Archive | July, 2011

Rape Culture Rhetoric in Reporting Strauss Kahn

31 Jul

Latoya Peterson of Racialicious wrote a really excellent piece on the rhetoric being employed in the reporting of the rape accusations leveled at Dominique Strauss Kahn by Nafissatou Diallo.

The media, in true form, has been describing Diallo’s physical appearance – her hair is hennaed, her face pock-marked, but she has a “womanly, statuesque figure.”  Says Latoya:

Only in cases involving rape or assault is how the victim appears a subject for commentary. This is part of rape culture, the idea that we have to evaluate the attractiveness of a person alleging assault along with the other facts in the case.

She goes on to examine the subtle ways the media has tried to cast doubt on Diallo’s credibility, including the fact that she may have embellished a few details of her life in Guinea when appealing to the United States for asylum.

Read the rest of this article here.

Regarding Anders Behring Breivik

30 Jul

This is not a post proper, but I’ve been doing some catch-up on my blog-reading schedule (which is merciless, by the way – I read a lot of blogs), and I wanted to alert all y’alls to a couple of fine posts regarding the tragedy in Oslo, Norway.

Michael Kimmel for Sociological Images: A Tale of Two Terrorists Redux

This is a really fantastic piece examining the similarities between terrorist Anders Behring Breivik and Timothy McVeigh, the man responsible for the bombing of a federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995, and the way in which ultra-conservative terrorists tend to cite the emasculation of society as one of their chief complaints.  Says Kimmel:

First, they feel that current political and economic conditions have emasculated them, taken away the masculinity to which they feel they are entitled by birth. In the U.S., they feel they’ve been emasculated by the “Nanny State” through taxation, economic policies and political initiatives that demand civil rights and legal protection for everyone. They feel deprived of their entitlement (their ability to make a living, free and independent) by a government that now doles it out to everyone else – non-whites, women, and immigrants. The emasculation of the native-born white man has turned a nation of warriors into a nation of lemmings, or “sheeple” as they often call other white men. In The Turner Diaries, the movement’s most celebrated text, author William Pierce sneers at “the whimpering collapse of the blond male,” as if White men have surrendered, and have thus lost the right to be free.

[…]

Second, they use gender to problematize the “other” against whom they are fighting. Consistently, the masculinity of native-born white Protestants is set off against the problematized masculinity of various “others” – blacks, Jews, gay men, other non-white immigrants – who are variously depicted as either “too” masculine (rapacious beasts, avariciously cunning, voracious) or not masculine “enough” (feminine, dependent, effeminate). Racism, anti-Semitism, nativism, and homophobia all are expressed through denunciations of the others’ masculinity.

Read the full piece here.

Roxane Gay for The Rumpus: Tragedy. Call. Compassion. Response.

This is a beautifully written piece about both the tragedy in Norway, and about the death of Amy Winehouse.  It’s a long one, and covers so many emotions that I don’t feel I can adequately summarize it, but for a taste of just how lovely the language is, consider the following:

All too often, suffering exists in a realm beyond vocabulary so we navigate that realm awkwardly, fumbling for the right words, hoping we can somehow approximate an understanding of matters that should never have to be understood by anyone in any place in the world.

You’d be remiss if you did not read the full piece here.

Also, as a reminder, I bookmark blog posts that I think are worth a read on Delicious, so if you feel like you need to read even more blogs, you can grab my Delicious RSS feed here.

New! A Posting Schedule!

28 Jul

All of the advice I’ve been giving about blogging has told me to stick to a posting schedule.  So!  I am instituting a schedule!  New posts shall appear on Monday mornings before 9am CST.  Exciting, no?

As a bonus – I might post more stuff on top of that!  But Monday morning posts – those are going to be the bomb.  They will be researched and planned out, like a real writer-person might do.

I’m excited!  So you should grab my RSS feed, or sign up for an email subscription (on the sidebar), or just remember to come by on Monday mornings for super awesomeness by yours truly.

Let’s Talk About Rape Jokes

28 Jul

This blog is fairly young yet, but you’ll learn quickly that my ass is still quite sore over what I generally refer to as “The Dickwolves Debacle.”  If you missed it, you’re lucky, but I’ll summarize it thusly: everyone acted like a butthole.  Everyone acted like a dirty, smelly butthole.  Basically, the guys over at “Penny Arcade” drew this comic, which was meant to be a comment on how morally uncomfortable it is in an MMORPG like World of Warcraft to be sent on a mission to rescue five slaves… except, because you’re in the same universe as like, a gajillion other players who might be on the same quest you’re on, those slaves will keep respawning so that other players have something to rescue, meaning that you’re inevitably going to be leaving slaves behind.  And in the course of making this point, the “sixth slave” says, “Every night we are raped to sleep by the dickwolves.”

And then online feminism exploded.  It happened first at Shakesville, which is like, the fuse or something – the fuse on the bomb which is online feminism.  Do you see how consistent I am being about my metaphors?  Also, do you know how awesome explosions are?  This is why this is a fantastic analogy.

Anyway, “Penny Arcade” broke the feminist internet, because it’s not okay to use rape as a punchline!  And you know, I agree with that (for the most part).  Problem is that rape was not the punchline in that “Penny Arcade” comic.  That comic was about all of the things I just said it was a few paragraphs ago.  And I guess Gabe and Tycho felt the same way I do, because they responded to the feminist internet… and acted like big butt-munchers about it.  Not cool.

So, either there is a sector of the feminist internet that doesn’t understand the anatomy of a joke, or there is a sector of the feminist internet that says that is it never okay to talk about rape unless it’s in the literal, scary sense.  I’m guessing it’s the latter, because when I used to read Shakesville on a regular basis, I frequently found myself snorting into my coffee.

You want my personal opinion on the dickwolves?  I liked the comic.  I thought it made its point nicely, and I didn’t find it triggering or offensive.  That’s not to say that my reaction is the right one, and it’s not to say that rape jokes don’t exist in a larger culture.  Denis Farr, writing for The Border House, said this of the comic:

Personally, among the reasons I find rape jokes much more problematic than murder jokes (and I don’t necessarily let off the hook the latter), is that this is the response to rape in the real world. Murder, unless sanctioned by a government, is quite often condemned. Rape is often more murky, even if we theoretically believe it wrong.

Yes, rape jokes exist in a larger culture that systematically trivializes rape, and perhaps reading “The Sixth Slave” might have been triggering for some people… but it wasn’t really a rape joke.

This is a rape joke.

This is the final panel in today’s installment of “Truth Serum,” a comic I read weekly on The Rumpus.  So why is this a rape joke, when it doesn’t even reference literal rape?  Let’s break it down, shall we?

This two-part strip has Malory Watkins approaching Flying Man, and asking him to autograph her breasts.  Flying Man doesn’t want to do it there, in public, because there are kids around, and he might get into trouble.  And in this final panel, Malory Watkins says to him, “Do it or I’ll blow my rape whistle and then you’ll really get into trouble.”

The difference between this strip and “The Sixth Slave” is that here, rape actually is the punchline.  Or rather, not even rape – the idea that a woman would use the threat of a rape accusation to get a man to do what she wants him to do.  I mean, that’s nasty.  That relies on all kinds of stereotypes about how women are manipulative, and it pushes the (false) cultural meme that tells us that men accused of rape are actually the victims.

Okay, I recognize that all of this is kind of a matter of opinion, and it all depends on what you’re willing to put up with.  You know, I’m going to continue reading “Truth Serum,” because I think it’s funny most of the time.  I would, however, like to point out that this particular strip relies heavily on harmful cultural memes that directly trivialize rape.

So!  There’s my opinion.  You should leave yours in the comments!

[Image 1 Source] [Image 2 Source]

And What of the Bookseller?

15 Jul

This morning, I happened to spot some people woefully emoting on Google+ about the likely liquidation of Borders – the corporate book store that was just a little hipper than Barnes & Noble… before it wasn’t.  It should come as a surprise to no one that Borders is having some trouble, but least of all, it comes as a surprise to no one who has worked in one of the quickly vanishing stores anytime in the past ten years.

I happen to be a former Borders employee, and I have feelings about this, as I’m sure most current and former employees do.

I began working at Borders in 2005.  I was a college student.  My mom had gotten a raise at work, which pushed my FAFSA-calculated EFC (expected family contribution) just out of the range for work study eligibility.  So I had to say goodbye to my awesome paid internship at the Safer Foundation and hit the streets to find real work – you know, the type where you aren’t allowed to do your homework in your cubical.  Luckily, I happened to know someone who worked in the cafe at the Borders on State and Randolph, smack in the center of the theater district in downtown Chicago, and she was nice enough to recommend me to the HR lady, and within two weeks, I was employed by Borders on State Street, one of the largest and most profitable Borders stores in the country.

From the way I understood it, I had come to the company at a turning point.  At that time, there were a lot of people working at my store who had been with the company for years.  One of the women I worked with had at one point taken advantage of an exchange program Borders used to have, and was sent to work in London for a year – just because.  Another gentleman I worked with had been with the company for over ten years, and had been a “store opener.”  He’d spent about three months in Australia, and he spoke highly of those experiences.

But I was told by a lot of these long-timers that things were changing.  It used to be a cool place to work, they said.  The company used to have this philosophy about their retail workers.  Sellers were encouraged to be individuals, because the thought was that customers liked being able to go into a store and find that dude with all of those tattoos and piercings who could tell them anything they wanted to know about Kafka.  Hiring was a little more selective, they told me – HR wasn’t just looking for someone to man the cash registers and shelve books, they were looking for people who were genuinely passionate about reading, and I remember a good portion of my interview was devoted to asking me about what types of books I liked, did I consider myself an avid reader, what kind of music and movies was I into?

I realized straight away that they were right – things were changing quickly.  Before I was even finished with my training (which only lasted about four days), the woman who had hired me had been shuffled out, and a new general manager had been assigned.  Within a few months, layouts of the merchandizing tables began to change.  We started to see new, ongoing training procedures that really made me think of that section in Barbara Ehrenreich’s Nickel and Dimed, where she’s talking about her experience as a new hire at WalMart (that section always really stuck with me).  And most significant of all, within that first year, at least half of the people that had been my coworkers when I first started – many of whom had been with the company, or even at that exact store, for five or more years – were gone.

During my first week as a Borders employee, I heard all kinds of whispers about how the company was hemorrhaging money, and that it was only a matter of time before the ship really and truly sank.  In its desperation to save itself, Borders instituted a sales strategy that it insisted we adhere to during every interaction with every customer.  They called it “The Loop,” and to those of us who had been there for a while, it felt disingenuous at best, and ineffectual at worst.  Where before, I felt like my best strategy was to share my passion for Margaret Atwood and J. M. Coetzee (I honestly cannot even begin to count how many copies of The Blind Assassin and Disgrace that I sold), I was now expected to focus on “upselling” and was supposed to steer customers toward the stacks at the front of the store.  You liked A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius?  Before, I might have recommended you check out some of the McSweeney’s anthologies (Mountain Man Dance Moves being my favorite among them), but now I’m going to drag you over to this table piled with the latest release from James Patterson – even though I see you’re making a face at me.  Doesn’t matter.  I’ve got a supervisor with a clipboard watching me from behind that counter over there, and if I don’t do this at least 70% of the time, I’m not eligible for a raise during my next review.

If you can’t tell, I’m kind of bitter about my time there.  My coworkers at both of the stores I worked in were amazing, but I knew what it was like – albeit briefly – to be a Borders bookseller when it was still a cool job.  Once it really started feeling like a corporation, it wasn’t fun anymore.  I’m not going to lie to you – a part of me is thinking, it serves you right, Borders, for changing the nature of the bookseller and trying to turn us all into a monolithic force of formulaic salespeople.  And then the other part of me feels terrible about that, because if Borders were liquidated, 11,000 people would be out of work (according to the WSJ) – most of them sellers, and I’ll tell you again and again – some of the smartest, most interesting and talented people I’ve ever met I met through Borders.

I can also tell you from my experience as a former Borders employee and a current Kindle-enthusiast that I have almost zero reason to go into a bookstore anymore.  For a while, I actively avoided it, because I didn’t want to patronize Borders out of bitterness, I could never get used to the way Barnes & Noble shelves things, and because, let’s face it, there just aren’t that many independent bookstores left.  Now I, like many others, have eschewed the print book in favor of the ebook.  But because I don’t go into bookstores anymore, I have to be honest – I feel disconnected.  Where before, I felt like I was always in the know of what was new, what was popular, and even what wasn’t (you can’t help but stop and read blurbs for a minute while you’re shelving – it’s just impossible), I now feel sometimes like I’m just not sure what I should be reading.  How?!  Before, I always had a backlog of ten or so novels – just novels! – that I was planning on reading.

The fact of the matter is that Amazon (and other ebookstores) hasn’t replicated the bookstore experience.  While I was at Borders, I never fully appreciated the effectiveness of the planograms we used to build displays.  And where’s your tattooed Kafka expert when you’re browsing for books online?

Since the physical bookstore seems to be going the way of the dinosaurs, one of the oft-overlooked side-effects is that an entire class of worker – the bookseller – is going to disappear.  I suppose that’s what I lament most about my time at Borders.  I was there as the company slowly phased out the essence of the bookseller, whittling hir responsibilities down to a set of tasks to accomplish, rather than a fluid building of relationships with other readers and consumers of media.  I have to wonder if, during my three years there, I actually inspired someone to read something.  Did anyone actually open the copy of The Blind Assassin that I sold hir?  Did I have an effect on anyone’s literary life, or am I being too hopeful about the impact I actually had?  Once booksellers are a thing of the past, will something change, or will I have to admit to myself that I was a retail worker – like any other retail worker?  Maybe it was just the magic of the books that made me feel I was special – and I know that books will remain magical, regardless of whether they’re on pages or microchips, and regardless of who peddles them.

[Image source]

Update on the Everything I Do Is Wrong Campaign

15 Jul

Yesterday, I wrote about the new Got Milk? campaign, which rides on the back of tired stereotypes about how women turn into irrational bitch machines once a month.  You know.  When they do that scary menstruating thing they do.  *shudder*  Well, my favorite blog (and yours) posted something about the campaign, which is far better and more insightful than what I wrote, so you ought to go take a look at it.  Oh, by the way, our favorite blog is Sociological Images, and the post is right here.

Your Daily Sexism Digest: For God’s Sake, GET MILK!!!!!

14 Jul

And I thought PETA was bad…

According to this NPR article by Scott Hensley, the folks responsible for the Got Milk? campaign (which was often super sexist, by the way) are at it again, and are promoting force-feeding your girlfriend milk and dairy products so she won’t be such an intolerable harpy bitch when she’s on her period.

The ad campaign’s website (“cleverly” titled everythingidoiswrong.org) is geared toward “humorously” teaching men how to predict and deal with the raging bitch ladies in their lives, and includes such helpful information as a “Key PMS Indicators Index,” a “Sensitivity Vocabulator” (which tells you to call your PMS-ing lady “passionate” rather than “irrational”), and a fake poll that suggests that menstrual women consider milk chocolate to be a color.

I could not make this shit up if I tried.

Okay, so the NPR article was largely concerned with whether or not the campaign’s claims were true, which pissed me off until I got to the end of the piece, where Hensley says:

I did my own research in the NPR newsroom and got eye rolls and worse from all the women in I asked to look at the site. “This is so wrong,” said one female colleague. “Good lord!” another one gasped as it loaded on her screen.

Right???

I really hope I don’t need to tell you how fucking sexist and offensive this is to both women and men.  I mean… seriously.

I’m thinking I should start a website that makes some sort of far-fetched claim about something or other, and then just build it all around a weak joke about how men suck at picking up after themselves, or are big babies when they’re sick, or are too stupid to rinse a plate before leaving it in the sink to get all dry and crusty, or um… I don’t know… build sexist websites.

The Obligatory Post About Rape Culture

12 Jul

I’ll guess we’ll mark this one down on the long list of lady things that dudes hate, right after menstrual blood and paper doilies.  Rape culture is one of the things I hear a lot of pushback against as I’m tottering through my feminist life – and the resistance I hear isn’t necessarily coming from anti-feminists.  In fact, it never is, because I’m lucky enough to have a core group of supportive friends who are excellent allies.

But the rape culture thing – well, it has a hard time gelling, and I think part of that is related to the fact that there are some misconceptions about what rape culture actually is.  I rather like Wikipedia’s definition, which states that rape culture:

… is a term which originated in women’s studies and feminist theory, describing a culture in which rape and sexual violence against women are common and in which prevalent attitudes, norms, practices, and media condone, normalize, excuse, or tolerate sexual violence against women.

Taken alone, I doubt anyone would take much issue with this definition, especially given the fact that rape has kind of been all over the news in the past few months, what with legislators pushing abortion bills with no exceptions for rape, the Julian Assange media frenzy, and now the Strauss-Kahn debacle, and in past months there have been a couple of gruesome assault cases in Texas that especially highlight the problem our culture has with victim-blaming.

One of these instances sparked an uproar in March, when the New York Times reported on the gang rape of an 11-year-old girl by 18 men and boys in Cleveland, Texas.  From the article:

The case has rocked this East Texas community to its core and left many residents in the working-class neighborhood where the attack took place with unanswered questions. Among them is, if the allegations are proved, how could their young men have been drawn into such an act?

“It’s just destroyed our community,” said Sheila Harrison, 48, a hospital worker who says she knows several of the defendants. “These boys have to live with this the rest of their lives.”

Notice the framing of the issue here.  If it’s not blaming the victim, it is certainly suggesting that those who perpetrated the act were not responsible for what they did.  The article asks how they were “drawn into” raping that child, implying that the rapists were, in fact, the ones being victimized.  Furthermore, Sheila Harrison as quoted expresses her concern for the welfare of the 18 men – EIGHTEEN! – and completely ignores the fact that a child was abducted and brutally raped over and over again.

Later in the article:

Residents in the neighborhood where the abandoned trailer stands — known as the Quarters — said the victim had been visiting various friends there for months. They said she dressed older than her age, wearing makeup and fashions more appropriate to a woman in her 20s. She would hang out with teenage boys at a playground, some said.

“Where was her mother? What was her mother thinking?” said Ms. Harrison, one of a handful of neighbors who would speak on the record. “How can you have an 11-year-old child missing down in the Quarters?”

Here is a prime example of victim-blaming behavior.  The mere mention that this child was hanging out in a dangerous place, was dressing older than her age, and was fraternizing with teenage boys suggests that by engaging in these behaviors, this girl was at least somewhat responsible for what happened to her – and as a reminder, this was an 11-year-old child who was gang raped by 18 men.  Harrison, the same woman quoted above, also suggests that the girl’s mother might be to blame.

This is an argument used all the time – and I’m really not sure if people really and truly understand how fucked up it is.  So many of us might look at a situation like that and think, this is something that could have been prevented.  If only she’d been more careful; if only her mother had been paying more attention.  I’ve seen the analogy made that if a guy doesn’t want his wallet stolen, he shouldn’t walk through a shitty neighborhood fanning himself with his cash.  This does not change the fact that mugging someone is illegal – it’s just as illegal if someone steals your cash while you’re waving it around as it would be if you were clutching it for dear life.  Rape is rape, regardless of where the victim is hanging out, what zie is wearing, and with whom zie associates.

Let’s reiterate what we just read, shall we?  This was an article from the New York Times reporting on the gang rape of an 11-year-old child.  It is suggested by the author of the piece – not by the woman quoted – that the perpetrators were “drawn into” raping this girl, and that the victim was behaving in a way that essentially tells us that she was asking for it – or at least that we shouldn’t be surprised or horrified that something like this happened.  This was not a simple case of a reporter telling it like it is – if this were truly an unbiased article, these sentiments would have come with an attribution.  So either this was a case of seriously sloppy reporting, or a journalist – who is supposed to be unbiased – inserted his own insidious opinion that, somehow, this child brought what happened to her upon herself.

And the sad thing about that is that I doubt he even realized what he was doing.

In another case (highlighted today on Sociological Images), a cheerleader raped by football player in Silsbee, Texas had her entire town turning against her, even though the evidence couldn’t have been more clear that she was raped.  And yet, she was ostracized, and kicked off her cheerleading squad when she refused to cheer for her rapist.  The article on Sociological Images highlights another example of biased media coverage of rape cases:

The local paper, The Silsbee Bee, favorably covered the accused, even publishing an article titled, “Sexual Assault Prosecutions Cost County Nearly $20,000.” It was hard to miss the implication that this was money ill spent.

To anyone who doubts the rape culture, this is what it is.  It’s not some militant feminist theory that seeks to turn men into second-class citizens.  It’s the real, documented culture in which we don’t even think twice about making excuses for rapists, or blaming a victim for what happened to hir, or coming up with any excuse whatsoever to not hold a rapist accountable for hir crime.

[Image Source]

The Big Quit: There is No “Easy Way”

8 Jul

If you follow me on Tumblr or Twitter, you are already aware that I quit smoking this week.  On my first day, I found myself really frustrated and anxious, and asked the internets for advice, and a Tumblr friend came through and told me a friend of her’s had some success with Allen Carr’s The Easy Way to Stop Smoking.  I’m not usually down with the whole self-help movement, but I came to the conclusion that it would be pretty stupid for me to turn my nose up at anything that had the potential to help.

So I read the book.

Sigh.

Is the advice contained within its covers good advice?  Absolutely.  Should you have to pay for it?  Absolutely not.  Essentially, Carr’s Easyway Method™ is a “power of positive thinking” gag.  It’s a very simple, very common-sense cognitive therapy that you could teach a friend to coach you through in about five minutes.

Additionally, I would imagine that such techniques would be useful for those who are open to suggestion.  If you can be hypnotized, or if you find that sometimes your memory of a past event changes once you hear someone tell their version of it – those are all hallmarks of suggestibility, and suggestibility is a good trait to have if you’re interested in self-help, or if you think hypnosis is a good time.

If you’re like me – someone who is not susceptible to suggestion – your brain tends to work a bit differently, and you can’t really talk yourself into feeling a certain way.  For those of us who have a hard time with this kind of stuff, we can’t really imagine ourselves as nonsmokers.  “Mind over matter” is not typically something that works on us.  And we’ll never be much fun at a hypnotism show.

Of course, the pep-talk aspect of it is helpful.  It does help to be reminded of simple things like the fact that nonsmokers don’t need to smoke, that things are going to feel better once you’ve kicked the habit, that cravings pass, that nicotine withdrawals are not painful or unbearable.  But if you needed someone to remind you of that, you could just ask somebody to, or you could come back here and read this paragraph a few times.

The book literally repeats phrases word for word three or more times throughout the course of it – and it’s barely over 100 pages.  I read it in an afternoon.  Furthermore, his biggest piece of advice – “don’t mope” – has already failed me.  Like I said – I’m not all that capable of suggestion and positive thinking.  I’m a pessimist, an over-analyzer, an introvert.  Carr told me that if I started feeling sad about quitting, I’d fail.  And granted, I’m not too far into my quit yet, but I feel devastated by it.  I feel like I’ve lost a friend.  The idea of never ever lighting a cigarette again is almost enough to make me cry.  I miss it.  By all accounts, I should have already caved, even though it’s only been 24 hours.  But I’m also stubborn, and I made the decision to quit, and now that I’ve made it this far, I feel pretty jazzed about my progress, so I will forge ahead, even while stalked by the melancholy reality that I will never have a cigarette after a really good meal again (because that’s when it felt the best).

Maybe I’ll be a little more qualified to give you advice after I’ve been smoke-free for longer than a day, but my instinct right now tells me that there’s no one right or wrong way to quit.  There’s nothing you can do that will guarantee you a fail, and nothing that will guarantee you a success, either.

This is the problem that I have with the self-help movement.  So much of it appears to be centered on fairly common sense principles, or pop psychology.  None of this stuff is really tested, and none of it will guarantee you success.  Essentially, a self-help book is the author’s story of how zie succeeded at something, accompanied by the promise that you can succeed, too.  Problem is, we’re all different.  Our backgrounds and privileges and experiences and personalities are different, and as such, the prescriptive tactics used by the self-help movement are entirely inappropriate.

Consider pharmaceuticals as an analogy.  Yes, we can have a big discussion about how the industry is fucked up, but the idea, at least, is that once a new drug is developed, it is subjected to rigorous testing to assure that it is both safe and effective.  Once researchers see statistically significant results and the drug is approved by the FDA, it goes on the market with the promise to lower your blood pressure, or make you feel happier, or help you get to sleep at night.  But even after all of that vigorous testing, we all know and accept that prescription drugs don’t work the same for all people.  Some people are allergic to them, or some people are taking other prescriptions and the drugs interact with each other, and some people have horrible side effects, and some people experience no treatment effects at all.

Conversely, a self-help book’s methods are completely untested, and yet we still believe that if only we follow this one person’s advice which is based upon nothing more than anecdotal evidence, our lives will suddenly change for the better.  What are we?  Are we completely clueless?  A self-help book does nothing except help make the author and publisher a lot of money, and that’s a fact.  Even if the advice contained within the book is good, as much of the advice in Easy Way is, it’s not something that is going to help everyone, and it’s not something that you couldn’t have figured out yourself if you were so inclined.

You want some advice on quitting smoking?  Here it is:

Don’t fucking smoke anymore.

And it’s free!  Anything beyond that would be me telling you what has worked for me thus far, but I certainly cannot promise you that it will help you.  If you want that story, I’ll be happy to write it once I’m a bit farther along, but seriously.  If you want to quit smoking, just don’t smoke anymore, by (almost) any means necessary.

Read What I Read

7 Jul

Just a quick update to let you know that I just joined Delicious, which means that now, you can read what I read!