Re: Also Spring Break is over.

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I can't offer commiseration, because I've always been the favorite parent. I can imagine that it probably does suck to be less fun than your partner.

But, if the Mineshaft is in need of problems to solve, I do have one to offer. Purely hypothetically: is there anything that you should do or say to make amends if your elderly next-door neighbors, who you aren't really friends with but do see and talk to frequently (in the backyard, at church, etc.), appeared to be horrified when they saw you having sex through your window, which was totally your fault since it was night and your lights were on and your blinds were wide open and their house is only about 15 feet away? Or should everyone instead just pretend it never happened?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 7:53 AM
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Also our faculty search is going very badly, which is totally demoralizing. I probably shouldn't provide too many details, though.

This is typical. As the candidate faculty members develop, they start to understand the existence of people other than you. Whereas before the bond was as simple as the candidate faculty needing your breast for sustenance, now the world of potential caregivers is larger, and the candidate faculty will go through phases where one person or the other is the most important to them.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 7:54 AM
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Or should everyone instead just pretend it never happened?

This is a good solution to most problems related to sex. Or life in general, actually.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 7:55 AM
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Or should everyone instead just pretend it never happened?

Oh no. You'll need to talk it out with them, in detail. The most important thing is not to be dissuaded by their protests of inappropriateness when you bust out the diarama and figurines to recreate the moment.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 7:57 AM
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1: Pretend it never happened.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 7:58 AM
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Also our faculty search is going very badly, which is totally demoralizing.

Cheer up. At least you didn't hire somebody and then find out they were an expensive, time-consuming nutcase (colloquially speaking).

In other news, I'm baffled by the discovery that a major university bookstore does not routinely stock the books from its own university press. "Not unless a professor orders it for their class." Seriously? Seriously? And nobody thinks this is ridiculous?!


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 7:59 AM
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My spring break doesn't start until this weekend.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 7:59 AM
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6: Clearly someone thinks this is ridiculous.


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:01 AM
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sex through your window

Maybe if you'd both been in the house, they wouldn't have noticed.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:01 AM
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1: just be grateful that they weren't *really, really thrilled* that they saw you having sex.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:01 AM
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My spring break doesn't start until this weekend.

Someone doesn't understand commiseration very well.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:01 AM
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To the OP, I'll commiserate mildly: our toddler distinctly prefers my wife's company, to the point where it's difficult for my wife to get a minute to herself (or to do something that doesn't go well with toddler participation) even if I'm around and actively trying to keep the little one amused.

It's getting better over time, and I'm told that kids' preferences tend to alternate between parents for the first few years -- you've probably heard the same thing.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:02 AM
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@1: Send them an invoice.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:02 AM
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In what way do they seem horrified, Brock? Did you (hypothetically) see them staring with open mouths of terror at your window? Do they refuse to speak to you anymore? Were you doing something complicated and gross (hypothetically)?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:03 AM
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It's okay, heebie. We like you more than Jammies. As long as you keep making us cake for holidays.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:03 AM
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Perhaps it's wrong to taunt the mineshaft with a problem that is not to be solved.

Nonsense, merely have the baby look at you two* in the mirror and it will reverse the roles.

*Make sure you're side-by-side and not one above the other.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:03 AM
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since it was night and your lights were on and your blinds were wide open and their house is only about 15 feet away?

So it was you who wrote that letter to Penthouse.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:04 AM
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I'm told that kids' preferences tend to alternate between parents for the first few years

This has been my experience. Then they tend to prefer the opposite-sex parent full-time*. Sorry, heebs. You do still have time to squeeze out a boy.

*You know, boys think mom is an angel and dad is a brownshirt; girls think mom is a bitch on wheels and dad is a lovable goofball.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:07 AM
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4 is obviously correct and 3 and 5 are examples our society's horribly repressed attitudes towards sex.

Also even though heebie specifically asked not to provide solutions, I can't help myself because I have the perfect solution to both her problems.

Hire Hawaiian Punch for the faculty position! Her math and teaching skills may not be quite up to par yet, but with her genes she's sure to grow into the position quickly. And in this economy she'll be so grateful to heebie for getting her a job, she'll love her best.

No need to thank me!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:10 AM
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14 - Perhaps it's not horror but awe! Or they're too shy to ask where they can purchase a swing like that.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:12 AM
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18: Men generalize like this, women deal in particulars like that.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:12 AM
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I think I would be horrified to see Brock eating through the window. Oh, wait -- there wasn't food involved in what they witnessed, was there?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:13 AM
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*You know, boys think mom is an angel and dad is a brownshirt; girls think mom is a bitch on wheels and dad is a lovable goofball.

Sigh.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:13 AM
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I am a bitch on wheels, though, so it's only fitting.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:14 AM
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Did you (hypothetically) see them staring with open mouths of terror at your window?

Yes, hypothetically. Then they hypothetically scurried away.

Pretend it never happened is probably right, I guess. It was just indefensibly bad judgment on our part, so I didn't know if some "we'll shut the blinds" brownies were in order. (Hypothetically.) I don't want them to think we're exhibitionists.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:14 AM
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22: Brock was doing "that thing with the cup".


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:14 AM
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to see Brock eating through the window

He didn't specify the sex act, essear.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:14 AM
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A recent candidate did the following a ton throughout his teaching presentation: used = to mean "take the derivative". This is HORRIBLE HORRIBLE HORRIBLE notation. It made my skin crawl to see him putting things like:

x^3 - 2x^2 +4x = 3x^2 - 4x +4,

on the board, and reading it outloud as "the derivative of x^3 - 2x^2 +4x is 3x^2 - 4x +4".

This is completely wrong and misleading and could cause the earth to spin off its axis.


Posted by: G. Washington | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:15 AM
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Yeah, this is one of those "Don't like the weather? Wait an hour, it'll be different," problems. Babies change a lot, quickly, and this sort of strong preference comes and goes.

When they get older, things stabilize more, but I haven't had Apo's experience -- I wouldn't have a clear sense of which of us either Newt or Sally prefers. Buck gets more respect; we have a bit of a Lucy/Ricky act, so I'm the ditz (I call it an act, but it's true that I rarely know either where my keys are or where anything else is.) But they're fairly fond of us both.

There is a dynamic where the parent who's around less gets it easy -- they're both more fun, because they're scarcer, and they get taken more seriously when angry, because they're not the one who's nagging all the time. It's kind of the "Dad" role, but with Buck working at home and me with long hours in an office, I've always gotten it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:16 AM
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(I'm also at least little concerned they might call the humane society out of concern for our dog. But he was enjoying himself!)


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:18 AM
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Also our faculty search is going very badly, which is totally demoralizing.

There is no way for a search to go badly that isn't demoralizing, I think. You can have the situation where people keep not accepting your offers, making you feel bad about your own position. You can have the situation where the dean won't sign off on your offers, making you feel like you wasted everyone's time and goodwill for absolutely no purpose. You can have the situation where none of your short list people seemed worthy of offers on closer inspection, making you despair of ever finding anyone acceptable.

Plus all of them have dashes of the others, too, so you're pretty much guaranteed to feel (a) crappy about your position and department, (b) like you've wasted lots of time and goodwill, AND (c) that you'll never find anyone good that you can get.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:18 AM
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25: I think just shutting the blinds in future is all you need. If you ever got into a conversation where for some reason I can't imagine it seemed specifically appropriate to bring it up (but I really can't imagine how this conversation would go), mentioning that the house you moved from was totally screened from view by (shrubbery, distance, giant steel walls), and it was a bit of an adjustment realizing that you were now so close to your neighbors, but you'd figured it out now, with no more details, might work.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:19 AM
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Exactly! And we're scared that if we don't hire someone, they won't let us re-open the search next year.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:20 AM
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I've always attributed the opposite-sex thing to the fact that mom is harder on daughters, dad harder on boys, or that the stakes seemed higher. It seemed rational at the time, as a choice. Oddly, as grown-ups, we've reversed; I can't seem to talk to Dad anymore and my brother can't talk to Mom.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:21 AM
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Exactly! And we're scared that if we don't hire someone, they won't let us re-open the search next year.

Oh yes, how could I forget that part? UGH.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:21 AM
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"Good morning, I noticed the other night that your house is literally very close to ours."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:24 AM
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28 is more horrifying than any sex act.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:24 AM
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"Good morning, I noticed the other night that you were literally raised by your next-door neighbours."


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:26 AM
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28, 37: Yeah, that is horrifying -- it's as if it's designed to confuse students. I wonder if that use of '=' is derivative-specific or if [Candidate] uses it for any transformative process.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:29 AM
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I'm not sure if it will cause an excessive disturbance to domestic tranquility if I relate this anecdote...

Oh, what the hell. Our oldest was one of the rare children who said "dada" before "mama". In fact, "mama" wasn't even her second word, but her third.

After "tittie".


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:29 AM
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I don't know how anyone who could have the requisite credentials to be in a position to be considered as a candidate for a job teaching mathematics could possibly do the thing in 28. That's totally inexplicable. And unforgivable.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:30 AM
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Sally went "Dada", "Mama", "Meat", in that order. I'm glad to have made it in ahead of meat.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:30 AM
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If = was replaced with -->, would it pass muster?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:32 AM
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Not quite commiseration, but maybe a little perspective? I was the clear favorite when Rory was an infant, which was totally gratifying on one level. But it also meant every time she was tired, cranky, hungry, skinned a knee, lonely... I was on call. UNG was never good enough (much to his dismay). It had to be me. Which gets exhausting at some point.

And truthfully, I don't really think they have clear preferences. They just prefer you each for different things. I try to remind myself of this theory now when I start thinking she likes UNG better.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:32 AM
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Yes.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:32 AM
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I gave a talk this weekend that was followed by an hour-long discussion in which I got most of the questions. This was going great until I started talking about one of the major works by the author and named it incorrectly. I totally gave the wrong name. I knew it was the wrong name the instant I said it but it would have been awkward to correct it. Nobody called me on it, but I'd been riding high on a crest of feeling really super-smart and then suddenly the room cooled.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:32 AM
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45 to 43. It wouldn't be my favorite notation, but it wouldn't be so terribly wrong.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:33 AM
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I said "dada" before "mama". I was under the impression that this is common -- easier to form the sounds, somehow. Possibly totally wrong.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:33 AM
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42: Sally was familiar with meat already at the babbling stage? This reminds me of some horror novel, but I forget which.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:34 AM
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Hawaiian Punch does a lot of dadadadadadadada and mamamamama both, so it's not clear that she's actually naming either of us.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:34 AM
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40

Who was responsible for introducing that particular vocabulary word?


Posted by: salacious | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:35 AM
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Oh, what the hell. Our oldest was one of the rare children who said "dada" before "mama". In fact, "mama" wasn't even her second word, but her third.

After "tittie".

Our youngest (now 20 months) still calls both Mrs. Landers and me "daddy". He's never said "mommy", even though we've been correcting him his whole life. ("I'm daddy, you want mommy".) But, he still yells "daddy" whenenver he wants either one of us.

But he does clap his hands and shout "Bravo!" every time he sees a nipple, which is pretty awesome.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:36 AM
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50: She's probably still trying to decide what your names should be.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:37 AM
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51: Fleur has herself to blame for that one.

Also for the time one of them asked, not long after another driver had cut off her mother in traffic, "What's a fuckwad?"


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:38 AM
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49: Sure -- babbling with consonants, rather than just vowel sounds, starts in the second half of the first year IIRC, as does eating solid food. Sally was toothlessly gnawing away at chicken legs pretty early.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:38 AM
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You've got some astute kids, Knecht.


Posted by: salacious | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:39 AM
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And 50 is dead right -- I think most of the first-word, second-word business is parents doing Rorshach-type reactions to babbling.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:39 AM
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55.last: Why barnyard fowl usually keep their distance from young children.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:39 AM
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55: You can see how much I know about babies, which is like so much.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:40 AM
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But he does clap his hands and shout "Bravo!" every time he sees a nipple, which is pretty awesome.

I guess taking your baby with you to the strip club does have its benefits.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:42 AM
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Our kids as recorded by my wife:
kitty ("keee"), daddie, eat ("eeee")
dada, mama
duck, birdie ("boodie")

My lower Manhattan-raised niece: taxi.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:42 AM
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Judging by the babies I see at family gatherings, some continue wordless babbling until well into their second year. Learn some words already, you tiny screaming fucks!


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:42 AM
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It might be worth reading some Melanie Klein so as to replace faint misgivings with nagging imagery of the lurid, violent, pre-œdipal world.

(This could hardly be considered advice...)


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:44 AM
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Judging by the babies I see at family gatherings GOP members of Congress, some continue wordless babbling until well into their second year old age.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:44 AM
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I remember taking Caroline to the Canadian National Museum of Art when she was a baby, and how she was so attracted to Renaissance paintings of nudes. At first I thought she was a real art lover. Then I realized she was thinking about lunch.

Joey was fascinated by round things. Given any random pile of toys or really any object, he would pick up the round one and carry it with him. Actually, he still does that.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:46 AM
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62: Although the wordless 18-month or so stage gives rise to adorable baby-mime, where they know what they want and have to invent modes of communication. My two talked too early to do much mime, but it's terribly cute on babies who do it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:47 AM
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Is there an ethics of non-imitation when the very small pronounce words wrong but in a hilarious and irresistable way? I have helplessly adopted half my niece's formulations and am thus an increasingly useless example to her, since I'm obviously just cheerfully reinforcing her errors.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:48 AM
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I commiserate! Our kids seesaw back and forth with their preferences, sometimes launching themselves tearfully out of the lap of parent A into that of parent B. It changes; everything does.

My kids have made me very skeptical of claims about babies' first words. E's standard babble is "dada" and J's is "mama," but once a sound has been used to describe either parent, a cat, a crayon, and the window it's hard to honestly call it a word.


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:49 AM
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For a period our son preferred his day care provider (or possibly the other toddlers there) over either mom or dad. He would wake us up at 6 and get tantrummy when we explained he was stuck with two sleepy parents for two more hours. Also very sad on weekends mornings when he found out he was stuck with us all day. He would also toddle smiling away from either parent at dropoff, and scream at pickup.


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:50 AM
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If the heebiebaby is anything like my year old collie, familiarity will breed a sort of jaded entitlement; I think its a fairly natural response to whoever you see the most of.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:50 AM
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essear @ 48 this is more a reference to an answer than an actual answer but I think this (stuff about first words in pragmatic, phonetic terms) is talked about in Jakobson's "Why Mama and Papa?" I read this years ago, though, and only remember that it was sort of interesting.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:51 AM
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67: We indulged. And it is still "Statue Delivery" in our house.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:52 AM
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I think most of the first-word, second-word business is parents doing Rorshach-type reactions to babbling.

THIS CHILD'S BABBLING DISGUSTS ME. IT SYMBOLISES THE DECAY OF AMERICA.


Posted by: OPINIONATED RORSCHACH | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:52 AM
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67: Uggle?


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:52 AM
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67: Everyone does this, and it's harmless. You don't want to go nuts, but two thirds of the families I know have a couple of words that everyone pronounces as one of the kids did as a baby.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:54 AM
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74: well yes but I dislike being called "Uncle" anyway so I don't repeat that at all. She says "YASH!" instead of "yes" and a lot of the time now (round her) so do I.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:55 AM
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Babies don't know what they're doing. Listen to this Radiolab short for more detailed insights.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 9:02 AM
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(I call it an act, but it's true that I rarely know either where my keys are or where anything else is.)

And don't think that you're children don't notice.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 9:05 AM
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Speaking of children.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 9:06 AM
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uggh, "you're" s/b "your" of course.

That can't be a good sign for today.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 9:07 AM
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Yeah, both times there were babies in the family, we picked up some good vocabulary, some of which has lasted.

Also, Brock. People looking through windows deserve what they see. The burden is on them to absorb any awkwardness they created. You owe them nothing, not an embarrassed glance, not an apology, not closed blinds. If they say something to you, I'd put a huge poster of flipping them the bird in their line of sight through the window.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 9:11 AM
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We still talk about riding "alligators", since that's what my oldest used to call "elevators". Strangers could usually decipher "I want to push the button on the alligator!", but "We got to ride the alligator this morning!" usually brought nothing but confused stares.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 9:14 AM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 9:17 AM
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I'd disagree with saying that you don't owe them closed blinds. Depending on the jurisdiction, we have either laws or strong social norms against nudity/sexual behavior where it is visible in public, and a ground level lit room with no/open blinds is visible in public. The way Brock described it, the neighbors weren't peering in -- they couldn't look out their own window without seeing.

You wouldn't fuck on your front porch, right? Now enclose it with floor to ceiling windows, and you still wouldn't fuck out there.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 9:18 AM
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People looking through windows deserve what they see.

Yes. But people who bring it up deserve what they hear. Pretending it didn't happen is the only answer.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 9:18 AM
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84 -- I think a window is different from a porch.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 9:20 AM
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I think the correct answer is the next time you see them open with

"Did you see that shit? Yeah! high five."


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 9:23 AM
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Front porch is semi-public. Walls enclosing the house mark the (presumed) private parts. That's where neighbors need to avert their gaze or pretend they didn't see. In return, they get to fuck with their blinds open and no commentary from the Landers.

(Says the woman with no window coverings in half her house, who is not especially covered herself as soon as it gets warm enough. I don't think the near sidewalk has good sightlines, and the apartment across the street should continue to say nothing unless they want to hear even more of my music more of the time.)


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 9:24 AM
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86: The difference being the degree of effort/intention necessary to look in. As LB points out, this didn't seem to be so much the neighbors deliberately peeping through the windows as the neighbors looking out their window and inadvertently finding a show.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 9:24 AM
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84: second floor, not ground level, but their second floor is directly across from our second floor, so this doesn't really affect anything your said, which I agree with. Hypothetically. But they're really the only people who could possibly have seen, so it's somewhat different than a front porch, not that that matters much.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 9:24 AM
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One of my very best friends has one of those absurd WASPy quasi-nicknames -- you know, like Cricket or Bingo, but up to 11 -- that comes from his then 2-year-old older brother attempting to say his name. No one but no one calls him by his "real name" and the absurd WASPy nickname is recorded by bars of several states. (The name I still call my brother comes from my toddler-age mispronunciation of his real name, but no one calls him that but me and my parents and my other brother.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 9:25 AM
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In other news, I'm baffled by the discovery that a major university bookstore does not routinely stock the books from its own university press. "Not unless a professor orders it for their class." Seriously? Seriously? And nobody thinks this is ridiculous?!

Is it one of those administered-by-B&N "university" bookstores?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 9:25 AM
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84 also assumes facts not in evidence.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 9:26 AM
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Of course, you know that anytime the blinds are closed from now on, the neighbors are going to know what you are doing.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 9:26 AM
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Well, it's a matter of how easily visible we're talking. If someone has to make any kind of an effort to see, then sure, they don't have to look, it's their problem not yours. If they can't look in the direction of your house without seeing (which is what Brock described, as I understood it), you're being a jerk. There's a continuum from on-the-front-porch to second-floor window where the neighbors can see in if they stand on the edge of their tub and stick their heads out the bathroom window, and somewhere inbetween the onus shifts. But a lit room after dark fifteen feet away from a facing window seems to me to be on the 'front porch' side of the line.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 9:26 AM
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Somehow, this feels relevant.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 9:27 AM
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76: In Bulgarian, yash translates as "you eat" and, in context often means "Eat! Eat!" Old grandmothers terrify their family into eating more with harangues of "Yash! Yash!"


Posted by: salacious | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 9:28 AM
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95 is right.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 9:29 AM
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Nope. On a societal level, having to close windows, or worse, blinds is clearly the greater social harm than occasionally encountering nudity or sex. The neighbors and passersby have the burden of pretending it didn't happen.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 9:30 AM
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Eh, it kind of all depends on how invested you are in having a comfortable relationship with your neighbors.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 9:32 AM
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The neighbors probably assume that you guys are more embarrassed than they were by the entire thing.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 9:33 AM
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Did I mention they're very elderly? We're lucky they didn't die.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 9:34 AM
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I dislike being called "Uncle"

So do I. I like being an uncle, but there's something dreary about that word. I don't like the way it sounds.

My first word was "cheese," I'm told. And then, until I was five or so, I said so little that my parents feared I might be autistic.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 9:35 AM
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103: Weird, I don't know why, but all this time (years?) I've thought Populuxe was a woman...


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 9:37 AM
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Oddly enough, I get along well with my neighbors. But it isn't because I've ever been considerate. My poor next door neighbor said she chose a mild cream color for her house, knowing that it would eventually go with whatever wild colors I chose. I'm lucky she's mellow.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 9:38 AM
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I'm with Megan. Occasionally seeing people having sex is just part of the price you pay for not living in a windowless monad. It's no big deal anyway.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 9:42 AM
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I guess my biggest concern is just that they'll say something about the incident to Mrs. Landers (who was out of town at the time).


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 9:42 AM
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(That was a joke.)


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 9:43 AM
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People looking through windows deserve what they see

Does that mean that if I was a better person I would get to see my neighbors having sex? I didn't know that!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 9:44 AM
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seeing people sexing is less bad than seeing them in sweatpants and crocs or something

should ignore its not a big deal. dunno why that implies prudery


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 9:46 AM
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Megan's position seems incredibly selfish to me, but what do I know. This reminds me of the thread in which Bitchphd failed to convince everyone that people should be happy to have their children hear the sounds of fucking in a bathroom stall.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 9:49 AM
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#104. Was it the hands and feet that gave it away?

Anyway, I'm with Megan, mostly. I'd say nothing at all about the incident and unless your neighbors are so close you can pass things back and forth through the windows, not go to a lot of trouble to cover your acts of sin.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 9:52 AM
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Not selfish. The exchange is that I am discreet about what I can't help but see through windows.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 9:54 AM
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91: So far, our daughter calls her brother "Gee-gee." I hope it doesn't stick.


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 9:55 AM
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113: Well, yeah. The neighbors would be rude to complain, the Landers can make an effort to shut the blinds in the future. It's not like accommodating each other requires much from anyone in this case.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 9:56 AM
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107 to 30.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 9:58 AM
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116 is awesome.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 9:58 AM
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But shutting the blinds of a second floor window is totalitarian oppression. The breeze needs to be free.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 9:59 AM
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You could put hippie beads in the window. Then they'd clack in the breeze.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 10:00 AM
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92: Yes! Grrrrrrr.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 10:01 AM
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I'm not surprised by 116, I'm only surprised it took 16 minutes for it to come.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 10:02 AM
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So were your neighbors.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 10:03 AM
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I'm only surprised it took 16 minutes for it to come.

That's what the neighbors said.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 10:04 AM
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Eggplwnt!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 10:05 AM
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You should get blinds. Very thin blinds through which the neighbors can see sexxxy silhouettes.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 10:05 AM
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And then you should stage a stabbing incident, and see if they report it to the cops.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 10:07 AM
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Re: shades, my girlfriend keeps drapes and blinds down in her apartment, even though she's on the third floor and faces an alley so there's really no way anyone could see her in her window if she isn't actually leaning out of it. Bizarre. For me it varies a lot. The lighting in my room isn't very good, so I use natural light when I can. But on the other hand I think I'm a relatively light sleeper and sunlight in my eyes doesn't help, so I'll usually have blinds closed over the south-facing window right by my bed and occasionally over the east-facing window by my bed too. And meanwhile the north-facing window is the street view, and I don't want those blinds up when I'm entertaining female company (or worse, entertaining myself), but I do want those blinds up when I've ordered some kind of delivery or am expecting company so they won't go to the main door.

Long story short, the status of the blinds on my windows probably looks almost completely random to any outside observer. Which I guess is good, because there's no awkward "Blinds down? He must be getting lucky!" signal. So I guess the closest thing to advice in this rambling is to open and shut your blinds at the drop of a hat, and then any given instance of it won't look weird.

91
One of my very best friends has one of those absurd WASPy quasi-nicknames -- you know, like Cricket or Bingo, but up to 11 -- that comes from his then 2-year-old older brother attempting to say his name. No one but no one calls him by his "real name" and the absurd WASPy nickname is recorded by bars of several states.

I know a guy like that. Last time I checked he was the town's fire chief and one of the selectmen, and everyone calls him "Peeker". Likewise for the local businessman whose real first name is something forgettably common, but he has the same last name as the stage name of a famous actor, and everyone calls him that to the point where some people think it's his real name even though it would be bizarre.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 10:07 AM
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102 -- They probably know about sex, then.

My mom would be all a-tizzy, and would probably say something catty (but grammatically correct). This isn't enough, by itself, to push me to Megan's camp, but it doesn't hurt. (I refute 18.3(c)).


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 10:10 AM
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Make that 18.3(a)!


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 10:13 AM
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||
Apparently the N/ture family of journals makes it a policy to edit the abstracts of accepted papers to ensure accessibility for a broad audience. Fine in theory, but they've taken a largely unobjectionable sentence and introduced an "is comprised of"! Humph. Editors of the N/ture family of journals, I expect better.
|>


Posted by: Gabardine Bathyscaphe | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 10:14 AM
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Now I'm thinking that I would probably plant a tree between the two windows. A tree would give a better view than the side of a house anyway.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 10:15 AM
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28 is ridiculous, but can we really expect anything different when we don't expect math students to write in complete sentences until (at least) upper level classes? I think if I could change one thing about how math is taught it would be to require people to write in complete sentences in math class at least in middle school if not earlier.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 10:15 AM
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In 15 years.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 10:16 AM
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Do you want tree advice? I have tree preferences, although probably not for where you are.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 10:17 AM
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It only now occurs to me to wonder what the person in 28 did when s/h wanted to assert that two things were equal.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 10:19 AM
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He, I guess.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 10:19 AM
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Catching up, 52.last is as awesome as 28 is distressing.


Posted by: Gabardine Bathyscaphe | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 10:19 AM
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My tree advice is don't plant a tree two feet from your house. It may be aesthetically pleasing as a sapling, but it turns out trees grow!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 10:20 AM
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A mathematician I know reports that, to all appearances, his students entered his class thinking that "=" is just the way you indicate that you're now writing on a new line.


Posted by: Gabardine Bathyscaphe | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 10:22 AM
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The windows are 15 feet apart, and I'm guessing at least a five foot setback. They have plenty of space for a nice tree. Persimmon? They get tall enough, and you can pick the fruit right from your window. 'Cept they drop their leaves in the winter.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 10:22 AM
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A fruit tree seems appropriately evocative -- the forbidden fruit!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 10:23 AM
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(Oh, and my two-foot comment wasn't directed at this particular setting. I'm just griping because I need to have such a tree chopped down in front of my house. Should have two such trees chopped down, but can bear to take out the birch.)


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 10:26 AM
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Love love love a camphor tree, although it looks like they're invasive in the southeast, so maybe you don't want to encourage that. I don't know trees where you are. But there must be nice ones.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 10:26 AM
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In 15 years.

Try bamboo.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 10:27 AM
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If you want invasive.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 10:31 AM
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And I think Brock is far enough south he could plant kudzu against his house.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 10:35 AM
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Not all bamboo is invasive, and you can control the invasive kinds with bamboo barrier.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 10:35 AM
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re: 139

That's silly. Everyone knows the notation for 'am taking a new line now' is: ⊢


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 10:40 AM
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Still need to catch up, but I'm basically on board with 111. My feeling is that if you can see it without any effort on your part you're entitled to take pictures and post them on the internet. If you don't want people to see something, expend the effort (minimal in this case) to make it hard to see.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 10:40 AM
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N/ture

I can't imagine this is a term that would ever need googleproofing ("Results 1 - 10 of about 568,000,000 for nature"); nonetheless, N@ture seems the more aesthetically pleasing choice.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 10:40 AM
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150: Huh, I get "Results 1 - 10 of about 605,000,000 for nature". I wonder why my google is so superior to yours?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 10:46 AM
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Usually I feel pretty in-sync with Cryptic Ned and togolosh. Huh.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 10:48 AM
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I'm a naturally private/sneaky person, so purely on a personal level, I'm down with having the blinds shut. But I've had at least two exes who weren't. One because she liked natural light, and had a generally hippyish attitude to personal space/privacy. She didn't want people to look, but wasn't prepared to expend any effort to make sure they couldn't. The other was really quite keen on the idea that maybe people would see. Arguing over closing the blinds isn't good as foreplay.


Posted by: Alex Salmond | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 10:48 AM
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And LB, for that matter.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 10:48 AM
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You know, Brock's purely hypothetical question at the top of this thread is way too vague.

if your elderly next-door neighbors... appeared to be horrified when they saw you having sex through your window, which was totally your fault since it was night and your lights were on and your blinds were wide open and their house is only about 15 feet away?

Is "horrified" being used literally, or is it just hyperbole for "aghast" or "awkward" or something?And purely hypothetically, exactly how is one aware of this? Did one of the amorous couple hypothetically look to the side while getting it on and saw the elderly neighbors? If so, were they both there sitting back and watching with popcorn, or only one of them, or were they clearly just walking by at that minute and kept on going? Was the amorous couple hypothetically doing anything particularly adventurous in bed? Was being caught in the act in this way exciting or embarrassing or what? Or was there no awareness of it at the time, but the amorous couple has inferred by circumstantial evidence that the next-door neighbors saw them and were horrified?


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 10:50 AM
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151: More weirdness: if I put quotes around nature, it drops from 568 million hits to 567 million hits.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 10:51 AM
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150: I agree, googleproofing N/ture is weird. Maybe GB was concerned about people searching for it along with other terms in his comment, but even Googling "n/ture journal edit abstract article accessibility" I find 28,600 hits, so the risk seems minimal.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 10:55 AM
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Oh, just because GB is concerned about something to do with eminent scientific journal N@ture, GB is a "he", now? Nice, Cyrus.

Oh wait, it isn't nice. It's completely disgusting.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 10:58 AM
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I can offer commiseration. In my case, it was my sister-in-law. I was a single mom, living in my brother's basement, and my son thought my sister-in-law was the most wonderful creature on the planet (and, to be honest, she is really pretty incredibly sweet and nice.)

I have no idea where I got this from, but I comforted myself with the knowledge that while she was candy, I was water. Sure, no kid is likely to turn down candy (although at the time this was going he was about 9 months old and had never even tasted candy)...but when you're thirsty, water will always win.


Posted by: Sydnew | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 11:00 AM
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154: I think the difference is that you're not conceptualizing seeing fucking that the viewer didn't have any desire to see as an injury to the viewer, and I am (and I'm guessing that tologosh and CN are as well).

Personally, I'm pretty close to Alex's first ex in 153 -- I wear clothes for warmth, and as a courtesy to other people who aren't interested in gratuitous nudity, but I don't particularly give a damn -- and I'm very casual about blinds because I've always lived on a high floor, where if someone can see in they're far enough away that they're either squinting or using binoculars, at which point any offense is their problem.

But lots of people really don't want to see naked people, or fucking, and occupying too large a part of their field of view (like, enough that a quick glance would make it obvious what was going on) from someplace they're entitled to be with naked fucking is an injury to them. Not a huge injury, but they can't look out their bedroom window without a risk of seeing something they find unpleasant, so you've taken the enjoyment out of their bedroom window.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 11:01 AM
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I think that's right, since I count closing the blinds as the true horror in this situation.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 11:08 AM
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If looking out your bedroom window means looking into someone else's bedroom window, well, what's so interesting that you're looking out your bedroom window in the first place? And isn't that a silly "injury" to countenance?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 11:09 AM
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The N@ture family of journals is still exploding, in the sense of adding titles and shelf-feet as fast as possible, right?

Rapid growth means new editing staff, more specifically new editing staff not hired via mutually-known filters for competence. That said, everyone I know there or have worked with is really good.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 11:09 AM
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people who aren't interested in gratuitous nudity

The word is "prudes".


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 11:11 AM
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162.1: Dunno, I'm not Brock's neighbor.

162.2: No.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 11:12 AM
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I want Cyrus's questions answered. But if my view out of my bedroom window was mostly my neighbour's house, I'd keep the curtains shut, because I don't want to see them.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 11:12 AM
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161: How do you feel about my notion that if you flash boobies in the window I get to take pictures and put them on the interblags?

Or perhaps a less extreme version: If I can see it without effort, I get to stare. And masturbate.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 11:16 AM
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I mean, being forced to be in a room with closed blinds as the important injury. Night breezes! Or natural light!


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 11:16 AM
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164: Even accepting this as true (and, really, I don't), "prudes" make up a pretty hefty segment of society and, again, what's the harm in accommodating that sensitivity if all that it takes is closing the blinds (or fucking in a different room)?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 11:17 AM
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162.2: No.

How so?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 11:18 AM
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What if I found the process of—ugh—eating really disgusting and injurious to behold?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 11:18 AM
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I thought there was a pretty big gap between "noticing, looking away and pretending nothing happened the next time you interact", which allows everyone the full freedom of their own houses, and participating as a voyeur, which you weren't invited to do.

The second also forces defensive self-limiting within one's own house, which is the trend I want to counter.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 11:19 AM
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Also, would anyone change the accidental voyeurs were seeing someone take a crap rather than having sex?


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 11:19 AM
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Well, I'm a person who covers windows with blinds almost all of the time. Sometimes even if the windows are open to let the air in. Direct sunlight makes everything look dusty and I feel depressed for not cleaning often enough and not being outside.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 11:20 AM
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No seriously, don't ubiquitous mobile cams change delightful hippy notions of privacy? And will I really be the first to point out the irony of a bunch of psuedonyms earnestly discussing openness?

There's more than one context for an open window-- the inside context and the outside context. Just as we think that it's hilarious to mock someone who has trouble spelling mold, so some passerby or creepy neighbor may think that some resident's antiquated notion of self-worth deserves photoshopping and posting with a real physical address.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 11:21 AM
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169 - I guess it comes down the fact that I don't respect their sensitivity on that front. So I won't go to any trouble to accommodate it.

(This is much the same as people objecting to my overgrown lawn. I didn't respect those preferences either, and won't change my behavior for them.)


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 11:21 AM
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169: oh, none, definitely. I'm on your side in this. To clarify, in this hypothetical I was upset not because of what they saw (in the sense that I felt wronged somehow--I couldn't care less), but because I felt I'd injured them (in the sense LB describes in 160.3).


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 11:21 AM
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171: You would be unusual and out of step with social norms, in a manner that someone who objects to seeing people naked or fucking is not.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 11:22 AM
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168: But a breeze can pass through mere blinds! And, okay, natural light. Maybe I'd be more persuaded if I thought of this as more than a 5 minute deprivation of sunshine.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 11:22 AM
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the irony of a bunch of psuedonyms earnestly discussing openness

Ahem.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 11:22 AM
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Of course, you know that anytime the blinds are closed from now on, the neighbors are going to know what you are doing.

Especially if you get a set of blinds that reads, when closed and viewed by an external onlooker, "WHAT THERE'S NOTHING GOOD ON TV?"

Perhaps "SEE YOU ON SUNDAY!" (as per 1) would be better.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 11:23 AM
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179: I suppose it would be wrong to take this as an opportunity to mock UNG.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 11:24 AM
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I'm not a total prude in other respects, and I wouldn't go out of my way to pull every single blind if I was, say, just getting out of the shower and looking for a towel. But I don't generally want to be overlooked while shagging, and, in the case of those two exes, that makes me a horrible neurotic.


Posted by: Alex Salmond | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 11:24 AM
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She was just baiting us, LB. We don't have to jump like trained dogs for a treat.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 11:25 AM
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176.2 is playing dirty! You know I will never disagree with you on that.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 11:25 AM
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183: I'm drawing a blank on Yorkshire Ranter Alex's last name -- are you a new commenter, or is that you?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 11:25 AM
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Pseudonymity is one mode of information control-- using a common first name with severed links to a permanent identity seems pretty similar.

Is the overgrown lawn a joke about grooming practices?

overlooked is a hilarious difference between english and american-- was that purposeful?


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 11:29 AM
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179: LB beat me to it. 10 minutes might be sadly brief depending on the situation, but five minutes is a medical problem (and if he's too stubborn or self-conscious to get help about it, it's his fault).


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 11:29 AM
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It's a presidential pseudonym. Try wikipedia.


Posted by: Alex Salmond | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 11:29 AM
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I believe I recommended the same treatment when people were hassling you about your lawn, which is standing in the middle of the offending space with two big fuck-you fingers held high.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 11:30 AM
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Alex Salmond is the head of the Scottish devolved government, so I'd guess that this one is a Scottish contributor going presidential.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 11:31 AM
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189: And American lack of awareness about other countries strikes again.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 11:32 AM
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Wow, as a sign of great progress, I actually am almost feeling compelled to defend UNG's honor. Almost.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 11:34 AM
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Nope, it was my actual front lawn, which I finally replaced with plants. It took me as much work as I was afraid it would. For years before that though, I let it get long, and ignored my (former) neighbor's complaints about property values.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 11:35 AM
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I don't see what's so restrictive about asking neighbors to mow hearts or landing strips. Everyone else did it.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 11:35 AM
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Is the overgrown lawn a joke about grooming practices?

Does the front lawn match the, uh, sod roof?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 11:36 AM
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These front lawn concerns would be reduced if the US would adopt the approach of most civilized nations and make garden fences standard. Make the fence tall enough and you can boink on the front lawn without bothering the neighbors.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 11:38 AM
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My degree of prudishness fluctuates wildly throughout the year.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 11:38 AM
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171: You would be unusual and out of step with social norms, in a manner that someone who objects to seeing people naked or fucking is not.

Yeah, but mightn't I still actually be injured?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 11:39 AM
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199: Sure, but not in a reasonably foreseeable way.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 11:41 AM
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Also, would anyone change the accidental voyeurs were seeing someone take a crap rather than having sex?

I'm pretty sure I've seen people taking craps in the public streets.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 11:41 AM
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I didn't respect those preferences either, and won't change my behavior for them.

I'm going back and re-examining all your comments about conflict resolution.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 11:42 AM
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199: It makes sense to put the onus of avoiding likely injuries on the possible injuror, and of highly unlikely, idiosyncratic injuries on the person at risk of injury, who knows how to avoid them. Stay out of restaurants.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 11:42 AM
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It's simple, apo, as long as you only ever need to resolve conflicts with people with whom you aren't in conflict.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 11:43 AM
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201: Ew.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 11:43 AM
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taking craps in the public streets

If you let people eat in public, it's a slippery slope.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 11:43 AM
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Sometimes I do respect some of other people's opinions. Then I need to know how to handle disagreements.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 11:46 AM
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It makes sense to put the onus of avoiding likely injuries on the possible injuror,

But I still don't see why I should think of this as an injury. It's not as if I'm strewing rusty nails on the lawn. I know that people might not like the inadvertent sight of others screwing. But can't they then just, you know, exclaim "oh my stars and garters" and look away? What's injurious about this sight? Or does "injury" just mean "anything one disprefers"—in which case, what's the significance of its being an injury?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 11:46 AM
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Of course, crapping in the streets only makes the slope slippier.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 11:49 AM
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Slipperier? More slippery, I guess.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 11:50 AM
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Just a quick comment: a situation similar to the one Brock describes arose some years ago, but the neighbors who'd looked out their window and witnessed the act were young kids, boys maybe 7 and 9 years old. We learned of this when one of their parents raced over to our house and yelled that the blinds on the 2nd floor should be drawn, right now for god's sake, and our roommate in turn raced up the stairs to yell, "Draw the blinds, you guys, draw the blinds!" Way for everyone to be alerted. Anyway, we were pretty abashed.

I wonder whether Megan's calculus changes if the window opposite your bedroom is occupied by a little kid.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 11:52 AM
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208: Take as a given that they get some form of enjoyment about looking out their window (say, Brock's house occupies no more than half the view, and the other half is pretty). Now they can't enjoy their view without also seeing something they find unpleasant. Injury.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 11:52 AM
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OK, here's one-- what about eating inside of grocery stores? Is it squeamish to dislike that? It seems slovenly to me, worse than being grimy.

I guess it's a class issue, since I never see this in Whole Foods. But I hate whole foods for the other reason, radiates uptight privilege out of the sepia-toned boxes on the food. Though I never see it in the big grimy Korean markets that are definitely declasse.

Slippier sounds southern. We discussed yesterday how windier (as in less straight, not as in pressure gradient) is never used, and even windy, a perfectly legitimate word spelled like the synonym for breezy, does not get used much.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 11:53 AM
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if the window opposite your bedroom is occupied by a little kid

Little kids shouldn't be having sex anyway.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 11:58 AM
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I think I'd have greeted those parents with the suggestion that they can close their own damn blinds. People who don't want to see things can do their own screening, or distract their kids as needed. You're not going to get me to back down from the notion that people get to behave as they will within the walls of their house.

And then plant trees between the windows.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 12:00 PM
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||

OK, this smoked salmon said "smoked over peat and heather" on the packet, and when I opened it, I thought for a moment something was burning on the stove. This is very tremendously awesome.

||>


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 12:02 PM
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LB - I'm thinking I count the view out the window and the experience of having it open about the same. In which case the injury in 212 is cancelled by the injury to the blinds-closer and I'm going to default to different deciding principles.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 12:03 PM
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Build a wall with the exploding N@ture family of journals.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 12:05 PM
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151 et seq.: Not to prolong a basically uninteresting subthread, but no, there's no particularly good reason to Google-proof the journal's name. (And "N@ture" is indeed prettier, but "N@ure" is a more satisfying rebus.) I blame pre-coffee failure to construe the name as a common noun. Also the offending "is comprised of" was originally flanked by a couple of much more Googleable terms, which I edited out before posting. So Cyrus is on the right track in 157, except for being misled by my manly science-doing. Thanks for catching the stereotype in action, neB.


Posted by: Gabardine Bathyscaphe | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 12:05 PM
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You're not going to get me to back down from the notion that people get to behave as they will within the walls of their house.

Big picture window in your living room, clearly visible from a sidewalk with a lot of foot traffic, if it makes any difference to you throw a schoolyard in on top of the sidewalk: you're not buying that there's any obligation not to do stuff in front of that window that would be inappropriate in public? That's not quite Brock's situation, but it does fall within 'behave as they will within the walls of their house'.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 12:06 PM
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Megan's hero.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 12:06 PM
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"N@ure" is a more satisfying rebus

Good c@ch.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 12:08 PM
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"Ancient Lights" is a UK right-to-light, where windows that have been unshadowed for long enough get to stay that way, rpvided you mark them "Ancient Lights". Maybe if Brock marked his window "Ancient Frights"?

(That's another hypallage btw.)


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 12:10 PM
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Doesn't finding "the process of--ugh--eating really disgusting and injurious to behold" make you the
Addie Clark Harding Professor in the Committee on Social Thought? In which case, I feel injury is your due.


Posted by: Gabardine Bathyscaphe | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 12:12 PM
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Big picture window in your living room, clearly visible from a sidewalk with a lot of foot traffic

That's nearly exactly my situation, and I don't even have curtains that I could close on the window. I count on the view being obscured by the intervening porch and the different light levels. (At night that works in reverse, and I am on well-illuminated display as I read on my couch.)

Nope. I might not want to blow some guy in front of the window, if I'm not feeling particularly exhibitionist. But if I did want to blow someone in my own damn living room, people who object can stop looking in my picture window. The dogs next door would be happy for their attention.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 12:13 PM
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"No seriously, don't ubiquitous mobile cams change delightful hippy notions of privacy? "

they're only an invasion of privacy if you're a police


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 12:13 PM
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215 runs up against various laws, including ones that get you permanently placed on sex offender lists. The consequences of exercising this perceived right could potentially be extremely damaging.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 12:14 PM
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Now they can't enjoy their view without also seeing something they find unpleasant. Injury.

Ah, you liberal mollycoddlers are all one.

What, do Brock and his wife have sex constantly? Anyway, I don't see how exposure to something one finds unpleasant is (wait for it) ipso facto (!) an injury. If you cunningly redirected me to The Corner, I wouldn't think you'd injured me, nor do I think that when a thitherto (how do you like that one?) unchallenged student confronts views other than his own and is upset by them, that is injury; I don't think I'm injured by the uriney tang of … urine … in the Tenderloin (which covers up the otherwise so pleasant aromas? Ed. Hush), ect ect ect. This world is a vale of tears already without inflating every passing unpleasant sight into something with the title and dignity of an injury.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 12:15 PM
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I wonder whether Megan's calculus changes if the window opposite your bedroom is occupied by a little kid.

In fact someone was hauled into court in extremely interesting circumstances. This person was making coffee at 5:30 in the morning and people cutting across his lawn caught sight (stars, etc.) of his noble form! Arrested for indecent exposure! Serves him right, too—they were injured.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 12:19 PM
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when i was somewhere where it was forbidden for us to drink, my roomates and i taped cardboard over the windows. ever since i think of walls of one's abode as a protective barrier.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 12:21 PM
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79: yeah, that's childish. But this is downright ballsy.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 12:22 PM
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Well, sure, togolosh, if the people who administer those laws are also fucking crazyprudes. But they're wrong and I'm opposed.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 12:23 PM
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Now that it is warmer, I commit the crime in 229 almost every day.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 12:24 PM
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229: The offended party tells a different story. 8:40 am, and she was on a footpath. Also claims he took active measures to make sure he was seen.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 12:26 PM
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229/232: well, first, he was arrested but as far as I know not charged (or "hauled into court"), much less convicted. And second, the story isn't entirely that simple:

"The woman who reported to police that a man in a Springfield home exposed himself to her and her son has a different story than what Eric Williamson has told to local media.

"The woman told police it was 8:40 a.m. when she was walking her son to school along a path between houses. She said they first spotted Williamson naked in an open door in the car port of his home.

"She also told police that Williamson then walked across the house to a large window, facing the way she was walking. "


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 12:27 PM
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Nevemind, I think he was charged. But not convicted.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 12:28 PM
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If only that woman had some way, something, anything, that she could have done in order to avoid looking in his windows. Alas for her neck injury that makes staring into people's houses the only way she can hold her head with no pain.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 12:30 PM
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I was using "hauled into court" metonymically.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 12:32 PM
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Megan, do you claim the same right to frolic naked in your own private yard as you do in your giant picture window? If not, what in your mind is the difference? Is it just a difference of the degree of visibility? What if there is a lot of shrubbery in your yard?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 12:35 PM
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237: I'm curious -- you seem to draw a clear distinction between inside and outside the house, that's not based on visibility: that is, if I understand you correctly, sex in your living room is your prerogative, regardless of whether it's visible from the street, while sex on your front porch or front lawn wouldn't be, despite being no more visible. Is there a reason for that?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 12:35 PM
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151: More weirdness: if I put quotes around nature, it drops from 568 million hits to 567 million hits.

Google has been automatically searching variants - or whatever they're called - on search words for a while. Possibly not just suffixes but in some cases (IIRC from some of my searches) different words that are only a letter apart, but perhaps much more common (I think I've run into this searching for names). So to get google to search your term exactly as you typed it, you need the quotes - even if it's only a one word search. The extra million hits were probably for things like "natured" or "natura" or whatever.

I've been finding google's search results to get worse and worse, and this is probably one of the reasons why. Earlier today I ran into what's become a recurring problem of highly ranked results not containing some of my words at all - they are only in the links to the page that came up. Fine, google, that kind of result might be useful, but put it in another category. I'm sick of having to check the cache version to figure out why you've given me a page without some of my search words. I've complained about this before.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 12:36 PM
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Steve McQueen agrees with me.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 12:41 PM
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Well, I greatly miss having non-visible areas of my yard where I could go naked. But I don't, and everything's right there, so I wear clothes in my tiny front and side yards. That'd be one thing I would move for.

Front yard and porch is where you start to interact with the street; I think of them as semi-public. A transition between private and public. There I should defer (somewhat) to public conventions. My house is entirely private and would be if all the walls were glass. That's where the public can avert their gaze if they don't like what they see. (I might not like being that exposed. But if I did...)


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 12:41 PM
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242: Crapping on the diving board *definitely* could be injurious to others.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 12:43 PM
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In my front yard, burden's on me to conform or give offense. In my house, burden is on the exterior watchers to manage their own view and sensitivities.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 12:43 PM
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241 gets it exactly right. No, Google, I didn't misspell that word, I was searching for someone's name and not the similarly-spelled common word that you decided I was looking for. Dumbasses.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 12:47 PM
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They do the same thing with names and tenses—if you search for "look" you might get results with "looked", or if you search for "John" results for "Johnny".

I'm waiting for the day when you can search on "peg" and get results for "margaret".


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 12:48 PM
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I think it's a suffix tree-- in other languages, where grammatical variation (cases of nouns) can lead to non-suffix alteration, only suffixes get recognized; moreover, english words with a common prefix shared with the search term are included as language-specific search results.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 12:58 PM
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242: With those tan lines, not consistently he doesn't.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 1:00 PM
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||
This should probably go in the "Next up" thread, but that one didn't catch on:
NMM to the Minutemen.
|>


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 1:01 PM
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Searching for "joseph frank" (no quotation marks) also gets results for "joe frank" and "josef frank".


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 1:01 PM
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The Minutemen broke up a long time ago, Jesus.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 1:02 PM
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I think it indecent to peer into people's windows. When houses are close together, the proper course of conduct is to pretend that one is nearsighted and cannot focus beyond the property line.

If someone want to bring their eyes into focus looking into my house (or on my back porch), or, and I think this is key, look long enough to really understand what they are seeing, then they deserve their "injury."

Misdirecting someone to the Corner is an injury. But only is they read something there.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 1:02 PM
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These front lawn concerns would be reduced if the US would adopt the approach of most civilized nations and make garden fences standard. Make the fence tall enough and you can boink on the front lawn without bothering the neighbors.

Interesting. I thought the stereotype would be the opposite, that people in the US have fences around their houses, because of their obsession with prudery and privacy, unlike most civilized nations.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 1:03 PM
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252: It's taken a while to process D. Boon's death.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 1:08 PM
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243: sincere question: would you be okay with someone on the street intentionally watching you be naked in your house? How about intentionally watching plus, um, self-pleasuring?


Posted by: freight train | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 1:12 PM
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243: sincere question: would you be okay with someone on the street intentionally watching you be naked in your house? How about intentionally watching plus, um, self-pleasuring?


Posted by: freight train | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 1:12 PM
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Two letters is the length of the root used to get unrelated english results. Possibly as a confounding factor, the words are nuse and nude, an off-by-one-key typo.

Dick Nixon does not return highlit Richards.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 1:13 PM
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243: sincere question: would you be okay with someone on the street intentionally watching you be naked in your house? How about intentionally watching plus, um, self-pleasuring?


Posted by: freight train | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 1:13 PM
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254: I'm working from a small sampling of "civilized nations" that includes Botswana, South Africa, Zambia, small patches of England and Scotland, and my own fevered imagination.

In the US a lot of places forbid fences, which I find absolutely bizarre. Apparently having long clear sight lines is important to some people. Megan's neighbors, I assume.

Also I would be willing to live with Megan's 243 if and only if the reciprocal rule applied to sounds. Make as much noise as you want, but if it's audible past the property line the noise Mutawa drop by for a chat.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 1:14 PM
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This sounds urgent, freight train.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 1:15 PM
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215: You're not going to get me to back down from the notion that people get to behave as they will within the walls of their house.

It's not really an all-or-nothing proposition: either people always have to engage in "defensive self-limiting" (172), or they never do.

The question of consideration of the viewing other comes into play: suppose a beloved friend's grandmother lived next door and was seriously upset by occasionally glimpsing you blowing various men in the living room (in a fully lit room at night), and said beloved friend asked you *please* to draw some curtains when you do that, as grandma is seriously distraught.

Is the answer still just a flat "no"? or isn't it a case of providing some consideration to this particular woman, who, no, is not a voyeur, but whose sensibilities are from another time, and who is simply not going to be able to adjust her sensibilities to sync up with your own? In this case you weigh the cost to her against the cost to yourself of closing the blinds for a short while. It's not at all clear that the answer will be, every time, that she is in the wrong and you are in the right. This is what it is to be part of a community.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 1:16 PM
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How about intentionally watching plus, um, self-pleasuring?

That's how you know you're alive.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 1:17 PM
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Also I would be willing to live with Megan's 243 if and only if the reciprocal rule applied to sounds. Make as much noise as you want, but if it's audible past the property line the noise Mutawa drop by for a chat.

Apparently you should live in England per comment 96.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 1:18 PM
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260.last: As an apartment dweller, I can't go this far. You can't totally block sound the way you can totally block sight -- that's got to involve bilateral considerateness, neither producing unreasonable noise, nor noticing reasonable noise.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 1:20 PM
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What if you can't really see in to the house, but are just turned on being in the presence of a edifice where the object of your affection dwelt?

If a restraining order says 500 feet, can you pleasure yourself at 501 feet, or is there a separate, longer distance for masturbation?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 1:21 PM
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can you pleasure yourself at 501 feet, or is there a separate, longer distance for masturbation?

501 feet, 6 inches?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 1:22 PM
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267: You need 18 inches of clearance to masturbate?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 1:24 PM
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268: Phallocentrist.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 1:24 PM
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269: ?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 1:25 PM
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I like to gyrate like Elvis Presley.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 1:26 PM
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I'm like a tempest using a hula hoop.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 1:27 PM
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Did my orbital self-ministrations break the blog?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 1:45 PM
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They're captivating. Enthralling.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 1:46 PM
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I'm like a Spirograph.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 1:47 PM
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270: I was imagining that the one foot six inches rule had something to do with penis length, and not having your dick cross the line. mostly because I couldn't imagine any other reason for the rule. The whole thing is a FAIL, so you can ignore it.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 1:50 PM
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I understood, rob.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 1:53 PM
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276: Yes, that is the (lame) joke I was trying to make in 267.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 1:56 PM
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Off to increase my status play with Hawaiian Punch!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 1:58 PM
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Parsimon, why can't grandma draw her own curtains? Since I'm not doing anything wrong, I'm not the one who should change the situation.

Freight train, someone watching me and jacking is participating in a sex act with me. Unless that's the goal, like Salmond's second ex, I'd prefer they didn't. (Also, someone on the street jacking off would be subject to the rules of public behavior. Someone in an across-the-street upstairs apartment with good sightlines into my house? I should never know about that person.)


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 1:59 PM
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In the US a lot of places forbid fences, which I find absolutely bizarre.

In cute dense residential streets, a tall front fence creates a gap in the street. I don't like that part.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 2:02 PM
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why can't grandma draw her own curtains?

The sight of fellatio gave her a heart attack.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 2:02 PM
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I understood that was the joke that Heebie was trying to make in 267. (And I was sort of wondering if she meant 500 feet, 6 in, hence my question in 268. Six inches is somewhat too restrictive, but 18 inches is, uh, relatively generous.) What I didn't understand was why that got me accused of phallocentrism. I'd actually orginally conceived of 268 as a (complimentary) joke about Jammies, but then I reworked it into a comment about Heebie expressly to avoid charges of phallocentrism.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 2:03 PM
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I demand an explanation!


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 2:06 PM
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280: She can't keep from seeing you in your picture window because she doesn't know what you're doing in there until she's seen you do it once. If she really doesn't want to see you having sex, you're requiring her to: (1) see you having sex at least once so she knows it's a risk, and (2) never again look in the direction of your house.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 2:10 PM
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285: Or keep her curtains constantly drawn, even though it may well be weeks, months, even years before you actually have sex again.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 2:17 PM
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(1) see you having sex at least once so she knows it's a risk, and (2) never again look in the direction of your house.

I don't want to get tetanus, but I don't think that requires me to (1) step on a rusty nail so I know it's a risk, and (2) never go outside again.

People have sex in their houses! If your window looks into someone else's bedroom, you don't actually need to catch them in the act to know that they might at some point be in the act. Nor—unless you really overridingly, more than all else desire not to ever see the miracle of life in its least proximal manifestation—must you prevent yourself ever from looking in that direction.

And really, if it's that important to you, yeah, close your own damn blinds.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 2:17 PM
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280: Parsimon, why can't grandma draw her own curtains? Since I'm not doing anything wrong, I'm not the one who should change the situation.

She can, and probably will, once she's seen you the one time. Maybe it's all then fine for her, or maybe it's not.

All I was after was that while one does have the technical right to do as one pleases in one's own home, with open shades, whether it's always and every time appropriate for one to exercise that right will vary from time to time, and will be a function of one's consideration of others, not just of whether one technically has that right. (I don't think it would have been appropriate for me to refuse to draw the shades in that house with the kids across the way, for example. Woulda sucked for their parents.)


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 2:19 PM
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even though it may well be weeks, months, even years before you actually have sex again.

So basically, the neighbor acknowledges that there are gaps, sometimes (alas) lengthy gaps, in the sex-havings of others, and yet still thinks that he must never look in the direction of the location of sex, because after all these things are unpredictable and one might catch a glimpse this time? This is neurosis on a level not normally seen outside of epistemology seminars.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 2:20 PM
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It is a simple, basic, and incontrovertible economic fact that buying or renting a property with sightlines to Megan's picture window is tantamount to a revealed preference for watching Megan blow various guys. If Granny didn't really want to see it, she would move somewhere else. Conversely, buyers who get a voyeuristic thrill out of peeking through Megan's window will bid up the price of neighboring properties, creating an equillibrium in which only people who want to see Megan's naked body will be her neighbors.



Posted by: Zombie McMegan | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 2:20 PM
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288: I think you missed that we're now talking about a hypothetical in which Megan's in her living room, with a large picture window clearly visible from the street. Brock's situation is less clear, of course (although if the effects of closing the drapes are so noxious, I'd think it'd make sense to put the burden on the party that knows when visual privacy will be particularly desirable, and let both parties keep the drapes open otherwise).


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 2:21 PM
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Or see it happening and draw her own curtains.

This is why I like the tree screening solution.

You know, the analogies go the other direction. What if grandma is mortified by the sight of breastfeeding? Or a homosexual peck on the cheek as one leaves for work? A rule based on privacy means you dont have to get into the relative ranking of nudity, breastfeeding, oral sex, and large parties of furries. People can keep their eyes out of other people's homes or they can like what they see. Either way, when we meet later, we all pretend that we don't know what happens in the other's house.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 2:22 PM
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I think you missed that we're now talking about a hypothetical in which Megan's in her living room, with a large picture window clearly visible from the street.

Oh, yes, I must have. WTF is a picture window, anyway?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 2:22 PM
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If your window looks into someone else's bedroom, you don't actually need to catch them in the act to know that they might at some point be in the act.

(1) Megan was explicitly talking about her living room, not her bedroom.

(2) It's also worth noting (since it's been otherwise asumed a few times in this thread) that the hypothetical room in my house into which my neighbors looked was not a bedroom.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 2:24 PM
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Since I'm not doing anything wrong...

This is the problem: You've decided what is or isn't wrong according to your own rules, ones not widely accepted. That works for some things, but the public/private distinction isn't one of them.

281: Look away.

And since I seem to be picking on Megan I'll atone by having sex in front of my big window while the whole neighborhood watches. I will feel enormous shame and guilt for it, of course.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 2:25 PM
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Ultimately, the tree is the most environmentally correct solution.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 2:25 PM
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Or see it happening and draw her own curtains.

And remember to keep her eyes averted when walking in front of your house.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 2:26 PM
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294(2): Oooh, frisky.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 2:27 PM
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I will feel enormous shame and guilt for it, of course.

I understand this can do wonders for the experience.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 2:28 PM
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the tree is the most environmentally correct solution

Don't be so sure!


Posted by: James Watt | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 2:28 PM
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Or keep her curtains constantly drawn, even though it may well be weeks, months, even years before you actually have sex again.

One must guard against hasty generalizations from personal experience, Di.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 2:30 PM
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You've decided what is or isn't wrong according to your own rules, ones not widely accepted. That works for some things, but the public/private distinction isn't one of them.

But that's the yucky problem that I'm avoiding by having this rule. Otherwise we're parsing whether it is OK for spouses to be fucking in their upstairs rooms, or me to give blowjobs in my living room, or make coffee in the nude or breastfeed mostly covered on my porch. You can rank that shit and make dividing lines, but other people think their prudish versions are equally valid. Fuck that noise. They can remember to keep their eyes averted when walking in front of my house if they are scandalized. There are plenty of other things to see. Nice flowers, for example.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 2:33 PM
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Actually, KR, when asserting that something can happen one datum is all that's necessary—that being sufficient to refute the denial of the assertion, namely, that whatever it is can't happen.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 2:35 PM
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The way, the public/private distinction isn't based on the act, but on the vertical boundaries of the house. Much easier to agree upon.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 2:36 PM
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You can rank that shit and make dividing lines, but other people think their prudish versions are equally valid. Fuck that noise. They can remember to keep their eyes averted when walking in front of my house if they are scandalized. There are plenty of other things to see. Nice flowers, for example.

The problem is that more libertine versions are euqally valid as well. We could as easily insist that people just remember to avert their eyes while you're sitting nude on your front porch, or for that matter while you're having sex in a public park.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 2:38 PM
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The problem you're avoiding isn't significant. You've already got to decide what you're allowed to do in your front yard, or on the street, and the answer is breastfeed yes, regardless of occasional wardrobe malfunctions (and if public standards don't allow that where you are, fight to change them), fuck no, give blowjobs no, make coffee in the nude no. There's no way to avoid that kind of linedrawing. All I'm saying is that in parts of your house where you're clearly visible, the rules are the same as in your front yard.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 2:40 PM
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Could. I happen to think that at the walls of one's own damn house is a good place for a threshold change in where the burdens of sensitivity and bodily freedoms switch places.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 2:42 PM
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292: Either way, when we meet later, we all pretend that we don't know what happens in the other's house.

I happen to agree with this. However, not everybody does. Hard to know what to do about them, but it's definitely the case that if you don't take them into consideration and compromise sometimes, various consequences will ensue, for you or for them or for both parties. You can treat it as a bright-line situation if you like, in which other people don't have to be taken into consideration, but there will be some cases in which that will make you an inconsiderate person.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 2:44 PM
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Neither is the problem of averting your gaze. And I miss the freedoms of outdoor nudity and stuff in my yard, but recognize that those spaces are semi-public. I'm not about to give them up in my own house (nor close the drapes I don't have).


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 2:45 PM
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So, what about if you're not directly visible to the street, but there's a big shiny glass building that works as a mirror screen providing a green shaded image of everything in your apartment building. I had that in Warsaw. In general I can see the argument not to fuck where you can be seen from the street, but inside your place where you can only be seen from other apartments/houses - they can draw their own curtains if it bugs them. Also, anybody seen the new super expensive apartment building on Grand Army Plaza - exhibitionsists only.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 2:46 PM
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Eh. On some fronts I am an inconsiderate person with a fast fuck-you reflex. Good thing my whole neighborhood loves Mariah Carey.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 2:47 PM
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Could. I happen to think that at the walls of one's own damn house is a good place for a threshold change in where the burdens of sensitivity and bodily freedoms switch places.

It's kind of weird that you seem to think that has nothing to do with the walls being opaque.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 2:48 PM
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Heartbreaker, mostly. I'm working on learning the opening dance sequence.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 2:48 PM
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Since the answer to Brock's original question is obvious, we can only assume that he wanted to boast that he was getting some. Not in the bedroom, even.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 2:55 PM
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I'm reasonably sure there's a Coaseian argument to be made here that the only real problem, from a social-welfare perspective, is that transaction costs prevent efficient bargaining about whether the rest of the neighborhood gets to watch Brock having hypothetical sex in his hypothetical nonbedroom.

Possibly installing a webcam would help, since the Internet is pretty good at reducing transaction costs.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 2:58 PM
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314: it was not obvious to me. I thought I should probably slip a note in their mailbox. But this conversation has helped clarify things.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 3:00 PM
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302: An alternative and equally unambiguous rule is that if it can be seen by people not on your property without them seeking it out it counts as public, otherwise private.

I like the basic idea that within the walls of your own house it's nobody's business what you do (assuming mutual consent, yada yada). The problematic cases are when activities inside the house have an impact outside. Whether seeing somebody's cock counts as harmful impact is obviously a bone of contention. I'm not that worked up about cock, but some people clearly are and I feel that making minor accommodations for them is no biggie.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 3:03 PM
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But we didn't even settle on what type of tree you should plant.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 3:04 PM
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I'm reasonably sure there's a Coaseian argument to be made here that the only real problem, from a social-welfare perspective, is that transaction costs prevent efficient bargaining

The whole Coaseian bargaining thing relies on a foundation of assigned property rights, and we have an unsettled normative question about whether the property rights should be vested in Megan, who asserts the right to get nekkid, and Brock's hypothetical neighbors, who hypothetically claim a right to a view unsullied by the sight of the Landers engaging in a sex act.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 3:04 PM
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How are you supposed to make coffee then, tog? You want me to give up coffee?


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 3:05 PM
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Whether seeing somebody's cock counts as harmful impact is obviously a bone of contention.

Megan dislikes puns, Togolosh.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 3:05 PM
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315: There is indeed a Coasian argument along those lines. I'm sure there's an extensive law-and-economics literature on this very issue.

What's funny about all of the Coase stuff is that the arguments only work if there are two people. If there are three, then boom!


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 3:06 PM
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She can avert her eyes from that comment, KR.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 3:06 PM
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I already did.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 3:08 PM
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This whole episode needs a title: Next-Door Dogging -- a Bone of Contention


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 3:08 PM
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Maybe it's a Californian thing. I generally assume that people either don't mind or are actively interested in seeing me nekkid.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 3:10 PM
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I'm sure there's an extensive law-and-economics literature on this very issue.

As a utilitarian pragmatist, I propose that we make it permissible to be naked and engage in sex acts in front of unobstructed windows, but only for good-looking people.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 3:11 PM
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The low-hanging fruit, I plantz it.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 3:11 PM
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327 to 326.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 3:12 PM
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319: But that's the point, right? You hippies don't recognize that we need to assign property rights in every single little thing.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 3:14 PM
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322: If there are three people going boom then presumably their total utility is higher, but the prudish neighbors' disutility from catching sight of them also increases. I suppose it's an empirical question which increase predominates.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 3:14 PM
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I dislike it when people seem to be doing exhibitionist things because they're getting off on me seeing/hearing them do sex stuff, and I dislike it when partners have pointedly tried to do sex stuff to me with the obvious purpose of subjecting someone else to it. But I cannot care if I am heard or seen in my home, especially in my current apartment, where they're going to hear me if I clink a spoon in a bowl or hum in the shower.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 3:15 PM
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I suppose it's an empirical question which increase predominates.

Factor in the age of the actors and their quality-of-life-adjusted remaining life expectancy, and I think it's pretty clear which side prevails in that calculus.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 3:16 PM
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320: Put up some curtains and I'll bring you coffee. Naked, if you prefer.

Also I resent the implication that I am capable of the level of inhumanity needed to ask anyone to give up coffee. I am not a monster. Or a prude. Prude-curious, perhaps.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 3:18 PM
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The whole Coaseian bargaining thing relies on a foundation of assigned property rights has been conclusively shown to be tautological, incoherent, or wrong.

Law and economics, probably more than any other widely-taught discipline in academia, rests on a foundation of total bullshit. Did you know that Posner has admitted that he never had the faintest understanding of Keynes until last year?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 3:18 PM
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335: Yeah, that's a large part of why I get so cranky about econ, because I've only encountered it formally as "Law and Economics".


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 3:22 PM
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Now you're talking. Except for the part about the curtains.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 3:22 PM
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I'm still waiting (impatiently!) for a response to 283.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 3:22 PM
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335: As I am not an well-known commenter here, I wish to disassociate myself expressly from any possible suggestion that I favor the use of "law and economics" for any nonhumorous purpose.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 3:28 PM
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326: I would totally look in your window if you were naked, Jackmormon. Though that's hardly specific to you.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 3:31 PM
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You would look into her window if someone else were naked?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 3:37 PM
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Uh, thanks?


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 3:37 PM
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What I didn't understand was why that got me accused of phallocentrism.

Um, I typed the wrong comment number.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 3:39 PM
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Yeah, you stepped on your dick on that one, apo. The correct way of putting it is "I would look into your window if you were naked. But only your window, because I am monogamous. I am not a freak."


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 3:41 PM
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Now you're talking. Except for the part about the curtains.

Wait just a minute now! We're going to need adequate assurance that you're both good-looking.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 3:41 PM
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Too late, widget. I've already made a note in your personal file.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 3:41 PM
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you stepped on your dick

Happens a lot. That's why I normally keep it thrown over my shoulder.

But only your window, because I am monogamous a feminist.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 3:44 PM
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Megan has perfect vision.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 3:44 PM
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This thread reminds me that I need to figure out a time to go to the Russian baths with Bave and AWB. (And I wouldnt object to seeing brawny JM there either.)


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 3:44 PM
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brawny JM

He's not all that, will.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 3:46 PM
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Gingers are not invited.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 3:47 PM
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that was me


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 3:49 PM
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impatiently!) for a response to 283

I was at a meeting, sorry.

The meeting, BTW, basically revolved around several wheelbarrows full of bullshit, which we have been asked to comb through and use to generate recommendations for self-improvement. Options included asking for more or better bullshit, ignoring the bullshit and making our recommendations based on our professional experience, and actually spending several weeks combing through the bullshit in hopes of finding a way to somehow turn bullshit into policy recommendations.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 3:49 PM
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353: Lemme guess: you surveyed a bunch of hobos.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 3:53 PM
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335: The case that Usher calls "tautological" is also false, if you consider 3 people instead of 2.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 3:54 PM
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somehow turn bullshit into policy recommendations

Ah, the alchemy of the modern world.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 3:55 PM
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OT, I am writing a bunch of follow-up emails from my conference last weekend, and man, are they awkward. Several times, someone sort of famous starts talking to me, tells me I should email them in a way that makes me think they actually want an email, and then we part ways. So I'm all "Hi You! Thanks for your encouragement! Hope you had a great time at the conference! I'm reading your book!" Eh?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 4:14 PM
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"I'm reading your book looking in your window!"


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 4:16 PM
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I have a question. I may turn out to be very lucky in the job search out of grad school, in the sense of "Only two applications and one interview needed before job was secured". Meanwhile many people I know have been sending out their CV and a new cover letter to a new place every week since November. Now, I do have more (different) qualifications than them and was not expecting to be unemployed, but this is pretty lucky. Will these struggling would-be librarian-types be happy for me, or should I exaggerate the difficulty of my search in talking about this?


Posted by: Mike Huckabee | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 4:21 PM
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Just accept the way of the world: success isolates you from your fellow man, as does failure.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 4:23 PM
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359: It depends on the field.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 4:23 PM
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I will be happy for you, Mike. I would want people to be happy for me if it worked out well. I sort of feel like if I get one of the jobs I'm applying for, everyone will hate my guts.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 4:24 PM
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I won't hate you, AWB.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 4:24 PM
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Thank you, Brock. I know it's all lotto tickets I'm getting right now, but even my committee is sort of like, "Well, have you applied for a job at Barnes & Noble? That would be a good thing to do next year."


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 4:26 PM
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Tenure lines at Barnes & Noble are drying up, or so they say.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 4:28 PM
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Well, have you applied for a job at Barnes & Noble? That would be a good thing to do next year.

If you go that route, AWB, the unaccustomed affluence could be a little disconcerting at first, so be prepared for that.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 4:30 PM
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Tenure lines at Barnes & Noble are drying up, or so they say.

Except for the controversial endowed chairs in right-wing agitprop funded by the Olin-foundation.

I hear they're looking for a Coulter specialist.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 4:33 PM
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359: It depends on the field.

The universal answer for academic-culture questions! Though it isn't clear to me it applies in this case. I would have thought "don't gloat, don't be an ass, at least feign interest in others' experiences with the job market" would be in the right ballpark in any field. People are not resentful, in my experience.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 4:42 PM
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People who care about you are not resentful. I am so glad when smart people I love get jobs easily. It verifies my taste in friends.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 4:44 PM
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||
Oh man. Furloughs might be over for me. I'm furloughed the first three Fridays of the month and LOVE IT. I am horrified by the possibility that I may have to work five days a week all the time from now on. No one could bear that.

This is all because of that terrible man, Judge Roesch, ruling that furloughs aren't legal after all.

I'm going to have to go part-time.
|>


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 4:51 PM
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370: So are you going to get back pay?


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 5:05 PM
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...he asks without a hint of self-interest.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 5:05 PM
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Not clear, and not before the state has exhausted all appeals. Not for a long time. If I do, I'm going to have decide what I want to do about a windfall that I'd happily traded away for my Fridays (in my mind).

I can still hope I'm not in one of the departments the ruling applies to, but that's a faint hope at this point. Possible, I suppose, because our funding is not straightforward.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 5:11 PM
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I'm going to have decide what I want to do about a windfall

Window treatments?


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 5:13 PM
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(laughing)

No. I didn't do all that painting so I could cover up the window frames.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 5:15 PM
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Sigh. I wish some thoughtful judge would throw out my furlough, which hasn't resulted in any less work or time in the office. If it happens, I think I'll buy the world a Coke.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 5:18 PM
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Try to go before Judge Roesch, then. But really, the better route is to have some of the work and time in the office taken away.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 5:20 PM
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Wait, back pay? For ... having not worked? For having been deprived of the ability to work for three days per month?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 5:20 PM
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Yep. For the people who wanted to work and were willing to work and depended on the money, I think an award of back-pay is justified. For me, who laughed in joy every second I was furloughed, back pay is a farce. I'll have to figure out what to do with 15% of my annual pay arriving in a chunk. For work I didn't do, and loved not-doing.

(Also, it is a good lesson for the governor that state workers aren't a piggybank, and hiring them includes letting them work under the terms their unions negotiated.)


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 5:26 PM
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re: 311

If you mean that you play it really loud,, I can say for certain, that if you were my neighbour, you'd be wearing the stereo for a hat. I couldn't really give a shit about people's music if it's not so loud that I can't tune it out with some music/tv of my own, but once it gets beyond that, I exist in a state of near constant rage.* I had a neighbour last year who played his (unutterably shit) music on his (unutterably shit) hi-fi, at 'banging' volume, all the f'cking time. If he hadn't moved out, there would have come a time when that would have had to stop.

* with exceptions for the occasional party, people with their music on in the garden on a summer day, and all the usual stuff like that ...


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 5:26 PM
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Hell, my 25 year old is no longer speaking to me because I asked him to at least make the bed in the guest room when he sleeps over. Oh, and after two accidents and two moving violations, we regretfully rescinded his car privileges. So don't let H-P drive your car! So, there, baby! If you're gonna be daddy's girl, drive daddy's car! Ha!


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 5:27 PM
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I'd like to promote the fight if ttaM and Megan are going to square off. All proceeds to charity, of course.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 5:29 PM
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Eh. My neighbor occasionally gets it into her mind that very late night on a weeknight is a good time to do construction projects. I think back to the music I blast all afternoon, turn over and sleep peacefully.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 5:31 PM
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state workers aren't a piggybank

It's not a bad image, but I encourage people to call the furloughs what they are: an incredibly regressive and massive tax on a small subset of the state's population.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 5:32 PM
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Huh, I haven't gotten really angry about this issue in many months. Time to think about something else.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 5:32 PM
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On this from 311, by the way: Eh. On some fronts I am an inconsiderate person with a fast fuck-you reflex.

I hope it was clear that I wasn't suggesting that being viewed as an inconsiderate person is always to be avoided. Not always. Just sometimes. The fact is that in some situations, you'd just be making the community vibe bad or worse for all parties, and since (frankly) closing the blinds for half an hour or whatever isn't a huge huge imposition, and god knows not an injury, it's difficult to see how making this compromise for the sake of general good relations is just completely unacceptable.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 5:34 PM
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If it helps, ttaM, I have very good speakers.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 5:36 PM
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re: 387

It'd make it moderately less annoying, but it'd still drive me to distraction. The odd time, now and again, I take a live and let live attitude, but regularly loud enough to be genuinely intrusive, no, I couldn't live with it. I'd view it as a genuine imposition. The reality is I'd probably try to talk it out, or I'd move, I expect. Although I have gotten moderately confrontational about that sort of thing in the past.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 5:43 PM
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||

http://thequietus.com/articles/03947-guitarist-slash-guns-n-roses-on-gay-marriage-and-proposition-8

>


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 6:01 PM
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BTW, Williamson was convicted for being nude in his home.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 6:08 PM
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The Coase talk above has me wondering: is there somewhere I can see a statement of the Coase theorem as, you know, a theorem? Like a mathematical statement about well-defined quantities? Where I come from you can worry that a theorem rests on definitions or assumptions that don't match the real world very well, but saying it's a theorem means there's a rigorous mathematical statement there. It isn't clear to me that the Coase theorem is a theorem by that standard.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 6:09 PM
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Oh, I think Walt was saying what I'm thinking:

What's funny about all of the Coase stuff is that the arguments only work if there are two people. If there are three, then boom!

Because I can see that if I tried I could rigorize something (mumble mumble convex function mumble intermediate value theorem or something like that) about the two-person case, but it didn't seem like it necessarily works in higher dimensions. So... really? The vaunted "theorem" is based on taking the stupidest toy example and claiming the result generalizes when it doesn't? People get Nobel Prizes Sveriges Riksbank Prizes for that?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 6:13 PM
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This topic interests me for any number of reasons. I think my perspective used to be much more akin to Megan's; that was when I was highly transient. My perspective now is still fairly, erm, nonconformist, but I've seen too many neighborhood and community situations that really required compromise to think that I can still bully my way through and throw a general 'fuck you' to the community at large.

Case in point: I would not play music somewhat loudly during the work week and later at night than is considered normal at what used to my mother's house on the lake. Why? Because John who lives across the street works, and he helped my mom out tremendously several years ago when she broke her leg in the middle of winter. He snow-blew her walkway for her, checked in on her daily; he showed up, to my surprise, at her funeral. I would not disregard his need for relative quiet in the evenings. The same goes for other neighbors there, who call on each other for help when it's needed.

Also, on the balance between the libertine and the so-called prudish (a term I would retire or use with great care) views of bodily freedom: these do not translate straightforwardly to the hippie-like and those opposed. Megan, for example, seems to be greatly attached to private property and the rights enjoyed thereon. There's not much sense of the permeability of borders, of the larger community.

That said, it's not remotely weird, daring or unusual to make coffee and putter around in the morning in the nude. And there should always be as many open windows, as much light and air, as possible.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 6:14 PM
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You're right! It's not at all a theorem -- in addition to being false, tautological, meaningless, and inapplicable to situations with more than two people. But it's the foundation for an entire academic discipline, probably the core intellectual approach in US law schools, and beloved by the Freakonomists.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 6:15 PM
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391: No, there's no rigorous statement I know of. Calling it a theorem just makes people feel smart.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 6:17 PM
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393 is not to 392 or 391, as far as I know.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 6:18 PM
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Hold up. I vaguely remember seeing math associated with the Coase Theorem. Definitely a graph. But instead of finding that, I'm going to ride home.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 6:19 PM
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I should say that if I remember the original paper correctly, it's not itself dumb or overreaching. Just people talking about it are.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 6:23 PM
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My broad, general understanding is that the Coase Theorem is neither a theorem nor attributable to Coase. I've heard people say that there are useful things in "The Problem of Social Cost" that just have nothing to do with the policy implications that are purportedly drawn from it.

If you want to read the article that is cited for the proposition that there is such a thing as the Coase Theorem, it's here.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 6:28 PM
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Even 308 is wrong, at least in the sense that the paper is basically just a conjecture about how people might bargain trumped up as a rigorous argument (or, charitably, makes the banal point that "transaction costs are important, and people take them into consideration while bargaining," which is true but trivial).

Here is another useful treatment.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 6:28 PM
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398.1 pwned by 397.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 6:30 PM
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Sorry, that would of course be 399.1 pwned by 398.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 6:32 PM
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Gingers are not invited.

Rats.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 6:35 PM
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I'm reading your book!" Eh?

Maybe they meant Tom Jones. I think of that as your book, sort of, and I'm looking forward to reading it myself. I can't get you a job, sadly.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 6:39 PM
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Oops, looks like I misread your comment. I still look forward to reading TJ, though, and I still can't get you a job.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 6:43 PM
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Now I'm even confused about the two-person case of the Coase theorem. Oh well. I think I'm better off not thinking too hard about it.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 6:44 PM
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404: Yay! I hope you enjoy it. I found it pretty delightful.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 6:51 PM
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Very belatedly, Megan, I feel your "People looking through windows deserve what they see" is wrongly predicated on the idea that all sight is intentional - that if someone looked into a bedroom window, they must have meant to and thus shouldn't be surprised by bedroom activities. But humans naturally look around all the time without thinking about it; it's the default, so expecting people to match their sight habits to their sensibilities is a burden.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 6:53 PM
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||

My, so many isolated incidents we're getting.

|>


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 6:55 PM
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I'm pretty antithetical to the whole 'fuck you' thing anyway. People live in close proximity to each other, that needs quite a lot of compromise. Intruding on other people just because you can and don't care if you do just makes you a shite, most of the time. Of course sometimes it's unavoidable, and other times there's some sort of reciprocation, or mutually agreed compromise, and some of the time no compromise is possible because the other party is unreasonable; but the vast majority of the time, the unilateral fuck you is the philosophy of an arsehole.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 6:58 PM
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||

The official 50-state penis-size rankings have finally been released.

|>


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 7:07 PM
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So what about the sounds of sex in an apartment complex? Should consideration be given, or is this just one of the unavoidable facts of urban life?

Specifically, what if the most audible sounds are produced by the indulging of one of Mrs. Biden's kinks (and in such a way that the sounds paint a fairly clear picture of what is going on to neighbors within earshot)?


Posted by: Joe Fucking Biden | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 7:09 PM
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Buy a cheap white-noise machine? Target and Bed Bath & Beyond seem to have them for about $30.


Posted by: Neighbor | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 7:11 PM
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First glance is unintentional. Second look, one has enough information to tell that the look is through a frame, and anything seen within that frame is the looker's problem. I think you have a stronger case at night, because eyes are drawn to light. But I'd still put the burden on the sensitive looker to manage his field of view.

***
Europeans do hate American freedom!


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 7:12 PM
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411 Bespoke condoms? Do they employ fluffers?


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 7:13 PM
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Play a porn film featuring a (and here's the cunning bit) different, but equally noisy, kink, so they won't know who's doing what.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 7:13 PM
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41:

Top Ranking State by Average Penis Size: New Hampshire

Presumably they counted Judd Gregg as a big dick, which would skew the numbers.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 7:14 PM
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||

Is there anywhere to get a real-time list of votes on Sanate Amendments. All of the votes seem to be 58 to 41, and I'm trying to figure out who isn't voting. Byrd maybe?

|>


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 7:17 PM
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416: No, no, play a porn film featuring the opposite kink, so the sounds will cancel each other out.


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 7:17 PM
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412: Turn the TV on? That should muddle the noise enough to make it non-obvious. I think TV should work better than music for confusing noise.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 7:18 PM
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419: Shouldn't that be the same kink, but play it out of phase?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 7:19 PM
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I am so pwned.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 7:19 PM
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418: May I suggest the website of the United States Senate? (May not be real-time enough, but does have the vote lists.)


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 7:19 PM
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I guess 421 belonged on Standpipe's other blog.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 7:19 PM
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I love looking in people's houses and seeing how they've decorated. (I will on occasion take bike rides at dusk - when people are turning on lights but not closing blinds just yet - in nice neighborhoods for this express purpose.) I don't actually want to see the people that live there - that would make me feel like a voyeur - and I do stop looking as soon as I see that people are visible. If I happened to see Megan enjoying herself while nude in her own home, I think I would feel as though I had injured her, not the other way around.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 7:21 PM
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Also, I doubt any non-vocal noises are really as obvious as you think they are. Out of context and through a wall/floor, it's probably just puzzling, if audible.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 7:23 PM
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426 has me wondering if there's a theremin kink out there.

"What on earth is that?"


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 7:26 PM
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I was assuming, from the description of the problem, that they were vocal. Something like, "Yes! Yes! Tickle my lower back with that garden hose while wearing nothing but a cummerbund!"


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 7:27 PM
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419 - is there a website listing pairs of opposites? This could perhaps be a useful Mineshaft project?

(I amused myself for seconds today, deciding that (the physicist) Brian Cox was the opposite person to (the fictional character) Malcolm Tucker. Apart from the fact that they're both male, and um yeah, I would.)


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 7:27 PM
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427.1:There is now.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 7:27 PM
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Also, I doubt any non-vocal noises are really as obvious as you think they are. Out of context and through a wall/floor, it's probably just puzzling, if audible.

This is comforting but not true if you share a wall, IME. My next-door neighbor in one dorm (which featured cement block construction, which I assume to be a better sound dampener than drywall) regularly had her boyfriend over, and it was always clear what was going on.

Though, in their case, I think they liked it that way - it certainly felt as though they were trying to be overheard. At least, until, I was having a small party in my own room and the guests were sufficiently drunk enough to start mocking the noises unabashedly. (I feel a little bad about this, but eh. She never, ever, ever talked to anyone who lived on the floor and was rather rude about taking the shower.)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 7:28 PM
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414: Second look, one has enough information to tell that the look is through a frame, and anything seen within that frame is the looker's problem.

Again, you're assuming a mature agent (looker). What about children? Given a neighborhood in which there are no young children with gawking eyes and in which everyone has figured out not to look there, this might work, but you want to make a universal rule in order to eradicate the vagaries of human types and experience, and that's one-dimensional. This does not work on any scale larger than some small one in which your own neighborhood works for you.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 7:28 PM
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Europeans do hate American freedom!

I suspect I come from a place where actual violence is a much more immanent solution to conflicts arising from shared personal space.

FWIW, I think most people get along pretty well most of the time, and the odd lapse that everyone is prone to is no big deal. I'm not some grumpy old man constantly raging at other people's impositions or registering other people's noise all the time. I can only think of one or two neighbours, over many years, who were genuine arseholes about this sort of stuff. But those people were cocks, whether they viewed themselves as expressing themselves freely or not.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 7:28 PM
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We could as easily insist that people just remember to avert their eyes while you're sitting nude on your front porch, or for that matter while you're having sex in a public park.

But they never do, no matter how I insist. The world is full of perverts.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 7:31 PM
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419 416: No, no, play a porn film featuring the opposite kink, so the sounds will cancel each other out.

This sort of thing is well-studied.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 7:31 PM
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Anyway, it's not my neighbours I worry about overhearing me have sex, it's my children.

We have one shitty household in our road - there is often a parking space outside their house because no one wants to park there (none of them have a car) - and yesterday there was a new To Let sign up! Yay! I will be very pleased to get rid of these fuckers, please god we do, and don't somehow get worse.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 7:32 PM
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I don't think I'm expressing myself freely. I think I have a working non-aggression pact with my neighbor, who also enjoys being loud at odd hours.

The indoor stuff, like puttering around nude, I do for the experience itself, which I value more than other people's possible offense at seeing me in my house through my windows.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 7:33 PM
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432:

I saw people having sex as a child. FWIW, I think it was a helpful, not damaging experience. This notion that we need to shield children from all sex all the time is not one that I think worth supporting.

This isn't really an argument, I know, but people went for centuries having sex in the same room as their children! Sex isn't injurious. Flashers, etc. are something different than people just having sex in an ostensibly private place where they might happen to be seen if you're looking really hard. As an avowed looker through windows, I contest that it is actually pretty hard to do so and see anything.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 7:33 PM
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And yes, I know, like Jackmormon, I plant the fruit low.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 7:35 PM
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Theremin kink.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 7:35 PM
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431: Well, vocal noises can be unambiguous, and a rhythmically squeaking bed as well. But non-vocal kinky noises? I've been assuming we're talking about spanking or similar, and I doubt the sound carries that well.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 7:36 PM
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Joe needs to send a friend round to the neighbours to listen. Or plant bugs, at least.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 7:38 PM
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I was assuming, from the description of the problem, that they were vocal.

Vocal, but not verbal. The giveaway is more in the regularity and lag of the spacing between vocalizations, rather than in their mere pitch and timbre.

Kink charades!


Posted by: J F Biden | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 7:46 PM
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438: This notion that we need to shield children from all sex all the time is not one that I think worth supporting.

I did not suggest that. See my scenario sketched in 211. The question is not whether we need to shield all children from all sex all the time, but whether it's called for to draw the blinds in a situation like 211, or whether it's appropriate to refuse to do so.

What say you to the latter question?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 7:49 PM
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Non-verbal vocalizations can easily giving away sexual activity, but I'm having trouble imagining how they could possibly give away Mrs. Biden's specific kink.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 7:51 PM
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The giveaway is more in the regularity and lag of the spacing between vocalizations

What, the kink involves Morse code?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 7:52 PM
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regularity and lag of the spacing between vocalizations, rather than in their mere pitch and timbre.

Somebody likes to sing "BINGO"!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 7:53 PM
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292: Oh, wow, I've lived with my partner almost 3 years now and tonight for the first time she gave me a quick kiss on the steps to the porch as I was leaving the house and she was coming in. This has always been on my list of shit straight people do and so why on earth couldn't we, but she's thought it was asking for trouble to show any affection at all in the neighborhood. I hadn't thought of it as being a Brock-adjacent problem but I guess it really is.

The downside of this is that we've been asked several times if we're sisters, since we're always together and about the same height and both have glasses. Except she's a fairly dark-skinned black woman with dreadlocks and I'm a pasty pale straight-haired whitey. To me, those questions are a lot weirder than chaste lesbian kisses, but I also come down on the side of being allowed to make coffee in the nude even if someone could in fact maybe see me through the blinds. (So I do it in the nude AND IN THE DARK as the only acceptable agreement so far, bah.)


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 7:54 PM
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That article in no way lived up to its title, essear.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 7:55 PM
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448: I wouldn't worry about it. The WaPo recently ran a bunch of letters to the editor complaining that their coverage of the DC gay marriage thing was "overly celebratory". Basically, there are still assholes about, and they tend to point themselves out.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 7:57 PM
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449: I haven't looked at the paper. I just did a search for "kink/antikink" and grabbed the one with the most amusing title.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 7:58 PM
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444: I thought you were referring to the possibility of people looking through Megan's front window. Sorry for suggesting that you were making the broader argument.

As to the scenario in 211, I personally would close the blinds because I am conflict-averse, but I would accept an argument that said there was no need to do so.* But I am probably a crazy Californian outlier, and I am definitely a little Btocked right now, so maybe that's influencing my judgment on the situation.

*This assumes that the couple having sex is not getting off at the idea of children watching them; I know this doesn't make for a generalizable rule, since the law rarely takes motivation into account. So, I don't know. Maybe one should always close the blinds?


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 7:59 PM
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448: I don't at all. She does, but then again she's the black one and the homeowner, so I figure I should cut some slack. But maybe now I can point out that even if some passing car noticed us, it's not as bad as Landersville.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:00 PM
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The anti-kink would be doing the same kinky activity, but with a mustache.


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:05 PM
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448: Thorn, for what it's worth, I've been thinking of that as an adjacent question as well. I'm mostly straight myself, but have lived with a number of lesbians over the years, and it was a startling moment when a roommate and her girlfriend carefully closed the blinds when the girlfriend arrived for dinner, even though it was still light out.

When I eventually asked, they just said, "Nobody needs to know what they don't need to know. Think about it. We protect our privacy, for very good reason. This is just standard policy. We don't need hostility from the neighbors." A sobering moment. Things may be a little better now, depending on the neighborhood.

I'm so chagrined by that crap. Sorry that the two of you can't be as open as you want to be.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:10 PM
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That's why I give lesbians big thumbs up whenever I see them.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:14 PM
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...laydeez.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:15 PM
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Gross, heebie. I assume "big thumbs up" is like "the shocker" but for lesbians.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:17 PM
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No, it's more like a wet willie. Asexual but unwanted.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:18 PM
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And I go "Oogie-boogie whoosh a big girl? Are 'oo a big girl?" I'm very liberal.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:20 PM
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That hurts, heebie.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:20 PM
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440 is strange, but the video there is quite a bit stranger.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:21 PM
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But maybe now I can point out that even if some passing car noticed us, it's not as bad as Landersville.

Huh. I wouldn't have guessed anywhere else in the state was an improvement over Landersville on that count. (Particularly given the clues Btock has dropped about what part of town he lives in.)


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:21 PM
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Oh, lesbians are very welcome in my neighborhood. We even have special lesbian welcoming mats.


Posted by: Brock landers | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:25 PM
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414: But even if they immediately avert their eyes, they've gotten that first look.

I admit this is pretty silly, arguing for indulging people's prudery, but there's a principle at work - through laws and norms society makes people do things they wouldn't choose independently weighing the pros and cons (as you try in "which I value more than other people's possible offense"). A lot of that is quite unnecessary/oppressive and should be gotten rid of, but some, like this, is benign.

And is it really that much of an imposition to close the blinds while one is having sex etc.? It doesn't stop one from opening them the other 21 hours of the day.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:27 PM
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(But I think all Thorn meant was at least they were only kissing, not having sex.)


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:27 PM
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So no welcoming mat?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:27 PM
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I think Joe Fucking Biden is safe, simply because even people who could actually hear the vocalizations would have no idea what kink produced them.

Also, I still can't see how Williamson could be convicted for indecent exposure. The additional facts in MD 20/400's link don't really change much. Ok, so the people walking through the yard were on a public path. Ok, the woman saw him through a carpool doorway, and then, when she turned around to see if she really saw what she thought she saw, she saw him again in the picture window. Ok someone else saw him later through the picture window. Ok, his housemate said he was walking around the house all morning nude and wearing a hard hat. Ok, the police allege he was singing.

All this definitely elevates his behavior to odd. But criminal? Come on.

Megan, do you sing when you walk around the house naked?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:29 PM
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452: I thought you were referring to the possibility of people looking through Megan's front window. Sorry for suggesting that you were making the broader argument.

I was referring to people looking through Megan's front window. Megan's extended her view to say that even if she's blowing some guy in open view in her front window, that's her business, and potential onlookers, even if they're kids, can just look away. I say that that's problematic if the potential or likely onlookers are kids, and the curtains should be drawn in that case. Refusing to draw the curtains in that case becomes less an exercise of Megan's right to enjoy herself in the privacy of her own home, and more a pointless exercise in the right to do so regardless of who can see.

My claim does not, though, amount to the broader view that all kids should be shielded from all sex all the time.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:29 PM
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What if my children had seen it? Hm? Hm? They didn't, but only thanks to the purest good fortune that they haven't been born yet.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:31 PM
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I say that that's problematic if the potential or likely onlookers are kids,

Why?


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:32 PM
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We don't want to interfere with the porn-based worldview they're learning on the internet


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:33 PM
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See, I find the idea that they might see some actual couple having sex for a momentary glimpse way less problematic than anything they'd see on the internet, or, for that matter, many of the fashions and songs popular currently.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:35 PM
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The current societal value seems to be that parents should at least have the illusion of control.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:38 PM
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See, I find the idea that they might see some actual couple having sex for a momentary glimpse way less problematic than anything they'd see on the internet,

Even this?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:42 PM
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440 is strange, but the video there is quite a bit stranger

And it goes on for over an hour!

When I worked at Tower Records I read a laudatory review of that guy's art while at work, ran home and ordered his book and a video. Eventually I had to get rid of it, because simply having it in my house put me in too close proximity to too much crazy.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:43 PM
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475: Have you ever witnessed duck mating season? That picture may seem innocent, but let me tell you...

And ok, obviously not anything on the internet.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:46 PM
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Maybe a page containing the phrase "Large white speculum sometimes visible at rest" wasn't the best choice.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:48 PM
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I'm pretty sure that I'd be really angry if my neighbors were shamelessly having sex in a way visible to my kid. Wouldn't most parents? Can't really justify the intuition, but there it is.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:48 PM
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Yeah, I'm not a parent, so I probably shouldn't be having this conversation.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:49 PM
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473: Oh yes, me too.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:50 PM
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I don't think I'd care. The sex the kids would glimpse would be probably be grunty and red-faced and realistic. That's a good image to offset the porny online world.

I imagine the kid being more scandalized than anyone else, in a gossipy sort of way.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:53 PM
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471: Is it prudish of me to think that there's no reason 7-year-olds need to be lining up to watch a blow-job?

The parents probably don't want that. If it's a schoolyard opposite the house, the teachers probably don't want that. Ask them why not.

Remember that Megan has said that her open-windows reasoning applies to any situation at any time. If she does this routinely in the front window at 3:00 pm when school lets out, that's okay. I suggest that the kids will get an education, but the wider community will be put at significant unease.

I thought several times that Megan was trolling in all this, since her view seems to amount to the willful provision of a peep-show (see again my 211); but I'm not sure she is. And once again: this is not about whether one has, technically, the right to do as one wishes in one's home, with blinds open, but whether it's always appropriate to exercise that right.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:53 PM
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Wouldn't most parents?

If my 85-year-old widowed neighbor was having sex somewhere my kids could see it (which would pretty much have to be out in her yard), I'd be kind of proud of her, to be honest.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:53 PM
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484: Be the change you wish to see, apo.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 8:58 PM
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486

Damn! 485 is funny!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 9:00 PM
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I guess age matters a lot. If my 13 year old was looking in, no worries. But, yeah, I think that clearly public displays by neighbors in a way that, say a 2-8 year old could see would piss me off. I'd actually rather that not be true about myself, but realistically, I'd be pretty goddamn angry.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 9:03 PM
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Um, just to be clear, I am not arguing for public sex shows in front of children. A window with a porch and a garden in front of it and sex happening somewhere in that room is not clearly public to me. Which I think is what this whole argument was about in the first place. But I'm seriously not invested in all of this. (I really need to learn to control my impulse to comment.)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 9:06 PM
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489

I'm thinking, say, picture window, facing the backyard where kids regularly play, middle of the afternoon.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 9:11 PM
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490

I really need to learn to control my impulse to comment.

Nonsense. Imagine if we all did that.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 9:11 PM
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491

Nonsense. Imagine if we all did that.

Seriously.

Also, what the hell is the mystery kink? Are we going to get a reveal? Because I'm stumped.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 9:15 PM
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Won't someone think of the practical German national refrain?


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 9:22 PM
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Um, just to be clear, I am not arguing for public sex shows in front of children.

So it falls to me, then.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 9:22 PM
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Oh wait, it doesn't fall to me. Glad you have that covered, everyone.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 9:23 PM
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495

Helpychalk, I absolutely do sing.

Oh when you walk by every night,
Talking sweet and looking fine,
I get kinda hectic insii-iii-ide


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 9:26 PM
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But who will speak up for the private, but government-subsidized, sex shows for children?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 9:26 PM
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491: Something that induces rhythmic yelping - I figure my 'spanking' guess was pretty close. I have to say that I can't quite see the difficulty with figuring out how to muffle the sounds.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 9:26 PM
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488: I am not arguing for public sex shows in front of children. A window with a porch and a garden in front of it and sex happening somewhere in that room is not clearly public to me. Which I think is what this whole argument was about in the first place.

Alas, the thread has been long, and the argument pushed Megan to claims beyond those involved with the window with porch and garden beyond, so yeah, even in a glass house (cf. 243), you can do what you want.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 9:27 PM
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I'm pretty sure that I'd be really angry if my neighbors were shamelessly having sex in a way visible to my kid.

Ok, but what if their dogs were having sex in a way visible to your kid?

And why would you object more if a three-year-old could see, rather than a thirteen-year-old? I'd expect the exact opposites. What do three-year-olds know?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 9:28 PM
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I have frequently been surprised at the homemade porn I find on the internet where people have CNN or some such on in the background. Sure, maybe there's a desire to cover up some noise, but I just can't think of having TV blathering on as anything but unpleasantly distracting.


Posted by: Jimmy Carter | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 9:29 PM
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Well, in fairness, if you live in a glass house (1) it's probably not in the middle of a bustling, child-filled neighborhood, and (2) people are going to see you pooping, showering, and picking your nose: you might as well have sex.


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 9:29 PM
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As if you couldn't put up wallpaper or shelves.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 9:31 PM
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Putting wallpaper on the walls of your glass house would be like, well, it would be like carpeting over your beautiful hardwood floors, so I guess it would be pretty common, especially in the 70s and 80s.


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 9:32 PM
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||
I have just finished knitting my first ever pair of socks.

|>


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 9:39 PM
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I've painted every surface of my house (just about), but it was painted white when I got here. Sometimes I tell people that I painted the original redwood, just to see if I can get them to twitch. I patter on about how all that wood was so dark and busy and watch whether they get a tic.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 9:40 PM
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I have just finished knitting my first ever pair of socks.

And boy are your feet glad?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 9:40 PM
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497 is right.

Also, I guess the original inquiry was more interested in the theoretical question of whether people had the right to be spared awareness of such goings on, rather than the practical matter of how to spare them such awareness (there's no embarrassment on our end, but we do get looks).

That said, given how thin the walls are, I will have to turn the volume really high up ("Oh, yeah, them: they're freaks. They have this compulsive need to blast the opening scene of __Saving Private Ryan__ really loud at least three times a week at odd hours").


Posted by: J F Biden | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 9:43 PM
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They have this compulsive need to blast the opening scene of __Saving Private Ryan__ "Nasty Habits" by Oingo Boingo really loud at least three times a week at odd hours

["Turn the phone off, lock the door, and shut the curtains. Make sure that the neighbors are without suspicion. No one will know"]


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 9:47 PM
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Wallpaper blocks out the beautiful light.

JF Biden, I'd rather listen to the rhythmic yelping than the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan, just so you know. There's nothing you can do about sound migration in thin-walled places -- everybody knows it happens. Try to keep it low during other people's dinner time, maybe, if they seem to have guests, or during Sunday brunch when their in-laws might be over, but otherwise, hey, that stuff just gets heard.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 9:50 PM
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What if people saw you throwing stones in your glass house?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 9:53 PM
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And glass apartments--not necessarily a good idea. (But I as I recall you got to lower the shades during scheduled sex time, which could conceivably injure the sensibilities of your neighbors.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 9:59 PM
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"Oh, yeah, them: they're freaks. They have this compulsive need to blast the opening scene first half of __Saving Private Ryan__ Full Metal Jacket really loud at least three times a week at odd hours"


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 10:14 PM
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We is good. I think you're right about the scheduled sex time; you have better recall than I do unless you've read it quite a bit more recently.

It's definitely weird to hear myself arguing as I have been for compromise and sensitivity to others' delicate needs, given that my ideal community is a haven of open-minded and -hearted individuals who don't have much problem with nudity or other oddball freedoms, and who are very, very generous. It turns out that a lot of caretaking is involved even then, so I hear from a distance.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 10:16 PM
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171: What if I found the process of--ugh--eating really disgusting and injurious to behold?

Neb. I am half thinking you were referring to this bit from Buñuel. (If so, my apologies to Standpipe.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 10:17 PM
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I also have a big problem with the HBO series Real Sex. Like, I find it unbelievably disgusting.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 10:18 PM
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515: You should probably skip the video from 440.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 10:23 PM
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I also have a big problem with real sex. Like, I find it unbelievably disgusting.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 10:23 PM
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I'm not sure why you people have to keep insulting the Landers* -- in this way.

* really, not sure how to pluralize Mr. and Mrs. Landers


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 10:27 PM
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I also have a big problem with real disgust. Like, I find it unbelievably sexy.

Halford.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 10:27 PM
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514: nope. If anything, scenes from the beginning of Duck You Sucker and interspersed through Little Otik.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 10:29 PM
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I also have a real problem with big sex. Like I find it disgustingly unbelievable.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 10:29 PM
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518: In what way should we insult them?

(Actually, I rather like have no idea what you are referring to.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 10:34 PM
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Landerses. Like Joneses.

(Analogy ban!)


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 10:34 PM
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I've got a Basketball Landers.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 10:41 PM
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Landerses. Yes. I was going to go for that, but hesitated. Hence the dropped, unfinished -- in 518. Uh. I do not suggest that we should insult the Landerses in any other way, or even in that one: I have no doubt that their sex was as gorgeous as anyone's. Grunty and red-faced indeed. Heebie.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 10:51 PM
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I was going to go for that, but hesitated.

Then closed the blinds.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 11:01 PM
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Just turned off a few lights. It works, and preserves fresh air flow.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 11:10 PM
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All this indeterminately intentional sex watching/hearing of Real Sex™ is reminding me that about the creepiest and most voyeuristic I ever felt in my life was reading The Starr Report online. It left me feeling utterly squicked out about myself (not to mention my country and that unethical freakazoid Starr). Go St. Mary's!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 11:14 PM
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preserves fresh air flow.

The better to waft away nighttime farts.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 11:15 PM
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Unless one's bed is very high or the windows very low, I can't imagine that most horizontal sex would be visible to passersby.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 11:17 PM
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531

528.---Me too.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 11:18 PM
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532

He did say they weren't in a bedroom. Hypothetically.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 11:24 PM
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indeterminately intentional sex

I kept reading this as interminably intentional sex, which had me on the edge of my seat, I must say. Why, I had a dream just like that last night.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-24-10 11:26 PM
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My guess is that Joe Biden is caucusing with the majority whip, IYKWIM.
OT: Any suggestions for something interesting to do while stuck in Las Vegas for the weekend?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 12:21 AM
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I kept reading this as interminably intentional sex, which had me on the edge of my seat, I must say.

there is just so much intentionality in this sex

it is the most intentional sex i have ever had

intentional inekdickstence, amirite


Posted by: OPINIONATED FRANZ BRENTANO | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 12:25 AM
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OT: Any suggestions for something interesting to do while stuck in Las Vegas for the weekend?

Go to Mandalay Bay and ask them where the fucking bookstore is.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 12:27 AM
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BTW, congratulations to Btock for instigating one of the most comprehensively successful threadjacks in recent memory.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 1:13 AM
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Is there a book that explains how law and economics is all wrong? Dude, we should write that book! We can put a picture of Megan making coffee on the cover, and call it "The Comedy of the Commons".


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 2:19 AM
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My upstairs neighbour has carefully packed his suitcase for a trip and placed it by the front door - i.e. by my front door - so as to make a quick getaway. And in particular, he's packed his alarm clock set for 0800 precisely in the suitcase, so the fucking thing has been going off for the past hour while he slumbers upstairs.

With any luck he'll miss his flight. Meanwhile, I'm listening to the Wild Beasts to block out the maddening three-tone trill.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 2:46 AM
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Oh for fucks sake go and knock on his door. With a lump hammer.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 2:56 AM
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540: too late now..

Childproofing has gone to far if you can't have sex in your own house without worrying about your neighbour's children. Interesting to see but what about the children used unironically...


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 4:12 AM
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BTW, congratulations to Btock for instigating one of the most comprehensively successful threadjacks in recent memory.

"The commenters are exhibiting a big preference for Landers' topic over mine. It's hard not to feel jealous."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 4:52 AM
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463: essear, I did just mean that we were only quickly kissing goodbye and that I do think people who can't handle that need to get over themselves, while I have more sympathy for people who don't want to watch their neighbors' more intimate sex acts.

I imagine Brock's neighborhood is much more liberal than ours, but we're in a little historically working-class town that's pretty much live-and-let-live. We're not even the only lesbian couple on our block and we've never had any problems, and in fact our very first kiss was at the straight(ish) bar down the street. She's just paranoid because she's not used to being as open about being a lesbian as she now is professionally and at home.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 5:59 AM
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543 is freaking me out. Do I know you? How many lesbian couples are mixed race couples, wear glasses, and live in traditionally working class town with more than one lesbian couple on the same block? Maybe all of them, and I never noticed?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 7:08 AM
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In our town, only one, though word on the street is that there's a second black lesbian in town now. You're not on the Ohio River too, are you?


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 7:30 AM
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I agree with parsimon about 448; it's sad, although I suppose not surprising, that such caution is warranted.

This actually reminds me of a talk with my girlfriend just last night, or maybe Sunday. She noticed that I'm not much for public displays of affection - I rarely initiate hand-holding, am more likely to break hand-holding off, and rarely kiss or assgrab in public, although in the privacy of our homes I'm probably more likely to initiate stuff like that than she is. My explanation was that in the past, when I was generally bitter or at least depressed about my anemic love life, other peoples' public displays were even-more-depressing reminders, and now I minimize them out of sheer altruism. (Yeah, it's implausible, but I couldn't think of anything else.) Although come to think of it, self-consciousness might be more accurate - I don't do it because I assume everyone else is watching as much as I used to.

473
See, I find the idea that they might see some actual couple having sex for a momentary glimpse way less problematic than anything they'd see on the internet, or, for that matter, many of the fashions and songs popular currently.

Agreed. It took me entirely too long to figure out that porn, and even sex-as-described-in-sitcoms-and-Kevin-Smith-movies, are not intended and should not be used as advisory.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 8:36 AM
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"Oh, yeah, them: they're freaks. They have this compulsive need to blast the opening scene of __Saving Private Ryan__ really loud at least three times a week at odd hours whenever they're having sex."


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 8:54 AM
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I have no doubt that their sex was as gorgeous as anyone's. Grunty and red-faced indeed.

You seem to think that grunty and red-faced isn't sexy.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 10:44 AM
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I kept reading this as interminably intentional sex,

And now I am reading this as "intermittently intentional sex."

As in, "well at first i was trying to have sex with you, but right now I'm really just trying to make coffee, but for some reason I keep ending up having sex with you."


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 10:46 AM
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"First, that's not a coffee filter."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 10:48 AM
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You should probably get a tight grip on the counter. I'm about to demonstrate the "French Press".


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 10:57 AM
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My slow-drip technique has won many admiring fans.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 11:03 AM
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And if you're into that kind of thing, the double ristretto is a house specialty.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 11:04 AM
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Careful around the grinder, though.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 11:15 AM
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You seem to think that grunty and red-faced isn't sexy.

Hell no. Now, give me grunty and red-faced along with a few changes of position during which at least one accidental elbowing-in-the-face ("Ow!" "Oh, sorry! Are you okay? Um, were we we?") occurs, and then we're talking.

I could totally write pron scripts.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 11:23 AM
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Except that I'd need an editor for the actual dialogue, so that the elbower says, "Um, where were we?"


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 11:25 AM
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"Um, that wasn't an elbow."


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 11:27 AM
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Good grief, Stanley, your script has one party kneeing the other in the face? Well, okay, but maybe these people need to work on their coordination.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 11:31 AM
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grunty and red-faced along with a few changes of position during which at least one accidental elbowing-in-the-face

If that's the sort of thing that gets you off, you would stain your pants watching the UFC.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 11:36 AM
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Its true, "you're on my hair" doesn't appear enough in porn (to my knowledge, which is limited.)

The funny thing is that that sort of accident must happen in filming all the time, and they foolishly edit it out.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 12:00 PM
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Sadly, that's not the sort of thing that gets me off.

Apropos of Cyrus upthread, though, I am a fan of public displays of affection. I sometimes think compatibility in this regard is crucial to the success of a couple. Not sure about this. But I do find it really disappointing to be with someone who can't abide a public kiss or hug, or hand-holding, or an arm around the waist. Hand-holding is one the greatest things ever invented.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 12:06 PM
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I'm in favor of public displays of inflection. In fact, I'd go as far as saying they're vital to communication in any sort of relationship.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 12:08 PM
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563

Hand-holding is one the greatest things ever invented.

But it's no chopped bread.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 12:14 PM
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In fairness, I did say it's *one of* the greatest things.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 12:23 PM
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545: No. My friends live in a large city on the Delaware River. If I really did know you from another context, that would have been freaky.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 03-25-10 3:22 PM
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Dead thread, but this is the right place.

The case of the naked guy in Virginia is getting appealed. More here. A judge has ruled that the warrantless entry was allowable.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 03-26-10 8:18 PM
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