Daily Bafflements

The BafflerJune 17, 2015
White Rhino. /

Fear of fatherhood has plagued the last remaining male white rhino. / Sergei Scurfield

• Over at Pacific Standard, Alana Massey pulls up the research that explains why men congratulate themselves for doing more childcare than they truly do. “[F]athers’ desires to be present for their children,” one study concludes, “may not carry through to their daily involvement in care-giving tasks.” Help is at hand, delusional fathers! Your problem is addressed head on by Lucy Ellmann in the strike system outlined in her salvo in Baffler no 27. Encourage your wives, daughters, and mothers to “withhold their home- and family-oriented labor” altogether (see also footnote 42). They’ll be happy to oblige! 

 • “DESTRUCTION OF NATURE IS AN ATTACK ON WOMEN,” Ellmann continues. Today, the last male white rhino is going senile. According to the Washington Post, an eighteenth century advert for a “travelling rhinoceros” read “God made it so man can take delight in it.” Obviously, they’ll have to retract that. 

• Speaking of retractions . . . Snowden’s lawyer might have been the kind of source the writers of the erroneous Sunday Times story, which claimed leaked papers were intercepted by Russia or China (or wherever), could have rung up. He might have confirmed that there was “Zero,” repeat “Zero,” probability that what they claimed was true, as he did today, and they might have saved themselves the embarrassment of admitting, on CNN, that they were just “trying to stand up (…) the position of the UK government.” 

 • Yesterday, we posted a piece by Joseph Todd about sunshine, daisies, and affective labor on the Baffler blog. Elizabeth Geno, a commenter, added a good point to the mix: “The point [of forcing employees to adhere to strict rules to act happy] isn’t just to fool the customers and donors, it is to fool senior administrators into feeling good about the way they actually operate.”