Tuesday, December 14, 2004

to misrepresent a mockingbird

I'm rapidly becoming a skeptic of everything, including the press, and the press isn't helping. Not just with the big things, either. Come on, can't you get anything right?

A Guardian column on a poll of women's fiction says that Pride and Prejudice has won a poll for having "spoken to you on a personal level." It also said that To Kill a Mockingbird came in second (it would have been my personal choice!) "despite the fact that the main female character, Scout, is a child, and that the only major adult female character in the novel is one who falsely cries rape against an innocent man."

Okay, they got the child part right. As for the adult females, have they never read the freaking book? There are several major adult female characters (not even counting Mayella, who gets air time in one whole chapter of the book and has never struck me as a major character, having neither an interesting personality nor any time for character development; indeed, it took me a minute to recall her name.) By what measure does Calpurnia not count as a major adult female character? What about Aunt Alexandra, whose shadow lies across at least half the book? Then there's Miss Maudie, whom I would have loved to know. She's way more major than Mayella.

Of course, talking about the adult females is leaving aside the idea that one might actually have read it as a (comparative) child, or that one might be touched by the hard lessons Scout learns about people, and the different but still hard lessons she learns about being female in her world (which she learns from those nonexistent adult females like Aunt Alexandra and Miss Maudie).

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Why don't more people use this rule of thumb?

Okay. I keep hearing these lame red state vs. blue state arguments. Red states have lower IQ (yeah, well, that's been debunked!) , higher divorce rates/marital problems (debunked here via Instapundit), etc.

I'll give you a big hint. Any of these "statistics" that have Utah ranking extremely low are almost certainly not worth listening to. I'll admit to being biased (I've been born and bred Mormon, for the most part), but I don't think anyone will argue with me that a) Utah has a whole heck of a lot of Mormons, even if they're branching out a bit; and b) Mormons are really good with things like work ethic, strong families, importance of education (listened to any of President Hinckley's speeches lately, or for the last ten years?), etc.

So when I was told that Utah ranked last in this IQ thing, that immediately set up a red flag. "Gosh," I thought, "where could that data be coming from? Because it's wrong." And it was.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

An un-splendiforous first post

I decided my first post here would have to be profound, elegant, erudite, and indicative of my personality (to the extent, that is, that there was no contradiction with the first three). Then I realized I was too lazy, and figured 1 out of 4 would have to do.

On the other hand, I think "splendiforous" is a great word. It sounds so grand and full-of-vowels and, well, splendiforous.