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I’m the Gatekeeper, are you the Keymaster?

I apologize to my LGBT friends, because this post is going to be terribly heteronormative, dealing with cis men and cis women because that is how the exercise was framed.  Now, the fact that the premise excludes all these groups by definition is itself worth talking about, but is much more than I can get into with this post.

There is an ongoing kerfuffle over a panel at the American Athiests’ conference and the fairly tone-deaf responses that have followed after accusations of sexism.  There are several contentions involved here and I would like to deal with just one of them (I have a life).  I have not yet seen a video of the talk itself, which I believe has not yet been made available, but even when this “Million Dollar Challenge” was framed by those who have used it, it seems fairly flawed.  And certainly I can’t come up with a good reason for including it in a serious discussion, as it provides almost no useful information.

The “million dollar challenge” has been described as follows*:

To the men: I will bet a million dollars (if I win you pay me a million if you win I pay you), that by midnight tonight you cannot find a woman [Author’s note: the men in the audience were purportedly told to look around the room to identify a such a woman in the audience, which adds another level of potential discomfort to an already needless exercise] to have consensual sex with you… but these are the rules… she must be someone you have never before met, no drugs, alcohol, money, promises of love, anything can be exchanged – all you can do is ask her if she would willingly go and have sex with you. That’s it. One question…

Then ask if any of the men think they could really win that bet? No takers

Then I offer the same bet to the women in the room… and ask do you think you could take the bet and win…

Most of the women agree that they could.

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On the Edge of Another Cultural Shift?

I’m old enough to remember the shift to digital media when it was still fought tooth and nail by the RIAA. I think if we dug in a box or two, I could find Thrack’s old minidisk player from high school, actually. I remember “mp3 is not a crime” and the fear-driven drafting of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

I also remember when the first real change in attitude happened.  When digital music became mainstream, and suddenly everyone had an iPod. When everything was marketed as mp3 compatible, including random hardware.  (Yep, that modem is totally mp3 compatible and they want you to know it, that’s why they slapped a sticker on it!)  I want to believe we are approaching another big shift, this time about video, but I don’t know if it can happen the same way it did before.

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Do We Ever Really Grow Up?

This weekend, Thrack and I went to the birthday celebration of a friend at MacCool’s public house. Among those attending were old friends from high school.

While all of the people I’ve known for so long change life status, and jobs (hopefully getting a little wiser along the way) it seems to me that none of us essentially change who we are. It makes me wonder if I grew up with an unrealistic idea of how lives progress; that once you passed life milestones x, y and z, you were different, suddenly an adult with a totally changed grasp of what-the-hell-you’re-doing.

My birthday is coming up soon, and that’s certainly part of where this is coming from, but I feel little different than I did as an adolescent & young adult.  While I’m occasionally frustrated with my progress on certain life goals, I’m very happy with others.  I don’t identify with many expectations others are starting to have of us (we certainly have no interest in starting a family soon).

I think no matter what happens, you stay who you always were.  And thinking about friends running around Dan’s (one shouting the other was trying to steal his purse), that is a very good thing.

Thrack and I also finished watching Bond films through the end of Roger Moore’s tenure this weekend.  The only thing to say is there is little to recommend 1980’s Bond.

Skimpy or Naked Girls Notwithstanding…

I’m always amazed how many things echo or directly borrow from James Bond films.  We’ve been working way through, and have now watched 10 of the 22 movies.  They vary widely in quality and watchability, (I’m looking at you, Diamonds Are Forever & Live and Let Die) but even the bad ones seem to have seeped into popular culture.

We’ve recognized lighthearted references like The Incredibles borrowing the island base from Man With the Golden Gun and a truly ridiculous percentage of The Venture Brothers.  Even the really bad movies are important to the modern visual language in movies and television, although with perhaps less emphasis on naked silhouetted women.