Saturday, January 19, 2008

Readers' Reports

What an intrepid lot you are, my legions of loyal fans. You are all out there like a virtual pack of bloodhounds, your wet little noses to the ground of the great big internets, always in search of fresh material for this happy little blog. Today we honor your devotion and your keen sleuthing skills with a post comprised almost entirely of suggestions we have gotten from you. Keep 'em coming, kids. You know the motto of Roxie's World: Without you, I'm just an old dog with two funny moms and a laptop. With you, I've got a whole world in my paws.

We begin by noting that it was the creative genius behind Queering the Apparatus who first alerted us to the news that Chris Matthews had caved in (to pressure from women's groups and liberal blogs like this one) and offered an on-air apology for outrageous remarks he recently made about Senator Hillary Clinton. Invoking a Bushian good heart/clumsy tongue defense, Matthews acknowledges that his assertion that Clinton owed her entire independent political career to the fact that "her husband messed around" came across as "callous," "nasty," and "dismissive," but he ignores the broader critique that he is, um, an idiotic jerk who makes law-abiding urban citizens wish they had cows so that they would have cattle guns around every time he opens his mouth. Transcript of Tweety's half-hearted apology is here. Watch the vid, but only if your cattle gun is safely stored:

Next, because we just haven't spent enough time arguing and obsessing about Hillary Clinton, we pass along the news, via Dog-Eared Book and Dudley the Beagle, of the impending publication of two books to aid in the projects of historicizing and deconstructing the junior senator from New York. (You didn't have other plans for spring, did you?) The first will give comfort to those who think Clinton hasn't gotten a fair shake from the media (though we can't imagine who those bitter, myopic individuals might be). Erika Falk's Women for President: Media Bias in Eight Campaigns begins with the campaign of another one of our heroes, 19th-century sex radical Victoria Woodhull, who ran for president in 1872, and ends with the short-lived 2004 campaign of former senator Carol Mosley Braun. Falk studies the tendency of the American press to portray female candidates as "unviable, unnatural, and incompetent" and to "ignore or belittle women instead of reporting their ideas and intent." No, really? Is that why we don't hear much about John McCain's cleavage or Mitt Romney's pants? (Scott McLemee has a review of the book at Inside Higher Ed.)

The second book is a collection edited by New Yorker editor Susan Morrison called Thirty Ways of Looking at Hillary: Reflections by Women Writers. (Did the title's allusion go over your head? Click here, and give thanks to Hilda Doolittle, director of our department of literary in-jokes and allusions.) We're not sure why the editor overlooked Roxie's World when she was gathering pieces for the collection, but the mere anticipation of the book has already inspired an absolutely hilarious column by the San Francisco Chronicle's Jon Carroll, who ponders why it is that male writers have not had the courage to discuss male candidates "in terms of their ability to wrestle with the challenges of manitude." It goes a long way toward explaining why voters know so dangerously little about John McCain's cleavage.

Enough about you humans. Here are a couple of dog treats readers have recently sniffed out for us. One of Moose's students (whose privacy will be protected, because we are big believers in the Buckley Amendment around here) sent us this tantalizing report about Hungarian scientists working on computer software for analyzing dog barks so that humans can better understand dogs' basic emotions. Note to the well-meaning Hungarian scientists: Why don't you just read the dogs' blogs??? Also, the Shy One sent us a link to this New York Times story on the healing power (for humans) of dogs. The story promotes yet another new book, this one by Sharon Sakson, Paws and Effect: The Healing Power of Dogs. To heck with a healthy diet, people! You want lower cholesterol? Go snuggle a dog!

We'll end by sending out a grateful PAWS UP to all our devoted fans and a fun video sent to us by the head of a small but passionate group, Classicists Against Bush. (Why not? Bush never liked the Grecians anyway.) Click on over to it. (We had it embedded here but didn't like the way it looked. The department of eye candy said it had to come down. Picky, picky, picky.)

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous8:59 PM EST

    About Matthew: oh geez! "Not just survive, but as William Faulkner once said, 'prevail.'" Wow, a one-word quotation. Or rather, not just one-word, but, as Noam Chomsky once said, "monosyllabic."

    Beagle brain now exploding. Or rather, not just exploding, but, as the three-year-old up the street once said, "go boom!"

    Thanks, Roxie! Good post.


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