1. I don’t want anyone beaten or legally oppressed, but hearing about Facebook’s fifty new label options for various states of transgenderhood makes me think that what we may need is just one really good synonym for “me me me the special snowflake.” That would at least save the estimated 99.7% of the population that is not transgender some time. Whatever.
2. It’s Valentine's Day -- and Black History Month. What better time to ask where the NAACP stands on the “war on women” in the oppressive Romney’s home state (h/t JD Barra and Donald Meinshausen)?
3. It is worth remembering that rape was a frequent part of the nightmare of slavery in the U.S. (and indeed that partly as a result most U.S. blacks today are more closely related to slave-owners than most U.S. whites are, the latter often deriving from more recent European immigrants, one of many ways in which attempts to assign genetic guilt for historical crimes are dubious).
Still, Cato author Tim Sandefur was keen in 2003 to make it very, very clear he is not a “neo-Confederate” who blithely dismisses collective guilt for slavery, as some libertarians have been accused of doing (and as one might expect from radical individualists). Sandefur wrote, “I believe it is absolutely worth 600,000 deaths to have freed the slaves, and I believe it would be worth it at ten million times that price.”
Anarchist Stephan Kinsella, by contrast, notes that that hypothetical bodycount would be 6 trillion people, about a thousand Earths. (None dare call Sandefur the Anti-Monitor!) Maybe some libertarians are a bit too eager to prove their non-Confederate status, but of course you get more p.c. points for sounding like a guilt-wracked breast-beater, always.
4. Someone pointed out online to Reason alum Cathy Reisenwitz that rape rates have gone down 90% in recent decades, and her response was “Rape culture isn’t about the number of rapes.” So there. (I’m having trouble deciding the total number of libertarian factions that deserve to be destroyed.)
5. On another bright note, prostitution’s being legalized a few hours north in Canada (h/t Tracy Quan).
6. If you want to see characters wrestle with the question of whether to put Grandma in a home, see Penny Jackson’s play Bitten on Thursday, Friday, or Saturday (8pm February 14, 15 and 20, 21, 22 upstairs at the bar Quinn’s 356 West 44th St., $10, reservations at 646-246-4131).
I survived walking to the play in last night’s slush, so any performance I saw having somehow lived to get there was at that point frosting on the cake. May not go out again for a few months. If only there were actually a Hell for Al Gore to burn in.
7. Speaking of pseudo-science and inter-generational conflict, here’s the start of the alarming official description for tonight’s 10pm finale of the likely-disappointing Spike show 10 Million Dollar Bigfoot Bounty: “The final 2 teams undertake a 36hr hunt at Lake Superior and use a baby covered in cow blood to lure Bigfoot out of hiding...” (Would anyone who actually believed there’s a Bigfoot do that? Of course, this is a show on which one participant has already claimed he years ago strangled a baby Bigfoot to death.)
8. One of the first prominent female punk singers, Exene Cervenka, is fleeing what she calls a high-tax liberal regime in California for the more welcoming environs of Texas (where I think her brand of rockabilly-influenced music will go over quite well, of course). What better time to buy a copy of the book Proud to Be Right from a few years back and read my contribution therein, the essay “Conservatism for Punks”?
9. You might also check out my article about the troubled love affair between libertarians and neoconservatives if you haven’t already (fittingly, I’ll be visiting the Wall Street Journal offices next week, where that affair has sometimes been carried on).
10. Meanwhile, I think Nicki Minaj, in her new video, has decided to fire a machine gun at “niggas” who look at her ass but are not prominent in the drug-dealing business...or something like that.
I for one hope this leads somehow to a new trend of hiphop types having bragging-arguments and rivalries over whose ass is largest (if they can find a word to rhyme with “Kardashian”). That, in this critic’s humble opinion, is one war in which the viewer will ultimately be the winner.