Monthly Archives: September 2012

The New York Times Announces a Fucking Editorial Policy Change.

The New York Times Announces an Editorial Policy Change.

BY Sarah Rosenshine

– – – –

Dear Readers,

The New York Times has been a steadfast beacon of truthful reporting since printing began in 1851. Our slogan, “All the News That’s Fit to Print” applies well even to this day, though our definition of “fitness” has evolved as decades have progressed. It is with this in mind that we are making an important announcement. In a medium that not only prides itself on conciseness, but is rooted in it, it is absurd to waste entire strings of words and even sentences avoiding a particular word. We’re going to print it now. It’s “fuck.”

There will, of course, be rules regulating our use of the word, as with all journalistic style. We won’t be using it, for example, in the sentence “Paul Krugman is a motherfucking badass.” Unless, of course, someone starts a Tumblr by that name, in which case we will use it, and spare the reader the construction “a Tumblr named for Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman punctuated with an intensifier depicting incest of the Oedipal variety.” Because that’s stupid, and everyone knows it.

Which brings us to the subject of Tumblr blogs in general, because if we must dedicate a “Style” article to every third Tumblr in existence (and we must) “fuck” is an integral part of this geography. And so we will use it there. We won’t use it in the phrase “The fucking New York Times paywall” because that would require acknowledging the highly flawed and unnecessary scheme of ours in something other than an advertisement, and that we simply will not do.

And when we choose to profile a band or a book with the word, because we live in an era where that happens now, we’re just going to write it. We won’t say, “a band with an unprintable name” and come up with wink-y article titles that dance around the subject, like “Group With Procreative Name Is Pro-Creative.” We’ll just print “fuck” and move on, like grown-ups.

This new policy will also allow us the opportunity to print Neil deGrasse Tyson’s bi-weekly rants about Pluto’s status as a planet in full, a welcome change from the tempered and toothless versions we’ve presented so far.

We won’t use it in the “Weddings/Celebrations” section, because that would be crass, even though our readers know every article could accurately conclude with the happy couple going to take part in the very act depicted by the word we have now resolved to print on occasion.

We will use it in quotations, titles, and excerpts. We’ll rarely use it as an adjective. After all, we aren’t fucking Gawker.

We do this because if our readers can handle headlines like “Thousands Dead and Mangled in Massacre” they can handle the word “fuck” once in a while. We do this because it’s ridiculous to live in a profane world with no profanity. It isn’t some Unforgivable Curse from New York Times Best-seller Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Printing the word “fuck” isn’t going to condemn anyone to death. We cover homicides, bombings, earthquakes, and the rest of the staggering list of terrors perpetrated on humans by one another and by God. Surely the public finds these concepts more upsetting than a simple word. No more fecklessness by fuck-less-ness. We are the fucking New York Times. We print “fuck” now.

Sincerely,

The Editors

P.S. The monosyllabic vulgarity for a woman’s genitals is still completely off limits.

via McSweeney’s Internet Tendency: The New York Times Announces an Editorial Policy Change..

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Fighting Dirty

Anything worth fighting for is worth fighting dirty for. When you hear of atrocities in war, don’t be fooled with imagery of good guys and bad guys. If something is worth killing over, it is already worth doing so ‘dirty’. Protecting your family is worth fighting for, defending against invading forces too, so there are no rules – a person will do whatever it takes.  Spreading democracy, protecting the world from terror, building control over oil reserves, these are all things that are not worth fighting for – hence they should be negotiated for instead, and if you are fighting people to accept them, you must at least abide by certain rules of engagement.

Predator Drone Firing Missile

The US military, using unmanned aerial drones, participates in what are known as “double-taps”. I know of the term from the film Zombieland, where the hero claims that he shoots zombies twice to make sure that they are definitely eliminated. The term is also used to describe the terroristic practice of planting two explosives, one to cause some initial injury, the second targeting the police and other first responders. The US military engages in double-tap practices themselves, targeting recently attacked strike zones as well as the funerals of deceased men believed to be militants. This is a despicable practice, with civilian casualties always far outnumbering any terrorist ones; apparently even the Mafia has a strict policy of not attacking funerals.  In attacking the Middle-East and North Africa, the US doesn’t even seem to distinguish anymore between, who they believe they can call (from a control room across the oceans) “militants” or “terrorists”, and ordinary foreign civilians.  In fact, the latest development is that the US military intends to classify any and all “military aged” (18+) males, in any one of the countries that they are busy in (even the undisclosed ones like Yemen and Pakistan), as potential militants, unless proven otherwise.  Soon we may have to see this classification extended to include woman and children… in this unmanned aerial war: on what?

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Everyone needs that stoner friend

Apparently everyone needs that stoner friend.  Two scientists, one studying cancer genes, the other the effects of Cannabidiol – an ingredient in marijuana – “conveniently” managed to combine their work.  This resulted in evidence that Cannabidiol may deactivate some particular cancer causing genes, preventing the spread of cancer.  This sounds to me like the kind of accident that may occur whilst throwing the Cheetos to your geneticist friend who is trying to get high for the first time since college.  Guess this is why everyone has to have that one stoner friend.

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US Presidential Elections 2012.

US presidential candidates 2012; Obama and Romney. Picture from http://www.ibtimes.co.uk

Well here is how the 2012 US presidential elections look from my perch in SA:

Obama says the right things.  Not as much as a few years ago when he ran against McCain, but his words still sound like they are on the right track.  His performance now is of a powerless president who needs the public’s help to fight the senate. It’s funny how with all his new powers, this president cannot facilitate the ‘CHANGE’ that his supporters wanted/want, but he has no problem signing into being legislation like the NDAA overnight.  Funnily enough he sort of apologizes for that and declares his ‘concerns’ over the indefinite detention and torture aspects of it, making sure that he says the right things again, while doing the opposite.

Romney and his crew say the wrong things all the time; like “I like being able to fire people who provide services to me.” He even got himself videotaped disenfranchising half the country, and seems to love the term “faggy” – the man’s chances are slim.

So the one: is at best an impotent slacker, at worst an outright liar – I’m going with liar.  The other: a daft elitist bigot.  So Obama has virtually won this thing, for lack of competition really.

I just want to tell the American people: this election is already f*cked, and you can’t fix it because of the flawed structure of your voting system.  Unfortunately you need to take real action and remove people from power by hand, the system is corrupted.  Many people will suffer if you have to wait for Jesse Ventura in 2016, and even if you do, it will take a ton of electoral reforms, and there will be no guarantees that you won’t be waiting another four years.  How quickly can a nation teach its people how not to fall for election manipulation, without government or corporate assistance?

Romney is a bad idea, but at least he is open about it.  Obama will tell you that he’ll look after your mother for you, and then throw her under a buss.  Romney is better, he’d be easier to rally against, but vote neither, and find your own leader.

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September 18 2012

The world has been ablaze for the past few weeks, but I have been quiet.  Anti US sentiment has erupted in Africa and the Middle-East, with US embassies all over seeing protests, some even attacked.  The reason given for the unrest is a particularly insulting spoof video circulating around the web – The Innocence of Muslims.  My own opinion is that the video was just the final straw – it is as though the Arab world can handle: petty sanctions, drone warfare, countless civilian casualties, uninvited NATO occupation, threatening mock military displays, even the slow erosion of the state of Palestine, but to then go and make fun of this entire population’s beliefs, at the same time, is just too much.  This may be understandable, these people where raised differently from me:  I personally wouldn’t care for a second if my own belief in atheism was ridiculed.  If the response to this short film seems out of proportion to you, then you should try and remember all these atrocities; atrocities that this population faces everyday at the hands of Western powers.  For this sick charade to continue it needs the illusion of being an option which faces domestic opposition – our governments can destroy a nation, but then we have to provide humanitarian aid and moral support to the victims.  In this way, the faceless enemy remains faceless; those affected can just direct their anger and hatred towards GW Bush, or NATO, or the American army/government.  When a video like this emerges, however, it destroys the image of goodwill from Western countries and serves to extend the anger, from being just for the US government, to include: the American people, their allies, Christianity and Judaism, and even the capitalist structure of our modern world society.

On another note, a man in a US prison is scheduled to be executed soon.  It turns out that the jury was not initially aware that the men that he murdered were in fact rapists who had molested him.  I just thought that while we are on the topic of retaliation, and whether or not it is appropriate (or at what levels it is), I should put it out there: I consider myself emotionally stable; I believe in forgiveness and actively refuse to dwell on issues from the past; but if some dude ever raped me, or even tried to, I think I might have to kill him too.  Similarly, I also wouldn’t sit down and accept things like drones killing my family.

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Madiba Bank Notes

I have been a diligent, amateur numismatist my whole life, but particularly so in the past few years.  I have managed to build up quite a diverse collection so far, but there are still parts of the world from which I have no coins (or any currency).  If you are from one of these greyed-out countries: we should do a coin swap.

Places that I have collected coins from.

The places that I have collected coins from shown in colour.

With an interest in numismatics, I was naturally quite interested to hear about the new bank notes that are to be introduced here in South Africa towards the end of the year: Nelson Mandela themed ones.  I, as I am sure will many people who are aware of the unprecedented growth and resale value of the Madiba five-Rand coins, am certainly going to be taking a few sets of notes fresh from the press and putting them safely away with my collection.  Hording and preserving a set of crisp notes will only reduce my spending capabilities by R380, significantly less than the price of Diablo 3.  The levels of interest in collecting and investing in the circulation R5 coins that bear Mandela’s image, only makes me believe that any and all collectables with his image on can and will give a person good returns; not that I would ever sell my Mandela money.

Mandela bank note

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I tweet therefore I terrorize

I found an article on RT.com the other day (this one) which reported that terrorists are using Twitter to communicate their propaganda.

Firstly: propaganda should not be a problem anymore, it’s too old school.  If you have access to Twitter, then you have access to the World Wide Web, which gives you the ability, and therefore the duty, to do a little fact checking.

Secondly: anyone and everyone is a terrorist these days; buying large quantities if food with cash makes you a terrorist…  I am sure some of my blog posts about how Iran is actually quiet peaceful in regard to their foreign policies would be considered terroristic.  You could call it ‘aiding the enemy (to not be incorrectly labelled, massacred, plundered, and then forgotten about).’

Any real domestic terrorists will surely be using the service, just as we do, to stay updated, because it is the fastest disseminator of information.  To worry that supposed terrorists use Twitter is equal to concerns over them having cellular phones, or driving cars, or spending cash on groceries.

*By the way you can follow me on Twitter: @0bl0m0v

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