Friday, November 21, 2008

Weekend Links We Like to Link to - The Chicago Reader Edition

In a vain and fleeting hope of keeping this semi-thematic, here goes:
The Chicago Reader is a free weekly alternative press that's been fairly progressive and leftist since it was founded by some old hippies back in the day (I wanna say 60's, but it may have been well into the 70's). Due to what is happening to all print media and the ever-decreasing dollar amount for ad revenue being spread about between more media, it's not what it was even a year and a half ago (when they sold it... man), but it still has good reporting, a lot of history and enough generally to make some fuss about. For instance:

Obama! Love the man, love what he represents. And like a South Vietnamese hooker's promise*, been loving him a long time. And I know that The Reader was also optimistic about having him in the Oval Office, certainly over his rival - even if they weren't given to smitten-ness and blind optimism like Rolling Stone and, y'know, me. Certainly not the scary folks here, many of whom protested the cover to the left as being racist. Because, as you must know, no white elected official would ever be called to question at any point by anybody.

gees please louis.

Just to recap, during the week leading up to the election, the Reader had to decide in true Chicago newsie (Dewey / Truman?) fashion who should end up with their cartoon likeness with something snarky in the title. Obama was comfortably leading, so they decided to go with him. However, it may have come on some bad timing, as many people who did not necessarily support Obama for president were nevertheless extremely joyous that a man of color won the presidency. Also, images and soundbites travel faster than any sort of prevailing context. So to some people, they see a picture of a black man together with a title saying, "Hey, don't screw this up," they automatically assume the worse. All of a sudden, it's no longer about the fact that there's finally a Democrat in power, or a progressive, or even a minority and that the world is looking at him to see how he (representing them/us) navigates it all - but now it's about this expectation that a black man is supposed to take our blundering country to even worse depths than imaginable? If this were National Review, maybe I could see that...

Speaking of Obama and Chicago, Ben Joravsky makes the case that Barack will not be Mayor Daley's dummy in DC. In fact, Joravsky argues, Daley and Bush are like best of friends so Daley will need to get in line this time around a definite step-down.

And speaking of zealots who lose people to their cause, here is a letter sent to Cecil Jones at "The Straight Dope" column:

Dear Cecil:

I was shocked by your highly ignorant column on "when life begins" (can't find article). You have a very conservative approach, and a misogynistic one at that. I appreciate your attempt at explaining brain waves. But what your article lacked was a woman's right to her body, and you had an even more disturbing view on rape. Apparently, you need to take a woman's course or ethics course. You included research on a boy's soul being present at 40 days, and a girl's at 80 days, but you failed to acknowledge how sexist that view is. Furthermore, you genderized your "child" at the end as a "he." True, "he" is one of us, but are you responsible for raising him? A woman's body is her own …

If the child was a mistake, it is up to the woman to decide if she wants to keep him/her. Men have used the power of impregnation over women for too long. Too many men do not understand how much work and money it takes to raise children (the same goes for some women). A woman's right to choose is her ticket to sexual freedom. A man's version of when "life" supposedly begins is HIS DEFINITION OF POWER OVER HER. A man does not know and will never be able to understand what having a child is like.

Silly male monkey, tricks are for kids.

Cecil replies:

Nothing personal, arcane_eye, but you're one of the reasons we got stuck with eight years of George Bush.

While I'm sure you're a splendid human being in person, in your letter you come across as a self-centered ninny, and you make the kinds of arguments that drive the religious right to new heights of zeal.
Read the whole response here.

FWIW, I'm not sure if I would qualify myself as part of the religious right, but she drove me up the wall. Fortunately, Adams answer drove a middle ground that I think more people should seek, at least in terms of policy. (I do consider myself pro-life. But for me and friends like me that means more concentration on ending extreme poverty, war, injustice, domestic abuse, etc. then it does trying to make abortions illegal.)

*From what I've heard. In Platoon.

1 comment:

  1. [being pro life] "means more concentration on ending extreme poverty, war, injustice, domestic abuse, etc. then it does trying to make abortions illegal"... Amen, brother! Amen!


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