the miscellany chronicle

bit of this, bit of that


I hate the world.

What the FUCK.

A man accused of biting off his wife's bottom lip after she called him short has rejected a plea offer and will stand trial next month, prosecutors said.

Akano Nzerem, 54, of South San Francisco, is charged with felony counts of domestic violence, mayhem, false imprisonment, battery and making criminal threats.

Nzerem told police he was provoked by his wife attacking him first and calling him a short man, according to the district attorney's office.

Police said Nzerem shoved aside his 16-year-old daughter when she tried to intervene in the argument. He then allegedly grabbed his wife in a bear hug and bit off her lip.

Police recovered the lip from the floor but doctors were unable to reattach it. Nzerem's wife said authorities have exaggerated the extent of her injuries.

Yeah, those crazy bitches-- always exaggerating the extent of their injuries. WHEN THEIR HUSBANDS BITE PART OF THEIR FACES OFF.


also, she breathes too much

There is an interesting article at the SF Chronicle about Nawal al Saadawi, a feminist writer from Egypt. It is a bleak portrait of a culture, wherein religious fundamentalists feel they have the right to dictate not only the actions of a society, but also the art produced by members of that society. (Sound familiar?)

The part of the article that really jolted me, however, came at the end of a long list of ways al Saadawi has been targeted by ultra-conservative Muslims:

In 2001, an Islamic lawyer filed divorce proceedings to break up her marriage, arguing that "an infidel should not be married to a Muslim man." But her husband, 83-year-old Sherif Hetata, is one of her biggest supporters.

"Those who oppose al-Saadawi's ideas would never allow a logical discussion of them," said Hetata, a Cairo physician. "They know that enlightened thoughts would win the day and that is why they are afraid."

A man who, presumably, HAD NEVER MET EITHER ONE OF THEM, filed for divorce. He filed for the divorce of TWO STRANGERS.

The sheer gall is the most unnerving thing about it-- it somehow seems more offensive than death threats, for some reason. Some people want to end her life, but some people are willing to settle for merely dismantling it.

(And, of course, not one of her many outraged fundamentalist critics has even read the play they are protesting so vehemently. They've all heard that it is offensive and insulting to God, they just aren't so sure WHY or HOW. But, you know, details.)

too bad they didn't make self-esteem mandatory.

Well, what a surprise.

The Kansas Board of Education on Tuesday repealed sex education policies enacted last year, the latest move by the moderate majority to undo efforts by conservatives when they dominated the board.

One rescinded policy recommended that schools stress abstinence until marriage, while the other urged school districts to get parental permission before students could attend human sexuality classes.

On a 6-3 vote, the board replaced the policies with one that recommends "abstinence plus" sex education programs and leaves it up to the state's 296 school districts to decide whether to get parental permission.

The "abstinence plus" program stresses abstinence before marriage, while also urging schools to give students information about birth control and prevention of sexually transmitted diseases.

On the one hand, good that they finally got enough control to undo some of the damage their delusional predecessors had managed to do.

On the other-- how sad is it that "abstinence plus" is a step forward? And in the article, there are people bitching about how "abstinence plus" isn't what parents want. THE KIDS ARE STILL BEING ENCOURAGED TO PRACTICE ABSTINENCE, but people are still unhappy that they are ALSO being informed that sex happens, and that people having it can protect themselves.

I have vague memories of sex ed in elementary and middle school, but the session I remember most clearly happened when I was a junior in high school. My biology teacher had an array of prophylactics, and she looked each boy in the class in the eye one by one. "I am doing this because I do NOT want you getting girls pregnant," she said firmly.

In retrospect, I like the fact that she very clearly placed responsibility for contraception with the boys in that classroom, since that lot so overwhelmingly falls to women.

What really strikes me as important, however, was her borderline explicit message: teenagers (especially boys) are taught by our culture to be stupid about sex, and if calling them stupid and teaching them about condoms was the only way she could influence their choices, then that was what she was going to do. The idea that people in Kansas think their children are smart enough to make good decisions about sex BAFFLES me. Teenagers are not smart about ANYTHING, and if Kansas youth pastors can't persuade their young flocks to keep their legs crossed, then the schools certainly aren't going to either.



Dude finds whole potato in bag of potato chips

There is something devastatingly sad about that poor potato, failed by the system and whatnot.

it tends to be more of a grimace than a smile, actually.

I recently found out that my boss's boss is concerned that I seem a bit "surly." His conclusion came from the fact that when he walks by my desk five times a day, I tend to keep working instead of dropping everything to give him a big smile and hello. Oddly enough, I doubt he'd have this problem if I was a dude.

This is a guy who talks a good game about equality for women, but the fact remains that his last two assistants were young women with long blonde hair (and he specifically said he didn't want to hire a male). One, who is a friend of mine, was called "Blondie" for two years instead of her actual name. When she cut OFF her long blonde hair, BossBoss was horrified, and a bit hurt that she hadn't asked for his permission before chopping it off. Whoever his assistant is, he stands over her shoulder-- oh, and he doesn't write email himself, because he has no interest in learning, so the assistant does that for him as well. Sometimes, he tugs on the assistant's hair.

Oh, and how could I forget-- he asked his 25-year old assistant why she wasn't married yet.

Anyway, I guess I'm submitting properly now, because when he walks by these days, I give him the big smile all nice ladies are supposed to wear, and I trill the most insincere bullshit I can think of, all because he actually went to my boss and said he thought I was maybe treating visitors to the office less than professionally. And when I pointed out he was full of it, she said "yes, well, he is the boss."

I kind of hate myself for shutting up and beaming like a good little girl, but I think I'll save what I really think until my promotion is final.