Thursday, July 13, 2017


Because I need MORE painfully addicting things to read online (don't we all - not): random history; how about the history of hookless fasteners? Because - neato! What's nice about this site is that the research is solid. Not perfect (the history of wigs calls Elizabeth I Mary Queen of Scots' "predecessor", which is an imprecise use of a term with specific implications - and in another article it discusses flour used as wig powder, which we all know was Not a Thing, thanks to American Duchess, right?), but above average for online history, and sources are included, which is great for research AND history dorks!

Image: Wikipedia, of course
(Original? No, but I hate to be a thief!)

One of the great pieces of received wisdom in the United States is that fat people in poverty are chubbier because they eat so darn much fast food. Challenging one angle of the theory that poor people eat more poorly - it is in fact the middle class who eat the most fast food. That said, differences across the board, demographically-speaking, are not wide in the U.S. The findings seems functionally obvious to me; those of us who spend the most time in cube farms live lives all but tailored to eat McFud the most. I keep this to a minimum, but there ARE times it's just easy. (But no: I have not had fast food during the past three weeks ...) The click beyond: on the possible ineffectiveness of fast-food bans in lower income areas. Because, really? Fast food is NOT actually cheap. Hmm.

American independence and personal responsibility for being poor. This is quite a good read, one that de-fuses emotion and contextualizes things in a way Americans don't always stop to do. Poverty is not a static, unchanging state; we move in and out of it (I have myself). And its victims do not have the control we as a nation like to ascribe to each of our individualist individuals.

Many may have read about Dr. Jumana Nagarwala, who was arrested in Michigan for performing FGM/C (a good interview, and explanation of the nomenclature here). A quote at the first link - "The practice has no place in modern society" - and this insightful essay both point to the way white America distances itself from ritual or behavior we either do not understand or wish to disavow. But these stories brought me to mind of the embrace Jeff Sypeck and Amy Kaufman see in our current culture, of "medieval" stereotypes, and the consequences. The fact is, we perform some damned indefensible procedures on ourselves, and no I do not mean body-obsessive plastic surgery - I mean "the husband's stitch" (see the second link), most "routine" circumcision, even some dental practices which may not truly be necessary for our health. Highly worth remembering: FGM/C in the modern world is NOT a Muslim tradition - one more reason to "other" this faith or mark them out as archaic, backward. It is performed across religions and cultures. And includes Christians. Clitoridectomy was covered by Blue Cross until 1977.

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