rather than trying to find articles that were all about random, ridiculous news events, or all about things that make me burn with rage, or all about bears, i figured this week’s assortment of random things i found on the internet to discuss could combine all three of them, as that would give me such mixed feelings that i wouldn’t even know what to do with myself. that said, i don’t think it really worked, because the “burn with rage” article seems to be winning out over the rest. still, well, here you go with all this.
things i guarantee Obama never thought he’d be doing once he was in office: calling Guatemala to apologize for infecting some of its residents with STDs in the 1940s
this is one of those times where i’m reading the headline and saying to myself, “i just don’t understand what the hell is going on here.” infecting Guatemalans with STDs in the 1940s? seriously? is this the day when dudes over at CNN are just making up crazy headlines in order to see if people are actually reading the news? alright, well, let’s take this seriously for a minute. why were we infecting anyone with STDs?
“The scientific investigation, called the U.S. Public Health Service Sexually Transmitted Disease Inoculation Study of 1946-1948, aimed at determining the effectiveness of penicillin in treating or preventing syphilis after subjects were exposed to the disease. Gonorrhea and chancres were also studied. Penicillin was a relatively new drug at the time.”
so this sort of answers the question, in that i guess i understand why this was being studied, but i’m not sure why they had to infect people, and that’s not clear from the article. for comparison, the Tuskegee studies were a) pretty reprehensible themselves, and b) generally in the same line of research … but no matter what you think of them, no one was getting actively infected with the disease(s) in question, so why they decided to do so in this case would have been, you know, interesting to know.
but okay, whatever, let’s move on. why did they do this in Guatemala?
“[Susan Reverby] found that [John C.] Cutler also led the research in Guatemala. It was carried out there, in part, she said, because prostitution was legal and prisoners were allowed to bring prostitutes in for sex.”
wow, that’s harsh. you know, it reminds me of battered women who, when asked why their husbands beat them, give an answer that’s based around their shortcomings. not only do you go to Guatemala and shoot their citizens full of STDs… but then, when asked why, you say it’s because the nation is full of whores? keep it classy, America. still, this article again only gets partial credit, because once again it’s a half-answer with an “in part” attached.
hopefully the US has a solid explanation for this, right?
A statement by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius called the action “reprehensible… “We deeply regret that it happened, and we apologize to all the individuals who were affected by such abhorrent research practices … The conduct exhibited during the study does not represent the values of the United States, or our commitment to human dignity and great respect for the people of Guatemala.”
“you know, the country we previous declared was filled with whores.” although, to be perfectly honest, if prisoners are enjoying the free exchange of their cash for time with the private areas of prostitutes, it’s probably a sign that your country has SOME legitimate issues to address. anyway, i hope the study was worth it?
“Cutler’s work helped refine testing procedures and suggested a better means of prevention, but “made little impact on syphilis research,” Reverby concluded.”
you know what, i’m just going to focus on the fact that the headline makes it sound like the US gave random, individual Guatemalans STDs in the 1940s for no good reason, which is still sad for those people, but at the same time at least attempts to achieve some comedy by being completely random. because at this point, that’s about all we’ve got here.
someone please tell me why owning the hands that do this is supposed to be some kind of big fucking deal
luckily for me, just when i think i’m filled with distaste for the bureaucratic machine that runs the United States government – or, at least, the one that ran the US back in the 1940s when it was dosing up every available Guatemalan prostitute and prisoner with syphilis – the average American comes back around and proves that, in their own way, they make me want to vomit repeatedly at the thought of their words and deeds. if you didn’t already know, you might guess this had something to do with Twilight.
“Kimbra Hickey wants some recognition for her pinky-size role in the “Twilight” phenomenon. Hers are the slender, ghostly hands cupping a red apple on the now-famous cover of the first hit book by Stephenie Meyer. But Hickey’s lack of fame has her cracking her knuckles in frustration.”
whoops, i’m sorry, ma’am, i’m sure it’s very frustrating to have achieved something of great importance and significance and then not gotten any atten- wait a minute. you were the hand model featured on the cover of a book that sold a lot of copies? what exactly was it that you did that was supposed to get you this fame, again?
“It was major exposure for my hands,” said the petite, 40-year-old model. “But nobody knew who I was.”
see, this is where i start to think maybe, just maybe, this Kimbra Hickey doesn’t understand how being a hand model works. i mean, come on, thousands of people have done this type of job, and i’m pretty sure all the rest of them understand that just because thousands of people saw your hands in that Sears catalog, it doesn’t mean we’re supposed to hungrily search out their identity and praise them endlessly for it. also, please overlook the extent to which i date myself by referencing a Sears catalog, okay?
“So Hickey now stops anyone she sees reading the book to inform them of her contribution. “I see people reading it on the subway, and I say, ‘Those are my hands! I’m a hand model!’ ” she explained. “I’m sure they think I’m crazy — a crazy lady on the subway.””
yeah… see, the mistake here might be the part where Hickey thinks people have mistaken her for a crazy lady. actually, Kimbra, you ARE a crazy lady on the subway. you’re harassing random people you see reading a book you posed your hands on the cover of! you know, if a guy came up to me on the subway and told me “hey, you know that copy of Blood Meridian you’re reading? that’s my horse on the cover,” i would… well, let’s just say that i would be unimpressed with said guy’s sanity.
“The good-natured Hickey sometimes hangs out near the cash register at the Barnes & Noble near her Greenwich Village apartment to spread the word. Surprised customers sometimes ask her for her autograph or to trace the outline of her hand on the book jacket. She even carries around a Gala apple in her purse at times so she can recreate the pose for people.”
BECAUSE SHE IS A CRAZY PERSON
“”It was too big of a deal just to let it be,” she said, although she admitted that she has become “a little goofy” about the whole thing.”
“a little goofy” is not the phrase i would use. personally, i would use something that more reflected the fact that someone had an unhealthy obsession with a picture their hands were in.
“Hickey is a massage therapist who works a few days each month as a “parts models.” It’s her size-6 feet — not her hands — that land her most of her modeling gigs. Her tootsies have graced a Times Square billboard and the cover of magazines, she said.”
so does she run up to random people and harass them about having seen her feet in advertisements? or does this possibly have something to do with the fact that whatever the fuck her feet have been featured in aren’t a ridiculous fucking cultural phenomenon right now? teenage girls don’t care about whatever stupid product a photo of feet sells (i’m totally blanking on any kind of product she could have had something to do with), they care about TEAM EDWARD. and Hickey’s hands were… on the cover… of a book that mentions Edward… and later became a movie…
“Lately, she’s been going to “Twilight” fan conventions — she’s at one this weekend in Portland, Ore. — where she sells apple-scented hand lotion.”
okay, so she spends all this time harassing people about the book cover on subways and hanging out near the cash register at her local Barnes & Noble, and now, also going to Twilight fan conventions to sell hand lotion. so when the fuck does she have time to do her actual JOB again?
“So far, she knows of four “Twihards” — as the vampire-romance fans are called — who’ve gotten tattoos of her hands.”
i’m just going to point out the ridiculous nature of the fans of this series and keep it moving. that’s all.
“Her goal is to break into acting. She’s trying to contact the casting director for the fourth installment in the “Twilight” series. “If I could get a little background part, it would be fantastic,” she said — “even if they only wanted my hands in it.””
wait, did i miss the part in this article that talked about her being an actress? no? i didn’t? so this is probably just another sad attempt by this woman to parlay her random photo into some kind of “significant” fame by appearing in these movies? fucking pathetic.
now i admit it’s perhaps, just slightly, a bit contradictory to be complaining loudly on the internet (and thus trying to draw attention to myself on some level) about people who appear to be complaining loudly to everyone they meet about why THEY demand your attention … but you know what? i just say my piece and that’s where it ends. i’ll never be at your local Barnes & Noble wanting you to make me feel satisfied with myself. or, to put it another way, i don’t need my personal desire for fame validated by people who i essentially force to acknowledge my fake-ass fame.
actually, the BEST thing about this article is the clinical police photograph of “the zucchini used by a Montana woman to fend off a bear attack Thursday Sept. 23, 2010 in Frenchtown, Montana”
finally, of course, we have this week’s token bear-related update, something that house of hate feels completely naked without. and since we’re known to have issues with feeling comfortable with our nakedness around here, we- okay, this analogy is getting weird. back to stuff about bears! you might think that the title of the article alone is enough, but oh no, there’s plenty more:
“Police say a Montana woman used an unlikely weapon to fend off a charging bear — a zucchini.”
so clearly we’re dealing with some people that aren’t fully thinking their actions through in this circumstance. look, i’m not trying to make fun of the fine residents of Montana, and i am sure that “in the midst of a bear attack” is an incredibly stressful place to find yourself … but a zucchini? come on! we’re talking about a lawless Western state that’s supposed to be swimming in firearms and men who are men!
“Missoula County Sheriffâ€™s Lt. Rich Maricelli says a 200-pound black bear attacked the womanâ€™s 12-year-old collie just after midnight Wednesday on the back porch of her home about 15 miles west of Missoula.”
i’m honestly curious to find out WHY it attacked the collie, since that’s not discussed in the article and makes me wonder just what the hell was going on in Missoula County. still, i’ll be frank about this: if a bear had showed up at my house and started attacking my dog, i would have absolutely confronted the bear violently. i just would have chosen to do it with the kind of rifle that takes a drum magazine and can repeatedly shoot a bear in the face.
“When the woman, whom police did not name, screamed to draw the bearâ€™s attention, it charged her and swiped at her leg. Maricelli says the woman jumped back into the doorway and reached for the nearest object on her kitchen counter â€” a 12-inch zucchini from her garden.”
nameless Missoula County woman, i just have these two questions for you:
01. your name isn’t in the article? let me tell you this: if i ever fight a bear, and the bear doesn’t kill me and/or catch me committing some embarrassing act, my fucking name goes in the paper immediately. in fact, i’d sue any paper that neglected to mention it;
02. there are no knives on your kitchen counter? granted, time seems to have been of the essence here, but when you’re about to go one-on-one with a BEAR, it might be advisable to take the extra three seconds and at least go in armed with your sharpest kitchen knife or meat cleaver or SOMETHING.
“The woman flung the vegetable at the bear, striking it on top of the head and causing it to flee.”
and you know she probably threw like a girl, making this bear officially a sissy for running off in the face of a woman throwing a vegetable at it.
“Maricelli says the woman did not need medical attention. Wildlife officials were trying to locate the bear on Thursday.”
this is one of those stories that starts off strong (“woman fends off bear attack with zucchini”) and then, as you get into it, you just end up feeling cheated. there’s no explanation for the attack… and no one actually got hurt… and the bear got away. although i always love how wildlife officials are purportedly on manhunts for these bears (so perhaps they’re “bearhunts”). i guarantee it just results in three park rangers drinking a case of beer while sitting in the woods in their Jeep.
“what are you guys doing out there?”
“oh… we were… uh… trying to locate that bear from the attack on Wednesday. you know, the one that wasn’t injured or marked in any way and was at best vaguely described?”
“oh, carry on.”
if i had to sum up these fairly random tales, it would be with the closing “things in the US seem to be going poorly, albeit with some general improvement in our behavior since the 1940s. act accordingly.”