I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe
The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken
Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me — that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter — except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell
December 29, 2014 - 12:38 p.m.
I'm going to have the lowest monthly readership in December since April. It's about half as many readers as August. Where have all the readers gone? Long time passing. See I'm still funny. I know but looks aren't everything.
What's exciting from yesterday? Watching two episodes of Doctor Who. It was an interesting choice of episodes though, Spearhead from Space the first serial with the third doctor, John Pertwee, and Deep Breath, the first with the latest Doctor, Peter Capaldi. This was the first new Doctor Who I've watched in a few years. There's a new Doctor in town and figured I'd give him a chance. But the thing is I liked Matt Smith, what I didn't like was the writing and feel of the show.
Deep Breath started off fine. I liked that Capaldi is older. there have been way to many young good looking Doctors. Capaldi is too good looking too. The Doctor should be played by character actor types, he's a character. But still it was a step in the right direction. Capaldi's disorientation was quite reminiscent of Pertwee's. I have a feeling the writers actually watched the transitions in the old series. It might even have helped that I hadn't been watching as my confusion mirrored the Doctor's. Is there any explanation of why an lizard lady and a Sontaran are living in Victorian England and not attracting attention? Oh she's a Silurian. Looks a bit more like a Sea Devil to me. I liked the companion Clara quite a bit. Better than most or the New Series companions. The steam punk elements were derivative but I could live with them. The ending with the personal melodrama and the appearance of Matt Smith, the previous Doctor left me thinking that it's still not the show for me. And that's sad as the original series is perhaps my all-time favorite show.
OK now for a total change of direction, I want to talk about discrimination. I've had this planned for months but found a handle to deal with it in this article in the NY Times, In Hollywood, It’s a Men’s, Men’s, Men’s World. Last year the six major studios released just three films directed by women. This is in Hollywood, a liberal bastion. Why? The writer gives a lot of reasons, but it seems like the biggest is that it's perceived to be more of a risk to fail with a woman than with a man, even by women executives. But there are others including feedback. The perception of prejudice inhibits women from wanting to become directors so there are less women to begin with. This is less true for small indie films, where less money is involved, so maybe that bodes well for the future.
But that's not the point I want to make. I mean you all are against sex discrimination right? What I want to talk about is more psychological and mathematical.
This whole line of thought started with me thinking about how people like to think that they are being discriminated against. Don't think that's? Why do you think there are Men's Right's groups? Why do so many whites feel that there's discrimination against whites? Why do Christians feel they are being persecuted? Members of the groups in power feel they are discriminated against. There must be an appeal to it. And of course there is. Then if you don't get the job, the promotion, the recognition, you can blame it on somebody else. It isn't your own fault.
So now let's to back to directing major studio films. A woman doesn't get a job directing is that because of discrimination? Probably not. The vast majority of men who want to be directors don't get a job directing a big budget film either. The numbers I'm giving are made up but they make the point. I have a feeling I should use bigger numbers. Let's say there are 100 films made and 97 are directed by men. Then there are 1000 men and 300 women who want to direct them. Remember women are discouraged from being director so less try. A little less than 10% of the men will be hired and 1% of the women. So if women got hired at the same rate. there would have been about 29 women instead of 3. Twenty-six women are victims of discrimination and the rest would not have gotten a film even if they were men.
Now when I started thinking about this is was about people wanting to feel discriminated against. I just hear people using it to explain their disappointments all the time. But working with actual numbers reminded me of a point important for social policy. Our workplace discrimination laws require an individual suing to prove discrimination. But that's a high burden. Most individuals who don’t get jobs don't do so because of discrimination and there's not going to be evidence against those who do discriminate. People will rarely leave a memo, "don't hire any blacks." Discrimination usually only becomes visible as patterns and we lack good ways of enforcing that. I mean what are we supposed to do jail studio heads that don't hire enough women? What's enough? We need some sort of more measured response. No solutions here. Maybe you can come up with one.
And now to eat breakfast. I have to head up to my PO today. I keep getting notifications about more mail. Maybe it's filled with Festivus presents.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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