Monthly Archives: November 2012

Best Lawsuit Ever

Sometimes the news smacks you in the face, pulls your hair, stomps on your feet, and laughs at you for yelping.

Like today, when I clicked on CNN’s headline “Gay men sue counselor a who promised to make them straight.”

Innocently thinking I’d get a feel-good update on the first ever lawsuit (really?!?! Yes, so it seems…) against a so-called conversion therapist, instead I got a horrorshow of sadism in the name of religion. My religion.

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Which is also the title of an astonishing book from the 80s, from Marilynne Robinson before she became the spokesperson of the new literary leftward Christianity. Of which is she the only member?

So I got a temp day job type thingydo that prevents me from my preferred daily post schedule. But I also have put significant blogergy this  into a comments exchange with a Catholic priest about my recent abortion rights post. Check it out and feel free to contribute!

Upcoming posts: a review of Zadie Smith’s NW, a review of like every recent New Yorker article, but especially recent ones about the Hispanic GOP in Texas (still can’t get used to that, I’m a CA gal who is used to “Latino”), Jill Lepore on the history of taxation in the US (teaser: slavery is the origin of much of our tax tension), and this cookbook, which I am reading cover-to-cover.

Now, I’m used to reading cookbooks as if they are hot and heavy novels. (How can she possibly put those ingredients together and expect them not to kill each other?! What’s going to happen to that poor flank steak once it goes into such a hot, hot oven?)

But this one, boy. What a pleasure.

I also get more hits/likes/follows when I write about food. Which is funny, since this is obviously nowhere near a food blog.

I’ll spend the next two weeks wondering: should I stay traditional, or go for the Smitten Kitchen latke recipe, when Hannukah comes? You know, adding flour? Her cookbook version also uses baking powder. Say what?

What’s gonna happen?!? I can’t wait to find out!!

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Women and Children in Court

Did you guys know that the New Yorker runs True Crime stories? It’s true. Maybe once or twice a month the smartypantses will publish a beautifully written, carefully researched, and thoughtfully interpreted tale of grizzly murder.

A few years back, I was captivated by Janet Malcolm’s reporting on Mazoltuv Borukhova, the Queens woman convicted of hiring a hit man to kill her ex-husband after a judge awarded custody of their daughter to him. Malcolm turned the courtroom drama into a book, which I haven’t read but want to. If I can stomach it. Which I’m not sure I can.

This all came back to me because in the last few New York Review of Bookses, Malcolm updates us on Michelle. Who? Michelle. Michelle Malakova. The daughter.


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Could women actually know what they’re doing?

A priest, a rabbi, and a doctor walk into a bar.

The rabbi says, “Doctor, do you think that women know enough to make moral, financial, and medical decisions about their lives?”

The doctor says, “Borensteinbergenthal, good question! I’ve seen it time and time again, and it’s so very sad. When women terminate their pregnancies, they get depressed, poor, and cancerous.”

Then the bartender says, “Wait a second. Didn’t you catch Annaee Newitz’s piece on new research indicating that women who seek abortions are correct about what childbirth would do to their lives, finances, and bodies?”

And the priest says, “But what would happen if we let women make their own choices about their lives?”

The bar shushes contemplatively. A few women turn red and poke at their ice with skinny straws.
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Perfect for the holidays!

I know I’m on vacation but this is bona fide funny.

Click it. I dare you.

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What’s that sound?

The sound of unchecked tomfoolerstupiditwittery online?

That is the sound of Thinker for Hire on vacation.

Go in peace.

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