Around the web

I read a bunch of really cool stuff this weekend. The highlights: This Salon interview is old, but the gist is that a professor realized that as young, innocent children most victims of sexual abuse don’t feel that traumatized while the abuse is happening. In contrast to an event like a rape, where the victim immediately feels terror, pain and shame, and does not consent to the event the feeling most often expressed by child sex abuse victims (at the time of the abuse) is confusion (the upset and anxiety comes when they grow older). So when sexual abuse is described by the media and popular culture as a traumatic event, sexual abuse victims believe that what happened to them doesn’t fit the bill, and don’t tell the relevant authorities. The author also believes that repressed memories are a myth; around the world, people remember traumatic events vividly. Because these events are not really traumatic, people forget about them and then recall them when asked later, which is natural, and has nothing to do with repression. Note that the author is not condoning or excusing sexual abuse; merely observing that for many children, the event is not traumatic or painful (at the time), merely confusing, and because their experience doesn’t match up with the description of sexual abuse in the media they don’t come forward, even though the crime is horrific. Colin Marshall shares thoughts on interviewing after having done 100 of them. In essence, his advice is to go with the flow of the conversation, don’t prepare questions (but do your research) and ask questions about things about which you are genuinely interested in reading the answer. I keep meaning to start interviewing people; I should start right now but I doubt I will. Here’s a good review of Center City, the new gigantic development in the center of the Strip in Vegas. I agree that it lacks personality, and two bits in particular reminded me of my own experience there (excepting the suicide bit):
“I start to feel claustrophobic and duck out of the event. For a certain type of person, Vegas is a non-stop party. For me, it induces a kind of persistent low-grade anxiety. There’s something dystopic about the place generally, and CityCenter is starting to feel like the world of Blade Runner come to life. I head back to my room, shut the black-out curtains and lie in bed. More people commit suicide in Las Vegas than in any other city in the United States.” […] “Realistically, this place is as much an artifice as anything on the Strip, a re-imagining of a 19th-century saloon, complete with polished bar, antique typography, Edison bulbs. Why, then, does it feel so much more honest? Because its aesthetic is filtered through a contemporary sensibility? Because it seems a natural part of a vibrant neighborhood? Is this all bullshit I invent to make myself feel more comfortable? Could the real problem with Las Vegas — my real problem with Las Vegas — be that its commercial imperatives are simply too transparent?”
Here's an illustrated post describing 10 reasons to avoid talking on the phone. I don’t enjoy talking on the phone; on days like my birthday when lots of people call I get stressed out. It must show because people say I sound very funny when I talk on the phone. Many Republican governors made a big show out of repealing the stimulus but as Jonathan Chait points out, Republican states generally get more federal money in than they give to the federal government in tax revenue than Democratic states. He also profiles Mitch Daniels, whose Indiana country bumpkin-ism is phony, as a former pharmaceutical company CEO, but who has generally governed Indiana from the middle, expanding health care and increasing taxes. My preferred Republican candidate is still Jon Huntsman, but he won’t be back on the national stage until around 2014, probably.

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