Daily Archives: March 28, 2010

Or in this case — Arthur.

“It’s not just that Rupert Murdoch doesn’t like Arthur Sulzberger, or doesn’t think he’s a serious newspaper publisher. It’s that he thinks he’s weak—girly. Sulzberger—“young Arthur”—was a frequent subject during the many hours I talked to Murdoch when I was writing his biography. Sulzberger was always, for Murdoch, a punch line. Murdoch even mimicked him in a way to suggest … well … a certain lack of manhood.
It is a joke that is shared by Murdoch and Robert Thomson, the former Australian-rules football player who is now the editor of Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal: Arthur is a sort of poofter”

Well we can all see what they’re talking about, can’t we?



As opposed to the incredibly manly Rupert —


And his even more macho WSJ editor Robert —


I’ll give y’all a minute to stop laughing and catch your breath, OK?


“Well, on the front page of the Journal’s Weekend section this morning is a feature on how women from healthier populations prefer feminine-looking men. The piece is illustrated with a grid showing facial features of such feminine-looking men..
There is, in the bottom image of the lower quadrant of a male face, an unmistakable—if you pay attention to such things—dimple and odd right ear.”

The piece in question is an incredibly silly in which the names of movie stars are dropped, “Metrosexuals” are referenced and we’re solemnly informed that there’s a difference between these two utterly identical pictures — one being allegedly more “feminine” than the other.


No, I don’t know what in hell they’re talking about either.

But as always what’s being said is less important than the target of the “speech act” — men the speaker wishes to dis by claiming they’re not “real men.”

Whatever that is.

“Without a doubt, the Wall Street Journal has selected Arthur Sulzberger as a prime example of its idea of a feminine-looking man.
Pure coincidence? “

Pure Tradition is more like it. It’s just like Ann Coulter calling John Edwards “The Breck Girl” — even though Edwards’ heterosexual bona fides are flagrant. Think too of Dick Armey calling Barney Frank “Barney Fag” — Dick being so butch and all.

Please note –

In 1998, during the Monica Lewinsky scandal, a reporter asked him what he would do if he were in President Bill Clinton’s position. He replied “If I were in the President’s place I would not have gotten a chance to resign. I would be lying in a pool of my own blood, hearing Mrs. Armey standing over me saying, ‘How do I reload this damn thing?’”Several of his former female economics students went public with stories of his sexually harassing them — harassment allegedly so severe that at least one student transferred to another school. He would later divorce his wife and marry one of his students.That same year, after Gingrich was forced to resign from the House after heavy Republican losses in the midterm elections, Armey had to fend off a bruising challenge for his majority leader post from Steve Largent of Oklahoma.
Armey served another four years before announcing his retirement in 2002. In his last legislative effort, he was named chairman of the House Select Committee on Homeland Security and was the primary sponsor of the legislation that created the Department of Homeland Security.
According to Armey, he also sparred with Focus on the Family leader James Dobson while in office. Armey wrote, “As Majority Leader, I remember vividly a meeting with the House leadership where Dobson scolded us for having failed to ‘deliver’ for Christian conservatives, that we owed our majority to him, and that he had the power to take our jobs back. This offended me, and I told him so.” Armey states that Focus on the Family targeted him politically after the incident, writing, “Focus on the Family deliberately perpetuates the lie that I am a consultant to the ACLU.”

Talk about grabbing your ankles!

“Murdoch often uses the editorial power of his papers to pursue his business goals. Foremost on his agenda is to maul The New York Times. Murdoch believes that one advantage he has in going after the Times is that Sulzberger is so easy to play and rile up—Murdoch once, with me, used puppet strings to refer to Sulzberger—and that Murdoch has a special understanding for how to get under Sulzberger’s skin. In the past, Murdoch has taken particular delight when the New York Post’s “Page Six” has ridiculed Sulzberger—with Sulzberger calling Murdoch personally to protest. “Whinging” is the word Murdoch uses for Sulzberger’s calls.
So just imagine what Young Arthur felt this morning when he saw the lower quadrant of his face in the Journal representing the archetypal girly-man.
This is a psychological warfare side of what’s going to be a very nasty newspaper war.”

If they put gun site markings over Arthur’s picture it’ll be nasty. Right now it’s just schoolgirl playground taunting.

Not surprisingly Arthur is striking back via the Super-Manly Nicholas Kristof.


Well, in a manner of speaking. . .

“Around the globe, it’s mostly girls who lack educational opportunities. Even in the United States, many people still associate the educational “gender gap” with girls left behind in math.
Yet these days, the opposite problem has sneaked up on us: In the United States and other Western countries alike, it is mostly boys who are faltering in school. The latest surveys show that American girls on average have roughly achieved parity with boys in math. Meanwhile, girls are well ahead of boys in verbal skills, and they just seem to try harder.
The National Honor Society says that 64 percent of its members — outstanding high school students — are girls. Some colleges give special help to male applicants — yes, that’s affirmative action for white males — to avoid skewed sex ratios.”

What about black males?

( crickets chirping )

A new report just issued by the Center on Education Policy, an independent research organization, confirms that boys have fallen behind in reading in every single state. It found, for example, that in elementary schools, about 79 percent of girls could read at a level deemed “proficient,” compared with 72 percent of boys. Similar gaps were found in middle school and high school.
In every state, in each of the three school levels, girls did better on average than boys.
“The most pressing issue related to gender gaps is the lagging performance of boys in reading,” the report said.”

Heavens To Betsy Palmer! Whatever Shall We Do?

“A sobering new book, “Why Boys Fail,” by Richard Whitmire, cites mountains of evidence to make the point:
¶The average high school grade point average is 3.09 for girls and 2.86 for boys. Boys are almost twice as likely as girls to repeat a grade.
¶Boys are twice as likely to get suspended as girls, and three times as likely to be expelled. Estimates of dropouts vary, but it seems that about one-quarter more boys drop out than girls.
¶Among whites, women earn 57 percent of bachelor’s degrees and 62 percent of master’s degrees. Among blacks, the figures are 66 percent and 72 percent.
¶In federal writing tests, 32 percent of girls are considered “proficient” or better. For boys, the figure is 16 percent.
There is one important exception: Boys still beat out girls at the very top of the curve, especially in math. “

“In the high school class of 2009, a total of 297 students scored a perfect triple-800 on the S.A.T., 62 percent of them boys, according to Kathleen Steinberg of the College Board. And of the 10,052 who scored an 800 in the math section, 69 percent were boys.
Some say that the “boy problem” is just a problem for members of minorities. But “Why Boys Fail” says that at the end of high school, among white boys who have at least one parent who attended college, 23 percent score “below basic” in reading. Only 7 percent of their female counterparts score that low.
Likewise, boys are also lagging in Scandinavia, Canada, Britain and throughout the industrialized world.
What is going on?”

Lack of Melanin perchance?

Many theories have been proposed. Some people think that boys are hard-wired so that they learn more slowly, perhaps because they evolved to fight off wolves more than to raise their hands in classrooms. But that doesn’t explain why boys have been sinking in recent decades.
Mr. Whitmire argues that the basic problem is an increased emphasis on verbal skills, often taught in sedate ways that bore boys. “The world has gotten more verbal,” he writes. “Boys haven’t.”

Then take them to Rohmer movies!

“The upshot, he writes, is that boys get frustrated, act out, and learn to dislike school. “Poor reading skills snowball through the grades,” he writes. “By fifth grade, a child at the bottom of the class reads only about 60,000 words a year in and out of school, compared to a child in the middle of the class who reads about 800,000 words a year.”
Some educators say that one remedy may be to encourage lowbrow, adventure or even gross-out books that disproportionately appeal to boys. (I confess that I was a huge fan of the Hardy Boys, and then used them to entice my own kids into becoming avid readers as well.)
Indeed, the more books make parents flinch, the more they seem to suck boys in. A Web site, guysread.com, offers useful lists of books to coax boys into reading, and they are helpfully sorted into categories like “ghosts,” “boxers, wrestlers, ultimate fighters,” and “at least one explosion.”

Michelangelo Antonioni to the rescue!

“At a time when men are still hugely overrepresented in Congress, on executive boards, and in the corridors of power, does it matter that boys are struggling in schools? Of course it does: our future depends on making the best use of human capital we can, whether it belongs to girls or boys. If that means nurturing boys with explosions, that’s a price worth paying.”

So it’s Explosions vs. Gayface ? Hey — why not both?

Sing us out Adam!