Re: Penelope Trunk has a good rhythm, like Hieronymous Bosch

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I never expect other people to have secrets. If something isn't talked about, I assume it doesn't exist.

Indeed.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 12:32 PM
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Boy, her characterization of her own performance at that parent-teacher conference is really something. I imagine myself on the other side of it as she says "That's not the problem" every time I try to tell her something, and then imaginary-me's head falls off.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 12:39 PM
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1: Thanks for making that explicit.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 12:41 PM
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I'm interested to read how other people here feel about this secret business. I certainly have plenty, but I find myself less happy with that as I grow older and have been pushing myself to at the very least to express things to my closest friends. But I can't imagine, either, being open about everything with everyone.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 12:41 PM
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I am not secretive about things, in that no one who knows me would assume that I have any boundaries. But where I make it clear that I'm not going to talk about something, it really drives me up the wall when people pursue it. E.g., I can be really comfortable with talking about sex with, say, students or strangers in an academic setting, but when I use the word "girlfriend" in a story that does not suggest or require a more specific understanding of the use of the word and they demand to know whether this is a girlfriend I am fucking, well, that seems very much not their business.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 12:48 PM
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(Of course, no one ever puts it like, "Oh, wait, do you mean a girlfriend you are *fucking*?" but that's clearly what they mean. Is it because they need to know with whom I've had sex? Surely not. They just think it's their god-given right to know everyone's sexual orientation all the time.)


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 12:51 PM
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She seems to me an Internet-specific species of the venerable charlatan Americanus and her much-vaunted transparency and frankness not much more reliable than a nineteent-century mountebank's leering grin about what he can't say in mixed company about Ol' Doc Tinnitus' Patent Formula Ardent Spirit & Elixir.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 12:51 PM
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I have lots and am very happy with that. (Not with the content of all of them, of course.) I thought about writing fiction when I was younger, and realized that it was never going to happen because it would involve saying what I thought about people.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 12:52 PM
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Countless studies show people would rather have pleasant and personable co-workers than a co-worker who is always right.

And those are definitely mutually exclusive. Yeah.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 12:53 PM
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I'm pretty open generally because I'm too lazy to keep track of who's supposed to know what. There are things about me that I don't talk about at all to anyone, but that feels more like identity than secretiveness.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 12:53 PM
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but when I use the word "girlfriend" in a story that does not suggest or require a more specific understanding of the use of the word and they demand to know whether this is a girlfriend I am fucking, well, that seems very much not their business.

I would probably not pursue this particular example, because it seems like a transparent fascination with teh gay, in a tacky way. But I do hijack people's details and pick their brain about what it was like to grow up wherever they grew up, or whatever caught my interest.

I have been told that I have a knack for asking incredibly personal questions in a friendly, smalltalk way, where the other person divulges more personal information than they were planning to.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 12:54 PM
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I don't think of myself as secretive, but I am a very private person by temperament.

The difference in my mind is that I am not trying to conceal things, I just don't wish to discuss them. Now that I think about it, I worry that this isn't a reasonable distinction to make since there are certainly topics such that I would be actively unhappy were they to become subjects of discussion. Even if I don't feel like I am concealing anything wrong, I am still actively resisting disclosure.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 12:55 PM
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I. Have. Secrets.

But people can be distracted. If you go on at great length about your masturbation practices, they will never think to ask whether you are the number three in al-qaeda. And may even believe you are an open and honest person.

Not that those are my secrets.

Incidentally, when people do go on and on with personal stories and details, my default presumption is that they are trying to hide something, trying to avoid intimacy via pseudo-intimacy.

I was never worth a damn in psychotherapy. Went centrifugal.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 12:55 PM
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7: I really don't know what you mean.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 12:59 PM
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I feel like I'm the opposite of 11, in that I really never ask questions unless it's on a topic the speaker seems to have offered me on a platter. Being asked questions feels really weird and invasive to me--sometimes in a really intimate and good way, and sometimes in a violating, power-dynamic sort of way. I've learned the hard way that some people find it really rude that I don't ask questions. I will eventually do it, but only with people I care about and trust and know trust me.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 1:00 PM
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2, 9: The distinction between having an Asperger's diagnosis and just being a garden-variety jerk is interesting.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 1:00 PM
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I guess the thing I don't understand about openness is how to make a place for malice and incompetence. A locked door keeps out winos and predators. Reticence keeps weaknesses and strengths private, so they can't be exploited.

Ms Trunk is IMO a great prose stylist, and occasionally perceptive in new ways. Her openness does not seem to extend to actual accomplishment details or job titles or anything; there may be some structural reason for that, but most people who write partly about work link to things they've done.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 1:01 PM
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And in turn, I am so the opposite of 15. I find it totally flattering when people ask me questions and take it as a sign that I am loved. I've had to consciously, intellectually remind myself that not everyone operates this way, and not everyone wants to be peppered with questions.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 1:02 PM
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Incidentally, when people do go on and on with personal stories and details, my default presumption is that they are trying to hide something, trying to avoid intimacy via pseudo-intimacy.

This strikes me as rather astute.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 1:02 PM
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7 is funny

But I kinda buy, at a most basic Freudian/Lacanian level, that it is always about what is not being said, rather than about what is being said. Always.

But you have to listen to what is said to hear what isn't.

Anyway.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 1:02 PM
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I guess the thing I don't understand about openness is how to make a place for malice and incompetence. A locked door keeps out winos and predators. Reticence keeps weaknesses and strengths private, so they can't be exploited.

Can you give me an example? I can't imagine not being able to say, "Um, I'm done here," when I no longer feel like interacting with the wino or predator. (Barring some danger.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 1:04 PM
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Funny thing is that that something I love about blogs is people writing the sorts of things about what's going on inside their heads that I would be absolutely unable ever to tell anyone. It doesn't seem weird or inappropriate when other people do it, but not something I could ever do.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 1:04 PM
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Surprisingly, perhaps, I used to be intensely private. It is still true that my default setting is that there's no reason for anyone else to know stuff about me. What would be the point? What good outcome could come from that?

Blogging changed that a fair amount. Turns out that other people feel better when you vocalize a secret that they share. And mostly, nothing bad happens when you tell a secret. And sometimes, you have a lot to say about the subject of the secret, and it is a relief to put the thought out there.

I am much, much less private than I used to be, but I still have to actively decide to be forthcoming.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 1:04 PM
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14: She is selling hot air.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 1:06 PM
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Turns out that other people feel better when you vocalize a secret that they share. And mostly, nothing bad happens when you tell a secret. And sometimes, you have a lot to say about the subject of the secret, and it is a relief to put the thought out there.

Yes!

Part of it, for me is that I believe it's good for everyone when people make themselves vulnerable. Being vulnerable is scary and challenging, but generally our fears around being vulnerable are fears about ourselves.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 1:07 PM
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24: Oh. Well, yes, I think her product is nonsense, as best I can tell. But I still find it interesting when she writes about her life.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 1:08 PM
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3: No problem, assuming you're not being sarcastic - hard to tell here, of course. I linked to it just because I thought it was funny that I could find a very specific example of what you're talking about in the post even though it was phrased in very general terms.

Also, holy shit about this Penelope Trunk person. I've never heard of her before. I was curious why you'd describe someone with Asperger's as a "total lunatic" - does she function so well that you didn't feel self-conscious describing her with such blunt language, I wondered, or is it just the reverse, is she so impaired that she stands out even among people with Asperger's? - so I read a little more of her blog than I might have otherwise. Reading your link, an early comment was something off-topic about her harassing some guy in Ohio named David Dell/ifield. Bizarre, right? I google her name, and the second link under it was titled "I hate David Dell/ifield". Seems like a no-brainer.

I read it, and here's the story. To summarize: she Tweets offhandedly that she's expecting to be bored by spending time with her young kids. In response, she tried to call one of those guys at home and at work, Twitted him a couple rebuttals, and wrote a post with half a dozen links explaining her point.

So, I apologize, Heebie, you're were right, she's a total lunatic. And totally awesome. (To elaborate a bit, it makes a big difference that she noticed early on in the story that she was acting weird, and did it anyway and finished up with a blog post.)

Also, on an unrelated subject, 19 is right.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 1:09 PM
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I really never ask questions unless it's on a topic the speaker seems to have offered me on a platter.

I, in turn, assume that if a person hasn't directly asked me about a topic, they aren't interested in hearing about it. Which adds greatly to the number of things most people do not know about me and to the number of people who know virtually nothing about me.

I will eventually do it, but only with people I care about and trust and know trust me.

This seems an excellent solution, as I am deeply uncomfortable with people I don't trust yet asking about certain things and then find myself picking objectively ridiculous fights to back them off.

(Yes, clearly my Unfogged persona is a diabolical alter ego who gratuitously and frequently discloses personal detail to virtual strangers without regard to expressed interest...)


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 1:10 PM
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I've learned the hard way that some people find it really rude that I don't ask questions.

I don't see it as rude, but it is kind of annoying sometimes to be the one doing all the conversational work, especially if the other person is responsive to questions, but can't seem to bring themselves to express interest in anyone besides themselves and their own answers and stories. Of course, I've been guilty of the latter in many situations, but I try to be aware of it and make sure I'm visibly returning interest in others (unless they're people I don't want to talk to).


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 1:10 PM
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22 - Well, see, LB. You're not telling anyone these things. You're just typing. And then some other stuff happens and comments appear that thank you for saying what they've hadn't quite vocalized for themselves.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 1:10 PM
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Funny thing is that that something I love about blogs is people writing the sorts of things about what's going on inside their heads that I would be absolutely unable ever to tell anyone. It doesn't seem weird or inappropriate when other people do it, but not something I could ever do.

Yes, it's hard! (For me, anyway.) I have been sort of trying to practice being more blog-blathery, as a more general writing experiment, but I'm acutely aware all the time of how inhibited I really am. No doubt it makes me a vastly less interesting writer.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 1:11 PM
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I'm not quite sure whether heebie is talking about secrets kept in real life, or in blogland.

In any case, it's a case of the degree to which one observes boundaries between the public and the private.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 1:11 PM
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an example

Mentioning a health problem or work uncertainty in earshot of chatterbox coworker who repeats. Now the weakness will come up behind closed doors when budgets or space are allocated.

Misjudging the kindness of a family member's new partner, who turns out to be completely toxic and very interested in anything that can be stolen.

Part of the problem is that information is transitive. Part of the problem is that judging trustworthiness is difficult. If your radar is finely tuned, this may not be an issue-- OF COURSE you don't talk about X around Y, it's just obvious. Myself, I do not know how well I read people, which is a serious deficit, unlikely to improve, bummer.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 1:12 PM
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The notion that the more one says, the more one is trying to hide, strikes me as GTMO logic. This guy isn't admitting to Al Qaeda training. He therefore must have been trained not to admit it.

Occam's Razor isn't always the right answer, but a default presumption that it is false strikes me as an unnecessary complication of one's relations.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 1:12 PM
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Incidentally, when people do go on and on with personal stories and details, my default presumption is that they are trying to hide something, trying to avoid intimacy via pseudo-intimacy.

I'm aware this is how some people here feel about me, so I tend to do it less, but I will say this is not how people who actually know me feel. I do get to intimacy eventually, but I do it through mutual storytelling, rather than a bunch of getting up in people's business. I guess I tend to feel that questions often carry with them this weight of judgment, like "What kind of music do you listen to?" or "What were your parents like?" Perfectly fine questions, I guess, but they really irk me when I'm sitting there actually trying to communicate something directly instead of offering Rorschach blots.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 1:13 PM
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28 was not deliberately anonymous...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 1:13 PM
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Ms Trunk is IMO a great prose stylist

Huh. De gustibus, I guess.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 1:15 PM
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I don't see it as rude, but it is kind of annoying sometimes to be the one doing all the conversational work, especially if the other person is responsive to questions, but can't seem to bring themselves to express interest in anyone besides themselves and their own answers and stories.

I do manage to run a classroom. There are ways other than "Hey you what's your answer to this?" to do conversational work and pay attention to people.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 1:16 PM
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6: I'm not defending people who are being nebby or pushing privacy boundaries, but isn't some of this simply a desire to clarify ambiguous language? When a man says "girlfriend," it (basically) always means "person I'm fucking." When a woman says "boyfriend," it (basically) always means "person I'm fucking." But when a woman says "girlfriend," who knows? It may not be germane to the story, but it's unusual for words like that to be so ambiguous ("partner" has now taken on a similar ambiguity - so, are you talking about someone you share a business with, or that you share a bed with?). People also seek clarification about whether event A happened before event B, or whether you were riding a bus or a subway, or if "Fluffy" is a cat or a dog, or other things that help set/complete the scene for a story.

Or maybe this is just me; I'm kind of known for offering a bit too much detail in my stories....


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 1:16 PM
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But I still find it interesting when she writes about her life.

I am inclined to suspect that that, too, is just air, but perhaps I am, like bob (there's a first time for everything), skeptical of purportedly full disclosure. I find her style inelegant and her tone crushingly dull. Still, de gustibus.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 1:17 PM
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35: I agreed with 19 more because I pictures myself as the asker than anything else, and yet when I think of specific examples, nothing comes to mind.

Asking personal questions presumes intimacy. Sometimes the presumption is enough to create it, and sometimes getting the answers to the questions is enough.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 1:23 PM
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I've learned the hard way that some people find it really rude that I don't ask questions.

I don't take it as rude when someone doesn't ask me questions, I just take it as a sign that they're not particularly interested in me. And, since I've been subjected to all too many interactions with people who insist on sharing their opinions with me and are either incapable of perceiving (or don't care) how I feel about that, I tend not to volunteer my opinions unless asked. You and I, if we met under other circumstances, would likely never speak again; you take it as rude to ask questions, and I don't care to hang out with people who don't appear to find me interesting.

Avoiding this particular interpersonal Catch-22 is something I'm working on.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 1:24 PM
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Whatever you think of her you have to admit this took balls http://blog.penelopetrunk.com/2009/09/24/miscarriage-is-a-workplace-event/


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 1:24 PM
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39: I still don't get what the purpose is of knowing whether two people in a story are fucking or not. If I tell a story about myself and a friend, a certain kind of person (strangers!) simply cannot let the story click forward one more frame without knowing whether this friend is male or female, and whether we are doing it. It derails the whole thing.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 1:24 PM
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6, 39: I'm a little with JRoth there -- 'girlfriend', in the context you describe, has an active ambiguity that I would react to as either inviting a question about it or as an intentional tease, purposefully raising the question of whether or not it's a sexual relationship. Depending on the person telling the story, I might or might not ask: I suppose I'd ask if I thought the storyteller might have assumed I knew she was gay/bi, and not if not.

But part of that may just be that I wouldn't use 'girlfriend' to describe a female friend; I'm not sure if it's a regionalism, or just not a word I tend to use.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 1:24 PM
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I've learned the hard way that some people find it really rude that I don't ask questions.

I don't take it as rude when someone doesn't ask me questions, I just take it as a sign that they're not particularly interested in me. And, since I've been subjected to all too many interactions with people who insist on sharing their opinions with me and are either incapable of perceiving (or don't care) how I feel about that, I tend not to volunteer my opinions unless asked. You and I, if we met under other circumstances, would likely never speak again; you take it as rude to ask questions, and I don't care to hang out with people who don't appear to find me interesting.

Avoiding this particular interpersonal Catch-22 is something I'm working on.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 1:25 PM
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And apparently I'm working so hard to avoid it that I overshare by double-posting.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 1:26 PM
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I do manage to run a classroom. There are ways other than "Hey you what's your answer to this?" to do conversational work and pay attention to people.

Of course there are, and I really didn't mean to sound as if I was accusing you of not knowing how to run a classroom. I was thinking specifically about situations where I've just met someone, or just met them face to face (after, for example, getting to know them in blogland first). Some people, when asked the type of general opening questions common in such a situation will talk about themselves and then return the serve, asking me something similar or otherwise engaging me. Others will just talk about themselves and then wait for another serve.

The latter can be kind of tiring, and it's hard not to come away with the impression that they're not at all interested in you, or are only interested in themselves. Sometimes that's probably true, but other times it's clearly not (e.g. if they've actively sought out your company), it's just that they're not in the habit of doing any conversational work.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 1:27 PM
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You and I, if we met under other circumstances, would likely never speak again; you take it as rude to ask questions, and I don't care to hang out with people who don't appear to find me interesting.

I think there are subtler, less invasive ways to have a conversation than "Hey you what do you think about this thing?" I have shy friends, shy students, people who talk to me somehow. If you are someone who counts question marks, I don't do well, but if you count by how much time you spend talking about yourself when we're one-on-one, I do fine.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 1:29 PM
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44: Well, depends on what's happening in the story, doesn't it? I can think of all sorts of stories where what was going on would look different if I were talking about a platonic male friend or a boyfriend, and where clarifying which would have something to do with the point of the story. Plenty of stories where it wouldn't, of course, but you can't always tell which in the beginning of the story.

(On this particular front, I probably wouldn't ask, but I think I wouldn't ask for bad reasons, or at least reasons reflective of bad stuff. In a social group where I was sure everyone was comfortable with being gay -- other gay people around and so forth -- I'd ask. If I had any doubt at all about the homophobia quotient of anyone in earshot, I wouldn't ask.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 1:29 PM
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35, 41: Yeah, like Cyrus I agreed with 19 with someone totally unrelated to the blog specifically in mind. He has a tendency to share very extensively about his life, but most particularly so when our conversation has drifted to a couple very specific, difficult subjects for him. The conversation veers to that time when he was 11 and he was a lonely kid and then, hey! has he ever told me about his extensive sexual exploits in college? or current health problems? or maybe his dad's personal problems. It's sort of adorable, honestly.

He also almost never asks questions because he is afraid of violating my boundaries and then I get mad at him for not showing an interest.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 1:30 PM
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Is it still a secret if no one cares?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 1:31 PM
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I still don't get what the purpose is of knowing whether two people in a story are fucking or not.

What's the purpose of a story? Probably not much! I mean, it's not like you're telling parables that reveal the nature of God's kingdom: you're just telling a story about some stuff that happened that is (hopefully) interesting, amusing, and/or germane. But the details, in some sense, make the story.

"So, the other day, I thought, 'I won't do that again.'"
Huh?
"Well, I was eating, and I ate some fish that smelled a little off, but I figured it was probably fine."
Were you home or at a restaurant?
"WHY ARE YOU SO FASCINATED BY MY WHEREABOUTS?"

People want a picture, so you tell them where you were, who was around, maybe something about what else happened in the day. Your relationship to the people in the story is part of the picture.

Again, I get that some of this is surely prurient, and that's no good. But ambiguous language tends to invite questioning.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 1:31 PM
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52: Huh. Maybe I don't have many secrets after all.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 1:37 PM
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If you are someone who counts question marks, I don't do well, but if you count by how much time you spend talking about yourself when we're one-on-one, I do fine.

Framing it in terms of how much I talk about myself is kind of missing the point, from my perspective; I'm well aware that I have a tendency to blab on about myself, so I'm constantly on guard against it, and if I find myself doing it without explicit interest from the other person I'm liable to assume that I'm being an asshole again. (Or talking to someone who isn't interested in what I have to say and is searching for a way to end the conversation.)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 1:38 PM
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52, 54: Well, yeah. Lots of the stuff I think of as intensely private would also bore the pants off anyone I inflicted it on.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 1:40 PM
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54: Just in case you took it personally 52 was not addressed to you, DK.

As usual, I was talking to myself.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 1:42 PM
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55: My favorite is when someone says something like "Okay, your turn to talk" or "Tell me something about you." On the surface, it's an expression of interest, but I usually stare blankly while I try search furiously for something vaguely interesting to say.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 1:43 PM
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52, 54, 56 - How often are you bored by the stuff other people are working through?

Secrets are likely to be money, sex, betrayal or addiction. Those usually make for pretty good listening.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 1:44 PM
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I think this is one of the areas in which I guess I'm sort of socially out-of-it. When people act like they want to talk (eyes open, breath in, chin up), I'm really perceptive about that and will do just about anything to offer them space and time to talk. When people are staring into their laps and looking like they wish they were three inches tall, I assume they would rather do nothing less than talk. The reason I know these things is that when I want to talk, I do the former, and when I don't, I do the latter, and it really fucking irritates me when people don't respond to those signals. (See also: my non-teaching job this semester.) I don't assume that people who look excited to be a part of the conversation have nothing of value to contribute and are just in it for their egos, nor that those staring at the wall are desperately hoping someone will ask a question that frees them to say what's dying to come out. It seems so strange. Even very shy people get that look like they have a thought happening.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 1:46 PM
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57: I didn't think you'd intended it directed at me. But I do know there've been occasions when I've felt extremely vulnerable and open in what I've shared with someone only to find them utterly puzzled about what I found so personal or whatever about what I said. Some of the things I am immensely private about are really pretty pathetically trivial.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 1:46 PM
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Secrets are likely to be money, sex, betrayal or addiction. .

I hear there are some people that secretly post comments on the internet while at work.



Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 1:48 PM
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58: Oh god, I hate that. And "on the surface, it's an expression of interest" - now that you mention it, that's true, but so is "To Serve Man".


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 1:48 PM
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60: Just by way of data point, AWB, I very often will stare into my lap looking like I wish I were 3 inches tall when I most want someone to talk to.

Also, 61 to 59...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 1:50 PM
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Di, when that happened, when you opened up and found that it didn't carry much emotional weight for the listener, did it change how you perceived the secret?


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 1:51 PM
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64: That would explain why people do that to me, wouldn't it? When I act like that, it is because I would far rather be set on fire than spoken to or asked a question.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 1:53 PM
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Just by way of data point, AWB, I very often will stare into my lap looking like I wish I were 3 inches tall when I most want someone to talk to.

Me too. (One of the few perceptive things an ex-friend of mine said was "I can always tell when you're really upset: you go silent.")


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 1:54 PM
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65: I'd say more that it initially changed how I perceived the listener.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 1:54 PM
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I think this is one of the areas in which I guess I'm sort of socially out-of-it.

Eh, it could be some of us who are out of it.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 1:55 PM
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I tend not to have secrets. [...] I never expect other people to have secrets. If something isn't talked about, I assume it doesn't exist.

This is still making me laugh, or boggle. I admit I haven't read the thread extremely closely, but heebie's got to be hyperbolizing there.

Sorry, I'm just having trouble getting over that one. Carry on.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 1:55 PM
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66: I often have a very similar demeanor when I wish to be left alone. Fortunately, if approached in that cricumstance I have a particular look of death that quickly conveys the distinction.

67: I am gathering from this conversation that you and I are very much alike.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 1:56 PM
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I don't assume that people who look excited to be a part of the conversation have nothing of value to contribute and are just in it for their egos

I never thought I'd say this, given the number of anecdotes you've told about really horrible interpersonal interactions, but you've apparently been far more fortunate than I have in meeting people. I've lost track of the number of times I've found out exactly that.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 1:57 PM
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I spend a lot of time telling clients that their friends and acquantainces really dont spend too much time thinking about the client's personal life.

Most people have too much going on in their life to remember to care about the sordid details of someone else's life. Plus, most people are too busy worrying that other people are going to find out about the sordid details of their own lives.

Affairs??!?! check.
Unhappy marriages? check

Money trouble? Check.

Screwed up kids? Check.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 1:58 PM
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When people act like they want to talk (eyes open, breath in, chin up), I'm really perceptive about that and will do just about anything to offer them space and time to talk.

Just about anything? Including asking them a question?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 1:58 PM
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I would much rather hear people talk about things they know about than about than themselves.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 2:02 PM
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Most people have too much going on in their life to remember to care about the sordid details of someone else's life.

One of the things that's really disappointed me, over the past few months, is discovering just how little other people can be bothered to step outside of their own lives to check on others. I wasn't expecting a huge outpouring of support after Magpie and I broke up, but I was hoping for *something*.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 2:05 PM
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75: This may not be the right thread for you...


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 2:05 PM
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35:It wasn't meant to be judgmental or critical in any way. I enjoy the surface as much as most, and don't spend a lot of my time worrying about the why of something said.

34:You are a lawyer. The plain text is far more important than the interpretation, and interpretations are valuable to the degree they become texts. Quantity of words is valuable in itself. Ambiguity is a negative, and umm, the openness to multiple interpretation a problem.

I think I live in a world of symbols and signs, but not an idealism. There is not a truth underneath the surface, but there is another surface. And then another. Ambiguity and overinterpretation, ungrounded meaning, are the joys of the world.

If I revealed my secrets, I would be horrified that you might think my secrets were me. They are secret because they aren't me.

I'm getting meta-weird.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 2:07 PM
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I don't assume that people who look excited to be a part of the conversation have nothing of value to contribute and are just in it for their egos

I don't either. And people who only talk about themselves and don't ask about others can be nice, fascinating people. It can just be tiring sometimes to talk to them. It's fun to listen to stories, but it cab also fun to tell them too, and to actually exchange ideas with someone as opposed to just being the audience. This isn't really about how many question marks someone uses, it's about how aware they are of whether they're engaging with someone or just performing in front of them.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 2:08 PM
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78.3:Can Blakespasm be a word? Will the OED give me credit?

I'm going to walk the dogs.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 2:09 PM
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22

Funny thing is that that something I love about blogs is people writing the sorts of things about what's going on inside their heads that I would be absolutely unable ever to tell anyone. It doesn't seem weird or inappropriate when other people do it, but not something I could ever do.

You don't seem unusually guarded to me. Can you gave an example of the sort thing you are talking about?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 2:10 PM
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If I revealed my secrets, I would be horrified that you might think my secrets were me. They are secret because they aren't me.

This is the essence of secrets.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 2:11 PM
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Ambiguity is a negative, and umm, the openness to multiple interpretation a problem.

No, it's lawyers' bread and butter.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 2:11 PM
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Magpie and I broke up

Wow. I missed that. Or, at least, it didn't make an impression the first time.

I am sorry. When I see comments from either of you, I often think of ogged's charming description of meeting the two of you.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 2:11 PM
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76: This may be next to meaningless at this point, but at least from my end (and I think this is typical of a lot of people in a lot of circumstances), I wasn't quite sure what, if anything, would be welcomed. You mentioned it as an amicable split at the time and my own instinct is to take that sort of thing as either "I'm okay with this and don't want to be smothered about it" or "I'm not all that okay with this, but I'm letting you know I have my happy face* on so please don't mess with that."

I've been working out a lot** of issues with a friend of mine this past week about the "happy face" thing and what it means and when it should be ignored, etc.

** I've used "a lot" a lot in this comment and that has a lot to do with your influence...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 2:13 PM
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I wasn't expecting a huge outpouring of support after Magpie and I broke up, but I was hoping for *something*.

Are you talking about from Unfogged people? Or, you know, real people?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 2:15 PM
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Can you gave an example of the sort thing you are talking about?

Well, no.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 2:16 PM
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87: I assume Shearer meant an example on someone else's blog.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 2:18 PM
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86: The latter. I was genuinely touched by the response I got when I posted the news here. IRL, while a couple of people have really stepped up, most everyone else is, as will says, entirely too wrapped up in their own lives to reach out.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 2:19 PM
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88: Fine, kill the joke.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 2:20 PM
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And 84, 85: Thanks.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 2:20 PM
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LB already wrote her example on Standpipe's blog. I wouldn't have thought her prone to that.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 2:21 PM
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89: PHEW!

Seriously though, that is disappointing, but hope you're doing okay despite. I'm terrible at accepting support/help in such situations, and not very good at offering it either, mostly because I feel inept, don't want to be too pushy, but don't want to be standoffish, etc. etc. etc.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 2:22 PM
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90: No really, see, I think you think Shearer wanted to know one of your secrets. I can explain further.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 2:22 PM
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I've been doing my part to be supportive by selling pink hotpants with TEAM JOSH and TEAM MAGPIE written across the butt.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 2:23 PM
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I am big on secrets. I assume that anything told to me is in confidence unless there's clear contextual evidence to the contrary. One of the obstacles I encounter to socializing is a tension between the desire to connect and the desire to maintain privacy. There are too many people who come across as wanting to place me on a microscope slide and turn me into an object of curiosity (as opposed to a person) for my comfort, though I realize that for the majority it's other dynamics that I still don't quite understand. Questions as an indicator of attentiveness is presumably part of it, an assumption that my boundaries match theirs is another, and presumably at least some small fraction are actually engaging in the othering and objectification that are my instinctive default explanation. Being aware that my default interpretation is likely wrong helps, but it requires effort that I'd rather not invest.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 2:24 PM
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Also, I cannot tell you how happy this:

I've used "a lot" a lot in this comment and that has a lot to do with your influence...

makes me.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 2:30 PM
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an example

Mentioning a health problem or work uncertainty in earshot of chatterbox coworker who repeats. Now the weakness will come up behind closed doors when budgets or space are allocated.

Misjudging the kindness of a family member's new partner, who turns out to be completely toxic and very interested in anything that can be stolen.

I'm certainly prudent in what information I share, especially at work. But it doesn't have any emotional hotness to it; it's just a rational judgement. So I don't consider it a secret per se.

If something like a medical condition were widely known, I might be annoyed that my wishes had been thwarted, but I wouldn't actually care about everyone's newfound knowledge.

So when I say I don't have secrets, this is what I mean. Things I'd freely admit to, if asked pointblank, without angst.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 2:31 PM
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There are two important kinds of secrets: the kind you desperately hope someone will ask you about, and the kind you desperately hope no one will ever find out.


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 2:32 PM
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I assume that anything told to me is in confidence unless there's clear contextual evidence to the contrary.

This, BTW, is a very wise stance to take. I've found myself blindsided by people sort of casually repeating things I've told them that I'd thought were quite obviously "under seal." This may, of course, be a corallary of the fact that people are typically surprised to learn that the A- I got on my 5th grade state capitals test was deeply personal information.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 2:32 PM
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I have lots of actual secrets, but more common is that I just don't like to be the center of attention so I won't tell people things. I mean, if they ask, I'll probably talk about something, but I won't bring up something on my own. My dog died in July, which I mentioned here previously, but I still haven't told anyone at work- I just quietly took his picture off my computer background and put the picture on my desk away in my drawer.
The only occasionally frustrating thing is that my life is pretty much family and work, socializing is mostly with work people so if I don't talk about something there my wife is the only other person I talk to.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 2:34 PM
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98: This is reminding me of Ogged's claim that the worst things he'd ever done were putting glue on a caterpillar and as a small child calling an African American friend 'blackie' as an insult. While I don't actually think this about Ogged, generally I'd think someone who couldn't come up with anything worse than that is either a saint or a psychopath.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 2:34 PM
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I would be horrified that you might think my secrets were me. They are secret because they aren't me.

I had no idea I've been married to Bob all this time.

Which reminds me of another category of secrets: things that one does not tell one's spouse and therefore does not tell anyone else either. My examples are pretty tame, but they exist.

Also, as someone who's better than average at making sense of where people are coming from and viewing their foibles sympathetically, it can be fucking scary to see the uses that bits of personal information can get put to.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 2:35 PM
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There are two important kinds of secrets: the kind you desperately hope someone will ask you about, and the kind you desperately hope no one will ever find out.

Some kinds of secrets are the kind of secrets that keeping secrets is all about. The other kind of secrets is the kind of secrets we all can do without.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 2:35 PM
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104: And then there are the kind that are strong enough for a man, but made for a woman.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 2:37 PM
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There are two important kinds of secrets

There is only one kind of secret: the kind you don't tell ANYBODY.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 2:37 PM
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102: To me, it would say something pretty significant about Ogged's values. There are surely things he has done that other people would deem equally bad or worse, but those actions reflect values that have particular salience to him.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 2:38 PM
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102: The worst thing ogged ever did was leave us. Twice!


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 2:39 PM
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THERE'S NOTHING WRONG WITH CANNIBALISM, IF ALLAH DIDN'T WANT PEOPLE TO EAT PEOPLE HE WOULDN'T HAVE MADE THEM OUT OF MEAT.


Posted by: OPINIONATED OGGED | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 2:39 PM
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108: We clearly mean less to him than a lowly caterpillar.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 2:40 PM
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102: Go ahead. Ask me my secrets.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 2:40 PM
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102, 107: I think ogged's yardstick was "knowingly and intentionally cruel".


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 2:40 PM
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I am way, way less secret about money than almost any American I know. (See: the archives.) A lot of that is a very righteous determination that people (especially young people) shouldn't be pulled into bad situations because they're guessing based on what they THINK others around them are earning/spending/in debt for.

I'm not open about other people's money except with their full permission. I have been known to go ballistic at unconscionable requirements that co-workers not talk about their salaries with each other, though.

I grew up assuming that most people were not especially interested in or paying attention to my life, except if I were a close friend or relative. I've been consistently surprised at how many people actually appear to care. Sometimes happily -- the sympathy at my mother's death was actually really lovely, and often from unexpected directions -- but other times less so. It was so comforting to think that nobody at work knew or cared what was going on in my head, and so disillusioning to find out that they did.

I try to give other people the level of privacy or openness that they seem to want. With some people this is easier to gauge than others, but one thing I've learned repeatedly is that I shouldn't make assumptions in either direction.

It doesn't surprise me if someone wants to keep addiction or mental illness private. It still does, a little, if they want to hide where they went to school.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 2:42 PM
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There are a lot of things I know about people that I don't know whether I should treat as secrets or not - but I don't trust myself and my memory to recall which non-obvious things are secrets, so I often avoid talking about them, even if they seem pretty innocuous.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 2:42 PM
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112: Still, if those are the two cruelest things he's ever done, that sounds like a saint. And if he's done worse than that, but honestly thought the caterpillar thing was the worst ever, that sounds like a psychopath.

But I don't mean to rip up Ogged in absentia (I think I did say the same thing at the time), he's probably not a psychopath at all. I just find the idea of really not having any sensitive, guilty spots that you don't want people to know about really alien.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 2:44 PM
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If I revealed my secrets, I would be horrified that you might think my secrets were me. They are secret because they aren't me.

I find this really insightful. I'm sure many people keep secrets because they fear that they reveal their true selves, but I think that it's very often hiding what we think isn't our true selves.

My Biggest Regret and I fooled around while I was still living with BOGF; I was very cagey about this with AB*, because I didn't want her to think of me as potentially unfaithful. Once or twice I've realized that this is still, technically, a secret. But I'm really a faithful kind of guy - in 13+ cumulative years of healthy, happy relationships, there have been precisely two moments when I was tempted to infidelity, and both were, literally, moments - they passed without sequel.

* I believe that the official story is that we kissed, but no more.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 2:45 PM
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Once or twice I've realized that this is still, technically, a secret.

At this point, technically, no.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 2:45 PM
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114: It's okay, Nathan. You can tell people that I was in China.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 2:46 PM
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Overall, I think I'm kind of with H-G on this. Maybe not quite so naive in my assumptions, but I kind of insist on going through life as if peoples' surface presentations are accurate and provide all the data I need. Obviously, I don't treat this as a strict rule, but I've never been into the idea of guessing at - or constructing narratives of - other peoples' inner lives.

I'm sure this sometimes puts me at a disadvantage, but it frees me up to gaze in the mirror get on with life.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 2:47 PM
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114 is true of me too. Plus there is the category of secrets-tied-to-other-secrets. Like, I can't tell you what I was actually doing at such-and-such a time, because where I was was with my friend the night after she was raped, and there is no plausible reason I could tell you that I was with her that wouldn't open up an entire gigantic can of worms. And it's not my secret to tell.

Come to think of it, a lot of those chains of secrets have a common end point. There are lots of things I can't talk about not because the person is so ashamed or terrified, but because somebody tied to that person is so insane.*

*In the colloquial sense, mostly.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 2:48 PM
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115: I wonder if it's just that for other things he's done, he's got decent rationalizations for why they're understandable, whereas those two incidents stick out in his mind because he doesn't. And/or, in both those instances the pain he caused was very visible and immediate to the victim.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 2:49 PM
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At this point, technically, no.

Well not from you people. But you're all imaginary, so.

It's also a secret from one of my best friends, who, in an ideal world, would have ended up with My Greatest Regret, but was instead married (to a really not-great-for-him woman) with a kid when he met her. I don't think he ever realized that she thought he was the bees' knees. But anyway, I always figured it was way to much for him to know that MGR and I had been... intimate. I actually don't know if he knows that MGR & I had dated in college (I assume so), but he definitely doesn't know that we were fooling around while all 3 of us were working together.

Secrets!


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 2:51 PM
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Josh's situation is an excellent example. When I read that they broke up, I felt bad for them. I believe that I wrote something to that effect.

Their break-up crossed my mind a couple of times, and I wondered how they were doing, but other thoughts would sneak into my brain before I could write an email or a comment.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 2:53 PM
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12: When you tell him, just make sure to let him know that she admitted that she was thinking about him the entire time she was with you.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 2:54 PM
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There are lots of things I can't talk about not because the person is so ashamed or terrified, but because somebody tied to that person is so insane.*

It all goes back to Unfogged DCon, II, doesnt it?


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 2:55 PM
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124 to 122. I have no reason to suspect that NickS was ever involved with JRoth's GR.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 2:55 PM
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I kind of am with Ogged here, too.

I have some less-than-stellar relationship moments that I don't feel too bad about. Life's a dance you learn as you go and all that.

I tormented a kid in 5th grade, which sticks out particularly in my mind.

I have one adult story that I periodically think about turning into a post, so I kind of don't want to ruin it. But basically I failed to help a stranger in need, out of squeamishness.

I have many failures to live as ethically as possible, but again, life's a dance, etc, and so I don't actually feel like I've done something wrong.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 2:58 PM
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121.1 Is one of the reasons I presume secrecy by default - even innocuous information can be part of the negative space around stuff that isn't harmless.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 2:58 PM
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127: Psychopath.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 2:59 PM
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127: Even if life is a dance, isn't it wrong to step on your partner's foot?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 3:00 PM
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On the original post topic:

I was surprised that I really disliked the blog posts I read. Especially since I am quite sympathetic to people with Asperger's since I've worked with a few and I have some minor tendencies in that direction. But I just found her to be too obnoxious. In a way, I think it's that she's too self-aware to be truly Asperger's, but not self-aware enough to use that information to change her actions. She's either exactly on the borderline of Asperger's or she's making a way bigger deal out of it than it really is for her. I'll be charitable and give her the first option.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 3:00 PM
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@127

Mistakes aren't always regrets.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 3:02 PM
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128: Except that since I've been experimenting with being less private and discussing secrets, there hasn't been any real harm from that stuff. My secrets are mild, perhaps, but it doesn't seem like they change people's perception of me. So I don't take harm and other people report that get benefit.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 3:03 PM
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She's either exactly on the borderline of Asperger's or she's making a way bigger deal out of it than it really is for her.

Or there's the alternative (alluded to in that post, I think) that distinguishing between Aspergers and Narcissism is tricky!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 3:04 PM
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Aspergers + Narcissism = Objectivist?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 3:04 PM
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Oh, I don't know. Not getting the concepts of "time" and "right vs left" leave me completely convinced that she's got something.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 3:05 PM
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I have one adult story that I periodically think about turning into a post, so I kind of don't want to ruin it. But basically I failed to help a stranger in need, out of squeamishness.

Just post as "Meekins".


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 3:06 PM
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135: Sufficient, but not necessary.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 3:06 PM
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Also, there was an article at some point about the rather large gender differences in the expression of autism, and I'd assume that holds true for Asperger's as well.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 3:06 PM
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133: I'm definitely interested in this. Not sure I'm that brave. But it makes sense to wonder what I really think would be different if I just told my secrets openly.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 3:06 PM
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Even if life is a dance, isn't it wrong to step on your partner's foot?

No shame in mistakes. I hope you aren't holding on to those as secrets.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 3:07 PM
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10 above describes me, too, I think. Bits of my life are compartmentalised, but I don't think I really have any secrets as such, at least not in the soap-opera-cue-dramatic-music-dan-tan-daaaahhh sense. Things I'm not especially proud of, of course, like anyone.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 3:08 PM
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Well, I figure fessing up about the time I killed that hobo might have professional consequences.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 3:08 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 3:09 PM
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143: Bush declared amnesty for that sort of thing his first day in office. Didn't you hear?


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 3:09 PM
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102 is funny, but I really wouldn't read too much into what right now someone says they think they remember in terms of whatever they're talking about the moment... is the worst thing they've ever done.

Stuff I generally feel guilty about is stuff I didn't do, or didn't do enough of. Only donated a token amount to whatever worthy cause, let a relationship fade away when I moved instead of being up-front about not seeing any future in it, not offering to help out with tons of things until I've given everyone else a chance to step up so I wouldn't have to... but, leave out all the stuff that's sins of omission or regrets in hindsight, and just think of stuff I actually intentionally did? I don't know. Snubbed a nerdy girl in high school, I guess. That's probably worse than Ogged's examples, but still seems a lot more petty than you're thinking of.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 3:09 PM
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@140

Don't let anyone fool you. It can be pretty disastrous. Just ask my friend who admitted to paying for sex with a group of friends and was universally shunned for it. Or ask Clownaesthologist.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 3:09 PM
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Was the hobo underbidding you for a train consulting gig?


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 3:10 PM
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friend who admitted to paying for sex with a group of friends

You know, if they were really his friends, they wouldn't have charged him.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 3:13 PM
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147: One might assert that the doing, rather than the telling, was the problem. I wouldn't agree; I think that pretty much anyone and anything ought to be redeemable. But the argument is there.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 3:13 PM
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149: Which brings up something I've been meaning to ask all of you about . . . .


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 3:13 PM
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148: (No Stanley, it'll never stop.) And the hobo was probably avoiding paying NY State transportation taxes. Ah, but that might help professionally.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 3:14 PM
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152: Enforcement is an entirely different department.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 3:15 PM
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I really wouldn't read too much into what right now someone says they think they remember in terms of whatever they're talking about the moment... is the worst thing they've ever done.

I generally figure that a significant number of the worst things I've done are things I actually can't recall -- either because I never understood/acknowledged them at the time, or because I didn't let myself encode the memory. (I've done this with personally upsetting stuff, so I know I'm capable of it.)

For example, I know I was particularly cruel to a childhood acquaintance, but I have no doubt there are specific failings (either in her case or in others) that if someone told me I'd done them I'd believe, but I honestly don't remember.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 3:15 PM
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I think there's a distinction between bad/embarrassing things one's done, and secrets. I tend not to think of the former as secrets if they are known to several people, say, and if I can't imagine making any real effort to prevent other people knowing them. They are just stuff I'd rather hadn't happened, or had gone differently.

That said, I'd be pissed off if they suddenly became wide and public knowledge outside of the circle of people who actually know me.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 3:19 PM
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I wouldn't agree; I think that pretty much anyone and anything ought to be redeemable.

I agree, and I probably think that to a greater degree (that is, more serious offenses) than almost anyone I know.

Although in real life, when someone's told a very great wrong to me, a lot rides on how they narrate it. I can't remember whether it was a novel or a cop show where the interrogator said that a witness statement with too many "I"s in it always made him start looking at the witness as an offender.

A person who confesses to something very wrong and makes little or no discernable attempt to take responsibility either in the storytelling or by his/her actions afterwards, or to change his/her behavior, might inspire pity, but it's hard to work toward redemption when you still haven't really acknowledged the cost to others of what you did.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 3:21 PM
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155: Oh, I've been counting anything I wouldn't say in the comments here as a 'secret' for purposes of this conversation.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 3:22 PM
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157: Like what?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 3:24 PM
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156 gets it exactly right.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 3:25 PM
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re: 157

In that case I probably have lots, although of a fairly minor sort.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 3:26 PM
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(With the caveat that distinguishing sincere repentance and redemption from self-serving bullshit can be really really hard.)


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 3:26 PM
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133: It's not my secrets I'm preserving, it's other people's. I don't know how what they tell me fits in with what other people know, and I'd just as soon not fill in the missing piece. Hence wanting clear contextual cues that it's OK to talk about it to third parties. It's also a policy that leads people to be much more free in talking to me about stuff, or at least some people.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 3:31 PM
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Oh, I've been counting anything I wouldn't say in the comments here as a 'secret' for purposes of this conversation.

Made me think of this unanswered question (since, apparently, I have a dirty mind).


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 3:39 PM
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If I revealed my secrets, I would be horrified that you might think my secrets were me. They are secret because they aren't me.

We are what we pretend to be - Kurt Vonnegut.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 3:40 PM
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In 164 I meant to attribute the quote to Vonnegut, not to say that we are Kurt Vonnegut, or that we pretend to be Kurt Vonnegut.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 3:48 PM
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Not getting the concepts of "time" and "right vs left" leave me completely convinced that she's got something.

If the latter is a diagnostic, then I've definitely got something too. I really, really don't understand right vs. left.

Also, I'm the sort that overwhelms people with information about myself, but I don't think that I'm really hiding from intimacy. I just have a faulty filter on my interior monologue.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 3:51 PM
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not to say that we... pretend to be Kurt Vonnegut.

Speak for yourself.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 3:56 PM
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I'm pretending to be Kurt Vonnegut right now.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 3:57 PM
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I'm pretending to be Kilgore Trout.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 4:04 PM
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*


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 4:05 PM
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Me too.


Posted by: Philip José Farmer | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 4:06 PM
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Speak for yourself.

Every now and then, I'll get so hooked into a writer that my own writing visibly mimics theirs - probably "parodies theirs" is how it comes off. I went through my Vonnegut-mimicking phase in college.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 4:10 PM
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I just have to say, I clicked on this: http://blog.penelopetrunk.com/2009/10/01/my-miscarriage-on-cnn-and-aol/ and I was amazed at her poise (given the Aspergers) in the face of an incredibly douchy host.


Posted by: Ile | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 4:11 PM
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I generally figure that a significant number of the worst things I've done are things I actually can't recall -- either because I never understood/acknowledged them at the time, or because I didn't let myself encode the memory. (I've done this with personally upsetting stuff, so I know I'm capable of it.)

For example, I know I was particularly cruel to a childhood acquaintance, but I have no doubt there are specific failings (either in her case or in others) that if someone told me I'd done them I'd believe, but I honestly don't remember.

This has been studied.

See He Who Cast the First Stone Probably Didn't
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/24/opinion/24iht-edgilbert.2280400.html

I make all of my clients read this article.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 4:12 PM
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171: Why not.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 4:20 PM
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173: Wow, she's really good in that. Sanchez is being such a dick, and she handles it gracefully.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 4:29 PM
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re: 174

That article explains why 'light/friendly' sparring ends with bruises.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 4:31 PM
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I've got stuff I only talk about with certain people. Not sure if there's anything that *no one* knows. Although from time to time I feel bad about teasing a boy when I was 9.

A friend of mine had an abortion, and my mum knows her vaguely, and I know my mum wouldn't like it if she knew about the abortion, so I always feel a bit awkward if my mum asks about her, in case I suddenly veer towards that topic.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 4:42 PM
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Yeah, given the topic, and how douchey Sanchez is being, I love how affectless and matter-of-fact she is in that interview.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 4:46 PM
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174: That's an interesting link. I get the feeling from various of your remarks here that if people really listened to you, you'd lose a lot of business.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 4:47 PM
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180: There's nothing like being able to give your clients good advice, that if they followed it would mean that they didn't need to pay you nearly as much, in the absolute certainty that most of them won't listen. (Works for commercial litigation too.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 4:49 PM
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180 is apt, and funnier because I had the thought while browsing yet another NYT article on how divorced people should deal with money issues that if they wanted to publish functional stuff rather than feel-good stuff,* they should look be looking for someone like Will.

*Seriously, I wonder sometimes that they aren't embarassed to publish this stuff.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 4:50 PM
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I always feel a bit awkward if my mum asks about her, in case I suddenly veer towards that topic.

This is sort of like that feeling that one might just suddenly veer off the train platform, or edge of a cliff.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 4:52 PM
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What a douche Williams is. I just wanted to punch him in the face for that whole interview.

Unfortunately, the more I read of her blog, the more my BS detector goes off. If there's a controversial thing that she hasn't done, I expect I'll read about it tomorrow.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 5:26 PM
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Not to speak for asilon, but in my case that fear happens when I'm speaking to a person that I normally share everything with. It's a fear that something might just fall out of my mouth because I'm so accustomed to being unguarded with that person. E.g.:

Sister: So how was your week?
Me: Oh, fine.
Sister: Are you and Jane enjoying your visit?
Me: Well, yes, but she's still crying her eyes out over the miscarriage. Uh, yeah.
Sister: Have you guys been going to any fun places?
Me: Nah, mostly just staying in. She doesn't feel like playing tourist this time, so we're just hanging out and catching up. You know.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 5:27 PM
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One thing I've wondered about is whether my partner is included in the boundaries of a confidence, since I do a lot of emotional processing by talking things through with him. If I learn a new and substantial thing about a friend and need to do work to adjust my mental story of that friend, I do that work better in conversation with my partner than alone; absent explicit requests to the contrary, if you tell me something now, it's subject to being shared with my partner (but of course no farther, by either of us). But many of my good friends were my good friends before I met my partner, and in our ongoing interactions with these people it sometimes happens that seemingly weird behavior makes perfect sense in light of Big Life Secret X, which my partner is not privy to. Do you all share or not share in this circumstance? I don't, but I'm always torn.


Posted by: Gabardine Bathyscaphe | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 5:27 PM
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Having now read most of the thread, the "Remember personal info?" checkbox at the bottom of the page is giving me a mild creep-out.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 5:30 PM
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115: I just find the idea of really not having any sensitive, guilty spots that you don't want people to know about really alien.

I haven't read past this point in the thread, but I have to say: I doubt that in mentioning his torturing of small caterpillars Ogged was cataloguing the list of things he finds sensitive and would rather people not know about.

Hopefully someone already noted that. And when did the keeping of secrets become solely the keeping of secrets about bad awful things one has done? Rather, it's that one knows that a shitstorm might arise were certain things known. So one keeps mum.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 5:33 PM
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I'm getting a distinct Jackie Mackie Paisley Passey vibe here, with a decent dose of Althouse mixed in.

Her real name was originally Adrienne Roston, which she changed to Adrienne Greenheart, and then Adrienne GreenHeart with new capitalization, and then to Adrienne Eisen while she wrote online porn.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 5:38 PM
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I tend to assume that if I'm telling something to someone who is seriously partnered up, then it's going to be shared with the partner. If they want to - it's probably not particularly interesting to the partner.

185 - yes, this sounds right. And my mum wouldn't die of shock or anything, but I would rather not have to have the ensuing indepth conversation.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 5:38 PM
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Well, Ogged was explicitly talking about the worst things he'd ever done, not the worst things he'd ever done that he was willing to talk about -- so, either the caterpillar thing really did loom large for him, or nothing wrong he'd ever done bothered him much.

But you're right that starting from the Ogged post, I slipped from 'secret' to 'guilty secret' -- certainly, most of the things I'm not willing to talk about aren't wrong things I've done, but things I'm sensitive about for other reasons. (Looking back over the thread, I do feel as though I've given rise to an impression that I'm a serial killer. Not actually.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 5:38 PM
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Well, you NY lawyers ...


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 5:42 PM
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184/89: F, this is exactly the impression that I have of her. The 100k/yr on household staff, the ridiculous vaunting about New Trier high school, and all that "You have the life you've chosen, suck it up" "advice." Bleh.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 5:46 PM
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189 - When I read that she changed her real name to match her blog psuedonym, I was horrified for a couple days. Holy crap, the blog won!

I'd forgotten about that.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 5:49 PM
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psuedonym

Sateen?


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 5:53 PM
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Actually, my mom tells everyone anything you tell her. One of the hardest things for me to navigate is to curb the urge to tell her everything, because she'll forget that you asked her not to share.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 6:09 PM
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I don't like the idea of my friends sharing the things I tell them with their partners absent explicit permission. I don't like many of their partners.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 6:31 PM
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I like it when I can trust my friends to tell their partners/friends stuff they may find useful to know about me. It's sort of a relief not to start from scratch with people.

It sucks if their partners are dickholes who pounce on sensitive information inappropriately, but I think my friend and I tend to think less of the partner who does this than I do of my friend for sharing it. But that all, I think, depends on the relationship I have with the friend and the relationship they have with their partner/other-friend.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 6:35 PM
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189: A cigar and a rubber duck for the commenter who conjured up that old Internet treasure. Very much the antecedent I had in mind.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 6:36 PM
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Asperger's my shiny self-promoting ass. What a tedious person.

There's some very nice new work coming down the pike on the social determinants of autism-spectrum diagnoses, btw.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 7:12 PM
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200 ftw btw


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 7:12 PM
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200: What, Gonerill? You weren't won over by her insistence that "Asperger's means I have this raging intellect"?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 7:15 PM
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Why are you guys so sure she doesn't have it?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 7:19 PM
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This blog is social enough to determine it.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 7:22 PM
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First there was Megan, who's great even if she does reserve the right to beat us up. Then JMPP, who's at least whatever she is. Now this person. It appears that the internet's low-hanging fruit has already been picked. Maybe Megan could start a new blog and post something especially Meganish?


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 7:24 PM
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Because the dog didn't bark.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 7:25 PM
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It's not clear to me why it matters.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 7:25 PM
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207 gets it right.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 7:27 PM
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Whoa, what? I'm not saying Megan-ish enough things recently? How am I linked with JMPP or Penelope Trunk? Was I suspected of having Aspergers or being a created personality?


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 7:28 PM
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Was I suspected of having Aspergers or being a created personality?

Not previous to now.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 7:29 PM
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I'm not sure that not liking someone, thinking they're an opportunistic asshole, and thinking they ought to keep their trap shut is evidence that someone doesn't have a disorder that can manifest itself in ways that make someone less able than "normal" to determine what kinds of behaviors and attitudes are appropriate or pleasing. Might she be capitalizing on AS? Quite possibly! Does this mean she definitely, in your expert opinion, doesn't have a diagnosis of AS?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 7:30 PM
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I'm not saying Megan-ish enough things recently?

It's been *ages* since you suggested we all throw a burning couch off the roof. Or denigrated every place that's not California.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 7:32 PM
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She seems to me to be very, very straightforward about everything. She is straightforward about her ambitions. She is straightforward that this blog is in order to make money at her job. I can't see what would give the impression that she's lying or embellishing about having Aspergers.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 7:32 PM
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209: No, no, no. I was just thinking back to the first time Ogged linked to you, and that was good. And some time later someone linked to JMPP, and that was less good but passed an idle afternoon. And now this. I want the good old days of burning couches back.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 7:32 PM
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Which is to say that the only commonality among you, JMPP, and Penelope is that I first encountered you through a link from here.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 7:34 PM
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Or denigrated every place that's not California.

It doesn't go without saying?


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 7:34 PM
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211: wait, who here is an expert?

Interestingly, the actual experts are on the verge of removing the diagnosis of Aspergers from the DSM, replacing it with a simple diagnosis of Autism spectrum disorder. Also interestingly, since Autism is a spectrum, it's perfectly possible to score at whatever significant level on one or more of the diagnostic tests and still be diagnosed as "normal". Also also, "Asperger's" per se (but not autism) has acquired a not-insignificant positive reputation in some ways (what with famously successful people like Bill Gates being diagnosed-from-afar with it). Also also also what Gonerill said.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 7:35 PM
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Er, what Gonerill alluded to.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 7:35 PM
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213: She seems really dishonest to me. Like the 200 publications who syndicate her column! That don't exist. (She also claims that parts of her cv are "aspirational" -- so that might be one of the lying bits.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 7:35 PM
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212.2 is true. Really, Megan.

It would be interesting to talk about created personalities, or rather, about the phenomenon of online personae, but it might all be a bit too much.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 7:37 PM
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Also it's come up about a billion times already.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 7:37 PM
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On refresh, 207 gets it right.

The thing that grates on me about PT is not her tweeting about her health or writing about her management of AS, but the privilege it takes to tell people you should just be honest about things like this up front and get the job that deserves you. It works well for people with the privilege to do so, less well for everyone else who's had to call in sick for work, or grumble through troubling bodily phenomena in front of a boss, or manage psychological/neurological disorders at a job.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 7:38 PM
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Like the 200 publications who syndicate her column!

No, it says "Her career advice appears in more than 200 newspapers." I'm pretty sure that means individual copies. From one specific daily issue. That's honest!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 7:40 PM
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221: Not in the way I mean it! But yes.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 7:41 PM
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222, cont'd: For example, she gives a lot of lovely advice about how to work with AS, like that you should find people whose job it will be to help you manage everything, like if you have a hard time with directions or whatever, and who don't mind when you get upset or confused. Luckily, your job is as the CEO of your own company already! Hooray! That 80% of people with AS who are unemployed will be so glad to hear it's as simple as having several full-time assistants following you around.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 7:42 PM
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I find it surprising how uncharitable folks want to be about Penelope Trunk.

The Sanchez interview is just great, great, great. It's perfect. I can forgive someone a lot if she's able to produce a moment like that on cable news.

I would be delighted if I found out she was never diagnosed with Asperger's. If that were the case, she'd have come up with an ideal excuse to look people in the eye (something I gather Asperger's folks don't like to do) and say whatever the fuck she wants.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 7:43 PM
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225: and, of course, that plays into the fable that people with Asperger's (like PT) necessarily make better corporate managers.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 7:44 PM
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225 and 226 are both right. Her career advice is idiotic and totally priviliged and not that insightful. Yet the Sanchez interview is just incredibly endearing.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 7:45 PM
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I just wanted to make a weak "determine it" pun. I haven't read the first 199 comments of this post, this post, or any of the links in this post.

I just thought I'd let everyone know that.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 7:45 PM
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Luckily, your job is as the CEO of your own company already!

"Become the CEO of You, Inc.! through blogging and social media" neatly captures the Trunk Gestalt, he typed pretentiously.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 7:45 PM
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223: Hee!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 7:46 PM
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Yeah, I don't think I believe that she has all this $100k worth of full-time personal staff, either. It just all rings really false to me. Of course, what do I know?


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 7:47 PM
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I do have to say, I did rather like her column on throwing things away and living on nothing in case of crisis. I also loved the Sanchez bit. And the stuff about her divorce, while obviously written alarmingly freshly, is pretty affecting. Unlike a lot of career-y blogs, you get the sense that she is a whole person, which is, I suppose, her shtick.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 7:51 PM
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You're all just jealous that you don't have Aspergers.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 7:51 PM
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I would be delighted if I found out she was never diagnosed with Asperger's. If that were the case, she'd have come up with an ideal excuse to look people in the eye (something I gather Asperger's folks don't like to do) and say whatever the fuck she wants.

Christ, what an asshole.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 7:53 PM
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Ok, I watched the link in 173. For a network that's supposedly trying not to have hosts with explicit political opinions, why the fuck should anyone care about Sanchez's personal feelings?


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 7:53 PM
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Our Aspergers are the aspiest.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 7:53 PM
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Unlike a lot of career-y blogs, you get the sense that she is a whole person, which is, I suppose, her shtick.

Shtick is an overused concept. As has already been established in this thread, we are what we pretend to be.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 7:55 PM
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Pointing to Bill Gates and saying non-neurotypical people have it easy and always make it rich is like pointing to Barack Obama and saying all black Americans become president. /analogy Exceptionalism is not the same as equal opportunity and lack of prejudice.

I know that's obnoxious to say, but I've watched my uncle with AS go from shit job to shit job my whole life and that dude is isolated, poor, and basically hopeless. I'm delighted that things are getting better for a lot of people with autism-spectrum disorders, but it sure as fuck doesn't start with dudes trying to get minimum-wage jobs at grocery stores. (The platitude "but he's amazing at Trivial Pursuit!" doesn't really comfort you when you're on welfare very long.)


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 7:59 PM
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232: Agreed.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 8:02 PM
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When your claim to fame is that you are "direct" and "honest", it undermines your case when it is discovered that you are not honest. Predictably, this leads to people doubting all the things you claim, especially those that are most important to your internet fame. So while it may not matter whether she has Asperger's. it kind of matters whether she has Asperger's (or had a miscarriage in the office, or had a one-night stand with a salesman, or got randomly knocked up by a boyfriend, or flew to LA just to get a haircut, or whatever)


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 8:05 PM
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Christ, what an asshole.

Delightful!


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 8:06 PM
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Also, it's easy to "lack... boundaries" when you're lying.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 8:07 PM
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Aspies are like this, neurotypicals are like that. Really quite tiresome when done dogmatically. Speaking as someone with direct family experience with some fucking thing that is diagnosed at times as Asperger's and other times as other stuff, I tire mightily of the boilerplate. Sour grapes probably (there is clearly some utility in recognizing these kind of broad behavioral and processing patterns). Will be interested in seeing the stuff Gonerill alludes to when it comes out.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 8:09 PM
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241: And to NYC for her eyebrows. Also, where does this money come from?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 8:10 PM
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All Cretans lack boundaries.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 8:10 PM
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I lack boundaries.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 8:15 PM
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234, 239 are basically the point I was trying to get at, taken together.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 8:22 PM
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Will be interested in seeing the stuff Gonerill alludes to when it comes out.

My wife likes to remark that I'm a high-functioning autistic, and my son, who is somewhat less weird than I was at his age, really was honest-to-goodness diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.

But my wife is mostly joking, and my son's diagnosis has since been revoked. (Or, alternatively, the geniuses who treated him engineered a miracle cure.) He's still an odd little fellow, but his oddness doesn't closely match a noncomformity that they've medicalized.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 8:24 PM
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When your claim to fame is that you are "direct" and "honest", it undermines your case when it is discovered that you are not honest.

Did you actually watch the Sanchez interview? Honesty is certainly important, but Ode to a Grecian Urn is worth any number of old ladies. Bill Clinton was a hideous liar about his extramarital affairs, but that's far, far, far from the worst thing he did - and is immaterial to the good things that he did.

I may be naive, but I actually don't think PT is generally lying.

But this is one of those occasions where honesty isn't the most salient virtue. I've heard it said that Rush Limbaugh doesn't really believe the crazy shit that he says - it's just shtick. I don't care. We are what we pretend to be. If PT gets off on pretending she thinks women shouldn't be stigmatized in any way for having an abortion, then more power to her. I won't criticize her as a liar, even if she really deep-down thinks abortion is murder. Again: Did you actually watch the Sanchez interview?


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 8:51 PM
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We are what we pretend to be

This is more true when it comes to ideological positions, less true when it comes to facts about one's actions and circumstances.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 9:13 PM
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is like pointing to Barack Obama and saying all black Americans become president.

But all mixed Kenyan/white Americans born in Indonesia with fake Hawaiian birth certificates do become president.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 9:24 PM
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Of course they do. It's right there in the Constitution.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 9:37 PM
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I'm with politicalfootball. The Sanchez interview was fantastic. Pow, perfect, she showed him right up. Whoever she is, Penelope Trunk deserves credit. And lying is all right. Lying is a perfectly acceptable response to modern celebrity/"reality" culture, which is all a sort of performance art anyway. You can sense an underlying authenticity with her too, she's definitely not one of those frantic sweaty neurotic liars who are all eaten up with anxiety because they're trying to believe their own BS. Did PT also write the Adrienne Eisler sex things too? Because that's witty, entertaining stuff.

Will's link in 174 is great.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 10:32 PM
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Also, when do we all go presidential and start telling secrets?


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 10:33 PM
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I think what I like about PT is a certain absence of hostility and aggression. A huge amount "lifestyle" discussion and advice is shot through with this vindictive status bitchery. A lot of the rest is full of defensive anxiety and insecurity, which itself has a hostile charge. She seems calm and centered, speaking from what makes immediate sense to her. How she gets there is less important than that she does. What the Sanchez interview shows is that this sort of calm and balance can be very politically resonant.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 10:42 PM
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I saw the interview and she won by being less of a dick than he was. Which was pretty easy. Otherwise, her skill appears to lie exclusively in defending controversial things with statistics without betraying any emotion.

And lying is all right. Lying is a perfectly acceptable response to modern celebrity/"reality" culture, which is all a sort of performance art anyway

The second sentence is almost certainly true, but deity help me if I ever get to the stage where I'm encouraging them.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 10:47 PM
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You can sense an underlying authenticity with her too

I sense good acting and beta blockers.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 10:49 PM
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It's hard to reconcile the woman in the Sanchez interview with the woman at the parent teacher conference.

255: I've already told all my secrets worth knowing, under one presidential name or another, in various threads. Take a turn yourself.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 11:02 PM
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Otherwise, her skill appears to lie exclusively in defending controversial things with statistics without betraying any emotion.

no, she defends them with her own life experience. Somewhat in the Oprah manner, except she removes the overt emotionalism from the personal testimonial, which is an important step forward in all kinds of ways. The statistics are just to certify her life experience as valid.

This is the first time I've heard of her, but just from a quick flip through her stuff it seems like you could make an argument for her as a significant writer and artist. That miscarriage tweet/"scandal" is a rather brilliant metaphor for women in the workplace. It's fantastic that she's working in the career advice medium (or has her blog cleverly puts it, "the intersection of work and life"), instead of an obsolete form like the novel.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 11:05 PM
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Yeah, let's hear some secrets damnit. And then all gather 'round for a Christian Side Hug.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 11:08 PM
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no, she defends them with her own life experience.

But if she's lying, she's not. There's just so many inconsistencies and unbelievable moments in her stories that I can't trust anything she's saying.

Forgive me if this is uncharitable, but it seems to me like you're saying "She's not lying. And even if she is it doesn't matter. Because she's so genuine." And I'm not following.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 11:17 PM
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Hey, I was just looking at that! The whole thing is bizarre, but what's up with the part where he's like, "I'm a married man, you know I can't hold hands"? Is this some Christian thing I don't know about? No premarital front-hugs, no post-marital hand-holding?


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 11:18 PM
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Basically Christians are not allowed to touch each other at all, whether or not they're married.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 11:19 PM
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Wait. I think I get it. I didn't get your implication in your last comment that she's an artist working in a medium and so truth is not necessary. Eh, okay. I don't find the art particularly entertaining or compelling either but de gustibus etc.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 11:19 PM
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Also, I love the end with the gunshots and broken glass. Because we be straight thuggin yall. It's Christian side-hugs and then a 187 on an undercover cop.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 11:24 PM
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186 -- I would honor someone's request that I not tell my wife their secret, I suppose, unless the content made it immoral to do so. I certainly don't tell her client confidences or classified information, so there's a wall. But absent some specific request, or professional requirement, I'd tell her anything she asked. I don't volunteer information that might be sensitive, generally, and she doesn't usually delve too deeply into those friendships we don't fully share.

I've gotten in trouble for secret keeping. Five years ago, our daughter got her tattoo. The wife was out of town -- I don't remember what she was doing, probably visiting her family (usually quite stressful) -- and since the daughter was going to be starting college several states away in just a couple of weeks, I went along with not telling. And it almost worked. On the very morning that wife was dropping daughter at college, daughter absentmindedly came out of the bathroom in a tank top. 'Wait til you father hears about this' did not draw the expected reaction, and then we were all in trouble.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 11:25 PM
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Also, I love the end with the gunshots and broken glass.

I'm also digging the "democratic shift in the congress" moment.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11-23-09 11:38 PM
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The side hug thing has me baffled. Looking at the user that posted the Youtube video, all the videos are well produced parodies, leading me to believe that they were having fun being ridiculous with the presentation, and the evil godless liberal internets got a hold of it and were too stupid to realize what was going on, and then I want to defend them.

But then, as best I can tell, they are actually serious about the "side hug" message, and I am left speechless and confused.

So, you know, comment 207 and "we are what we pretend to be" and all that.


Posted by: oztk | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 1:35 AM
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Aw man. Mom wants to be my FB friend


Posted by: di kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 4:34 AM
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270:

She makes the wittiest, inappropriate cmments on fb. She and I have been friends for months!


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 5:51 AM
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It is hard to keep a secret.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 6:26 AM
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270 -- My daughter accepted her mother's request, on condition that she would not make comments on status. My son took the 'just say no' approach. A wise choice.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 6:57 AM
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She'll immediately check the relationship status of every male friend, and then everytime Will posts some filthy comment she'll ask, LWho's Will? How do you know Will?"


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 7:03 AM
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When my mother joined FB the first thing she said to me was, "Don't worry! I don't want to be your friend!"


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 7:08 AM
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On the other hand, the very best thing about FB is that I'm friends with my daughter.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 7:13 AM
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I'm generally annoyed by how technically inept my mother is - sorry, I know this makes me a bad son, but she's the sort of person for whom this flowchart was made - but the silver lining is that it's kept her off Facebook. There aren't too many things that I'd be bothered if she knew about, but there are still some. Although now that I mention it, suddenly I want to check Facebook and see if my dad is on there. Maybe this is just wishful thinking, but I can imagine him joining and me not knowing about it.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 7:19 AM
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If I say no, her heart will be broken and she will let me know for years how sad I've made her. If I say yes, she'll see I'm FB friends with my old Jesus Freak partner-in-crime and will interrogate me incessantly about that and every time I use a bad word or clever innuendo, I will picture her flinching. I love my mom, honestly. But the majority of my inner life is a secret from her for good reason.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 7:26 AM
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I need to see if BR is ok with me periodically changing my fb status to "Gettin' it on with Di!" or "Dating Carp's daughter!"


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 7:40 AM
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When you start flying to Chicago or San Diego in connection with those posts Will, I suspect you'll have a problem. Otherwise, considering that she's putting up with you already, res ipsa loquitur


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 7:57 AM
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One thing I've wondered about is whether my partner is included in the boundaries of a confidence, since I do a lot of emotional processing by talking things through with him.

Ooh. One of my godmothers is excessive;ly private, maybe too much so, so I know that se wouldn't sare stuff except in an emergency, i.e. she really thought that she needed to act to get me healthcare or something. The other shares most things with her husband. I've always felt that this was a betrayal when something was clearly very personal--especially since there are things I might share with a woman and not a man.

There are tings like this--other people's secrets--that I've discussed with my shrink and nobody else for this reason.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 8:01 AM
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On the very morning that wife was dropping daughter at college, daughter absentmindedly came out of the bathroom in a tank top.

My mother busted my sister with her shoulder tattoo on line for roast beef at a family wedding -- she was wearing a spaghetti-strap dress with a gauzy thing over it, and you could see the big lizard on her shoulder through the gauze. Luckily, the whole 'being at a wedding' thing prevented hostilities from breaking out, and by the time it was over, Mom had had time to cool down.

I wonder if tattoos are still going to be conventional by the time my kids are old enough. I never really got to like them -- some are great, but most people's don't do much for them.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 8:04 AM
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278: My approach has been to keep things on FB relatively PG, with occasional outbursts of crudity. My Sunday School teacher is an FB friend, which also moderates my tone. I'm still figuring out how I want to use it, but I'm slowly coming around to the idea that my mom and SST can damn well suck it up if I say "fuck" every now and then.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 8:13 AM
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I'm very FB unhip (I'm on, but don't do much with it), but can't you manage people so they're friends but can't actually see much of what's going on? I thought there were compartmentalization features like that.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 8:14 AM
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The other shares most things with her husband. I've always felt that this was a betrayal when something was clearly very personal--especially since there are things I might share with a woman and not a man.

I feel this way, too. If I'd wanted to share something with my friends' partners, I'd have shared them in mixed company. And there's a certain level of resentment in feeling that, simply because my friend is in a close relationship with someone, I'm sort of forced into it as well because anything I say will be shared with the partner.

I understand Charley's position in 267. And perhaps this is why I just don't successfully do long-term relationships, but it seems perfectly natural to me that your friendships with other people are separate from your relationship with your partner and there's (usually) no reason your partner should expect to or be entitled to know everything about your friends.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 8:16 AM
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277: The mouseover joke on that flowchart is perfect.


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 8:17 AM
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284: Yeah, that's what I do. Most people I'm friends with get to see everything I do, but there are some people who get only the most basic information. (Almost all of the cow-orkers I'm FB friends with, for example.)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 8:17 AM
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I wonder if tattoos are still going to be conventional by the time my kids are old enough.

I really doubt they're going to go out of fashion in the next 10 years.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 8:18 AM
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Re FB privacy: I've recently gone through the exercise of creating a limited profile for colleagues, who are all on a friend list together. They see wall posts but not status updates, and only the photo albums I've tagged as OK. If you post to your own wall it looks exactly like a status update, hence lowering the chance that someone will get offended at having been left out. This works fine going forward, and so far no one's said "hey! why so few status updates in the past?" Wall posts in questionable taste (by you or others) can always be deleted in an extreme case.


Posted by: Cady | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 8:19 AM
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Is this some Christian thing I don't know about? No premarital front-hugs, no post-marital hand-holding?

A couple of Episcopal churches have signs up about how the diocese is asking people, based on CDC recommendations, not to practice intinction. Apparently, there is more risk of infection from dipping your bread into the wine than there is from taking a sip directly. (Though, of course, they ask you to abstain if you feel unwell.)

Further, they've asked people not to shake hands at the Peace, but because touch is important, they are encouraging some sort of side shoulder tap hug to replace the handshake. It's a bit weird.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 8:27 AM
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285: I sort my friendships into an inner circle of people who I trust absolutely (the ones I'd allow to make the decision to pull the plug if I was in a coma, or tell about some unpleasant and embarrassing thing like erectile dysfunction), and a penumbra of people who I trust but keep at a distance. A romantic partner starts outside the penumbra and can make it into the inner circle if things go really well (two out of the five people in the inner circle are former GFs). I assume that inner circle people can be trusted with information given to me in confidence, but I wouldn't discuss it unless it was important, like maybe my friend is in a position similar to the one I'm privy to in confidence, and disclosure of the details might help my friend to deal with their situation. Straight up gossipy disclosure seems kind of bad to me, even within the inner circle. Default disclosure to romantic partners would bar anyone from inner circle levels of trust.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 8:37 AM
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I've replied to other people's comments on FB, but I've never posted my own status update or anyting on my own wall. I have thus far avoided accepting the friend request from by BF's brother and his wife, because I am too inept to figure out how to segregate them.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 8:44 AM
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If your BF's wife has friend requested you, you might as well just integrate her into your life.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 8:45 AM
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285 -- My wife expects to be able to get an answer to any question she poses to me, unless I am disabled by some serious obligation. I err on the side of non-disclosure when these things come up, which is actually pretty rare, considering how our social lives line up.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 9:19 AM
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continuing 294: Fortunately, she saves the third degree for the kids, so I can usually get by with grunts, mumbles, or, most often, facial expressions.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 9:22 AM
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That "Christian side hug" thing is unfortunately kind of catchy. And crazy!


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 9:24 AM
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294 is not at all an uncommon approach for people in long term relationships. And, of course, there's no really non-awkward way to find out what your friends' standards on that are in advance. "So, before we have this conversation, I was just wondering if you tell Snookums everything or what?" Still. When your friend one day says, "Oh, I was telling Snookums about that thing with your ex-boyfriend," or worse yet when Snookums says, "Hey, whatever happened with that thing?"... It pretty much guarantees that the friend in question is going to start getting a lot less openness from me. Which is sort of sad.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 9:40 AM
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BF's borother's wife, Ned.

The thing is that she's shallow and boring. And she's definitely not a money grubber, but her whole interest is in a remunerative career, so she took a scholarship in science, but she's totally uninterested in talking about--not just her work, but anything scientific or remotely intellectual. Her sister who has a commerce degree makes more money than she will, and she might as well have gone into business.

The brother says things like, "Philosophy, I can't imagine a more useless and irrelevant degree." I hate the anti-intellectualism in that, and I happen to think that being able to ask foundational questions is pretty important, if not immediately relevant to a career. I personally find the idea of an undergraduate degreein marketing repulsive and don't really consider someone with that degree to have received an actual education.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 9:41 AM
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If you post to your own wall it looks exactly like a status update, hence lowering the chance that someone will get offended at having been left out.

Okay, dumb question, but how do you post to your own wall??


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 9:46 AM
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The brother says things like, "Philosophy, I can't imagine a more useless and irrelevant degree." I hate the anti-intellectualism in that, and I happen to think that being able to ask foundational questions is pretty important, if not immediately relevant to a career. I personally find the idea of an undergraduate degreein marketing repulsive and don't really consider someone with that degree to have received an actual education.

See, you're looking at this the wrong way: each of you, in your own way, finds ways to denigrate the educational choices and achievements of others -- it's something you have in common!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 9:47 AM
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I personally find the idea of an undergraduate degreein marketing repulsive and don't really consider someone with that degree to have received an actual education.

In other words, you're adopting the exact same stance as the brother, but with different subjects.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 9:49 AM
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Pwnt, pwnt, pwnt.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 9:50 AM
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Fair enough, but I find them kind of boring. They watch TV shows I can't stand etc.

Basically, they are not my people.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 9:54 AM
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300-302: IMO, the worst thing about the brother as he's described is that he'd come right out and say it. Christ, what an asshole. I like it when people are jerks in some situations, but that's definitely not one of them.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 9:54 AM
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Plus, you know, she's sort of judgmental about things I'm sensitive about, e.g., saying nasty things about people with psychiatric diagnoses.

And she says things that seem terribly ill-informed, like "you're either a natural teacher or not." Plus, I find some of her comments about First Peoples racist--even if unconsciously so


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 9:56 AM
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Basically, they are not my people.

Neither are 98% of the people I went to high school with, but it doesn't bother me to see them in my Facebook feed. I guess I'm not clear on what you'd be segregating them from if you don't use FB for posting.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 9:59 AM
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I guess I'm not clear on what you'd be segregating them from if you don't use FB for posting.

Mainly, because I might some day.

I took down someone's feed, because their updates were so boring.

But I'd like to feel free to say that I find some movie incredibly boring and dumb without having to worry that they love it.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 10:05 AM
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You don't think they could handle it to see on your FB feed that you think a movie they like is stupid?


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 10:12 AM
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Remember how much I cried when you made fun of New Moon on your wall, Blume.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 10:14 AM
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I just figured that's how adolescent girls are, Sifu, and there was nothing to be done about it.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 10:19 AM
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There was a horrible moment with his cousin and his aunt, where I talked about Marley and Me. They both said that they loved it.

When I said that I thought it was awful, they both said that, really the book was much better, and it was all based on atrue story.

So, I didn't say that I thought it was incredibly formulaic, cliched and trite, and that I found some of its shtick downright offensive or that I couldn't imagine anyone with taste or even a modicum of intelligence liking it.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 10:19 AM
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Sigh. It is hard to have such high standards.

But seriously, aren't there other people in your life with whom you just don't talk about certain things? Like the movie thing: I don't talk about movies with my mom. We just don't. I'm sure she probably found Marley and Me "touching" or something like that. And if it comes up, I say, Eh, that's just not my kind of movie. After that sort of thing happens a few times, movies just become something you don't talk about, because you don't have them in common.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 10:23 AM
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My friend says his objection to FB is that it forces you to be a unitary person instead of the different facets you would normally show in different crowds.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 10:23 AM
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I know extremely intelligent, thoughtful people who genuinely enjoy utterly pointless cultural garbage. Strange but true.

I also know tiresome idiots with excellent taste in music and art.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 10:28 AM
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Sigh. It is hard to have such high standards.

It's terribly obnoxious of me. But Megan's point is spot on. One of the things that I like about the internet is that it gives me an outlet for saying all of the things that would otherwise be inappropriate. It keeps me from being a jerk in real life.

Though, I'm sure that your mother is not dumb. I was just feeling somewhat defensive.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 10:28 AM
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I can see 313 answering 312 - that you'd specifically not want to have people as FB friends, because it makes it harder to tailor what you say to them as an audience.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 10:29 AM
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"Philosophy, I can't imagine a more useless and irrelevant degree."

This is a golden opportunity to make him look extremely stupid by gently interrogating him about what he believes to be "useful" and "relevant."

Caution: If you go about it too effectively too barefacedly, your girlfriend neighbor at the table will stick a fork in your leg to get you to stop.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 10:29 AM
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313 seems predicated on the idea that other people on facebook are looking at all of the information you post and using it to construct a narrative about you, whereas they're probably primarily paying attention to the occasional update that crosses their wall feed and the comments you leave on their page and the pages of mutual friends. It is certainly possible that they'll learn something unexpected about you that doesn't fit with the carefully constructed way you present yourself to them, but if you think that doesn't happen all the time anyhow -- and that mostly people don't give a shit -- you're probably fooling yourself.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 10:35 AM
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I know extremely intelligent, thoughtful people who genuinely enjoy utterly pointless cultural garbage.

I have a very close, very smart friend who never ever misses America's Next Top Model or So You Think You Can Dance.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 10:44 AM
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My single most stylish male friend -- dresses to the nines, has a house full of beautifully restored Eames furniture, used to be a DJ but doesn't really play out any more because there are only about twelve records up to his recording and production standards -- is a huge fan of NASCAR.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 10:47 AM
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299: I did it via adding a photo (or album) that was open to all, and including some text as a caption. There may be other, easier ways that others in the commentariat know.


Posted by: Cady | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 11:32 AM
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I have a very close, very smart friend who never ever misses America's Next Top Model or So You Think You Can Dance.


Sure, a friend.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 11:34 AM
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322: Heh, but not my cup of tea. My equivalents are KISS and Dude, Where's My Car?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 11:44 AM
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Not only is Dude a quality film, the entire stoner movie genre is underappreciated.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 11:53 AM
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Ooooh! Confessions thread! Americas Funniest Home Videos (if it's still on, haven't had a working TV in a while), Cops, The Last Starfighter, and ABBA before they became retro-cool. Also pretty much anything by Dolly Parton.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 11:54 AM
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I really hate Cops, because I think it's helped to make violations of civil liberties more acceptable.

I also found watching a show where they repossess people's cars quite painful to watch.

But the truly cringeworthy--I had to leave the room--was the show that was briefly on where they would ask all these embarrassing personal questions of people hooked up to a polygraph. It was cancelled pretty quickly. Someone told me of one horrific one where the $100,000 questio was, "Is the reason that you haven't had kids yet that you're not sure that your wife is the One?"


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 12:00 PM
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I watched two straight hours of Cops a few weeks ago and was horrified. It seems much more mean-spirited than the last time I watched it, but that was probably ten years ago and I've become even more of a DFH since then, so.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 12:09 PM
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I really hate Cops, because I think it's helped to make violations of civil liberties more acceptable.

See? You don't mind telling Togolosh that his favorite TV show is not just bad art, but actually immoral. I think you can go ahead and tell the quasi-in-laws that Marley sucks.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 12:50 PM
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328: BG already answered this:

One of the things that I like about the internet is that it gives me an outlet for saying all of the things that would otherwise be inappropriate. It keeps me from being a jerk in real life.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 12:53 PM
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Plus, unfogged is a place where vigorous debate goes on, and people feel free to argue. In real life, arguing (by which I mean arguing, not fighting) is deprecating.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 12:55 PM
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313 is a major benefit of FB IME. But then I also keep my pseudonymous persona, who can confess things like that I just told a professor, who apologized for not having come to see me in a while, that he'd clearly been too busy looking good.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 12:55 PM
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I don't think i ever would have spontaneously suggested that she is lying, though now that it is a topic, i suppose i can't rule it out either. People's lives are all very strange to me.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 12:57 PM
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330: Indeed! A few years ago, my mom said something at dinner that was questionable from a feminist perspective if closely examined. I forget exactly what I said, but it was very much tinged with the flavor of such discussions here. In my head, I was being good-natured and just a little clever. She, however, was utterly stricken and I spent the rest of the dinner explaining that, no, I did not think she was personally responsible for the continued viability of patriarchal structures and in fact thought she did a good job at raising me to be an empowered woman.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 1:01 PM
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eegads! "deprecating" in 330 should be "deprecated."


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 1:03 PM
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331: Did he blush?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 1:06 PM
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being interesting and not coming off as a jerk is a superficial skill, just like knowing good records or knowing how to cook or how to wear clothes that are flattering.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 1:09 PM
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Naw. He was particularly well-dressed today and took it as a standard compliment, I am glad to report (instead of, say, considering it sexual harassment).


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 1:10 PM
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My weirdest FB moment was the time the birther loon with whom I went to high school started mixing it up with an Eminent Member of My Discipline. She (EMoMD) ended up calling him a dumbass. Good times.*

*Actually, I was mortified. She wrote me a message, "You have friends who are *birthers*?"


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 1:39 PM
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I don't know, Marley was pretty stupid, unoriginal, predictable, graceless etc but I am having trouble understanding why people would loathe just another shaggy dog story as if it were a snuff film or Left Behind.

I hate to think I need to watch it again in order to understand the way the film is an offense.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 1:41 PM
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Left Behind was pretty damn hilarious.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 1:43 PM
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I like it when neb gets in grammar fights with other fb friends of mine.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 1:45 PM
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Actually I had a minor fb crisis the other day when a friend who I like very much -- but who, in the process of trying to quit the whole "hardcore secret alcoholism" thing moved with his wife to [red state] and got very seriously into [jesus-type scenario] -- posted a status update along the lines of hoping the whole "global warming hysteria" had died down for good. I opted to feel sorry for him rather than engaging.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 1:47 PM
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Huh, this thread seems to be mine now. I claim it in the name of the A-Team!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 1:59 PM
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Now the ritual dance!

(Spins wildly about, collapses in a heap giggling with Charlie's other angels. Upon realizing there are no other angels, and he is lying naked and bruised on the floor, begins to weep.)


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 2:00 PM
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(Weeping continues, quietly.)


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 2:02 PM
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Dude, I'll be home in an hour and a half, okay? We can dance around then.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 2:03 PM
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It appears the entire blog is yours now. I feel a little guilty even leaving this comment and breaking the unending chain of Sifu in the sidebar.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 2:03 PM
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Our Sifu gently weeps.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 2:04 PM
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Hooray! All the Angels in The Screaming Mimi -- there's crime to be foughten!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 2:04 PM
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I gave the blog to Sifu, just to watch him cry.


Posted by: A Man in Reno | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 2:05 PM
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Americas Funniest Home Videos is good.

In general, though, it would be nice if pretentious stuff would become fashionable again. Certainly, stuff that costs a lot of money hasn't gone out of fashion.


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 2:06 PM
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I wish reality TV would go out of fashion. I like plenty of crap, but reality TV is a blind spot -- I can't see the appeal at all, and there's so much of it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 2:12 PM
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For awhile my mom was commenting on every one of my FB postings. This certainly led to me considering how she'd react to a given post before throwing it up there, and made me not want to post some things because I didn't want to deal with the inevitable "What does that mean?" question. Eventually I decided that I was OK with just letting my sometimes quirky sense of humor air out for all to see, even if it meant giving some people access to a side of my personality (say, how I interact with people from here) that they might not otherwise see. Fuck it, I said. I'm just gonna be me.

I still self-censor on the political front, though. There are far too many opinionated people on my friend list with diametrically opposed political views, and I'm not interested in having their vitriol fill up my inbox all day.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 2:13 PM
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349: Wow, a Riptide reference. I'm kind of frightened now.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 2:14 PM
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I claim it in the name of the A-Team!

It's good to know I'm not the only one looking forward to Jackson as B. A. Baracus.

Cops definitely has it's moments. I've also been watching a lot of Hell's Kitchen lately.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 2:18 PM
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My weirdest FB moment was the time the birther loon with whom I went to high school started mixing it up with an Eminent Member of My Discipline. She (EMoMD) ended up calling him a dumbass. Good times.*

I refuse to argue with those people on FB.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 2:20 PM
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356: Dumbass.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 2:21 PM
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You know you can hide status updates from selected subsets of your friends, right?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 2:22 PM
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356: Will, you did and do argue with this dude!
(Not about birtherism -- he doesn't bring that up near me. I just tell people who start fighting with him that he is a birther and to be discounted. He also thinks "tough" genocidal talk about Palestinians will make his cock bigger.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 2:26 PM
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He also thinks "tough" genocidal talk about Palestinians will make his cock bigger.

It probably does make his cock bigger, temporarily.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 2:31 PM
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I am one degree of separation from someone dumped by the magic of change of FB status: at work yesterday her then-roommate was imitating the wail* of despair she gave on discovering it. So it's not an urban myth.

*Justified, though the BF in question was already widely considered a total arsehole. This proved it both publicly and scientifically. It is hard to imagine it did him much good.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 2:31 PM
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I'm repeating myself, but I have this relative who's running for a certain high office (can't go into details, except to say that relative's spirits have been buoyed by recent Republican victories). Relative is an FB friend, and is getting all Republican bullshitty on my page, or wall, or whatever. I can't use the hide function, because it's family, and I kind of need to be up on campaign news. Fuck.


Posted by: Chester A. Arthur | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 2:33 PM
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326.1: That's one reason it's sort of an embarrassing pleasure. I really don't care for much of the stuff on the show, but there are moments that are really fascinating, not least of which is the preening tough guy who introduces the segments. I find macho posturing funny, all the more so when it's really obviously posturing. This has brought me close to getting punched in the face more times than I care to count. Posturing tough guys can't stand being laughed at.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 2:35 PM
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362: Hee! There is a certain horrible, terrible, no good, very bad politician with a national profile about whom amusingly mocking stories are published with relative frequency. I find myself tempted to publish these stories to my wall, because said politician is horrible, terrible, no good, very bad, etc., but also buffoonish and these stories are frequently amusing. I refrain from doing so, however, because I used to date this politician's son. I don't refrain because, aw, heck son is a good guy (he's fine; I've no beef with him), but rather because our many, many mutual FB friends would perhaps take this as my picking on the son rather than the politician, and I don't want to be considered a petty ex.

(No, it's not Track Palin.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 2:40 PM
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Jack E. Robinson is running for MA Senator again!


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 2:43 PM
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I rather enjoy occasionally joining a group like "Don't like gay marriage? Then don't get one and shut the fuck up." knowing it will appear in various relatives' feeds.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 2:48 PM
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Had I not just had a friend of a friend who joined it, I would think 366 was a joke.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 2:52 PM
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I think it is a joke.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 2:53 PM
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The group is, anyhow.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 2:53 PM
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What am I even talking about?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 2:53 PM
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366, 367: I'm a member. The name of the group pretty much exactly describes my stance on gay marriage.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 2:53 PM
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371: Me too!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 2:54 PM
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364: You passed up the opportunity to be part of this?


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 2:59 PM
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I was just too ethnic, and Tagg broke my heart. Hélas.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 3:05 PM
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I watched two straight hours of Cops a few weeks ago and was horrified.

I love, love, love Cops -- a glimpse into the dark heart of America. It is horrifying. Both the routine, savage bullying by police and the squalor and misery of the people they interact with.

But it makes me feel better about my life. At least I'm wearing a shirt and not getting wrestled down by the police. For now, anyway.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 3:06 PM
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I actually have a goofy pat response I make all the time ("I dunno . . . sumpin' . . .") that comes from an episode of Cops, but the story is actually very sad. Some super skinny white dude is discovered (like behind a shed or something in the rural south) having sex with another dude by the cops. The cops ask him what he was doing and he answers, "I dunno . . . sumpin' . . .." And the way he said just killed me, but, you know, actually sad.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 3:15 PM
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At least I'm wearing a shirt

The upside of winter is everyone's wearing a shirt (mostly) when you arrest them. The downside is that winter clothes are great for concealing things like humongous knives.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 3:26 PM
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My favorite episode of Cops [insert usual disclaimer about stereotypes, sadness of people's lives] was in Indianapolis, where -- as they were heading out on a raid -- the cop said "now, in New York City they have crack houses. Well, this here is what we in Indianapolis call a huff house."

Every room of the house was full of cans of white latex paint and mournful addicts with perfectly circular white lines painted on their face staring into the camera.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 3:29 PM
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Not even spray cans? People just putting their faces into a paint can?

Yow.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 3:32 PM
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376: A friend of mine in college and I had a similar one that came from an equally sad moment on Ricky Lake. A teen mother on drugs responds to Ricky's plea ("but what about your baby?!") with this wide-eyed, nostrils-flared, "I don't give a shit!" We said that all the time.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 3:32 PM
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Every room of the house was full of cans of white latex paint and mournful addicts with perfectly circular white lines painted on their face staring into the camera.

Oh man. Well described, there, buddy.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 3:39 PM
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At least I'm wearing a shirt ...

It's gotten cold here so I have had to start closing the door to the back yard. This poses certain challenges to the 4+ month old puppy. So far the house training has been almost flawless, but I don't really want to stress-test her.

So every time I get up during the night to pee (let's not talk about prostates, hmm?) I make her go out. Since I've often just woken her from a sound sleep she's likely to look at me with her head tiled, saying "what? eh?" And she's certainly not thinking about her bladder. So I'm likely to step out into the yard so she'll follow me and maybe think "oh yeah. Walking. Sniffing. Yay, Pee!"

I really hope none of my neighbors are in the far corners of their yards from which they can see my door, nor peering through the slats in the fence at back. Most of all I dread someone with a camera posting to the intertubes the video of the fat old guy with no shirt and ratty holey long undies coaxing a professionally groomed poodle into the yard at 3am. I'm afraid it'd bring Adult Protective Services as well as Animal Control down on me.


Posted by: Michael H Schneider | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 3:58 PM
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A classmate whose facebook friend I am wrote a book and is now running for political office. I'd think that he has to be careful with facebook, because he has a ton of FB friends, so what he says must get out.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 4:11 PM
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SP--To be serious for a moment, do you know who you're voting for in the primary?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 4:12 PM
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Facebook is so weird now.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 4:13 PM
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No one pokes anymore! Nary a SuperPoke, even, to be found! (Thank God.)


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 4:15 PM
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They spray the paint into the cap and bring the cap up to the face, maybe?


Posted by: turgid jacobian | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 4:16 PM
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I just poked Di and Sifu, just for old time's sake.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 4:17 PM
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I still can't figure out what the difference between "live feed" and "news feed" is supposed to be.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 4:18 PM
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No one pokes anymore!

What the hell is/was te purported purpose of poking on Facebook?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 4:19 PM
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I just poked Di and Sifu, just for old time's sake.

Well now I just feel left out.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 4:19 PM
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There was never any purported purpose to poking.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 4:19 PM
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391: Consider yourself poked!


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 4:20 PM
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388: Hey! Would it be unladylike to tell everyone that I've never been poked before now?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 4:21 PM
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Of course, it somehow feels less special now that I know you poke around so promiscuously.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 4:21 PM
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I just realized that I think I disabled Superpoke.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 4:22 PM
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392: Once upon a time, you were a defender of the poke.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 4:23 PM
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397: I have nothing against it. I'm just saying that it was never supposed to have any particular purpose.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 4:25 PM
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Of course, it somehow feels less special now that I know you poke around so promiscuously.

Yeah, but when I was pokin' you, I meant it different. I really felt something, I promise. When I poke the other girls, it means nothing.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 4:31 PM
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I just realized that I think I disabled Superpoke

I thought this, too, once. But then I realized I was fine; it was he whose Superpoke was disabled! (Not you, Otto. Your poke was the best I've ever had.)


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 4:57 PM
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338, etc. I have a pretty quick trigger finger on the hide button when dumbasses start posting politics. As a result, most of my relatives and high school friends are now hidden. The only hard one was recently, when I hid my beloved old 5th grade English teacher for trying to pull a viral thing about how everybody who loves Jesus should post about it.

One friend who likes to post non-ranty things about politics developed such a frothing troll who would regularly show up and comment at length that I actually had to interact with the FB site at a non-basic level (the whole stupid site is such shit UI-wise) to find out how to ban somebody you're not actually friends with. Totally worth the trouble, though.


Posted by: piminnowcheez | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 5:04 PM
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What the hell is/was te purported purpose of poking on Facebook?

i sort of thought it was rather unsubtle innuendo


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 5:13 PM
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From the help pages:

The poke feature can be used for a variety of things on Facebook. For instance, you can poke your friends to say hello. If you poke a user who normally does not have access to your profile, they will be able to temporarily see your Basic Info, Work Info, and Education Info. When you poke someone, they will receive a poke alert on their home page.

Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 5:16 PM
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403: So, like a "hey, there" with an option to lease?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 5:18 PM
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403: Lame. The FAQ used to say something like "We decided to put in a feature with no real point, just for the hell of it. It can be whatever you want it to be!"


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 5:19 PM
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Poking seems to be one of the features that kind of got left by the wayside in the course of developing the New Model Facebook.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 5:20 PM
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Like groups, which we discussed a while ago.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 5:21 PM
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Looks like I've hidden 6 of my 292 friends, or about 2%. One is a cousin who posts political nonsense almost exclusively (the day after the 2008 election he was all, "THE MARKETS HATE OBAMA. HE'S A FAILURE ALREADY"). Another is my sister's friend's boyfriend, who was also a bit too political for my tastes. One HS friend is hidden because he does nothing (last I checked) with FB other than promote his band, which typically is playing shows 1500 mi away from where I live now. One is a HS acquaintance who got hidden when she was becoming a fan of 10 insipid things per day, back when you couldn't avoid such updates.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 5:26 PM
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The only person I've hidden is a guy who only used his FB to post real estate listings. Other than that, I enjoy reading the crazy Jesus and Republican rants.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 5:35 PM
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I enjoy reading the crazy Jesus and Republican rants.

Yeah, me, too.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 5:38 PM
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I hid my friend's not-exactly-boyfriend because I think he's a prick. Apparently there was a bit of a blowup when he realized I had also blocked him from most of my page.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 5:39 PM
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I have HS friends who post "hilarious" right-wing parody commercials and church skits they find deeply moving. Sometimes it's funny, but sometimes it's sad.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 5:46 PM
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My hs "friends" don't go in much for evangelical culture, but they are shockingly free with "OMG MOOSLIMZ IS KILLERZ!!1!!" and eliminationist rhetoric. Like, they are not even mildly reticent about broadcasting this. So they all got hidden.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 6:05 PM
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"OMG MOOSLIMZ IS KILLERZ!!1!!" and eliminationist rhetoric.

I have absolutely no clue what this means. I suspect that might be a good thing.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 6:58 PM
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The poke gives you another mechanism for violating a restraining order: http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/AheadoftheCurve/tennessee-woman-arrested-facebook-poke/story?id=8807685 (sorry, I haven't figured out how to post a link in the proper format yet)


Posted by: Elizabeth | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 6:59 PM
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My HS friend who was posting conservative things seems to have de-friended me. I didn't log in for a month or two, so I don't know what would have led him to do that, except for my not doing a single thing with Facebook except occasionally accepting (or lately, ignoring) friend requests. It saved me the trouble of learning how to hide his updates. Maybe I should poke him to thank him for that.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 7:18 PM
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My wife has been fighting the good fight against the anti-vaccine crowd among her friends on Facebook. My friends just don't seem to post enough entertainingly wrong stuff.


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 7:27 PM
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My friends just don't seem to post enough entertainingly wrong stuff.

Mine either. Although it could be that I've already hidden the ones who do for other reasons.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 7:36 PM
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Ah, so. I'm right that this poking business is dispreferred. FB recently suggested that I poke someone, and I was like: Right, and why would I do that, since it seems obnoxious.

It's possible that some of my FB friends have blocked me from seeing various of their posts, or wall postings, or whatever. Or perhaps they post there as infrequently as I do.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 7:41 PM
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I admit that it is entertaining to see the mix of Mineshaft people and real-life friends in the comments to some people's status updates and such.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 9:03 PM
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Most of the status updates I see come from the Unfoggetariat and my long-lost friends from high school and college. I have maybe three or four FB friends whom I actually see in corporeal form.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 9:10 PM
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420: Sort of great, sort of cringey! People I don't know very well mixing it up with Mineshaft, colleagues, former students, high school chums... sometimes the results are like, oh, sorry you have no idea what you're talking about; it's not your fault.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 9:45 PM
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I thought to poke some folks not currently friended, for the purpose of showing off the new profile picture I swiped from my daughter today. Apparently, one can no longer poke strangers. Oh well.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 11:08 PM
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Apparently, one can no longer poke strangers.

Seriously? Lame.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-24-09 11:11 PM
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Penelope Trunk has to be about the sexiest name ever. She's wrong about handwriting, by the way. Handwriting is good for learning fine motor skills, and has many beneficial side effects. And what's wrong with learning things that are useless?


Posted by: bjk | Link to this comment | 11-25-09 12:31 AM
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A friend from high school who is moderately Jesused up has a sister who is clean off the radar into crazyland. Girlfriend is riding the knife's edge between fundamentalism and psychosis. I confess that I really enjoy her status updates because of their rich, nutty flavor.

However, I went through and pruned out most HS "friends" with whom I'd never had any sort of acquaintanceship and have had to ignore repeated friend requests from a couple of people who made it clear they wished to discuss with me the path to salvation from the terrible burden of homosexuality.

The cool skater from jr. high who grew up and turned into a conservative evangelical when he developed a chronic illness that limits a lot of his life options is probably my saddest FB ferinstance: we exchanged polite and sometimes genuinely warm notes, then he started asking sincere questions that were clearly meant to gauge whether being gay really means I'm a horrible monster, we had some excellent exchanges, I started to believe he suspected one of his kids of being a closet case and then he abruptly shut off all FB activity with a brief note announcing a hiatus. Poor guy. He's not stupid, he just doesn't have a lot of sources of hope in his life and any path to empowerment probably looks good.

Facebook has a special place in my heart, though, for it has given Rah and my sister a chance to get to know one another in a casual setting. For the first time in my life, siblings in my family like one another's partners. It's pretty heartwarming.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 11-25-09 9:38 PM
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For the first time in my life, siblings in my family like one another's partners. It's pretty heartwarming.

That's lovely. I was just last night looking at old snapshots and being glad that my sister ended up with her husband rather than one of the prior candidates.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 11-25-09 9:50 PM
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