Monday, April 28, 2008


I just came across this - A review George Orwell wrote of Hitler's Mein Kampf in 1940. It's worth reading.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Oh, so this is what we're fighting for

Hey everyone.

Check out this article from Men's News Daily, "Saving Our Young Men." If you do, make sure to read the comments.

The article is a tirade about how (white) men get the shaft, while women have it too easy. The most interesting thing about it is that the author appears to be completely unaware of the irony: he is championing the cause of men using the traditionally feminine tactics of whining and childish petulance.

Women know - or should know - that they traditionally only had access to these tactics because they are, how you say?, ineffective.

The article itself is...sad, pathetic, easy to dismiss. But the comments. The comments are incredible. Aside from the fact that they are also whiny and complainy and not very manly, every last paragraph is drenched in an intense hatred of women.

Fundamentally, the problem that these men seem to have is that they want all the perks of masculine power and dominance without having to develop the qualities that guaranteed it.

Consider this paragraph, written by the distinguished "metalman":
"Women love to complain about equality, and once they get it, they shout their grrrlll power and independence to the hills. The minute they start earning their big paychecks, they never let you forget it. But time and again, when the bills come, these same women suddenly become mute and helpless. Whenever an unexpected big expense arises, it's the man who picks up the slack. When money gets tight, it's the man who's expected to put in the extra hours. When it's raining heavily, it's the man who's expected to park the car five blocks from the restaurant so that his woman can sit all safe and dry inside the restaurant sipping her cosmopolitan while schmucko walks in a downpour."
You know what he's describing there? He's describing a situation in which the man has all the power. Why does he have all the power? Because he has all the responsibility - he takes the tough jobs and he watches the bottom line. The woman is enjoying an imagined independence - she's got a safety net in case her man leaves, that's all. The truth is, being in charge and having power really sucks, if you're doing a half-decent job at it. Independence is hardship. Freedom is hardship. That's why so many enlightened women are running headlong into the golden cages of stay-at-home mom-dom. Not to speak of Americans who are willing to trade civil liberties for security on a grand scale.

I don't know whether "metalman" wants to be a tyrant (which would make his life easier), or if he just doesn't want the responsibility of being in charge - of taking the traditionally masculine role. What I do know is that he's complaining about doing the right thing.

There really is a crisis of masculinity, but this spineless, sniveling attitude is an example of it - not the solution.

Monday, April 21, 2008


My cousin is the tall young man with curly-ish hair in this new Volvo commercial: link

Friday, April 18, 2008

Read This Book: Robert Fisk, The Great War for Civilization: The Conquest of the Middle East

I'm only about a quarter of the way through it, but I can't wait until I finish to sing the praises of this truly excellent modern history. I adored Fisk's first book, Pity the Nation - the best history we have of the civil war in Lebanon, by a reporter who speaks fluent Arabic and has lived in Beirut for the past thirty years or so. It helped me understand the political situation in the Near East - which is quite an accomplishment, given how complicated the situation is.

The Great War for Civilization is a much more ambitious project. It attempts to cover all the important things that have happened in the Middle East over the past thirty years or so - it's less heartfelt, since Fisk is no longer writing about his backyard, but more enlightening. Ever wondered what happened in that way-back war in Afghanistan when Bin Laden and the US were over there fighting the Russians? Or what the Iranian revolution was all about, and what part the US played in it? Or why Iran and Iraq were at war, and why the US was best buds with Saddam Hussein one minute and out for blood the next? Well, all these questions and more are answered. And, I repeat: I'm only one quarter of the way through it!

Amazingly enough, not only is this book enlightening, it's hard to put down. It's compelling, it's fun to read, it pulls you in. And I recommend it wholeheartedly to anyone who has even the faintest interest in what's going on in the Middle East.