Afternoon Reads

Sex on Campus

The New York Times adds yet another article to what has now apparently become a hot-button issue: women who have sex. It’s the usual: interviews with women who give the empowerment angle, saying that they don’t have time for relationships, women who say they feel the state of things benefits men, and a discussion on sexual assault (stats on who gives vs. receives oral sex,etc). Jessica Valenti’s take: “Can you imagine the @nytimes spilling this much ink on college dudes getting drunk and having sex?”

Fair enough (though a conversation about how we have sex and how consent works is always worth having.) Anyways, a bit on page 6 caught my eye:

In one study, conducted with Laura Hamilton, now a professor at the University of California, Merced, Dr. Armstrong followed roughly 50 women from their freshman year at Indiana University in 2004 until the end of their college careers. They found that the women from wealthier backgrounds were much more likely to hook up, more interested in postponing adult responsibilities and warier of serious romantic commitment than their less-affluent classmates.

The women from less-privileged backgrounds looked at their classmates who got drunk and hooked up as immature.

At Penn, Mercedes said: “Everyone else seemed to live life, not really care about what they were doing. Like, ‘You’re only young once,’ they had that sort of mentality. And I didn’t understand why I couldn’t be, like, free-spirited, and not really care about the consequences of my actions.”

That’s an interesting aspect, one that I’d like to hear more about – is that study isolated, or is that the general trend? It wouldn’t be the first time that different social strata behave different in terms of sex. (I’m no expert on the matter, though I’d suspect that while the ‘underclass’ is often painted as a hotbed of promiscuity and general immorality it’s in fact the upperclass that’s more like that.)

Below the fold: What does Kanye West owe the underground artists that shaped his sound, and how some people in Japan are getting surgery to affect their fate.

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The Line Between Homage and Theft: What does Kanye owe the Underground?

Nathan Leigh over at AFROPUNK has a bone to pick with Kanye over his new Album. Kanye’s sound is heavily influenced by a certain type of music but he fails to acknowledge that he was influenced by people such as Saul Williams, CX KiDTRONiK, and Death Grips, pretending instead that it was all him.

…borrowing is fair in art. Borrowing is totally fair. But the difference between homage and theft is whether or not your cite your sources. Homage is about love for your influence. And you show your love by paying them back somehow. Kanye doesn’t have to produce and hype a new record from Saul, but the bare minimum he could do is thank him publicly. If you’re in the position Kanye is in, and could help out an artist you’re stealing from, you owe it to the underground. And Kanye should know better. He was once the underdog fighting for exposure.

He would not be where he is without them, and at the very least he owes them the honesty and respect of publicly acknowledging his influences. And he owes his fans the experience of having their horizons broadened to include the underground artists who paved the way for Yeezus to be a commercial success. Art doesn’t exist in a vacuum, and by pretending it does, Kanye West does both the underground and the mainstream a disservice.

It’s not a very long article, and very well worth your time. Read it here

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 Change Your Palm, Change your Future:

In Japan, where palm reading remains one of the most popular means of fortune-telling, some people have figured out a way to change their fate… All you need is a competent plastic surgeon with an electric scalpel who has a basic knowledge of palmistry. Or you can draw the lines on your hand with a marker and let him work the magic you want.

Fascinating Article. H/T Marginal Revolution

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