April 2009

A middle school principle should not ever, ever, EVER be allowed to strip search a 13-year-old girl without the consent of her parents. Not ever. You’d think that would go without saying. But for the 70-year-old men on the Supreme Court, it’s no biggie. The court heard oral argument this week on the case of Savana Redding, a girl who was strip searched after some one told the principal she was passing out ibuprofen.

Justice Breyer, who’s supposed to be one of the good guys, can’t see why forcing a young teenage girl to disrobe on command from her teachers might be a problem. “In my experience when I was 8 or 10 or 12 years old, you know, we did take our clothes off once a day, we changed for gym, OK? And in my experience, too, people did sometimes stick things in my underwear.”

What? And that was Breyer. By Dahlia Lithwick’s account, Scalia and Thomas were gleefully chortling at the ridiculousness of the ACLU’s claim that you should think twice before demanding a teen strip. Slate intern Lindsey Hough was strip searched when she was in middle school, and captures my outrage perfectly:

They made me take the shirt off, and obliterated any sense of autonomy I thought I had. I got the sense the counselor knew she was doing something fishy but covered by “bringing in the nurse who has to check it out.” Forced to sit shirtless in front of these two women, I felt exposed and humiliated, embarrassed and angry. I felt they weren’t just judging my actions but my body. We talk a lot on the XX Factor about young women and their changing ideas about privacy. But no matter who you are, being forced to take your clothes off against your will is an act of humiliation, embarrassment, and violation. It stings to know that 8 years after my own strip search, those feelings still don’t matter.


The Big Money makes an interesting if obvious point this week about “save our show” campaigns: they don’t work. When word spread that a show (particularly one with a cult following) is on the chopping the block fans take to the online streets, blogging and circulating petitions to encourage network execs to keep their program alive. But as recent examples Firefly and Arrested Development prove, these campaigns fail. Miserably. In fact, I can’t think of a single example of them working. The closest would be Family Guy, which famously rose to the dead as a result of DVD sales…but that’s not really the same thing as blogging.

The reason is simple. Television execs make decisions based on the Nielsen Ratings, so unless you have one of those boxes plugged into your TV, CBS have a clue what you want to watch. Rounding up friends and convincing them to watch Dollhouse won’t make a difference. But there is hope. As with everything else, the internet is the solution:

The alternative is to drive people where they can actually be counted—and these days that’s online. The Internet offers metrics everywhere you turn. The networks can analyze the number of streams, number of ad impressions, number of page views, number of visits, number of visitors, number of comments, etc. It’s a democratic space where the eyes and participation of fans can actually be seen by the network bosses making the decisions. Unlike with analog TV, online fans can actually speak directly to power. So whether it’s through iTunes, Hulu, or one of the networks’ proprietary streams, the smart way to campaign for a show’s renewal is to stream it after the fact.

This makes sense, and it’s better anyway. I don’t really get why I even pay for cable anymore. And DVR’s…what’s the point?

Yesterday was Student Scholarship Recognition Day (SSRD), a silly but glorious excuse for 90% of students to sleep in and 10% of students to try to impress their professors. Falling in the majority, I elected to sleep in. But by 6PM I still haven’t left my apartment and the Xbox was losing my attention. I was hungry, but for some reason Subway didn’t sound appetizing. I was craving chili–the homemade kind served with cornbread.

I’m not a horrible cook, I’m just not a cook. At least, I haven’t been. I’ve always thought of food preperation as a waste of time–all that cutting, dicing, boiling, etc… is unnecessary when you can just heat something up in the microwave. Also, I’ve always been scared of cooking with meat because I’m afraid of messing it up and poisoning myself. But this week, I conquored the fear. I made a meal! With meat! Like this:


  • One thingy of ground beef
  • A big yellow onion, chopped up
  • A big can of cut up tomatoes
  • A few little garlic clumps, chopped up
  • 2 smaller cans of black beans (could use pinto or kidney beans, if their names weren’t gross)
  • A couple jalepenos chopped up
  • Quite a bit of chili powder
  • Some cayenne pepper
  • Some ground cumin

(there might be some other stuff but I think that’s all)


  1. Put the ground beef in a big pot and turn on the heat until it starts getting brown.
  2. Put in the garlic, onions, and spices and mix it all up for a little while.
  3. Put in the other stuff (oh yeah, drain the beans!)
  4. Boil it for a minute or two
  5. Turn down the heat and let it do something called “simmer” (“shimmer”?) for 15 minutes
  6. Eat it! Recommended with sour creme mixed up into it.

This would probably be even better with real beef, but I don’t know what that’s called or how to cook it.

Hooray for cooking! Makes enough to eat a lot and still have leftovers later.

  1. I should be able to hand in outlines instead of papers.  ^ heg chcks russian nukes is pretty self explanatory…why do i need a paragraph to say it?
  2. I shouldn’t need to explicitly answer opposing points of view in papers…that’s just giving away free disads. Read the preemts section, foo!
  3. Coming up with a long list of reasons why something is true should discourage people from challenging my assumptions.
  4. Cap Bad should be an acceptable answer to any essay test. For example, Q: “How does Millet’s ‘The Gleaner’s’ compare and contrast with David’s “Oath of the Horatii’?” A: “Ummmm…you endorse capitalism.”
  5. Same goes for politix.
  6. Every class should relate to nuke war or environmental collapse.
  7. If the professor’s lecture or reading material doesn’t match syllabus, or if the syllabus isn’t specific enough, or if it’s too specific, I get to leave class.
  8. Grades should be as inflated as speaker points.
  9. Speech times are not optional, Professor Hull. I don’t flow after the timer goes off.
  10. My partner should clean up all my messes and do all my work. 😉