Monday, January 14, 2013


Image source.

1. The saddest graph you'll see today (posted January 7) :(

And, since that graphic condenses a ton of statistics into an overly simple form, there's some criticism: This Rape Infographic Is Going Viral. Too Bad It's Wrong. (posted January 8)

The basic idea is true though, and that's horrible.

2. 16 Tons and bricks without straw: Christianity Today wants to bring back the company town (posted January 8) "Christianity Today is required by law to provide every member of its staff access to booze and porn."

3. Drug or Pokemon? (sporcle quiz) I got 21/40. And I was a pokemon nerd back in the day.

4. Why I don't believe in grace (posted January 9) "The truth is, grace is offensive."

5. Where Christians Get Environmentalism Wrong (posted January 9) "Because Jesus holds this world together, oil spills are an insult to His design."

6. Roe at 40: New Infographics Illustrate Key Facts About Abortion in the United States (posted January 8)

7. just shut up. (posted December 27) "I don’t know about you, but when I was a child, nobody sat down with me after I watched Beauty and the Beast and said, 'Okay, this is a movie, and it’s okay to enjoy this movie! It’s okay to think this movie is great! But just so you know, if someone in real life did to you the things the Beast does to Belle, that wouldn’t be okay. That wouldn’t be right.'"

8. The Gay Community and That One Time Jesus Called Me the ‘N-word’ (posted January 7)

9. “you’re a pretty good speaker for a woman” and other wacky memories (posted January 7)

10. new year, new self-control (posted December 2011) "So, would it have been better to live during a time when well-fed women were hailed as beauties? I doubt it. Because the issue is not 'fat versus thin' – it is 'perfect versus imperfect'. There has never been a time when women have not defined themselves by (enslaved themselves to?) some ideal of physical beauty."

11. Telling God’s Story, Not the Old Testament’s (posted January 4) How do we teach kids the (completely bizarre) bible stories in the Old Testament?

12. 'Smart power': Army making cultural training a priority (posted January 12) This is super-important.

13. Killing My Voice Mail (posted January 3) "Hi, this is John Scalzi. I will never ever ever ever listen to the voice mail you’re about to leave, because voice mail is a pain in the ass."


  1. I really love your Blogarounds, and this one was especially good in thought-provoking material. Thanks for perusing the internet and sharing some of its gems with us!

  2. About the "Just Shut Up" blog: I get what this woman is saying, but I think that she (and her professor who showed the movie) are kind of missing the point. The point is that the Beast is a beast. Literally, a beast-- and he has been turned into a Beast by a woman enchantress, as part of a judgment for his sins. As a fairy tale, it arises out of an oral tradition that is very far removed from the modern, rationalistic mindset of the professor. The movie takes this story and, by adding Gaston as an additional element, makes a point that the original story does not make.

    One of the main points of the movie is that the contrast between Gaston and the Beast shows who is the actual beast. Both the Beast and Gaston act abusively towards Belle. But the Beast repents. The Beast changes.

    The Beast acts as he does towards Belle because the animal nature has taken him over. Belle, by her presence, shows him what it is to be human again. It is true that she certainly should not have put up with such treatment from a human. But the Beast is not human, and the rules regarding him are different. He needs Belle to help him learn what it means to be human.

    In the end, the Beast shows Belle that he has indeed learned how to be human, by turning away from killing Gaston even though it means his own death. Gaston, secure in his supposed humanity, learns nothing, and by his beastly behavior shows that he is spiritually the real beast.

    The Beast is cursed, and Beauty breaks the curse. This is extremely important, and if this element is not understood as a crucial part of the story, the message of the story becomes disrupted.

  3. Continued from above...

    The magic element in this story is the spell of judgment performed by the witch at the beginning. She sees that the young man is a beast and turns him into what he really is, in order for him to see himself for who he is, which is necessary for repentence. If you take the magic element out of this story, it turns into something else-- and that something else is what the blog writer, and her professor, seem to have made the movie become. Putting it in purely human, natural terms means the story is no longer "Beauty and the Beast." It's "Beauty and the abusive man." And as "Beauty and the abusive man" it doesn't,and can't work-- because the elements of judgment, repentence and redemption are lost.

    Also, this story is meant to begin with a woman pronouncing judgment, and the repercussions of that. Isn't it a distortion of the story to remove that first woman from it? The woman at the beginning of the story is the archetypical "wise woman" of the fairy tale tradition. Her judgment is wise and sound, and it is the reason for the whole rest of the plot.

    In short, the blog writer's professor read the story in terms of a modern, rationalistic viewpoint, and taught her students to do the same. But what this does is lose the mindset of the original oral tradition, without which we cannot see the story as it was meant to be understood.

  4. Cool! I am a huge fan of Disney movies, so I always love hearing analysis of them. I hadn't thought about the contrast between Gaston and the Beast.

    I've heard different opinions from the land of feminist blogs about whether the relationship is abusive or not. People can write and speculate about stuff like that forever- the reason I linked to the "just shut up" blog post is because it talked about how important it is to ask those questions and think critically about what we see in movies and stuff. If people don't think about the messages and meanings behind it, then they may subconsciously believe a lot of messed-up things about what is and isn't normal in a relationship.

  5. Thanks, perfectnumber. I thoroughly agree that we should examine and ask critical questions about what we see in movies and other narrative forms. I agree that "just shut up" is not the answer.