A swimming pool in northern Sweden has said it will allow women to bathe topless, following a campaign by feminists.
Since I am very much in favor of civil rights in general, and of womens' lib in particular, I would like to state that I support the stance taken by the Sundsvall municipal leisure center wholeheartedly.
The Bara Bröst (Bare Breasts) Blog offers the following manifesto:
A spokesman for the pool (...) said that employees there had decided they would not act if women tried to bathe semi-naked.
Bara Bröst is not committed to any political or religious views.
- That women should be allowed to be topless in situations where it is accepted for men to be topless.
- That the breast should not be considered to be a part of the female genitalia.
- That the gender discriminating rules at the swimming pools are removed.
- That the norms that discriminats against women are worked with in schools and at workplaces and so on.
- That the politicians take their responsibility and act in this question.
A gender equal society where
- it is socially accepted for women to be topless in situations when it is accepted for men to do so.
- male and female bodies get an equal amount of space and on the same conditions.
- female bodies are not sexualized.
- no one has to feel like an object.
- women are not being discriminated against.
The alternative course, in the interests of fairness, would be to consider the male breast part of the masculine genitalia and ban the public display of manboobs.
A proposal that also has its merits. Anyway, more power to the ladies of Bara Bröst... oh, and I almost forgot: stick that in your pipe and smoke it, fundies. European values at their best.
Having thus inaugurated the new year in a way that will hopefully endow this blog with an agreeable level of karma, let us now turn again to the usual survey of human idiocy... as so often, displayed in admirable fashion by the US armed forces. The latest call for tenders by the Freedom Fighters of America is for a celebrity rock band to entertain US forces in the Afghan and Iraqi theaters of "war". Nothing wrong with that, after all, a hard-working occupation force needs to unwind after a long day of getting its ass whupped by the locals (see the USO scene in "Apocalypse Now"), but is this really what the troops want to see? A "Celebrity Rock Music Tour - QUANTITY 1" whose show will be subject to the following restrictions:
Any criminal conduct, unexcused tardiness or absence which prevents timely starting of the performance(s) required hereunder, indecency or obscenity, drunkenness, damage to Government property, failure to discharge indebtedness to the Government, influence of narcotics or hallucinatory drugs, threatening breach of national security, violation of the rules and regulations of the Host Nation, Government or TFF MWR are grounds for termination of this contract.Boooo-oring! Also,
The Offeror shall submit details, such as a biography or other promotional or media articles relating to the proposed Professional Celebrity Rock Group, identifying the “professional celebrity” status of at least one member of the group.So if you were hoping to make a quick buck with your buddies in the garage band, forget about it, unless you believe you can get Paris Hilton to sing (the chihuaha would qualify as a promotional article identifying the "professional celebrity" status under the above guidelines). No, I think the setup they are thinking of is more along the lines of The Halliburtons, Inc., or maybe Capitol Offense feat. Mike "End Times" Huckabee on bass.
However, The Huckster's proposal is likely to be rejected due to violations of Clause 22.214.171.124 of the solicitation:
An acknowledged deity will not be referred to in a manner that would offend a follower of any faith.So maybe HQ USAREUR should try out a local band that has had many years of experience playing both large and small venues all up and down the Fertile Crescent, has a strong fanbase both in Iraq and in Afghanistan as well as that one country in between... what was it called again... ah, never mind. You know, of course, who I am referring to: That blockbuster boy group The Rolling Imams that has recently landed another top ten hit with "You Will Explode In A Few Minutes" (apparently a coded reference to premature ejaculation in the presence of uncovered Swedish ankles). They are reportedly bidding to appear at USOs in the region with their new frontman, The Filipino Monkey, who is filling in the professional celebrity slot due to the unavailability of singer and guitarist The Imam, currently in occultation due to previous engagements.
To round off the latest news in security-related lunacy, here are a few small choice bits that may make you look afresh with wonder and amazement at your fellow human beings. The first story comes to us from China, where Wang Zhendong has been sentenced to death for bilking more than 10,000 investors to the tune of US$390 million with a giant ant farm scam. It was both a giant scam involving ants, and a scam involving giant ants (used in traditional Chinese medicine). That's really all I can say about this sad story.
The next report lacks a dateline, but is almost certainly from the US.
Bullet Proof Baby Stroller Product Test
While I am not certain that this is not a bogus video, the depressing thing is that you can never know. It might be real. This even as the American obsession with guns is reportedly "fading":
The number of households with guns dropped from a high of 54 percent in 1977 to 34.5 percent in 2006, according to NORC, and the percentage of Americans who reported personally owning a gun has shrunk to just under 22 percent. (...) President George W. Bush this week signed into law a bill meant to prevent people with a record of mental disease from buying weapons.I will refrain from making the obvious joke at this point and simply point out that you don't need a firearm to settle your differences, as one unfortunate young man in Vienna found out the hard way over the weekend:
The body of a young man was found in an elegant Vienna square with a rake embedded in his head, Austrian police said Saturday.So please, my fellow Europeans, stop pointing fingers at the cousins over in the US of A for just a very brief moment of silence while we consider the fate of this poor soul, at least until the next submachine-gun killing spree at an American primary school/ university/ McDonald's/ post office reminds us that the advantage of rakes is it's hard to run amuck with one.
I'm still waiting for your feedback. Remember that the first person to comment on this or another story in the next few days gets a free piece of artwork plus the right to choose the topic for the next post. Come on, you can do it. My hit counter went over 400 (!!) for the first time this week, so I know you are out there.
Update: Check out Steve Bell's cartoon on Bush's Middle East visit and The Filipino Monkey.