No food here this time, and I hope the title comes off as terse, rather than glib. So, Junior Seau is dead, of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot to the chest. Ex-Bears safety Dave Duerson killed himself in a similar way, and left a note asking that his brain be examined for signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy. It's natural to wonder, even in the absence of a note, if Seau made the same choice for the same reason. I will leave the forensics to the coroners and the percentages to the actuaries, but the very fact of this speculation takes the conversation about Seau's life and death to a place far away from the NFL.
Toward the end of her famous "Can the Subaltern Speak," Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak writes,
Seau's connection with a female revolutionary who killed herself in Calcutta in 1926 comes in the challenges they both face in communicating their subjectivity. For different reasons and in very different places, the only rhetorical gestures remaining to Bhaduri and Seau lie in the nuances of the ways they choose to take their own lives. It might be possibile to tease out how an opressive masculinist culture silenced each in a different way, but I'd rather avoid getting into TL/DR territory. For now, let's just say that any culture where the method of suicide is the only form of communication remaining to a citizen is a culture that needs work.
Not a great week for vagina owner/operators.* (Can we afford to dismiss the idea that the entire GOP primary was a scheme Denton launched to get pageviews for Jezebel?) Here at the day job, the student paper struggled with the notion that a woman might be more than an apeture to ejaculate into and take babies out of. Nationally, Tina "Beastmode" Brown got Katie "Date Rape is a Lie, Just Like the Holocaust" Roiphe to tell us how when women get successful at work, what they really really want is a smack on the ass (or nipple clamps, or "creative submission"). But! In the nick of time, a benefit tribute X-Ray Spex tribute. Play this week the fuck off, Titus Andronicus & Amy Klein.
This is supposed to be a food blog, so if you want to cheer up yourself, or another lady, consider calzones.
Super Bowl mishegas of all sorts here and there. Sarah Sprague has it locked up tight. Longtime associates of the Cod might enjoy a rundown of personal super bowl memories that Ms. Sprague was kind enough to share with you. Looking back over that list makes me feel better about getting on a plane this evening to travel to the belly of the beast to join a collection of like-minded folks for the game tomorrow. That said, there are things other than football, so I'll share this for HBF, MKPB, MHK, and a host of others:
Now and again, a non-food thing will thrust itself into the Cod's consciousness. (Also, not being a foodblogger is one way to come to terms w/ a giant food blog summit happening, like, next door, and not hearing about it until it was underway. The good news is that my piscine alter ego seems to manage these slights much better than his terrestrial sidekick.)
But, This. For those times when you can't decide between "It's a Small World After All" and "Transmission." WFMU has a handy roundup of past Disney/Nazi collabs, but as far as the Cod is concerned, if you are mashing up the Magic Kingdom and the Third Reich, it's a Junkers JU-87 and a map of California you will be wanting, son. (If Cole Porter sang about Nazis, and did a ton of coke, he would write lyrics like this.)
I got into a conversation on the Twitters about cyclists (the motor and the bike kind) and helmets. To be more precise, I was trying to make a point about the way we think about cyclist accidents/deaths when I tweeted:
"Cyclists should wear helmets, but asking if cyclists killed by autos were wearing helmets not so diff from asking what rape victim wore."
There were, understandably, various objections to this, and it seems as if it might make sense to take more than 140 characters to spell out my concern.
First and foremost - every cyclist should wear a helmet. All the time. I wore one as a bike messenger. I wear one now. I had an accident where a helmet made a big difference. With a day job that involves what goes inside the helmet, I yell at grasshoppers who don't wear them. I have bought helmets for students w/ money out of my own pocket. Helmets are good, and you should wear them whenever you are on a vehicle with two wheels.
But. In the context of the way many news outlets cover cyclist fatalities, the helmet/no helmet question works as a sublye way of absolving motorists of responsbility. There are many accidents where a helmet will do you a wold of good, but unfortunately, there are also accidents where a helmet won't help. A cyclist was t-boned by an SUV not far from our 02134 stomping grounds, and much was made of the lack of helmet. Not much mention of what helmet would do to prevent the massive internal injuries that result from being struck full on by an SUV. In that context -- the idea of blaming the victim -- I continue to think that playing up the helmet/no helmet question is acting what a victim did to deserve to be the victim of a crime. (Are there careless cyclists, too? Yes.)
1) Wear a fucking helmet.
2) If you choose to pilot a lump of steel and glass capable of moving more than a hundred feet in a second, watch what you're doing. There are too many ghost bikes as it is.
And greetings to all our new TCU friends. You all seemed nice when you came through here, though all the Tomlinson jerseys were a little weird. And, I enjoyed the close reading of the lyrics, but reject the conspiracy theory, mostly because I'd rather root for a team QBed by Tom Brady than for one QBed by Tony Romo. (In the spirit of healing, I'll add, FUCK KENNETH SIMS.)
Also, this bit of musical magic (the actual 7" record) can be yours. Make a donation of $50 or moe to this advocacy group for sex workers, email me the receipt, and I will mail you the damn thing.
Howdy Big 12/EDSBS/SBB stranger! A bit of backstory here.
Having converted the aforementioned Craig James vanity musical project to mp3, you will agree that it is a) real b) spectacular.
The B Side: Silver Ball.mp3 We're no indie grinches here at the Cod, but a few items of note:
1) Lasers! Borderline visionary for mid 80s pop-country.
2) This record has a lot of swagger for a member of a squad that had just lost Super Bowl XX to the Bears 46-10. The bold predicitons made here for the following season turned out to be 11-5 and a loss to the Broncos in the divisional round. James put up 427 yards and 4 TD for the season.
3) Speaking of the Bears, the shadow of the Shufflin' Crew looms large here. Except, unlike the Super Bowl Shuffle, the only person to benefit from the proceeds of this record would appear to be Craig James himself. Also, the Bears did actually back up their boasts.
4) It appears that it rather than sing it himself, Craig James may have hired grown men to sing of his deeds.
If you would like to own this little gem, I will be working with the folks over at EDSBS to figuure out a way to do some good with the proceeds. And if you were curious, the back cover.
And now, for something completely different, it's Pope Benedict getting the Cod all fired up for another year of the day job. Generally not a fan, but he says something very important about the very real threats to the very notion of higher education in 2011: