Granted, there’s a metric shit ton of unsavory things that has transpired under the Obama administration, but thankfully we haven’t seen any death panels…yet.
The Article: PLEASE SHUT THE FUCK UP ABOUT ‘GAME OF THRONES’ by Clive Martin in Vice.
The Text: Earlier this week, Games of Thrones—the thing that people on the internet now love more than anything else in the whole world—returned for another season. For some reason, it’s a show that people have only ever felt comfortable describing to me IRL in alliterative HBO comparisons: “The Wire with wizards,” “The Sopranos with swords,” and so on. I haven’t watched it yet, and to be honest, I probably never will.
And it’s not because I don’t have HBO Go, or because every time I’ve tried to torrent something I’ve just ended up with a frozen download bar and tons of pop-up ads for dick pills. It’s because I have an innate aversion to anything that can be described as “fantasy.”
We all know the clichés of the fantasy fan: the Games Workshop employee who sighs when children don’t know how to play the game properly. The people who found their cultural Garden of Eden in the graphic-novels section of Borders some time in the late 90s. Their cultural trajectory took them from Redwall to Red Dwarf to Reddit, and now they argue loudly in small-town bars about how Bruce Lee died. They hate fashion in all its forms, yet they yearn to look different. To get around this, all of their clothing must refer to something else. Be it an oversize Alan Moore–style amulet or one of those “Afraid of the dark, Lagerboy?” T-shirts.
The Article: Mississippi’s Sex-Ed Classes Teach Kids That Homosexuality Is Illegal, Even Though It Isn’t by Jonathan Cohn in The New Republic.
The Text: Mississippi’s sex-ed curriculum is not notable for its progressive nature. But one thing you can’t say about the Magnolia State is that it follows the advice of some conservative parents who want schools to totally ignore homosexuality. In fact, state law mandates that the subject be discussed, at least briefly: Students are to be told that homosexual activity is illegal.
Mississippi, whose governor just signed a noxious anti-gay bill, is not the only state with such a clause in its sex ed curriculum. Neighboring Alabama requires that instructors teach that “homosexuality is not a lifestyle acceptable to the general public and that homosexual conduct is a criminal offense.” In fact, the Supreme Court rendered all state laws against gay sex unenforceable in 2003, when it struck down an anti-sodomy law in Texas.
In Mississippi, the gay-sex-is-illegal mandate is among the less-noticed aspects of a sex-ed curriculum that has seen a fair amount of controversy lately. A Los Angeles Times story last week, by Alena Semuels, focused on the challenges of teaching sexual education in a place where so many communities oppose it—even though the teen pregnancy rate is among highest in the nation. Since 2012, Mississippi has mandated that all districts must now offer some kind of sex ed. But, by law, the basis for the curriculum is abstinence. Classes are supposed to make clear that “a mutually faithful, monogamous relationship in the context of marriage is the only appropriate setting for sexual intercourse.” The only question is whether classes also include basic information about things like birth control and sexually transmitted diseases. The state leaves that decision, between “abstinence-only” and “abstinence-plus,” to the school districts—although 12 percent have opted not to teach any kind of sex ed at all, in apparent defiance of the law.