Archive for May, 2009

Why men are happier than women

Posted in culture on May 31, 2009 by Jonathan

A study found that women, despite all their recent gains in the Western world, are falling behind men in the happiness gap:

Yet Stevenson and Wolfers have found that in America women’s happiness, far from rising, has fallen “both absolutely and relatively to that of men”. Where women in the 1970s reported themselves to be significantly happier than men, now for the first time they are reporting levels of happiness lower than men.

In Europe, people’s sense of happiness has risen slightly, but less so for women than men. In 12 European countries, including Britain, the happiness of women has fallen relative to that of men.

As to why women are lagging men in the happiness department, the article hits all of the usual suspects: inequalities in the workplace, the demands of children plus work, etc. But oddly missing from this list — or not so oddly missing, since we live in the world of political correctness and liberal arts graduates — is what is perhaps the chief suspect, which is that men and women have entirely different natures. Meaning that if the average woman chooses to ignore her sex’s nature and adopt a man’s, then it’s only natural that she’ll be less happy

Of course, to say such a thing is taboo, which is probably why the article never touches it. But if it were the other way around, and loads of men were noted as being unhappy after choosing a lifestyle entirely contrary to their nature, would as many articles tiptoe around the issue?


Hat tip: Hilary, recovering feminist

Idea Anaconda’s weekend music

Posted in music on May 30, 2009 by Jonathan

Steve Martin, whose book Pure Drivel is one of the few things I enjoy rereading (it includes such classic pieces as “Taping My Friends” and “Side Effects”), is also an impressive banjo player. From a review of his musical performance the other night:

Though the concert was billed as “A Tentative Evening of Bluegrass,” it presented Mr. Martin as a musician, not a comedian who plays around with music. “We’re not here for comedy,” he said gently. Which isn’t to say he fully suppressed his humor. “This is what I would play sitting around the living room by myself,” he announced at one point. “So would you all please leave.” Not only were we advised to turn off our cell phones, but also not to “murmur or make any facial expressions.” He allowed that the capacity crowd of 130 at the Rubin Museum was maybe just a bit smaller than the one that witnessed his recent performance on “American Idol.”

For those who scoff at the banjo as the stuff of backwoods yahoos, I give you this clip of Mr. Martin on Letterman’s show from several years ago:

It looks like I’m not the only one…

Posted in movies on May 30, 2009 by Jonathan

…who’s noticed something intriguing about the poster for Drag Me To Hell.

Pinocchio vs. Wall-E

Posted in movies on May 30, 2009 by Jonathan

Film critic Kyle Smith compares the ideologies of two classics of animation (hand-drawn and digital), Pinocchio and Wall-E:

There is a strong message of free will and individual choice in [“Pinocchio”]. It could not be more different from, say, “Wall-E,” whose theme is that of collective guilt that no individual can do much of anything about (except an innocent robot who presumably had nothing to do with the destruction of the planet in the first place and more or less saves the planet accidentally, while chasing a girl).

I remember, after having such high hopes for Wall-E, watching it in the theater with my jaw dropped from its overt environmentalist, anti-capitalist, and anti-American agenda. (And yes, showing all Americans as a bunch of obese, ignorant, brain-dead, uneducated, pleasure-seeking, pampered imbeciles who have forgotten how to walk counts in my book as anti-American, just as showing Frenchmen or Italians in the same light would be anti-French or anti-Italian.) It was as if Michael Moore had taken a stab at digital animation.

Nazis invade movie screens

Posted in movies on May 29, 2009 by Jonathan

Looks like Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds has a couple of bogies on its tail: Nazi zombies and Nazi spacemen.

The Third Reich: once a world menace, now the ultimate movie piñata.

Are the Brits braver than Hollywood?

Posted in culture, television with tags , , on May 28, 2009 by Jonathan

A while back, Mark Steyn got into a bit of trouble when, upon noting that Muslims would eventually replace gays as the new hip characters on television, he said, “Muslim is the new gay.” While the comment ensured his removal from many a Christmas card list, it seems that someone working at the British show EastEnders heard it and thought, “Bingo!”:

EastEnders is to tackle a storyline which will feature a Muslim man embarking upon a gay affair.

Now, as I don’t live in England I can’t claim to know the pulse of that country as well as mine. However, given that sharia law is practiced in parts of Britain, and that it’s the place that got the ball rolling for the fatwa against Salman Rushdie, it wouldn’t be surprising in the least if the controversy around the show threatens to get a bit, ah, incendiary.

On the other hand, when it comes to artistic courage, the creators and actors of EastEnders are putting all of the Hollywood blowhards in their place.

The truth behind the American Idol vote

Posted in culture, music on May 28, 2009 by Jonathan

If you thought the days of Gentleman’s Agreement were behind us… you were wrong:

Most casual observers would not see what I saw at work in the voting. Most Americans have blocked out of their collective memories the history of the Jewish people and have overlooked the basic reality that Adam Lambert lost “American Idol” because he is a Jew.

Read the rest, but be warned: It is horrifying.