Sunday, October 29, 2006

Ketih Olbermann on the death of Habeus Corpus

You Tell Me...

Old Timey Electric Heater

My building is notoriously stingy with the heat, and getting some heat in the depths of winter has proven over the years to be an endless battle. Many meetings of the tenants, many calls to 311, many memos to the management CC'd to Mayor Bloomberg, etc start feeling futile after a while. I hear some people have succeeded in having their rents reduced because they documented their complaints enough and have waged enough war, but personally I barely have the energy to get them up here to unclog the bathtub much less to stop lying about the boiler being broken or stop harassing us about our rent stabalization. A couple years ago they insisted on putting these "energy efficient" windows in everyone's apartment which was all fine and well except that the building is so old that it doesn't do much good, the draft continues, and its no excuse to turn the heat on just enough to get the radiator hot but not enough to actually give it time to radiate.

So already this year I've been lounging around realizing that my feet are slowly turning blue and my skin is chapping within the walls of the apartment, and its not even as cold as it's going to get. I resorted to using Lito's old timey electric heater, which takes me back to those days of kerosene heaters in my grandma's house which put out some good heat but left you with the constant fear that the house could burn down at any moment.

This thing is old and dusty and hasn't been plugged-in in probably years, so it really makes me nervous, but desperate chilliness calls for desperate measures.

Meanwhile, Meow Kitty is absolutely fascinated by it. For a cat that has been through so much and has had such a struggle for survival in this cold cruel world, she sometimes amazes me with how smart she is. Other times not so much. She's an idiot savant. When old 'lectric is on, she approaches it with caution, right up to the chicken wire screen, puts her face right in the middle, realizes it is hot, and then runs away from it. Ten seconds later, she returns and gives it another try. And again and again.

Finally she has figured out that she can just chill in front of it a few steps back, and it will warm her without scorching her highly flamable and endlessly shedding-in-clumps hair.

You can barely see her in the light of the heat:

Electric Heater

By the way, there's already Christmas decorations up in Astoria:

Christmas Decorations Up Before the end of October

Here's an unrelated picture of a big ass dog chewing on a big ass stick on the Upper West Side the other day. No owner in site, and no easy explanation for where a stick that size came from.

Dog Chewing Stick

It's a good thing I was at a bar last night

or I might not have known to set the clock back.

Friday, October 27, 2006

So simple, yet so useful.

I am a huge listmaker. Everything that's going to get done in my life has to be on some kind of list. Recently I discovered Ta Da Lists, which is a free service that you can of course access via the internet, so your lists are always with you. You can add items to multiple lists, and reorder the items however you want after you've entered them. (That's the best part, because when you handwrite lists, you inevitably end up with a higher-priority item lower on the list--part of being a list-person is liking your lists organized.) When you check an item off the list, it's moved to the bottom of the list, but still saved so you can see what you've accomplished (another thing listmakers like is seeing everything they've crossed off).

Also from the same developers is Backpack, which is cool too, and includes pretty much the same list-making function, and a lot more like "writeboards" and a calendar (though it's for paying customers only).

Thursday, October 26, 2006

A New Breed...Ferocious and Wild

There’s this woman who lives on the Upper East Side, let’s call her “Judy”. Judy is a middle aged white lady with blonde hair, a thick yankee accent, a throaty smoker’s voice, and the status of fixture in the neighborhood. Indeed, she is the co-chair (“should be president”) of a certain block’s neighborhood association, and I am all to familiar with her not only from her residence and position as co-op manager in a dear friend’s building, but also from the endless sea of flyers she posts around the ‘hood about everything from the upcoming Halloween festival to her opposition to the plans to build a 7-11 right on her corner. Her flyers are written in such precise and perfect handwriting that it almost looks like a font, and they usually begin along the lines of “In case you did not know or have not yet been made aware of the fact that …”

I can't do her justice -- I may have to create a video of my impression of her which has become canonical among those who know this lady in order to really convey the voice, the annoyance, the gestures, the underhanded nature of compliments and the bitter outlook on those who do not understand where she's coming from, which would be me, you, and all of humanity. She's a character, to say the least.

For the 7-11 effort, she made it into the local news media, having appearances on the news and quotes in newspapers. She spearheaded the anti-7-11 movement in the neighborhood, basing her opposition on the 24-hour convenience store on the idea that such a venue would bring the riff-raff out of the woodwork at all hours of the night to terrorize the community and leave a sea of beer cans and syringes lining the street among other litter. She had a huge case against the 7-11, but eventually the 7-11 won out and ther is now, in fact, a 7-11 on the corner of the block for which she's the co-chair of the neighborhood association (though she "should be president of the whole damn show").

Taking her lead, but also out of solidarity with the other two convenience stores across the street that do not have the backing of a huge franchise brand-name, we've avoided the 7-11, but have recently started popping in after the other stores have closed, and even when they're still open, always looking out for Judy in hopes that she won't see us going in or coming out. There is an allure to the 7-11, a seduction. It is new, shiny, well-lit, and has a huge selection of merchandise from food to personal hygiene items to magazines. The stores across the street have faded signs, dirty floors, and a whole lot of nothing that crowds the aisles. The 7-11 is, like, better.

Anyway. The other day my homeboy saw Judy...in the 7-11. In her defense she was not buying anything, just handing out flyers for one of the neighborhood association events, maybe trying to get one posted in the window. But I hear the look on her face at being seen in there was priceless. She knows what people must think.

More later.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Celebrity Siting

Saw Rapper T.I. today in Chelsea on 23rd Street. There were all these trailers lined up for some kind of shoot, maybe a video. He came out of one of the trailers with two men, hugged a girl who was waiting with her friend who was not particularly movie-starish but cute. He's much shorter and skinnier in in person.

FRIDAY, OCT. 27 - HALLOWEEN MADONNATHON!

from www.spincyclenyc.com:
Jump over to Pyramid tonight for our annual Halloween Madonnathon! Get hung up on the dance floor --- it’s ALL MADONNA, ALL NIGHT, from 10 PM-4 AM with no repeats! Catch rare Madge videos all night in the basement. Free admission if you’re dressed as Madonna... (Note...we have the final say on whether any "borderline" Madonnas get in free.)

Woman, 23, Has Breasts Removed to Prevent Cancer

I really can't believe this.

The story is that a young woman of 23 is so terrified of getting the cancer--and what seems more important to her is how that would keep her from having children--that her mother had that she gets tested for the "breast cancer gene", which comes back positive. I'm not sure how accurate the article is on this but it says that when that gene shows up it means you have an 80% chance of developing cancer. (Is there really a test that can tell you how likely you are to get b.c.?) I'm not an expert on breast cancer, so correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty certain that if you catch breast cancer early the survival rate is very high.

Her doctor says,
"I didn't push her into it," he said. "The decision has to be 100 percent driven by the patient. It's an option a doctor shouldn't sell, but shouldn't withhold."


I entirely disagree. It seems to me that this woman's problem is psychological. I can't believe that a doctor would actually provide her with a double mastectomy at such a young age and with no tumors. Then she recieves breast implants which are not without their own potential (though less likely than commonly believed) problems, moreso I'd imagine in a woman with no breast tissue.

As a medical professional, a doctor should have given her comfort and encouragement along with the knowledge of how to check yourself for cancer and the ways to live a healthy life without amputating something from her body as a preventative measure. And then referred her to a mental health professional to at least allow her time to consider the option she is choosing more deeply with a little guidance. It's so...extreme. I believe in patient autonomy, but I believe in the autonomy of doctors too. Judging what's in a patient's best interests can be a difficult task, but here...it seems obvious to me.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Malawi: This Used To Be My Playground

Madonna's going on Oprah to talk about her controversial adoption.

But no one saw this coming? The father of Madonna's adopted child is now saying, as others had previously suggested, that he didn't fully understand "adoption". He thought that Madonna was going to raise his son in a life of extreme luxury and privelege, who would then return to his Malawi village to fight off mosquitos and hope there's enough dirt pie for the whole family to eat.

Liz Smith, who has nothing but undying praise for Madonna, wraps it up in her column. She starts off by saying Madonna hadn't even considered what kind of publicity this would bring (hmm...she is the mother of publicity stunts, so I'm sure it was at least a passing thought, though in fairness to her probably not the motivating factor), but then she hits the nail on the head.

I think Madonna would have been better off attempting to adopt a parentless child, not a 1-year-old with a living (and probably soon to be demanding) father. And she'd have been far better off never bringing up the word "kabbalah" in connection with any of her announced good works for children left without families because of AIDS. I'm not much for charity with any proselytizing religion mixed in on top of it.


EXACTLY. Also, Angelina and Brad apparantly talked her out of adopting an American baby to take the third-world route. Angelina Jolie is exactly who I would turn to on these kind of things, seeing as she is a known homewrecker-with-a-heart-of-gold, who probably feels a bit of relief from man-snatching with her world-saving UN-spokepersoning measures.

Also, I'm surprised the issues of a white couple raising a black child hasn't really come up in the criticisms of this. This is like an intercontinental Losing Isaiah waiting to happen.

I honestly do wish the best for both Madonna and the baby, David.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

YouTube Sunday: Black Diva Edition

Gentelmen, I give you....Katrina.



Also, maybe the greatest thing ever:

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Female Figures With Heads of Flowers


Knowing that I am obsessed with Dali's untitled painting known as Female Figure with Head of Flowers (it hangs above my bed), Scatty Arbuckle sent me this picture from Alexander McQueen's Spring 2007 collection asking if I thought it was perhaps inspired by Dali.



Perhaps! But I think Leigh Bowery gave a more accurate depiction of the female figure with head of flowers:


Personally I'm a fan of this concealed-head look from Viktor & Rolf:

It inspired my Halloween 2005 look.

Though this year I think I may go less Darth Vader and more Imperial Guard.

Men on Film

I was watching this thing on CNN about porn addiction, which was pretty useless and gratuitous in that it provided no insite into porn addiction other than "porn addiction is bad" which, by virtue of being an addiction, is a given. But what stood out to me was a brief comment on how men (heterosexual) who view a lot of porn (like three hours worth a day) begin to be aroused by all women on the street, and less so by there partners. I would bet they begin to be interested in sex acts they may have thought abnormal or nasty and less in traditional, missionary style fucking too.

The little report was about heterosexual porn in particular, but it got me thinking about gay men and our porn. As gay men, every one of our publications--be they news journals or entertainment websites--have ads for porn. "Gay" is a social construct, and I don't think that's necessarily bad. I've read that it was around the end of World War II that gay people started to think of themselves as members of a group. And that group is defined by who we are interested in having sex with. Yeah yeah, romance too...but it boils down to this: we are gay men because our sexual desires are for other men. So it's not baffling that the "economy" of our "culture" relies heavily on selling us sex. With men.

Is this why the long-term gay male relationship is harder to find than the promiscuous gay man? If porn leads strait men to objectify women, and if the media gives women unrealistic standards for beauty, then does the gay media--which is tightly tied to gay porn--both lead us to have ridiculous expectations of our own bodies and the bodies of other men, as well as make us see each other as objects?

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Test.

Test!

Historical Ironies That Go Unnoticed

Historical Irony Goes Unnoticed, #1:
Two Winston-Salem, NC hospitals are banning smoking.
…the new policy will also apply to parking lots and parking decks and other outdoor areas.

Winston-Salem is (was once?) the tobacco manufacturing capital of the world…and millions of dollars were donated by RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company to those two hospitals.

Historical Irony Goes Unnoticed, #2:
Rice Promises Japan Full Range Defense Against North Korea nuclear weapons. The tables have turned. (Right or wrong,) the only nuclear weapon ever used against a nation was by the United States…on Japan.

Historical Irony Goes Unnoticed, #3
A Texas inmate slit his own throat with a makeshift knife fifteen hours before his execution by the state. They rushed him to the hospital in an apparent effort to save his life...before his scheduled execution later that day.

Historical Irony Goes Unnoticed, #4:
This isn’t really ironic, just intriguing on a number of levels.

Bush concedes that Iraq “could be” compared to Vietnam’s Tet offensive.
"My gut tells me that they have all along been trying to inflict enough damage that we'd leave," [Bush] told American ABC television.

You need your gut to tell you that?

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Project Runway: Finale

It was clearly between Uli and Jeffrey, as Laura's collection was tired (well-crafted or not, it was old, old lady all the way) and Michael's was a little loose. I'm sad for Michael, but I think, in the end, Jeffrey deserved it. Though Uli really did come out of nowhere with teh fabulous.

But I've Made Up My Mind, Iiii'm Keepin' My Baby...

As is all over the news, Madonna has indeed adopted a baby named David from Malawi. There were groups who were trying to stop this, and a lot of criticism and ridicule flung at her for what seems like the purchase of a designer baby. Even the NY Post today had a large, meant-to-be-humorous article about the adoption in its fashion section, which heavily quoted VH1’s Best Week Ever show. A personal favorite from Michael Colton: “Madonna loves everything British. And that includes imperialism.”

As I’ve said before, there is really nothing bad that can be said about giving millions of dollars to a country to help feed its starving children, nor is their anything intrinsically bad about saving a single child from a life of poverty. What bothers me about her donation of money to the “Raising Malawi” project is that the project is heavily boarded by Kabala bigwigs and a lot of that money is going to go to instill Kabala teachings in these children. Imagine if she were giving all this money, and a condition of it was that Bibles will be handed out and taught from. It’s the same thing. As someone who makes a living working for missionaries, I know first hand all the good they do. I also know first hand that there is a fine line between being a religious person doing good deeds in the name of your beliefs, and being a good person who does good deeds under the condition that your beliefs be accepted. These kids don’t give a fuck about kabala. They want to eat. It is deeply offensive to me that “Kaballah”—a trademarked religious/cult brand that claims it is not a religion/cult—is in any way a part of this effort. However, I can’t get away from the fact that…it’s better than no effort at all.

Secondly—and who knows what the whole truth of the matter is—it is reported that from twelve kids, ole Madge Ritchie “hand picked” her baby, who is, by the way, not an orphan. His father is alive and well (and reportedly gives his full blessing to Madonna and Guy Ritchie). In fact, of all the kids in that country he is one, as J-Boogie put it, who probably had a fighting chance. And to quote a woman quoted in Andrea Peyser’s column, it’s like when you go to the pound—you pick the cutest one. Is it likely that Madonna did just that, rather than picking one who was infected with HIV and wasn’t really adorable?

Every ten years or so, Africa comes back around as a trendy cause. It’s not bad that Africa becomes a cause that gets a lot of attention, because it needs a lot of attention, and a lot of help from the rich West. The newest trend seems to be adopting African babies. Did Madonna bypass laws? Did she purchase an impoverished baby? Who cares. Now I’m sure little David will have a fabulous life. I’m not quite sure why, but I’m a little squeamish about it.

More later.

But only one that matters!


HowManyOfMe.com
LogoThere are:
3
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

Sunday, October 15, 2006

The Summer's Out of Reach

The Big Meeting happens twice a year, and for the first one of the year they call it the “semi annual meeting” and for the second one, they call it the “annual meeting”. I mentioned to the lady that puts the whole thing together that this bothers me, because if one of them is the “semi annual meeting” then wouldn’t the other one be “semi annual” too? I don’t think she understood my concern because she just reiterated the fact that the first one is called “semi annual” and the second one is called “annual”. But I stand behind my conviction that this is stupid.

You’d be surprised how many trees have to die for these meetings to happen. Seriously, the amount of copies is ridiculous. And you know it all ends up in the trash once the thing ends.

While I was there running around, working fourteen-hour days for these people, the summer suddenly disappeared and it became cold. I am not ready for this.


Yesterday while buying cat food, CLR Drain Opener caught my eye. It was something new as my drain is immune to Draino and similar products, so I made the ten-dollar impulse purchase because our drain is perpetually clogged in the tub, despite numerous attempts to have it “snaked” by the super. Basically this thing is a device that you press down over the drain with the tub filled with water, and it gives a blast of chemicals through the pipe and opens the drain.



Well I’m here to tell you that this shit should not be on sale to the general public. If anyone has ever been advised that Draino is damaging to pipes, they should be advised twice as hard about this shit. I pushed the thing down and the entire bathroom filled with a white cloud, and pure-tee black shit shot out of the “waste” pipe that sticks out of the floor. And the sink, which I now realize is somehow tied into the tub, now leaks underneath. At one point I thought the entire building might collapse. I’m betting North Korea was looking into a bulk purchase of this shit before they got the Bomb.

This apartment is an endless sea of problems. It is on the verge of structural collapse.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

I just saw a tiny little spider crawling up my wall.

I remained loyal to ye olde Blogger all this time, and it paid off with the new Blogger Beta, which includes “labels”, which is just their word for “tags”, which is what I’ve been waiting for them to do. So now I have tags! I mean, labels! Which is cool, but I didn’t realize that in the fine print, by switching to Beta, I no longer have the ability to comment on non-Beta Blogger blogs. Unless they allow anonymous comments, which no one does, except me. But what sucks is that now I think my "feed" is all messed up...how can I fix that? And what if people are subscribed to the wrong feed? (At press time bloglines.com offers five feeds for thebutchstroll.blogspot.com yet none of them are current...please advise.)

All that to say, that I really wanted to comment on this post about a family that has taken to entering via their back door so as not to disturb a six inch long golden silk spider that somehow hitchhiked it’s way from South Carolina to Ohio.

In the comments there, people are talking about why spiders give us the heeby jeebies, and there are a few comments referring to the fact that spiders eat other bugs, which is a good thing. Which reminded me of a story.

Our building, and my apartment specifically, has more than the occasional spider make an appearance. I’m very sensitive about certain things—like roaches, for example, send me into fits of screaming and sheer panic—but not really spiders. Once S.D.A., who lives next door, killed a spider hiding in his washcloth and was very disturbed by this finding. I said, “But Scatty, they eat the bad things.” He replied, “They are the bad things.”

Admittedly I’ve not seen a six inch long spider in my house, which would likely make me shit my pants. Though some in my parents’ North Carolina garage have rivaled that size.

Anorexia Is Usually Obvious.

I'm back! Before I get into all that went down in the 'Cut, there are a few issues I'd like to address.

First, that a plane hit the Belaire on the Upper East Side is troubling on a number of levels. In the United States, particularly the City, images of a burning hole in the side of a building and newscasts throwing out a plethora of unconfirmed information about an aircraft flying into a building brings back a lot of bad memories and panic. Most imporantly two people were killed, which is very sad, especially considering there are widows and children left behind. Also, the people who live in the building are no doubt traumatized, and about three people lost multi-million dollar apartments altogether. How in the hell is it that this plane was not required to be in communication with the FFA? I do not understand how a plane, flown by a baseball player, can just be flying around New York City all willy nilly. There should be rules about this kind of thing, right?

On a lighter subject (ha ha, get it?), take a look at this skinny model, in contrast to Gaultier's plus-plus-sized model Velvet D'amour:



That is Ukrainian model Nataliya Gotsii of the Ford Modeling Agency, as she walked in the Guy Laroche show. She is clearly anorexic, and if not, then she clearly has some kind of disorder. Being that "thin" is not natural or healthy. She is skeletal and her internal organs are no doubt desperate for some kind of nutrition...it even shows on her face. From the article:

But GEORGES BULLY, Communications Manager for Guy Laroche, tells ET that Nataliya, 22, is far from having an eating disorder.

"I had breakfast with [the models] before the show and I assure you, Nataliya is not anorexic," he said.


Even if that's the truth (which I stand behind my belief that it is not), it's gross, grosser than being too fat. Somebody give that girl a cheeseburger and a milkshake post haste!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Don't You Forget About Me

I have to go the 'Cut tomorrow for a little bizness trip, but please do not cry. I will return on Friday, possibly Thursday. Last time I was there a building next door burned to the ground. Hopefully something equally exciting will happen this time among the hours and hours of physically abusive and mentally exahausting labor.

In the meantime, here is the MySpace page for WOP (Without Pimps) sent to me by Jo Jo K. It features the sure to be hits from their album "Everything I Touch Turns to Mine", including my personal favorite "My Otha Ride (Is Your Man)".

Friday, October 06, 2006

Kaballa for Malawi

What'd I tell ya? Madonna & Co.'s efforts in Malawi, Africa, according to the Raising Malawi website, includes among its solutions "creating a sense of self empowerment" by teaching them "universal life skills" based on the "Spirituality for Kids program". In other words, teach them some Kaballah.

From Page Six today:

NOT only is Madonna planning to spend $3 million helping orphans in Malawi - she's going to turn the African children onto Kaballah, the mystical Jewish sect that boasts its own brand of spiritual water. Madonna wants some of her money to go for drilling wells so the orphans will have clean water and no longer suffer from dysentery and waterborne parasites. "Water is the purest expression of God's sharing essence," our spy said. "The water will be Kaballah water." The pop queen went to an orphanage yesterday in Malawi's commercial capital. Her publicist, Liz Rosenberg, said she's "involved in the building of an orphanage/child care center," but reiterated that Madonna was just window-shopping when she checked out the orphans there yesterday: "She has not adopted a baby boy as has been previously and incorrectly reported."


I guess if it's keeping children from getting diseases, it doesn't matter if it's Poland Springs or Kaballah water (clean water is clean water)...

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Fall Fashion

A valiant effort to remain standing after the first fall:

It Took Ya Momma Nine Months To Make It...

A lot going on in this world that I will post about soon.

However, right now, I’d like to give props to Velvet d'Amour, aka Fatty Boombalatti:


They say models often smoke cigarettes to curb their appetites, but this one here ain’t smokin’ nothing but hams!

Clearly not your average model with the below average mass. Jean Paul Gualtier put her in his show as, the NY Post article claims, a protest against the recent banishment of super-skinny (read: anorexic) models in its fashion shows. I for one hope the statement he’s trying to make is not so much “see what will happen if you banish skinny girls?” and more “look at this queen of largesse and kiss my skinny French ass”. I’ve always supported the plight of the Fat People of the world, and I give my seal of approval to d’Amour and Gualtier.

Old Jokes Home

From Popbitch:

Bono is at a U2 concert in Glasgow when he asks the audience for some quiet. Then in the silence, he starts to slowly clap his hands. He says into the microphone..."Every time I clap my hands, a child in Africa dies."

A voice from near the front pierces the silence..."Well, stop fucking clapping then."

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Cocaine Redux

I'd like to thank the nice folks at Redux Beverage Company for making TheButchStroll.com one of their "News Clips of the Week" on the Cocaine Energy Drink website. This blog has never seen so much traffic! Thanks to them and best of luck with their product. I'm totally going to ask their advice when I launch my Heroin™ Brand Acetometaphine.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Canned Outrage


There is nothing like a good bit of manufactured outrage from lawmakers to give a much needed publicity boost to a relatively harmless product with a scandalous! name.

Cocaine, the beverage, is just your run of the mill "energy drink" from a company that now has to spend $0 on marketing because the lawmakers of NYC have thrust knowledge of its existence into the public consciousness by vehemently opposing it.

Councilwoman Letitia James of Brooklyn called the beverage “a legal precursor to an illegal product,” while Councilman Larry B. Seabrook of the Bronx likened it to “imitation cigarettes, which caused generations upon generations to become smokers.”


Let me be the first to tell you, from experience with these kinds of things, that kids who want to experiment with cocaine are not getting the idea from a highly caffeinated soda, and kids who want to smoke do not get the idea from candy cigarettes.

Also, let it be known that while I have yet to see this product in any store, I could have cocaine (and any illegal substance, really) delivered to my front door in under two hours with a simple phone call. I dare say kids have more access to the coke you snort than to the cocaine you drink, and they are much more savvy these days than to be inspired to take real drugs because of the presence of fake drugs.

This is my 600th post, and it is about Cocaine.

Tasteless Joke

Q: Why doesn't Mark Foley use bookmarks?
A: Because he'd rather bend over the pages!


The truly tasteless joke is Mark Foley himself. It's evidence that life is stranger than fiction that he made a name for himself with all his advocacy for children, and has now resigned for the at-least-attempted exploitation of children. It's also hilarious that his camp is now spinning this as having anything to do with alcoholism. I mean I've done drunken things on the internet before, but give me a break.

Monday, October 02, 2006

"DDT" is also the name of a move from professional wrestling.

With all the bedbug posting on this here blog, I'd like to preface this post by saying The Butch Stroll dot com is not a blog about bedbugs. Not exclusively, at least.

Anyway, blog.bioethics.net posts about the CDC's recent announcement of its support of DDT in indoor spraying to reduce the spread of malaria in Africa. The post notes that it was the use of DDT that helped eradicate malaria in the 40's and 50's in developed nations, and it is now developed nations that oppose the use of DDT in poor African countries that are hit hard by malaria. For the record, the editors of bioethics.net are in support of the use of DDT to stem the spread of malaria, and, like the CDC figure any health or environmental damage would be miniscule compared to the number of lives it would save. I didn't read the full link regarding the CDC's announcement, but the post suggests that the evidence for anything really really bad coming from the use of DDT is not strong.

The article caught my attention because DDT is also credited with eradicating bedbugs from American life in those same decades (and as evidenced by this blog's subject matter lately, I am obsessed with bedbugs and increasingly afraid that the prophecy will self-fulfill). DDT's banishment for environmental and health reasons, and the increase in international travel (those damn foreigners! j/k) has led to this decade's upsurge in bedbug cases.

Bedbugs are hardly comparable to malaria. Malaria kills millions of people every year, while bedbugs merely annoy the heck out of (hundreds of?) thousands. But I imagine that if, in the United States, bedbugs became widespread (in the sense that they began turning up in nearly every home), Americans would be all for a return of DDT use inside the home. The environment and birth defects be damned!

On another note, check out that picture of the old timey DDT can. "Banishes bugs, lice, fleas, ants and other pests that crawl." I have to say I love anything that iS anti-creepy-crawlies.