Links n’ thangs

Haven’t done a link share post in a while, and tonight, I am in the mood.

First off, we have this article from Psychology Today (great mag) about the Left Brain Right Brain “Myth”.

It is, basically, a stupid article and not up to PT’s standards. It starts off with something that seems provocative enough, talking about how the left-brain right-brain stuff is a ‘myth’.

Briefly, ever since the split-brain studies of the 1960s, we have known that the two halves of out brains seem to have different functions. Broadly speaking, the left brain handles things like abstract logic, language, time, and conscious reasoning, while the right brain handles intuition, emotion, deep processing, memory, and so on.

If someone had proved this to be untrue, that would definitely be a big story because it would be knocking fifty years of brain science into a cocked hat. That would be worth writing about.

But no, that’s not what the author of the article, Christian Jarrett, is saying. Instead, all he is doing is complaining about people using these ideas incorrectly as a way of oversimplifying a very complex and important area of brain research.

Well duh! There will always be pop psychology and pop science. There will always be people who get their hands on a scrap of science and go to town with it without restraint or understanding. And there will always be well-meaning people who simplify something in order to make it easier to understand and end up inadvertently giving people the wrong idea.

It’s hardly something worth griping about, especially not in an actual psychology mag. It does not really matter if the average person does not quite understand this hemispheric specialization thing.

All that matters is that your brain surgeon gets it.

And it’s “chicken coop”, not “chicken coup”, you knob.

Speaking of dumb articles, this one rankled me as well. It asks “Is Outrage Driving Homophobia Underground?”

The premise of the article appears to be “We think homophobia is going away, but in reality, it’s just hiding! Oh no!”

To which I say, “Well duh!”. The real battle is to make certain opinions unsafe to speak in public because people will be morally outraged and the speaker will lose social status rapidly.

Whether or not people still have prejudice in their hearts is beside the point. If they can’t talk about it without everybody will (rightly, in the case) think they are a bigot, then they can think whatever they want in the comfort of their own noggins.

They can even band together with other neanderthals who still share their opinion and have a grand old time trying to convince themselves that society is, indeed, going all to hell now that the queers can get married. Go ahead, it’s a free country.

Bigotry doesn’t die overnight. But once the cultural shift has been made where expressing it openly makes the average person think less of you, the rest is merely a matter of time. Social pressure has a very strong effect on people, as does exposure (hard to think gay people are all horrible people when your nephew comes out of the closet), and so once that vital social tipping point has been reached, it is all over but the shouting for that form of bigotry.

After that point, the writing is on the wall. Within a very short time, the bigotry against gays, which was once aired as a serious and valid political and moral position, will join sexism, racism, religious intolerance, and all the other forms of bigotry in the dustbin of history. They will never entirely go away (after all, there’s still white supremacist groups around today), but the number of adherents will dwindle into a tiny minority clinging to the edges of society, loathed and mocked by all.

And that is all you can really expect in a free and open society. The minority is now protected and supported by the vast, vast majority. The polarity has completely shifted.

That’s progress enough for me.

And now for something I really do like. It’s a new show that will be on Logo soon, and it is well, kind of different, but in a good way.

OK, OK, go ahead and laugh at the puppets. You have my permission. I laughed a bit too. On the surface of it, it seems completely absurd. We are not used to taking puppets seriously at all. It is hard to get over that and focus on what is going on.

But I think the idea for the show is actually quite brilliant. They take the real audio from actual couples therapy sessions and then use the puppets to provide use the audience with a little distance from the events to make them more bearable, and provides the people getting therapy a iugh degree of anonymity.

These two things make it “safe” for us to be there in the session with these people. It is actually quite a brilliant idea if people can just get past the puppet thing.

Ah, the puppet thing. I have to admit, those are not the greatest looking puppets in the world. They will do, mind you, I am not saying they are a dealbreaker. They get the point across.

But they are kinda crappy looking.

Honestly, I think the premise would be a lot better executed via animation instead of puppetry. Even if it was just very simple Dr. Katz style “squiggle” animation, it would still look better than the puppets, and despite what mass media seems to find novel every single damned time a slightly dark animated feature comes out, I think audiences are prepared to accept seriousness and drama from animation.

At least, more so than puppets.

But I realize that animation, even very simple stuff, is expensive, and TV show budgets have been shrinking rapidly, so I understand why they would opt for puppets instead.

Kind of makes me wish some of the fabricated-American characters from Greg the Bunny would show up for a session on the couch, though.

2 thoughts on “Links n’ thangs

  1. “Felt.” LOL.

    I wonder if they started at the title, as a joke, and then as they talked about it, it started to seem like a good idea.

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