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15 Feb 07:50


by fubirai


30 Jun 05:32

Lysol, in MY vagina? Why those old ads urging women to douche with Lysol are EVEN WORSE than you think

by David Futrelle

By David Futrelle

With safe, legal abortion and even some forms of contraception under siege, it’s worth revisiting one of the most shamefully misogynistic decades-long ad campaigns in advertising history, when Lysol — you know, the cleaning product — was marketed as a great thing to douche with.

If the idea of squirting Lysol into vaginas isn’t horrifying enough in itself, it gets worse. These ad campaigns weren’t just trying to convince women that killing the good bacteria in their vaginas would make them smell better (it doesn’t); they were also — perhaps even primarily — trying to hint that Lysol was an effective form of post-sex birth control. (It’s not.) Hence the references to using it “every time” in some Lysol ads — see below.

As sociologist Lisa Wade notes:

These ads aren’t frightening women into thinking their genitals smell badly.  According to historian Andrea Tone, “feminine hygiene” was a euphemism.   Birth control was illegal in the U.S. until 1965 (for married couples) and 1972 (for single people). These Lysol ads are actually for contraception. The campaign made Lysol the best-selling method of contraception during the Great Depression.

Of course, we’re not wrong to be horrified today.  Lysol was incredibly corrosive to the vagina; in fact, it’s recipe was significantly more dangerous than the one used today.  Hundreds of people died from exposure to Lysol, including women who were using it to kill sperm.  It was also, to add insult to injury, wholly ineffective as a contraceptive.

But this is what desperate women have resorted to when they didn’t have reproductive rights.

Here are some of these old, horrifying ads for Lysol. I’ve done my best to clean up the images but they may be hard to read unless you enlarge them; click on the pics for a direct link to the images themselves.

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15 Jun 03:56

Climate Change: Time to fix the RMA

by Idiot/Savant
OMV's application for resource consent for drilling offshore exploration wells has highlighted a major flaw in our environmental legislation. Climate change, caused by greenhouse gas emissions, is our most pressing environmental threat. But the EPA, which is deciding the application, is specifically forbidden from considering "the effects on climate change of discharging greenhouse gases into the air". And their legislation echoes a wider problem with the RMA, where local authorities are told they must have regard to the effects of climate change when carrying out their functions - except when it comes to deciding on greenhouse gas emissions. It is, as gareth Hughes points out, a ludicrous situation. The good news is that the government may be planning to fix it.

Last year, the government announced a two-step process for RMA reform Buried in the Cabinet paper on the issue (in paragraphs 83 - 87) was a note that this was a priority for change:
Addressing climate change is a high priority for this Government. There could be significant benefits in elevating the importance of climate change within the RMA framework, so that decision-makers are able to fully consider both the effects of climate change on development (adaptation), and the effects of development on climate change (mitigation).

I am therefore proposing to reconsider the role of the RMA in relation to climate change in Stage 2 of the review of the RMA. This will provide the best opportunity for any changes to be carefully worked through.

We have these absurd provisions due to past governments saying "we will deal with climate change nationally" (and then refusing to deal with it in any meaningful way). There's now a greater awareness that price-based measures like the ETS are not the only way, and that they need to be backed up with other policies to reduce or limit emissions. The RMA is a useful tool to do that, and it is long past time we started using it. The Greens have promised that they'll be working to get their coalition partners to support restoring climate change management to the RMA; if we want emissions to reduce, we need to back them up on this.
04 Jan 10:25

Stop Defending Shitty Comedy

by Bryan Lambert
« January 2019 »
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa


It’s been a solid couple of months for comedians “getting in trouble” for saying stupid or offensive shit, so I’m probably long past due for another explanation and exploration of jokes, and how they reflect on people who tell them.

Let’s label what we’re talking about here Offensive, Dark, Controversial, or Transgressive comedy, or ODCT+. Because that’s what we’re talking about here, and most of the people talking about it in the public discourse don’t understand shit about it.

First and foremost, ODCT+ is a STYLE of comedy. A variety of it. Which means it’s not inherently good or bad just because it’s offensive, or transgressive, or otherwise is or claims to push the boundaries of conventional wisdom. The conventional wisdom isn’t always wrong, and a lot of transgressive ideas are transgressive because they’re bad, cruel, and/or hurtful.

The first question when considering ODCT+ material is: Does The Comedian Believe What They’re Saying?

This is the result of two factors. One, whether or not the comedian believes what they’re saying, and two, how good they are at accurately conveying that. Are they being sarcastic or hyperbolic? Are they playing a character to explore a larger point or just because they think the character’s funny? Or are they just saying what they think? And trying to connect with an audience that thinks the same thing?

Take, for example, Kevin Hart, who joked a while back that “Yo if my son comes home & try's 2 play with my daughters doll house I'm going 2 break it over his head & say n my voice 'stop that's gay'."

Did he believe that? Probably. The three clues that he believed that? No supporting material around the tweet that he was, say, playing a part in order to expose how ridiculous the attitude he expressed is. The thing he’s saying is a widely-held and commonly-expressed belief from a bunch of other fathers from his generation. And, in his various statements and sortapologies afterward, he never said “I didn’t really mean this” or “I don’t feel this way anymore”.

Same with Louis CK’s leaked set. There’s nothing about it that screams “These are not my personal views!” In the case of the preferred pronouns bullshit, he’s just mad about people having them. With the Parkland stuff, it’s less clear that he feels that way, but we’ll get to that in a bit.

If you think the comedian believes what they’re saying, then you move on to “Is Someone Who Believes That A Bad Person?” That’ll depend a lot on your own personal definition of bad person. Me, I think deeply entrenched and normalized homophobia and transphobia make you a bad person. Not irredeemably bad - I’ve worked to overcome mine over the years, after all - but bad enough certainly to require you try to redeem yourself. Something neither Hart nor Louis seem to be interested in.

And that’s their choice. If 2018 has taught us anything, it’s that there’s a hefty audience for the beliefs of bad people. But if you’re going to court that audience, you’re going to exclude a different audience and possibly turn off people in a position to ask you to do things.

What if they don’t believe what they’re saying? Well, it gets more complicated. Then you have to look at the joke and figure out what it is, who it’s aimed at, and why it’s being told. That can be tricky. Let’s look at Louis CK’s Parkland joke again. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

”Testify in front of Congress, these kids, what the fuck? What are you doing? Cause you went to a high school where kids got shot, why does that mean I have to listen to you? Why does that make you interesting? You didn't get shot. You pushed some fat kid in the way and now I gotta listen to you talking?"

The core of this joke is The Kids These Days They Bother Me Get Off My Lawn. Middle-aged curmudgeon confused and angered by the new generation doing things differently than he did, and since what he did was right, what they’re doing must be wrong. That’s fine. It’s hacky, it’s boring, but it’s not inherently the view of a bad person.

But look who it’s aimed at. School shooting victims trying to prevent more school shootings like the one they survived. That’s a tough sell, to put it mildly. If you want to get away with that target, you’d better be making a hell of an interesting point in a hell of an interesting way. And he’s not.

And he knows he’s not, because he puts that line about the “fat kid” in there. He knows he has a high bar to clear for the material to work, he knows he’s not going to clear it, so all he can do is lower the bar by demeaning his target to make them seem like they deserve his attacks. And the way he does that is shitty, both comedically and ethically.

The joke’s not bad because the Parkland victims are “off limits”. It’s not bad because it’s transgressive, or because it goes against the mainstream idea that these kids are decent people. It’s bad because it’s a bad joke that needs to be propped up by a belief that’s legitimately expressed by politically-motivated conspiracy theorists for the same reason CK uses it - that if you convince people the Parkland activists are undeserving, you can get away with taking shots at them, whether it’s to get a laugh or undermine gun control measures.

I think people who do shit like this are bad people, and I manage my future support and purchasing and viewing habits accordingly. Or, as David Axelrod apparently thinks, I engage in “de facto censorship” frowned upon by centrist concern trolls who in no small part are culpable in the rise of neo-Nazi fascism in America. Sorry.

26 Oct 06:01


by fubirai




05 Mar 03:41

Floating Linky

by morgue

Scenes from a conspiracy theory cruise. Wow.

Via Peter B: proof that dogs can read human emotional states. Cute doggums strapped into giant medical machines!

Via Dave Keyes, the Wiggles did a grown-up concert in a pub and it was amazing.

The month-by-month transformation of the American male gaze: every centerfold from Playboy ever. Warning: many, many naked women.

Cleanse your palate with new hero Jenny Beavan who wore exactly what she wanted to the Oscars. Best bit: she won for costume design. (via Evie)

Long, searing indictment of the complete capture of society by Boomer interests. Surgically dissects what sits behind those comments telling young people to stop acting so entitled and to start working hard. Aussie article, but you could go through and put a tick by the paras that apply equally to NZ – there would be very few paras left unticked.

Via Scott Common, why kids’ movies have so many happy poor people

The BBC has an interactive history of interactive fiction called, of course, SKILL, STAMINA AND LUCK

And finally, via Nick P, HUGE BASKETBALL SHORTS

26 Sep 23:51


18 Jul 11:16

It's Hard Getting This Many Kids to School All at Once

11 Jan 01:25

The Ongoing War on Heating Pads

The Ongoing War on Heating Pads

Submitted by: Unknown

Tagged: Cats , funny , war , heating pads
02 May 05:05

Shark Attack, Infographic Shows the Staggering Number of Sharks Killed by Humans Every Year

by Kimber Streams

Shark Attack

Joe Chernov and Robin Richards have created an infographic that illustrates the staggering number of sharks killed by humans every year. According to the infographic, sharks killed 12 people last year, but humans kill that many sharks every four seconds, adding up to an estimated total of 100 million sharks annually. Many sharks are killed by “finning,” a process in which a shark’s fins are cut off to be sold for shark fin soup. Organizations like the Shark Conservation Society, Stop Shark Finning, Humane Society International, documentaries like Sharkwater, and environmental campaigns on The Pew Charitable Trusts are all working to raise awareness of and ultimately prevent shark finning. You can view the full infographic at Chernov’s website.

Shark Attack

infographic via Joe Chernov

via Under the Vast Blue Seas, I Love Charts

03 Apr 00:09

Trailer for ‘This Is The End’ Shows a Slew of Celebrity Cameos & Deaths

by Justin Page

This looks fun.

Machinima has released a new trailer for This Is The End, an upcoming action comedy film directed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. The trailer shows a slew of celebrity cameos and deaths, such as Michael Cera getting impaled by a light pole and Rihanna plummeting into a flaming abyss. It is set to crash into theaters on June 12, 2013. To learn more about the film and view the first teaser trailer, you can view our previous This Is The End post. As a joke, a trailer for the film was released on April Fools’ Day posing as a trailer for Pineapple Express 2.

This Is The End follows six friends trapped in a house after a series of strange and catastrophic events devastate Los Angeles. As the world unravels outside, dwindling supplies and cabin fever threaten to tear apart the friendships inside. Eventually, they are forced to leave the house, facing their fate and the true meaning of friendship and redemption.

This Is The End

image via This Is The End

29 Mar 07:02

Reptilian Secret Service Conspiracy Theory Gets a Response from the White House

by Kimber Streams

A video that claims to have spotted a shapeshifting reptilian or alien member of the secret service during Barack Obama’s speech at the 2012 APAIC policy conference has gained traction on YouTube. Though the individual’s unusual appearance is likely the result of shadows and camera artifacts, National Security Council chief spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden responded to Wired’s Danger Room about the conspiracy theory. “I can’t confirm the claims made in this video, but any alleged program to guard the president with aliens or robots would likely have to be scaled back or eliminated in the sequester,” Hayden commented. “I’d refer you to the Secret Service or Area 51 for more details.” The best part of the entire situation is the White House’s lack of a flat denial. Perhaps this strange-looking agent really is a reptilian alien from outer space, or maybe it’s just Voldemort.

via Danger Room

28 Mar 10:56

What to do about Question Time Part II

by Scott

Ukrainian parliament is awesome.

There is always the Ukrainian solution.