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July 18, 2013


"Young Men's Buddhist Association"

Does the Village People have a song about that?

The custom is to post a picture of one's pet, when declaring an open thread. You're wayyyyyyyy down on cuteness here.

But my index IS my pet right now. I'm just sorry you can't tell how cute it is . . .

As with all indexes, let us turn to "sexual desire" first, for the naughty bits.

Unity in 1

Ya think?

Not meaning to bring up ghosts of arguments past, but a while back I dumped on Conor Friesdorf and Donald suggested I was being unfair. This Yglesias quote (via LGM) gets at why I think he's problematic.

I mention this not-so-Moneybox subject because Friedersdorf and I have had some exchanges on twitter recently where I’ve expressed frustration with his writings on these kind of issues. And to me it comes back to this. I think he and I are close on the merits of the issues at hand. But he has a hyperactive hypocrisy detector combined with a dogmatic and highly tribal opposition to political tribalism that creates blindness about the actual modalities of political change.

Of course, if you aren't happy with the 'actual modalities of political change', it's more understandable, but that "dogmatic and highly tribal opposition to political tribalism" is a neat line. Of course, MattY has gotten slammed for his over concern of the modalities of political change, so I related this to stop you damned kids from wearing out pages 247-258.

The index to my book has "heads, severed" in it, which I was quite pleased about. But the best selection of index headings I ever found came from Clyde Pharr's translation of the fourth century work of Roman law called the Theodosian Code:

Able-bodied beggars
Beans, tax payment of
Cords, torture by
Discharges, honourable
Factions of the circus
Gems, not to be worn by actresses
Honourable character, proof of
Ivory tablets
Jews, actions involving
Kidnapping, crime of
Latin copyists
Maledictions, against the Emperors
Newborn children, purchase and rearing of
Orontes, clearing of
Pepyzites, heretics
Quartering officers
Respectable, rank of
Shipbuilding not to be taught to barbarians
Theatre, accountants of
Ungrateful children: see children
Venality, of advocates
Wizards, crimes of
Xystus, Port of
Youth, age of

"Ungrateful children: see children"

clearly written by a parent of teenagers.

"Factions Of The Circus would be a good band name.

I want the big cats and the fire-eaters on my side.

"Beans, tax payments of"

As Ronald Reagan burped once:

Beans, beans, the musical fruit
The more you tax
The less you toot.

I've been waiting patiently for the Count to riff on "Death Railway" with some sort of tie-in with death panels, Sarah Palin, etc.

(I can see the fertile ground, but do not know how to grow anything on it.)

marriage, age at 9

Did anyone else have to read that one twice?

hsh, no. That's quite common historically. But the marriage would not normally be consumed until at least five years later. Btw, Romeo and Juliet tends to get censored there too*. These days Romeo would get a longer sentence for his sex with a minor then for his SYG against Tybalt.

*I read that many productions change the text as far as Juliet's age is concerned and no film adaption stays true either (same with Lolita).

Yeah, but I think the entry actually means that the subject of at what age females get married can be found on page 9. Know what I'm sayin'?

I do, hairshirthedonist, and you're right. It looks odd to me as well, but that's how it rolls. Likewise "Unity in 1" which (of course) refers to the Indonesian slogan "Unity in Diversity" (appearing on page 1) but is not self-evident from the index entry.

As for the "Death Railway," it's one of the few index entries so far that's been central to a Hollywood movie: The Bridge on the River Kwai. Facebook, elephants, and female sexual desire appear, of course, in other films . . .

And, Snarki, the YMBA was indeed founded on the model of the YMCA (at the height of British colonialism and Burma's efforts to modernize). Rather than inspiring the Village People, however, the YMBA was one of the founts of Burmese nationalism, and thus indirectly led to the hero Aung San, and to his daughter Aung San Suu Kyi, who won the Nobel Prize, which is more than the Village People ever did, perhaps because there isn't a Nobel Prize for pop group performance . . .

dr ngo, while you are answering the questions of us unmatched washes, what about colonial acquisition; imperialism? I'm assuming colonial acquisition is when the Great (and not so Great) Powers traded colonies like Pokemon cards, but that seems a little too minor to equate with imperialism.

Since this is an open thread and I'm no longer posting on the front page ....

Glen Reynolds:


UPDATE: “Apparently, @BarackObama thinks that if a white kid was beating a Hispanic guy’s head into the sidewalk, he couldn’t possibly get shot.”

Christ. What an asshole. A seventeen year old kid is dead for walking home and your trenchant insight is that the President is acting ... "blacker."

Christ. What an asshole.

I assume this is not just occurring to you now.

Good to hear from you von, hope all's well. Thought of you recently while consuming a half beef / half lamb burger.

Shipbuilding not to be taught to barbarians

Cat's out of the bag on that one.

Ungrateful children: see children

See also: tautology

Venality, of advocates

Plus ca change. Present company excepted, natch.

Wizards, crimes of


I assume this is not just occurring to you now.

No, I'm not an idiot. Not the best blogger or front pager, but not an idiot.

Good to hear from you von, hope all's well.

Thanks. You too.

Thought of you recently while consuming a half beef / half lamb burger.

Excellent choice. And pulling the knowledge from the way-way-back is cool.

Take care of yourself, Russell.

LJ: On imperialism, see the following (reached since I first sent this in) - imperial: autarky 202; China 62, 152; histories 7, 200, 203; Japan 69-70, 78; peace (pax imperica) 138; rule 42, 52, 76, 110, 167, 200, 278, 313; Vietnam 48-9, 314

imperialism 2, 7, 9, 26-9, 56, 60, 86, 88, 109, 166-7, 190, 200, 207-8, 226, 244, 252, 281, 296, 305 see also colonialism; cultural 306; of free trade 26; and globalization 200, 207-8; high 56, 61, 292

imperialist: attitudes 7, 199, 284, 313; Burma 152; plot 100; Siam 28

If I were teaching about imperialism - which I have often done - I would attempt to make the distinctions clearer. Certainly colonial acquisition is just one aspect of "imperialism" by most useful definitions, although it's easy to bog down in what else should be included.

In indexing a book with 30 authors, all one can do is to link to what they said, and leave it to the readers to figure out how the term(s) are being used. This is not the place to attempt to clarify what may be already unclear, alas.

So far I have not been able to come up with an entry to top the succinct one in the first book I indexed, forty-three years ago:

Sea Dayak, see Dayak

I assume this is not just occurring to you now.

Nahh, known it for a while.

Good to hear from you von, hope all's well. Thought of you recently while consuming a half beef / half lamb burger.

Excellent choice!

Just to let you know, three versions of von's comment were in the spam folder, and I carefully chose one of those based on a complicated algorithm known only to front pagers. The other two will, of course, be sent to my alma mater, Acme University of Dance and Decrepitude, with strict orders to be kept away from researchers until 2047.

Just because I know some of you have been silently waiting:

sex: ratio 172; “third” 247, 249, 254; trade (prostitution) 5, 205, 249, 261, 265, 305-6

sexual: aids 250-1, 254; ambiguity 247; culture 254, 256, 303; desire see female sexual desire; diversity 253-5; intercourse 135-6, 235, 248, 251, 253; liberation 307; morality 250, 253-5, 265; pleasure 250-1, 253-4; relationships 252-4, 316 see also marriage; rituals 248, 253

sexuality 246-56; history of 316

"Sexual desire: see female sexual desire", but not, apparently, "male sexual desire". Because it's just too ubiquitous to need indexing?

More seriously, the word "sex" is becoming trickier to use because its meaning of "related to sexual activity" is now the default one, so that its use for being male/female/ambiguous (e.g. in "third sex" or "sex ratio", as you've indexed it) seems increasingly unacceptable. I've lost count of the number of forms online and in hardcopy where when you are being asked whether you are male or female they ask for your "gender".

The curious thing about indexing a book that one has not written (or is just one of 30 authors of) is that one discovers what is and is not mentioned, which would not necessarily be what one anticipated.

Male sexual desire, as such, is never mentioned, although there are references to prostitution and (not under this heading) to marriage and to abuse of women, which may imply it. There was a single reference to male sexual fantasies, which wound up getting subsumed under "sexual culture" - perhaps I should extract it on its own?

On the usages of "sex" and "gender," you are correct, but again I'm to some extent simply the representative agent of those who wrote these chapters. Demographers still tend to use the former term, I believe. I've longed to get one of those T-shirts sold (I am told) at their conventions: Broken Down By Age And Sex.

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