Tuesday, September 22, 2015


I'm not very surprised to hear that more men than women have major parts in movies, but I am surprised that it is as dramatic as it is.  
...In the 120 films the MDSC analyzed, only 30.9 percent of speaking and named characters were women......The United States is far from a leader: Of the 11 most profitable film-producing territories, the United States ranks near the bottom in allocating speaking roles to women.hickey-datalab-globalstudyThe MDSC, which studies the portrayal of women and minority groups in film, also found that women were more than twice as likely as men “to be shown in sexually revealing attire.”
Unlike the plight of minorities in film--which does make some sense from a pure marketing standpoint--that women would be so dramatically underrepresented is very odd. 50% of the population is female, and so 50% of your potential ticket buyers are female, and so it seems that more female characters and leads would mean more potential revenue.

That women are more sexualized in film: also not surprising.

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Weird Guy

So Harvard Law School professor (and TED talk dude) Larry Lessig is running for president.  Ok, but, how is it possible that a Harvard law prof is so stupid about politics?
Lessig believes his plan will actually “elevate” [the debate] above the partisan divide by taking on an issue he said Americans agree on: campaign finance reform. Lessig said his proposed platform “would fix this democracy and make it possible for government to actually do something without fear of what the funders want them to do.”
That sounds like something a stupid person would think sounds smart.  First off: Americans agree on a lot of things that don't get past the partisan divide.  In fact, the majority opinion of the American people on almost every issue is supported by the Democratic party.  Tax the rich more: yep.  Regulate Wall Street and banksters: yep.  Everyone should have health care access: yep.  Social security should be kept the same or made more generous even if it means increasing taxes: yep.  People that actually work for a living should have a wage that supports, you know, living: yep.  Children should have access to good schools and should not be allowed to go hungry: yep.  Companies should not be allowed to pollute (air, streams) endangering the health of entire communities: yep.

It is the vary narrow support of [mostly] incredibly wealthy ass holes that is the Republican party line.  He thinks, somehow, that this will be above the fray of politics?  The only thing that allows Republicans to win anywhere in this country is the money in politics (well, that combined with racism and sexism).  They lose on the issues--nearly all of them.

Moreover, a partisan divide is not a bad thing inherently.  It is problematic in our political system because the minority party has enough power to stop anything from happening.  Abolishing the Senate and eliminating gerrymandering in the House would do far more to improve our political fortunes, and is every bit as likely to occur as Lessig's personal delusion.

Other Advantages

While Atrios does (as usual) have a good point here, one of the reasons that [super]trains are compared to air travel rather than auto is because they are more comparable experiences.  You buy a ticket, get a seat, are on your own to get to and from the stations, can't bring too much stuff and can't decide to take random breaks for whatever.

If I could take my dog on a train with me (as you can lots of places in Europe...at least the city light rail) and if there was a good enough network that after I get off the intercity rail there were plenty of other trains/transit options to get around at the destination (as there is in Europe and in some US cities) then I could look at a train as an alternative to driving.  Right now, it isn't, and it won't be.