Tuesday, April 26, 2011

J Crew & Toes

J Crew recently featured pictures of their creative director Jenna Lyons and her son Beckett in an advertisement called "Saturday with Jenna", which we have lovingly parodied, above. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart episode that brought my attention to the ad (the segment is available in two clips at the end of this article) indicated a general negativity towards the ad from the news media in general. A quick Google search gives the same indication.

Why? Are we concerned that men who were raised to disregard meaningless gender roles will fail to keep women in their place? Are we worried that Beckett will grow up to be a little girl who stands up for human rights instead of being man enough to insult a little kid he's never met and will likely never meet? Perhaps, as the Daily Mail reported, the problem is that the ad "celebrates transgendered identity."

Transgendered identities, like women, children, foreigners, non-whites, and non-Christians, should obviously not be celebrated. We all know that fully-grown white Christian American English-speaking men are the only real people.

Seriously, though, my interest in shopping at J Crew went from near 0 to extreme with this ad.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Don't Tax America's Dad

This week's contribution by our own Jerry Carpenter was originally posted last night at Jerry's Blug Specktacular:

In order to generate some revenue for this thing (you have no idea how much Sharpie pens and sketch pads go for these days), we've turned over the following Blag, er, Blug post to the American Tea Partier Founding Fathering and Fostering America's Future In The Coming Years of Obama-Struction. Take it away, guys:

Shhhh, America. It's okay. The ATPFFAFAFINCYOOS knows your scared, but you don't have to be.

You've heard the news. Obama's new budget plan calls for a tax increase on the wealthiest families. Instead of cutting the wasteful spending of Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, he has opted to declare all out war on America's true social security: the people that prove the free market works. Corporations all over are demonized, but what the liberal-progressive socialists don't want you to know is that Corporate America is like America's Dad. Corporate America knows when you need to learn the responsibility of working a low wage job for the good of Daddy. Daddy can't run the economy if he's paying you more than it's worth to hang sheet rock. Corporate America knows when to quell your fears of environmental Armageddon; oil spills help us appreciate the ocean, tar sand emissions help us appreciate the air. Daddy has to have some fun, though, too. Raising America is hard. The ATPFFARARINCYOOS understands that once and while, Daddy has to live a little and go hogwild at the Del Derivatives Casino. That's what Daddies do. You have to let Daddy have his fun. If we start taxing America's Dad, America's Dad is going to up and leave, and HE'S NEVER COMING BACK! DO YOU HEAR ME?!? LEAVING AND NEVER COMING BACK AND YOU'LL BE SORRY WHEN HE'S GONE AND NEVER COMES TO YOUR BIRTHDAY!

Support America's Dad. Don't Tax Him. Otherwise, you'll be left alone to be touched inappropriately by creepy Uncle Obama.

Everybody Mambo!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

By Request, Peak Oil

Jerry has been concerning himself lately with Peak Oil, which is currently defined on Wikipedia as "the point in time when the maximum rate of global petroleum extraction is reached, after which the rate of production enters terminal decline." If I understand correctly, the worry comes from the fact that most of our socioeconomic reality is dependent on oil; a decline in and eventual depletion of oil will likely mean drastic social and economic changes. The change could be for the worse, which is, I believe, the big fear here. Prices of just about everything will skyrocket into prohibitivity. Many, maybe most, people will lose their jobs because they won't be able to afford their respective commutes. The world economy will collapse more that it has in the entire history of economics. More people will be dying of poverty-related problems than not.
Maybe I'm just too optimistic and/or sadistic, but I'm looking forward to Peak Oil. The idea that Peak Oil is avoidable seems farfetched to me, but I hope that Peak Oil can be the straw that breaks the camel's back.
Our social and economic systems are outdated and need to be replaced or reformed. On the 2011 March 28 episode of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Mansour O. El-Kikhia pointed out that the Westphalian system of nation-states has been in place, virtually unchanged since 1648, and that this system is outdated, almost obsolete. Using the social media uprisings in Egypt and the American wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya as examples, El-Kikhia asserted that the Westphalian system of sovereign nation-states cannot last much longer. I agree with him, and I would add terrorism, the European Union, the internet, the Great Recession, and Peak Oil as factors in the upcoming fall of Westphalianism. Taken alone, Peak Oil would probably be catastrophic. Taken with the other aforementioned factors and other current and future world situations, however, Peak Oil might make the world a better place. My advisor in college said that he drives a gas-guzzler conscientiously, in an effort to force the world to find alternative energy solutions more quickly. I'd rather we move away from oil by choice, but if we move away by necessity, at least we still move away. The right thing for the wrong reasons is still an improvement. If Peak Oil is what we need to finally shake our oil addiction, I say bring the pain. After we ride out the withdrawal, we'll be stronger for it.