Archive for October, 2009

Rocky Mountain Low


Gee, I could have been at some meetings....

The Annual Meetings of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion and Religious Research Association just finished in Denver on Sunday, but I had more important things to do.  I couldn’t be more disappointed with the state of my subfield of the social sciences. A decade ago, there was much progress and more promise. Now, its considerably worse than when I entered the field 20 years ago. I  never thought I’d yearn for the bad old days when nice-but-not-very-sociologically informed  liberal Protestants dominated the meetings. Now, the core seems dominated by far right wing Christianists, hell bent on forcing their agenda on everything. I’m surprised they haven’t renamed it the Society for the Study of the Positive Effects of Christianity.

But, you know, I’m starting not to care. Maybe I shouldn’t have really gotten involved with these groups in the first place. I really like real sociologists. You know, ones who read American Sociological Review, and shit like that. I actually enjoy seeing people at the Southern Sociological Society meetings! I look forward to presenting papers and hanging out at the receptions at SSS (or the social movements section at ASA). With SSSR for the last five years, I feel like I’m going to court to defend myself from a frivolous charge of puppy molestation. It is true that I hate puppies, but I have never had sex with that puppy.

I have about twelve articles and two books that need completion. After that…I don’t know. I may start doing work in zoology….Or I could become dead wood and just ride my bike ALL the time!

Protest Potential Panned

Barney's not there....

Barney's not there....

Ah, the gay rights march. Or, more appropriately the LGBTQ march, on Washington. Because, well, that’s what the Christians and 9-12ers do and shit like that. What, exactly, is desired which is accomplished by this particular type of collective action? Given that participants no doubt spent at least $500 each to do this event, what else could have been done with that money? Is influence in Washington DC a function of the number of people on the quad in a march, or the number of dollars put into the reelection coffers of legislators? Barney Frank Knows.

I just love Barney Frank. He’s the best politician in Washington, and everyone knows it. If he were straight, he already would have served two terms as President. But, just because he’s gay doesn’t mean he thinks other people like him should waste time,  effort, and money on silly dramaturgical events. Great. Drama. And Queens. That’s gonna be a great help. Mass events have never helped groups seeking rights for gays and lesbians, because they are effectively used by countermovements. Bernstein’s comparisons of NYC and Portland are instructive.  Gays and lesbians constitute a greater proportion of the population than Jews–more than twice the proportion. They need to act like it.

Olympic Goatfucking

I got games

I got games

Yes, Illinois and the non-rightwing nutjob sectors of the US are reeling from the smack down by the IOC regarding the 2016 games. No Chicago. Rio. Chicago didn’t even make it out of the first round, despite being seen as an easy bet—at least among ignorant, arrogant Americans. The USSR had already long held the selection to the 1980 games when they decided to invade Afghanistan. The result was a boycott by many nations who thought that the Soviet’s unilateral interference in the politics of a supposedly sovereign nation overstepped the bounds of civility thought becoming of participants, and especially hosts, of the Olympic Games.  Unfortunately for Chicago, our current breach of civility is hanging out there like withering leaves on a storm-damaged tree….We’re a rogue nation. We violate civil rights. We torture people. We conduct wars against the conventions of international agreements. We prop up petty dictators, and assist other rogue nations who routinely flout normal moral standards of conduct. The IOC already regretted choosing Beijing. It was a horrific failure, and gave legitimacy to a bad state on top of the lack of appeal to consumers. Chicago wouldn’t have been as bad. But why would the international community want to honor the US with the Olympics? Brazil has done nothing wrong, and when they do, the investigate and prosecute. I was kind of pulling for Madrid, but that was unlikely given the recency of Barcelona…..

It is  disturbing is to see the American Right gloating about this as if it is a failure for Obama, and this schema seems to dominate most discussion in the US (but nowhere else!!! Everyone else KNOWS why we didn’t get the Games). Obama’s home city doesn’t get the Olympics. This is perfect for fat ugly fucks like Bill Bennett and Rush Limbaugh. But, the reason why Obama’s hometown isn’t going to get the Olympics is because of the policies of the Bush Regime. The world does not forget our atrocities, even if we choose to ignore both.