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The sports term for idiocy like this is ‘own goal’. Well done dudes.

A few poignant thoughts to keep in mind. We can also file this under “how women and men experience society differently”.



It would be nice to believe that we are past the era of patriarchal stereotypes.  Unfortunately, this is not that case.  PSA’s like these three pictures exist because even in the most advanced Western societies many people believe that the length of skirt a woman happens to be wearing determines her sexual availability and moral standing.

Have you noticed that there isn’t a similar standard for men?  I mean certainly we can make biased judgments against fedora wearing, skinny tie and thick rimmed faux-glasses rocking hipsters and what not, but it is not like if said hipster is assaulted his clothing choice will become a major factor in whether the person that had assaulted him goes to jail or not.

Patriarchal double standards still exist because the majority of people consciously make the choice to follow the ‘moral rules’ they enforce.  It is bullshite, and it needs to stop.

Otherwise you get this:


capitalism    The excerpt is from a great piece by Christopher Lasch writing in the short lived journal “Democracy”.  Written in the 80’s, details the systemic problems facing US democracy.  The situation described shows the roots of where we are now, and how (unfortunately) we have arrived here.

   “The centralization of power in the United States and the decline of popular participation in community life have become dramatically visible only in the
period since World War II. The roots of these conditions, however, go back to the formative period around the turn of the century. We have been living ever since then with the long-term consequences of the momentous changes in­augurated at that time.

     The most important of these changes, of course, was the emergence of the corporation and the spread of the corporate form throughout
American industry.   Often misunderstood as a shift from entrepreneurial to managerial control, the corporation emerged out of conflicts between capital
and labor for control of production. It institutionalized the basic division of labor that runs all through modern industrial society, the division between brainwork and handwork-between the design and the execution of production.

    Under the banner of scientific management, capitalists expropriated the technical knowledge formerly exercised by workers and vested it in a new
managerial elite. The managers extended their power not at the expense of the owners of industry, who retained much of their influence and in any case tended to merge with the managerial group, but at the expense of the workers.

     Nor did the eventual triumph of industrial unionism break this pattern of managerial control. By the 1930s, even the most militant unions had acquiesced in the divi­sion of labor between the planning and execution of work. Indeed the very suc­cess of the union movement was predicated on a strategic retreat from issues of worker control. Unionization, moreover, helped to stabilize and rationalize the labor market and to discipline the work force. It did not alter the arrangement whereby management controls the technology of production, the rhythm of work, and the location of plants (even when these decisions affect entire com­munities), leaving the worker with the task merely of carrying out orders.

     Having ·organized mass production on the basis of the new division of labor-most fully realized in the assembly line-the leaders of American industry
next turned to the organization of a mass market. The mobilization of consumer demand, together with the recruitment of a labor force, required a far-reaching series of changes that amounted to a cultural revolution; The virtues of thrift, avoidance of debt, and postponement of gratification had to give way to new habits of installment buying and immediate gratification, new standards of comfort, a new sensitivity to changes in fashion. People had to be discouraged from providing for their own wants and resocialized as consumers. Industrial­ism by its very nature tends to discourage home production and to make people dependent on the market, but a vast effort of reeducation, starting in the 1920s, had to be undertaken before Americans accepted consumption as a way of life.

     As Emma Rothschild has shown in her study of the automobile industry, Alfred Sloan’s innovations in marketing-the annual model change, constant upgrading of the product, efforts to associate it with social status, the deliberate inculcation of an insatiable appetite for change-constituted the necessary counterpart of Henry Ford’s innovations in production. Modern industry came to rest on the twin pillars of Fordism and Sloanism.  Both tended to discourage  initiative and self-reliance and to reduce work and consumption alike to an essentially passive activity.   […]

   When I read this section I was immediately drawn to the sections highlighted in purple.  What I hear from conservative commentators and business commentators is that what it takes to succeed in society is to get out there and play the market, or innovate, or work hard and save money and improve yourself et cetera.  Usually, along with their sprightly commentary on how bootstrapping oneself to greatness, is another piece on the evils of the nanny state and how those damn social programs (WELFARE *clutches chest*  *dies*) are making people into lazy dependent sloths who do nothing but keep the productive people down.

   Of course, like most capitalistic propaganda, it is utter shite.  The message retains its ubiquity and longevity in our society only because of its constant repetition in the business press and media.

The virtues of thrift, avoidance of debt, and postponement of gratification had to give way to new habits of installment buying and immediate gratification, new standards of comfort, a new sensitivity to changes in fashion.

   I quote this again because damn, if this isn’t an indictment of how capitalism has malformed our society, I’m not sure what is.  This way of life we now live was a choice made by the elite classes, as to how society was to be run.  Clearly, attributes like avoiding debt and postponement of gratification have no place in a modern civilized society (!).

   Racking up debt, conspicuous consumption, becoming dependent on the market – didn’t just *happen* – they were orchestrated to feed the industrial elite’s needs and as always, at the expense of the working class.

    So, the business class essentially builds/nurtures a culture of dependency – that is, actively discourages self production and self-reliance – and then has the temerity to bluster about Big Government creating a welfare state chock full of slothful, gormless, dependent people.

    Create a society where dependency is rewarded, and then proceed to blame the people for becoming dependent.  Fascinating stuff this capitalism is.

I completely need this book.



Greetings fair readership, it is time for a new foray here at DWR.  A recent comment by JZ and gentle prod by RoughSeas are the inspirations for this post.

The idea that JZ had was that a comparative essay looking at the differences and similarities between adolescent experiences would be an interesting read.   I agreed with him at the time and promptly back-burnered the idea because doing new things is hard.   But we’re going to give it a try anyways, because we’re like that around here.

This is what I envision – my faithful commentariat would offer a brief (three paragraph  (300 words-ish) anecdotal tale of what the socialization was like growing up through those years we now call adolescence.  Let me offer you some food for thought, the original Laurie Penny quote for starters:

“Adolescence, for a woman, is the slow realization that you are not considered as fully human as you hoped. You are a body first, and your body is not yours alone: whether or not you are attracted to men, men and boys will believe they have a claim on your body, and the state gets to decide what you’re allowed to do with it afterwards.”

Some questions/story starters to get the juices flowing:

1. I was so embarrassed when…
2. My finest hour as a youth.
3. My worst experience as a youth…
4. I  remember an instance of  how my socialization affected me when…
5. [Whatever you think is relevant]

This can be dangerous territory, and thus let me state now that this thread will be heavily moderated with hopes of making a safe space for people to share their stories.  If you feel the need to faff on about free speech and censorship, and/or act in a general discourteous manner, the recently polished ban hammer shall fall swiftly and discretely.  Furthermore, this is one of those rare occasions where the option to post anonymously may actually be a good thing.  Please feel free to use that option at your discretion.


A good host always starts these sorts of things off, so I’m told.  As I was writing this post a vivid clutch of memories came back from my high school days.


It was a good time back highschool, as in grade 10 I learned that this would be the last taste of the compulsory physical education (torture) that I would have to take.  Track and field, the tepid combination of aimlessly running/hopping/leaping about and throwing a myriad of things, was just finishing up.  My sub-group was responsible for putting away the high jump mat, as this PE class just happened to be at the end of the day.

So, with the allure of the end of day just around the corner our tired group of teenagers was hustling to get the large and bulky crash pad mat back into school and put away.  Outside, while we were all carrying the mat, one my less intrepid peers decided it would great fun if they ran up and threw themselves onto the mat.  Of course, with the extra weight we dropped it, and the jumping doofus was immanently pleased with himself.  The gym teacher was also unimpressed and told this particular student to stop horsing around and get with the program (with perhaps a bit more vivace in his word choice, I can’t be sure :)).   So we all found the handles to the mat and once again began lugging the cursed beast toward the school.

Can you guess what happened?  The Superman in waiting decided that there would be nothing as much fun as doing the same thing twice – because one solid declaration of your assholery just isn’t enough – and off he went, this time though he chose to land near me.  And for whatever reason I decided that this particular sack of jerkitude and his attitude needed a stern correction.  The correction, in question, was a flying elbow smash straight out of ‘pro-wrestling’ that landed directly in the small of the Jumpy-Jerk McAsshole’s back.  He yelped, quite vociferously,  in what I assume was a mixture of surprise and pain.  Keep in mind, this is coming from the non-athletic, glasses wearing, book devouring nerdy kid who always listened to the teachers and never created waves.  I immediately apologized to him and the teacher and was expecting a severe reprimand for such irresponsible, dangerous behaviour.

Instead, the gym teacher was crowing with laughter, as were the rest of the mat handlers.  Everyone was like Woo!  That was awesome!  Everyone was congratulating me for attacking JJMcA for jumping on the mat a second time.  I was taken aback then, as I am now at how easily violence is praised and endorsed as a method of solving problems.  And in hindsight I can see this small happening as just one of many instances of socialization at work that consciously and unconsciously help shape the person that I am today.


Okay, well if there are any takers on this free writing/reflecting assignment, you have my thanks in advance.  :)  If you’re like me you’ll be struggling with only 300 words, but I have faith in you, concision is a writers’ best friend.

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