Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Black Swan

With Black Swan, director Darren Aronofsky (Requiem for a Dream, The Fountain) delivers another baffling thriller. As is Aronofsky's style, the film cannot easily be summarized; the complexity is the heart of the film. Family Guy's Mila Kunis gave my favorite performance in the film, but two other actors were, to me, easily the creepiest.

To me, the film was like nothing I've seen before yet also strangely familiar. The combination of feelings is eerie.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Prostitution

Prositute:
Noun
prostitute (plural prostitutes)
1. A person who performs sexual activity for payment
2. A person who is perceived as engaging in sexual activity with many people.
3. A person who does, or offers to do, an activity for money, despite personal dislike or dishonour
Verb
to prostitute (third-person singular simple present prostitutes, present participle prostituting, simple past and past participle prostituted)
1. (transitive, usually reflexively) To perform sexual activity for money
2. (transitive) To make another person, or organisation, prostitute themselves.
3. (transitive) To use one's talents in return for money or fame
-http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/prostitute

Although prostitution typically includes sexual connotations and is frowned upon in many parts of the world, lately I have been thinking that most near-minimum wage jobs have alarming similarities to prostitution.

The similarity that brought the comparison to mind is the fact that so many jobs are so often demeaning. Surely some of the customers/clients at restaurants and stores get their kicks by treating their servers like unworthy servants. Like prostitution, customer service can be remarkably dehumanizing.

Even when being treated humanely, jobs use people as a means to an end, exploiting human abilities as resources. If you enjoy your job and approve of everything you work for, congratulations. I bet some sexual prostitutes do to.

These are just a couple ideas I've had rolling around. I think you can continue the analogy from here. I'm not suggesting that sex-for-money is a good idea. I actually think it's probably a pretty bad idea. I am suggesting that many legal jobs are no better than sex-for-money.

See also: Server Not Servant

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Gobble Gobble

Good for Turkey.

According to Marketplace's Stephen Beard, "Turkey's cozying up to Iran infuriated the U.S. But the Turks say the West benefits from a Turkey at peace with its neighbors. And Europe would lose out by not making Turkey an EU member. Its economy is growing at around 6 percent a year. It has a large and youthful population, and carries vast quantities of oil and gas across its territory."

Turkey has been struggling to gain acceptance into the European Union for years, and lately the state has been trading more with other largely-Muslim nations, largely due to the predominant prejudicial anti-Islam sentiment in the EU and the United States.

By asserting itself Turkey has made itself a more powerful world player than it would have been had it been easily accepted into the EU or had it continued to bow to pressure from the West. Now Turkey is positioning itself as a bridge between the Middle East and the West, which is something that we've needed for centuries.

Cozying up to Iran and Syria is good for Turkey's national security and its global power positioning. Turkey's enhanced security and positioning is fantastic for the global community, for the world at large.

Good for you, Turkey. And thanks.

Monday, December 6, 2010

You-Know-Who


You-Know-Who, based on her classic Runner's World photoshoot and textual descriptions of Lord Voldemort.
Click to enlarge.
I wish that we could all just ignore and forget about a certain someone who will not be named. Andrew Sullivan obsesses almost tortuously over her insanity at The Daily Dish, and I don't remember the last week that I haven't heard of something crazy and/or offensive that she has done or said.

She's obviously not going away ever, but I'm going to try to stop talking about her because talking about her only encourages her.

Wish me luck.