Friday, February 29, 2008

Ei oo helppoa

The list of people whom I will order publicly flogged as soon as I become the queen of the world is growing. I have added to it:

- the people who manufacture several slightly different kinds of hardware, and believe that the same manual suits all of them, when it clearly doesn't,
- the people who manufacture several slightly different kinds of hardware and never tell you which one of them you are holding in your hands (as in "this motherboard comes with either 10/100 Mb LAN or with gigabyte LAN. We are not gonna write it on the box, so take a wild guess."),
- the people who say "this motherboard works with all the processors of the XXX series", meaning "this motherboard works with all the processors of the XXX series manufactured up until now, and we are not gonna bother listing them",
- the people who make modems that appear to work in a routed mode with a static IP, and let you put that IP in the confs, but have no place in the confs for the netmask and the gateway. At least not anywhere findable.

Do I sound a bit stressed?

Saw some weird nightmares lately. One on them involved a small airplane, a huge dick with balls, and a number of palm trees.

Went karting with coworkers, stressed a bit about that in advance. It was even worse than I imagined but nothing acutely evil happened. I could never understand the fun of driving little carlike things when you can drive actual cars, and I feel uncomfortable in the open vehicles in general (note to my army of admirers: you won't impress me with a ride in a convertible, so don't even try). In addition to that the karts had small seats that heat up under you until you become seriously concerned about your ass becoming a smoked ham, horrible smell, weird steering wheel, and the helmets, while obviously necessary, were very unpleasant to wear. On the positive side: the thing constitutes a very efficient ass massage.

My modem croaked yesterday morning. It died on me and needed a reboot and sometimes a reset several times before, but yesterday neither reboot nor reset helped. The amount of stress and rage with which I reacted to it surprised even myself. Anyway, the modem went back to the store. Instead of giving me my money back or a new one, they decided to fix this one (why? why? it never works! every time some company takes some piece of hadware back to "fix it", it ends with them giving me a new one back), and let me borrow another one in the meanwhile. Of course theirs did not support Annex M. Worse, it didn't have a manual. "You just stick it into the wall and into the computer and it will work." - "I have a static IP and it needs to be configured." - "It's work anyway, just wait and see."

Well, did it work? Right... Luckily I had a manual of a similar modem, but even that wasn't of much help.

On top of that, gynecological unpleasantness. No, nothing dramatic or dangerous, just routine maintenance. The routine maintenance in this case involves removing a metal object from the cervix and sticking a new one up there. No fun.

On the brighter side of life:

A nice dinner with coworkers in a Greek place called Minos in Kamppi, and some beer afterwards.

Saw the new Rambo. Very violent, very therapeutic for a person who just had a major fight with her modem, and went for a beer with a friend afterwards, which was also fun.

The motherboard and video card that my parents sent me finally arrived, so can perform unnatural acts on my computer.

Nebula customer support rocks! They really helped me with the evil modem, so now I have the Net connection again.

Friday! Hurrah!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Young Pioneers meet un-Easter Bunny

Palestinians' democratically elected terrorist organization Hamas has apparently got tired of being known only for blowing up Jews, shooting Fatah members and saying "our proud people will never listen to any demands from the West, but please give generously". Now they decided to produce TV shows for children, too.

The series is called Pioneers of Tomorrow and features Assud the Bunny, who promises to eat the Jews up. Now he wants to eat some Danes, too, while simultaneously boycotting Danish food.

Sheesh. Is it properly Islamic to have a character that so suspiciously resembles the Easter Bunny? Can't they have a more Islamic animal? (I wonder what a proper Islamic animal would be, though. A camel?) And what's with the name? Pioneers of Tomorrow, for fuck's sake! Doesn't Hamas have any sense of style? Do they have to sound like Soviet Union in the seventies? Wouldn't Martyrs of tomorrow fit their style better?

Monday, February 25, 2008

Life and Cuban democracy

Haven't written for a few days now: had a lot to do at work, a rather intense social life, and was generally tired.

The intense social life included, among other cool things, a game session (finally! finally! it's been centuries since the last one!) where my character engaged in animal abuse and long for the quiet and peaceful life she used to have as an assassin, and a party with those thick pancakes that Finns call blinis and believe to be Russian, but I have never seen in Russia. They are a great invention though, and the party was great. I should ask for the recipe. Except that I am not eating anything ever again. Or drinking.

In the meanwhile Fidel Castro retired. His brother Raul was elected as the new president by the National Assembly of People's Power, the Cuban parliament. He got 100% of the vote. The Cuban democracy is working as usual.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Now that's what I call a real gay capital!

Tel Aviv has long been known as the gay capital of the Middle East, but I did not know that they fuck so hard that they cause earthquakes.

That fills me with so much ethnic pride... Go Israelis!

But this is evil, evil speech!

As I have said earlier, the biggest threat to the freedom of speech is, of course, us. Some, however, are more so than others.

I wanted to write something about the current scandal with child porn Internet censorship, but I couldn't find a single printable word, so you better read a summary by Kai Puolamäki.

The Powers That Be have been just lovely lately. First, the state prosecutor Mika Illman (of the "criticism of foreigners is OK as long as it's not pronounced out loud" fame) wants to moderate forums, blogs, chats and IRC after the fact, like radio or TV, revealing not only a total lack of understanding of the technologies involved, but, a lot more disturbingly, a total lack of understanding of the difference between the public and the private conversation.

Man, we obviously can't even afford a moderator for the state prosecutor's office. How do you expect every IRC channel to have one?

The the Minister of the Interior Anne Holmlund informs us that chat forums are like all other places of entertainment, and therefore need to have somebody who'd keep the order, like in all other places of entertainment. Don't know where Ms. Holmlund hangs out for fun IRL, but if that place has people who keep order by telling everybody present what they are allowed or not allowed to talk about, I am sure glad I don't hang out there.

And now the Minister of Communications, Suvi Linden, is saying that talking about spreading child pornography as a test for freedom of speech is unacceptable. By this she is referring to the webpage of Matti Nikki, which is about the Internet censorship and has the list of sites banned by police's secret lists.

One thing I am curious about: if somebody puts up a site that lists all the stupid things the politicians have said lately, how long will it take for it to go on the secret child pornography list?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Lust, Caution (mild spoilers)

Saw Lust, Caution yesterday. It was very good if one likes the kind of high-quality melodrama that Ang Lee is good at - and I do.

It starts out almost comically, then gradually moves through darker to very dark.

The translation was not very good (no, I don't understand enough Chinese to know, but I've seen a more detailed translation of this movie). First of all, they omitted all reference to Chunking, where some characters were getting their orders from, making the viewer guess whether our young patriotic heroes were Communist or Kuomintang (not that it has any bearing on the plot, but in spite of sounding like young Communist heroes in the Russian movies they are most likely Kuomintang).

Also: what is it with using the title Tai-Tai in the Finnish texts? I understand using well-known foreign titles like Mr or Mrs or Madame or Frau, but since I really don't think that Tai-Tai is a common knowledge here, why is it not rouva?

The moral of the movie, if any: being a spy is bad for your sex life, and the other way around, too.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Good-bye, Viking

I do not, generally speaking, travel on the Finland-Sweden ferries to eat. I know that some people who have discussed that issue on various web forums, as well as the owners and managers of said ferries, might disapprove of it, but in general I don't. I have nothing against the fact that many people regard those ferries as giant floating eating and drinking establishments, but I regard them as transportation to and from Stockholm, and to a certain extent as somewhat-cheaper liquor stores.

I don't mind eating in those restaurants if people I am with want to, but if not, I am quite content with sandwiches and suchlike that I bring with me. Yeah, I know they sell sandwiches there, too. I, however, make better sandwiches (I used to do that for a living, and when I am making a sandwich for myself I am obviously a lot less concerned about the price and a lot more concerned about my own taste than Viking Line is). Moreover, I don't think I have any moral obligation to shop or go to the restaurants on the boat if I don't feel like it. I do shop quite a lot, but that's because they have cheaper booze. Their food is not any better or cheaper than in Finland.

Viking Line seems to disagree. Sometime last fall they started confiscating sandwiches from passengers going onboard. For the sake of security, you know. Their PR person, Johanna Boijer-Svahnström, said that there have been cases when people were heating up their food on camping stoves.

I understand the problem with camping stoves, fire safety, and suchlike. However, how likely is a passenger to heat up a sandwich on a camping stove? Especially if he doesn't have an actual camping stove?

"We don't allow it. You can't bring your own food onboard. One could say that if you are going on a cruise, then you should eat there."

She also says that the cruise lasts from the evening till the morning, that during the night the sandwiches can go bad, and the epidemic caused by bad food would be a nightmare to them. I wonder whether she thinks that a person with a few sandwiches can do the Jesus fish trick and feed them to all the other passengers, or that a food poisoning is a contagious disease, or that people bring plague sandwiches with a side order of Ebola.

They have to be careful with the security out at sea, she says. Not as careful as an airplane, but more careful than in a hotel.

That was in September. At the time, a certain web forum quoted Viking Line's rules: "3. Elintarvikkeiden, ruuanlaittovälineiden, alkoholin tai huumeiden tuonti laivalle on kielletty." (It is forbidden to bring food, cooking devices, alcohol or drugs.) This is quite a bit more restrictive than an airplane: I've brought food, cooking devices and alcohol many times on an airplane without any problems whatsoever. The only restrictions were that the cooking devices could not have fuel in them, and nowadays the liquids have to be in the checked luggage.

Viking line was sorely in need of a reality check, such as a reminder that they are in the business of transporting people from place A to place B, and that people might want to transport stuff with them, including, yes, food, alcohol and cooking devices.

The reality check arrived, one way or another, and now the same rules say "3. Viking Line ei salli matkustajien tuoda mukanaan elintarvikkeita, joista on tarkoitus valmistaa aterioita matkan aikana." (Viking Line does not allow passengers to bring foods which are intended for cooking meals during the trip.) This is, BTW, a change from yesterday, when they said "3. Matkustajat eivät saa valmistaa omia mukanaan tuomiaan ruokia laivalla." (Passengers are not to cook foods that they have brought onboard.) The rule proceeds to give examples of stuff you can bring onboard: baby food, food for allergic people. "Uncookable food for those who either don't like our stuff are are not willing to pay for it" remains unmentioned, but I don't see how it could be against the anti-cooking rule.

Except that a few days ago they confiscated cookies, chips and bananas from some family. Sorry, but if they consider cookies, chips and bananas to be foods exclusively or even primarily meant for cooking, especially in the absence of a cooking device, this means that Viking Line has gone, well, bananas.

I think I'll switch to Silja from now on. They might have higher prices, but they don't have stupid rules that they change every day and break every time they feel like it. Besides, IIRC they have a better tax-free.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

They called that a millet system in the Ottoman empire

I wish the people who call for using Sharia (or, god forbid, Halakha) in the West checked out how well it works before trying it.

There is a more or less first-world country where civil law is handled by religious communities: Israel. I know that in most of the western media Israel is just an evil country to blame wherever Jews are killing Arabs, Arabs are killing Jews, Arabs are killing each other or anything else bad happens in or around the Middle East, or, in case of the more conservative media, a brave little democratic country resisting Islamic onslaught. But there is more to the place than their bad relations with Muslims, and I think that everyone who is interested in immigration and multiculturalism issues, from any perspective, should study their experience.

Anyway, one thing that they have is that the civil law is handled by the religious communities. Check out how well it worked out for them. Also check out why thousands of them get married in Cyprus every year.

"That's our dragon! He'll protect us from other dragons!"

Hannu's and Pasi's recent comments on my blog made me think:

It is fairly common nowadays among the anti-jihad bloggers, both religious and secular, to partially blame the current problems with islamism on secularism, and to believe that a new rise of Christianity would help us against it. (The issue of other religions is usually best left unmentioned in this context.)

That seems somehow very wrong to me. Usually I prefer not to write about the issue, because I have a very strong prejudice against religion and am aware of it. But OTOH a lot of people are quite prejudiced one way or another, and most of what can be said about this, especially with regard to the future, is just guesswork.

The question is not whether or not Christianity is nicer than Islam. It is rather self-evident that it is. It's not whether or not it has always been nicer than Islam, either. The problem with such thinking is that the current versions of Western Christianity are obviously insufficient to keep the unwanted influences of any other religion out, and the versions that were in force during the times of Charles Martel or Isabel la Católica are unacceptable to us. (OK, to me, anyway - it might be acceptable to you, but that just means that we want very different things.) I am not convinced that there is any usable version of kinder, gentler but tougher Christianity between the two.

The other problem is that I, sorry, just don't trust the fuckers. (Not the Jewish ones either.) There is a lot of perfectly nice members of clergy, but in general I don't trust clergy as potential defenders of religious freedoms. Think about all the Islamic trouble is the last few years, starting with the blasphemous cartoons. Some of the clerical voices rose in defense of the secular society and the freedom of speech, but there was just too many of "respect for religion? yes, yes, please, us too!".

When the Archmoron of Canterbury called for use of Sharia in the UK, there was a lot of angry voices reminding him that he is, basically, arguing for empowering imams and disempowering, for example, 18-year-old Pakistani girls brought into the country for marriage with some relative. I wonder whether he envisions a similar power for himself, and whether the natural next step after Halakha and Sharia courts would be the courts where Christian clergy could decide on the affairs of Christians in a Christian way, whatever that is.

Flu moves in mysterious ways

Why does rest make flu/cold better, even though most people, certainly myself included, are not lacking any physical energy to burn? Is there something about the resting heartbeat rate that helps? Is it unhealthy to masturbate during a flu?

Why does it always start with some sore spot in the nose, or the throat, and then moves around there? What determines where it starts, and where it goes?

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Are you looking cute for me?

A lot of men seem to believe that women dress to impress men. Not just in some general evolutionary sense that women generally want to look good because men generally like it, but in a very specific sense that when a woman leaves her home and looks sexy, she has done it on purpose in order to impress the men who happen to see her.

It's obvious that nothing that a woman can say would make them believe otherwise, but I have a question to the men who hold the belief stated above, if any of them happen to read my blog:

To which extent do you dress to impress women? When you put on a pair of fairly tight jeans, do you actually think "mmm, women probably like the way my ass looks in those"? When you open your ponytail, do you think of all the women who'd love to run their hands through your hair? When you wear a tight t-shirt, or a shirt with short sleeves, is that specifically so we could check out your muscles? When the upper buttons on your shirt are open, is it so we can take a look? When you wear shorts, is it to show your legs to us?

(No, I don't attach a particular moral value to either answer, I am just curious. I don't particularly care whether you do it for us or for yourselves, as long as you do it.)

Friday, February 08, 2008

Is there something in the water?

(Via Juha Kettunen):

I've always suspected that the Finnish Islamic party is mostly the result of insufficient mental health services, and this totally confirms it. Abdullah Tammi wants death penalty for sex outside of marriage. Of course, the majority of Finns should first convert to Islam, or know Sharia well. In the long run, Tammi wants to replace Finnish laws by Sharia law.

Helsingin Sanomat of course decided to omit such insignificant details and instead concentrates of Tammi's intention to make changes in sex education. It doesn't really give any details of the proposed changes, which makes my prejudiced mind conjure all kinds of possibilities, from "how to beat your wife" to "how to check your daughter's virginity".

The party intends to run in the municipal elections, if they find enough signatures to get themselves registered.

In other news of the weird, a Somali woman tried to hijack an Air New Zealand flight to Australia, stabbing two pilots in the process. Didn't anyone tell the idiot that a) Australia probably extradites hijackers, b) it would be cheaper to buy a ticket, all things considered, and c) stabbing pilots during a flight is not very conductive to successful landing, in Australia or elsewhere?

Thursday, February 07, 2008

"And justice for all..."

The UK has to face up to the fact that some of its citizens do not relate to the British legal system, says the cleric. Adopting parts of Islamic Sharia law would help maintain social cohesion. The argument that "there's one law for everybody... I think that's a bit of a danger". Sharia law in UK is unavoidable.

No, it's not Abu Izzadeen, Abu Hamza, or Omar Bakri. It's Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Having one law for everybody is a bit of a danger now. In the UK. I didn't think I'd live to see the day. Damn, I didn't even think that Britain would live to see the day.

Yeah, I know he is just one more crazy cleric, and one doesn't have to listen to what he says, but the fact is that this is the senior leader of the Church of England. In case of the crazy imams there are always people thinking up some excuses of why they shouldn't be responsible like real people. What's his excuse?

"No, your Honor, I didn't do any of the stuff you saw on tape"

I've been wondering what out old friend Abu Izzadeen has been up to and why hasn't he been in the news for a while.

Turns out he has been waiting for his trial, and apparently, unlike some other fundamentalists, has been quiet for a while.

Now he is trying to explain to the court that when he said "we are terrorists" he did not really mean it. It's kind of hard to explain that he did not mean to incite terrorism and raise funds for it when they court has just seen videos of him doing exactly that.

On a related note, there was a lot of weirdness in the UK lately, and I wanted to write about it, but Jussi Halla-aho already did, and very thoroughly.

But even the British sometimes get something right, and for once they decided not to let an extremist cleric into the country. On the grounds of peace and security. Muslims are - surprise? - outraged, and sources close to al-Qaradawi blame the Zionists just in case.

The attack of Vegetable-Americans

A few months ago I visited a doctor in the US. That was covered under my travel insurance, and I told them (let's call them the New Moron Medical Center) to bill either my insurance or myself. "But you are in Finland and so is your insurance!" - they said. "That's OK, there is a Post office there." - "But we don't know how to bill you there!" - "That's quite easy. Much the same as in the US, except that you write this address here as the address." - "No, we can't. Too complicated. Can you pay with a credit card or something when you are done?" - "Sure, whatever."

A few hours later I am done, and so, unfortunately, is whoever is supposed to accept my payment. The credit-card-taker went home for the day (it's 3pm on Friday), and there is nobody else capable of accepting my payment (the medical center is only about the size of Meilahti hospital). I go back to the same woman with whom I talked in the beginning. "Can't you come here and pay on Monday?" - "No, I am gonna be in Finland by then." I make sure that the woman has my address, instruct her again on the billing procedure: put the bill into an envelope, put the address right here, mail, and then I go away.

Last week I get a bill from a Scary Collection Agency. I call the New Moron Medical Center and ask them WTF. The New Moron Medical Center swears that all the $485 are for the doctor services, and I am not paying anything extra for the collection. Because, you know, they are using the collection agency just because they still haven't figured out this mailing bills to Finland thing. I call my insurance, they tell me to send them the bill and forget about it, which I do. Then I call the Scary Collection Agency and tell them that they'll get their money as soon as the insurance company manages to pay it. They say OK.

The other day I get a similar bill from some Weird Lawyer. Weird Lawyer tells me that my bill is totally overdue and threatens with dire consequences if I don't pay it Right Now. The bill should be paid through him. Suppressing the urge to answer that considering the New Moron Medical Center's amazing skill in mailing abroad, I am quite sure I don't need to be afraid of their suing abroad, I call the New Moron Medical Center again. They tell me that the Scary Collection Agency was supposed to ask for the payment, and the Weird Lawyer is supposed to accept the payment. I point out that both are in fact trying to do both. They tell me that it doesn't matter because they get the payment either way. I warn the Weird Lawyer that the payment will not be going through him.

I have only two questions: how much of these $485 is gonna end up as the payment to the lawyer and the collection agency, and what is the politically correct name for an idiot in the US nowadays? Vegetable-American?

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Tolerant America, intolerant Europe

Today I saw a headline in Helsingin Sanomat, saying that by 2025 almost one in four students in Helsinki schools will be of a foreign background. Later they changed it to say that one student out of ten is an immigrant.

By "foreign background" they meant that their native language is not Finnish or Swedish.

"Argh!" - was my first thought. I can imagine... On the second thought, I don't need to imagine - I remember attending such a school. It was a rather large high school, and about a quarter of its student body was foreign-born. There were some classes of English as a second language for the new immigrants, but most kids already spoke enough English to take part in regular classes. The immigrants did not have classes in their native language, unless it happened to be one of the five foreign languages already taught there. There was, of course - it being an American public school - no religious instruction for anyone.

And there were no problems, really. Many people tended to hang out with those who spoke the same language, but they were quite friendly to outsiders, too. No ethnic tensions, and no ethnic crime.

It wasn't some multicultural utopia. It was Brookline, MA, late eighties.

People in the US are usually quite tolerant towards immigrants. Not everyone - there are the kind of people who sort of dislike foreigners by definition, there are people who are afraid of competition for jobs (sometimes rightly and sometimes not), there are also people who are concerned specifically about the Mexican immigration, due to the fact that its numbers are very high and Mexican immigrants are on average extremely badly educated, there are people concerned with immigration of Islamic extremists, and then there are people who are specifically concerned about illegal immigration, on the general principle that we should be able to control our borders better, but in general people are not very concerned. At least up North, far from the Mexican border, if you say that you are afraid to walk, live, or send your children to school in some place because there are a lot of foreigners, people will give you a very strange look, and that's not because of the political correctness.

Meet Brookline, a town with 26.6% of foreign-born population. Median household income $66,711. Unemployment 3.5%. 76.9% of adults have college degrees. 2002 crime index is 171.8, a little over half the national average. Obviously, both the native and the immigrant (including the refugee) population tends to be highly educated professionals employed in the local universities, hospitals, and high-tech companies. The town has some poor people, too, as a proper liberal town should. They tend to be senior citizens. Senior citizens rarely engage in violent crime, and you can freely walk around their neighborhoods at night.

On the other hand, Helsinki is not Brookline, and somehow I don't think that everything is gonna go just as well over here.

Americans often say that Europe is intolerant, and that anyone who moves to America can always become an American, whereas in Europe an immigrant is never really accepted. This is not quite true. Americans have understandable problems accepting a jihadist screaming "Death to America!" as a real American, and Europeans - or at least Finns - don't seem to have any problems accepting an immigrant who can speak Finnish, works, and doesn't do anything particularly disturbing. It has been my impression, however, that there is a gray area in between where Americans are ready to accept an immigrant, and Finns aren't, and, more importantly, where Americans expect an immigrant to make some effort to become one of them, and Finns don't.

My visceral reaction to the American accusations of European intolerance is "no, they aren't". My other visceral reaction to the American accusations of European intolerance is "well, you'd be intolerant too, if you had immigrants like that".

I don't even mean the country of origin as such. You obviously get better results admitting immigrants from Germany than from Pakistan, but that's not even the point here. The point is that the US gets better results admitting immigrants from Pakistan than Europe does. Whether this is a wise thing to do, even for the US, is questionable - Islamic extremism, honor killings, etc., are a problem in the US as well - but there is no perpetually unemployed criminal Pakistani underclass in the US. Or Arab, for that matter, or immigrant African.

US Census has fairly detailed demographic, social and economic information on foreign-born people by country. The information is as of 2000, but enough to give you the idea. For example, 13.8% of civilian Somalia-born workforce is unemployed, which is more than twice the unemployment rate of African immigrants, but still doesn't come even close to their unemployment rate here.

African immigrants to the US have an unemployment rate of 6.4%. 42.8% of them have college or university degrees.

Not that the US doesn't have immigration-related problems, but in general it is doing much better than Europe. Which makes me wonder: how come all the people who like to advertise the joys of immigration in other countries rarely mention the US, and never mention Israel? These are undoubtedly the two first-world countries that have accepted the most immigrants with the best success.

One can wonder whether the better integration is the result of higher tolerance, or the higher tolerance is the result of better integration - I suspect that both are to some extent the case - but I think that both ultimately stem from the fact that the US doesn't usually take shit from its immigrants. Public assistance for refugees is not for life, unless the refugees are elderly; the immigrants who commit more or less serious crimes are deported regardless of what awaits them back home; and if you want to teach your children your native culture, language and religion - well, it's a free country, your time and your money. Americans will often welcome the immigrants and mean it, they will hire the immigrants, but if the immigrant cab drivers decide that their religion doesn't let them transport passengers carrying alcohol, Americans will also explain to them in no uncertain terms that this is unacceptable.

Europe, on the other hand... I know the situation firsthand in Finland, but I follow it in the rest of Europe, and it's quite similar, with some differences, but the general impression is that Europe wants to accept the most unacceptable things and tolerate them through the clenched teeth. Nobody seems to expect the refugees to integrate, or to work, and many of them don't, because the public assistance is forever. Half of the population of some immigrant groups don't have jobs, or know the local language, but damn, we gotta teach them their native language, culture and religion, and arrange their own time in the swimming pools. Europeans keep the violent refugee criminals here, because to deport them is somehow considered equal to death penalty (why? most refugees are not in an imminent danger of death), and then complain that refugees commit a lot of crime.

Normal immigrants (of the kind that work and don't commit crimes) are the majority of immigrants, and well tolerated, but somehow invisible, at least here. The problematic minority (I don't mean any particular group, just the permanent underclass) is a large minority, and growing fast.

It is, IMO, an immigrant's responsibility to integrate into a new culture, but if you feed them indefinitely, don't deport them for serious crimes, and try to encourage them to retain their culture as much as possible, is it any fucking surprise when many of them live on welfare, commit crimes, and don't even bother to learn the language? Europe's passive-aggressive mix of coddling and resentment is not doing any favors to Europe, nor to immigrants.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Suck my dick, adult-woman

In her article The child-man, Kay Hymowitz writes about the immaturity of modern young and youngish men. They are very, very immature, you know. Whereas in 1965 a 26-year-old man was married with children, nowadays 26-year-old men are - horror, horror! - partying, screwing around, going to bars, hanging out with friends and playing computer games. "Wife? Kids? House? Are you kidding?" So immature!

In this article Hymowitz chooses to define adulthood as being married with children, and calls unmarried, childless, fun-loving men immature. Considering how much fun she makes this immaturity sound, she is not doing her cause a great service.

It's weird how some people consider fun, or at least the kind of fun that they themselves do not enjoy, immature. Hymowitz sounds exactly like my mother when she finds my father and myself watching some movie with a lot of shooting. My maturity can be questionable by Hymowitz's standards, what with being unmarried and childless and all, but my father is, after all, married, and has a child, and has his own company, and a house, and all the other paraphernalia of American Dream, except a golden retriever. But he is still obviously immature for openly enjoying the kind of entertainment that both Hymowitz and my mother consider beneath them. So see, guys - getting married and having kids will probably not grant you immunity from the accusations of immaturity, not until you learn to avoid all kinds of fun that Hymowitz - or your own very mature woman - doesn't like.

Hymowitz is of course not the only one. I've run into a number of articles by women about how thirtysomething men are all immature boys and just want to have fun instead of doing whatever the woman tells him to do, which would obviously be a mature and responsible thing. The corresponding articles by men about women tend to be a bit less numerous, but even more silly, usually threatening the single fun-loving women that if they don't get serious and get married right now, nobody will marry them in the future, and at the same time proclaiming that the author himself has no intention to get married ever, what with all the women being so immature and all, and who needs marriage anyway.

The reason I chose Hymowitz's article for the purposes of this post is that only a few months ago she wrote an article The New Girl Order about young women who just want to have fun, rather than marriage and children. Surprisingly (what, are you not surprised? I am shocked, shocked!) she does not condemn that trend as immature at all. She actually sounds like she finds it empowering, and fun. Damn. If you only read the article about child-men, you'd never imagine that Hymowitz, of all people, can approve of anything that anyone can consider fun.

Or on the second thought, she does mention fun in a positive way even there: "With women, you could argue that adulthood is in fact emergent. Single women in their 20s and early 30s are joining an international New Girl Order, hyper-achieving in both school and an increasingly female-friendly workplace, while packing leisure hours with shopping, traveling and dining with friends. Single young males, or SYMs, by contrast, often seem to hang out in a playground of drinking, hooking up, playing Halo 3 and, in many cases, underachieving. With them, adulthood looks as though it's receding." OK: shopping, traveling and dining with friends is maturity, drinking, hooking up and playing Halo 3 is immaturity. Whatever.

And hey, it is fun. I like traveling, parties, hanging out with friends, good wine, good food, games, books and technical toys. According to Hymowitz, I am an empowered New Girl. Single men who like the same things are, on the other hand, immature child-men. Whereas married couples who have fun are... but no, don't mention to her that there are married couples who have fun. She might have a heart attack or something. And certainly don't mention to her that there are married couples with children who have fun.

Seriously, she (and most other authors of such articles, regardless of sex) comes across as a kind of person who understands fun perfectly well when she is having it, but heaven forbid the man wants to play his computer game or hang out with his friends when she is either in the mood for a deep romantic conversation, or wants somebody to do the laundry right now. And of course it's always the fault of the opposite sex and their immature desire to have fun. Gee, is it any wonder that this kind of people can't find anyone to marry them? "I am mature and empowered and a real adult, but you are just an immature kid who wants to do some immature stupid things that you consider fun. Wanna marry me?" Way to go with the advertisement, sister!