On Graham Nash Is 70

Dude, why do you hate my mom?

Posted on February 2, 2012 at 10:50 am 0

On What's Your Most Played Song?

"Dance or Die" by Janelle Monae at #1 with 51 plays, "African Problems" by Seun Kuti at #2 with 37.

Things that end up on frequently-used playlists, and albums from an obsessive period in mid-2008 are particularly likely to end up high on my iTunes # of Plays list . . .

Posted on January 9, 2012 at 8:44 am 0

On Christian Aid Worker Danny Pye Has Been Held in a Haitian Prison Since October

It absolutely sucks that this guy is being held without charges, and frankly it's pretty astonishing that the US government hasn't taken a more active role in securing his release (or at least more timely due process). That said, that are some interesting, wonky details to this story that have been left out of this particular article, and I'm curious if that was deliberately done to make sure it came across as sympathetically as possible.

First, the "orphanages" founded by Pye and his colleagues seem more like group adoption homes, where Haitian children (some with living parents) are absorbed into the extended families of American Christians, with the ultimate goal of bringing all of Haiti "to Jesus." Not that there's anything wrong with that, and it may be a lot more more humane a model than the institutional, non-familial orphanages that are the the norm, but it's still a little bit odd. The orphanage that Pye and his wife run is basically his house, although it's owned by the mission group he founded. And if he's anything like the other Joy in Hope missionaries, he refers to the orphanage's charges as *his* children ... again, probably better for their emotional welfare, but certainly not standard child services M.O. This also may partially explain the animosity of the judge, as this kind of practice is often viewed more as a form of aggressive cultural imperialism than as genuine charity.

Second, the mission group that Pye founded fired him, allegedly "for cause," in September, and attempted to gradually repossess all the property that Pye and his wife had purchased with donated funds. The dispute that had them in court on the day he was taken into custody was apparently the result of Pye's (illegal?) confiscation of vehicles that had purchased for other missionaries or aspects of the business, but which were registered in his name.

Third, I know that Americans are the most important people in the world and all, but the fact that this isn't international news . . . well, it's just not international news. The treatment that Pye is receiving is, apparently, fairly typical for that particular jail in that particular city ... the only thing that makes it worthy of our attention, and your impassioned reporting, is that he's an American. The U.S. embassy is aware of the situation and involved (you've even seen the correspondence), and the case has reached high enough in Haitian circles that the "head of Haiti's justice system" came to Jacmel to pay a personal visit to Pye in jail. Maybe when Eric Holder starts paying personal, reassuring visits to all the men held without charges at Guantanamo we can legitimately start giving Haiti grief about this case . . .

Posted on February 22, 2011 at 4:42 pm 4

On George David Weiss, 1921-2010

Seriously . . . "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" is basically a cover, not an original work.

Posted on August 25, 2010 at 3:49 pm 0

On Real America: Target Doesn't Support Gay Equality Because It Never Did (UPDATE: Yes, Target and Prop 8, Maybe)

So you're telling me that large businesses and rich businessmen usually donate to Republicans, and that Republicans usually have pretty lousy positions on gay issues? Bravo on the expose, I can see why everyone's applauding your investigative chops.

Posted on August 5, 2010 at 7:40 pm 0

On "Smut, Please"! The Fabulous Online Universe of 'Twilight' Fan Fiction, in Which Edward and Bella Get It On and On and On

Wow, this is a fairly ridiculous article in the longstanding genre of, "isn't slash-fic wacky, and isn't it amazing that it's written by adult women" pieces that have been appearing since roughly the early 1980s. At the very least I would have expected NVC to have seen the whole raft of articles like this that came out about Harry Potter fanfic and avoid the same, sad cliches and wide-eyed astonishment at the notion that otherwise normal, boring women write and enjoy erotica based on existing media properties.

Given the fact that you focused almost the entire piece on the 'smut' angle, and wrote it as if no one else had written the exact same article a dozen or more times before, I think that Psymom and her cohorts' decision to avoid engaging with you further was probably the right one. As someone with her own relatively ridiculous book deal based on an exaggerated obsession with pop culture, I would think you'd be a little more sensitive to their concerns.

Posted on October 16, 2009 at 5:05 pm 0

On Who Killed Michael Jackson?

Well done.

Posted on June 30, 2009 at 9:49 pm 0