Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The Correct Answer is No

Ben Carson on Meet the Press August 2, 2015 fails to answer a softball of a question: 

Simple question, does the Bible hold authority over the Constitution? Simple answer: no. According to U.S. Const. art. VI, cl. 2.: 
"This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding."
Want further proof. Good. U.S. Const. amend. I. states:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."
Fundamental civics fail. Perhaps the Republican Primary could function like a season of Top Chef. There's enough of these asshats. Anyway, if it were a competition, please pack your knives...sashay away or whatever trite reality catchphrase floats your boat. Just leave.

Liam '15

This is Really Just a Promo for Archer

Last night I was watching the tail end of Archer on Comedy Central. The episode in reference is The Papal Chase, which comes from Season 4. When I first saw the below clip (if it hasn't been taken down for copyright infringement) I missed the joked. So I decided to look it up.

Archer: How did you know what he said?
Pam: It was an 8 hour flight.
Archer: Wow, did you learn Romansh? 
Pam: Who am I, Cypher? The gayest X-Man? 
Archer: I don't know, Gambit looks like he knows his way around a pair of—

To my dismay, when I googled the term "gayest xmen," all of the returns replace the word "gayest" with "worst." And as it happens that is entirely the word play the Archer joke relies on.

google confuses gayest with worst
Embiggen to Read
While I understand that Google isn't the language police, and they use complex algorithms to map out how language is actually used, it is still frustrating to see systematic homophobia laid out so neatly.

Based off of this search, Google list the following words as synonymous with gay:


And let's not forget what lives at the bottom of the page:

Searches related to gayest x-men

What really annoys me about the google search is that there are scores of gay X-Men, who should have been displayed instead of the 10 most hated X-Men. In the main timeline Northstar is gay and Mystic is often depicted as bisexual. In alternate universes prominent X-Men such as Bobby Drake, Wolverine, and Colossus are gay. Not to mention from the film series Ellen Page, who plays Kitty Pride, has come out, and director Bryan Singer inspired a character in the American version of Queer as Folk (the director of the blockbuster film V-Men.)

Once again my frustration is neither with Google nor Archer. Archer is a offensive show that not only backs it up with humor, but frequently subverts the negative stereotypes. For example in the clip Pam (an open bisexual) uses the term "gayest" to mean "worst," while Arch corrects Pam, be it in an offensive manner, by using the main denotation of the word. By doing so, Archer points out the disparaging tone Pam uses in reference to gay people.  

My frustration lies in that it's the combination of society's bigoted use of language and matching that up with the X-Men, the champions of tolerance and diversity. This was just a reminder, that even though we have made tremendous gains in the last few years, we have so much further to go.

Liam '15 


It looks like the folks at BuzzFeed have discovered this years ago (2013): http://www.buzzfeed.com/louispeitzman/google-search-equates-gayest-with-worst#.ktdqqPwQ4

Google responded with:
Google’s results, including when a search term is synonymized [sic] with another, are a reflection of content on the web and how people search. These results are determined by algorithms and we don’t manually correct this process, but we are always looking at how we can improve our algorithms.
So to paraphrase, 'we're not going to do anything, but we totally could.' How 'bout next time you leave off the bolded part, it's insulting if you don't mean it.