WNBA All-Star Game: What? They had it already?

I’m not sure what happened, but I completely missed the WNBA All-Star Game this year, and I was really looking forward to it because Shoni Schimmel, the former Louisville Cardinals superstar, was voted in as a starting guard representing the Atlanta Dream.

And now that I realize what happened, I’m really upset I missed seeing this:

I was at Shoni’s last game as a Louisville Cardinal, when she almost pulled out a win against Maryland in the NCAA tournament’s Elite Eight. Had certain juniors on the team at least made their average (Sarah, Bria, Jude:  I’m looking at you), the Cards would have gone to the Final Four.

The worst part is, I can’t even find a rerun of the All-Star game, because Watch  ESPN doesn’t have it on its repeat rotation.

Like a girl …

After the Supreme Court ruling on whether women can control their bodies (the five old Catholic guys on the court say no), it’s time to think about the perception of women as weaklings who need a man to tell them what to do.

Which means it’s time to really reassess what people think when someone says, “You do that like a girl.”


Will Republicans play nice when Obama leaves office?

Uh, no:

UPDATE: Ark. GOP official resigns after controversial comments about Hillary Clinton.

A state Republican Party official resigned Wednesday after comments he reportedly made about Hillary Clinton.

According to a U.S. News & World Report blog, 2nd Congressional District Chairman Johnny Rhoda was asked by reporters how Clinton would fare in Arkansas if she were to run for president in 2016.

His reported reply: “She’d probably get shot at the state line.”

And now that he’s resigned, is he apologizing?

Rhoda, a church pastor and insurance agent, said later that he didn’t mean the remark in a threatening way and that it had been quoted “out of context” and “blown out of proportion.”

Those church pastors in Red States and guns. A real fun group. And this is coming from a guy in a state where Hillary was first lady back when Bill was governor. And we all remember the nice things Republicans said about Bill when he was president.

Look, we know Hillary isn’t running … YET … but these guys are going to be dicks no matter what Democrat is in the White House.

Upheaval in New York and Paris newsrooms

Some interesting developments in the journalism world today.

First, in New York:

In an abrupt change of leadership, The New York Times on Wednesday dismissed Jill Abramson as executive editor and replaced her with Dean Baquet, the managing editor.

Speaking to a stunned newsroom that had been quickly assembled to hear the news, Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr., the publisher of the paper and the chairman of The New York Times Company, said that he had made the decision because of “an issue with management in the newsroom.”

Ms. Abramson, 60, had been in the job only since September 2011. But people in the company briefed on the situation described serious tensions in her relationship with Mr. Sulzberger, many of them over his concerns about her management. Her style has been described as mercurial and brusque. They had disagreements even before she was appointed executive editor, and she had also had clashes with Mr. Baquet

That’s a huge deal and I’m sure leaves most people in the profession stunned. After all, people usually know when something like this is going to happen. The powers that be in the profession (the publishers, not the editors) usually leave breadcrumbs with other media outlets when they’re about to lower the boom on their newsroom leaders. There are three major newspapers in the U.S., and in the past shake-ups of the two that weren’t the New York Times, you suspected some kind of overthrow was in the works. But this situation at the Times, despite last month’s anti-Jill piece in Politico, caught everyone by surprise.

But that’s not all that happened today. Something just as big happened in Paris:

Faced with a newsroom revolt, the editor in chief of Le Monde, France’s most prominent newspaper, stepped down on Wednesday after a 14-month tenure marked by staff resistance to her efforts to push the paper faster and more fully into the digital era.

The editor, Natalie Nougayrède, had been criticized by her staff for a top-down management style and an inability to build consensus. The discontent was focused largely on a plan to redesign the newspaper and its electronic applications and transfer more than 50 staff members from the print newspaper to the digital operation.

Two of her deputies announced their resignations last week, and seven other editors resigned weeks earlier in opposition to the way Ms. Nougayrède, 47, and the paper’s owners were going about changing Le Monde.

This, unlike in New York, seemed to be inevitable. But still, it’s odd that two of the  most powerful women in global journalism were sacked on the same day. And it’s troubling that in both cases, the underlying reason for their dismissals is that “they were bossy.” Because it reminds me of this:

In both cases, there’s also word that the two editors were moving toward a digital strategy that faced resistance in their newsrooms. If newspaper publishers at The Times and Le Monde are hoping to preserve a print product and getting rid of people who are trying to speed up the transition to a digital format, they won’t have much time to deal with criticism that their actions in these two firings were sexist. They’re going to collapse anyway because print is dying.


And a doll shall lead them

This is a human:


This is a plastic doll:


The human, a Ukrainian woman named Valeria Lukyanova, has surgically altered herself to look like a doll. Weird, right?

No. This is the weird part (from GQ):

Valeria grows pensive, which in her case means rolling her eyes slightly upward without changing anything else about her face. “I wouldn’t say so. Everyone wants a slim figure. Everyone gets breasts done. Everyone fixes up their face if it’s not ideal, you know? Everyone strives for the golden mean. It’s global now.”

“But that’s a relatively new thing,” I reply. “The ideal of beauty used to be different.”

“That’s because of the race-mixing.”

If I had a glass of multi-chutney carrot-juice mix before me, I’d do a bright orange spit take.

“For example, a Russian marries an Armenian,” Valeria elaborates helpfully. “They have a kid, a cute girl, but she has her dad’s nose. She goes and files it down a little, and it’s all good. Ethnicities are mixing now, so there’s degeneration, and it didn’t used to be like that. Remember how many beautiful women there were in the 1950s and 1960s, without any surgery? And now, thanks to degeneration, we have this. I love the Nordic image myself. I have white skin; I am a Nordic type—perhaps a little Eastern Baltic, but closer to Nordic.”

I feel like checking my watch. We’ve gone from nails to eugenics in about two minutes flat.

I realize that just like everyone reading about Human Barbie, I had had a simple narrative prepared in my head: A small-town girl grows up obsessed with dolls, etc. Instead, I get a racist space alien.

Just let that sink in. The human is real. But the doll has better values.

Here’s a video of the human:

And here’s a video of the doll:

Is it time to give up on humanity?