We all want the hand. Hand is tough to get. You gotta get the hand right from the opening

I found this essay at The New Partisan, The Sound of Legs Crossing. In the comments Susan calls it "unfiltered, joyous mysogony". I read this essay when it first appeared in 2004 and have had almost two years to carefully weigh Susan's opinion. The short answer is that I just don't see misogyny in the strict sense of hating women in general, though it might well qualify in that the writer has certain suspicions about women. That said he seems to be both fascinated by and genuinely fond of women.

It was such a womanly, inviting yet non-committal look, meeting my eyes with perfect equanimity. I would have followed her to the ends of the earth if need be. And as she left, her waves reverberated off every man in the joint, and a silence descended, a silence which dissipated when a nervous waitress dropped a glass.

That the opposite sexes have a certain allure for each other carries and some ebb and flow of power. That we all observe each other does not necessarily add up to misogyny or misandry. Isn't that what good writers and social observers are supposed to do articulate those small moments. Maybe give us some small insight into what it means. We don't have to agree or award blue ribbons, but simply take note of what has been observed. When well thought out and well written they might give us a new angle at which to look at the world arond us. Remember the the Seinfeld episode "The Pez Dispenser" where George spends the entire show trying to have " hand", as in upper hand, the power in the relationship. He becomes so obsessed with having that power that he ends up sabotaging himself. Maybe George lacked insight. Of course Raymond Chandler understood "hand" or legs in this case,

Thankfully, women don’t give off such conflicting signals, especially with their legs. And there are men who realize that and who listen to the sound of legs crossing to announce their presence. Raymond Chandler, that poet/philosopher king of the hard-boiled, was always intrigued by how stockings sound when legs are crossed, that hiss a woman’s legs make when walking. “I was thinking about that ever since you crossed your legs,” said Robert Mitchum to Charlotte Rampling, after she crossed hers provocatively in the movie of Chandler’s Farewell, My Lovely. Yes, that “that.”

My point is that sometimes things as it were are not political or socio-political, they're just part of that mystery of the ages, women and men sizing each other up, its personal. Maybe its just wishful thinking on my part that there is still room in the world for personal observation and artistic expression free of some kind of politics.

Jill Carroll Statement

During my last night in captivity, my captors forced me to participate in a propaganda video. They told me they would let me go if I cooperated. I was living in a threatening environment, under their control, and wanted to go home alive. I agreed.

Things that I was forced to say while captive are now being taken by some as an accurate reflection of my personal views. They are not. The people who kidnapped me and murdered Alan Enwiya are criminals, at best. They robbed Alan of his life and devastated his family. They put me, my family and my friends–and all those around the world, who have prayed so fervently for my release–through a horrific experience. I was, and remain, deeply angry with the people who did this.

I also gave a TV interview to the Iraqi Islamic Party shortly after my release. The party had promised me the interview would never be aired on television, and broke their word. At any rate, fearing retribution from my captors, I did not speak freely. Out of fear I said I wasn't threatened. In fact, I was threatened many times.

As of this writing there haven't been as many apologies as there should be coming from the right-wingers who think that the only fitting end to the story would have been a dead Jill Carrol. For a roundup of reactions see Mahablog and The Moderate Voice, some highlights from left and right blogistan. Digby, eloquent as usual,

Jill Carroll has more testosterone in her little finger than all these bedwetters put together. I'm sorry that she has not given the 101st one-handed keyboarders the picture of blood and horror they need to get satisfaction from their safe little offices, but I think it's highly unlikely these bedwetters would have handled themselves with such fortitude in those circumstances. They are after all, the same brave soldiers who believe the shoe bomber is a greater threat to the nation than having thousands of ICBM's pointed at every major American city.

Maha gets the quote of the day regarding moonbat hate monger Alexandra of All Things Hateful;

Somehow, I suspect if Alexandra ever had a gun pointed to her head and was told to be convincing or die, she’d put out an Oscar-worthy performance, too. Right after she wet her pants.

Finally as Maha notes, not every winger piled on. Why they had a pause to wait for judgment I don't know, but good for them. Now try and make it a regular habit.

Civil War Festers in Remote Pakistan Province

Explosions at gas pipelines and railroad tracks are common in this remote desert region. Now, roadside bombs and artillery shells are, too. More than 100 civilians have been killed in recent months, along with dozens of government security forces, local residents and Pakistan's Human Rights Commission say.

…..In particular, tensions have been aggravated by President Pervez Musharraf's determination to develop the area's oil and gas fields, the largest in the country, as well as his aim to build a pipeline across the region to carry oil from Iran and a strategic deep sea port to expand trade with China, local residents say.

Key words: oil, Iran, pipeline, China, trade.

Audit Finds Mismanagement Drained $1 Billion Project

Mismanagement of a $1 billion technology contract by the Transportation Security Administration resulted in the expenditure of the entire budget long before all of the needed computer and telephone equipment was installed, according to an audit released Thursday by the inspector general of the Homeland Security Department.

Great idea for the next GOP commercial blitz, vote for us in 2006 so we can have more of the same screw-ups and corruption we've had the last six years and if you don't you're a terrorist loving lefty.

Jerry: All right, I'm sorry. What about her?

George: What, you think I'm going to repeat the whole thing now?

Jerry: I know, you told me you like her, everything is going good.

George: No everything is *not* going good. I'm very uncomfortable. I have

no power. I mean, why should she have the upper hand. *Once* in

my life I would like the upper hand. I have no hand– no hand at

all. She has the hand; I have *no* hand…

George: How do I get the hand?

Jerry: We all want the hand. Hand is tough to get. You gotta get the

hand right from the opening.

George: She's playing a recital this week at the McBierney School. You wanna hear her play? I got two extra tickets, you and Elaine could go…

Jerry: Yeah, that sounds like somethin'…

George: Then afterwards maybe we could all go out together. Y'know she'll

see me with my friends, she'll observe me as I really am, as myself.

Maybe I can get some hand that way.

from the Seinfeld episode The Pez Dispenser written by Larry David