Practice Sessions: Joseph Dunphy's Site Reviews and Commentary

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October 11th, 2011


12:58 pm - U.S. To Phase Out Incandescent Light Bulbs




Pursued on a national level, this cause is a remarkably stupid one, for reasons I've given in this blog post. Add this one to an already lengthy list of reasons to despise George II even more than George I; guess who signed this silliness into law ... read article






 

12:57 pm




Stephanie Lee during a quieter moment. Image links to source.
In connection to my review of Pretty Lady, I was amused to find that for once, a troll had neglected to stay anonymous. Here is the resume of the author, one Stephanie Lee Jackson.







 

12:53 pm - Ariel Levy on Standards of Beauty





Video to be found here.

Smug rumination on the blindingly obvious (the unnaturalness of the look of the centerfolds in Playboy) that misses a key point - those models do not represent any sort of universal male ideal of beauty in this (American) or any other society. While I won't disagree with the idea that the promotion of such a standard would have a chilling effect on the libido and thus on the species' ability to propagate itself, I will take serious issue with the way in which Levy hints that men in general should be lumped in with that magazine's subscriber base. The scenario put forth would be a bad one, but she slides past the question of whether or not it would be a terribly realistic one. Listening to her, I am left with the impression that we are asked to take for granted that we should assume just that, and such a suggestion is as irritating as that affected prep school accent of hers.

I am very, very tired of seeing men in general casually lumped in with the dirty yellow raincoat brigade one can see scurrying into adult bookstores across the land by women who just assume that all men enjoy that kind of literature and what it represents. Most of us deserve better than that, and if Ms.Levy hasn't seen that for herself, then that is the case because she wasn't willing to look. Her misandry is out on display for all to see, and it isn't a pretty sight.






 

12:52 pm - The New Chivalry




Illustration from 'Through the Looking Glass'
A reasonably well written rant about one of the more annoying aspects of radical feminism. While the author is guilty of mixing the occasional metaphor - "But that's modern feminism: preach equality, accept favoritism, win with stacked decks, pretend you had no advantage, then rub salt in the wound." - one knows exactly what he is saying, and those small seeming imperfections do not detract from this piece ... more








 

12:51 pm - Miss Universe Has a Wardrobe Malfunction





Liking this video for all of the wrong reasons. OK, probably a little embarassing for the very beautiful woman in the video, but on the other hand, one doesn't end up seeing anything that one wouldn't see at the beach, anyway, so I don't have to feel that guilty about having seen this.



Do I? Umm ...





 

12:49 pm - omg! Celebrity gossip, news, photos, babies, couples, hotties, and more




"OMG! It's like Britney got her head shaved, and it's like so not happening girl and who even knows what Lindsay is up to and oh! oh! squeal!"








Puke. One of the ugliest site designs I've ever seen as Yahoo, fresh from destroying its distinctive blogging community, decides that it wants to put its effort into an attempt to get into the Tabloid industry, while Google brings us offerings like Google Scholar, which gives the reader abstracts of articles in academic journals.

How comforting that Google is doing so much better than Yahoo, under the circumstances. It almost begins to restore my faith in humanity. But you're free to read this trash if you want to. Just don't tell me about it, afterwards.







 

12:48 pm - Mark Jenkins // Street Installations



Photographic culture jamming ... more






 

12:47 pm - Pangloss Wisdom


Voltaire, author of Candide, in which the character of Pangloss appears.
A random selector of amusing quotes, for some of which the site owner has neglected to provide attributions.





 

12:45 pm - Why Can't I Own a Canadian?



A nice rebuttal to offer to the sort of alleged worshipper who thinks that having read Torah, that one need not think about it, found in a response to gay bashing remarks made by the radio personality "Dr.Laura".





 

12:44 pm - SomaFM: Listener Supported, Commercial Free Internet Radio




These are the people I wrote about over on MOG. Excellent site.

 

12:43 pm
































 

12:41 pm - Pretty Lady / ohprettylady.blogspot.com



If you've ever wondered what it would be like to read the journal of a spoiled brat who defined enlightenment as being the willingness of others to satisy her every whim without question ... then I'm assuming that you weren't in the United States during the 1990s. No matter, if you missed that decade the first time around and for some reason regret the loss, the spirit of what should be a bygone and perhaps best forgotten cultural era lives on in this woman's writings.

I tried to review one of the posts on this blog, one entitled On Picking Up Checks, but the Stumbleupon system wouldn't let me discover the site. I went there, clicked on the "thumbs down" button, and nothing happened. Then I found that somebody had discovered the blog itself, and decided that posting here would do. While reviewing an entire blog based on a single post might seem a little hasty, the post was so thoroughly obnoxious that I found myself feeling far more comfortable with the idea of doing that, than with that of crawling around in the muck of the author's mental world any more than I already had.

The author writes:







"Women, girls, self-described 'feminists' all: listen to the voice of experience. Check-paying has nothing to do with equality between the genders, good sex, or feminism. Check-paying is the simplest, most accurate method of ascertaining whether you are on a date with a man, or with a bizarre specimen of animated pond slime."







going on to engage in a feeding frenzy like binge of character assassination directed against those men who ask the woman to split the check on a date, listing all of the distasteful things that they will supposedly do, and never mind the fact that plenty of couples can be found who have split the check, in which the men have done none of these things. The strikingly ugly "prettylady" goes on to write








"A man who does not pick up the check is a man who values his pocketbook more than he values your opinion. ... In short, any man who does not appreciate the privilege of being allowed to take you to dinner for the simple glory of your lustrous presence should be shunned like the mutant he is."








an arrogant remark that makes her remark about the "man whose ego is so out of control that he believes he is God's gift to promiscuous women" all the more amusingly ironic

The question that she doesn't seem to grasp is a question is why the man should feel any more or less privileged to be on the date than the woman; is his company worth less than hers? One hears a demand that the man show his appreciation of the woman, but not even the slightest hint of how the woman ought to be reciprocating or even of any tolerance of the notion that she might; note the quoted comment about the man valuing his checkbook more than the woman's opinion. But in context, what is the woman's opinion about? Whether or not he ought to be opening his checkbook for her, in effect paying her for her company, and what was the technical term for that, again?

We are left with a dire warning that such a man might respond to an unreasonable request with the word "no". As I mentioned on this page over at Google, the fact of the matter is that we do live in an era in which anti-male discrimination is rampant in the workplace, and so if anything, one could make a reasonable case that the woman should be the one picking up the check, in our (post-baby boomer) generation, because she is the one who has found the doors of opportunity being opened, instead of being slammed in her face and bolted shut. Were we living back in the world of years past, expecting the man to pay might have made some degree of sense, because the man was far likelier to have money to spend, but in a world which has radically changed and rendered those expectations obsolete, we have some like this author who, in a wholy unprincipled and adversarial way, is fighting to make sure that she keeps what's hers, and that other women don't undermine her by daring to act reasonably and taking present realities into account when making decisions in the present. I'm not surprised that her date abandoned her; I'm not sure why he asked her out in the first place.


(Originally posted December 28, 2007 at 7:56 am)








 

12:40 pm - Jackson Pollock by Miltos Manetas, original design by Stamen






At first, I didn't care for this site in the least, writing of how I had always "hated those javascript things that leave beads or something else hanging off one's cursor" and even, if you can imagine this, gentle reader, questioned the merit of Pollock's work. My eyes were waiting to be opened, as they soon would be.









Ode to Catherine MacKinnon, triptych copyrighted 2008 Joseph Dunphy, all rights reserved, as if that mattered.











Trying out the software on this page, I found that I was, indeed, far too harsh in my initial appraisal. As I created the masterpiece you see above if you're reading this on my blog, I was intrigued by the way in which that Jackson Pollock look (that those truly in the know have come to appreciate) was best achieved was for me not to linger, but to race my mouse around so quickly that I couldn't think much about what I was doing, sending the cursor careening around the screen far more quickly than my eye could follow, or would want to, splashing color as it went.

First black! Then green! Or would it be red? With each tap the color would change, one would never know what to in advance, and the more I embraced the fact that I had absolutely no idea of what I was doing, the more Pollock-like my efforts became. I had arrived. I had found myself as a painter. Fascinated as I was by the power of such a fearlessly randomised aesthetic, I pondered the possible course of my life as a newly made artist, in this brave new world to be made by our love of such unpredictable beauty, a love which I'd let touch everything I did, for that is the path to greatness. Tenure would surely be close at hand.












Ode to Catherine MacKinnon, panel two, see dire warnings above.











I wondered where one would hang a piece as this. I imagined it hanging in a campus library stocked with scholarly works such as these articles (1 and 2) which I wrote with a little help from the Postmodernism Generator, while off in the background one could hear the faint notes of music such as this drifting in from a concert hall across the quad. Huddled over, I would be busy producing enduring works of scholarship such as these, racing through my day because I'd know that a new play by Bryn Magnus of the Curious Theatre Branch would soon open, and I had not yet partaken of recreational pharmaceuticals in sufficient bulk to fully appreciate Bryn's writing. There is a knock at the door. Is that? ... why, yes, it is!

My beloved Lucretia has taken time from her labwork to drop by with a few words of encouragement and a cup of her homebrewed espresso, lightly fermented and seasoned with just a hint of kelp; I smack my lips and savor the briny caffeination. I don't know how I'd get through my day without her. The delicate scent of orchids and overripe durian rises from the gardens below, gently teasing my nostrils, as ...











Ode to Catherine Mackinnon, Panel Three










I shall never know what was to come, for the shorting of my keyboard from the drool accumulating on it has roused me from my reverie, and I have lost my train of thought. Alas, no bathtub full of sea urchins to greet my weary bones at the end of a long day tutoring, no academic recognition of my computer generated brilliance, not even Lucretia, for she is but a dream. But I still do have this lovely, lovely painting and the inspiring thought that I live in a society that would salute the work of a visionary like Jackson Pollock and all that work such as his represents and really, shouldn't that be far more than enough?






Posted December 16, 2007 1:45 am at original location














 

12:38 pm
































 

12:37 pm














That's all there is, at least for now. You've read it all, nothing more to see. Thank you for dropping by, and if you're interested in knowing when there will be more posts, I've recently set up an update list for my social networking sites. Every once in a while, when there's another page or two worth of reading material, I'll send out a brief summary, if there seems to be any interest.

Which I guess you've already shown, if you've read all of the way to here. Thanks, I'm flattered. Thanks for taking the time to drop by, and hope to see you back soon.


















 

12:37 pm
































 

12:36 pm
















OK, maybe not that soon. Did you hear the part where I said that you had read the last review? That there weren't any more posts? I mean ... it's nice having you around, but I don't know what you're waiting for ... no offense. I hope none was taken.

You can show yourself out. Nice seeing you.




















 

12:35 pm
































 

12:34 pm
















You're still here? Go home. Like, you know, man, isn't somebody waiting for you? Aren't they going to wonder what's going on, because I sure am. Woah - I'm not judging you. Dude, like, you know, I'm not trying to tell you how to live, I'm just saying you don't have to go home, you just can't stay here.

Good night. Drive safely.




















 

12:33 pm
































 

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