46 seconds of dialogue.


Cultural institutions reflect the values of society.  ‘Nuff said.

empowerful“…But I do feel a special place of contempt for the absolute army of twenty-something, socially privileged, very well educated, young white women, who speak about prostitution in terms of “sex work” and “empowerment” and this utter nonsense when they have spent years educating themselves… in order to keep themselves out of the social class of women who are most commonly used in prostitution.“And you know… formally prostituted women like myself have been delivered and expected to digest the most galling lie about our own histories, that is, we have been told that our imprisonment was liberty – that our slavery was freedom. And when we talk about prostitution, we’re talking about an area of life where women are ritualistically coerced, abused, forced, and silenced. And somehow, in some magical realm that is dressed up as reality, we are expected to believe that these deeply dis-empowering elements add up to empowerment. This is bulls**t, and it is dangerous bulls**t – so blatant that it is worthy not only of our utmost contempt, but of our relentless resistance. And it comes from one particular category most forcefully: and those are the women, the young, white, privileged, college educated women I’ve just described.”

—Rachel Moran, Irish feminist activist and author and founder of SPACE International (Survivors of Prostitution-Abuse Calling for Enlightenment) speaking in an interview with Resistance Radio.

Women in video games, destroying men's lives everywhere!!!

Women in video games, destroying men’s lives everywhere!!!

Spending your time harassing people just doesn’t seem like productive or pro-social behavioural choices.  According to a study recently undertaken it seems there is a positive correlation between unskilled players and the amount of abuse they heap on other players, especially females.

“Some male players, however — the ones who were less-skilled at the game, and performing worse relative their peers — made frequent, nasty comments to the female gamers. In other words, sexist dudes are literally losers.

In today’s online environment, alas, this is not an idle observation. According to a recent Pew Research Center report, 40 per cent of Internet users have personally experienced harassment. While both genders are frequent victims of this abuse, women tend to get the worst of it: They are “particularly vulnerable to sexual harassment and stalking,” Pew said.

Well that is an interesting conclusion.  Speaking from personal experience being harassed never helps one’s game.  Heaping abuse on a member of your team won’t help their performance, in most cases it will worsen the situation.  So, really we can add self-immolating to the list of qualities for loser harasser dudes.

““As men often rely on aggression to maintain their dominant social status,” Kasumovic writes, “the increase in hostility towards a woman by lower-status males may be an attempt to disregard a female’s performance and suppress her disturbance on the hierarchy to retain their social rank.”

Like your mother always said, bullies just feel bad about themselves.”

Well, it seems like an almost tailor made explanation for sad phenomena known as GamerGate.   Low status dudes threatened by women kicking their asses in video games, perhaps getting better and competing with women might be the answer?  Of course not!  And thus the most obvious(?) answer(?) and logical(?) recourse is embarking on a epic whingefestival – made most memorable because of its harassment of women – because their male fee fees are being bruised all to shit.

It bears repeating here as this article and Gamergate illustrate beautifully the first rule of misogyny – ” is that women are responsible for what men do.”


Hat Tip:  @bleatmop for bringing this article to my attention.

secularschoolThe year is 2015.  In this age the availability of information has never been greater – and yet, the abuse that is religious teaching, is regularly foisted on children across the globe.  One would think that in this information age a rational parental-agent would attempt to look for the best way to transmit the necessary cultural values to children.

I postulate this cultural transmission should involve the following –

1.  The formulation of strong emotional and social attachments with immediate and extended family.

  • Realizing that nothing else works without strong attachments to parents/caregivers
  • Working on the social bonds that strengthen the individual and the community as a whole.
  • Realizing and respecting the common goals and aspirations of everyone in similar situations – The requirements of shelter, food, security.

2.  Ethical guidelines based an empathetic understanding of the needs and feelings of others – key questions would include:

  • Would I like this (action, situation, circumstances et cetera)to happen to me?
  • Would I like it if this person acted like that toward me?
  • If everyone did what I was doing would the world/my community be a better or worse place?

3.  Understanding and exploring the world would be a fact based experience.

  • Reading
  • Listening and asking questions of elders to better understand their experience and to learn from their accumulated knowledge
  • Engaging with the world via the arts – Music, Visual Arts, Writing, Poetry – etc.

Hmm, and there I go thinking that I had appropriately delimited my topic.  Grrrr…  The point is that, even with this small cross-section of cultural transmission, there is no need to fall back on religious teachings/ideology that have no basis in fact.

We should not have to lie to children to get them to be good human beings.  Raising children within the secular bounds of an attached caring family unit is possible and a desirable societal outcome.   Children should be raised without the twin detriments to healthy maturation: religious guilt and fear.  Guilt and fear stunt the growth of curiosity and more importantly, the learning of empathetic ethical behaviour.

So, if we can raise good human beings without all the toxic religious mumbo-jumbo why do so many people choose to do so anyways?


The Arbourist:

Worth the reblog for the infographic alone, but also has great linkage. DWR approved. :)

Originally posted on Of Means and Ends:


RH Reality Check’s infographic shows the people behind manufactured attacks on Planned Parenthood.

7 ways to turn your anger about Sandra Bland into action in support of incarcerated (and formerly incarcerated) black women.

Actor Jesse Williams breaks down Sandra Bland and racist hypocrisy in 24 tweets.

11 essential facts about guns and mass shootings in the US.

Houstonia magazine writes an editorial telling racist readers they can take their business elsewhere.

Instagram banned the hashtag #curvy, while allowing #thin and #skinny to stay.

How conservatives and liberals misappropriate #BlackLivesMatter.

View original


“The String Quartet No. 1 in F Major, Op. 18, No. 1 begins one of the greatest cycles of music in the entire Western Classical canon, the sixteen quartets of Beethoven spanning the whole of his creative life. Composed between 1798 and 1800, the six Op. 18 quartets show an astonishing mastery of the language of Haydn and Mozart, a language that Beethoven used nonetheless to express his own emerging personality and to demonstrate his own relentless innovative creativity. These are “classical” works in the truest sense: Beethoven’s closest “imitation” of Haydn and Mozart before he would revolutionize the genre with his next set, Op. 59. Naturally considered to be from Beethoven’s “early” period, the Op. 18 quartets reveal, in all their variety and complexity, all the elements of Beethoven’s middle and late styles albeit clear perhaps only in retrospect. Actually the second quartet that he composed, the F Major was placed first within the published Op. 18 set by Beethoven. For its energy, drama and craftsmanship, it is a perfect opening move, a showcase for this new young maverick to break ground in a daunting and already mature tradition.

opening motiveThe opening Allegro con brio demonstrates one of the chief characteristics of the Viennese style: the motive or motif. The music begins with a fleet, six-note figure. Not so evolved as a melody or a theme, it is a small musical fragment clearly recognized by its rhythmic and melodic profile. In this sense, a “motif” is a musical cell that tiles the majority of the music like the minute, repetitive textural patterns in wallpaper or skin. It is nearly omnipresent though it shifts and changes throughout the music. The artful use of short motifs to create drama and variation while sustaining a specific unique signature with the music was a central design principle for Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven (and Bach). The motif weaves a fabric that is draped over the sonata form, a plan for harmonic and sectional drama, a narrative journey of highly articulated musical development. Beethoven’s first sonata for string quartet features an intense development bristling with contrapuntal juxtapositions of the motif through a jarring series of chord and key changes. The conclusion finds Beethoven in one of his earliest great “afterthoughts”, the coda following the recapitulation, wherein he would further explore and conclusively exhaust the momentum of his giant musical thoughts with magnificent endings like brilliant bows tied around brilliant packages. This first movement also highlights that Beethoven inherited the string quartet with a fully mature and independent cello part, a feat slowly established in the quartets of Haydn and Mozart and cemented in the early chamber works of Beethoven, especially the string trios and the very first classical cello sonatas on record.

Beethoven concludes his “first” quartet with another motif-driven movement, a dazzling little flourish that recalls both Mozart and Bach. While the motif plays a central role, this music is rich with a variety of musical ideas, an abundant cornucopia that is almost obscene, especially when compared with the obsessive monothematicism of the first movement. Here again the influence is most definitely Mozart. Essential to the classical Viennese style is the rich infusion of counterpoint rescued, as it were, from the high Baroque and married with the fad for gallant, dramatic expressiveness that had temporarily abandoned such writing as old-fashioned pedantry. Haydn, Mozart and quintessentially Beethoven all invested their chamber music with a dazzling array of contrapuntal techniques and processes that so perfectly matched the independent part-writing possibilities of this “new” string quartet ensemble. Here, Beethoven deploys the frothy flourish motif in two sections of fugato, little swatches of fugue that invest the musical development with a special kind of intensification through obsession. This was the first extended example of this kind of learned counterpoint in Beethoven’s quartets, and it was merely the beginning. Throughout the ensuing series of sixteen quartets, Beethoven would repeatedly drive the concept of fugue to such extended lengths that his purview of radical innovation would even extend backwards to this technique—a technique considered archaic even before the death of Bach. Beethoven, Mozart and Haydn would all freely and organically intermix this kind of linear part-writing with the vertical chords and “accompanied” melody of the gallant in a fresh, complex amalgam that was yet another hallmark of Viennese classicism. Here was a very specific and highly cultivated musical genre pioneered by Haydn, invested with divine perfection by Mozart and, eventually, revolutionized by the giant force of Beethoven to contain all the power, intellect, beauty, violence, personal passion and transcendent profundity that any music could ever hold.”


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