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March 18, 2005

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Okay, I myself am not crazy about being publicly subjected to hot 16-year-olds miming intercourse. I prefer to think about such things in private, if at all. (If you haven't seen high-school cheerleading in a few years, it's probably not what you think it is.)

But I would think Texas had other things more worthy of banning: Darwinism, pi, the 2d law of thermodynamics ....

Good post. Disagree with the obPartisan closing paragraph though.

Good post. I've been sitting here in the NOC yelling at the TV things to the effect of "don't you morons have something better to spend our tax dollars investigating?"

You and I are not likely to agree completely on what we'd rather Congress investigate, but at least we can agree that they're wasting our time and money on sports.

Come to think of it, Congress seems to be on a roll with wasting taxpayer money on things in which they have no place meddling. Surely you've heard that they've subpoenaed a clinically vegetative person to testify before them?

Actually, never mind. That's more or less business as usual.

He may be a Democrat, but he's also a Texan. So there.

Actually, given the incredible popularity of HS football in Texas, I doubt his position would be popular.

If you haven't seen high-school cheerleading in a few years, it's probably not what you think it is
Yeek, ain't that the truth. Check out the average mardi gras parade these days, and see what the "dance teams" are up to. It's a little bit alarming, even to a dyed-in-the-wool secular humanist like m'self.

Oh, and CB, I love the way you think, man. "A pox on both your houses . . . but especially on that GOT-DAMN LIBERAL MEDIA!!!"

It wouldn't be a complete Charles post unless there was an obligatory swipe at libruls.

But all in all, I have to agree. Doesn't Congress have some actual WORK they could be doing right now? Professional athletes on steroids ranks right below gum on my shoe in the list of problems that need serious attention.

And if High School cheerleaders are miming fellatio on the sidelines, isn't that their PARENTS JOB to tell that that that's wrong? I mean, isn't Texas the home of all those good red state values that we know and love?

Al Edwards is a Democrat

...following in the footsteps of Tipper Gore, no doubt. Yes, the left has its own share of prudes. I start to worry more, though, when they do it "because Jesus wants it that way" rather than because it is hypocritical to both abjure and incite teenage sexuality. But whatever the motivation, it is completely asinine, given that all it can do is take money away from educators for infractions committed by individuals.

As for steroids and sports (or any other performance enhancing drugs), this idea of 'fair' competition between 'natural' athletes has been in trouble for years. You had best just come to terms with the posthuman athlete, because with billions of dollars aimed at better training, nutrition, equipment, and medical treatment, that is all that remains.

Chuchundra points to something that I call "the Britney Spears problem": where are all the parents of these fanny-waggling, midriff-baring girls? And their no less vulgar male admirers?

Britney's mom was on some talk show & asked about her then-minor daughter's ever-so-slightly-suggestive moves & attire, and said basically that it's only "dirty" if someone chooses to take it that way.

Rather sublime, when one thinks about it. Bodhidharma or Hui Neng could doubtless sit unmoved while Britney and Madonna made love in front of him, and Britney's mom would pronounce her daughter's behavior unexceptionable on that basis.

Lest I seem merely prudish, I think that teens' attire and behavior are no less subjects for parental control than their sex lives, drinking habits, & substance abuse. The human animal is such that it's ready to party long before it's ready to think about the consequences of partying. Letting children, even big children, act like they're adults is not a good thing. (Check back with me in five years when my 9-year-old's 14, and we'll see where this high-mindedness is then.)

The AP article displays legislative stupidity in all of its glory, and it also displays bias.  I've seen it too many times.  When a Republican proposes a stupid law, we all know right up front the party affiliation of the boneheaded legislator. 

I'd like some evidence for this assertion, please.

Better living through chemistry.

It's the Americay Way.

Boy, this Congressional action really makes this penguin feel safer, y'know? It sure is reassuring to know that the mighty Drug Warriors in Congress are protecting me from those evil baseball players... why, if Congress didn't protect me from those evil baseball players they might... they might... give me some entertaining sports to watch! GAH! The evil! The pure evil! (whimper!). And then those legislators protecting me from booty... if we don't regulate booty, booty will KILL US ALL!

Yessirree, I definitely feel safer with Barney Fife and the rest of his gang ruling our country!

- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

Frankly, BadTux, I've never met a penguin as snarky as you. Way beyond the norms. And so, now that Congress' bold leadership has liberated me from the muck and mire of quotidian bickering, I find myself able to ask the penetrating question on everybody's lips:

BadTux, are you on snark-enhancing drugs?

I have an answer to the "where are their parents?" question. The parents are right there,cheering them on.
I teach high school. A couple of days ago a new student walked into my classroom. She was wearing (barely) a skintight semi-transparent spaghetti strap top over a navy blue bra. I greeted her, and prepared to tactfully approach the subject of our school's dress code. Then her mom walked in.
She was dressed more or less the same, minus the bra.

BadTux, are you on snark-enhancing drugs?

I'm sure it was a pickled herring that was given to him by a person who he thought was just a fan.

You know when I hear all of these sort of "look whats going on reations" it is interesting to contrast it with what the Science Fiction writers like Robert Heinlein were writing in the 60's and 70's. They prety much predicted this behaviour as as result of freeing women and men from reproductive issues.

P.S. In case you forgot, SEX IS FUN

I never thought I'd hear of someone dumb enough to believe Spc. Graner's defense attorney's argument:

A lawyer for Charles Graner, accused of being a ringleader in the Iraq prisoner-abuse scandal, yesterday compared piling naked prisoners into pyramids to cheerleader shows, and said leashing inmates was also acceptable prisoner control.

"Don't cheerleaders all over America form pyramids six to eight times a year? Is that torture?" Guy Womack, Graner's attorney, said in opening arguments...
Source: seattle Times

I'm going to have to get out to one of these Texas football game half-time shows before the new law comes into effect.

BadTux, are you on snark-enhancing drugs?

Blogging does not have a snark-enhancing drug problem. Yes, I know there was a Los Angeles Times article from ten years ago titled "Snark-enhancing drugs: Are they ruining blogging?" but sir, we've taken steps to reduce that problem! Now all bloggers are tested at least once a season, unless they don't feel like it, and if snark-enhancing drugs are detected the blogger is appropriate punished... what's that? Five strikes and you're out? Sir, this is all we could negotiate with the blogger's union! Uhm, no, I'm not saying it's the blogger's fault, ah, err...

Yes sir, I agree, snark-enhancing drugs are a major problem. Why, it ruins the whole game of blogging if you don't know which bloggers are using snark-enhancing drugs and which are not! And it gives the bloggers who are breaking the law an unfair advantage over the bloggers of yesteryear who did not have access to snark enhancing drugs, modern medicine, or indoor plumbing. Why, that's just a disgrace!

Yes sir, Mr. Congressman, I agree: Snark enhancing drugs are bad, and we will do all we can to put a stop to this disgrace! And that is why when I get back to my office on my iceberg in the South Pacific, I will immediately start making phone calls to create a commission to charter a study of what it would take to create a program to reduce or eliminate snark-enhancing drug use amongst bloggers. Nothing else but the future of our national past-time depends upon it!

- Badtux "The Commish" Penguin

By the way, can we end the starting-posts-with-names experiment silliness now?

Check back with me in five years when my 9-year-old's 14, and we'll see where this high-mindedness is then.

My own daughter is nine too, Anderson, and we have to work at ensuring she doesn't grow up faster than she should, especially with a 13-year old brother hanging around. Personally, I do believe some of the dancing is too suggestive. I clearly recall the thoughts that coursed through my head in high school when cheerleaders shook their booties, and the booty shaking is clearly more sexual today. The thought that young boys would have those same thoughts looking at my daughter is unsettling. Boys are already torqued up as it is, and the last thing they need is something to get even more torqued up about. However, this is no issue for state legislators or state government, and it offends the libertarian in me.

I'd like some evidence for this assertion, please.

I don't have links, Phil, but it doesn't mean I haven't seen it happen, all too often.

Italics off.

Up thread someone said, very aptly, that it isn't ok to both incite and abjure teen sex. Absolutely right. This isn't, however, a legislative issue for eitherr party. The best approach is for parents to speak to the school administration or the school board. Also, it is best to avoid presenting the criticism within a religious context because people will object to having someone else's religion foisted on to the school and the whole discussionn will get derailed into a church/state minefield. It is better to aargue that the sexy dancing is vulgar, or, as the writer upthread said, that it incites behavior thhat schools are trying to prevent. I get very impatient with people, mostly liberals, but sometimes libertarians, who see this as a free speech issue. It isn't. Schools. like it or not, have a parental function. We also represent the voice of society in general. And, since we serve students from a variety of backgrounds, we have to be, if anything, slightly more strict in our standards than the parents themselves might be. If students imitate sexual intercourse during a dance at a school event, that is an implied endorsement of sexual behavior. We can't endorse sexual behavior while simultaneously telling the students that they aren't old enough.

Thanks for confirming my suspicion, Charles. I would venture to guess that what really happens is an issue of confirmation bias -- you ignore or forget about the articles in which Democrats who propose this kind of stuff are identified high up in the copy.

Having once been a fully-torqued, booty-mesmerized teenaged boy who clearly recalls Charles's thoughts coursing through my brain as well (or were those my thoughts coursing through Charles' brain...?), I first must admit I sometimes miss full-torqueness, booty-mesmerization and all that coursing goin on ..

... anyway ... it occurs to me that teenaged boys are fully torqued regardless of the DEGREE of booty-shaking in the vicinity, in fact, I doubt there is much booty-shaking in Tehran at the moment, but the mullahs are aware of their own torqued-ness and want to ruin what little fun everyone else is having as well. Which is why James Dobson and Eugene Volokh want to democratize the place, those perverts.

I try to let my 15-year old son (I know he is fully torqued (you know, when he's not still playing with his Legos) and he knows I know he is fully torqued but he can't quite imagine I was once fully torqued) know that just because the cheerleaders (for example) express the double-jointedness of their booties and seem to be simulating all kinds of desirable behavior, that doesn't mean they want the mime to be translated into reality, in fact, what they are probably expressing is the current style and a certain amount of peer pressure to impress the other girls.

So, I communicate to my son, all kinds of things can be suggested by women but "No!" is their perogative and don't forget it. Now, go to your room because what the hell were you doing asking?

I, for example, used to think that miniskirts were a blanket congratulatory endorsement of my obvious torqueness by the girls of the entire world. Then, long ankle-length dresses became the style and those, too, were the identical endorsement.

O.K., there are exceptions, but why should I be the one to give him all the clues .. that's what friends are for. I jest.

Which is to say that if Charles' and Anderson's daughters wake up one morning suddenly shaking the booty
and miming excessive affection, don't assume the worst (Da..aaad, that's disgusting!) but gently let them know about the signals they are unwittingly giving to the fully-torqued boys. Including you guys when you were young. Then figure out what to say when they respond: "Gol, is that all boys think about? We're just having fun!"

Lily: Elvis' hips were banned from T.V. for awhile because they "endorsed sexual behavior". Things are confusing for the young and the slightly-less-young. For example, my wife and I used to dance in, I guess, sexually suggestive ways in public (if moving like a frog in a blender was suggestive of anything but amphibian flexibility). Now, when I suggest sex, she wants to go dancing.

Sorry, not true. But the Woody Allen in me can't help it. I've learned better than to suggest sex. No, not true either.



I put John Thullen's comment high in the running for comment of the year.

Always a mistake to come in after John Thullen's comments, and more so this time, but his mention of Dobson and democratization brings to mind this link about the problems North Korea is having with the same sort of things.

I heard BadTux had snarkolepsy.

Elvis's hips were on TV. They weren't in the school gym.
I'm glad you teach your son to respect "No." and I am glad your daughter is careful what sleeping dogs she wakes. Your children will probably wait until they no longer live with you before acting on their torquedness. Meanwhile, last year, when I was teaching seventh grade one of my students sucked a boy off in the bathroom. She confided her wonderful secret to her best friend who told fifteen other friends...
The middle class urban middle school where I used to work averaged one act of fellatio or intercourse per school year. High school students generally go off campus, although one couple had at it right outside my classroom's rear window.
I know I'm coming off here as a prudish old lady, and I plead guilty to the old part...but school is different than home. Besides, you guys, (I think Praktike is male) are all chortling away about the sexuality of your sons, and , frankly, I'm more concerned about the girls. I don't know how to get teens safely through adolescence. I just don't thinnk the schools should be responsible for performances by kids that simulate sex between kids when we don't want them to be doing the real thing yet.

I've got no sons, thankfully. But I am male.

Hello Lily:

No, you don't come off as prudish, but rather as sensible. Also, chortling isn't quite what I was doing, but I understand my manner of presentation usually ends up with at least a chuckle thrown in the direction of human nature at large, whether it is human sexuality and its rationalizations, torture at Abu Gharib and its bottomless rationalizations or the entertainment surrounding Terry Schiavo. In the latter case, when I'm surrounded by little cars full of clowns, my reaction is to bring out the jugglers, start the plates a-spinning, and load up the cannon with confetti, a fat guy, and maybe a real live cannonball. Then we'll see if folks really like the circus.

But, anyway, my point about my son is to admit that things are what they are and to hope he lives through it, and to hope equally that the girls live through it. But I have a generally realistic expectation that they will live through it, mistakes and all, and I also have a realistic expectation that he is not going to announce his mistakes to me before he commits them. So all I can do is keep things open and teach respect for women and to let him know that girls are just as confused about this stuff as he is. And, by the way, he should beware of girls who have it figured out in the wrong way. But the warning sign there is those girls are "dating" older guys, in my meager experience.

I also possess every parent's hope that he will make no mistakes and not be tempted to make them. Why? Because, I say so. But as the Wicked Witch of the West lamented: "What a world, what a world!"

Question: Did you mean an average of one act of fellatio or intercourse per school YEAR? I would have thought more, given my reading. If you're right on the frequency, then I think we're on a par with historical precedent, according to rumors circulating in my middle school several decades ago.

For the record, fellatio, etc on school property should be prohibited and disciplined. Simulated fellatio by the cheerleading squad after field goals should be a no-no-no, too. As should chortling about it by the team.

A side issue, not much talked about any longer, but certainly at the edge of the mainstream consciousness all those years ago when Elvis' hips were doing their thing: By banning Elvis' hips, what influence from what segment of our society were the banners trying to stifle and/or prohibit? Hint: the word "booty" is now mainstream lingo, thanks to whom?

Controversial can of worms, no?

Also, for a cautionary tale of contemporary teenaged waywardness (to say the least), rent the film "Bully".
You'll want to grow the beard of a mullah and take your kids to the back end of a cave somewhere.

You'll want to grow the beard of a mullah and take your kids to the back end of a cave somewhere.

Isn't that just called being a parent?

"Isn't that just called being a parent?"

Well, yes, but even the back of the cave is fully lit in America. Every time I gird my loins for the disciplinary tasks of parenthood (hey, my kid has been delightfully easy), I think of how those loins once looked for love in all the wrong places, all the right places, and all the other places, including the backs of caves, where it was once fairly dark.

So, I see from recent news accounts that girls and boys who take chastity pledges (Christian and otherwise) are more likely to engage in oral and anal sex, than those who don't take the pledge. Bill Bennett should have known that would happen, given his experience with sin.

The world is real and kids engage in reality, despite my protestations.

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