If I were in a same-sex relationship in California and looking to formalize my commitment to my partner, this new show on the CW, Hitched or Ditched, would not be improving my mood right about now. They pick a straight, non-engaged couple and surprise them with an ambush wedding in one week? Srsly? And they won't let couples who've been together for over 20 years and have children together be at each other's bedsides in the hospital?
OK, Gretchen Bonaduce and Danielle from Real Housewives of NJ are both maybe a little psycho, but can we get a little bit of love for these two plucky divorcees trying to pick themselves up and move on with their lives? No?
Folk songwriter Fred Neil said Karen Dalton "sure could sing the shit out of the blues," and Bob Dylan said she sang like Billie Holiday and played guitar like Jimmy Reed. Dylan's description wouldn't be the last time this under-the-radar folk singer was likened to Lady Day. Like Holiday, Dalton's haunting croon completely transforms whatever folk, blues, or pop standard she sang.
I almost don’t want to give the New York Times the pageviews it was obviously courting in publishing Ross Douthat’s stunningly underthought and journalistically sloppy column “Liberated and Unhappy.” But those of you who’ve read Beth Skwarecki’s article “Mad Science: Deconstructing Bunk Reporting in 5 Easy Steps” will immediately recognize the tricks Douthat uses in his “analysis” of the supposed link between the gains of feminism and the sad, benighted women it’s left in its wake.
The 2007 study on which Douthat hangs today's column is called “The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness,” and was authored by two economists from The Wharton School of Business; reading it, it seems fair to say that, like many an interesting study, it makes a sweeping hypothesis — “By many objective measures the lives of women in the United States have improved over the past 35 years, yet we show that measures of subjective well-being indicate that women’s declining relative happiness has declined both absolutely and relative to men” — and then spends much of the following 44 pages explaining that it’s not actually that simple, and exploring the many variables that may contribute to this decline. For instance, the social pressure on women of the 1960s and ‘70s to put on a happy face (even one that was chemically induced) is very likely a factor in the study’s self-reporting; so is the probability that, as revealed in a study by another economist published around the same time as “The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness,” men have over the past several decades cut back on activities they don’t like and, as a result, have more true leisure time; women —whose leisure time, particularly if they have families, is not their own—have less.