Tuesday, February 07, 2006

A Threat to My Esteem, Apparently. Not.

From the WaPo, on fashion (or, perhaps FASHION)

NEW YORK -- Apparently a significant number of parents have stopped insisting that their sons eat their vegetables, drink their milk and take their Flintstones vitamins. This group of underfed boys is growing up to become models and threatening the self-esteem of men who always cleaned their plates.

Kick sand in their faces if you want. They will keep on coming. And their hair will be perfectly tousled.

Back in the days before metrosexuals, "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" and entire books dedicated to grooming products, the models marching down menswear runways tended to look a bit sheepish and embarrassed to be there. They gave the impression that they had been coerced into participating through some form of blackmail involving tequila shots and police officers with no sense of humor. The men were rakish and slim, but they did not have the look of hunger associated with their female counterparts.

Now the fellas mostly look happy to be on the catwalk, pleased with the opportunity to preen and strut. But too many of them have the underdeveloped physiques of 12-year-olds. Some possess a preternatural boyish demeanor and look to be up past their bedtime.

This was especially striking Friday when menswear designer John Varvatos presented his fall collection. Varvatos has built his reputation on an aesthetic that celebrates grown-up men. His clothes have always suggested a version of masculinity that is both familiar and reassuring, neither exaggerated nor understated. The palette, as in the past, is dominated by pine, mushroom, sage and lapis, with silhouettes that leave room for broad shoulders and strong legs, but also a bit of leeway for the paunchy gentleman who spends more time riding around in a golf cart than walking 18 holes.


"The paunchy gentlemen"? As Ronald Reagan said, "My chairman, I paid for this paunch!" (Okay, no he didn't. He said microphone, but....). But I did pay for this paunch. One pizza, and one Guinness, at a time. It is not so much a paunch as an investment. I don't need pine, mushroom, sage, and lapis (sounds like a recipe, not a palette! Just toss with some angel hair and extra virgin olive oil, which the lapis will turn a nice blue color)

Monday, February 06, 2006

So, I'm a Corvette

Or so they say here.

I'm a Chevrolet Corvette!

You're a classic - powerful, athletic, and competitive. You're all about winning the race and getting the job done. While you have a practical everyday side, you get wild when anyone pushes your pedal. You hate to lose, but you hardly ever do.

I actually usually lose. And if by "classic", you mean old, then yes. I'm like the demographer: demographers never die, but they get broken down by sex and age.

Size Matters

La Professora gets La Shafta.

She wonders if being big makes a difference.

I'm afraid it does.

Humans are apes.

Human men are not very bright apes.

I am 6'1", and I weigh 260. I can bench press about 230, and look kind of mad, even when I am happy. My chest is 48", and my waist is 38". I clearly come from slow, dull-witted northern European muck-slingers and beaters-with-clubs. Short legs, large torso, thick neck. Not pretty, but a silverback.

None of this means I am a bad ass. Michelle could easily kick my ass, with just a little martial arts training (which, for all I know, she already has. Note to self: be nice to Michelle).

An interesting overall question: should women be policemen? (you know what I mean).

Female police are MUCH more likely to be involved in fights or at least resistance from suspects. Large men don't have to fight.

And, this is SEPARATE from whether the woman is in fact able to defend herself effectively. She may be much more able to kick butt than some big, slow guy. The problem is that she HAS to, whereas the big guy just commands by size.

So, it seems to me that women are much better suited to being combat infantry or fighter pilots than they are to being regular street cops.

Of course, it is easy to think of counterarguments, and it is ultimately an empirical question. Flip side might be that male suspects have to try to act bad, and challenge a male cop, whereas a female cop is not so threatening and can take guys into custody without fighting. Overall, there is no "gender of the officer" difference in compliance, it appears. And females probably would not engage in testosterone-induced private punishments like this.

Still, I think men (yes, including me) are apes.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Friday, February 03, 2006

Black and Decker to Testify

Story in the News and Observer this morning, with headline (yes, I'm serious)

"Black and Decker Told to Testify"

The State Board of Elections has directed House Speaker Jim Black and a key ally, former Rep. Michael Decker, to testify next week at an inquiry into possible illegal campaign activity.

Decker, a Forsyth County Republican, helped Black remain in power by switching to the Democratic Party just before the 2003 legislative session. That allowed Black, a Democrat from Mecklenburg County, to enter into a power-sharing agreement with Republican Richard Morgan of Moore County.

During the time of Decker's switch, people in professions that have often aided Black's campaigns with political contributions sent thousands of dollars to Decker's campaign.

The elections board issued several subpoenas this week to people who contributed to Decker's campaign at the time of his party switch. They include optometrists, video poker operators, chiropractors and nurse practitioners.

The board served Black on Thursday with a subpoena to testify; Decker was served Tuesday. The board also served Black's legislative executive assistant, Meredith Swindell, and his campaign treasurer, Virginia Kelly. All four are scheduled to appear Wednesday.

Black and Decker could not be reached for comment. Black said in a statement that he is "fully cooperating with the investigation and would have been happy to appear with or without a subpoena."

So, write your own joke. Here's mine: "Black and Decker turn out to be just tools of the Democratic administration. You know the drill: first it's only a bit, but soon the whole thing turns into a router."

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

A Thong in My Heart, and A Bun in the Oven

Cafe Press has Ludwig von Mises thongs for sale (as told on Div-o-Lab).

Right under the thongs? Baby clothes. I'm not saying it's causal, but....first thong, then baby clothes. I'm just sayin'.

I'm not sure this was the kind of Human Action Mises had in mind.