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Saturday, September 14, 2013

Two Cunts in Paris

Although stone nudes are commonplace-some crammed
two to a column, supple caryatids,
and others mooning in the Tuileries-
the part that makes them women is the last
revelation allowed to art; the male
equipment, less concealable, is seen
since ancient times: a triune thingumbob.

Courbet's oil, L'Origine du monde, was owned
by Madame Jacques Lacan and through some tax
shenanigans became the Musée d'Orsay's.
Go see it there. Beneath the pubic bush—
A matted Rorschach blot—beneath blanched thighs
of a fat and bridal docility,
a curved and rosy closure says, "Ici!"

We sense a voyeur's boast. The Ding an sich,
the thing as such, a centimeter long
as sculpted, en terre cuite, in fine detail
of labia and perineum, exists
in La Musée des Arts Décoratifs,
by Clodion, dit Claude Michel. A girl
quite young and naked, with perfected limbs

and bundled, banded hair, uplifts her legs
to hold upon her ankles a tousled dog
yapping in an excitement never calmed:
the sculptor caught in sauvely molded clay
this canine agitation and the girl's,
the dark slits of her smile and half-shut eyes
one with the eyelike slit she lets us view.

Called La Gimblette,
this piece of the eternal feminine,
a doll of femaleness whose vulval facts
are set in place with a watchmaker's care,
provides a measure of how art falls
of a Creator's providence, which gives
His Creatures, all, the homely means to spawn.

--- Two Cunts in Paris / John Updike


(Aren't they cute?)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Only Reason to get the iPhone 5C

 photo gokai_zps1a1eded0.jpg

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Links - 11th September 2013

"The terrible thing about terrorism is that ultimately it destroys those who practise it. Slowly but surely, as they try to extinguish life in others, the light within them dies." - Terry Waite


U.K. study finds more sex may lead to more money - or vice versa - "people who have the most sex make the most money. The study, which didn't include people having sex for a living, found those who have sex more than 4 times weekly earn, on average, higher wages... On one hand, Dr. Drydakis said money can make the higher wage earner more attractive to potential sexual partners and it can buy gifts that may lead the gift's recipient to return the favor with sex. On the other hand, he notes having frequent sex increases the health, vitality, happiness and confidence of an individual, leaving them a greater chance of excelling in their work and being rewarded with higher paying positions. People having sex over 4 times weekly earned on average 5 percent more than those having sex fewer times per week. Conversely, those who had no sex at all, the study found, earned on average 3.2 percent less than those who do have sex. "It seems that we have to consider jointly the relations between happiness, sexual activity, productivity and wages," Dr. Drydakis said."

Study says college 'hookup culture' not what it appears to be - "The paper finds "no evidence of substantial changes in sexual behavior that would support the proposition that there is a new or pervasive ‘hookup culture’ among contemporary college students." Monto says that the publicity of these headlines generates a sense of moral panic. “In many generations, there’s a sense that sexual behavior is changing or becoming more liberal, or we’re in some brave new era,” Monto said in an interview. “I was a little skeptical about that myself. Because I was alive during the ’80s, and it doesn’t seem all that different.” there was a decrease in the number of students they had a "regular spouse or partner," but the number is now 77 percent from 85 percent in the previous data set, indicating only a slight decrease and refuting the idea that "dating is dead." Monto added that the slight decrease likely has to do with a change in the average age of marriage. Part of the reason "hookup culture" has been so highly publicized is because of its ambiguous meaning... As well, internet forums are making news of hookups more public, according to Mercury News, distorting students' views on how much sex is actually happening. One study showed that college students reported five to seven hookups in their college career, but when Bogle asked students how often they think their peers hook up, the average answer was seven times a semester, or 56 times over four years. According to the most recent data, 59.3 percent of students report having sex weekly or more often, which is down from 65.2 percent as reported a generation ago."

Study: One 12oz. sugary soda daily skyrockets diabetes risk

Virtual rape video game producer says it abides by Japanese laws - "RapeLay allows players to earn points based on acts of sexual violence against females. It lets the players to commit sexual assault by stalking girls on commuter trains, raping virgins and their mothers and forcing them to have abortion."

Meet my hubby from China - "More Singaporean women are overcoming bias and cultural differences to find love with men from China Singaporean Airene Tan finds men from China somewhat self-centred and ambitious, which she attributes to the country's one-child policy and highly competitive education system. That, however, is not stopping the 30-year-old senior designer with a mobile advertising company from marrying one of them... "I used to think that girls from China are more intellectual. After I got to know Airene, I realised that Singaporean women can be intellectual too"... Singaporean women who marry foreign husbands tend to be well-educated, he notes, as single women aged 30 and older with tertiary qualification here outnumber single men in the same age group, so some may look elsewhere for a partner... "I find the women here quite friendly. They are also more sociable and worldly than women from mainland China," he says... Although her husband does not speak much English, she says language is not an issue as she is fluent in Mandarin. "I think it helps us argue less as I'm less quarrelsome when I have to argue in Mandarin. I am much more sarcastic in English," she quips."

Tinder: the app that helps you meet people for sex - "Which is? Rejects rejection. Tinder users browse photos of potential partners and indicate whether they "like" them with a swipe of the screen – but their decision is made known only to people who have "liked" them in return. Potential mates can get in contact only when both of them "like" each other.
Why is "like" in inverted commas there? Because it means "would be willing to have sex with""
This explains a lot (the population on it, the success rate...)

The Selfies Of Baey Yam Keng

The Chosen Few: A New Explanation of Jewish Success - "The key message of "The Chosen Few" is that the literacy of the Jewish people, coupled with a set of contract-enforcement institutions developed during the five centuries after the destruction of the Second Temple, gave the Jews a comparative advantage in occupations such as crafts, trade, and moneylending -- occupations that benefited from literacy, contract-enforcement mechanisms, and networking and provided high earnings."

animals - Do pigs have 30 minute orgasms? - Skeptics Stack Exchange - "Pig ejaculation certainly does last a long time relative to human ejaculation, and pig ejaculation is measured in minutes, not seconds... the largest estimate is 15 minutes, then add a possible second ejaculation of 15 minutes, that might be where the 30 minute number came from. Of course it depends on the pig!"

The burqa-clad Avenger - "In its first episode, which aired on Pakistan's Geo TV on July 28, Jiya fights an evil magician Baba Bandookh and his henchmen who want to shut down the girls school where she works. The episode has striking similarities to the story of 16-year-old Pakistani child rights activist Malala Yousafza... To defend herself and her cause, Jiya uses the martial arts skills takht kabaddi and books and pens as projectile weapons. There are no guns or fancy James Bond-kind of technology. The Burka Avenger, whose motto is justice, peace and education for all, is aided by three school children. While wondering how to dress up his superhero, Rashid was sure that he didn't want to "objectify her" as in the case of other female superheroes. "I wanted a local relatable flavour and I didn’t want to be seen as doing anything anti-Islamic,” he says. The burqa she wears “is very ninja-like, that allows her to conceal her books and pens,” he adds. Rashid and his team were very careful while creating the show too. They showed clips to psychologists, children and feminists for approval"
"She uses it, she chooses to wear it to hide her identity the way superheroes wear their costumes to hide an identity. Like Batman or Catwoman"

The Ridiculous Burka Avenger Backlash - " it boasts a really catchy theme song, “Don’t Mess With the Lady in Black.” With its focus on education and its strong female lead, the show seemed sure to win accolades for such a positive message directed at Pakistan’s youth. But the lady in black is being messed with—and not, as one would assume, by the local Taliban. Instead, Burka Avenger has taken a beating at the hands of the Western, and more recently the Indian, media, along with a handful of privileged Pakistanis. For while she teaches in a shalwar kameez with her head bare, the disguise she wears at night to pulverize those people threatening girls’ education is indeed a burka. So what the show’s really doing, it’s argued, is glorifying an instrument of oppression. Because the burka is evil, and so is anything that makes contact with it, it must follow, as day follows night ... Only it doesn’t follow, really... [She] is adopting the veil of her own free will, for the express purpose of obscuring her identity. When we ignore the character’s intentions behind willingly adopting a burka (as a disguise), it brings us back to good old-fashioned patriarchy, whereby a woman’s decisions are dwarfed by whatever message her clothing is putting out. A working woman is seen deciding to put on a burka to hide her face to go beat up bad people without getting caught, and we’re stuck on “Why a burka?” God help feminism, for that day has arrived when feminists are more concerned with what’s on a woman’s head than with what’s in it... no one, as far as I know, applies a similar level of scrutiny to Pakistani children watching Wile E. Coyote to extrapolate that they’re being inspired to plant explosives, much of the writing on Burka Avenger reeks of cloying paternalism—“the poor are dense”—and the enormous fear that Pakistani children, unlike their counterparts elsewhere, are so simple that they won’t be able to understand a painstakingly simple scenario presented to them on TV. That girls who have previously shown no inclination toward walking around dressed like a campsite will set fire to their wardrobes and demand burkas from their parents for their sweet 16."

Bali: YouTube film 'Cowboys in Paradise' exposes male prostitution - "The men involved have denied the relationships formed on the beaches involve money... An Australian woman questioned in the film defends the 'cowboys': "There's a lot of frustrated Western women out there. Just look at the sales of 'Eat, Pray, Love'," (Elizabeth Gilbert's best-selling self-discovery memoir). "Women don't want to be women anymore and instead they want to be feminine, so I can understand why they come here and they're searching for something and suddenly this environment provides that"... "I wanted to understand the men behind the cowboy myth. People never got past looking at them as gigolos. That's so one dimensional. I wanted to know why they are so appealing to women? What are their relationships like?...I wanted to humanise them. "I personally believe the beach would be a very dull place without their friendliness.""
Cowboys in Paradise: Sex Tourism in Bali - The Passionate Eye | CBC News Network - "the myth of paradise is shattered and the viewer is presented with a more realistic proposition: Paradise is always elsewhere."

Grow your own Tail.. by greyworld — Kickstarter - "Doesnt everyone want a Tail? A few years ago we began to create the most expressive, controllable, and playful Tail there could be.."

Women have more sexual partners than men – just - "a quarter of women who answered the poll had slept with over 10 people, compared with a fifth of men... Britain is one of the most promiscuous nations in the world, having more one-night stands than Australia, France, the Netherlands, Italy and America. The survey also highlighted the issues around sexual health and that many young women are taking 'huge risks' with 38% admitting they do not use a condom with a new partner and 16% having caught a sexually transmitted disease"

Video: They Wrong For This: Harriet Tubman Sex Tape! [Skit]
Welcome to kasuwell.com: Harriet Tubman sextape !
This is actually quite funny

Russian Anti-Gay Bill Passed By Lower Parliament - "The legislation will impose hefty fines for providing information about the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community to minors or holding gay pride rallies. Those breaking the law will be fined up to 5,000 rubles ($156) for an individual and up to 1 million rubles ($31,000) for a company, including media organizations... Russia decriminalized homosexuality in 1993, but anti-gay sentiment remains high... An executive with a Russian government-run television network said in a nationally televised talk show that gays should be prohibited from donating blood, sperm or organs for transplants, and after their deaths their hearts should be burned or buried"
Funny, I thought 377A is all that keeps Singapore from being a gay paradise

Alexander Aleksandrov's answer to Homosexuality in Russia: Why did Russia enact laws against homosexuality? - Quora - "Actually Russia did not enact laws against homosexuality. Russia enacted law against propaganda of homosexuality, first of all among children. Adult gays and lesbians are not interfered into their privacy. For example there are approximately 5 officially functioning gay saunas in Moscow. And nobody is going to shut them down"

Programs vs. markup - "No HTML specification has ever called HTML a programming language, or anything like that"

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Macarons vs Macaroons

(via Danielle Nybib's answer to Macarons (French confection): Why are macarons so expensive? - Quora)

Ending rape forever by teaching males not to rape

Rape: When it comes to ending rape forever, should we focus on teaching men and boys not to rape? - Quora

"A Democrat named Zerlina Maxwell appeared on Fox News to discuss the issue of allowing women on college campuses to possess guns in order to protect themselves from rape; about 1 in 4 college women will be victims of an attempted or completed sex crime on campus. Maxwell said that the solution to rape is not by the use of guns, but rather to train men no to commit rape. Maxwell says that if guns were the answer, then women in the military would not be at the risk of rape; lots of women serving in the military have been raped by male soldiers. She believes that focusing on teaching women to protect themselves from rape is victim blaming and that a woman shouldn't have to change her behavior just to avoid being raped; Maxwell says that the fault of rape is that of rapists and that women are not responsible for the actions of rapists or protecting herself from rapists or preventing themselves from getting raped."

Me: "No.

In the context of developed countries, this is a feminist flight of fantasy driven by ideology and cultural baggage instead of considered thought on what would work to drive down incidents of rape, and will only result in more rape incidents.

Let us look at another context: wars between nation states. Even if we ignore the League of Nations, at least since the end of World War II, it has become an internationally-accepted principle that sovereign nations should not invade other sovereign nations.

As Ban Ki Moon said in September 2013, "Use of force is lawful only when in exercise of self-defense in accordance with Article 51 of the United Nations charter and or when the Security Council approves such action".

Has this worked?

Patently not.

Let us return to crime, but stay outside of the arena of sexual assault and rape for the moment.

Criminologists (those who study crime) know that "the victim is not a passive target in crime but someone whose behavior  can influence his or her own fate, someone who “shapes and molds the  criminal”" (Criminology 9th Edition / Larry J. Siegel)

A simple example is that if you're going on vacation, you are advised to suspend newspaper and mail deliveries so criminals do not know that you are gone. Sure, we shouldn't have to change our behavior so we don't get burgled, and burglaries are the fault of burglars. Yet, most people would apportion at least some responsibility to the victim of a burglary if he does not suspend his mail and newspapers while on vacation.

Is this "victim blaming"?

Perhaps, but we need to distinguish between the concepts of "blame" and "responsibility", which are not always the same.

In fact, in a sense "victim blaming" is empowering, since the flip side of responsibility is agency/empowerment. If your safety depends entirely upon other people's actions, it means that you are powerless in this arena of your life.

Even more importantly, this does not mean that suspending newspaper and mail is not a good idea when it comes to preventing burglaries. Or that this is not a better idea than telling people not to burgle homes; good luck reducing burglaries by telling everyone not to burgle homes.

Now let us look at rape.

In "Aggression and Coercive Actions: A Social-Interactionist Perspective" (1994), Tedeschi and Felson note that "A cross-cultural  survey of 100 societies from the Human Relations Area Files showed that  rape is one of the three most heavily punished crimes". So clearly legal systems already frown upon rape, and if we take legal penalties to reflect social attitudes, societies frown heavily upon rape and males already know that it is a Bad Thing. Indeed, one could argue that its very wrongness is why rapists rape.

Also, consider that according to feminists, rape is about (and only about) Power (not sex). Is education likely to be very effective in such cases? Key to the idea of Education as the means to end rape is the assumption that ignorance is the reason rape occurs. Yet, while education can reduce ignorance, it is much less effective in the case of malevolence.

The only area in which educating men would help reduce rape (or crime in general) is if they did not know that what they were doing was a crime. Specifically, date rape, where the idea of consent is contested and nebulous (i.e. it is not always clear whether there is consent, and what degree of consent there is to which acts). Here, teaching both men and women about boundaries and communication could help reduce incidences of date rape.
(As a side note, though this would reduce cases of date rape it would also affect sexual relations if both partners are not on the same script - research [Sign In, Women's "Token Resistant" and Compliant Sexual Behaviors are Related to Uncertain Sexual Intentions and Rape, Linguistic Anthropology] does find that women often say no when they mean yes [or that they say no and then change their minds later])

As a closing thought, Bonnie Fisher studied women in colleges and for those who were victims of attempts at sexual assault, "those women who fought back were less likely to experience successful attacks, a finding that suggests the intended victim’s willingness or ability to take protective action might be one reason attempts to rape or coerce sex failed" (Siegel). Certainly, this is a lot more effective than just telling men not to do it.

(In developing countries, in societies where honour killings, for example, are practised, then education just might be more effective, but societal attitudinal change is a daunting task indeed, and probably wouldn't work given that attitudes to rape do not exist in isolation and it's the general perception of women that is problematic)"

Addendum: Given that Sweden, one of the most feminist countries in the world, has the highest rape rate in Europe, and that this is not only due to increased reporting, this speaks volumes about the effectiveness of education and telling men not to rape as a rape prevention strategy.

Sweden tops European rape league - The Local

"The high incidence of rape in Sweden has a strong connection to nightlife and partying, specifically after-club parties in private homes.

Early sexual debuts, high alcohol consumption, "free sexuality" and the "right to say no" quite simply results in more rapes, the study concludes."

Monday, September 09, 2013

The poverty of anti-FT rhetoric

Rich Malaysian Girl Living in Singapore laughing at us poor Singaporeans | The Real Singapore

"I want to expose this rich spoilt brat currently studying in the University of Queensland in Australia. Only rich pampered kids like her can afford to go overseas and study because their parents are loaded. She currently picked up an ang moh BF and it looks like she is planning to migrate to Australia and attacking us Singaporeans on her blog by saying stuff such as poor Singaporeans deserve to be poor and also look down on us NSman. Singapore provided her a place to receieve such a good education and this is how she repay Singapore?"

Krystal Choo: This is starting to get boring. Someone says something that could be interpreted as an attack on this fictional national ego, local web trolls fire away with the typical "you're stupid, ugly, your mother's *, [some other sexual jape], [some other irrelevant jape]". I'm confused as to how pointing out the source of her wealth, looks, grammar, or any other incidental serves any purpose in either invalidating her entry or making someone feel better about themselves.

It is blatantly obvious that she is frustrated about the extremely negative vibe being cast towards PRs. One does not simply make shit like that up. And though not the most politically correct, she is actually pointing out that Singaporeans originally came from elsewhere, and not to be so damn nationalist.

As a local, I can safely say I am very disgusted with the comments I read. The top comment here is that she is ugly. It is almost laughably predictable as well - my fellow local keyboard warriors come out with the trigger words "FT" versus "locals" and attack everything instead of taking a step back and trying to understand the issue.

This is a girl who has spent her life growing up here in Singapore, making friends and living as a resident, but is hurt by the fact that despite her 20-odd years here, still does not belong. She still gets accused for things based on her demographic. There is an increasing divide between "us locals" and "them foreigners". This crack has deepened even further with the ease of vomiting opinions as a mob, fuelling each other on - ironically decaying any form of civilisation or culture we've fought hard to build over the years (think racial harmony, tolerance and compassion). Foreigners make a land richer - in culture, skills, knowledge, and yes, even population.

Even if they have idiosyncrasies they bring over that may be undesirable, as a country we do NOT need to be black and white. "Be just like us, or get out." This is uneducated and embarrassing. An ideal way would be to, as a country, not stand for things that disrupt (littering, being inconsiderately loud etc) and politely invite them to integrate by showing them how it is to do so harmoniously. If we show kindness, we wouldn't see so much defensiveness.

Foreigners do not 'take' jobs. Singapore has one of the lowest unemployment rates IN THE WORLD. Everyone is essentially employed, bar those under extenuating circumstances. The way I see it is like this: you want a certain job or position, go get it. Be better. Do better. Be the easy choice for that job. And you will get it. That is what we call a meritocratic society - just like in our pledge. Stop being entitled. A doctor studies for years to be a doctor. He earns it. A business person fails, scrapes the barrel, and learns before becoming successful. He earns it. Attending 4 years of university on your parents' dime does not entitle you to anything - it's up to you to make your own opportunities. This will obviously fan the flames of all my fellow keyboard warriors. I obviously do not understand how this country works.

Long story short - Here's an alternative scenario. How about engaging this girl in a thoughtful discussion and explore what led her to feel this way? What would happen if all this hatred for demographics was taken out of the equation and we approached it with curiosity and determination to subsist in peace? What if, God forbid, we showed compassion and took a leap forward as a society? Would that be a Singapore you want, or is holding on to a false citizen-to-alien ratio the only thing you care about? I want to live in a place that is safe, where people are nice, where I know someone will help me instead of judge me, where I am confident I would do the same.

These articles and comments are NOT part of that Singapore."

Sun Koh: "to be fair, no sensible person reads anything from TRS. Their only agenda, and that of their readers, is to promote xenophobia. Best way for a sensible person is to ignore this TRS's trash."

Being anti-foreigner is conflated with being pro-Singaporean (just like how wanting to make all males in Singapore suffer is equated to "strong support for National Service").

I was surprised no one made a particular personal jibe at Krystal Choo, since I saw that very obvious angle...

Sunday, September 08, 2013

On why Singapore's craigslist has so many transsexuals

(post has since disappeared)

"re - What's with all the transsexuals here?

Good question, a few suggestions:
* Singapore because of its conservative nature is sexually repressed, therefore to compensate some people do kinky things in private because they have to act so conservative in public.
* In general a lot of men have homosexual fantasies, far more than women do, yet through upbringing or society standards they are more homophobic outwardly than women. A TS allows them to indulge this fantasy without facing the full reality that they might be gay or bi.
*Asians make better TS than any other race, some are absolutely stunning.
* Money - Singapore has a lot of it."


charming caucasian and local women post

"charming caucasian and local women post

This topic has credence and warrants some personal input...im caucasian toobut i dont live in singapore. I fly in regularly from Australia, twice a month and stay in a nice hotel. I always place an ad in craigslist or answer an ad seeking caucasian preferences a few days before i arrive, stating im caucasian and im only looking for fun. Of course the ads are not always the same but essentially variations of the same theme. All i can say is that ive always had a different woman every trip, mostly local chinese, married, single or just eager. It really isnt difficult to land a fuck in singapore if youre a visiting caucasian business person and stay in a nice hotel. All it takes is a good dinner at a nice restaurant below and dessert in the room after. I dont know why singapore women love caucasian cocks but i dont care....please dont. change the singapore ive come to enjoy so much"
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