Observations after watching old TV episodes

I’ve been watching vanilla Law and Order on Netflix. Season 1 – Season 2 – we’re talking 1990-1991. I’ve noticed a few things as I’ve been sort of following along with the show. I typically have the show playing while doing other things in the same room.

More than once a character has said “…in this economy….” and I realized I was forgetting I was watching a show from over 20 years ago. The economy seems to always be crappy, at least for everyman.

In one of the episodes that played today, there was an Asian girl crying because she was called a kike but I didn’t blink. Even though I’ve never used this racial slur and can’t remember the last time I heard it, I still didn’t blink. How has television media affected the prevalence of racism?

In general, the overt sexism and racism are not as rampant as I was expecting. The episodes concerning rape were not as bad as I expected. For example, one of the Detectives did have lines to support the victim and speak against victim blaming. Covert sexism and racism is definitely here. I don’t remember seeing a judge that was not white and male and all the other lawyers have been white. There was a Jewish lawyer once but that was just because it was an episode with a Jewish victim and offender. I suspect that the women who were lawyers at this point are overrepresented. Also, the only black man I can remember seeing in a position of power is the “token black man” in the D.A.’s office. The discussions that happen in the end of the show that are part of the formula are always among men despite the topics of said conversation often being relevant to anyone.

What I’ve noticed more is the abuse of power and privilege as well some ableism sprinkled in. There has been plenty of times where one of the lead characters (the white Detectives) push around another person – who might be guilty – just because they are cops and can do so. The (white males) from the D.A.’s office never expect to not get what they want either.

Finally, I cannot remember seeing any character in a wheelchair or otherwise showing as obviously disabled. <sarcasm> I guess New York City had a lot of healthy people. <sarcasm end>

Taxes & this WSJ graphic with the made up people

I find this horrible graphic so horrible I’ve decided to list the problems I have with it.

1. All the people are sad. If I was making six figures a year I would not be sad. Technically the clip art people don’t even need to be here. With out the illustrations there could be more data, which leads me to #2 on the list.

2. It’s misleading. Based on the mention of deductions they are actually referring to Adjusted Gross Income but just say Income.

3. Why is there race here? It’s not necessary. The single person appears to be vaguely Asian and the retired couple is Black. Was the Wall Street Journal afraid to make the single parent Black? Is that why she’s blonde?

4. The Wall Street Journal must sit in some kind of interesting niche as far as its readers go. On what did they base these examples? I seriously doubt the average family with two parents is going to have FOUR kids. In 2005, before the economy got even worse, $167,000 and up was the top 5% of household income distribution.

5. How did these pretend people make so much in investment income when the market is still so volatile? I have a very small amount of investments in stock as well as rather small IRA, I’ve seen both lose lots of money in the past 5 years, like a roller coaster.

6. The household median income in the U.S. from 2007 to 2011 was $52,762. This is not even in the same tax bracket as the lowest income pictured here ($180,000). Furthermore, from 2010 to 2011, income inequality increased. (page 10)

7. What percent of retired couples actually have income over $100,000, let alone at $180,000?

8. What about people in poverty? Doesn’t the Wall Street Journal think its readers should be informed? In 2011, that meant, officially, 46.2 million people were living in poverty. (page 13)

9. The Wall Street Journal caters to the top ten percent of our country, obviously a very specific class of people. In 2011, 9.1% of households in the country had income of $150,000 or higher. (page 31)

10. I have no interest in reading the Wall Street Journal even though I’m rather well educated with my bachelor of arts and masters of science. My education makes me one of the 28.2% with a bachelor’s degree or higher in this country – as of 2007-2011. I did graduate with my masters in 2011 and received my bachelors in 2009. Also, I researched these statistics in less than a hour while writing this post so it would definitely not be hard for an employee of the Wall Street Journal to find the same information. This is one of the powers of the Internet. Just one.

11. Finally, this entire graphic looks like it’s relying on scare tactics. “If these people are sad, what is it going to do to me?”

Being Social on the Internet

I’m reading an article* from 2001 titled the “Social Implications of the Internet” and it’s a little amazing how things have changed in a decade. The authors review literature in 5 categories: inequality, community and social capital, political participation, organizations and other economic institutions, and cultural participation/diversity. (taken from abstract which should be available on google scholar)

Now where does me blogging about this…and posting on twitter about it… fit into the research?

*For my independent study topic for this semester.

More from Game Addiction: The Experience and the Effects

(Online) games are similar to reality in that they are consistent and always on. They also offer a sense of chance.

Games “approach the texture of everyday life” and are real because they have real people in them.

Good quote: “Once we take games online, what happens isn’t going to be simply good or bad. It’s going to be human.”

So far I’m definitely glad I purchased this book in that so far it’s taking an objective approach to explaining why games are the way they are. For example, it even discusses multitasking for a bit…. which is actually your brain switching back and forth between tasks.

I’m intrigued by this book so far

I’m reading Game Addiction: The Experience and the Effects and chapter 2 starts with this quote:

Human beings are unique to other species in that we live in a world that is created by the stories we tell. Most of what we know, or think we know, we have never personally experienced; we learned about it through stories. – George Gerbner

(the book has a citation but I have yet to figure out how to easily view citations while reading a book in kindle format)

Plz to be shutting up now, kthxbai

This idiot makes me sick.

Freedom of religion does not mean freedom for any who claim membership to a Christian faith to practice their religion, other we wouldn’t call it freedom of religion. We’d call it something like freedom for Christians…. or a national religion of Christianity.

Why do so many people think that all Muslims are the same? Many American Muslims have more education, are more civic minded, and more involved in their community than many “American Americans.”

Tea Party members should consider the idea that perhaps some Muslims have moved to America so that they might practice their religion with more freedom and less fear.

Good part of the article I think:

Of course, community leaders in Tennessee are not alone in their inability to distinguish between violent extremists and most Muslims. In recent statements on Twitter and to Fox News, politicians like Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich have objected to plans for an Islamic center in Lower Manhattan, not far from the site of the World Trade Center.

Names Shh-names

I can’t decide how I feel about Blizzard’s decision to change their policies and have their customers use real names instead of screen names. Kotaku had a decent post about it and the issues it includes… as did the writer of the Eating Bees blog, who is also a must read for anyone who games on PC.

I know as a female, on the Internet, (gasp! There are no women on the internetzzz) I’ve run into creeps, slimeballs, and trolls who attempt to troll just because I *am* female. I’ve also run into some really nice people in the Internet. Granted the assholes out-weigh the husband material…. but that happens irl too.

I know this whole thing makes me very tempted to resub my WoW account, watch, and take notes.

/end sociology nerd

Edit: That’s amusing. Right after I hit publish… I see this:

We changed our mind.

This is perhaps the most important part:

I want to make sure it’s clear that our plans for the forums are completely separate from our plans for the optional in-game Real ID system now live with World of Warcraft and launching soon with StarCraft II. We believe that the powerful communications functionality enabled by Real ID, such as cross-game and cross-realm chat, make Battle.net a great place for players to stay connected to real-life friends and family while playing Blizzard games. And of course, you’ll still be able to keep your relationships at the anonymous, character level if you so choose when you communicate with other players in game. Over time, we will continue to evolve Real ID on Battle.net to add new and exciting functionality within our games for players who decide to use the feature.

The wording there suggests to me that people don’t completely understand what Blizzard is attempting to do. Myself included?

NBC announcers for 2010 Winter Olympics

First of all it’s been awesome to be able to watch the winter Olympics even though we don’t have cable.** But, anyways. Seriously NBC???

“You’ve come along way baby!”

WTF! What would you show regarding a 17 year old athlete who was male as compared to female? I bet you would say something else. I bet you would have something more than her as a 3 year old in skates. I bet you wouldn’t credit her successes to that of her parents. gah!

It’s totally awesome to see a 17 year old (from any country) at the Olympics, especially a woman*. These athletes deserve respect. And “You’ve come a long way baby!” is not respect.

*Rachel Flatt of the US

**Fixed missing words. I r gud with words.

What will Apple do about biology and health text books?

This leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I’m all for removing apps that are degrading to women. I’m fine with that. However. Apple doesn’t know what that is, especially based on the SG app being removed. And. They are doing it *now* when the iPad is on it’s way? That’s just marketing, that’s not caring. That’s Unilever selling Dove AND Axe.

Also, are we going to have a kid-friendly iPad for school and a not-intelligent-adult-friendly iPad instead? The iPad is supposed to have books. Well, we can’t have anything that just might be arousing. So, that means, let’s see. No comics. No graphic novels. No romance. Not a lot of sci-fi. And none of the porn disguised as books like some of the things Laurell Hamilton writes.

I like my macbook pro, a lot. It’s great for being a student, it’s great for someone who does research, it’s lighter than the DELL laptop – with a smaller screen – that I used to carry around. I mostly like my iphone. I was planning on getting an iPad for the functionality of iPhone apps and an ereader (and a music player and etc) all in one. (I don’t have an ereader like a kindle right now.) This crap makes me hesitant.

Is this reflecting the general Puritanical nature of American mainstream society or is this someone at Apple being stupid and not thinking this through? And I’m not even going to go into the whole Internet and porn thing. One last thing…

How many upskirt pictures have been shot with an iPhone camera?

Absolutely ridiculous poll, or, where to see a picture of a white Michelle Obama figurine

us news world report mothers poll

So, some of the problems with this poll. Seriously, Palin is winning this stupid ridiculous pointless-as-can-be-poll? Wtf? And please, do not vote for the poll, that’s why I haven’t linked directly to the poll!

1. Women are female. Female doesn’t mean best care giver for children possible.

2. First Lady Michelle Obama’s “figurine” is included in the picture like she’s an afterthought… off to the left, with less space around her.

3. First Lady Michelle Obama is a black woman, not a well tanned white woman. Is U.S. News and World Report embarrassed the first lady is a black woman?

4. Would you really vote for who should run a day care based upon her parenting skills?

5. How are people supposed to vote in the poll?

6. The vagueness of the poll makes it utterly worthless.

7. Aside from the fact that it’s on the Internet.

8. What’s with the gestures the figures are posed with?

9. What’s with the results from the other poll regarding Secretary of State Hillary Clinton?! House husband?!

10. I’d vote for whoever has the most experience running a business.

11. You know like with hiring people and managing people.

12. I won’t ever be buying a U.S. News and World Report magazine. Though, I guess with titles of articles like this, I probably shouldn’t be surprised?

The Two-Income Trap

The Two-Income Trap; Why Middle-Class Parents are going Broke

by: Elizabeth Warren and Amelia Warren Tyagi

The last chapter of the book is called “The Financial Fire Drill.” The authors point out that personal finance help books don’t talk about risks. One parent vs. Two parent families have different risks… and this must be taken into consideration.

1. Can your family survive without one income?

– It’s possible someone can get fired, lose a job because of medical problems, get laid off because their job is moved overseas, etc.
2. Can you downshift the fixed expenses?
– If you eliminate all the treats like eating out so you can pay on your debts, what do you do when you can’t even afford your debts let alone eating out? The fixed costs need lowered… This is where the authors suggest things like waiting to make large purchases.
3. What is your emergency back up plan?
– This is where worry/what ifs are discussed… What do you do if someone loses their job?

The authors also point out some things might look like they help, but probably won’t. Credit insurance being one of those things.

There’s also advice if “the house is already on fire,” which includes advice on how to survive paying off bills when the bills are more than the money coming in… There’s some interesting statistics included too. Like, based upon a 2000 statistic of divorce, more children will live through a bankruptcy than a divorce.

That might make you wonder the next time a politician explains themselves as doing something for the children, or trying to help American families.


I got my copy of the American Sociological Review yesterday. I subscribed to it when I got my membership to the ASA. That’s American Sociological Association. I feel like a nerd because I’m happy I got a magazine that’s full of sociological papers and articles. There’s even a few articles that look interesting to me. There’s nothing wrong with feeling like a nerd either! I’m glad I got everything – the membership and the subscription – at student rates.