Press "Enter" to skip to content

Friday follies

Total follies:

Plain old informative or thought-provoking weekend reads:

And in the good news department:

Have a great weekend.


  1. Kevin Wilmeth
    Kevin Wilmeth May 28, 2010 11:33 am

    Interesting article on body image. I found myself making mental comparisons to “being a good citizen”, at least (ahem) as the state defines that. And that leads back to the abusive-spouse metaphor…one could go on.

    Also, a fascinating irony for me personally. Growing up myself, I was always haunted by the idea that I would not prove to be “enough” for the subject of my own affections, and in trying to frame or mold myself to the imagined ideal, doubtless projected a great deal of the desperation-vibe as a consequence.

    Somewhere along the way, my thick skull actually yielded and I came to realize that I quite like who I am; at that moment many things started to fall into place, and the level of effort required to maintain it all just fell away like the vapor it had always been.

    And suddenly, I could see all sorts of things I was blind to before–including beauty in places I’d never noticed. People I’d never noticed. It’s not overstatement to say that my entire aesthetic for beauty changed, including my taste in women. The cultural bar for what is now called “hotness”, where and when I grew up, was absurdly specific and rigorous, and–because that was what was expected–that’s what I looked at, and for. But after the (for lack of a better word) awakening, I found myself noticing just how many of the “right” shape and form were simply devoid of any inner light–some because they were just plain trying too hard (“my God, honey, if you’d only smile from time to time…”), and others in which it may never have been there at all.

    At the same time, I found myself noticing all kinds of other shapes and forms, often sporting a je ne sais quoi that was not just attractive but blindingly so. The whole world got a lot more beautiful when I started to look at it for what it really is, rather than what someone else said it should be.*

    I’m sure that the basic story is familiar to many who “got it” sooner than I did. And, as the article well states, it’s gotta be harder for women both because of the volume of propaganda and the differences in wiring which make that particular style of propaganda hit closer to home. I just couldn’t help but notice, here, the irony that the “projecting desperation” problem that so plagued me before, may be just exactly the same thing that results from someone else’s ideal pushing too many women into an unhealthy relationship with their own bodies.

    And that, neatly, comes right back to other forms of propaganda, operating just the same way. Say, for example, the idea that taxes are voluntary, or that the state will pay for something so you don’t have to

    I think that, ultimately, it’s precisely the same battle.

    * This again gets close to what I would love to be able to communicate to those who say that “freedomistas” are all misanthropic hermits who see the bad in everything.

  2. ff42
    ff42 May 28, 2010 12:09 pm

    The gold author is either ignorant or a liar: “Everyone knows the price has risen about fivefold in the past decade. But this is not due to some mystical truth or magical act of levitation. It is simply because there have been more buyers than sellers.” IMO, gold has risen (in part) because the dollar has fallen, that is partly because of inflation, which the author didn’t mention.

  3. Matt
    Matt May 28, 2010 1:46 pm


    How long did it take you to learn that? I learned not to worry about an artifical ideal a long time ago. It opened me up to see people (especially) women as they are. It was a relief. I have since made freinds with lots more people and enjoy people a lot more. Along the way I learned to like myself too!

  4. Ellendra
    Ellendra May 28, 2010 9:33 pm

    Body image is a hard thing to deal with for women. There’s enormous pressure, even in casual conversation. I’ve learned not to discuss food with other women, because of the pressure to diet.

    On the other hand, being in a wheelchair for 2 years changed my perspective on a lot of things. At my brother’s wedding last month, me and my extra 40 pounds had a great time dancing, and I don’t care what people thought of it!

  5. Kevin Wilmeth
    Kevin Wilmeth May 28, 2010 10:51 pm

    Aw hell, Matt, truth be told I was dense as a post for a good long time; although I had freedom tendencies from childhood, I had to wrestle through many of the classic hypocrisies over many years before it occurred to me that I could let go of them all, completely. (I don’t think that I was quite the “Shallow Hal” example–my reputation throughout adolescence was quite literally “the nice guy”–but it was still startling to see just how much more beauty there was out there once I was not actively, if subconsciously, filtering so many things out.)

  6. Pat
    Pat May 29, 2010 6:20 am

    In “Overcoming Resistance to Change”, the author said: “But if you only sell your idea of change based on idealistic, unseen promises of reward, you won’t be nearly as effective in moving people to action. The power of the human fight-or-flight response can be activated to fight for change, but that begins with the perception of risk.”

    Schuler places this as No. 1 reason, and I suspect he’s right in the case of liberty, for isn’t this where resistance starts? Oddly enough, not only because the resister perceives liberty as a risk (or doesn’t understand the benefit of it!), but because he doesn’t see the risk involved in staying where he is.

    Education is the key to counteracting fear of risk; likewise education can work to undermine the complacency of the status quo. But strident pedagogy won’t work. A good place to start teaching from is “Kent’s Liberty Primer” .

Leave a Reply