Saturday, October 6, 2012

Various & Sundry: Politics, Fabulous Women, and Snark

I have an ambitious Saturday to-do list, so let's get the important stuff out of the way: this week's compendium of stuff I found interesting, curated for your pleasure and edification.

I didn't watch the debate on Wednesday. Neither did Lance Mannion, which didn't stop him from posting something that I think captures the essence of the debate. Meanwhile, Brenda Peterson wrote why Romney's performance was a turn-off for women.

And the take-away image is of Big Bird getting the axe; in response, anibundel has "rounded up Exhibits ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ (that’s pronounced “ab-key-deaf-gher-jeckle-mer-nop-qur-stuv-werx-yvs”, for the uninitiated) as to why Sesame Street is one of the greatest programs on television for children." Starting with Big Bird learning about the death of Mr. Hooper.

Hope you had your Cool Touch (TM) Kleenex handy. And if you have time, check out her wonderful compendium of Sesame Street videos.

A couple of bloggers review the Letter from 2012 in Obama's America that Focus on the Family wrote before the 2008 election -- a letter that describes the world of October 2012 in a way that, shall we say, is apocalyptically wrong. They were 0.5 for 34, getting half of one prediction right for correctly seeing that Obama would repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell. A great insight:
Re-reading the Focus letter four years later, what strikes me most — besides how utterly wrong they are about everything — is how parochial their imagination is when attempting to envision a political dystopia. The horrors they predict are almost all narrowly targeted at and tailored toward them. I’ve read a ton of dystopian stories, good and bad, and this is the most cluelessly self-absorbed vision of its kind that I’ve ever seen.
For a final note in our political coverage, Patton Oswalt wonders what would happen if everyone voted. Wonderful post about, you know, participating.

In the Fabulous Women's Obituaries department, two great ones this week: first up, Lavender "Pinkie" Barnes, champion table tennis player, palm reader, and advertising copywriter ("Veet. It's always summer under your arms.")

Then there's the amazing Vanya Kewley, an utterly fearless documentarian.
"She worked from Chile to Saudi Arabia, via Vietnam, producing early profiles of controversial international leaders such as Colonel Gaddafi (Soldier for Islam) and General Ojukwu (The Man Who Made Biafra). Though she stood just over 5ft, dictators held no terrors for her.  
"She was beaten and imprisoned in Uganda when her crew were mistaken for mercenaries; clubbed unconscious when living on famine rations among the Ananaya “freedom fighters” in South Sudan; and threatened with death by North Korean soldiers."
The next paragraph then describes how she deserted a tour group to trek 4,000 miles through Tibet with a hand-held camera. Formidable would be the word that comes to mind.

Meanwhile, closer to home, Tim Schenck reminds us that October is Pastor Appreciation Month. He offers a few suggestions of what pastors might appreciate being appreciated with. As he notes,
Most pastors don’t have nearly enough crosses in their lives. Usually only fifteen or so hung up in their offices plus countless others in their homes. What they really need is one more with “Pastor” written across it to remind them of Christ’s self-giving sacrifice on Cavalry.
You know what else coincides with Pastor Appreciation Month? #snarktoberfest.

You know what else was being celebrated on Twitter? The social event of the year: the My Little Pony wedding, aka #mlpwedding. Well, all right, it happened a while back. But Nancy Davis Kho and Wendi Aarons are just getting around to apologizing to Hasbro for their inappropriate tweets.
For instance, we realize now that tweets like “CARAMEL IS ONLY MARRYING KNIGHT SHADE FOR THE GREEN CARD! #MLPWedding” and “WHEN PLASTIC HORSES CAN MARRY PLASTIC HORSES, MAN MARRYING DOG FOLLOWS RIGHT BEHIND! #FamilyValues #MLPWedding” forced you, a non-partisan toy company, into debates on illegal immigration and same sex marriage that you had probably hoped to avoid when you planned your wholesome My Little Pony Twitter Party. We thought Nancy’s contribution of “THANK YOU #VERMONT! NOW DESERT ROSE AND DAISYJO CAN MAKE IT LEGAL! #MLPWedding” added balance to the discussion, but we see now that it falls into this category as well.
I'm not sure they sound truly sorry. They still want to know why the couple registered for a whip.

Having been led from their letter to Wendi's open letter to the brand manager for Always Maxi-pads, and on to the rest of McSweeney's Internet Tendency, it is also all their fault that I am ending with this completely profane article that I am compelled to include for its timeliness and best use of seasonal vegetables. Because it's decorative gourd season, motherfuckers. And I've got things to do.

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