If I were braver…

I would have just walked out of Mass today when the priest went on an absurd anti-gay rant related to NC’s upcoming vote on a Constitutional amendment banning all forms of legal recognition for gay couples.  Just to top it off, he made some remark about sex education and 2nd graders (because abstinence education works so well!)   But I’m not, so I just stood there and spent the rest of mass quietly stewing.  Presumably, not the spiritual experience I should be aiming for.  It really is fine with me that the Catholic Church thinks it is wrong for gay people to get married.  Fine– don’t marry them.  Nobody expects that.  Either the Catholic Church accepts that the United States is a nation of secular laws or it doesn’t.  Sure, they have every right to make their position heard and they should, but in a world where there’s so much to be concerned about, this seems like it should be #143 on the list.   I only wish they seemed to spend half the mental energy worrying about the problems of the poor and oppressed instead of what gays are doing.  Ugh.

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Photo of the day

Going a little more risque than usual, but I was pretty intrigued by this photo gallery and story about a plus-size model (though, only in the fashion world is size 12 really all that large) who undertook a photo shoot to demonstrates just how absurdly skinny a “normal” model is:

Plus Model Magazine

Personally, it seem obvious to me that the “plus-size” model is way healthier and thus way more attractive than the run-way model on the left who looks as if she hasn’t eaten for a month.  I don’t think there’s really a lot new to say on this subject, but I do think the visual juxtaposition makes the point in a new and intriguing way.

The Ron Paul appeal

Nice piece by Libby Copeland in Slate that takes a look at why Ron Paul seems to have such a disproportionate appeal to young men.  She does a really nice job of linking it to Political Science research:

The notion that this year’s election is a choice between freedom (in the form of Paul) and tyranny (in the form of any other candidate) encapsulates Paul’s grand appeal to men in their late teens and 20s: He traffics in absolutes. Political scientists point out that age and newness to politics predispose young voters to a less nuanced view of the political world. They’re less likely to take the long view, less likely to have patience, less likely to spin out the implications of their political theories.

Paul is for these voters less a politician than a wise professor who has, through decades of research, gradually honed in on the simple truths that will turn our country around. By implication, his supporters are the ones who’ve educated themselves enough to know only their revered Dr. Paul has the aforementioned “answer.” In this way, the elderly politician has pulled of a kind of branding coup, tapping into the intellect and the egos of hordes of young men frustrated by this economy’s thwarting of their ambitions.

The young tend to be “more interested in simpler, more abstract and pure philosophies,” says Peter Levine, who directs Tufts University’s Circle Research center, which studies young people’s civic participation. They are less likely to have developed the kind of partisan affiliation that older voters filter their news through, so they’re more reactive, more influenced by events of the moment, political scientists say. And this hasn’t just benefited Paul—in 2008, college-aged voters swooned for Barack Obama in part because they’d spent adolescence under President Bush, who was supremely loathed by the time the last election rolled around.

I especially love this last bit, as it seems relatively true to my experience with Paul supporters:

“The Ron Paul brand is actually relatively intellectual,” Cassino says. It’s “A brand that’s about, ‘I’m smarter than you are.’ … ‘All the politicians are telling you one thing but I know better.’ ” This is the brand for those who feel different, who see themselves as a little bit brainier and more marginalized than everyone else. “If you’re playing Dungeons and Dragons, this is your poiltical movement,” Cassino says.

More so the “I’m smarter than you.”  I think the D&D bit is a bit of a cheap shot, but also pretty funny.  Ask me about my 18/00 strength Paladin.

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