Blog or Not?

A statistically improbable polymath's views on politics and culture.

Thursday, February 23, 2006
Shameless Candidate Plug
I'm sure all of you know about Cook County Hospital--it's one of the most famous public hospitals in the nation; it's the hospital of last resort; it's the hospital on ER. Unfortunately, it--or rather, as it's now called, Stroger Hospital--is being mismanaged by the Cook County Board of Commissioners' President, John Stroger. (Yes, he named the hospital after his family.) Currently the Cook County public hospitals are severely understaffed; a baby died in the hallway at Provident Hospital because the staff was too busy with other patients. And yet Stroger does nothing.

But Forrest Claypool will. Vote in this primary for Forrest Claypool, for a government that all of Cook County can be proud of.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Bloggers Have Brought Down A President
Unfortunately, it's Lawrence Summers, not Bush.

And now will come the complaints that feminazis attack any academic who doesn't conform to their beliefs. Yes, well, if you're the president of America's most famous university, saying something that controversial can result in economic consequences--such as alumnae withholding their annual donations. I'm sure that Dr. Summers as an economist understands how people express their political beliefs through the pocketbook.

UPDATE: A few days ago I was wondering if Lawrence Summers's rather pronounced tendency to put his foot in his mouth was due to a mild case of Aspberger's Syndrome. Apparently some at Harvard were already considering that theory, noting everything from his table manners that would shame a first-year to his habit of falling asleep during lectures by world leaders.

Monday, February 20, 2006
Those who live in Buckingham Palace shouldn't throw stones
An British MP is trying to prevent Pakistani Britons from marrying their first cousins. Seems that there's a pretty large incidence of genetic diseases among the Pakistani population in Britain, much of it stemming from the common practice of marrying relatives. Now, my first thought to this was: "Wait, marrying your cousin is legal in Britain?"

Then I suddenly remembered: Victoria and Albert. First cousins whose great-grandchildren included the hemophiliac Tsarovich Alexei of Russia and the epileptic, possibly slightly autistic Prince John, "the lost prince".

So if we're going to ban cousin marriage in Britain, let's ban it for all Britons--including the most celebrated cousin-marriers of them all, the Royal Family.

Sunday, February 19, 2006
Carnivale of the Couture VII: If I had $10 million dollars...
(Much of this has already appeared in the Manolo's comments.)

From the half-U of C blog I am Fashion comes Carnivale of the Couture VII, which asks us the following question:

Suprise darling! You have just won the lottery! How will you, the super fabulous fashionable blogger, spend your US$10m winnings? Tell us all about your money-spending plan!!

My first thought upon seeing this was: Bespoke suits that'll actually fit both my shoulders and my hips, in various neutrals, some of them with vaguely eighteenth-century influences. Cashmere-wool for winter, linen-wool for summer.

Of course, one can't wear suits alone, so next comes top-quality, expertly-fitted and tailored blouses and lingerie, and shoes with toebeds that are actually the width of my toes--perhaps handmade? I'm sure there'll be some that I can buy off the rack, including a couple of pairs of black suede sneakers that don't automatically scream "I'm an athletic shoe!". And yeah, I suppose I'll see whether or not designer jeans are any better than what I have now, I'll buy more cashmere pieces, and try to hunt down a mattifying, high-SPF, oil-free, non-comedogenic, aloe-free (my face doesn't handle aloe vera well) moisturizer.

But really, the above doesn't even begin to approach $10 million dollars. So then comes Phase 2: Expanding everyone's clothing options through investing in a small start-up company that makes moderately-priced, well-made professional clothing for women of a wide range of sizes and figure types, in quality fabrics and (mostly) classic colors, with free alterations. It's a complaint that many women of my (and other) generations have voiced--see Almost Girl and the Crescat Sententia fashion archives--but it's something that has not been adequately addressed by the fashion industry. To quote everyone's favorite spinster aunt, I blame the patriarchy.

I'm Back
Sorry for the hiatus; I was feeling drained of words--but now, I feel like expressing myself again. The blog's going to change; I've realized that the political world needs me more as a actor in the real world than a commentator in the virtual world. However, I've still got a lot to say on politics--as well as feminism, fashion, culture, etc. And I'm really not sure that I care whether or not A-List bloggers read this; I'm essentially doing this for myself and because it's a useful outlet to get my words out (and if I ever do feel like pimping a post to A-listers, it's convenient to have an actual blog.)