Archive for November, 2012

A Simple Request

November 26, 2012 - 12:41 am 10 Comments

Now that the stupidest part of the year is well upon us, I have a request for those of you who must endure the bullshit that is air travel in the US this season.

If the blue-gloved stasi at the metal detector/lookey-loo machine tries to touch you, insist on fresh gloves.

In my wildest moments of optimism*, I can hope that this will catch on like gangbusters and be a lever applied at the fulcrum of budget as the demand for more and more gloves skyrockets, and the TSA comes crumbling down and joy returns to the land and nobody demands papers please and….

Yeah, and maybe I’ll get that letter of marque, too.

More realistically, you’ll at least have the peace of mind that the dimwitted goon about to grope you didn’t just grope Brittni Ambir’s active herpes outbreak ’cause hey, look at the cans on that one huh with the same gloves, and cause them some annoyance in the process.

*Usually called “christ, cheer up once in a while would you?” by friends

What ABOUT them?

November 19, 2012 - 1:25 am 41 Comments

Well, we’ve covered birth control 101, in which we learned that hormonal contraception for women is a fixed cost that has absolutely no relation to how much sex she has or how many partners she has it with (and surprisingly often isn’t prescribed AS contraception but for other kinds of health care), and today, class, we’re going to have the 102, because apparently we still need to learn things!

Today I got linked to a post by Dr. Whitecoat, who appears to feel that a)The Affordable Care Act’s coverage of contraception represents a free handout to women, and b)that it offers nothing to men, who will nonetheless be part of the paying pool. This particular point of view, particularly that it represents a handout specifically to young, sexually promiscuous women, is shared by the Romney Campaign. To wit, “Free contraceptives were very big with young, college-aged women.”

Here’s a quick primer on birth control: there are three primary approaches with it. Surgical sterilization, hormonal contraception in various forms, which does not (yet) exist for men as it’s much easier to stop an egg from getting fertilized or implanting than it is to stop fertile sperm production, and barrier methods, which technically include female condoms and dental dams, but as I’ve never actually met anyone who’s used either, we’ll just go with “condoms and diaphragms”. There’s also various formats of spermicide delivery, but as they are really unreliable compared to everything else, they’re usually used as a backup to the barrier method in case it breaks or was put on/in incorrectly. There’s also IUDs, which technically is a surgical approach but is also temporary and only for women, so in effect it can be lumped in with the hormonal contraceptives.

All birth control methods have their upsides and their downsides. Hormonal contraception is fire-and-forget as long as you’re good about remembering to take your pill or renew your shot or your Norplant, but it has a number of side effects and does buggerall to prevent sexually transmitted diseases. Of the barrier methods, diaphragms have to be fitted, don’t prevent sexually transmitted diseases, and are fiddly as hell to insert; they have the upside that once you’ve managed that you can have sex “spontaneously”, but that’s a sufficiently small upside I’ve never met anyone who uses one of those still, either. Condoms are cheap and protect against sexually transmitted infection, but they reduce sensation for most men that I’ve talked to, you’ve got to have them on hand and ready to go when you’re ready to have sex, and most of them come with spermicidal lube.

Yes, that’s actually an upside AND a downside. The problem with any form of birth control that uses the spermicidal backup is that the vaginal area is an ecosystem unto itself; it’s normally inhabited by friendly, acid-loving bacteria that keep things clean and healthy, but spermicide kills them as well as killing sperm. Use too much, too often, and most women will become vastly more prone to vaginal and urinary tract infections, since the acid-lovers aren’t there making things inhospitable for nastier-tempered invaders anymore. They’re painful, they’re unpleasant, and they stink. They can also be life-threatening- a UTI untreated can happily migrate up into the bladder or kidneys and start doing some serious damage. Condoms that don’t have spermicide exist, but they can be difficult to find, or at least I’ve never managed to find any on the drugstore shelves. Granted, it’s been a long time since I tried, but at the time, it was special order or nothing doing. (I had a friend with a steady boyfriend who was also allergic to the class of antibiotics most useful in treating urinary tract infections. This was the bane of her existence and led to some pretty serious illnesses.)

All contraceptives have tradeoffs, and which downsides you’re willing to accept have a great deal to do with what kind of sex you’re having, and most of the more serious downsides are the woman’s consequence. If you’re a single woman and having casual hookups, sex buddies, or other short-term relationships, condoms are absolutely the way to go: you need the protection from STIs way more than you need anything else other than the pregnancy prevention, and since you probably have no idea when you’re next having sex, there’s less risk that the spermicide will hurt you, and simply grabbing some birth control from the drug store or night stand when you need it is a much more attractive option.

However, if you’re in a long-term, exclusive relationship, particularly if you’re cohabiting, hormonal birth control becomes much more attractive. You’re having regular sex, so the effects of spermicide are a more pressing concern, neither of you (presumably, obviously there are exceptions and the exceptions will usually be using condoms) is carrying an STI and you’re not going to be picking a new one up anytime soon unless someone is both being horrible and doing it without a condom, and since you’re having regular sex, a form of birth control that’s a fixed, steady cost is much more attractive. Since STIs and infections have been taken (mostly, some hormonal birth control raises the risk of vaginal/urinary infections too) off the table, concerns about men’s sensation are much higher on the priority list now.

Now I’m going to get a little more personal, so cut just in case anybody’s sensibilities are more, well, sensitive than I expect.

(more…)

Save Ferris Tam

November 10, 2012 - 6:42 am 5 Comments

Ok, I know we’re starting to sound like a one-note monkey here asking y’all to open your wallets, but fuckall if I’m going to let that stop me on this one. Posting this from the road is a pain in the ass, so I’ll be brief.

Tam has a problem.

Lawdog and Old NFO and others you can see linked there (sorry, shitty keyboard makes linksmithing a pain in the ass- details are at LD and NFO’s) are working a solution. Go click over to them, open your wallet up, and do some direct good for one of the people who caused us to start blogging in the first place, and her links to us are a big reason we got enough traffic starting out to even keep bothering trying to gin up the stuff y’all seem to inexplicably like. There’s prizes and shit. Go. Donate.

Out for the Weekend

November 9, 2012 - 3:48 pm 1 Comment

Back Tuesday.

Just A Reminder

November 7, 2012 - 9:22 pm 3 Comments

The Goon Movie Kickstarter has just three days to go, and is remarkably close to their ambitious 400k goal. $70k more and this will actually happen, and would be an honest-to-god moment of happiness in the year. I realize this isn’t quite as noble as fighting prostate cancer, but I want this project to succeed so much it’s nearly physically tangible. The pairing of Clancy Brown and Paul Giamati as Goon and Franky is so sickeningly perfect as to blow minds, and the source material to work with has even eclipsed “Scud: The Disposable Assassin” as my ideal as Best Comic Ever.

The world may be turning into handbasket full of used fuck, but this is a chance to at least get really fucking good circuses to watch along the ride to hell.

Yes, we did. Now fuck off.

November 6, 2012 - 9:56 pm 13 Comments

I just voted and nothing you can say will make me feel any better, so just fuck off. I voted for assholes, and if you voted, so did you, and I’m so completely sick of the goddamn media orgasm over this non-decision over which way we get fucked for the next few years, I’m about up to spreading the mayo on my sandwich to take up in the clock tower for the afternoon, so here’s the deal:

We’ll find out tomorrow which asshole we’re stuck with. If you’ve been one of those poll-sniffing borderline gambling addicts, you are formally instructed to fuck right the fuck off. This goes for friends, too. If you’re naive enough to be wound up and excited for the outcome, I will flat out tell you to fuck off, and end the conversation right there. God help you if you’re some excitable dumb fuck working a phone bank calling to ask which asshole I voted for.

With regards to politics, for the next 48 hours you can either bring me whiskey, or fuck off.

Vintage

November 1, 2012 - 11:55 pm 11 Comments

Today I found the best thing on the internet, which are these excerpts from a letter Charles Darwin wrote to Charles Lyell in 1861.

For those who aren’t experts on Charles Darwin and can’t make out his handwriting, which appears to have been developed on the theory that if one is having difficulty forming a word one should simply press on and eventually it will all be over*, the quote is this:

“But I am very poorly today and very stupid and hate everybody and everything.”

Oh Charles. Buddy. I can so relate.

It goes on like this:

“I am going to write a little book for Murray on orchids, and today I hate them worse than everything.”

I HAVE HAD THIS MORNING. SOMETIMES IT LASTS WELL INTO EVENING.

*Which, not to bash on Darwin, everybody who’s ever had to quickly take notes develops awful handwriting regardless of how beautiful their penmanship began. Mine looks like it was written by someone who is having a seizure, or possibly jotting something down quickly during an earthquake. I worry someday someone who has to deal with my checks or credit card slips will notice my signature is never the same twice.