World News, With Pictures

cozytI thought this picture at left (click to embiggen) of Eric Schmidt and Bill Richardson in North Korea spoke volumes. They’re in the “Great Peoples Study House” and it looks pretty fucking cold. I can only imagine what it’s like for the average person in that country.

passed_outThe image at the right is from a rape prevention ad campaign, originally launched in Edmonton, which is credited with a 10% reduction in rape in Vancouver. A new version of the “Don’t Be That Guy” campaign launched last November, and it can be seen here.

44 replies
  1. 1
    WereBear says:

    10% reduction? That’s fantastic!

    And it just goes to show that, even though it astonishes me, that there are people who ruin their own, and other’s lives… simply because they don’t know any better.

  2. 2
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    simply because they don’t know any better

    Which means that education and awareness raising are worthy endeavors, never a waste of time.

    You’re likely to be reaching someone who gets hit with a mini-epiphany as a result.

    As for North Korea, keep in mind that those tours show visitors what the state wants them to see…and cripes, what a show they’re getting in the process…probably not exactly what the state had in mind, too.

    Korea in January is COLD, dammit!

  3. 3
    Schlemizel says:

    Take a look at what we have done with drunk driving. When I was a kid it was just accepted even though people knew it was dangerous & deadly. Then society began to look at the cost & started passing and enforcing stricter laws, ad campaigns highlighting the danger along with making socially unacceptable to drive intoxicated have all gone toward greatly reducing the number of deaths and injuries due to DUI.

    We are at the dawn of this effort against rape. Hopefully it won;t take as long as the DUI effort but it has to be become a thing of shame for the rapist & his buddies not a thing to video yourself laughing about. We have to teach our sons that not only is it wrong but it is an evil they must not tolerate in their circle of friends.

    Next, can we do this with guns?

  4. 4
    Ivan Ivanovich Renko says:

    “Don’t be that guy.” Simple, sound advice. And it works!

  5. 5
    J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford says:

    And it just goes to show that, even though it astonishes me, that there are people who ruin their own, and other’s lives… simply because they don’t know any better they’re disgusting human beings.

    My cat doesn’t know any better. My 2-year old nephew doesn’t know any better. A guy who takes advantage of an inebriated woman most certainly knows better, they’re just too much of a scumbag to care.

  6. 6
    Punchy says:

    That 10% reduction is due to new Canadian pubic service announcements that teach a woman how to just shut all that down when being assaulted.

  7. 7
    gene108 says:

    The North Korea article has criticism from John Bolton about the trip, whose neocon policies allowed North Korea to detonate nukes in 2006.

    I think between that the Iraq war, failing to capture bin Laden in Tora Bora, and damn near every foreign policy blunder the U.S. is digging itself out of the last 4 years, any neo-con should ignored.

    Why those assholes still have credibility with anyone in the media is a sad, sad commentary on our country.

    I’m glad people are trying to engage North Korea.

    As screwed up as that country is, unless the military revolts against the Kim family (which isn’t likely to happen, since it hasn’t happened in 64 years, even through the catastrophic 1990’s), positive change for the people has to come with the country opening up trade somehow.

  8. 8
    Corner Stone says:

    Not to make light of an intense subject, but these kinds of “poster” campaigns always remind me of when Joey on Friends got the gig to be the poster model for an STD campaign and they plastered him all over the subway.

  9. 9
    Zifnab25 says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    As for North Korea, keep in mind that those tours show visitors what the state wants them to see…and cripes, what a show they’re getting in the process…probably not exactly what the state had in mind, too.

    What’s staggering in these little displays is how impressive they consider the utterly mundane. “Behold! Our Glorious Small County Library! We live as well as someone in rural Nebraska!”

    Imagine taking one of these guys into an internet cafe in Brooklyn or Queens. Would his head just explode?

  10. 10
    Corner Stone says:

    @J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford: Yeah, I don’t take that “Wait a minute! That was rape when I put her over my shoulder and carried her to the back of my car and…you mean that’s rape now?! What has this world come to?”
    That’s bullshit.

  11. 11

    @J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford: Yeah, I think it’s less “they don’t know any better” and more “they don’t feel they will face social opprobrium for it.”

  12. 12
    Corner Stone says:

    @Ivan Ivanovich Renko:

    “Don’t be that guy.” Simple, sound advice. And it works!

    Which guy? The guy that never throws in for the communal bar tab? The guy that shows up at a party with two big cans of beer then proceeds to mooch all night?
    Or the rapist “that” guy?

  13. 13

    What kind of public service campaign does one need to convince parents that they should treat their own children better, even if they are female?

    ETA: I am specifically thinking of parents of girl children in northern India where the sex ratios are skewed, with less than 850 women to 1000 men.

  14. 14
    RedKitten says:

    It’s kind of sad that it’s considered groundbreaking and refreshing when the public message is “Don’t rape” as opposed to “Don’t get raped.”

  15. 15
    the Conster says:


    A friend of mine in Connecticut worked with an immigrant from Eastern Europe in the early 80s, who brought his mother over here to live after a couple of years. The first time he took her to the local Edwards Food Warehouse, she literally passed out in the produce aisle, and then lived in fear for days that someone would come to get her for being somewhere she didn’t belong.

  16. 16
    Corner Stone says:

    “No you fool! It’s spelled”

  17. 17
    redshirt says:

    What’s on the Glorious Leader’s Internet, I wonder?


  18. 18

    @redshirt: I think tuna and mice, you were asking about Tunch, right?

  19. 19
    Corner Stone says:

    Looking at the picture it appears the far wall is a divider wall that can be raised or folded to enlarge the space. FSM only knows how many military people are back there turning the crank to keep the electricity flowing while the Google guy is onsite.

  20. 20
    Xenos says:

    @J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford: Based on the choice to video things, it appears that at least some of the rapists are hoping to get some sort of support and ‘cred’ from other men. That sub-set seems to be awfully driven by concerns about their reputation, and this sort of ad may well persuade them to not do that sort of thing.

    It is a bit depressing, but then again the human susceptibility to advertising and propaganda is pretty depressing.

  21. 21
    gene108 says:


    What’s on the Glorious Leader’s Internet, I wonder?

    Whatever he wants. The youngest Kim was educated in Europe. He knows what his people don’t have and aren’t going to get.

  22. 22
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    Now there is a poster that needs to posted all over Stuebenville, Ohio, as well as any other footballand or other sports factory towns. Mail one to Sheriff Abdalla too.

  23. 23
    mingo says:


    true – but at least that particular clue is starting to filter into general consciousness.

  24. 24
    Mandalay says:


    they don’t feel they will face social opprobrium for it.

    We are certainly not there yet, as shown by this case in Miami (Ohio):

    A former Miami University student has escaped criminal charges after he distributed a flier on how to get away with raping female students.

    The case drew national outrage in October after the shocking notice titled ‘Top Ten Ways to Get Away With Rape’ was found in a freshman co-ed dorm bathroom at the Ohio college.

    The flier told readers that ‘practice makes perfect. The more you rape, the better you get at it.’ It also said: ‘If you’re afraid that the girl will identify you, slit her throat.

    Is there a lawyer in the house? I can’t make sense of all the legal wrangling that’s going on with this case.

    p.s. I can only find three reports of this case in Google News, and two of those are from British papers. Nothing to see here, move along…

  25. 25
    MikeJ says:

    @Mandalay: I wouldn’t exactly call the Daily Mail a newspaper.

  26. 26
    Randy P says:

    @the Conster: Yeah, I’ve heard of people breaking down weeping on their first trip to an American supermarket before.

    On the other hand, an Argentine acquaintance said one thing she missed from back home was the variety of choices of fruit at the market.

  27. 27


    Imagine taking one of these guys into an internet cafe in Brooklyn or Queens. Would his head just explode?

    If you really want their head to explode, try taking them to Whole Paycheck. That much food in one place and people paying attention to fine details about where stuff was grown and how would be a real mind-blower.

  28. 28

    @Randy P:

    On the other hand, an Argentine acquaintance said one thing she missed from back home was the variety of choices of fruit at the market.

    I can believe that. The supermarkets I go to usually concentrate on depth (e.g. 10 kinds of apple) rather than breadth (e.g. lots of different tropical fruits). The markets in Singapore were a real eye opener for me about how many kinds of tropical fruit there are that never (or only very rarely) make it to American markets. Not that I can blame them for not wanting durian or jackfruit.

  29. 29

    @Roger Moore: I like Whole Paycheck for their cheap wine, also their produce is not too expensive if you buy what’s in season.

  30. 30

    @Roger Moore: Not a big fan of jackfruit, but I love the seeds, you need to boil them before eating though. Taste a bit like chestnuts.

    ETA: Tropical fruit that I have never seen in the supermarkets that I really miss, custard apples.

  31. 31

    @schrodinger’s cat:
    I actually like Whole Paycheck for their meat. Yes, it’s expensive, but I like to be able to buy meat that I can have some confidence was raised ethically. Also, too, buying meat at something closer to its real ecological cost (i.e. stuff that wasn’t fed on unsustainably raised corn and soy) discourages me from overindulging.

  32. 32
    Mnemosyne says:

    @J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford:

    There are guys out there who really are stupid enough to not realize without being told that a woman being passed out drunk is not a free pass to have sex with her unconscious body.

    But, as others have said, this seems to be more of a social campaign so that if that guy does start heading over to the couch, his buddies will say, “Hey, what the hell are you doing?” rather than ignoring it.

  33. 33
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I had never heard of durian until it showed up in a sketch on “Portlandia.”

  34. 34
    cyntax says:


    Exactly this. When my wife was a freshman in college, they brought all the women into one of the auditoriums for a talk about campus safety (i.e. how not to get raped at frat parties). The question she wishes she’d asked was, “Are the freshmen boys getting their own lecture?” Of course they weren’t.

    I’m all in favor of conscious raising and public shaming of guys who think the line between sexual assault and respectable behavior is in any way blurry or hard to see.

  35. 35

    Steubenville is right in Cole’s area but we haven’t heard anything from the FPers about that town full of “that guy” and the heroic enabling/coverup by the sheriff, prosecutors and townsfolk.

  36. 36
    catclub says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: “Korea in January is COLD, dammit!”

    Another! solution to global warming.

  37. 37
    aimai says:

    @J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford:

    I really don’t think that this is necessarily true–both men and women buy into the “its not really happening if I’m drunk/she’s drunk” model of social interaction. A lot of people seem to need alcohol either to relax or to lose their inhibitions and they may assume that others around them are doing the same for the same reasons. Men who need alcohol to get up the courage to interact with women may believe that women are using alcohol to diminish their own responsibility for choosing sex. There is and always has been a huge cultural bias among some communities against women freely choosing to be the agressor w/r/t sex and the line between seduction and rape, or being a seducer and a rapist, can be very thin.

    I think its significant that this campaign reduced rape by 10 percent. That’s huge. But its huge within a certain subset of social behavior. 90 percent of rapes were not affected–perhaps that’s because a whole lot of other rapes are not rape by mistake but rape for its own sake. The linked article says “imagine what we could do with a full on campaign that spans decades” and I couldn’t agree more. I believe we could reduce Rape of all kinds60 to 80 percent, if not more, by creating better social conditioning for potential rapists, by attacking rape culture, and by attacking the social settings in which individual bad acts become encouraged and validated by the group (as in the Steubenville and the Indian situation). Gang Rape and these rapes-as-male-social-bonding event need to be tackled both as an instance of individual choice (as the Ad does) and as something different, something more akin to being jumped into a criminal gang.


    I want to edit this comment because the “line between…thin” doesn’t at all mean that I think that people slip between seducer and rapist imperceptibly or permissibly or that people being seduced are somehow responsible if they get raped. I really, really, really, don’t mean that.

  38. 38
    catclub says:

    @gene108: “policies allowed North Korea to detonate nukes in 2006.”

    That is like blaming April Glaspie for Iraq invading Kuwait.
    Not helpful in avoiding it perhaps, but Saddam Hussein was also making his own decisions, Likewise for the North Koreans.

  39. 39
    Paul in KY says:

    @Mnemosyne: I don’t think those guys exist. They all know it isn’t right to have sex with an unconcious woman, they just don’t give a shit.

    They are ‘thinking’ with the wrong head.

  40. 40
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Mnemosyne: That’s exactly why it can be so effective. It can make the behavior shameful rather than tolerated – when “that guy” gets called out regularly for being that guy (ideally before it happens, or at least before it happens again) the incidence will decrease. The population of “that guy” men can be shamed into behaving better, much like Kay describes with teen moms and car seats.

    Part of the way Steubenvilles happen is that it’s tolerated by the surrounding males, and sometimes females. In the (extremely disturbing) video of Michael Nodianos gleefully describing the multiple sexual assaults of an unconscious 16 year old girl, only one guy there says “what is wrong with you – that’s rape.” And he is pretty much shouted down by the others.

  41. 41

    @TooManyJens: Hear hear, I think that definitely explains the reasons behind the recent spate of violence against women in Northern India.

  42. 42
    cckids says:


    Imagine taking one of these guys into an internet cafe in Brooklyn or Queens. Would his head just explode?

    There was a movie with Robin Williams from the 80’s, he was an emigrant from the USSR, came to the US. The first time he was in an American grocery store, he had a complete meltdown in the coffee aisle. Too many choices!!

    The N.Korean guys would be similar.

  43. 43
    cckids says:

    @Mnemosyne: I saw this on Facebook & after a lifetime as a woman hearing how to “avoid being raped”, I thought this was a great twist. It’s along the lines of the Edmunton ad campaign, addresses the guy’s responsibility.

    Let’s put the responsibility where it’s supposed to be. Here are some tips on preventing rape:

    1. Don’t put drugs in someone’s drinks.
    2. When you see someone walking by herself/himself, leave them alone.
    3. If you pull over to help someone whose car has broken down, remember not to rape them.
    4. If you are in an elevator and someone gets in, don’t rape them.
    5. Never creep into someone’s home through an unlocked door or window or spring out at them from between parked cars, or rape them,
    6. USE THE BUDDY SYSTEM! If you are not able to stop yourself from assaulting people, ask a friend to stay with you while you are in public.
    7. Don’t forget: it’s not sex with someone who’s asleep or unconscious – it’s RAPE.
    8. Carry a whistle! If you are worried you might assault someone ‘by accident’ you can hand it to the person you are with, so they can call for help.
    9. Don’t forget: Honesty is the best policy. If you have
    every intention of having sex later on with the person you’re dating regardless of how they feels about it, tell them directly that there is every chance you will rape them. If you don’t communicate your intentions, they may take it as a sign that you do not plan to rape them
    and inadvertently feel safe.
    10. Don’t rape.

  44. 44
    Paul in KY says:

    People should checkout a great Sublime song called ‘Date Rape’.

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