March 28, 2006

But can she have an epidural?

Posted in Feminism, Religion, Reproduction at 12:02 pm by The Lizard Queen

Okay, I didn’t want to blog about celebrities, but this blows my mind, and it also strikes me as further evidence that there are far too many men out there who think they know what’s best for women (what would Bill Napoli say?):

Katie Holmes gears up for silent birth

On Monday, huge placards saying: “Be silent and make all physical movements slow and understandable,” were carried into the couple’s home, to be displayed around the house to remind Holmes to deal with the extreme pain of childbirth quietly.

Apparently Tom Cruise said last year that she can make a little bit of noise. Gee, thanks. I swear, the more I hear about Scientology, the more I wonder about the people involved in it…

Edited to add: I’m told by Evil Bender that the answer to my question is no, she can’t have an epidural. He also has a great proposal, taken from Family Guy: if Tom Cruise can handle his lower lip stretched over the back of his head without painkillers and without making a sound, then he’s allowed to tell a woman that she should have a baby without the same. Snap.


March 27, 2006

Am I dead?

Posted in Conservatives at 1:05 am by The Lizard Queen

Apparently liberalism kills kids. My parents are relatively liberal (my dad would have you believe he’s moderate, but I don’t buy it), and they’re also divorced, and the high divorce rate is a result of “America’s 40-year experiment with liberal statism,” don’tcha know. So, then, I can’t help but wonder if I missed something and am no longer, in fact, alive. That would be rather problematic, to say the least…

Sarcasm aside, the subject matter of this post over on Shakespeare’s Sister (natch) makes my brain hurt. Go read.

Plagiarism abounds

Posted in Media at 12:33 am by The Lizard Queen

To steal means to take something that isn’t yours without asking, and it generally involves passing whatever you stole off as your own (e.g. selling a stolen car to a chop shop–when you sell something you imply that it’s yours to sell). Ergo, plagiarism is stealing, regardless of from whom you stole.

As a writer and a teacher of freshman composition at a state university, saying that plagiarism bothers me is a dramatic understatement. We learn in kindergarten, at the latest, that taking things that don’t belong to you is wrong. We learn in high school or college, at the latest, that taking someone’s words and calling them your own is wrong. Why, then, does it seem as if the mainstream media have problems with those ideas?

By now I imagine you’re wondering if I’m refering to something specific, to which my answer is, of course. Here is an excerpt from a story related by Larisa Alexandrovna:

My editor and I then co-authored an article, after nearly two weeks of work, about [a 2005 document issued out of NSA Advisor Steven Hadley’s office regarding eligibility to access classified information, which made changes from a 1997 document]. The piece covered and overview of the most questionable changes, as there were many subtle changes in general. One key area we focused on was what appeared to be the relaxing of sexual discrimination guidelines.

In response, several GLBT groups contacted us and issued a statement. We gave the advocacy groups our notes and article, which they then took to the AP and demanded that the story be covered. The AP was given our article and maybe our notes.

On March 14, 2006, the AP did their own article, left out any attribution to me or my publication and lifted not only my research but also whole sections of my article for their own (making cosmetic changes of course).

We contacted an AP senior editor and ombudsmen both and both admitted to having had the article passed on to them, and both stated that they viewed us as a blog and because we were a blog, they did not need to credit us. What we are or are not is frankly irrelevant. What is relevant is that by using a term like blog to somehow excuse plagiarism, the mainstream press continues to lower the bar for acceptable behavior. It need not matter where the AP got the information, research, and actual wording from. What matters is that if they use it in part or in whole, they must attribute properly. A blog or a small press publication or grads students working in the corner of a library all equally deserve credit for their work, period.

Way to set an example, AP. Alexandrovna’s original piece can be found here, and the original post about this issue is here.

I tip my hat to Shakespeare’s Sister, where I originally found info about this incident.

March 25, 2006

Quote of the Day

Posted in Education at 5:28 pm by The Lizard Queen

“I come down on the side of those who believe that our society is mainly unreasonable and that education can be one of the places where we can get involved in the process of transforming it.”
-Marxist critic Frank Lentricchia, as quoted in Falling into Theory

March 23, 2006

Talkin’ ’bout a revolution

Posted in Movies at 11:23 pm by The Lizard Queen

I saw V for Vendetta this evening, and there’s plenty I want to say about it, but Evil Bender said it first and certainly better: go read, then go see the movie.

On a completely unrelated note:

  • ATM fee for cash for movie: $2
  • Movie tickets: $18.50
  • Being there to witness the [negative, head-exploding] reaction of your husband, an engineer and automotive enthusiast, to the trailer for The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift: priceless 🙂

March 20, 2006

New link

Posted in Blogging, Blogroll at 1:05 pm by The Lizard Queen

Ooh, an NPR blog… how could I resist? 🙂 And so I give you Mixed Signals.

Heh heh. Pirates.

March 16, 2006

The politics of reproduction

Posted in Government, Reproduction at 11:58 am by The Lizard Queen

I found this on Shakespeare’s Sister’s blog, so I figured I’d post about it here instead of the LJ…

Missouri House of Representatives rejects spending for birth control

My take on this issue is that you cannot be both anti-contraceptive and anti-abortion. People (even conservatives… I think…) have sex for enjoyment rather than strictly for reproduction. Interestingly enough, it’s one of those things that separates us from many other animals, and it’s not something that’s going to change anytime soon. Why not try to prevent unwanted pregnancies before they happen rather than punishing people for being human?

Then again, I suppose I’m a big fat pinko who thinks there’s absolutely nothing wrong with human sexuality, including that which is directed at members of the same sex. [And the newest post on SS is that, apparently, books like Heather Has Two Mommies are turning children into sex machines . Okay, I went to my first gay pride festival when I was, like, eleven, and I ended up being about as far from a sex machine as an adolescent as one can get. But clearly people looking to ban books with queer themes are not interested in empirical evidence.]

I could keep going all day, but I have too much other stuff to do. Ta, loves!

March 14, 2006

The internet saps my productivity

Posted in Blogging, Blogroll at 9:48 am by The Lizard Queen

So maybe this is just a blog about blogs, no? Here’s a rundown of the blogs I’ve linked to already:

  • PoMo Golightly: fiction writer and knitter, originally hailing from Connecticut. Her interests are writing, knitting, spinning, embroidery, UCONN basketball–and, if I may be so bold as to add one, dogs. I love her Maddie-girl.
  • Notes from Evil Bender: Poet, fiction writer, and all-around smart cookie. “Evil Bender is a transplanted midwesterner living in New Mexico. He may also be a robot from the 31st century.” He has a dog, too. I love his Seamus-boy.
  • Dogma: “In which a pet-columnist and pet-book author rambles on about some things furry, some things not. Hey, how many people do you know who subscribe to both the Wall Street Journal and the Whole Dog Journal?” Are we seeing a pattern here?
  • Hedgeblog: “Rubensesque art school graduate that was mostly well bred in a snooty neighborhood in the south who now lives in a partly rennovated monument to 70’s bad taste in a suburb on the west side of the Rio Grande in Albuquerque; is a home-based business owner with too many opinions, spooky dreams, spoiled pets, and a geeky husband whom she adores.” And yes, I love her dog, too.
  • Caracierge: “Ever wonder what it’s like doing all the things someone has to do so that they can do the things they want to do? It’s pretty great. Follow this blog through my journey starting, establishing, running, and (with hope) succeeding in my own personal concierge, shopping, and errand service.” And she has two dogs. 🙂

And here are two I’m planning to add later… I need to pry myself away from the computer for a little while.

  • Shakespeare’s Sister ( no dogs here, as far as I can tell, just liberal politics.
  • Dogged Blog ( “The politics of just about everything–current events, science, media, culture, dogs, food–and, of course, actual politics.”
  • HanktheDog Blog ( “A dogs-eye view of the human-run world.” Heh, it’s a yellow lab. Falling in love with dogs over the internet has not worked out well for me so far (they die and I get hysterical), but I suppose there’s no harm in enjoying it while it lasts. 🙂