NEWS: Mitt Romney, Questions Of Color, And A Pastor Who May Not Understand The Purpose Of A Certain Sex Toy
Romney's message to college students: 1) Borrow startup capital from dad, 2) Don't major in English.
Pantone's color gurus chat hue up:
“What do we say about blue?” asks David Shah, a British-born, Amsterdam-based designer who heads the meeting on behalf of Pantone, the quietly ubiquitous American company that maintains color standards for publishers, designers, and the fashion world. “Blue took so long to come back. It came back last year in a watery story, it’s here this summer in an indigo story—what are we doing about blue?”
“A good navy,” says a French woman with short blonde hair, “is going to fulfill the role that black used to fill, because black is now launching into another dimension.”
“How do we see black now?” Shah interjects. “As a dynamic color?” There is excited chatter. Black has shed its cultural baggage as a negative color. The Italians “did a big statement” about black.
Hulk Hogan's ex retracts claim of husband's gay affair; Hulk's months-old response to allegations still classy enough to bear repeating:
It's tough because a lot of my friends in normal life, a lot of my friends in the entertainment business, and a lot of my friends in the wrestling business are gay ... Just to say something spiteful and hurtful, I don’t get it ... if it was true and I was gay, I’d embrace it, and I’d tell you guys about it and I’d celebrate it.
Colorado State University footballers lied about involvement in fight sparked by gay slurs.
Article about the two sides in the religious war over Amendment One in North Carolina. Weirdest paragraph:
Rev. Wooden is particularly incensed with those who equate the battle for gay rights with the struggle for civil rights. His comments on homosexuality, sometimes graphic, push the notion that gays are aberrant both culturally and physically. Who, he demands, could support a practice that forces men “to wear a diaper or a butt plug just to be able to contain their bowels?” For him, comparing gays to blacks is denigrating.
Marriage equality has never been less of a wedge issue:
For the first time, the level of strong support for gay marriage is equal to the level of strong opposition, researchers report. In the April 4-15 survey, 22 percent of Americans say they strongly favor permitting legal marriage for gays and lesbians; an identical percentage said they strongly oppose it.
In 2008, strong opposition was twice as high as support — 30 percent vs. 14 percent.
Senate Intelligence Committee discovers that "enhanced interrogation" doesn't work.
Study suggests analytical thought undermines religious belief:
The subjects of the study were given problem-solving tasks, shown a picture of Rodin’s sculpture “The Thinker,” and presented with a final questionnaires printed in a hard-to-read font.
The questionnaire, which asked them to what extent they agreed with statements such as “I believe in God” or “I don’t really spend much time thinking about my religious beliefs,” revealed a diminished level of belief compared to control subjects who had been given non-analytical tasks to complete.
Psychologists have long believed that humans rely on two different cognitive systems, one “intuitive” and the other “analytical,” and previous research has pointed to a link between intuitive thinking and religious belief.
“Our findings suggest that activating the ‘analytic’ cognitive system in the brain can undermine the ‘intuitive’ support for religious belief, at least temporarily,” study co-author Ara Norenzayan explained.
A "Stones-mad couple" opens world's first Rolling Stones museum.
"PlanIT Valley," one vision of the modern city, under construction in Portugal:
Slated for completion in 2015, PlanIT Valley won’t be a mere “smart city” — it will be a sentient city, with 100 million sensors embedded throughout, running on the same technology that’s in the Formula One cars, each sensor sending a stream of data through the city’s trademarked Urban Operating System (UOS), which will run the city with minimal human intervention.
“We saw an opportunity … to go create something that was starting with a blank sheet,” said PlanIT Valley creator Steve Lewis, “thinking from a systems-wide process in the same way we would think about computing technologies.”
The headline overstates the case a bit, but nevertheless: An extra-terrestrial world capable of supporting life might look very much like Gliese 667Cc. Awesome.
A great brouhaha is stirring in the nation's conservative publications over comments Dan Savage made two weeks ago while addressing the JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention. The convention was entitled "Journalism On The Edge," which you'd think would prep participants for a certain amount of edginess in the presentations. Alas, the audience was not prepared for edginess. Savage's subject was to be bullying, and he got right to the point:
The Bible. We'll just talk about the Bible for a second. People often point out that they can't help it -- they can't help with the anti-gay bullying, because it says right there in Leviticus, it says right there in Timothy, it says right there in Romans, that being gay is wrong.
We can learn to ignore the bulls**t in the Bible about gay people. The same way, the same way we have learned to ignore the bulls**t in the Bible about shellfish, about slavery, about dinner, about farming, about menstruation, about virginity, about masturbation. We ignore bulls**t in the Bible about all sorts of things. The Bible is a radically pro-slavery document. Slave owners waved Bibles over their heads during the Civil War and justified it. The shortest book in the New Testament is a letter from Paul to a Christian slave owner about owning his Christian slave. And Paul doesn't say "Christians don't own people." Paul talks about how Christians own people.
We ignore what the Bible says about slavery, because the Bible got slavery wrong. Tim -- uh, Sam Harris, in A Letter To A Christian Nation, points out that the Bible got the easiest moral question that humanity has ever faced wrong. Slavery. What're the odds that the Bible got something as complicated as human sexuality wrong? One hundred percent.
The Bible says that if your daughter's not a virgin on her wedding night -- if a woman isn't a virgin on her wedding night, she shall be dragged to her father's doorstep and stoned to death. Callista Gingrich lives. And there is no effort to amend state constitutions to make it legal to stone women to death on their wedding night if they're not virgins. At least not yet. We don't know where the GOP is going these days.
People are dying because people can't clear this one last hurdle. They can't get past this one last thing in the Bible about homosexuality.
Um, one other thing I wanna talk about is -- [chuckles] -- so, you can tell the Bible guys in the hall that they can come back now, because I'm done beating up the Bible. It's funny, as someone who's on the receiving end of beatings that are justified by the Bible, how pansy-assed some people react when you push back.
I apologize if I hurt anyone's feelings. But. I have a right to defend myself. And to point out the hypocrisy of people who justify anti-gay bigotry by pointing to the Bible, and insisting we must live by the code of Leviticus on this one issue and no other.
As Savage noted, Christian students in the thousands-strong audience fled from his address, first in a trickle, and then in a great flood. The exodus began right around the time Savage started talking about slavery. Very soon, the offended students were talking to the press. From the rightist rag Citizen Link:
A 17-year-old from California who was attending with half a dozen other students from her high school yearbook staff, was one of several students to walk out in the middle of Savage’s speech.
“The first thing he told the audience was, ‘I hope you’re all using birth control!’ ” she recalled. Then “he said there are people using the Bible as an excuse for gay bullying, because it says in Leviticus and Romans that being gay is wrong. Right after that, he said we can ignore all the ‘B.S.’ in the Bible.
“I was thinking, ‘This is not going a good direction at all,’ Then he started going off about the Bible. He said somehow the Bible was pro-slavery. I’m really shy. I’m not really someone to, like, stir up anything. But all of a sudden I just blurted out, ‘That’s bull!’ ”
As she and several other students walked out of the auditorium, Savage noticed them leaving and called them “pansies.”
The story has now been picked up by FOX News Radio, under the headline "Anti-Bullying Speaker Curses Christian Teens." Today, that article was one of the top links at Drudge Report, which suggests the story will get bigger very soon.
It's too bad the Christian kids left the hall. They're supposed to be journalists, and we in the journalism biz must often dirty our ears with others' distasteful utterances. While Savage might have profitably avoided the use of profanities (which, when used to describe allegedly sacred documents, tend to make believers less than receptive to whatever might come next), what he said was materially true, and good journalism students of any creed ought to know it. And inquisitive Christians also ought to know the standard argument against Dan's point: That Jesus's "new covenant" rendered the Old Testament's "ceremonial law" meaningless (making it okay for humans to eat shellfish and pork) but left in place the Old Testament's "moral laws," which include prohibitions against homosexuality. And smart people in general should know the counter-argument to that counter-argument, which is: Really? Stoning women to death isn't a moral issue?
That's where believers and doubters tend to part ways, which is a shame. Apparently these journalism students are too delicate to get even that far.
Watch the allegedly objectionable bits of Savage's address AFTER THE JUMP ...
Make sure not to miss a Towleroad headline by following @TLRD on Twitter.
In death, as in life, Andrew Breitbart inspires terrible journalism.
On April 19th, U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke, a Democrat of New York City, spoke to a gathering of Democrats in the neighborhood of Prospect Heights, Brooklyn. She spoke about the importance of civil society; about the public institutions that shaped and influenced her early life. The Brooklyn Academy of Music. The Brooklyn Botanical Garden. The Brooklyn Museum. Prospect Park. She spoke about a lot of other things as well: obstructionism in the federal government, the Paul Ryan budget, the importance of entrepreneurship.
Rep. Clarke also spoke passingly about the Tea Party.
The hacks at Breitbart.com did what they so often do, and edited Rep. Clarke's remarks so they appeared to be about something other than what they're about -- so that they appeared to be a shrill diatribe against "crazy" Tea Party supporters. Rep. Clarke's edited speech was picked up last week by Glenn Beck's The Blaze, and now Rep. Clarke's receiving threats of violence from Tea Party folk. She felt compelled to alert the police on Thursday.
Watch Rep. Clarke's edited remarks AFTER THE JUMP, followed by her actual address, delivered in three parts.
The edited version ...
And the original:
The above ad appeared Thursday in the Carolina Peacekeeper, a black community newspaper in Guilford County, NC. What you see are black clergy, all of whom are speaking out against North Carolina's Amendment One, which would define marriage as an exclusively man-woman pairing.
The text beneath the photo reads:
As agents of justice, healing, and unity among all people of all races, God has positioned us to be the heirs and guardians of a long history of unearned suffering, including slavery, lunch law, and Jim Crowism. Our people are, even today, the victims of random hate crimes. Many of our teenagers and young adults are languishing in prisons, while millions of others are without work and live in poverty. After careful and prayerful consideration, we are persuaded that the proposed Amendment One to the North Carolina Constitution would further impoverish and punish so many innocent people. Therefore, we have no choice but to stand against this unnecessary and unjust proposed amendment.
(HT: Pam's House Blend.)
Radio listeners in Cleveland received a rude jolt yesterday morning when Dominic Dieter of Rover's Morning Glory -- a talk show on the massively influential WMMS 100.7, "The Buzzard" -- told a father that his possibly-gay daughter should be raped straight.
According to the incident reports (and later confirmed to us by an executive for Clear Channel, the station's parent company), the anti-gay remark was made by Dominic Dieter, one of the "Rover's Morning Glory" cast members. Responding to an e-mail from a father who (for reasons unknown) wrote to the station to say that he'd happened upon his teenage daughter kissing another girl. Deiter responded to the father, on-air, by saying:
"You should get one of your friends to screw your daughter straight."
This is not okay. Not on any level, and not in any context. We trust that the majority of fair-minded Americans will agree. Make no mistake, if this young woman is, in fact, gay - or if she's simply not interested in having sex with any of her father's friends, then what Dieter is suggesting is rape.
That's right, Dieter. Rape is not funny, and "corrective rape" happens to be a real and hideous thing.
GLAAD's calling for Dieter's suspension, and for an apology, and for Rover's Morning Glory to produce "a segment speaking about the real harms that can come from parental rejection." If you'd like to let WMMS know your thoughts, the station's emailable at firstname.lastname@example.org, and the general manager, Gary Mincer, may be reached at 216-520-2600.
In May, the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest shall be held in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan: a one-time Soviet state which is now a nominally secular democracy, bordered to the south by Iran and inhabited primarily by Shi'ite Muslims. In January, the gay website nighttours.com briefly toyed with the idea of a gay pride parade on the contest's eve. The Azerbaijani media was deeply worried, and various important people in Baku quickly assured reporters that the parade was just a rumor. Even gay Azerbaijanis like Rusian Balukhin, who runs gay.az, thought the parade was a terrible idea:
“To take on the organisation [of a parade] you would need guarantees of your safety,” he told IWPR. “Basically, among Baku’s gays and lesbians there is no one even dreaming of demonstrations or parades.”
But such denials are insufficient for the radical clerics in neighboring Iran, whose radical clerics' delicate sensibilities can't countenance even the false rumor of a pride parade in a nearby country. Hossein Alizadeh, of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, released a statement yesterday explaining the situation:
... The possible gay parade in Azerbaijan is particularly troubling for the religious establishment in Iran, given the fact that over 85% of the Azeri population follow Shiite Islam, making Azerbaijan -along with Bahrain, Iran and Iraq- one of the few countries with Shiite majority ... the Ayatollahs in Iran see the possible gay parade in a neighboring Shiite country as a declaration of cultural war against all Shiites. A combination of religious bonds, historic ties -- Azerbaijan was part of Iran till early 18th century, when Tehran lost the territory to an expanding Russian empire -- and linguistic commonality -- one third of Iranians speak Azeri -- has sparked a national anxiety over the imminent gay parade in Baku.
The latest wave of official statements against the gay parade came on Friday, during the Friday Prayers Service in Tabriz, the historical seat of Azeri culture and the center of Iran's Azeri population. During today's service, the prominent Shiite clergyman and a personal representative of Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Mohsen Mojtahed Shabestari accused the government of Azerbaijan of Islamophobia, "which is demonstrated in their policies such as the ban of headscarf for women, and imposing limits on religious missionary work." Ayatollah Shabestari claimed that Eurovision pursues an anti-Islamic agenda: "the situation in Azerbijan is so bad that the rulers are wasting public funds to throw a party that is requested by anti-Islamic forces... more outrageously is the gay parade that they are planning to organize...this dance party and the parade [attract] all sorts of anti-Islamic groups and perverts... While many countries do not allow perverts and fags to hold a rally, the rulers of dominantly Shiite Azerbaijan have allowed for this unethical event to take place... I want to ask them 'what has happened to your Islamic honor and why have you turned into play toys in the hands of Zionists?'" The Friday Imam ended his comments by publicly denouncing the leadership of the Republic of Azerbaijan, cursing the organizing of the parade, and "warning the Baku government to cancel the gay parade or else expect widespread demonstration and public anger in the next few days." (http://www.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=13910208000528)
Earlier, the radical Ansar-Hizbullah group in Tabriz sent and open letter to the Presidents of Iran and Azerbaijan, blaming the gay parade on Israel and threatening to capture the Azerbaijan's mission in Tabriz if the parade ever takes place ( http://ansar-tabriz.blogfa.com/post-123.aspx ) Media reports also indicates conservative groups in Azerbaijan are equally unhappy about the possible gay parade in their country (http://iwpr.net/report-news/gay-parade-controversy-azerbaijan). In recent days, Iranian media have reported extensively on the negative sentiments in Azerbaijan against the gay parade (http://www.arannews.ir/fa/news/29917.aspx)
Of course, the radical clerics are correct. The Eurovision Song Contest, and the cosmopolitanism it represents, really is a threat to the small and circumscribed worlds of extremist religion. That's why people like it.