Thursday, September 30, 2004

Men: tough SOB and crushed petals

Jimmy Swaggart's warning to gay men («If one ever looks at me like that, I'm gonna kill him and tell God he died») brings back to mind an old question, for which I have never really received a satisfying answer.

Why do men react so viscerally and so violently to the slightest sign of homosexual interest? As a woman, I sometimes get subtle (and not so subtle) invitations from lesbians, and each time after my polite «Thanks, but no thanks», we each go about our own business. The only times I show any sign of repulsion is when I'm hit on by drooling or inebriated men. So again, to all my male readers (if any), I'm asking: why such rage towards what should be logically considered a compliment ?

I know that men are very insecure about their maleness. I was explained once (by my two sons) that the worst thing for a guy is to be considered «gay». That's why they only whistle, holler or otherwise bother women when they're in groups, e.g. construction workers or street gangs. They have to prove their manliness to one another and the whistling and other antics are just theatrics only marginally directed at the passing women.

I understand such a mentality. What I don't undertand is why a simple «no» is not enough when you are propositioned by a gay man in the relative privacy of a public bathroom, for example. In other words, why do Mr. Swaggart and about 50% of the population feel so threatened by homosexuals that they are willing to commit murder just to assert their maleness?

Another mystery of the samsara...

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

La vérité sort de la bouche des enfants

OH MY GOSH!!!!!!

Have you seen that video at (I found it via Altercation

It's so fucking great!!!!!

Monday, September 27, 2004

Le Président Bush est-il plus intelligent qu'un invertébré?

Quand j'entends le Président Bush affirmer que, si c'était à recommencer, il n'hésiterait pas à proclamer de nouveau «Mission accomplie» (mais cette fois-ci déguisé non plus en pilote de chasse, mais peut-être en cowboy ou en astronaute), je pense à cette étude faite il y a quelque temps sur les vers de terre. On sépare une surface en deux par un fil électrique et on met d'un côté, des vers de terre et de l'autre, de bonnes choses à manger (pour des vers de terre, s'entend). Les vers doivent traverser le fil électrique pour arriver de l'autre côté et, apparemment, ils se font électrocuter une bonne vingtaine de fois avant de comprendre qu'il leur faut renoncer à leur but.

Vous vous demandez sans doute combien de chocs électriques M. Bush doit recevoir avant d'envisager la possibilité qu'il serait peut-être préférable de changer de cap? Vous êtes bien naïfs, car c'est une question-piège. En effet, pour des gens comme lui, il n'y aura jamais de chocs électriques. M. Bush n'a jamais eu à souffrir des conséquences de ses gestes. La mort d'amis ou de proches en Iraq ou en Afghanistan, les bombardements, les pertes d'emploi, les problèmes financiers, la misère, etc.. tout ça c'est des choses qui n'arrivent qu'aux autres, ça ne le concerne absolument pas. Les chocs électriques, c'est pour les vers de terre. M. Bush, lui, vit dans le luxe et la sécurité, entouré de sa famille et de ses courtisans qui le protègent contre toutes intrusions désagréables de la réalité. Il n'apprendra jamais de ses erreurs, puisqu'il n'en voit jamais les conséquences, ce qui prouve d'ailleurs qu'il n'en fait pas, d'erreurs.

Récapitulons: il y a les vers de terre, et il y a les George W. Bush.

Voilà, maintenant vous avez tout compris de la vie. Pas la peine de me remercier, c'est gratuit.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Musical Interlude Bis

I just realize that my previous musical offerings could be misinterpreted as a clue to my age. So in order to prove that I am actually in my mid-thirties, here's a song more representative of my real, actual, ain't-lying age-group: The Billionnaires Are In The House, featuring 50 Billion. Now you go ahead and enjoy it while I practise my top rock and my power moves!

Thursday, September 23, 2004

I Lost On Jeopardy*

Found at Wonkette's site:

Double Jeopardy
Botswana for $1200

The inhabitants of Botswana called the San are also known by this name that could apply to Cheney & Ashcroft

Contestant 'Sam': "Uh, what are Dick?"

(Awkward studio laughter)

Alex: "No. . . "What are Bushmen?"

*Sorry, Weird Al !

Musical Interlude

Couldn't wait for Friday. So without further ado, for your reading entertainment, here's another one of my favourite songs (actually a combination of two of my favourite songs), as sung by President Bush. Oh, and did I mention they're my favourite songs?

(Promoted by Skippy the bush kangaroo at

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Hard to Understand

I've seen numerous reports of American troops deployed in Iraq that went to war full of zeal and sympathy for the Iraqis, especially the children, and then are hurt and surprised to find that their sympathy is not reciprocated. Some of them explained how their good will turned into rage and desire for revenge when they saw their best friends die in battles.

To those soldiers, I only have one question: What kind of morons are you? Let me see if I get this right: your country attacked a much poorer and weaker country that was not and has never been a threat to you. You are bombing their cities and killing their citizens. And yet somehow, you are the aggrieved victims who need to be avenged. How can you not understand, when the consequences of your actions are so immediate, so direct?

The usual comparison with Vietnam is apt in so many ways. Here's an anecdote that will add another brick to the wall. At my workplace there used to be a French woman (who has since retired), middle aged, very nice, who loved to talk to me about Vietnam, because she had an uncle and a brother in law who went there with the French army during the fifties. They used to send her those gorgeous silk blouses, beautifully embroidered by Vietnamese orphan girls in workshops run by French nuns. They told her what a great country it was, how beautiful it was, how nice the population, how great the food, etc... And she in turn wanted to tell me, thinking that I would be pleased to know how much her family enjoyed their stay in my country. And I had to agree with her. Of course, the French led a great life in Vietnam during that period: opulent villas, tons of concubines and servants and endless opportunities to make a fortune exploiting the local resources and the local manpower with the help and the blessing of the French government. Unfortunately, all good things have to end and her uncle had to leave after the Dien Bien Phu debacle. «It's so sad that it had to end that way», she said. «What I still don't understand is why you people hate us when we loved you so much!!»

Um..may be because you were the colonizers and we were the colonized?

Friday, September 17, 2004

Musical Interlude

It's one of my favorite songs (along with: «I only wanna be with you» and «Time after time» [the Cindi Lauper one]):

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Completely Lost In Translation

Petite confession: je suis linguiste, je fais de la traduction et de l'interprétation.

Tout ça pour vous expliquer que mon appréciation de la merde dans laquelle se trouvent actuellement les États-Unis est fondée sur une analyse scientifique et professionnelle des facteurs en cause et non pas sur ma profonde antipathie de M. Dubya. [Yeah, right].

Le fait est que l'étude, la connaissance et l'usage de langues autres que sa langue maternelle développent l'intelligence d'une personne. Les recherches ont montré que, comparés aux unilingues, les multilingues non seulement obtiennent de meilleurs résultats dans des tests de calcul ou de logique, mais qu'ils sont également plus intuitifs et plus aptes à capter les nuances dans les conversations ou à interpréter correctement les signes gestuels et le langage corporel de leurs interlocuteurs.

Un article récent du Christian Science Monitor ( explique les problèmes que l'insuffisance de traducteurs arabes compétents entraîne pour le gouvernement américain dans son occupation de l'Iraq, et aussi pour les Américains d'origine arabe aux États-Unis.

«Arabic is a difficult language, even for native speakers like me who have studied it for years.

There are many Arabics. Classical Arabic is derived from Islam's holy book, the Koran, and Islamic studies. It is written but rarely spoken. Modern Standard Arabic, although not spoken by the masses, is the language of modern journalism, used in newspapers and news reports. Then there is colloquial Arabic, spoken differently in each of the 22 Middle Eastern countries.

Meanwhile, within these nations there are dozens of regional dialects that add or subtract letters, words, and accents, with a sprinkling of other languages mixed in as well.

It doesn't take much to mistranslate words, because many Arabic words use the exact same letters. Arabic does not have vowel letters. Vowels appear as short lines or symbols above or below each letter, indicating pronunciation. These markings can change the meaning of the words. Often in official or handwritten documents, these vowel marks are not shown. Thus, the reader must derive the word's meaning.

Meanwhile, when spoken, many words sound alike, but have various definitions. For example, the word meaning "appear" sounds like bada. The word meaning "start" sounds like badaa, with a slight guttural inflection. When pronounced quickly in news reports or in conversations, these two words sound almost identical. But there is a big difference in saying, "He appeared to shoot," and "He started to shoot." It could mean the difference between an
acquittal and a conviction

I guess I have much more respect now for my colleagues in the Arabic section. Uh...that didn't come out right... It's not that I didn't respect them before! It's just that .. Uh.. Look, English is not my mother tongue, OK? OK? Sheesh!

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

The Male Privilege Checklist

Reprinted with permission from Barry Deutsch, aka Ampersand ( ), who was inspired by a similar list on whites' privileges compiled by Professor Peggy McIntosh.

1. My odds of being hired for a job, when competing against female applicants, are probably skewed in my favor. The more prestigious the job, the larger the odds are skewed.

2. I can be confident that my co-workers won't think I got my job because of my sex — even though that might be true.

3. If I am never promoted, it’s not because of my sex.

4. If I fail in my job or career, I can feel sure this won't be seen as a black mark against my entire sex's capabilities.

5. The odds of my encountering sexual harassment on the job are so low as to be negligible.

6. If I do the same task as a woman, and if the measurement is at all subjective, chances are people will think I did a better job.

7. If I’m a teen or adult, and if I can stay out of prison, my odds of being raped are so low as to be negligible.

8. I am not taught to fear walking alone after dark in average public spaces.

9. If I choose not to have children, my masculinity will not be called into question.

10. If I have children but do not provide primary care for them, my masculinity will not be called into question.

11. If I have children and provide primary care for them, I’ll be praised for extraordinary parenting if I'm even marginally competent.

12. If I have children and pursue a career, no one will think I'm selfish for not staying at home.

13. If I seek political office, my relationship with my children, or who I hire to take care of them, will probably not be scrutinized by the press.

14. Chances are my elected representatives are mostly people of my own sex. The more prestigious and powerful the elected position, the more likely this is to be true.

15. I can be somewhat sure that if I ask to see "the person in charge," I will face a person of my own sex. The higher-up in the organization the person is, the surer I can be.

16. As a child, chances are I was encouraged to be more active and outgoing than my sisters.

17. As a child, I could choose from an almost infinite variety of children's media featuring positive, active, non-stereotyped heroes of my own sex. I never had to look for it; male heroes were the default.

18. As a child, chances are I got more teacher attention than girls who raised their hands just as often.

19. If my day, week or year is going badly, I need not ask of each negative episode or situation whether or not it has sexist overtones.

20. I can turn on the television or glance at the front page of the newspaper and see people of my own sex widely represented, every day, without exception.

21. If I'm careless with my financial affairs it won't be attributed to my sex.

22. If I'm careless with my driving it won't be attributed to my sex.

23. I can speak in public to a large group without putting my sex on trial.

24. If I have sex with a lot of people, it won't make me an object of contempt or derision.

25. There are value-neutral clothing choices available to me; it is possible for me to choose clothing that doesn't send any particular message to the world.

26. My wardrobe and grooming are relatively cheap and consume little time.

27. If I buy a new car, chances are I'll be offered a better price than a woman buying the same car.

28. If I'm not conventionally attractive, the disadvantages are relatively small and easy to ignore.

29. I can be loud with no fear of being called a shrew. I can be aggressive with no fear of being called a bitch.

30. I can ask for legal protection from violence that happens mostly to men without being seen as a selfish special interest, since that kind of violence is called "crime" and is a general social concern. (Violence that happens mostly to women is usually called "domestic violence" or "acquaintance rape," and is seen as a special interest issue.)

31. I can be confident that the ordinary language of day-to-day existence will always include my sex. "All men are created equal…," mailman, chairman, freshman, he.

32. My ability to make important decisions and my capability in general will never be questioned depending on what time of the month it is.

33. I will never be expected to change my name upon marriage or questioned if i don't change my name.

34. The decision to hire me will never be based on assumptions about whether or not I might choose to have a family sometime soon.

35. Every major religion in the world is led primarily by people of my own sex. Even God, in most major religions, is usually pictured as being male.

36. Most major religions argue that I should be the head of my household, while my wife and children should be subservient to me.

37. If I have a wife or live-in girlfriend, chances are we'll divide up household chores so that she does most of the labor, and in particular the most repetitive and unrewarding tasks.

38. If I have children with a wife or girlfriend, chances are she'll do most of the childrearing, and in particular the most dirty, repetitive and unrewarding parts of childrearing.

39. If I have children with a wife or girlfriend, and it turns out that one of us needs to make career sacrifices to raise the kids, chances are we'll both assume the career sacrificed should be hers.

40. Magazines, billboards, television, movies, pornography, and virtually all of media is filled with images of scantily-clad women intended to appeal to me sexually. Such images of men exist, but are much rarer.

41. I am not expected to spend my entire life 20-40 pounds underweight.

42. If I am heterosexual, it’s incredibly unlikely that I’ll ever be beaten up by a spouse or lover.

43. I have the privilege of being unaware of my male privilege.

Y' a ma motto qu'a des ratés

Just got this email from a friend:
«Good motto to live by ... "Life should NOT be a journey to
the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and
well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, Champagne in one hand,
strawberries in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and
screaming "WOO HOO -what a ride!"»
Let see now:
Champagne - - Yeah, sure, that would be nice.
Strawberry - - Why not, if it's in season (on sale).
Used up, worn out body - - Check!
Scream - - «Screaming» is my middle name, according to my children.

Yessss! Two out of four, fifty fucking percent! Who's your daddy? Who's your daddy? That's right, beeatch!!!!

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

There is only one Samsara - Give it to me!

There's this nice webpage where they make slogans for you while you wait:, and this is the slogan they created for me: «There's only one Samsara - Give it to me!».

I guess it's better than the other slogan they suggested: «Drinka Pinta Samsara A Day»... I think.

Pro-active cruelty

You've heard, of course, of Ms Lynne Gobbels, who got fired because she had a pro-Kerry bumper sticker on her car and refused to follow her boss's order to remove it? No? Go to: Her story has been dissiminated all over the blogosphere, provoking the usual reactions: «I thought the US was a democracy?», «She should sue the bastards», etc... A fund has been set up to help her out, until she can get another job or collect unemployment.

There are also other types of reaction, for example: «Better she be fired then [sic] thousands of us lose our jobs under a John Kerry failed economy», or «Sporting a Kerry sticker not only shows poor judgement, but substandard intelligence - both valid reasons for dismissal», «Just from looking at her, I'd fire her too», etc.

I have to marvel at how people can rejoice at the misfortune of a complete stranger and post cruel comments about her on the web for the whole world to see. Now if the victim were a public figure, let's say Julia Roberts or Donald Trump, and I were jealous of her looks or his fortune, I could very well imagine myself feeling a perverse happiness to see them suffer. But someone I don't know, whom I've never met and probably never will, who hasn't done anything to me? I don't think I could go through the trouble of actively typing and posting some vicious insults at her, thus demonstrating my foul character. That's a lot of energy expanded just to be nasty, don't you think?

Today's resolution: Explain the concept of karma to as many people as possible.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Changement de régime

Je n'ai pas pour habitude d'étaler en public mes problèmes pondéraux qui, je dois l'avouer, ne me préoccupaient pas beaucoup jusqu'ici. De temps en temps, j'ai des velléités de régime, notamment lorsque je n'arrive pas à entrer dans mes vêtements ou lorsque j'intercepte par hasard mon image dans un miroir, mais sinon, mes deux principes en la matière sont: «Live and let live» et «What-e-ver!». Hélas, la dégradation physique du corps humain est inexorable et la réalité n'est ni polie ni délicate. Le docteur est tout aussi implacable: j'ai le choix entre: 1) perdre du poids ou 2) perdre la bataille contre l'hypertension, et paraît-il, l'hypertension ne fait pas de prisonnier ... ou de la dentelle, je ne sais plus.

Toujours est-il que j'ai dû consacrer plus de temps que je ne voudrais à la recherche du régime idéal (manger ce que je veux, autant que je veux, et perdre du poids en dormant). Finalement, une copine en qui j'ai confiance me confie son secret: sauter le repas du soir. En fait, son système correspond en tout point à mon objectif: je peux manger ce que je veux, autant que je veux, avant le coucher du soleil et si je vais me coucher sans souper, je perdrai du poids en dormant.

Que fait l'homme quand il se trouve à la porte du paradis? You've guessed it: il rebrousse chemin. Je me bourre tous les jours avant le coucher du soleil et ensuite, le soir venu, j'«oublie» que je suis au régime, et je me prépare un gros souper. Résultat: je grossis et ensuite, je me méprise pour mon auto-sabotage. En conclusion: Depuis que j'ai commencé mon régime, la seule chose que j'ai perdu est mon sourire. J'ai également éliminé mes chances de coucher un jour avec George Clooney.

La morale de l'histoire: Si ce n'est toi, y a personne d'autre.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Waah! Waah!

My new blog is born! What a blast! As with the birth of my biological children, I start worrying : Will it be a good blog? Will it be a happy blog? Will people like it or hate it? Will I care?

What is it about me that needs to expose myself this way and let other people peer freely into my feelings, my thoughts, my life? Part of me keeps saying: why should anyone care? And the other part is trying to (feebly) defend the decision: everyone else is doing it!!

So... There you have it. My first blog.