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Harmful Considerations

Tantek muses: “I wonder who is going to write the ‘”Considered Harmful” Essays Considered Harmful’ essay.”  It’s always a weird feeling when I share a brain with someone other than my wife.  I almost wrote that essay a few months ago, when I’d been sent one too many “considered harmful” links, and that was going to be pretty much its exact title.  Guess I’d better jump on the idea now, before someone else does it.  If I had to make a guess, I’d say look for something to show up tomorrow.

Fly the really friendly skies: Hooters adds airline wings (CNN).  I can’t decide if this a highly creative way to bankrupt a restaurant chain or a brilliant move.  I suppose if the airline is repositioned as high-end CEO charter service, with prices to match, it could be a hugely profitable business.  Maybe I shouldn’t have used the word “hugely” in the previous sentence.  Sorry.

Speaking of odd commercial news, it would seem the Segway is a popular item (CNN) after all.  I’m having trouble believing this isn’t just more hype, since Amazon doesn’t want to give out sales figures, and I’ve never really understood why anyone would want to spend a large chunk of money on a really high-tech scooter.  Then again, I don’t understand people spending large amounts of money on sporting-event tickets and memorabilia, so what do I know?

Well, at least somebody finally did what I’ve been expecting, and decided Eric Meyer on CSS was picking up too many five-star reviews.  It managed to collect 23 top ratings in a row before the backlash started, so I feel pretty good about that.  I won’t even try rebutting the three-star review, as it makes some reasonable points.  The book is not a cure-all; no book ever is, which is why I wrote the “Should You Buy This Book?” text.

Meanwhile, the United States may or may not be going to war with one or more members of its self-created “Axis of Evil.”  Not that I think those were countries with our best interests at the forefront of their minds—and why should they have?—but throwing around labels with a level of sophistication not too far above fourth-grade recess just doesn’t seem like a good way to manage foreign policy.

I should talk.  My Christmas gifts included an XBox game where you can use a giant robot to blow up everything around you, including buildings, a so-so rock album, a comic-book movie, and a truly deranged comedy cult classic.  Too bad I couldn’t come up with anything personally meaningful to request for the holidays this year.  At least I found out that my family does in fact know me well, as I was given quite a few Eeyore-themed items.  The slippers were an especially nice touch.

Over at his own journal, The Ferrett comments rather directly on the sexualization of pre-adults in the movies.  I agree with him in a generic sense, although I disagree that the “Harry Potter” cast was destined to be over-eroticized.  Just because an author does a remarkable job of making characters real (for certain definitions of the term “real”), that doesn’t force an eroticization of the same characters on film.  No, I think that’s just the evolution of video storytelling over the last several decades—and it’s been happening for longer than most of us realize.  The Major and the Minor is a movie about a young woman posing as a 12-year-old who falls in love with a man who thinks she’s, well, twelve.  Of course he has no interest in her other than semi-paternal, but by the end of the movie they end up together, depsite his being engaged at the movie’s outset.  It stars Ginger Rogers and Ray Milland and was written by Billy Widler, so that will give you a hint regarding its age.  My parents weren’t even born when it was filmed.  So making sexual objects out of minors is not exactly new.

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