May 21st, 2010

Fluffy

Duke University, where USENET started, shuts down its USENET server

For years, the running joke on USENET has been "death of USENET imminent, news at 11." Looks like that's not as much of a joke as it used to be.

Duke University: A Piece of Internet History
By Cara Bonnett
Monday, May 17, 2010

Durham, NC -- This week marks the end of an era for one of the earliest pieces of Internet history, which got its start at Duke more than 30 years ago.

On May 20, Duke will shut down its Usenet server, which provides access to a worldwide electronic discussion network of newsgroups started in 1979 by two Duke graduate students, Tom Truscott and Jim Ellis.

Working with a graduate student at UNC-Chapel Hill, they came up with a simple program to exchange messages and files between computers at Duke and UNC using telephone modems.

The "Users Network," Usenet for short, grew into an international electronic discussion forum with more than 120,000 newsgroups dedicated to various topics, from local dining to computer programming languages. Each group had a distinctive name such as soc.history or sci.math.

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USENET lives, but it's still a sad day. I've been on USENET since 1992 and managed to rise to a position of some prominence there--Friendly Neighborhood Vote Wrangler of alt.usenet.kooks. There, I ran the longest-running, most notorious, and best organized awards on USENET from 2006-2009.

Before that, I posted the monthly summaries on alt.fan.utena from more than a year ending in 2006. Before that, I ran the gRAMDies and the Drum Corps World fan poll on rec.arts.marching.drumcorps (1996-2002 for the gRAMDies and 1993-2003 for the fan poll).

I've had more fun and opportunities at leadership on USENET than I would have believed when I first started posting.

Looks like it's time to actually write that book I've been thinking about for the past 4 years--"USENET: The world's largest functioning anarchy." USENET needs a good history from someone with inside knowledge.

movies | HBIC

ONTD_Political's PotD: May 20, 2010.


Bodybuilding has grown into a very popular sport in Afghanistan in a country where men like the image of being physically strong. It is affordable for most Afghans and its popularity is growing in many provinces since the fall of the Taliban. Photos of Arnold Schwarzenegger are still hanging in many local gyms as their iconic image of a muscle bound male. Collapse )
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Source:
Me in Hawaii.

God tells man to walk the streets naked because America raped him

THIBODAUX, La. (AP) - A man who told police that God told him to walk the streets naked to save his soul has been arrested.

Thibodaux police responded to an obscenity complaint around 2 a.m. Thursday and found Shafiq Mohamed walking nude down the street. When approached, Mohamed reportedly told officers that "America raped him" and added God told him to walk the streets naked to save his soul.

Mohamed was taken into custody and charged with obscenity. He was booked into the Lafourche Parish Detention Center where he awaited bail.

It was not immediately known whether Mohamed has an attorney.


Sauce:
http://m.apnews.com/ap/db_16032/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=TyVnlwP5

Posted via LiveJournal.app.

Def-Con4

RAND PAUL continues to dig...

RAND PAUL: It's 'Un-American' to Criticize Foreign Companies.

After walking back his criticism of the Civil Rights Act yesterday, Rand Paul has been making the rounds defending himself against Democrats who have "trashed" him "up and down" with their "talking points."

On Good Morning America today, Paul also steered the conversation toward something more recent, President Obama's criticism of BP following the oil spill. Paul said: "This sort of, you know 'I'll put my boot heel on the throat of BP,' I think that sounds really un-American in his criticism of business."

Paul continued: The President's reaction is "part of this sort of blame game society" where "it's always someone's fault." Paul added: "Maybe sometimes accidents happen."

Continuing his defense of his comments about the Civil Rights Act, Paul blamed it on Democrats who are "way behind in Kentucky" and "make up a lot of stuff" to gain ground.


He reiterated that he's against repealing the act, but added that the controversy is just a "red herring."

"If you want to bring up 40-year-old legislation," Paul said, "why don't you bring me on with Senator Byrd, we'll talk about how he filibustered the Civil Rights Act."

Source
orange / karl

Evanston Might Seek To Ban Sagging Pants

Evanston officials want you to pull up your damn pants



Is it a fashion statement or is it against the law? Some Chicago area kids who wear their pants low could soon be slapped with a fine up to $750. CBS 2's Vince Gerasole reports on the suburb trying to "Stop the Sag."

"Jo-Mo," who was walking around Chicago with the waistline of his jeans around his thighs, said, "Man, my pants, sometimes they sag and hang low."

Jo-Mo is not alone when it comes to butt- and thigh-hugging waistlines exposing a top layer of underwear.

Another young man named "Asti" also showed CBS 2 how he wears his pants with the belt well below his waist.

But that's right where authorities in Evanston might draw the line.

The fashion trend, called sagging or swagging, is under review by the Evanston's Human Relations Commission. Some worry it amounts to public nudity and should be subject to fines between $10 and $750.

"I bought my clothes. How can somebody tell me how to wear my clothes?" Asti said.

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Daunting Task for Mr. Mom: Get a Job

Outnumbered and Often Isolated, At-Home Dads Face an Extra-Hard Slog Back Into the Work Force

Much has been written about the challenges awaiting at-home mothers who decide to return to work. Few of them, though, have a tougher time of it than the stay-at-home dad.

Compared with at-home moms, who outnumber them by more than 5 to 1, at-home dads face a bigger stigma among would-be employers, and they often have fewer opportunities to network from home. Also, they are returning to a labor market where men have suffered major setbacks; heavy job losses in male-dominated industries and middle management have led pundits to label the latest downturn the "he-cession."

A record 7.4% of fathers in married-couple families with children under 18 were home in 2009 while their wives worked, based on unpublished Bureau of Labor Statistics data set for release next week. That is up two percentage points from 2008 and the highest on record, says Sandra Hofferth, a University of Maryland family-science professor and researcher on family time use.
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' jules

Shenanigans Friday: May 21, 2010.

"CoLOLrless green ideas sleep furiously."-Noam Chomsky
Please exploit these resources:
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by yunghustlaz

Flames on the side of my motherfucking face.

Bret Easton Ellis Thinks Men Are Better Suited As Film Directors


Seriously, what was this guy thinking? I can barely write because the steam coming out of my ears is fogging up my glasses. This guy is one of these high profile Gen X writers whose books are ok, not great, yet he continues to get published. He’s written six books (a seventh is coming out soon so I guess that is the need for new publicity) and four of them have been made into movies.

The folks at Movieline have been talking to him this week about his work and he decided to insert his foot in his mouth when talking about women directors. Remember this is the guy who wrote American Psycho, and the film starred Christian Bale (in his breakout role) and was directed by a woman, Mary Harron. (I have not seen the movie or read the book.)

The interview is interesting because it talks about how he has been forced to reassess his pre-conceived notions that women directors basically suck because he recently saw Fish Tank by Andrea Arnold and The Runaways by Floria Sigismondi and he liked them both. And the fact that he liked two movies directed (and written) by women seems to have fucked with his male dominated world order.

He actually says:
There’s something about the medium of film itself that I think requires the male gaze.

That is seriously one of the most fucked up statements I have ever heard anyone say in public. How is it possible to believe that and live in this world?

The interview goes on:
We’re watching (referring to men), and we’re aroused by looking, whereas I don’t think women respond that way to films, just because of how they’re built.

So basically he believes that looking at a movie screen is always a sexual experience and men get so much more out of it because they get aroused differently than women.

I seriously do not know how to respond to that.

And he’s not done:
I think, to a degree, all the women I named aren’t particularly visual directors. You could argue that Lost in Translation is beautiful, but is that [cinematographer Lance Acord]? I don’t know. Regardless of the business aspect of things, is there a reason that there isn’t a female Hitchcock or a female Scorsese or a female Spielberg? I don’t know. I think it’s a medium that really is built for the male gaze and for a male sensibility. I mean, the best art is made under not an indifference to, but a neutrality [toward] the kind of emotionalism that I think can be a trap for women directors. But I have to get over it, you’re right, because so far this year, two of my favorite movies were made by women, Fish Tank and The Runaways. I’ve got to start rethinking that, although I have to say that a lot of the big studio movies I saw last year that were directed by women were far worse than the sh***y big-budget studio movies that were directed by men.

I would respond that think the Academy felt that Lost in Translation was not only beautiful but well directed because they gave Sofia Coppola an Oscar nomination for that film.

Do you think that this is a common feeling, or is this guy just trying to get us all riled up with his stupidity?

Source
Source

Like we believe you, Theresa...

Photo of Theresa May MP, opening a church fete...

Image via Wikipedia

The home secretary and minister for equality Theresa May told the audience of the BBC's Question Time that she has changed her mind about gay couples jointly adopting and would vote differently on gay rights issues if they were laid before the House of Commons today.

She was challenged on her poor LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered) rights voting record as first pointed out by PinkNews.co.uk. Mrs May voted against equalising the age of consent, the repeal of Section 28, against gay couples jointly adopting and against lesbian IVF rights. She not attend Parliament for the vote for gender recognition or for the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations which she has responsibility to administering, that outlaws discrimination on the basis of sexuality for the provision of goods and services including adoption. She did vote for civil partnerships.

Almost 70,000 people have joined a Facebook group calling on prime minister David Cameron to sack Mrs May as minister for equality. Mrs May indicated she was well aware of the group.

"If those votes were today, yes, I have changed my view and I think I would take a different vote."

She added: "On gay adoption I have changed my mind… because I have been persuaded that when you are looking at the future for a child, I think it's better for a child who is perhaps in an institutional environment, if they have an opportunity of being in a stable, family environment – be that a heterosexual couple or a gay couple – then I think it's more important that that child is in that stable and loving environment and I have genuinely changed my mind on that."

She also pledged her support for measures to tackle homophobic bullying.

Although Mrs May did say why she'd had changed her mind on gay couples adopting, she didn't detail whether or why she had changed her mind on Section 28 or the equal age of consent.

Former Labour minister Caroline Flint told the audience: "I'm pleased Theresa's changed her mind and we should accept when people change their mind and welcome that."

The director of Liberty Shami Chakrabarti said that Mrs May "should be proud for having changed her mind."

Source: Pink News
And, for anyone who missed it last night, the relevant part of Question Time (iPlayer, so UK-only)

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Murasaki Shikibu

Uh-oh, pt. 2

South Korea holds emergency security meeting

South Korea's president convened an emergency national security meeting Friday, a day after an official report concluded that North Korea was responsible for the deadly sinking of a naval patrol ship.

North Korea, for its part, spoke of war for a second straight day, while U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was on the way to the region and tensions on the Korean peninsula were expected to dominate her agenda.


South Korea accused North Korea on Thursday of sinking the patrol ship Cheonan with a torpedo in late March in what was the deadliest attack on the South since the Korean War ended in 1953.

President Lee Myung-bak convened a meeting of his National Security Council, said Nam Ki-myung, an assistant in the press office at the presidential Blue House, though she had no details as the meeting was under way.

The council consists of the prime minister, the foreign and defense ministers, the minister in charge of unification with North Korea and the chief of the National Intelligence Service.

Lee vowed Thursday to take "resolute countermeasures" against the North over the sinking. He was expected to give an address to the nation in coming days.

North Korea, which has denied any role in the sinking, said Friday it "will regard the present situation as the phase of war and decisively handle all matters arising in inter-Korean relations to cope with it."


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North Korea cries South Korea will be committing an "act of war" to pretty much everything, so it will be interesting to see what happens if the Armistice Commission decides N. Korea did violate the armistice. South Korea is definitely not going to react militarily because of Seoul (Seoul would pretty much be bombed into nonexistence), so I wonder what they'll do. China is definitely going to be a key player, and their call for both sides to "stay calm and exercise restraint" seems like its geared towards North Korea (I have no firm reasoning for why I think so; it just strikes me as a subtle way to tell North Korea to chill the fuck out without playing into North Korea's persecution complex.) I'm a lot more interested in how China reacts to everything than North Korea, just because China's the one most holding N. Korea in check.
The Gang

Manhwa industry declines, but movies are hits

Over the years, Korean manhwa has served as the inspiration for numerous films, television dramas and musicals, many of which have gone on to critical and financial success. This provided a critical boost to an entertainment industry that was facing increased competition from foreign imports.

But the nation’s once-thriving manhwa industry - which encompasses comic books, graphic novels and animated cartoons - is in the midst of a crisis because of rampant illegal downloads and a shrinking market.

The latest film to borrow from manhwa is Lee Joon-ik’s “Blades of Blood,” based on the Korean comic of the same name. Meanwhile, Bong Joon-ho, of “Mother” (2009) and “The Host” (2006), is planning a film adaptation of the French comic book “Le Transperceneige.” Television drama series like “A Man Called God” (2010), “Boys Over Flowers” (2009) and “Masters of the Art of Study” (2009) all incorporate comic book story lines, as does the forthcoming drama “Buddy Buddy.”

But their success doesn’t necessarily guarantee that the manhwa on which they are based will be successful, too.
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Source


Talking about your favorite manhwa and recommending some is allowed!
interlac k
  • kynn

Malawi "gay male couple" is actually a straight marriage

In The Interest of “Equality,” Malawian Woman’s Identity Is Erased

by Audacia Ray on May 21, 2010

With the ongoing interest in Uganda’s state-sponsored homophobia and a bill in the country that would make homosexual acts punishable by death, there’s been more press than usual about sexuality throughout the African continent. Uganda has been getting most of the ink, but the fact remains that 37 countries in Africa have a variety of laws against homosexuality.

Early this week a story broke about a “gay male couple” in Malawi who have both been found guilty of “unnatural acts” and “gross indecency” and sentenced to 14 years of hard labor. This story has been in development since December, when Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga were arrested in their home after a public engagement party celebrating their union.

Gay rights and human rights groups all over the world have issued statements condemning the Malawian court system and speaking out against punishing people for their sexual orientation.

The only problem with this, as the razor-sharp blog Questioning Transphobia pointed out yesterday, is that Tiwonge Chimbalanga identifies as female. Both the mainstream press and gay rights groups have consistently erased this fact from their statements. Several newspapers have quoted Tiwonge as saying, “I’d rather remain in prison than to be released into a world where I am kept away from Steven.” However Gender DynamiX, a South African organization that promotes freedom of expression of gender identity and advocates for the rights of transgender, transsexual, and gender non-conforming people, has the full quote: “I am just a woman who loves my man. I’d rather remain in prison than to be released into a world where I am kept away from Steven.”

The below video was filmed by Gender DynamiX this week at a protest this week in Cape Town, South Africa. In it, activists describe the scene and clearly state that Tiwonge is a transgender woman, not a gay man.




The New York Times
, in an article they published in February about the case, gives a little context to her identity but then completely disregards it:
Tiwonge Chimbalanga looked like a man but said he was a woman. He helped with the cooking and dressed in feminine wraparound skirts. Steven Monjeza was a quiet, sullen man often intoxicated on sorghum beer. He said he had never been happy until he finally met the right companion.
The mainstream media is notorious for misgendering trans people; when trans women are written about, they are described as being “men dressed as women” and referred to persistently as “he.” And although many gay rights groups include the letter “T” in their acronyms and claim to be inclusive of diversity in gender identity, they don’t hesitate to blatantly disregard gender identity when it serves their purpose of arguing for “equality” in the treatment of gays.

This is a multilayered issue: clearly, trans and gay rights activists within Africa are identifying Tiwonge as a trans woman and see her conviction as transphobic state violence and injustice. However, mainstream international press and gay rights groups are coopting the story to fit into their concept of the fight for marriage equality. The resulting coverage both silences trans women and ignores the voices and identities of Africans.


Source

ontp_d discussed this situation earlier this week, but it's worth highlighting again without misgendering. cis-dominated gay rights groups are quick to co-opt trans issues for their own causes, and equally quick to drop support for trans people when convenient.

' think about your life

Lucky for him, it will be very easy for Rand Paul to get a doctor's note

Conway Slams Rand Paul's 'Empathy Gap,' 'Cold And Callous' World View



Seizing on a series of politically eccentric statements from his opponent Rand Paul, Kentucky Democratic Senate candidate Jack Conway charged the Tea Party darling with having an "empathy gap" and promoting a world view that is "cold and callous."

"I think Rand Paul would be bad for the country," the Kentucky Attorney General said in an interview with the Huffington Post. "Rand Paul would be bad for Kentucky. I consider myself to be a fiscally responsible Democrat and I want a government we can afford. But Kentucky can't afford Rand Paul."

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Rand Paul Cancels On 'Meet The Press,' Only 3rd Guest To Do So In 62 Years

Following a week of unsparingly critical press coverage, Kentucky Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul is now seeking to limit his national exposure.

A spokesperson for the Tea Party-endorsed candidate informed NBC News late Friday afternoon that an exhausted Paul was canceling his interview on Sunday's "Meet the Press," Betsy Fischer, the executive producer for the program, told the Huffington Post.

If Paul were to follow through on his decision to not appear on "Meet the Press" it would be, as Fischer describes it, "a big deal." There have been only two other guests in the program's 62-year history to have canceled last minute: Louis Farrakhan and Prince Bandar bin Khaled al-Faisal of Saudi Arabia.

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Exhaustion? wtf is he, Mariah Carey?

Family Values Politician Outed?


Manufactured scandal leaves another political career in tatters

David Campbell should not have resigned from the NSW cabinet for entirely personal behaviour, that was – as far as anyone can establish – neither illegal nor exploitative.

He had lost interest in, or focus on, his job as Minister for Transport, but his performance was no worse than that of the government as a whole. His second life as a gay man had no bearing on his public duties.

Of course, if Campbell had been a stellar minister – instead of an affable journeyman of politics – and if he were serving in a good government, he may have been able to survive with the perfectly reasonable argument that he had committed no offence, other than the private pain to his wife and family.

Once again, we have seen a political career end in a scandal that is manufactured by the media, based on a series of so-far thin justifications.

Campbell had never set himself up as a ''family values'' campaigner. A photograph of himself with his wife and sons is merely that – a family photograph – not a morals crusade.

But even more obnoxious than the faulty justification is the self-righteousness of journalists and TV executives who set themselves up as arbiters of public morals.

Politics and journalism are careers of remarkably similar character. They both attract some shallow individuals in it to make money and acquire fame. They also attract people who are, in some measure, committed to the public interest.

But the most common trait is that politics and journalism often create broken lives. The newsrooms and TV studios of this country are littered with failed marriages, alcoholism, drug abuse and, yes, people living double lives.

For journalists, of all people, to moralise over politicians’ personal lives is a repulsive conceit. In the case of Channel 7 news chief, Peter Meakin, who signed off on the story that revealed  Campbell’s gay life, it is problematic.

Unlike Campbell, who has committed no offence that we know about, Meakin recently faced jail after his third conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol. He had been found guilty of dangerous driving – having blown 0.1, double the legal limit – and of attempting to evade the police after they tried to pull him over. Meakin was originally sentenced to weekend detention but got off with 250 hours of community service.

His offence, of driving while boozed up in a way that could have endangered the lives of innocent people, far outstrips any personal lapse by Campbell.

There was no public benefit in outing Campbell as a gay man, just as there was no public benefit in revealing the extra-marital affair of his erstwhile cabinet colleague John Della Bosca. Both men may have betrayed their marriage vows but that remains a matter solely for their families and, if relevant, their God.

These stories are nothing more than prurience and, one day, it will rebound on the predators. One day, a politician with a long memory, good connections and nothing to lose will get up in parliament and detail all he or she knows about the ''complex'' lives of those who report them.

We may end up living in interesting times – and remember the Chinese meant that as a curse.

source

I'm posting this as a follow up to the previous post from towleroad that labelled David Cameron as a "family values' politician - basically implying that he's a homophobe who got what was coming to him.

While the towleroad post was obviously factually wrong-  Cameron was manifestly not a political homophobe - I'm more interested in the gleeful reaction people had to the posting. I think it's actually quite homophobic, the way that some lefties seem so willing to dichotomise gay people into "righteous" and "non-righteous". Gay baby boomers face(d) problems that most of us won't ever really be able to comprehend, and in cases like this it's probably worth at least entertaining some degree of understanding before the guillotine comes down.
 

EDIT: Shit. Obviously I mean David Campbell, not Cameron.

Citadel

High school district may ban Harvey Milk Day

If Kern High School District Board of Trustees member Ken Mettler has his way, the district will not be observing Harvey Milk Day.

"Harvey Milk does not rise to the level of a special day of recognition," said Mettler at Monday night's board meeting.

Milk fought for gay rights and was the first openly gay man to hold an elected office in California. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed Harvey Milk Day into law Oct. 12 last year.

Milk was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and was assassinated in November 1978.

Several speakers at the board meeting strongly disagreed with Mettler's proposal, saying Milk was more than just a gay politician.

"He gave kids hope," said Centennial High School senior Tyler Lozano. "That's something that a lot of lesbian and gay kids don't have in my school."

Mettler is also running for public office in the 32nd Assembly District Republican primary. Mettler denies he brought up the anti-Milk proposal as a way to shore up his conservative credentials.

"Not at all, I believe in this," said Mettler.

The school board will vote on Mettler's proposal at a May 19 meeting.

Mettler also brought up another proposal. He called for a resolution supporting a state bill that would honor Ronald Reagan. That passed on a 4-1 vote.

Source.
talkin' that blah blah blah

US cartoonist apologises over Facebook Muhammad row

A cartoonist whose work inspired an internet campaign inviting people to draw images of the Prophet Muhammad has apologised for her role in the row.

Writing on her blog, Molly Norris said her satirical cartoon was "hijacked" and that the campaign was "offensive to Muslims".

Other people set up a page on the social networking site Facebook backing an Everybody Draw Muhammad Day.

It sparked outrage in Pakistan, where a court ordered Facebook to be blocked.

On Thursday the video-sharing website YouTube was also blocked in Pakistan. Reports say more protests against the Facebook campaign are planned for Friday.

'Right to expression'
Molly Norris drew a cartoon in April to protest against the decision by a US television channel to cancel an episode of the popular show South Park because of a contentious depiction of the Prophet Muhammad.

In her cartoon, Ms Norris satirically proposed May 20 as an Everybody Draw Muhammad Day.

The idea inspired a separate Everybody Draw Muhammad Day group on Facebook which rapidly gained in popularity.

The page contains drawings and cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad and characters from other religions, including Hinduism and Christianity. Depictions of the Prophet are forbidden in Islam.

Ms Norris says that she had nothing to do with the page even though her name was posted on it. Some media reports implied that she had set up the Facebook campaign.

"I never started a Facebook page; I never set up any place for people to send drawings to and I never received any drawings," she said on her blog.

She apologised for her role in the controversy and said that the content of the page was "offensive to Muslims who did nothing to endanger our right to expression in the first place".


Violent demonstrations
Pakistan said it blocked the popular video-sharing website YouTube because of its "growing sacrilegious content".

Correspondents say it remains to be seen how successful the new bans will be in Pakistan and whether citizens find a way round them.

YouTube said it was "looking into the matter and working to ensure that the service is restored as soon as possible". The site was briefly blocked in Pakistan in 2008 - ostensibly for carrying material deemed offensive to Muslims.

"Because YouTube is a platform for free expression of all sorts, we take great care when we enforce our policies. Content that violates our guidelines is removed as soon as we become aware of it," said the company.

Facebook said in a statement that it would take action if any content "becomes an attack on anyone, including Muslim people", but that in this case its policies were not violated.

Five people were killed in Pakistan in 2006 during violent demonstrations following publication of Muhammad cartoons in a Danish newspaper.

source

i had a lot of feelings on draw muhammed day. it seemed to me like a way for assholes to use religion as a weapon against certain religious people, which i'm not okay with. but i'm also not okay with censorship. i guess the issue for me was i get that you can draw muhammed (freedom of speech etc), but why? is it so hard to respect a religion when it isn't causing you any harm?

Time to Change Street-Porter's silly but prejudice-reinforcing views on depression

Last week, in the - where else? - Mail, Janet Street-Porter wrote a piece suggesting depression was like the latest must have fashion accessory. The Daily Mirror today kindly gave me the space, as Mind Champion of the Year and a supporter of the Time to Change campaign, to reply to her ill-informed, silly and prejudice-reinforcing article. The Mirror piece is reprinted here

Attention-seeking takes many forms, and a particularly virulent outbreak appeared under the name of Janet Street-Porter last week.

In a newspaper article she wrote about depression as some kind of trendy new illness, which many women now view as a must have accessory, like the latest handbag.

I assume, from the unsympathetic tone, she has never experienced depression. If she had, then even for the generous cheque she no doubt received, she would have thought twice before setting out an opinion as misguided as it is offensive to anyone who knows the reality of depression.

Much that appears in the media really doesn't matter. But people who suffer from mental health problems will often say the stigma attached to them is worse than the symptoms. Articles like hers reinforce that stigma and taboo, which in turn create shame and a sense that real problems cannot be addressed.

First, let me try to give her some insight into depression. I had a pretty heavy nervous breakdown in 1986, and I've had depression on-and-off ever since. With the help of friends and family, sympathetic bosses, a good GP, a psychiatrist, sometimes medication, I have learned to manage it better than I did once.

At its worst, it is like an invisible dark force that first approaches, then envelops, then appears to fill every waking thought. You can escape via sleep, but you wake and find your eyes won't open, you lack the energy to brush teeth, shave, speak, think anything other than thoughts of emptiness and despair.

When it's bad, my partner Fiona says it is like living with somebody from a different planet. When you get into that mode it's very dangerous and corrosive. People ask, "what's wrong?" and you don't really know. "What triggered it?" and you can't answer that either. One thing you do know, there is no way you would wish to have it.

Once you've had it, there are few worse experiences than knowing that dark cloud is coming back. The cause of Janet Street Porter's ire - whether real or synthetic - is the fact that women like TV presenter and Mirror columnist Fiona Phillips, actress Emma Thompson and writer Marian Keyes have spoken out about their experiences. Like them, I've chosen to "bare my soul", as Porter puts it, in print and on film because I feel that openness about psychosis and depression may help counteract the discrimination and stigma surrounding mental health.

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Source: Alastair Campbell
Also: The article this is a response to

Note to mods: please don't reject this due to being a bad source. While it's true it's a blog, it's not just any old schmoe off the Internet; It's Alastair Campbell (journalist, author, Director of Communications and Strategy for Tony Blair and the real-life basis for Malcolm Tucker). Also, the majority of it is reposted from the Daily Mirror, which is a newspaper.
SAY

I would demand an explanation, knowing full well that none given would be remotely satisfactory

Anti-abortion fetus dolls handed out to Norfolk students

By Steven G. Vegh
The Virginian-Pilot

Plastic human fetus dolls - soft, in pink and brown, and about 4 inches long - have been handed out at Oakwood Elementary School by an employee who was put on administrative leave Thursday over the situation.

The dolls, which were distributed over weeks or months, are not authorized by the division as instructional materials, spokeswoman Elizabeth Thiel Mather said Thursday. Mather said the employee will remain on leave until school officials investigate the reports.

Oakwood Principal Sheila Tillett Holas was put on leave today, Thiel Mather said.  The division began its investigation after The Pilot asked school leaders this week about the fetus dolls.

The distribution of the life-like forms among grade school children shocked and repelled some parents and teachers and School Board members who discussed them in a closed meeting this week.

"It is hard to imagine that we would have an employee who believes it would be appropriate to share plastic fetus dolls with students in one of our schools," School Board Chairman Stephen Tonelson said Thursday.

An Oakwood teacher told The Pilot that the "squooshy" dolls had been given to students in the third, fourth and fifth grades over several months. The teacher, who asked for anonymity to avoid retaliation from the school for speaking out, said several parents and staff were upset.

The teacher said that attached to the dolls was a card with a "pro-life" message and information on fetal growth.
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(source)

BONUS FUCKERY! Teachers complained to the state earlier that the same principal now on admin leave about the dolls instructed them to pray with students before their SOLs and involved her church pastor.