Googling "young joe biden"? Who hasn't Googled "young joe biden"?


Woman From Stomped On at Rand Paul Debate

Lauren Valle of attended a Rand Paul-Jack Conway debate in Lexington, KY last night and ran into a handful of thuggish Rand Paul supporters outside the debate while attempting to give Paul an "employee of the month" certificate from Republicorp, a fake business that created to symbolize the Republican party's close ties to business interests.


"I don't have opinions that I require other people to have." -Neil deGrasse Tyson, American Hero

NASA scientist and Pluto advocate Alan Stern challenged Neil deGrasse Tyson to a debate about teeny Pluto's planetary status, and Tyson declined.

"As a general rule, I don't debate people," Tyson wrote. "Done it once or twice before, but abandoned the effort. What's behind it is that I don't have opinions that I require other people to have. So debates don't interest me for this reason."


Previously, Tyson refused to debate conservative pastor Joel Osteen ("I don't debate people's belief systems") and put CNN on blast for [...]


Please Continue Pronouncing "GIF" Any Way You Please

Before accepting a lifetime achievement award at the Webby Awards last night, Steve Wilhite, the man who invented the GIF back in 1987, ruined everybody's day by reintroducing the great pronunciation debate of our time: How do you pronounce "GIF"? Here he is in an interview with the New York Times Bits blog yesterday:

“The Oxford English Dictionary accepts both pronunciations,” Mr. Wilhite said. “They are wrong. It is a soft ‘G,’ pronounced ‘jif.’ End of story.”

First of all: here's a relevant GIF.

And alternatively: Steve Wilhite is wrong. Steve Wilhite admits that he has never even made an animated GIF himself. [...]


What is "Personhood?"

"…the Personhood movement hopes to do nothing less than reclassify everyday, routine birth control as abortion." —Salon has a pretty good primer today on the "personhood" debate going down in Mississippi.


The Trouble With Reader-Shaming: A Y.A. Book List

The great debate over whether grownups should read young adult literature—and further, what the nature of reading should be—has come up again, thanks to a piece in Slate telling adults they should feel ashamed about reading books for kids. The headline is particularly prickly: "Read whatever you want. But you should feel embarrassed when what you’re reading was written for children."

Swiftly, a number of smart people reacted to this piece, which is surely as was intended by its very publication (especially its prickly headline). After all, there’s a certain algorithm on the internet that has become known as a [...]


Do You Need a Hug?

In a world where so much has gone horribly wrong, this outcry against hugging is just about the most unbelievable thing I have ever seen. Of all the things to take against! This is not to say that I would care to ask, let alone pressure, anybody (meaning, by "anybody,” anti-hug Katie Notopoulos of BuzzFeed) to hug, who is not comfortable doing so, though I can't help but wish everyone on earth could experience even a small fraction of the pleasure I do from a hug.

Those who do not care to hug need only preemptively stick an arm out for a handshake, if they wish to avoid [...]


What Does Your Toilet Paper Preference Say About You? (Besides EVERYTHING)

Traits associated with people who prefer the over orientation, as determined by complete fact, without exception: