I Got a Spot That Gets Me Hot/But You Ain’t Been To It

by Belle Waring on January 30, 2007

This post at Dr. Helen’s blog and its attendant comments have been widely linked around, and the finest comments already excerpted here at Feministe. Having read them all it occurs to me that if you are a heterosexual man of middle years, and it has been your life-long experience that women don’t like to have sex–with the result that they regard it indifferently as a bargaining chip rather than a pleasurable activity they would be denying themselves–maybe you’re doing it wrong. Just a thought.

Cos This Is What We Do Best

by Kieran Healy on January 30, 2007

Well not us. But this guy.

Reggie Watts: Out Of Control Via Unfogged.

Obviously the Standards for Fame are Rising

by Kieran Healy on January 30, 2007

Sometimes there’s no parochialism like Manhattan parochialism:

bq. This season “House” has reached as many as 17.5 million viewers a week. … Things might never have worked out had a largely unknown British actor named Hugh Laurie not sent in an audition tape at just the right time.

I’d be quite happy to be as largely unknown (and well-off) as the pre-House Hugh Laurie, but maybe that’s just me. Still, this example doesn’t quite match Alan Bennett’s recent experience after the premiere of _The History Boys_ on Broadway, when a reporter asked him whether he thought the success of the play would kick-start his career.

Scholars and Students

by Henry Farrell on January 30, 2007

“This”:http://littleprofessor.typepad.com/the_little_professor/2007/01/scholars_studen.html is rather wonderful.

Melting the Arctic ice

by John Q on January 30, 2007

Suppose that someone proposed using nuclear explosions to melt the Arctic ice cap*, with the aim of opening the Northwest passage and reducing shipping costs, and that this proposal was supported by an analysis showing that world GDP could be permanently increased by 1 per cent, or maybe 3 per cent, as a result.

On the face of it, this seems (to me, anyway) like a crazy idea. Should such a proposal be dismissed out of hand or taken seriously and subjected to benefit-cost analysis or ? And, if we did do a benefit-cost analysis, what would be the result?

[click to continue…]

Childrens’ books

by Henry Farrell on January 30, 2007

Harry’s post below reminds me that I’ve been meaning for years to recommend Michael de Larrabeiti’s Borrible trilogy (“Powells”:http://www.powells.com/s?kw=borribles&PID=29956, “Amazon”:http://www.amazon.com/gp/search?ie=UTF8&keywords=borribles&tag=henryfarrell-20&index=blended&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325 ) to parents of young ones with a certain disposition. Borribles are

generally skinny and have pointed ears which give them a slightly satanic appearance. They are pretty tough-looking and always scruffy, with their arses hanging out of their trousers. … The only people likely to get close to Borribles are ordinary children, because Borribles mix with them to escape detection by ‘the authorities’ who are always trying to catch them. … Normal kids are turned into Borribles very slowly, almost without being aware of it; but one day they wake up and there it is. It doesn’t matter where they come from as long as they’ve had what is called a bad start.

A section of the London police, the ‘Special Borrible Group,’ (the resonance is surely intended) is devoted to hunting them down and clipping their ears so that they turn into normal children. The best of the three books in my opinion is the first, _The Borribles_, in which a group of Borribles raid the warrens of the ‘ratlike’ and rather thinly disguised Rumbles, who live on Rumbledon Common, fight with pointed ‘rumble-sticks’ and are fearfully posh (‘you wevolting little stweet-awabs … how dare you tweat me in this fashion?’). The scene where a Borrible executes Great-Uncle Vulgarian by tossing an electric fire into his fancy bath-tub isn’t for the faint-hearted.

Also warmly recommended, although very different, is Ysabeau Wilce’s _Flora Segunda: Being the Magickal Mishaps of a Girl of Spirit, Her Glass-Gazing Sidekick, Two Ominous Butlers (One Blue), a House with Eleven Thousand Rooms, and a Red Dog_ (“Powells”:http://www.powells.com/partner/29956/s?kw=Flora%20Segunda, “Amazon”:http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FFlora-Segunda-Magickal-Glass-Gazing-Sidekick%2Fdp%2F0152054332%2Fsr%3D8-1%2Fqid%3D1170170192%3Fie%3DUTF8%26s%3Dbooks&tag=henryfarrell-20&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325, ). Well written, light and dryly funny, but (like Harry’s recommendation) with a considerable degree of psychological depth (the heroine’s relationship with her two, very different parents is touching and complicated).