Total Drek

Or, the thoughts of several frustrated intellectuals on Sociology, Gaming, Science, Politics, Science Fiction, Religion, and whatever the hell else strikes their fancy. There is absolutely no reason why you should read this blog. None. Seriously. Go hit your back button. It's up in the upper left-hand corner of your browser... it says "Back." Don't say we didn't warn you.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Just to make sure this isn't lost on anyone.

Folks who keep an eye on the sociological blogosphere probably know about Wicked Anomie, another pseudonymous grad student blogger who is just as irreverent as I am.* That said, you've probably seen her recent post on our stupid country. Specifically, she links to a video from Jon Stewart's "The Daily Show" discussing the ongoing, and absurd, arguments over abstinence-only sex education:

Ah, yes, abstinence-only sex ed. An approach to stopping teen pregnancy and STDs so brilliant, I'm surprised it hasn't spread to other social issues:

Thanks for making it out on a rainy Saturday, kids. Slippery out there, huh? Let's get started. We're gonna have some fun today!

Car accidents are a leading cause of death for teenagers. The school board and your elected representatives want to make sure that you and your families are spared from such a tragedy, which is why the money for driver's ed was eliminated from the budget. Whereas last year I was teaching your older siblings how to shift and brake and three-point-turn during a six-week course, it has since been decreed that I actually need just one afternoon to tell you the only piece of safety information I'm permitted by law to share:

The ONLY 100 percent effective method for avoiding car accidents is to ABSTAIN from driving until marriage.

Yes, yes, I know you've been bombarded with messages from popular culture about how much fun it would be to get behind the wheel of a red convertible, find an unbroken stretch of country road, and, with the wind in your hair, see what she can do. I know that up until now you had the mistaken belief that getting a driver's license was a cherished milestone of your young, sweet, innocent lives. It isn't. It's a milestone, all right: a milestone indicating terrible pain, degradation, and certain death.

Returning to how this post got started, Wicked Anomie also includes this rather fantastic quote from the clip:

"It seems rather elitist to me for people who have degrees in this field to feel that they - because they've studied it - somehow know better than the parents" -Tennessee Rep. John Duncan

It goes without saying that, in fact, when someone devotes their professional life to studying something there is a strong possibility that they may have a better grasp of the particulars that individual participants. This is more or less akin to saying that in the event that you are suffering from cancer, you're better off going to an oncologist for help than to someone else who is dying of cancer.** Not really a hard concept to grasp.

Well, not a hard concept to grasp unless you're conservative, it would seem. If it isn't enough that John Duncan and Sam Brownback are raving lunatics, there's the issue that they're not alone. Why, if we take a jaunt over to Conservapedia we can find two gems on their main page that were obviously mined from the same vein. Take, for example, this perfect example dealing with the same topic:

For those who don't want to read the pic:

Sex education leads, through the treacherous sexual pragmatism of politicians and social "experts," directly to contraception, sterilization and abortion. Sex education must be replaced by education in marriage and family; love and truth must replace statistics and risks.

Yeah, those damned "experts" are rearing their heads again! I mean, hell, who do they think they are? Spending their lives studying major social problems and recommending fixes. We already know that since the introduction of contraception human lives have gone into the shitter. I mean, weren't women happier when they might have a half dozen or more children regardless of their ability to take care of or support them? I don't even know what to say about the last sentence. Replace statistics and risks with truth and love? Can I write a grant proposal like that? "The researcher plans to evaluate his data by cuddling with it, telling it that it's special, the only data for the researcher. This loving behavior will obviate the need for more traditional statistical procedures."

And if that's not enough for you, try this:

And, again, the text:

DNA Similarities Don't Prove Evolution
It is only fair that evidence supporting intelligent design or creation be presented to students alongside of evolutionary theory, especially in public schools which receive funding from taxpayers who are on both sides of the issue.

Yeah! Since schools receive funding from people who both believe in good science and batshit looney nonsense, clearly we should teach one alongside the other. I love this logic! Pretty soon Conservapedia will no doubt be lobbying for showings of Loose Change in high school history. Hey, some tax payers believe it! Then, flush with their success, maybe they can move on to pushing for flat Earth geography, bigfoot studies, and maybe even electric windmill automotive engineering.

Republicans? Hi, yeah, can I offer you some advice?

First, get your party leadership together in a big room.
Then, lock them all in that room.
Third, set fire to that room.
Finally start over.

You cannot possibly get a bunch of bigger morons than you are laboring under right now.

I mean damn!

* Not as offensive as I am, though. Boo-yah!

** "You may have all o' them fancy degrees and such, but ah think ah know how to handle mah own tumors, thankee very much!"

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is that a challenge I hear? Cuz I can step up the offensiveness...

I especially like the bit about how "love and truth must replace statistics and risks." I wonder: does love replace statistics and truth replace risk? Or truth<-statistics and love<-risk? Maybe the two sides are just so highly correlated it doesn't matter. Truth IS love, and statistics ARE risky. Let's take a moment and honor those statisticians who put their lives on the line for the rest of us every day.

But aren't statistics also truth?

Fuck it. I don't need statistics, cuz I have LOVE.

Friday, May 02, 2008 11:48:00 AM  
Blogger Marf said...

Actually, in my high school physics class we were taught a great deal about bigfoot. Because you know, bigfoot lessons belong in a physics class.

I liked the lesson where we watched that footage of a bigfoot, and the teacher pointed out it's fake because the bigfoot had no cleavage in his rear-end. It was a suit.

Saturday, May 03, 2008 1:46:00 PM  
Blogger Aftersox said...

Abstinence-only programs masquerade as health programs, but they're not. They are distinctly religious. They are not intended to improve health, but to protect an abstract concept - marriage. They can't risk supporting even minor infractions against the divinely sanctioned institution of marriage, but they can risk the spread of STDs and an increase in teen pregnancy.

The flame of traditionalist marriages and the flame of abstinence-only is fueled by the same source.

Sunday, May 04, 2008 10:41:00 AM  

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