Episode 129 : The Heart Attack

Gourmet food, time travel, sex with dead people, and lots and lots of roller derby! An extra large episode, with extra large heart! Enjoy!

NOTE: Near the end of this episode, we get into a fairly heated discussion. We both consider ourselves to be ardent feminists, and take these things very seriously. So it get emotional, and causes us to run long. Don’t worry… afterwards, we had a nice long chat about it all, and everything is good. Mom and Dad aren’t fighting, dears. Don’t worry.


*Dear Fizzogs of the Fez, If you could meet someone not now living, who would it be and what would you talk about? — Jas

*indicates question was abridged


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14 Responses to Episode 129 : The Heart Attack

  1. jas says:

    I was so psyched to hear you guys talking about Fab Lab! I know some of the MIT folks from around here and I had no idea it was being taken up in other areas of the country. Oh, man…that is just so cool.

  2. jas says:

    Oh “fizzog” is a slang expression for face.

  3. jas says:

    Hmm, either my question got abridged or I forgot to add the conditional that this would be a person that you had never met. I actually wanted to bypass the whole issue of wanting to talk to someone you miss terribly just ’cause, well, been there…

    • themagicaltalkinghat says:

      The question was abridged. William must not have noticed the mark on the card indicating that, when he read it aloud. But I saw the card later, and it was definitely “digested.” 🙂

  4. jas says:

    …that didn’t even seem to approach heated to me, Which says to me that I am really going to have to step it waaaaaay back in intensity with my students this semester.

  5. jas says:

    A few quick responses on the feminism discussion:

    In most of the places where I read/discuss feminist topics, there is not a whole lot of ongoing wrangling about what feminism is, or about first, second, third wave, etc. There’s more a general consensus that to have one, overarching definition of feminism would be a false “one-speaking-for-the-many,” and that it makes more sense to speak of a plurality of feminisms.

    I’ve always gotten the impression that anti-feminists think that feminists all have one dogmatic ideology. I think the key concept of what they think the ideology is is “emasculation” (to put it politely).

    The most non-trivial differences in feminism to me have to do with the way in which race and class interact with gender inequality. So–the objection that feminists in the 1960s-70s were focusing on achieving equality in the job-market by passing “female” work of child-care and house-work onto minority and lower-class women is very much a non-trivial issue and shows how seeming equality for white middle/upper class women could be aspired to without questioning gender hierarchy (where female identified work is lower paid or unpaid). I know there are other things like separatism and like the pornography issues–but what I describe above seems to me the biggest divide.

    Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton always seem like an interesting contrast to me because I think of Stanton as focusing more on cultural issues. She took it upon herself to rewrite the Bible for instance.

    Wollstonecraft–someone who would be great to meet and talk to! Vindication of the Rights of Woman is one of those examples of a text which shows at one and the same time this appeal to equal rights and then at the same time it reinforces the cultural roles of the time. That is, it argues that women should be treated equally because it will make them better wives and mothers. Wollstonecraft says that by training girls to be wholly focussed on romance, and making themselves appealing to men–that you are training women to be flirts, immoral, empty-headed, competitive with their daughters, and basically adulterous (if only in impulse and not in actuality)–because, how are they supposed to turn that all off after marriage? She never asks the material question–what’s the economic reality behind their being focussed on romance?

  6. Beth says:

    I think the Fab Lab sounds like a really interesting idea! I’m excited it’s going into the mall and do hope it will help to revitalize it (face it, without being able to walk through the space that was once Von Maur, that space is now segmented into two dying malls). I’m not sure I’ll ever have the occasion to need to use the Fab Lab, but I like what it can possibly do for our economy to have a space like that available, particularly to the general public.

    A high school feminist club sounds nice in theory, but that it and its members would be ridiculed in reality. Good luck with it though.

    • William says:

      You might be right about the club being made fun of, Beth… but that’s precisely why it needs to exist. And why it could benefit from broader community support. (And, if you ask me, it’s also the real reason why my god-daughter’s friend is resistant to supporting it. It isn’t so much that she thinks feminism is “too radical”. It’s more that she thinks that’s the perception of others, and she doesn’t want to be teased for being “radical” herself. That’s no way for any person — much less a young woman — to make such decisions, based upon how much ridicule they may or may not receive as a result.)

      But I should make it clear… my main point wasn’t so much about feminist clubs in schools, but about local efforts to advance feminist goals.

      To offer another example…

      Right now, if you ask a class of first graders who among them wants to be President of the United States, half of the kids who answer in the affirmative will be girls. By the time you ask the same kids the same question when they’re in junior high, the total number of respondents goes down, as you might expect, but what’s surprising (or… what ought to be surprising) is that, now, hardly any of the presidential hopefuls are girls. Something’s happening right there, in that school, to those girls, in that six-year time-span, to lead them to believe that being the President of the United States isn’t something that’s realistic for them to aspire to, apparently because of their sex. This is a group of real people in a real place who are being negatively impacted in a measurable way, and who are known directly or through only a few degrees of separation by everyone in their community. This is a manageable problem. It can be corrected. By people who ought to care most about it being corrected. And both girls AND boys will benefit by growing up knowing that President of the United States is not a sex-specific job. So… why isn’t the problem being addressed?

      I don’t really claim to know all the reasons why. But I am reasonably certain that debates about “what feminism really is” aren’t addressing the problem.

      (There are some suggestions re: how to fix the problem. The “Miss Representation” organization has introduced a curriculum suitable for various grade levels that addresses media misrepresentations of women and men, a curriculum that can be implemented by any school, public, private, or home. So, for folks that have looked at the curriculum and think it could work, the solution to the problem is even easier. It’s just a matter of convincing the local school board to direct the schools to implement the curriculum. OK, that’s more complicated that a single sentence suggests. But the point is, it’s very doable. Another thing my god-daughter hopes to do is use the Student Senate of her high school to encourage the administration and school board to consider implementing this curriculum on all levels, elementary, junior high, and high school.)

      • The Producer says:

        I’m not sure it’s a problem as much as another symptom. The election cycle leading up to 2008 made it abundantly clear to me that this country is not ready for a woman to be president. Hillary was not my candidate, but she was well-qualified, and the things that were said about/to her were very troubling and shameful. So maybe it’s not that junior high aged girls don’t want to be president. Maybe they just don’t want to go through the “interview process.” At which point the problem becomes not about girls and their aspirations, but about how girls see women treated. In reality, both are probably issues and virtually impossible to separate.

  7. Bloodsparrow says:

    FabLabs! They’re awesome. I’m involved with ATX Hackerspace (atxhs.org)

  8. Mark says:

    Rolling: Of course they will. After all, the current accepted icon for saving a file is a graphical representation of a 3.5″ floppy disk; something never (or only very rarely) seen by today’s youth.

    2x speed. That was so funny, I had to listen to the intro twice over with listening to it once regular and once 2x speed. And if you thought you sounded like rabid weasels without the 2x speed boost; good lord the 2x on top of your rapid speaking it was mind blowing!

    Adventures of Briar Rose: Whee! That was fun.

    Roller Derby: I have a feeling that one of these days I will finally break down and go watch a bout of this, but so far it hasn’t happened yet.

    Kirk lives next to you? Small world, back when I first moved to the Iowa City/Coralville area; I worked at Hy-Vee with him. The Steam Room sounds pretty cool and I’ll have to check it out at some point when I’m next down that way.

    Weird, Maniacal Laughter:Awww, I couldn’t hear it. You MUST get her to do it on the podcast at some point.

    Time Travel: Assuming that it is possible; any time travel would have to also have space travel (the universe is in constant motion). Additionally you’re assuming that time travel would actually allow you to make changes in the past. Assuming that’s true, any civilization who discovers time travel and who continues to exist as a civilization would definitely have to have some sort of time police, but I don’t think it naturally follows that they would actively work to prevent anybody else from discovering time travel. They could just work to enforce their time laws on everybody. Another assumption William is making is that any secondary civilization that is working on time travel does so in a region of the universe close enough to the first that the first takes notice of the second and moves to intervene. Given the size the universe, that seems unlikely and so it could be possible that two civilizations could develop it at the same time. In which case there could be competing civilizations both with time travel.

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