Jan 17, 2007

Metafilter, metasurfing, metathinking

With way too much time on my hands, I am surfing the 'net, jumping off from Metafilter, and making myself laugh at things like this:

Q: How does an elephant get down from a tree?
A: It doesn't, you get down from a duck.

(From http://paul.merton.ox.ac.uk/misc/elephants.html I liked the pair featuring ostriches, too. More jokes here.)

Apparantly there's more to laughing at elephant jokes than I thought. I've oftened claimed that my sense of humor is that of a ten-year-old. Turns out, the humor of a ten-year-old is exactly what is needed to appreciate elephant jokes. I have to admit I don't like the jokes because I'm invested in keeping my feet out of food. I like them because of their absurdity - and their hidden logic.

And if, like me and thousands of others, the new year has drawn your attention to your waistline, here's what 200 calories look like. (The picture of Fiber One Cereal reminded me that I missed "CSI" last night...).

Over at Tim's, both he and I commented on how Norway rarely hits the news radar abroad. Carl Størmer's map, comparing US states' GDP with the GDP of various nations, may give us one clue why.

Lunch conversations meander around, covering a range of topics. Today we happened to talk about spousal abuse Why won't a woman in pain and fear report her abusive husband to the police? The Stockholm syndrome, that's why.

Speaking of spousal abuse, Amnesty International (I believe it was) ran a clichéd "Beautiful Norway" ad, with the fjords and mountains and green hills and pretty blonde woman - who at the end turned to face the camera and revealed a black eye. One in four Norwegian women are battered, said the ad. Unlike some (all?) states in the US, where the police now can arrest a violent husband and not leave it up to his cowed wife to press charges before anything can be done, Norway has not considered that move. Granted, the police will step in if there is a fight, and couple's counselling is apparantly offered to repeat offenders. Still, and oddly, Norway is not in the forefront on ending spousal abuse, neither in changing the law (a woman must press charges) nor in supporting women's shelters (too few and too underfunded). I have idly wondered if that is the price to pay for other achieved women's rights - either a hidden anger in the men or a hidden guilt in the women. I do wonder why no political party seems to be addressing the problem. There are those, however, who have claimed that Scandinavia's brand of women's rights is really about mother's rights ("womb feminism", as one Norwegian blogger puts it (blog in Norwegian)), and/or matters socially visible, like the workplace. (And for whom that is an advantage, is another discussion.)

Whoo, that got serious. Here, have another elephant joke:

Q: How many elephants can you actually put in a fridge?
A: Depends on the number of elephants.

Time to leave the surfing for now and go enjoy a coffee break. Yes, you, too.

7 comments:

Sravana said...

My fav: Q: Why are elephants large, grey and wrinkled?
A: Because if they were small, white and smooth they'd be aspirins.

ROFL.

Seriously, I'm startled about women's condition in Norway! Perhaps that's why we *don't* have many women in high places - because there are more women's support agencies in the US - so men take it out on us by not voting us into office?

I'm going to have to think about your post a bit more...

Paula said...

Your CSI comment whooshed me (I don't watch TV), but the Fiber One looks like a pile of dried maggots.

In any case, I'll take the Baileys, TYVM!

Tim said...

:D - you were bored, weren't you?

Drusilla is . . . interesting, to say the least.

alice said...

When I was a kid, I had a book called 101 Elephant Jokes. My brother and I would read them to each other and laugh and laugh and laugh! Thanks for the flashback!

Keera Ann Fox said...

Sravana, my grandma noted that women were let into politics, but not business here in Norway, and vice-versa in the US. The current Norwegian government is forcing an increase in the percentage of women in company steering boards.

As to the issue of spousal abuse, I know that Sweden has finally begun to address it's lack of protection of women who are abused; Norway may follow. In the news yesterday was the announcement of Sweden's first female leader of a political party. Much conservation lurks in the progressive Scandinavian.

Is it good to be a woman in Scandinavia? Definitely yes. Is there room for improvement? Always.

Paula, you got the CSI reference anyway and you're welcome to the Bailey's. Cheers!

Tim, you nailed it. But Drusilla looks like a new, good read. We'll see.

Alice, I hope you laughed and laughed - again. :-)

Anonymous said...

hey Keera, wow, that was shocking , the statistics aobut women in Norway, the government needs a complete overhaul. I already know the schools suck. my cousin has her doctorate in statistics working at the statistic bureau in oslo, wonder if she was part of the study. klem. sah I have an idea, kickboxing for all women, and a baseball bat.

Keera Ann Fox said...

I hope your cousin wasn't part of any study on wife-beating! But teaching the girls to hit back before they reach marrying age sounds good. Truly, women need to learn that being hit once is already once too many.