Sunday, September 28, 2008

In praise of singletude

I started the week with all kinds of good intentions to write something about it being Unmarried and Single Americans Week. Unfortunately, this semester is seriously kicking my butt so the week is over but I still wanted to take at least a few minutes to pay tribute to the fact that according to the Census Bureau, over 40% of the population 18 and over is unmarried (that includes never married, widowed or divorced). I thought it was interesting that the week was originally National Singles Week, intended "to celebrate single life and recognize singles and their contributions to society" but the Census website says it is now generally known as 'Unmarried and Single Americans Week' to acknowledge that "many unmarried Americans do not identify with the word “single” because they are parents, have partners or are widowed." Which leads me to ponder once again: what does 'single' mean to you?

I've also been thinking about the term single because I've come across some twists on the word that strike me as cool attempts to de-stigmatize singlehood. There's obviously Quirkyalone, the inspiration for the title of this blog. I also like Singular, which is the name of a new magazine for singles in L.A. But my favorite is singletude, as in Singletude: A Positive Blog for Singles. The rest of the tagline reads: "a positive, supportive blog about life choices for the new single majority. It's about dating and relationships, yes, but it's also about the other 90% of your life--family, friends, career, hobbies--and flying solo and sane in this crazy, coupled world. Singletude isn't about denying loneliness. It's about realizing that whether you're single by choice or by circumstance, this single life is your life to live." Amen to that.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Well put

At the risk of sounding like part of the 'intellectual elite', I really liked this post from Russell Korobkin at the Volokh Conspiracy:

The problem with Palin on a national ticket is not her lack of experience, per se. Few governors have much, if any, direct foreign policy experience, and we elect them President quite often. Specific experience can be quite overrated, and if you blindly use it to reinforce rather than challenge your prior beliefs and prejudices it can be downright harmful. The problem is that it isn't clear that she even pays much attention to the newspapers or has had, prior to this week's airplane flight to Alaska with McCain staffers, any in-depth conversations or even in-depth thoughts about the critical issues that have faced the country over the last several years. The Palin interviews with Charlie Gibson over the past two days have provided definitive proof that she lacks the intellectual heft that she will sorely need if she ever were to find herself having to weigh and choose between competing arguments made by advisors about complicated policy questions.

She's in way over her head. Worse, if you believe what she told Gibson about her lack of hesitation when McCain offered her the position, she doesn't even know it.

Add in McCain morphing from someone I once considered voting for to someone who flat-out lies, and I just donated money to a politician for the first time in my life.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Random thoughts about Palin

I've been completely caught up in my classes for the last couple weeks but like a good little feminist Democrat, I've been accumulating some links about Sarah Palin that I want to share so here are some worthwhile links and a few thoughts: Alaskans' Opinions on Sarah Palin
This email, from a woman in Palin's hometown, has been making the rounds but when I first got it, I thought it must be fake. However, when I checked (which I encourage everyone to do before sending on any kind of chain-y emails!), it turns out that it's real. The letter is critical but not in a scathing way - the author originally sent it just to friends and family, a couple days after Palin was announced, simply to give them more information.

Mixed Race America: Post convention thoughts
This is one of my new favorite blogs (and not just because it's written by a 30-something professor named Jennifer). She just says a lot of stuff I wish I'd said, like: "I would like people to recognize that women, just like men, are complex creatures. And that just because you are a woman does not mean that you can speak for all women or are in favor of what, politically, we refer to as "women's rights." Same thing goes for being African American--Barack Obama does not speak on behalf of all African Americans. He does not "represent" black American. He is not running for president of the American "black diaspora." He is running to be President of the United States."
I agree 100%. But what bugs me is that the McCain campaign seems to want to use Palin to get the support of women but then anytime someone actually mentions she is a women (in a negative way), they jump all over that as sexist. Can't have it both ways...

The Daily Show: Sarah Palin Gender Card
That hypocrisy is really what bugs me most about the coverage of Palin, and I'll admit Democrats are engaging in it too - people on both sides are saying things about her that they would never say about someone in their own party. Not that this is anything new in politics but for some reason, it seems more obvious this time. And Jon Stewart makes that point brilliantly!

The Volokh Conspiracy - Should We Hold Belief in Creationism Against Candidates for Political Office?
Given my tendency to over-analyze everything, I feel like it's becoming increasing rare for someone else to make a reasonable point that truly makes me go, "hmmm..." but this post really did. The author wonders why we (i.e., the media and liberals) make a bigger deal about someone believing in creationism than believing other, equally unprovable religious ideas (like the virgin birth, the resurrection, etc.). I will say that I think part of the difference lies with what people do with those beliefs - you just don't see people pushing to teach the virgin birth in sex ed classes or the resurrection in history or biology classes - but I think it's a good point.