Re: File under "posts that will have short comment threads"

1

1. Gorgeous dress, in which you will look gorgeous.

2. No, formal hairstyles aren't all ugly. I love a french twist, for example. I also like a soft roll from the bangs down the sides to the back of the neck. Not that I can put my own hair up that way. But some formal hairstyles are elegant and flattering. Since the dress is asymmetric, a rolled hair style could be too.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 11:37 AM
horizontal rule
2

Does the wedding invite say to wear a tux (or a black suit) in so many words? I've never gotten such an invitation.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 11:41 AM
horizontal rule
3

"posts that will have short comment threads"

I don't know if this is a challenge against which I should be up or some sort of reverse psychology for which I should not fall.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 11:41 AM
horizontal rule
4

I own a tuxedo. They are cheaper than a real suit.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 11:43 AM
horizontal rule
5

Is there really such a thing as a "formal" hairdo? Why not wear what you usually wear - I'm sure it will be fine. (ms bill reminds me that the day before our wedding, her mom wanted her to get a so-called "permanent" for her very straight hair, apparently causing turmoil in the bridal party. I was (and continue to be) insensitive to the gravity of the situation.)


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 11:45 AM
horizontal rule
6

I'm taking this thread all the way to 5.


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 11:45 AM
horizontal rule
7

Dammit, bill.


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 11:46 AM
horizontal rule
8

Also, heebie, this seems like it offers you a chance for fun hair accessories. You could do a one-sided pin-up, with a large flower clip. Or a real gardenia. The dress has a lot of force, so you have a lot of leeway to wear something dramatic to balance that out.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 11:47 AM
horizontal rule
9

The dress has a lot of force

Since F = MA and the dress doesn't appear to be moving very fast, it must be made of some super heavy material.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 11:52 AM
horizontal rule
10

I don't understand-- when you sit down, the part most likely to be spilled on is white. Invert the figure+ground and it would be more practical.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 11:54 AM
horizontal rule
11

Ignore those pesty boys, heebie. We're having a serious conversation here. What shoes will you wear?


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 11:55 AM
horizontal rule
12

Why not wear what you usually wear - I'm sure it will be fine.

It always mystifies me when people read my posts as me being upset or worked up. Especially when I include lines like:

but basically I just try to remember to actually brush my hair and trust that no one actually cares.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 11:56 AM
horizontal rule
13

Or a real gardenia.

This is brilliant. I've always wanted to put a gardenia behind my ear for a formal event.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 11:58 AM
horizontal rule
14

"no one actually cares"
We can all see your hidden cries for help.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 11:59 AM
horizontal rule
15

It always mystifies me when people read my posts as me being upset or worked up.

Now simmer down....



Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 12:01 PM
horizontal rule
16

What shoes will you wear?

Low white heels with a peep toe. In that grandmother/Mad Men vein that the kids are sporting these days.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 12:01 PM
horizontal rule
17

They're actually super uncomfortable but I've run out of time to find better ones.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 12:02 PM
horizontal rule
18

Low white heels with a peep toe.
Okay, first you're going to have to put a spider in his bed.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 12:03 PM
horizontal rule
19

18: Ouch!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 12:05 PM
horizontal rule
20

Fashion knows no pain. They'll look great.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 12:05 PM
horizontal rule
21

20: Easy for you to say!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 12:07 PM
horizontal rule
22

I am willing to suffer for great clothes on great occasions.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 12:08 PM
horizontal rule
23

I would wear peep-toe shoes more often, but I have that nail fungus thing.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 12:08 PM
horizontal rule
24

23 was written before I saw 22. I suppose if I found the right shoes for a formal occasion, I'd use conditioner on the toe hairs and go with the open shoe.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 12:10 PM
horizontal rule
25

I liked this hair widget that was worn to my wedding.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 12:11 PM
horizontal rule
26

23: Haven't you seen those commercials for the cure for that?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 12:15 PM
horizontal rule
27

Hats! I do have some formal hats. I think they're in storage though. Oh man, that would have been awesome too, although it's not really my group of friends so I might have felt too conspicuous.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 12:16 PM
horizontal rule
28

26: There's a cure for the desire to wear open shoes?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 12:16 PM
horizontal rule
29

22: Teh hero!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 12:17 PM
horizontal rule
30

28: Yes! It's called winter.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 12:18 PM
horizontal rule
31

I almost always feel uncomfortable, both physically and socially, wearing clothes with any level of formality. At this point, I think I'd refuse any invitation to a wedding that wasn't hobo-style.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 12:23 PM
horizontal rule
32

I am willing to suffer for great clothes on great occasions.

I'll never fully understand this spirit of sartorial martyrdom among women, though I grudgingly respect it.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 12:23 PM
horizontal rule
33

hair widget

Fascinator? I couldn't figure out how to work her buckles!


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 12:27 PM
horizontal rule
34

I'll never fully understand this spirit of sartorial martyrdom among women, though I grudgingly respect it.

Well, it is one of the greatest accomplishments of the patriarchy.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 12:29 PM
horizontal rule
35

33: No, I barely kept her interest.


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 12:33 PM
horizontal rule
36

I have ideas!

Braids. No, really, a mass of little braids in the back pinned up into a bun-like item. If I had thicker hair, I'd wear this style all the time.

I also like a high-placed bun--and consider padding your bun with something or using a bit of fake hair inside it to add volume. Then pin it securely in place. Tendrils and wisps are okay, but not elaborate, gelled sausage curls.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 12:35 PM
horizontal rule
37

At first glance, I read "consider padding your bum."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 12:37 PM
horizontal rule
38

I also like a high-placed bun--and consider padding your bun with something

Maybe a donut, so that you'll have something to eat if the service drags on too long.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 12:37 PM
horizontal rule
39

When I was a teenaged ballet dancer, I strapped down my breasts and padded my bun. There's a Soviet Russia joke in there somewhere.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 12:39 PM
horizontal rule
40

That is a great dress. What about a ponytail, held back by something like this?


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 12:41 PM
horizontal rule
41

13: http://butterflyenchantressdesigns.com/HairClipGwynethGardeniaSET.html


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 12:44 PM
horizontal rule
42

[T]he invitations tells men to wear tuxedos or black suits.

Not all black tie is black; midnight blue often looks better in artificial light and/or photographs. Also, I hope this wedding won't be taking place in the afternoon or something, because black tie before six or so is just wrong. Wrong.

I could ask the Ex whether open-toed shoes are appropriate for a wedding just before Labor Day. Is this a church wedding? Hotel? Circus tent? Football stadium?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 12:45 PM
horizontal rule
43

39: In Soviet Russia, hair snoods you!


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 12:49 PM
horizontal rule
44

42.last: I'm going to wear white shoes all the way through Monday. Before Labor Day is before Labor Day.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 12:50 PM
horizontal rule
45

I was just thinking that heebie is wearing white shoes right up to the Labor Day cut-off. Way to maximise summer.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 12:51 PM
horizontal rule
46


Or a real gardenia.

Hey, I know someone who had that idea!


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 12:54 PM
horizontal rule
47

44, 45: This close to the cutoff the issue is day-to-day. Venue, hour, temperature and cloud cover have to be taken into account.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 12:55 PM
horizontal rule
48

47: Fine. I'll get the marker and color my shoes brown for fall.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 12:57 PM
horizontal rule
49

As a bonus, they'll smell like cinnamon!


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 1:00 PM
horizontal rule
50

49: Everyone wins.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 1:04 PM
horizontal rule
51

Is it true that women's formal hairdos are all ugly?

I think this might have been more true in the past, when one would have been more likely to feel the need to pile all the hair on the top of the head in some elaborate structure.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 1:06 PM
horizontal rule
52

50: Nobody wins if they get close enough to my shoes. They do NOT smell like cnnamon.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 1:08 PM
horizontal rule
53

But if you don't feel a need to pile hair on top, you can use the hairdo to emphasize cheekbones or eyes or ears. The hairstyle itself doesn't have to be ugly, and it can also flatter your face. Options!


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 1:09 PM
horizontal rule
54

51: Some of those styles must have looked good, depending on the wearer's stature, coloring, dress, etc. Not everyone can pull off the ol' Lady of Shalott or Blessed Damozel, the various mistresses of the Pre-Raphaelites notwithstanding.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 1:10 PM
horizontal rule
55

Further to 54: Though, of course, those who can, should flowing-locks and ringlet it up as they choose.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 1:12 PM
horizontal rule
56

Is it true that women's formal hairdos are all ugly?

Survey says, "No!"


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 1:17 PM
horizontal rule
57


FWLIW, I think Heebie's dress cries out to be worn with a hat.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 1:24 PM
horizontal rule
58

Very nice dress! (That is all.)


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 1:26 PM
horizontal rule
59


Speaking of fashion, could this look really be making a comeback? Seems like the Fall line is an especially inopportune time to introduce it, but who am I to complain? (Sorry, heebie.)


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 1:35 PM
horizontal rule
60

What is up with that model's eyes?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 1:36 PM
horizontal rule
61

I wouldn't know.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 1:39 PM
horizontal rule
62

The model had eyes?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 1:41 PM
horizontal rule
63

There, I think I've filled my masculinity performance quota for the day.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 1:49 PM
horizontal rule
64

What is up with that model's eyes?

I know, right? I'm pretty surprised that comeback of the silvery gray eye shadow look is in combination with the cateye look.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 1:57 PM
horizontal rule
65

63: Fist bump! Brewskis all around, bro!


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 2:00 PM
horizontal rule
66

I'd prefer wine, thanks. Or perhaps a sugary cocktail.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 2:04 PM
horizontal rule
67

No fist bumps until after the wet T-shirt contest, then.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 2:05 PM
horizontal rule
68

Or perhaps a sugary cocktail.

I've tried drinking Rusty Nails and found them too sweet, which is odd because I like sweet red wines and because the beer I drink is probably sweeter. I think maybe I should try one with some scotch that isn't the one they use for $3 mixed drinks at happy hour.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 2:08 PM
horizontal rule
69


68: Have your kid mix you one, that seems to be the done thing.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 2:10 PM
horizontal rule
70

67: The contest will have to wait, because I don't want to go to my meeting all soaked.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 2:10 PM
horizontal rule
71

the wet T-shirt contest

Now that's the sort of sartorial martyrdom I can respect ungrudgingly.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 2:11 PM
horizontal rule
72

I have very much been wanting to make this cocktail, but I haven't bring able to bring myself to buy a whole bottle of Chartreuse.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 2:12 PM
horizontal rule
73

Transparency is coming way back in women's fashion--usually in wispy layers, though. The new element in the look in 59 is all the crushed velvet, and I'm not sure how I feel about crushed velvet.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 2:12 PM
horizontal rule
74

What percentage of Knecht's time is spent thinking about how he almost saw some chick's boobs under her shirt in 1993? 25%? 55%? Someone needs to just set up a fetish website for the man.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 2:13 PM
horizontal rule
75

I love the ideas in 36 and 40.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 2:13 PM
horizontal rule
76

I wish I had really long luxurious hair for this one night.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 2:14 PM
horizontal rule
77

...to pile up into a great big bun. Or a long 50'ish ponytail.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 2:15 PM
horizontal rule
78

How long is your hair now?


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 2:16 PM
horizontal rule
79

77 - Or a Yulia Tymoshenko braided crown/halo thing.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 2:17 PM
horizontal rule
80

74: Let's not cast stones. Some of us spend rather a lot of our own time in that particular arrondissement of our memory cities.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 2:21 PM
horizontal rule
81

Oh, I'm not criticizing. I spend a lot of time thinking about a butt I saw in 1991.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 2:22 PM
horizontal rule
82

78: Almost chin-length in some places, shorter weird bits here and there.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 2:27 PM
horizontal rule
83

Now that I think of it, that dress would probably be nicely complemented by a sort of Jean Seberg/Mia Farrow cut.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 2:29 PM
horizontal rule
84

Pulling it back with a clip/comb/barette thingie on one or both sides would probably look nice at that length. Or just brushing it, as you say. It's harder to do a special look when your hair is short.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 2:34 PM
horizontal rule
85

72: Green Chartreuse is worth it. Other things you can do with it include:

The Last Word (contender for the title of my favorite cocktail ever, equal parts gin, lime juice, maraschino liqueur, and green chartreuse)

The Final Ward (equal parts whiskey, chartreuse, lemon juice, and maraschino)

Chartreuse and Soda (or chartreuse straight, from a thimble, as a digestif)

You can also use it instead of bitters, e.g. in any cocktail that calls for Angostura


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 2:35 PM
horizontal rule
86

Megan is the only person talking sense on this thread. Heebie should definitely wear a hat with that dress - wide brimmed straw, natural or white. Therefore hairdo will not be all that critical.

I trust this is an evening wedding, or else tuxedos are a regrettable solecism.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 2:37 PM
horizontal rule
87

It's harder to do a special look when your hair is short.

Gardenia! Extravagent fake flower! Pinned to one side. I'm telling you!


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 2:38 PM
horizontal rule
88

Wide brimmed straw hat at a black tie event? That doesn't strike me as formal enough.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 2:38 PM
horizontal rule
89

OT: You know, people, if I happen to post an image of one of the Lord's little forest animals to FB, or e-mail it to you, and caption it "Chipmunk," whether or not you forward it to your mother, I am not inviting debate about whether it is a squirrel.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 2:39 PM
horizontal rule
90

But I wasn't advocating a hat, yet.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 2:39 PM
horizontal rule
91

Hat makes no sense for night wedding, unless you're wearing a 40s costume, dinner jacket aka tuxedo makes no sense for day wedding. Which is it?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 2:41 PM
horizontal rule
92

You could wear an executioner's hood and then, at the key moment, tear it off to reveal a fez.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 2:44 PM
horizontal rule
93

I think it's an evening wedding. Or I assumed it was, what with the tuxedo/black suit requirement.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 2:44 PM
horizontal rule
94

91. Hat obligatory for formal wedding regardless of the hour. I was trying to avoid discussing whether the dress was insufficiently formal for an evening, black tie do, because it's a fait accompli and more to the point it's a great dress. In hot climates (Texas) ladies can get away with less formal evening wear than in cold. Gents can even wear shell jackets if they want.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 2:45 PM
horizontal rule
95

93: Top hat, either collapsible or rabbit-producing.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 2:45 PM
horizontal rule
96

94 is some kinda British bullshit. No one here wears hats at night unless they're freaks.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 2:48 PM
horizontal rule
97

82 to 81?


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 2:49 PM
horizontal rule
98

Beautiful dress, by the way.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 2:49 PM
horizontal rule
99

96: In 2011, no one wears a hat at all unless he's one of those menswear-Tumblr tools or too old to care what people think.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 2:51 PM
horizontal rule
100

99 in this case he's she.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 2:52 PM
horizontal rule
101

The dress is beautiful, H-G. Also, you should follow Megan's advice in 87.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 2:52 PM
horizontal rule
102

Billie Holiday wouldn't send you wrong.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 2:56 PM
horizontal rule
103

99: Just this week at Midway, I saw an old school WASP in full summer regalia: Go To Hell golf pants, navy blazer, and a summer fedora*. The gate agent said, "You know you're styling."

*I don't know what you call it. He wasn't wearing it of course, so I didn't get the full image.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 3:00 PM
horizontal rule
104

Obviously the side with the squared-off strap should be the side pinned up with a flower. Your flowy hair on the other side will echo the drape over that strap.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 3:10 PM
horizontal rule
105

103: Boater? Panama? Trilby? I've wasted precious brain cells on such matters?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 3:12 PM
horizontal rule
106

105 -- It's a lesser airport, so a trilby would be fine and a panama excessive.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 3:16 PM
horizontal rule
107

The pants were patchwork madras, if that is possible. The hat was a standard man's hat from the 60s except made from a fancy grade of very pale straw. It had feathers in the hat band.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 3:23 PM
horizontal rule
108

107: I bought a pair of patchwork madras pants some time ago, to scandalize family and friends. I may still have them somewhere.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 3:26 PM
horizontal rule
109

92: Fezzes are cool.

Executioners hoods, not so much.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 3:29 PM
horizontal rule
110

There's a story about my grandfather wearing a hat to Midway Airport. He very nearly died in a plane crash there in 1940, and as the story goes, they thought he actually was dead until someone moved or removed his hat and he screamed in pain, which led to his being taken for treatment and surviving.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 4:01 PM
horizontal rule
111

"It's a bad plan when you lose your hat."

What Megan said, and with the gardenia, a knot of ribbons & lcaves in the colors of your dress. Wisp of veiling would make it a formal evening head-dress, but might confuse moderns at a wedding.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 4:59 PM
horizontal rule
112

My wedding/hat story comes from earlier this summer, when several people were commenting quietly to one another about another guest's stylishly large hat. "She's from the UK," someone explained to everyone's satisfaction. Only it turned out, nope, she's a Yank.

What amused me is that we were all willing to accept being from the UK as a valid reason to be the person at the wedding with the fabulous (but not too fabulous—she was rockin' it) hat.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 5:50 PM
horizontal rule
113

Taking a break from the football game to agree that H-G's dress is beautiful and that a flower in her hair would be lovely. Back to the NFL.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 5:59 PM
horizontal rule
114

Speaking of the NFL and in the hopes of manning up this chick thread, which team should I root for this year? Remember, LA has no team. My traditional "allegiance," since professional football abandoned the second-largest market in the country, is to the Steelers, but I'm not really that emotionally committed to them and frankly Big Ben has just gotten too rapey for me to enjoy that rooting interest. I'm thinking of the following:

1) Jets. Seems to be consensus LA fan choice because of Sanchez.
2) Chargers. Will probably move to LA next season anyway, so why not start now.
3) New Orleans. Fun but felt too bandwagoney the past two seasons.

I absolutely can't root for New England under any circumstances, and my wandering fandom is unlikely to alight on a sure loser of a team. Any thoughts?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 6:14 PM
horizontal rule
115

Rooting for the Bears is an Unfogged tradition.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 6:21 PM
horizontal rule
116

Packers.

Green Bay Packers Quarterback Aaron Rodgers reading the Paleo Diet


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 6:24 PM
horizontal rule
117

which team should I root for this year?

Aren't you supposed to make up your own mind? Or is that not how it works?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 6:26 PM
horizontal rule
118

Re 114:

Be odd. Root for Tennessee. Or Buffalo.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 6:33 PM
horizontal rule
119

Hmmmmm, 116 may do it for me. I think Rodgers is a big union guy too. Plus the civic-ownership thing. Bandwagoney after the Superbowl, but maybe that's all right.

I would totally root for Buffalo except that, since I'm going to be a fake-fan anyway, why pick a loser.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 6:41 PM
horizontal rule
120

professional football abandoned the second-largest market in the country

Wait, what? USC has no team this year?


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 7:02 PM
horizontal rule
121

Halford, you should root for the Lions. If Stafford stays healthy, they have all the pieces to be this year's Cinderella and their offense is going to be a ton of fun to watch. Plus, Detroit. They need it every bit as badly as New Orleans did.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 7:10 PM
horizontal rule
122

Apo is right.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 7:12 PM
horizontal rule
123

Yeah, that's the right move, I should have thought of that first. "Ndamukong" is such a great name. Plus I love Detroit. Plus the girlfriend is from Detroit so maybe I can rope her into some lazy Sundays. Lions it is!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 7:16 PM
horizontal rule
124

114 et seq.: To root for the Jets is to root for Rex Ryan, who is a colossal jaw-flapping jackass. To root for the three-time Super Bowl champion Patriots is to root for truth and love and youth and beauty.

No, sorry, that's the Red Sox. Rather, to root for the Patriots is to root for spectacle of the freezing acumen of Bill Belichick bringing misery, suffering and defeat to, inter alia, Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger and the guy who murdered those dogs.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 7:25 PM
horizontal rule
125

I LOVE BALLS!


Posted by: Pauly Shore | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 7:32 PM
horizontal rule
126

Erm, I don't follow team sports, as you all know, but did I hear correctly on the radio sometime in the last couple of days that some past sports hero of Baltimore committed suicide recently apparently, or supposedly, because he felt that he'd been somehow responsible for the Baltimore team's fall from greatness?

If so, priorities seem to be a little out of whack. It's possible, though, that I misheard the whole thing.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 7:36 PM
horizontal rule
127

If that's true, it represents a chilling escalation in the "Most Authentic in Baltimore" arms race ignited by all the praise for The Wire. There's blood on your hands, television critics!

Seriously, if that is true, it is horrible.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 7:41 PM
horizontal rule
128

Yeah, Mike Flanagan.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 7:45 PM
horizontal rule
129

Mike Flanagan, Orioles pitcher. One of many stories here.

The local public radio commentator I heard, the sports commentator guy, seemed to take it as given that Flanagan committed suicide in despair over the sorry state of the Orioles team, but that doesn't seem clear.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 7:48 PM
horizontal rule
130

I love the dress and agree totally with the flower recommendation. when I had long hair I used to often wear various "formal" styles and I thought they looked great, especially the crown of braids; I wore that all the time in rome during my 3 month-long honeymoon (school vacations!). now that it's short it is harder to dress it up, but another option than the flower clip is a nice headband. perfect choice on the shoes too, btw, it's exactly what I would have chosen. I long for excuses to dress up since I have so many formal dresses and shoes and clutches and on and on. happily I'm going to a formal dinner saturday.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 7:51 PM
horizontal rule
131

126: Re Mike Flanagan, some press reports were that he was concerned about "financial issues." He had been in the Orioles front office and had been forced out a while ago, so perhaps that affected him. To the extent that "priorities seem to be a little out of whack," I don't think that they're unique to sports.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 7:56 PM
horizontal rule
132

I was going to vote Packers too, if you're going non-Cali, but honestly: yes, start now. Chargers. (So you can say OK, better next year when the season is done and actually mean it. Besides, it's not really fun to try and seriously root for a team without local sports coverage, ESPN be damned.)

max
['Besides, last time I paid attention, the Chargers were pretty good.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 8:02 PM
horizontal rule
133

For a suicide that was probably much more plausibly linked to on field performance see Donnie Moore* Moore was the pitcher who gave up an improbable 3-run home run to Dave Henderson when the Angels were one pitch from winning the ALCS over Boston in 1986. (and of course, Boston then got to have their own little collapse a couple of weeks later).

*He certainly had other issues, he shot his wife three times in the incident (she survived).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 8:03 PM
horizontal rule
134

In other killer sports/tennis ball/hurricane thread-related news, I was watching the US Open last night and damn if Andy Roddick did not apparently squish a bug with his serve. It handcuffed his opponent who then stalked forward and flicked what looked to be a large insect ( announcers thought it was a moth) off the court with his racket.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 8:08 PM
horizontal rule
135

131: To the extent that "priorities seem to be a little out of whack," I don't think that they're unique to sports.

No doubt, yet the point remains.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 8:09 PM
horizontal rule
136

I'm afraid that rooting for the Chargers, which makes sense, means rooting for Philip Rivers. And that is something that no decent person would even consider.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 8:14 PM
horizontal rule
137

Of course in the good old days of 1994, a Colombian soccer player was shot for a miscue against the U.S. in the World Cup.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 8:25 PM
horizontal rule
138

136 -- I'm already sold on Detroit anyway, Apo convinced me. I don't have a particular beef against Rivers, but the Chargers will have to wait until they actually move into the new Farmers' Field to get Halford love.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 8:27 PM
horizontal rule
139

So, I ran four and a half miles tonight. This is about a mile more than I have run before. Now I'm really thirsty (I've had close to a gallon of water since I finished) and a bit hungry (so I've been in the chocolate chip cookies). I may try a half marathon one of these days.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 8:34 PM
horizontal rule
140

138: Plus you get to yell "MEGATRON!"


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 8:39 PM
horizontal rule
141

17: Low white heels with a peep toe. [...] They're actually super uncomfortable but I've run out of time to find better ones.

Well, with that dress and it being September in Texas, I was thinking white strappy heels where the straps are wide and end above the ankle, which ought to be comfortable and sorta greek goddessy. Unfortunately, Google doesn't like me much in that department, but these from Nine West are sorta in the ballpark of what I was thinking. They look more comfy anyways, and the formality is fine for that particular dress.

1: I love a french twist, for example.
86: Megan is the only person talking sense on this thread. Heebie should definitely wear a hat with that dress - wide brimmed straw, natural or white. Therefore hairdo will not be all that critical.

I absolutely agree (particularly considering short hair) with the french twist. This one isn't quite right, but I like the side braid to cope with too short front hair (as needed). I think straight down instead of a the whatever that is on the bottom would be better. (Obviously?)

That said, I am totally with hat idea as well. The dress puts me in mind of 'flapper' but not the no-rim hats. I am thinking more 60'sish (?) like this one with the bow and the black trim. (I dig the trim.) But not that one because it is obviously crap. But this one is closest to what the picture in my head that goes with that dress. (http://www.amazon.com/Physician-Endorsed-Wide-Brim-Protection/dp/B001QB9KS0) Note here that I am not advocating for any of these particular hats, just getting within strike distance of the concept.

So you got the french twist and the hat, and then, tah-dah, you can stick the flower in the hat. And the look is elegant gardeny. Take the hat off (and stick the flower in your hair?) and it's more severe and formal. And if it's not formal enough for an outdoor (?) (or indoor!) wedding in Texas in September and they frown at you... who are these assholes again?

max
['People are ridiculous, he said, restating the obvious.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 8:45 PM
horizontal rule
142

One doesn't wear wide-brimmed hats in the evening, though. Miss Manners' summary is that if it looks as though it was constructed on or for your head, it's a daytime hat: if it seems to have briefly perched there for a moment's rest from flight, evening.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 9:05 PM
horizontal rule
143

Screwed up the very last link. Please fix. Thanks.

59: Speaking of fashion, could this look really be making a comeback?

Oddly, I was thinking the other week of a similar look, for entirely unrelated (and non-sexual) reasons. That is, a decade or so ago I was paging through... Archaeology Review? (well, the sibling pub to Biblical Archaeology Review, anyways) and happened upon an article about recreating Minoan fashion. This stuff was not sheer, of course, but was basically a wide open vested with prominently featured bare breasts. Because the immediate reaction ('I wasn't expecting quite that here, but OK, thanks guys') after contemplating it a bit it occurred to me that that was a physically workable style in a age when diets (even elite diets) were highly restricted. Another words, the restricted diet made for the tiny boobies, since boobies are mostly fat. Thus support is not nearly as much of an issue, mechanically speaking. So every time I see something like this, I am thinking those gay guys must really be feeling the need to shock and annoy somebody because there's not a chance in hell even the trendiest sort of girl is going to adopt that shit. We may live in an age of anorexic plastic but even the anorexic models aren't way into painfully boinging around. Kinda like I could go jogging in the nude because it was so in, but having my nutsack bouncing around painfully in full public view sounds like, really stupid. (I have shopped for bras and some of them fit, so shut up.)

64: I know, right? I'm pretty surprised that comeback of the silvery gray eye shadow look is in combination with the cateye look.

So am I. 'God, that's ugly. What happened to your eyes? Did you have an accident?'

73: Transparency is coming way back in women's fashion--usually in wispy layers, though. The new element in the look in 59 is all the crushed velvet, and I'm not sure how I feel about crushed velvet.

A sheer bra with something other than a button shirt might be made to work, otherwise it just looks like a construction site or the inside of a dirigible. I like crushed velvet, but in this particular case, they seem to have decided to be depressed again which for some reason has caused caused them to choose a color scheme appropriate to a sewer system or a storm drain. ('Gray concrete and something brown. So hot.') Perhaps they are not feeling as angsty as they did in 2008 when black leather came back in briefly, but it's definitely not cheerful. Bleh.

max
['Weird.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 9:20 PM
horizontal rule
144

agree that a little hat would be the way to go for evening. it would be awesome with a little veil, but it seems too late, so go for the flower. seriously, you'll look SO beautiful and elegant in it. actually this is inspiring me to wear a frangipani to dinner saturday. or, I have a big peacock feather...fascinator, I guess, or big clip, whatever.

OT I'm at my store and have had NO customers yet, fuck. use mental energy to send me good selling vibes, people, ok?


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 10:09 PM
horizontal rule
145

I wear those transparent shirts a lot, but with a nude-colored camisole underneath. this gives the cute OMG boobies1!!1 look without actually just showing everyone your lady lumps. being relatively small on the boob side (C or B depending on minor weight fluctuations) I don't have to wear a bra. I should just start sending knecht pictures LOL. but I think fleur might reasonably object...


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 10:16 PM
horizontal rule
146

serially commenting since I'm the only one awake I just wanted to say I HATE JET LAG. 12 hours shift is just the worst, total inversion, so you have to stay awake in the dark night of the soul between 3 and 5 am to make it to a reasonable bed time. my children look like hollow-eyed little zombies, and I basically feel like I'm tripping. mildly, like at the start of shrooms. DO NOT WANT. interestingly tons of dudes are wandering around the beaches in lombok selling shrooms, while no one is in bali, don't know what's up there. they're all muslim and it's ok to trip but not to drink?


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 10:22 PM
horizontal rule
147

Alameida is going to wear almond paste?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 10:27 PM
horizontal rule
148

The flower is named for a perfumer whose family was named for the pa stry...


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 10:34 PM
horizontal rule
149

Frangipani is for closers, Alameda. You better sell the fuck out of some shit.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 1-11 10:55 PM
horizontal rule
150

they thought he actually was dead until someone moved or removed his hat and he screamed in pain

Hats meant a lot to men in those days. I can't remember where I read the wonderful hat-centred review of "Mulholland Falls" (which actually has a police unit called the Hat Squad) with its description of Nick Nolte hanging up his hat and then sagging visibly, as though the hat was actually the only thing holding his body in an upright position, like a coathanger.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 1:20 AM
horizontal rule
151

hells yeah I sold some shit. over $2000. I get to wear any fucking flower I want.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 2:45 AM
horizontal rule
152

151: I recommend this one.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 3:32 AM
horizontal rule
153


152: And jeopardize her great tits? I think not!


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 4:15 AM
horizontal rule
154

this gives the cute OMG boobies1!!1 look without actually just showing everyone your lady lumps.

Discerning workmen have been using nude toned body stockings to create the "plumbers' butt" look while not actually revealing their ass crack.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 4:24 AM
horizontal rule
155

I can't remember where I read the wonderful hat-centred review of "Mulholland Falls" (which actually has a police unit called the Hat Squad)....

The "Hat Squad" is mentioned in one or two of James Ellroy's novels, too, but not at the center of things, or with much explanation. The mid-century LAPD seems to have had a number of units with discrete beating-up-and-shooting responsibilities.

[W]ithout actually just showing everyone your lady lumps.

It occurs to me that there is a rich literature, almost wholly produced by men, of the contemplation and description of the female bosom, of which I hope "lady lumps" does not become a part. Also, the obligatory link.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 5:20 AM
horizontal rule
156

To the OP, I note in passing that this post now has more comments than any of the previous twelve.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 5:25 AM
horizontal rule
157

That's because heebie knows how to manipulate us.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 5:31 AM
horizontal rule
158

That's because heebie knows how to manipulate us.

"Random bits of string futures are also up a million points on rumors that the red dot you can't catch is coming back tonight."

"I'm gonna catch it someday!"


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 5:34 AM
horizontal rule
159

The "Hat Squad" is mentioned in one or two of James Ellroy's novels

You mean the women of a certain age running around in purple dresses with red hats?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 6:04 AM
horizontal rule
160

159: A friend of mine was trapped in an elevator with those ladies at a W Hotel in Manhattan. He said his spirit nearly broke when they started to sing.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 6:06 AM
horizontal rule
161

He should have just confessed. All they wanted was a suspect.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 6:08 AM
horizontal rule
162

Snitches get stitches.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 6:12 AM
horizontal rule
163

Let me be the first to say, "Heebie was wrong."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 6:28 AM
horizontal rule
164

OT: My relationship with nerds and nerdism (even my own) is generally hostile, and I don't think that George R.R. Martin deserves all that many calories burned in either attack or defense, but this adorable little dumpling of the narcissism of similarity and contagion, feminist division, might fodder a little discussion, if people are interested.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 6:32 AM
horizontal rule
165

164: I think that complaint is as long as the books.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 6:41 AM
horizontal rule
166

152: I knew I was setting someone up for a tit joke, knecht, but the fact it was you shows that there is a just and merciful God after all.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 6:43 AM
horizontal rule
167

164: I haven't read the whole thing but it seems to be an argument of the form "Primo Levi wrote books about concentration camps. Therefore Primo Levi is a Nazi."
Or, possibly, "Agatha Christie wrote a book in which the narrator was a murderer. Therefore Agatha Christie approves of murder."
TS; DR.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 6:59 AM
horizontal rule
168

Also, I ban myself.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 6:59 AM
horizontal rule
169

167: I knew Primo Levi couldn't be trusted! Crazy made-up foreign name and all, you know.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 7:01 AM
horizontal rule
170

167: I did read some of it. It made the books seem pretty creepy. If Premo Levi was a gentile German and he wrote about concentration camps in 1922 and really lingered over details of things that had not actually happened by that point of history, I'd say it would be creepy for him also.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 7:08 AM
horizontal rule
171

164: Having read all 5 in the last month or so I found that to be a refreshing and amusing read although per Moby it did drag on towards the end losing some of its initial drive and sense of purpose.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 7:08 AM
horizontal rule
172

I should try to read a novel again. I got about three chapters into Scoop and lost my drive.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 7:09 AM
horizontal rule
173

170: Yeah, there's a difference between "I'm writing a book that portrays awful things" and "I'm writing a book that lingers titillatingly over awful things over and over and over again." At some point, it gets pretty clear that the reader's expecting to be lapping up all the rape/etc. eagerly, even if in a disapproving "Oooh, that's so awful. And then what did he do to her next?" kind of way.

I mean, the GRR Martin books weren't too sexist for me to read -- there was plenty of other stuff in them, I just got bored and annoyed with them not getting anywhere, but "not too sexist for me to read" is mostly that I'm fairly tolerant of that kind of thing in my light reading, not that Sady strikes me as off-base in her reading.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 7:21 AM
horizontal rule
174

That was me.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 7:22 AM
horizontal rule
175

173: I haven't read any of the GRRM books - as you say, it's a matter of tone - but there is a lot of stuff out there that definitely falls into this category. The vast swathe of serial-killer novels, for one thing. Ugh.
I haven't read any of them, but I worry that the abused-childhood memoirs may fall into the same category.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 7:25 AM
horizontal rule
176

173:Huh. I've never read the books, but I assumed that Sady must be wrong because somehow I formed the impression that you loved the books.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 7:29 AM
horizontal rule
177

Oh, jesus, my liking something is no test for it not being horrifically sexist and terribly wrong. I love the Flashman books.

But I wasn't crazy about them. I thought the first was heading for being a very good example of its genre, and then I got more and more bored and annoyed.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 7:34 AM
horizontal rule
178

177.2: "them" being the GRRM books?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 7:40 AM
horizontal rule
179

Right.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 7:43 AM
horizontal rule
180

I thought the first was heading for being a very good example of its genre, and then I got more and more bored and annoyed.

So he took you on a journey.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 7:44 AM
horizontal rule
181

The Flashman books actually trailed off towards the end as well, come to think -- the last few tried to make him slightly more human and less of a sociopathic nightmare, and managed to make the whole thing more, rather than less, repellent.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 7:49 AM
horizontal rule
182

I find it weird that the word "realistic" now officially means "depicts violence, bad sex, and poverty," so books that feature dragons are called "realistic" because of all the rape.

Conversely, I imagine that a documentary about a pleasant afternoon in the park would be called "unrealistic," even if every frame depected an actual, spontaneous event not planned by any writer.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 7:50 AM
horizontal rule
183

I also find it weird that a blog post whose main point is "I found these fantasy books ridiculous, creepy and misogynist" had to be prefaced with several paragraphs of pre-emptive mockery of her critics.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 7:52 AM
horizontal rule
184

I find a lot of things weird. I'm not sure where I got my sense of what "normal" is.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 7:52 AM
horizontal rule
185

181: yes, a bit. The peak of the series is "Flashman at the Charge"; throwing your unconscious, unclad (and pregnant) lover out of the back of the sleigh into the snow to distract the pursuing Cossacks is the essence of Flashman.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 7:53 AM
horizontal rule
186

I think we ought to resist the promotion of "creepy" as an aesthetic or literary category. And, of course, condemn the cynical use of the breathless, RANDOM caps, too-rushed-to-acknowledge-potential-criticisms style by anyone who has finished the tenth grade. I, too, pity the creative underclass and sympathize with the difficulty of finding paid writing work in the early twenty-first century, but I'm a little weary of the Internet's devolution to middle school.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 7:55 AM
horizontal rule
187

183: especially when the mockery seemed to be based on her critics all taking the books far too seriously and getting far too worked up about them.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 7:55 AM
horizontal rule
188

181, 185: The pregnant lover was the one in the novels set in the United States; remember [spoiler for books a couple of decades old] the appearance of Flashman's son at the Little Bighorn. I have a friend who thought that the hinge in the depiction of Flashman changed irrevocably with the novel about the Mutiny, but in Flashman on the March he abandons yet another woman to the usual fate worse than something or other pretty harshly.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 7:58 AM
horizontal rule
189

the Internet's devolution to middle school

Were there some prelapsarian high school years that I missed? That sorta sounds like the internet from the moment of creation on.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 8:00 AM
horizontal rule
190

I actually think "creepy" describes what I was getting at in the first paragraph of 173 rather well. It's not a hard-edged category: trying to distinguish between depiction of horrors as 'realism' (in the sense that realism applies at all to books about dragons) and as titillation isn't something you can do cleanly, but there's something there.

On the rest of her writing style, eh, no accounting for tastes. The all caps thing isn't something I'm fond of, but it doesn't make her unreadable.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 8:01 AM
horizontal rule
191

188: The Russian woman who got thrown out of the sleigh in "At The Charge" had been trying to get pregnant -- I don't think it was clear whether she was or was not, but she might have been.

A problem with calling a book 'creepy' is to what extent you see it as necessarily impugning the morals of someone enjoying the book. As someone who enjoys plenty of books I'd also call creepy (there's a class of adventury tripe that has a really annoying tendency to go with creepiness on gender issues, but that I like nonethess) I'd say that enjoying books with creepy aspects doesn't necessarily say anything bad about you. But you should be able to recognize and acknowledge the problems, at least if they're pointed out.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 8:07 AM
horizontal rule
192

190: A less febrile critic might call GRRRRRRRRRRRM "self-indulgent," rather than "creepy," for his nerdy male-gazing, I-have-a-code-of-honor heroes, I'm-too-badass-to-have-a-code-of-honor antiheroes and whores, whores, whores and rape, but the fantasy genre is one of indulgence and self-indulgence. I don't think there's much moral content to those books (contra people who think they're some sort of corrective to uncool ol' Tolkien or, for God's sake, an antiwar epic) or, by extension, overexcited attacks on them.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 8:10 AM
horizontal rule
193

175.1: Yes, reading just one of the Dexter books reminded me of that. I've not seen any of the shows although some members of my household re hooked. But it is Silence of the Lambs and its place in our culture is the one that really creeps me out.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 8:11 AM
horizontal rule
194

188: ISTR it's revealed later on that Valla was pregnant; he makes a passing reference in a later book (I think Flashman and the Redskins) to there being "a Count Pencherjevsky in Russia whose parentage won't bear close examination", presumably Valla's son. The other pregnant lover is the one that he sells as a slave to the Navajo.

"Flashman on the March" is the one I was about to mention as being a throwback to the old days of Flash. Compare with, say, "Flashman in the Great Game" and "Flashman and the Dragon" in which he's really more of an appalled spectator to slaughter and barely has the time or energy to betray any women to horrible fates.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 8:15 AM
horizontal rule
195

193: Having seen Patricia Cornwell interviewed on television a couple of times, I concur wholeheartedly.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 8:15 AM
horizontal rule
196

The other pregnant lover is the one that he sells as a slave to the Navajo.

Like Werner Herzog loves the jungle, I love those books against my better judgment.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 8:18 AM
horizontal rule
197

196: I know what you mean - typing that sentence did leave me slightly appalled. But, and I think this is why Flash is a bit passive in the Mutiny and the Taiping War, all the horrible things that Flashman does are really a drop in the ocean compared to the horrors that happen as a result of the actions of upright, honourable, moral men like McNaghten and Loyal Prince Lee and Gravedigger Havelock.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 8:22 AM
horizontal rule
198

197: There are a number of passages in the novels in which Flashman notes, and even condemns, his native civilization's warmongering, barbarism and hypocrisy and then moves on to indulging and enriching himself.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 8:28 AM
horizontal rule
199

Semi-relatedly, I see from cleaning around the bookshelves that CA has way, way more books by Captain WE Johns than grown men should really keep about. (Alongside the Doctor Who novelizations, of course.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 8:40 AM
horizontal rule
200

199: I'd never heard of him, so I googled it. This sounds incredibly like the parody novel Star Smashers of the Galaxy Rangers: "10-volume science fiction series (1954-1963) that follows the interplanetary adventures of retired RAF Group Captain Timothy 'Tiger' Clinton, his son Rex, scientist Professor Lucius Brane (who invents a spaceship powered by cosmic rays) and Brane's resourceful butler Judkins."


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 8:48 AM
horizontal rule
201

198: true.
199: just out of intellectual curiosity, how many books by John Buchan is the acceptable maximum for a grown man to keep about? I'm asking on behalf of a friend.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 8:48 AM
horizontal rule
202

200: that sounds more like Dan Dare, Pilot of the Future, tbh...


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 8:49 AM
horizontal rule
203

201: I believe I've got three, if grown women are any guide.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 8:51 AM
horizontal rule
204

Poor old Dornford Yates. Always the bridesmaid.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 8:54 AM
horizontal rule
205

201.2: Oh golly, those too (of course). I tried to read Greenmantle once, but unfortunately it was right after some extended Graves and Sassoon reading, and at the time I couldn't quite handle all the "what a jolly good show Wipers was!" bits. But I loved The 39 Steps, so.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 9:00 AM
horizontal rule
206

I think however that I will read Gimlet's Oriental Quest, because the cover is amazing.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 9:01 AM
horizontal rule
207

To the OP: Holy crap, do I love that website. (Though I do want to smack the person who came up with some of the dress names.)


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 9:08 AM
horizontal rule
208

I find it weird that the word "realistic" now officially means "depicts violence, bad sex, and poverty,"

Because "substandard food" and "boredom" are missing?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 9:11 AM
horizontal rule
209

At some point, it gets pretty clear that the reader's expecting to be lapping up all the rape/etc. eagerly, even if in a disapproving "Oooh, that's so awful. And then what did he do to her next?" kind of way.

What the reader is expected to do and what the author approves of are different things. A prof of mine at Chicago used a Hitchcock example (can't remember which movie) to illustrate; early in the movie we see someone enter an apartment and do something horrible, later in the movie the same person enters an apartment, but closes the door—frustrating our desire to see him do something horrible. This can only work if we do want to see what happens next.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 9:14 AM
horizontal rule
210

OT: I'm now getting German language spam asking me to provide my credit card number to thieves and download malware. Is this a sign of the relative economic strength of Germany, the relative credulousness of Germans, or just the first I've noticed?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 9:20 AM
horizontal rule
211

205: the best one is probably "John Macnab"... guaranteed free of Wipers.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 9:24 AM
horizontal rule
212

That's even more weaselly, though. Author doesn't approve, just gets paid for pandering to that naughty audience. Audience claims it's the realism that serious writing requires. Subtler defenders explain that we're working up to an immunizing revulsion (jam tomorrow).

Sady is writing in an established style (fanwank) that expects scorn, all caps, & point by point length. I thought her best line came late: GRRM has explained that he changed religion, genetics, even biology; but institutional torture & control of women, and female agency being weak & evil, that's just realism.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 9:33 AM
horizontal rule
213

An established style that's incredibly grating.

"I'm snarky! On the internet! With ALL CAPS! And exclamation points! On the internet! Me! Snarky!..."

I've read stuff by SD in the past and recall her being a better writer than that.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 9:47 AM
horizontal rule
214

an established style (fanwank)

One sees it outside the realm of fanwank as well. Incredibly grating. Juvenile, even.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 10:05 AM
horizontal rule
215

btw, what's with the name of the sandals max links in 141 as "Nine West Sheik White Patent Strappy Sandal"?

Is that really a mispelling of "chic"? I'm having trouble seeing how it's a play on words.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 10:08 AM
horizontal rule
216

214: Despite your scorn, Pauly still thinks you're the best (THE BEST!), parsimon.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 10:14 AM
horizontal rule
217

I thought this response to the Tiger beatdown piece basically got it exactly right.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 10:14 AM
horizontal rule
218

Well, glad to hear it, apo.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 10:23 AM
horizontal rule
219

I've read stuff by SD in the past and recall her being a better writer than that.

Where?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 10:31 AM
horizontal rule
220

I liked her Weezer post, darn it.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 10:34 AM
horizontal rule
221

I bow to no man, except perhaps the character "Ogre" from Revenge of the Nerds, in my disdain for geek culture, but that piece from TigerBeatdown was totally unreadable and seriously who gives a fuck. Of course fantasy novels have all kinds of sexist crap going on.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 10:35 AM
horizontal rule
222

218: I don't, really. The bit about how Sady was unreasonably attacking toward nerds/fantasy fans generally is fair: no one should ever be hostile toward a whole class of people like that, even if the rationale is that the speaker believes they're going to be unreasonably hostile to her for what she's about to say. But when Rosenberg starts talking about the actual critique of the books, her two main points were (1) so, what, no one can ever write about rape? What's the brightline difference between rape you can write about and rape you can't write about? So if there isn't a brightline difference, what's the problem? And the problem is, as I said above, that writing about rape for titillation really is different from writing about it as 'realistic' horror, and it is creepy. There's not always a brightline you can draw around it, but in this case with these books, I do agree with Sady's take, and I don't think Rosenberg addresses it. And (2) Rosenberg goes off on all the great strong female characters that Sady didn't even address, and while I only read the first three books, and that was four or five years ago, I don't remember the name of a single one of Rosenberg's examples -- she had to trawl pretty deep for them.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 10:40 AM
horizontal rule
223

221: Well, you're not really the audience -- the audience is people who are geek-inclined but also feminist-inclined, rather than people with no interest at all in geeky stuff. After all, she read a couple thousand pages of the books to write that -- clearly it is her kind of thing.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 10:42 AM
horizontal rule
224

I'm definitely not the audience, though I did enjoy the HBO show and am thinking about picking up the books, which would be the first fantasy book I've tried since not liking LOTR that much 20 years ago.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 10:46 AM
horizontal rule
225

217: That response is long, man, and maybe it gets things right about the George R.R. Martin series (which I haven't read, so I have no idea), but I was pulled up short at the very beginning, where we're presented with a notion of "feminists" and "feminist critiques" as though there is only one kind of feminist. e.g., early on in the piece:

But that doesn't actually mean that these kinds of statements are useful or clever when they're deployed by feminists against nerds

I realize, though, that the discussion between Alyssa and Sady is actually -- at least on one reading -- a teasing out of what feminist critique properly should, could, or might be.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 10:46 AM
horizontal rule
226

I haven't read GoT or even watched the series, but from what I hear others say about it, I'm quite ready to believe that it deals with sexual violence in a prurient lingering-over-the-details way.

The piece rubbed me the wrong way not because of its criticisms of G.R.R. Martin, which may well be spot on, but because of its crimes! against! lucid! writing!, as well as the overall self-congratulatory obnoxious tone.

Yes, it's the dreaded "tone argument". Deal.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 10:49 AM
horizontal rule
227

You'd have to be insane to think that the TV show is anything other than plenty sexist, it's basically a world in which endless hot and cold running attractive prostitutes show up every five minutes to service the men. On the other hand, it's a lot of fun.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 10:54 AM
horizontal rule
228

I bow to no man, except perhaps the character "Ogre" from Revenge of the Nerds....

I.e., taking into account the events of Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise, no man.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 10:56 AM
horizontal rule
229

I only read the first three books, and that was four or five years ago, I don't remember the name of a single one of Rosenberg's examples -- she had to trawl pretty deep for them.

I concede, I haven't read any of the books. I've just found the various blog discussions of them entertaining. So I don't have a perspective on which article more accurately describes the books.

I would say, in response to your (1) that Alyssa Rosenberg wrote quite a bit about the sexual violence in A Song Of Ice And Fire, and whether the ick factor was justified when the HBO series started so she has engaged the issue before.

I could imagine that the Sady Doyle piece was fun to write, and it's easy to sympathize with the motivation behind a rant like that but I got particularly frustrated reading the comments when it didn't seem like she was interested in responding to people who were trying to be careful and thoughtful in their comments.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 10:58 AM
horizontal rule
230

By the way, didn't John Holbo write a brief response to Ronseberg's article about the series in Foreign Policy? I'm not finding it at the moment.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 11:01 AM
horizontal rule
231

222. I agree. In general, literature and art is full of people who claim to be denouncing the thing they depict, but are contradicted by the way they depcit it.

Sometimes you are not even sure the author realizes what they are doing, as when people argue that Milton was on the Devil's side, but didn't know it.

Other times the situation is really straightforward, as in the song White Lines, where lyrics explicitly saying cocain was bad were added at the last minute by the insistence of the record distributor.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 11:14 AM
horizontal rule
232

The Rosenberg response isn't working for me (bearing in mind that I haven't read Martin's books or seen the TV series). Picking on her quoted passage on the topic from Lex Alptraum, quoting it in full for context, sorry:

What's really interesting to me here isn't that some people might find that scene in "Game of Thrones" to be sexy or arousing-no, what I'm fascinated by is the fact that we view sexual violence as a completely different class of behavior than (for want of a better phrase) nonsexual violence. Because, let's face it: movies and TV are full of tons of scenes of people getting murdered, maimed, and killed...and while it's sometimes brutally realistic and painful to watch, more often its highly stylized, very pretty, and-dare I say it?-even sexy. Yet outside of a few occasional grumblings, we never seem worried about what enjoy these candy colored scenes of brutal mayhem might say about us, or if it means we're harboring some secret desire to be a serial killer. No, we seem perfectly aware that one can enjoy the fantasy of horrifically violent actions without actually being a violent person-in a way that we don't seem to be able to accept with sexual violence in pop culture.

"we never seem worried about what [our] enjoy[ment] [of] these candy colored scenes of brutal mayhem might say about us" ?

I think the lesson Alptraum apparently draws from the comparison between violence-violence and sexual violence -- that since we're not worried about what the former says about us, we should not be especially worried about what latter says -- gets it the wrong way around.

Rather, if we do worry about what a titillated appreciation of sexual violence says, maybe we should also consider what our fascination with plain old killing-style mayhem reflects.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 11:24 AM
horizontal rule
233

232 is interesting. I'm personally prone to calling things like stylized ultra-violent scenes in Tarantino "awesome."

OTOH, if someone called any rape scene, including the (quite lurid, and stylized) rape scene in the Game of Thrones TV show "awesome," I would think about punching him in the face. Hmmmmm. It's just easier to accept that the former is pure fantasy whereas the latter is a sign that you're dealing with an actual potential rapist.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 11:33 AM
horizontal rule
234

Media violence is the only sort of violence I like, and even then I dislike media violence of which women are the victims, sexual, quasi-sexual (e.g., slasher movies, which I have trouble appreciating as anything but the makers' and male fans' symbolic rape of the girls who wouldn't talk to them in high school) or other. Partly because I am a sentimental fool, but also because I dislike nerds the enthusiasm of some fans for especially gruesome depictions of women in danger.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 11:44 AM
horizontal rule
235

Media violence is the only sort of violence I like

Does that include college football?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 11:50 AM
horizontal rule
236

I'm personally prone to calling things like stylized ultra-violent scenes in Tarantino "awesome."

I know what you mean, certainly. I wouldn't say I found Reservoir Dogs awesome, exactly, though I remember it with fair clarity, but I rather liked Kill Bill.

There are way too many factors in all this: are the violent scenes balletic? (That's why I enjoyed Kill Bill.) Are they redemptive? Or is it just all part of the background gestalt? Is it depicted as transgressive, and, you know, wrong and fucked up, something one is forced to but would rather move beyond?

This obviously makes a difference. And, so, the *presentation* of rape scenes makes a difference; they can't be discussed in the abstract.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 11:51 AM
horizontal rule
237

235: I find college football too corrupt and full of ESPN-style hypocritical jackassery to be watchable. I prefer clean, wholesome sports like Ultimate Frisbee p├ętanque Calvinball darts that downhill cheese race in Teabagland.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 11:54 AM
horizontal rule
238

Leaving depictions of rape aside, the way adult male and female targets of fictional violence get depicted has some pretty obvious differences. Look at how males and females get photographed in Halloween or Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

Somebody's probably done a more careful assesment, but horror movies that don't do this, even without strong female characters, stick out as a consequence. Phantasm, Evil Dead, Romero's Living Dead movies, without thinking too hard.

roughly 234 on preview.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 11:59 AM
horizontal rule
239

Pittsburgh should try that downhill cheese thing. If I could find a local cheese maker who does wheel-shaped cheese, I think I'd be set. It might be tough finding a really steep hill without tree cover, but dodging past branches would be our "value added."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 12:00 PM
horizontal rule
240

239: I shall endeavor to put this delicately, and acknowledge that my impression comes solely from scenes of the crowd at Steelers games on television, but is the average Pittsburgher really in the sort of physical condition in which chasing a wheel of cheese down a steep slope would be feasible, much less advisable?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 12:03 PM
horizontal rule
241

Gravity isn't lookist.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 12:05 PM
horizontal rule
242

Kind of my point.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 12:06 PM
horizontal rule
243

Or are you suggesting we need to cover the cheese in fries first?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 12:07 PM
horizontal rule
244

I assume the slope should be pre-soaked with Iron City beer, so the contest comprise Pittsburgh's three food groups.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 12:09 PM
horizontal rule
245

Iron City is dead to us. They moved out of town without paying their water bill.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 12:11 PM
horizontal rule
246

That's just uncool.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 12:12 PM
horizontal rule
247

||

The Obama administration's EPA regulatory backstep on smog levels seems fucked up.

|>


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 12:12 PM
horizontal rule
248

246: Maybe just dead to me. I haven't really checked what people are drinking in other areas of town.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 12:13 PM
horizontal rule
249

What else can we talk about to prove that Heebie was wronger than wrong. Flip has been doing yeoman service to that end.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 12:32 PM
horizontal rule
250

The quote in 232 struck me as completely insane when I read it a few days ago. The problem we have is that we can't vicariously enjoy scenes of rape the way we vicariously enjoy scenes of murder? That's one problem that doesn't need a solution.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 12:32 PM
horizontal rule
251

I'm procrastinating. I should be packing, but I hate packing.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 12:32 PM
horizontal rule
252

It's *not true* that all fantasy literature depends on titillating representations of sex and violence. Inda, Cloud & Ashes, Lud-in-the-Mist don't.

||
Really nice first week of class this year; students are asking questions in lecture and in lab several people have been interested in moving from simulation to deduction. Even the people who are a little rusty on the pre-reqs have been looking for good ways to catch up, not ways to avoid them. We can all get to the *hard fun*!

Which is good for everyone, because we're studying natural resource management, and we need a lot of competent people to do that.
|>


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 12:36 PM
horizontal rule
253

250: Yeah. I dunno what's going on there. An extreme defensiveness, combined with a confusion about what counts as a slippery slope.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 12:40 PM
horizontal rule
254

While fantasy has lots of violence in it, I'd say that as a genre it doesn't have all that much sexual violence. (The only example I can think of off the top of my head is the first Thomas Covenant novel.) Certainly much less than you'd get from a single season of CSI.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 12:40 PM
horizontal rule
255

confusion about what counts as a slippery slope

The slope doesn't have to be slippery if it is steep enough. All that matters is that the wheel of cheese really moves.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 12:47 PM
horizontal rule
256

You need a good hard cheese for that. None of your bries and Camemberts.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 12:49 PM
horizontal rule
257

In googling for a giant wheel of parmesan cheese, I found this paper. Science is a river with many tributaries.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 12:56 PM
horizontal rule
258

Umm, a whole lot of people have long had trouble with horror as entertainment, in either an uplifting or nihilistic context. No, rape scenes or violence against women, are not usually "titillation" although it is a little hard to convince certain crowds. Most men do not usually fantasize about gouging out eyeballs either.

It's fucking horror, not suspense or terror, and disgust and revulsion as in "I can't believe I am watching this" "I can't believe they filmed this" is the exact fucking purpose and point. Read some Stephen King critical work.

Yglesias read the Sady Collins and answered with Brett Easton Ellis. Yglesias is wrong. Easton does not do satire, he does nihilistic horror. He believes we really are that morally bad, if not quite acting it out yet.

showed me how dark Easton Ellis is. Pitch black.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 12:58 PM
horizontal rule
259

The appeal or meaning of Horror (real horror) is a pretty challenging philosophical task. De Sade or Foucault would be a start.

It is not about sex. I don't understand how some women say rape is not about sex but about power and then don't understand how rape scenes are not really gendered.

It is about having power over another's body, at the simplest level, at a higher level having any power over others, and men hurting men is not at all in a different category than rape. Putting rape in a different category of violence is the major step toward patriarchal control of women.

My first thought on this thread is that this is people buying into the Patriarchal heirarchies, that depictions of women and children onscreen are in a different category, because, well women and children are in a different category, needing extra-special protection. Not tough and strong.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 1:09 PM
horizontal rule
260

@258

It's as though no one reads Carol Clover anymore.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 1:09 PM
horizontal rule
261

"Other possible problems include arching (when the powder forms a cohesive bridge over the outlet) and ratholing (when the powder flows out only from the center leaving the rest of the material static against the walls). The critical arching dimension, of 2.16 inches (54.9mm) provides a conservative estimate to prevent arching from happening, provided the minimum outlet dimension of the hopper exceeds this value. The critical ratholing dimension is dependent on the diameter of the bin. The rathole diameter can be automatically calculated by Powder Flow Pro once the bin diameter is entered."

Joy of using 'ratholing' as a term of art in cheese science: great.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 1:10 PM
horizontal rule
262

259.4: It's not that GRRM, etc., put women in a class that Is Not to be Raped: it's that they put women, and not men, in a class labelled Will Be Raped, Especially if they Attempt Agency. In reality, it's not that boys and girls are equally likely to be raped but we only care about girls, it's that we pretend it never happens to boys and accept it as a threat that any boy can use to win a tie with any girl. (Class usually trumps, in a way that redounds to the benefit of few.)


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 1:14 PM
horizontal rule
263

Can we talk about cheese science for a while? The rape discussion is bringing me down.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 1:16 PM
horizontal rule
264

Rapey days and Mondays always bring you down?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 1:19 PM
horizontal rule
265

Call me old-fashioned.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 1:23 PM
horizontal rule
266

Okay, I guess rape is gendered violence, but not quite in the way a lot of people say.

Last ultra-violent movie I watched was Kitano's Zatoichi. Body count was in three figures, very graphic, but what was really shocking was when they set the farmhouse on fire. Rape, to be in a special category of violence, is a crime against property. Wasn't really any serious threat of rape in the movie. Kitano is cool.

Incidentally, Zato killed dozens upon dozens of faceless samurai flunkies, just worker-bees who nobody cares about. Now the elite hired killer ronin, studmuffin Tadonabu Asano, who got to have a woman who loved him, he was the tragic figure that Zato killed, most sadly beautifully.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 1:26 PM
horizontal rule
267

263: We could conceivably bridge both topics with a thorough discussion of ratholing.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 1:26 PM
horizontal rule
268

OT: What is the Feldenkrais Method?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 1:26 PM
horizontal rule
269

Googling "Feldenkrais Method" would probably work for that question.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 1:33 PM
horizontal rule
270

268: A Ludlum novel?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 1:33 PM
horizontal rule
271

Unfogged is like Google for a small cohort of curious but lazy people.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 1:36 PM
horizontal rule
272

A hivemind is a terrible thing to waste, but you might just get lame jokes.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 1:38 PM
horizontal rule
273

To get back on topic, if the cheese wheel were rolling down a paved street, would it fall to pieces before it could go a quarter mile or so?

(That kind of question that is hard to google.)


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 1:40 PM
horizontal rule
274

The Feldenkrais Method is something that my former housemate nattered on about when he was in acting school.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 1:41 PM
horizontal rule
275

To get back on topic, if the cheese wheel were rolling down a paved street, would it fall to pieces before it could go a quarter mile or so?

Unfogged needs an experimental & special investigations branch. We already have code names.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 1:43 PM
horizontal rule
276

A lot of food science is paywalled or never published, so it would be hard to have a serious discussion of - - Oh. Never mind. Carry on.

To sort of return to the OP, and also some of the nerdfest: what would a female Mal wear to a shindig if not planning to duel? Statutory Tightpants, slinky skirt, or something overembroidered in the sari line?


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 1:48 PM
horizontal rule
277

I don't know because Joss Whedon sucks.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 1:50 PM
horizontal rule
278

277: Lamest unfogged troll ever.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 1:56 PM
horizontal rule
279

Pace 182 and subsequent commentary on similar lines: books with dragons in are not, in fact, exempt from portraying the human-society part of the story "realistically" ("realistically" usually meaning "realistic for a pre-modern human society," since that's where many of them are set). Realism is an unavoidable concern for fantasy novels, since a certain amount of it is needed to sell the fantastical elements. It's not an interesting criticism of a writer like GRRM to say, "Well, your book's got fantasy animals in it, so you have a moral obligation to depict your human societies as entirely powered by cotton candy."

That said, there's no excuse for trying to pass off Frank Miller-ism as "realism" either.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 1:58 PM
horizontal rule
280

279: There's nothing wrong with George R.R. Martin that the Internet can't fix...

With its hands.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 2:01 PM
horizontal rule
281

277: even so, this is the theme of this weekend's waltz ball, and the thing about participatory entertainment is that not fully participating is kind of jerkish. Note that I'm not going as a Companion, even though it would be easy.

Would go as Alliance if I had the time!


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 2:20 PM
horizontal rule
282

The trouble is that Westeros isn't just a clone of late Medieval Europe and North Africa; while he's clearly influenced by history and has done a lot of reading, there are plenty of changes to the culture, wedding customs, governmental strictures, punishment, climate, and religions even before we get to the weirwood, the direwolves, the dragons, and the snow zombies. So it's not much of a defense to argue that he's somehow engaged in authenticity which sadly tied his hands.

More to the point -- and I say this as someone who really likes the first three books -- this is a case where he departs from history. Sexy heroines in medieval romances tend to be sixteen or eighteen years old, not eleven; medieval warfare wasn't usually a complete rapefest. I read Doyle as having a lot of frustration with people who defend Martin by saying that he just had to be realistic. "But that's how it was, man! If you write a story in medieval times you just have to write about the rape of children in lurid titillating detail if you want to be realistic!"

The decision to make Daenerys thirteen years old at her first sexual awakening, which incidentally is all about how to please a man with blowjobs? That's on him. And I'm comfortably with calling the overuse of rape as a trope an aesthetic defect, even though I think they're overall a lot of fun to read, and that I really appreciate having a fantasy series that tries to acknowledge politics (and treats magic as a scarce resource.) The TV bumped up the ages of all the characters by about three to five years, because you know what? It's a little creepy otherwise!


Posted by: Cala lured in by dragons! | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 2:21 PM
horizontal rule
283

Cala!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 2:21 PM
horizontal rule
284

277: Wouldn't a female Mal just wear what the male Mal wears? Tight khakis and a dark brown shirt?


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 2:22 PM
horizontal rule
285

I only read the first three books, and that was four or five years ago, I don't remember the name of a single one of Rosenberg's examples -- she had to trawl pretty deep for them.

I'm surprised that you don't at least remember Melisandre (the Red Priestess, who shows up for the first time very early in the second book) and Asha Greyjoy (that's the sister of Theon, who's the hostage/ward living with the Starks--he encounters her in serious force when he goes back home, also in the second book).


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 2:27 PM
horizontal rule
286

Can anybody tell me if there is a point or purpose to GRRM? Haven't read the books, just watched the HBO, but it just looked like wallowing in the inhumanity and philosophical pessimism to me. "It ends in winds blowing dust across a desert of bones, he he he." or some quote from Martin like that

I like Brett Easton Ellis better, at least he is trying to provide a mirror. I just don't sense that Martin is embarrassed by his lack of weltschmerz.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 2:32 PM
horizontal rule
287

And I agree that the books wander too far into Titillating Rapeland to escape charges of creepiness -- but I'm also very sympathetic to Alyssa Rosenberg's position that writing the risk of sexual violence and the existence gendered power imbalances out of fantasy worlds (at least ones of sufficient grit to include sex and violence in general) often makes those worlds and the depicted experiences of women in them feel a lot less authentic and interesting.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 2:35 PM
horizontal rule
288

Now that's what I call a concise and streamlined sentence. Oh well.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 2:36 PM
horizontal rule
289

Calabobala!


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 2:36 PM
horizontal rule
290

The original Mal wears a nice jacket and weskit for the ball in Shindig, so I hypothesize that a sheMal would dress up too; but the bodice 'n giant skirts are too restrictive. Zoe talks about a slinky dress but stays home to go straight to the nookie, which, fine, but I want to dance on both axes.

I'll see what the thrift stores have, is what will actually happen.

""I really appreciate having a fantasy series that tries to acknowledge politics (and treats magic as a scarce resource.)""

-- Both true in Inda, without the rapiness. In fact, that world was explicitly set up in its pre-Golden Age to prevent some kinds of ecological and social disasters. It reminds me of The Stone Canals, a little bit, in trying to make up a physical world in which an ideological/cultural approach makes sense.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 2:37 PM
horizontal rule
291

281: If you're going to be waltzing, prairie skirt and boots. In brown, of course.

282: Yep. For noblewomen, Westeros is an awful lot rapier than actual medieval Europe was. Also, Cala!


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 2:39 PM
horizontal rule
292

Cala!

I was interested particularly by GRRM's treatment of women because the sexual violence directed against them seemed to be so motivated by politics and economics: their bodies were turned into the title-deeds of their properties and noble houses, a reading of medieval gender roles that gibed with some feminist scholarship I'd been reading around when I first picked up the books.

That said, the point of the whole civil war arc of the series is to show how everyone suffers torments during the descent into chaos. Anyone who sticks his or her neck out will likely die. That's not "women exercising agency and being punished for it"; that's "holy christ, whoever survives this is lucky and probably an asshole."

Sady's point about Sansa Stark is unfortunately very true. She is punished beyond belief, and it's kind of lame of GRRM to have made her annoying in the first book so as to try and fool us for a while into believing that maybe she deserved it.

Again, the real problem here is that the series started as intelligently done sword and sorcery and then became the fucking Battle of Stalingrad.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 2:40 PM
horizontal rule
293

I remember GRRM rising up in the mid-70s with C.J. Cherryh as the "New Romantics":storytellers with heroes, a little quasi-feudalism, no formal experiments. Martin was considered comparatively conservative, shallow, empty.

The wrong fucking writer crossed over and became a superstar.

Why couldn't we do Gate of Ivrel on HBO instead? Special effects wouldn't be challenging.

Makes me start to cry.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 2:41 PM
horizontal rule
294

Hey Cala!

Caveat for all the following: I haven't read the Westeros books, so I can't judge GRRM's rapey-ness or lack thereof directly:

while he's clearly influenced by history and has done a lot of reading, there are plenty of changes to the culture, wedding customs, governmental strictures, punishment, climate, and religions even before we get to the weirwood, the direwolves, the dragons, and the snow zombies.

Changes in details and changes to the overall flavor of the civilization are completely different things. The latter would not necessarily be desirable if your book is supposed to be based around dynastic intrigues of roughly European inspiration (as I understand GRRM's books to be). If Westeros differs plentifully in its details from the European inspirations while keeping the flavor of an essentially Germanic-derived medieval-esque society intact, that's a perfectly defensible creative decision in and of itself. So, "it changed some details, so why isn't the society feminist" isn't really an interesting criticism either.

Sexy heroines in medieval romances tend to be sixteen or eighteen years old, not eleven; medieval warfare wasn't usually a complete rapefest.

I think both of these contentions are exactly wrong. "Medieval romances" may typically depict heroines as older, but that has nothing to do with historical authenticity; it was commonplace for actual medieval women to be married and/or become involved in dynastic struggles far younger. And rape, like all forms of violence, was in fact exceedingly common in medieval warfare (it is arguably quite common in most warfare) and life in general. (How common might depend on the era and is a little hard to tell, since "medieval" spans a pretty broad range.)

Depicting someone having a sexual awakening at thirteen, therefore, doesn't sound to me like a crime against authenticity at all; quite the reverse, "adolescence" is a modern conceit tied to longer average lifespans, most pre-modern societies rarely bothered with it.

The blowjobs thing sounds squicky, though, and inauthentic. And the overuse of rape as a trope is an entirely valid complaint, since just because you're writing about a period to which the act is relevant doesn't mean you have no control over where the "camera" goes, or an obligation to be graphic about your focus on it.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 2:43 PM
horizontal rule
295

287: You can keep in the realism and the threat of rape without quite so much titillation by upping the realism level about the amount of chaperonage and protection upperclass women had, and the amount of at least hypocrisy on the subject among noblemen. My memories of the books are, as you note, kind of thin, but I recall Sansa, for example, getting threatened and molested pretty much every time a boy or man got alone in a room with her. And that's not a realistic level of rape threat, that's hyped way up.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 2:44 PM
horizontal rule
296

"Medieval romances" may typically depict heroines as older, but that has nothing to do with historical authenticity; it was commonplace for actual medieval women to be married and/or become involved in dynastic struggles far younger.

Commonplace isn't really the right word here. It wasn't abnormal for noblewomen and great heiresses to be married as children for dynastic/property reasons, but it was still unusual; a typical age for marriage was late teens or older in societies like the ones Martin seems to be basing his on.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 2:49 PM
horizontal rule
297

I have no idea whether as an actual historic matter rape was commonplace in medieval warfare or society. Does anyone here? In any case, I certainly don't think it was so unusually common as to mandate and require treatment of rape in a loosely medievally-themed fantasy series to maintain plausibility.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 2:52 PM
horizontal rule
298

By "commonplace" I mean something like "radically more pervasive than the present" not that rape or rape fear isn't commonplace today.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 2:54 PM
horizontal rule
299

293: bob, complete comity. Cherryh could have done a lot of good for Star Wars I-II-III.

Patrick O'Brien should have been tapped for Trek.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 2:56 PM
horizontal rule
300

I thought Sansa was done a little bit more cleverly. The whole book, people are telling her that life isn't like a story, silly girl, and yet, when The Big Thing happens in the first book, everyone's reaction is, "but that's not how these stories work! he's supposed to be the hero!!" Congrats, reader, you're Sansa.

Cersei's arc is appalling, and Martin's approach to his later-introduced female characters is to make them poorly-drawn femme fatales. He has a few interesting secondary characters, but what's frustrating is he has this fairly rich world full of traders and merchants and scholars and priests and noble houses, and 95% of the women are a) crazed mothers b) virtuous victimized maidens c) single, oversexed, and dull d) whores. What, no septas working a spy network? No female maesters? No mothers who haven't gone completely mad? I think the books have gone downhill for reasons completely unrelated to the gender issues, but it would be nice to have a major female character besides Arya (who is ten, and therefore Asexual -- we're hosed if she hits puberty) be at least a little competent.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 2:56 PM
horizontal rule
301

296 is right.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 2:57 PM
horizontal rule
302

My life is sad and empty.


Posted by: Pauly Shore | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 3:01 PM
horizontal rule
303

(I honestly don't even know what specific medieval period Westeros is evoking. I get the sense it's meant to be a cross between elements of the High Middle Ages and the Early Middle Ages, like the early Early Middle Ages, but that's all at second hand.)


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 3:02 PM
horizontal rule
304

So, "it changed some details, so why isn't the society feminist" isn't really an interesting criticism either.

Not the critique I'm making, note. Just that the decision to overload on rape can't be justified by a direct appeal to history.

I think both of these contentions are exactly wrong. "Medieval romances" may typically depict heroines as older, but that has nothing to do with historical authenticity; it was commonplace for actual medieval women to be married and/or become involved in dynastic struggles far younger.

Not according to my friends with PhDs in this. They point to the romance to establish what age would have resonated with the audience as desirable. A noblewoman might be married off to save an alliance at 12-15. But typical is a bit older, and age of first marriage fluctuates, as it does now, with the economy. I'm not claiming that it would be unheard of, but to say that Martin's hands are tied because he wants to do a late medieval-inspired story, and so Sansa has to be eleven -- just not true. She could be sixteen, the whole thing could be much less creepy, and it would still be just as historically accurate w.r.t. her situations and prospects. So, I think it's fair to say that this is one of the things that Martin decided to put in, and that it's creepiness can't be eliminated by an appeal to history.

Does anyone here?

Not as common as Martin seems to suggest.

Plus -- and this is an internal problem for Martin -- he can't have it both ways. If thirteen-year-old heroines are perfectly grown up women because that's How It Was, then Daenerys should really stop saying, at age seventeen, that she's just a young girl. One way or another, man.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 3:05 PM
horizontal rule
305

I bow to no man (except maybe Justice Scalia) in my regard for the Aubrey-Maturin novels, but, having met P.O'B. briefly at a book signing (possibly the only one I have ever attended), I would eagerly pay $5,000 to watch him spend a day in a Hollywood writers' room.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 3:08 PM
horizontal rule
306

It's more Wars of the Roses than anything else. The plotting started out as fairly straightforwardly Sta(yo)rk v. Lanni/caster, and the recognizable bits of society seem closer to fifteenth century England than to anything else. Maybe a little earlier.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 3:10 PM
horizontal rule
307

I'm so bored. Anyone want to sing Girl Scout songs?


Posted by: Pauly Shore | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 3:13 PM
horizontal rule
308

OT: Words cannot express how much I wish this Supergirl/Batgirl comic were a real DC Comics product.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 3:18 PM
horizontal rule
309

Just based on the TV show, one thing that makes it clearly fantasy and also clearly non-Medieval, of course, is that there is no Church. It's basically medieval costumes and some of the sexual mores present (wenches, young brides, women as property, etc.) but without the major regulating force on sexual impropriety, plus a lot of stuff like e.g. the zillions of hookers that are clearly just driven by horniness.

306 was kind of annoying in the show. Either choose names that are plausibly different or make the story closer to War of the Roses!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 3:20 PM
horizontal rule
310

I've completely forgotten who's dead by now (actually, I'm two books out of date, so I don't even know who's dead by now), but it might still be possible to loop around and have the paralyzed youngest Stark kid do a Richard III by taking over after his big brother. Or the plot may have drifted far enough that it's not possible to get back there.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 3:22 PM
horizontal rule
311

War of Roses, plus a bit of Tudor dynasty.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 3:23 PM
horizontal rule
312

Cala!


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 3:31 PM
horizontal rule
313

Alack! Cala!


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 3:33 PM
horizontal rule
314

Understand, too, I don't want Sansa to be marching for the right to vote. I like seeing how much it would have sucked to be thought even by a loving dad as primarily a useful, to be cared for, property. Or what happens when one dynasty thinks that the kingdom is inherited by the eldest child and the ruling clan says, no, eldest male. That's interesting, and nothing to do with endorsing 21st century gender norms. I don't think anyone really wants GoT to be thoroughly egalitarian.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 3:33 PM
horizontal rule
315

282: The TV bumped up the ages of all the characters by about three to five years, because you know what? It's a little creepy otherwise!

Yes, having first seen the TV series, the ages per the book came as a bit of a shock. However, this seems almost as true for the men as the women. A world partly ruled by teenagers.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 3:36 PM
horizontal rule
316

314: Or what happens when one dynasty thinks that the kingdom is inherited by the eldest child and the ruling clan says, no, eldest male.

I also liked that aspect, also a whole region/sub-kingdom in Dorne.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 3:39 PM
horizontal rule
317

313:

Wow.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 3:39 PM
horizontal rule
318

I'm pissed that House Martell seems to be run by a bunch of dumbasses, but yeah, I think there's potential there, even with the dusky women in the wispy clothing who are so dangerously dusky.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 3:46 PM
horizontal rule
319

[T]he dusky women in the wispy clothing who are so dangerously dusky.

[Straightens uniform, combs whiskers.]


Posted by: OPINIONATED FLASHMAN FROM EARLIER IN THE THREAD | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 3:47 PM
horizontal rule
320

and so Sansa has to be eleven -- just not true. She could be sixteen, the whole thing could be much less creepy

Afain, just HBO

Uhh, isn't the point that Sansa has not passed menarche yet, and therefore the marriage to Joffrey (?) can't be consummated, and therefore not produce an Lannister heir pretty important in the first couple books?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 3:49 PM
horizontal rule
321

Make that a Stark-Lannister heir/acceptable King


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 3:51 PM
horizontal rule
322

Some of the rapey/underage/gender stuff I "overlooked" as GRRM seems hellbent on the first rule of the world of Westeros and Essos* being, "It always goes worse than you imagined even if you take into account the first rule"**. It does get tedious in that respect. "OK, so he roasted his enemy in his own armor while his son's bindings were cleverly arranged to cause him to strangle himself in his pathetic attempts to come to the aid of his father. Boy who'd have thought of that?" Jackmormon's evocation of Stalingrad is spot on.

*Thank God he's not chosen to write about Sothoryos yet.

**An anticipatory allegorical fantasy world for the Bush administration.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 3:51 PM
horizontal rule
323

317: I was just going for the palindrome.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 3:55 PM
horizontal rule
324

Me too.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 3:58 PM
horizontal rule
325

Well, this was a useful thread for me. I had been working with a mental picture of AAFM is being close to puberty in most pre-modern cases, but it turns out to be way more complicated than that. Like, an average of 25 for medieval women! That is useful information. Thank you Cala!


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 3:59 PM
horizontal rule
326

A non-gender, completely trivial and idiosyncratic complaint: Well, ain't Westeros a geographical oddity. Everywhere is two weeks one thousand leagues* from everywhere else!**

*3,000 miles.

**OK not completely, but he uses it a lot and inconsistently; I began treating it as an idiom. He is more specific and maybe "realistic" about the Wall--100 leagues long. However, even there "The Gift"--the land just south of the wall which was given to The Black Brothers--as described would be almost exactly the size of Pennsylvania.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 4:01 PM
horizontal rule
327

Interesting argument: most of pre-industrial society was pretty close to the Malthusian limit, so culture put a *lot* of effort into postponing reproduction just so we wouldn't outgrow our resources. Just recently, probably linked from here, I read a claim that the potato made it possible to subdivide Irish landholdings. When they went entire to the eldest son, who couldn't marry until he had land, marriage was pretty late.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 4:03 PM
horizontal rule
328

326: I don't want Fop! I'm a Dapper Dan man!


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 4:05 PM
horizontal rule
329

isn't the point that Sansa has not passed menarche yet,

Yes, and that probably would have been a little bit later than eleven for a medieval girl (based on what we know about biology and nutrition) if it needed to be defended by appeal to history. Which I think in this case is just not the way to go. Martin wants his characters young -- Ned's supposed to be what, thirty-five? (Bean is 52.)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 4:07 PM
horizontal rule
330

After thinkin on it, Cala is just wrong.

If Eddard Stark is looking at a grandson in line for the throne midway through book one, the civil war just doesn't happen. Period.

Sansa's underage was essential to the whole series.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 4:08 PM
horizontal rule
331

Here's a superimposed map of Westeros on Europe and an interpretation of how some of the Houses and regions map onto Medieval Europe. Apparently GRRM at one time (not in the books) suggested the population was 75 million on the continent.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 4:12 PM
horizontal rule
332

325: I think, and I'm less solid on this, that puberty was also later in general -- that girls would more likely begin menstruation in their middle/late teens rather than their early teens. But that would, as Cala says, have been nutrition-dependent, and so might have been true for the population generally but not for the nobility.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 4:34 PM
horizontal rule
333

Even medieval nobles probably didn't eat very well, compared to contemporary Americans.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 4:39 PM
horizontal rule
334

My understanding is that there were huge differences in Med Europe between monarchs/nobility and everyone else w/r/t this question. Age of marriage for peasants was quite late, though variable by region -- men weren't married often until late 20s, women early to mid 20s. Which meant given age of mortality that there was a huge portion of folks' lives in which they were unmarried. Nobility often married earlier though not as early as some think (though marriages from say 11-14 were not at all the norm).

Remember that betrothal could achieve a lot of the dynastic benefits of marriage, so while there was a lot of benefit in betrothing your 3 year olds they didn't need to be married until somewhat later.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 4:44 PM
horizontal rule
335

333: The medievals may have some surprises in store there as well. At least some of them. The History of Private Life in its first volume cites a figure of 6,000 calories a day per head for the rations at one monastery.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 4:45 PM
horizontal rule
336

Also, I don't think there's a very good understanding as to why menstruation ages have been dropping -- diet is obvious but the mechanisms are not well understood. That's just a vague memory though.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 4:45 PM
horizontal rule
337

When they went entire to the eldest son, who couldn't marry until he had land, marriage was pretty late.

This is true. A friend who studies early modern England told me that by studying church records, the biggest patterns regarding first marriage age have to do with how well the harvest had been, as young men would want to have money before getting married. A lean couple of years scooches everyone's age up a bit. Men tend to be mid-to-late twenties, women tend to be a little younger, but not prepubescent as a general rule. (Marriage has a different function for the nobility, of course.)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 4:49 PM
horizontal rule
338

332,333:But this isn't Medieval Europe this is Westeros

What is one key difference? Long long seasons. How long I don't remember, but "winter is coming" so Westeros has been in a long summer and long harvest.

With a long summer and fall, and looking at a long winter coming, and I don't know if Martin thought through the implications, but I would expect a culture that admired a few extra pounds, quite a few, as a sign that a person would be likely to survive the winter, and had a full larder at home.

And overweight girls experience menarche earlier.

Daenerys is fertile at 13.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 4:50 PM
horizontal rule
339

It's seemed to me that the charge of creepiness leveled at the GRRM books is a function of the degree to which the camera (or, the authorial gaze) *lingers* over rape scenes -- I gather -- rather than the extent to which the occurrence of such things is authentic to the age.

So while I get that "Is Martin making this shit up to gratify himself/his audience?" is a question we might want to ask, I'm not sure what the answer gives us. The questions remain whether one has to present these things graphically and in detail, and if one chooses to, whether one's presentation is lascivious, or off-hand (as in, stuff like this was not unusual, unfortunately, but there it is), or what.

It really doesn't matter whether the girl, raped, is 11 or 16, it seems to me, and whether one or the other age is historically more accurate. It's the presentation.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 4:53 PM
horizontal rule
340

326 and 327: IME most fantasy is ludicrously inaccurate w/r/t both geography and economics.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 4:54 PM
horizontal rule
341

I haven't read the thread, but I just read the sidebar.

Cala!

(It's been so long, some of us don't eve have our old names.)


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 4:57 PM
horizontal rule
342

340: Yes, of course. I complain only because I can.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 4:58 PM
horizontal rule
343

I always enjoy trying to estimate the populations of fantastical fiefdoms.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 5:00 PM
horizontal rule
344

Sins of the fathers...

Winter is coming and Robert and Eddard are fucking desperate. I have always thought a key unspoken theme of the book was that everybody runs out of food in the winter, and Westeros gets pug-ugly.

Did they fuck up? How old is Ned's illegitimate son? Was he away playing soldier in the good times when he should have been home making marriageable heirs? Whats-the-asshole over-the-bridge has been offering daughters that Starks have insultingly refused for ages.

Lots and lots of kids around. Been a long good growing season. Kings and nobles got all complacent.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 5:03 PM
horizontal rule
345

And why does horseguy marry Daeneyrs anyway?

Does winter reach that far down south? Horseclan may find forage a little scarce halfway through, and even they might look for a connection to the city larders. By conquest, of course.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 5:07 PM
horizontal rule
346

It's seemed to me that the charge of creepiness leveled at the GRRM books is a function of the degree to which the camera (or, the authorial gaze) *lingers* over rape scenes -- I gather -- rather than the extent to which the occurrence of such things is authentic to the age.

The historicity comes up because that's been a common defense. It's not Martin's fault he has to make every character young and under a threat of rape! He pays attention to history! It's how it was back in ye olden days.

Once you admit that Westeros isn't medieval Europe, then the question's more interesting (and perhaps okay, if we're meant to imagine that everyone in Westeros is considered a full-fledged adult at 13), but you can't fall back on the historical defense then, either. The same is true to a lesser extent of the roles of the older women. Yes, you're writing a medieval-inspired story so we shouldn't expect to see Secretary of State Sansa; but if it's not really England, and we have a few women who break out of gender roles now and then, can't we get them to be main characters? Even Tolkien gave us Eowyn.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 5:07 PM
horizontal rule
347

It probably makes me a bad person that as I catch up with the thread, I find myself thinking "this Flashman fellow is more interesting than I thought." But then, all I knew before was that Flashman was the name of someone in novels referred to as "Flashman novels."


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 5:08 PM
horizontal rule
348

346: And there were of course a fair number of powerful women (or at last powerful noble and royal women) in the real Middle Ages.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 5:13 PM
horizontal rule
349

348: I remember a history professor referring to the formidable wife of one noble Crusader as "a terrific old battle-axe."


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 5:15 PM
horizontal rule
350

209: Hitchcock may have done that type of thing more than once, but that sounds like Frenzy, about a serial rapist/murderer. The first time he shows a rape an murder all the way through, the second time he shows everything up to the actual violence, including, IIRC, a line that's repeated from the first scene, then backs the camera away silently through the door, down the stairs, and out into the street where people walk by going about their everyday business. It's a pretty famous shot, and I think, intended to provoke a kind of horror, as you know what's going to happen, you don't need to see it again, and instead you see what everyone else around the characters see, outside the doors, which is nothing amiss. I'm tempted to explain your prof's description of this as frustrating desire as a case of critics seeing desire everywhere.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 5:18 PM
horizontal rule
351

314, 316- what happens in that case is the plot of Henry V.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 5:18 PM
horizontal rule
352

I haven't read the books, just watched the show, which is only through one season, but (SPOILER ALERT) the dragon lady seems powerful, no? And also main-charactery? And the little girl, too, although you're right that she's young enough to be mostly asexual (although the possibility of her rape was openly discussed on at least one and I think several occassions).


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 5:19 PM
horizontal rule
353

346: Yes, I realized I was kvetching here unnecessarily, and that's what you were getting at.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 5:22 PM
horizontal rule
354

346,348:I would have to research that question, across many continents

Right now I should be reading about Muramachi, but my impression is that in that history, increasing productivity and good food quantity prosperity was in general bad for women. Men can afford swords, horses, armor and ambition.

Tokugawa also had rising rice production and women were sold like horses.

Course, starvation may be bad for women.

Maybe our current slow decline in prosperity or muddling through is optimal. Late 19th century wasn't very good economically. Long Depression.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 5:24 PM
horizontal rule
355

350 is interesting.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 5:27 PM
horizontal rule
356

330: If Eddard Stark is looking at a grandson in line for the throne midway through book one, the civil war just doesn't happen. Period.

Wait, are you calling from a cellular phone actually attempting a counterfactual history argument based on the freaking internal logic of Game of Thrones?

Westeros had squirrels, but not in a way we can understand anymore. They lived and breathed squirrels, yet this was not a squirrelocracy.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 5:49 PM
horizontal rule
357

Finally caught up with the thread. I haven't and probably won't read GRRM or seen the HBO adaptations, but it seems like if you want to be medieval Europe inspired and carve out stronger, more independent roles for women, you really need the church, or some non-Uniate fantasy equivalent.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 6:04 PM
horizontal rule
358

357: it seems like if you want to be medieval Europe inspired and carve out stronger, more independent roles for women, you really need the church

Why?


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 6:05 PM
horizontal rule
359

Maybe our current slow decline in prosperity or muddling through is optimal.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 6:07 PM
horizontal rule
360

356:Of course I am.

Hamlet being mean to Ophelia is only really interesting in a world where Hamlet doesn't have to be mean to Ophelia. Counterfactuals are how we make moral judgements, and why we care about characters and stories.

Cala has been dealing in the counter-factual of a 16-yr-old Sansa, and trying to claim it wouldn't change the plot of GoT significantly

You say silly things, Stormcrow.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 6:12 PM
horizontal rule
361

(And it looks a lot like Westeros' Faith of the Seven is meant as an analogue to the Church, anyway.)


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 6:13 PM
horizontal rule
362

359:Optimal for women, you fucking Obama ass-licker


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 6:13 PM
horizontal rule
363

358: Historical authenticity! But to be a bit more serious, you can of course do what you want in fantasy and so in that sense you don't really need anything. And you can go some ways with nobility and monarchy. But both religious orders and lay religiosity - beguines, for instance - allowed women to pursue (real, but limited) alternatives to living lives defined around marriage. Well, marriage to men anyway; they were still spiritually married to Christ.

This is not to deny that the church also provided yet more ways to exercise power over women, and that sometimes women went into the convent out of religious feeling, and sometimes they got stashed there by relatives. And some of the orders, official and lay, got a bit too powerful for church leaders and got shut down, sometimes after being accused of heresy.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 6:17 PM
horizontal rule
364

362 -- I thought for a minute there they'd gotten to you. But wait, optimal for just over half the population: doesn't that have to be fairly close to generally optimal? Is seeking general optimality misogynist?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 6:18 PM
horizontal rule
365

361: I was just responding to Halford's comment above in 309. As I say, I really have no idea about how this particular series is set up.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 6:20 PM
horizontal rule
366

Sorry. I get upset when someone obviously, deliberately, and maliciously quote me out of context.

All the kids and old folk gonna suffer and die because of corrupt Obama's decision to hamstring the EPA, and I have to put up with apologists like Lemieux and Charlie. How many does Obama get to torture and kill for one new Justice, Charlie?

Fact is the last thirty years have been relatively good and liberating for women in most income groups, even though bad economically overall for the middle class.

On the other hand, the great prosperity of the 50s and 60s generally caused a regress in womens equality, until the economy started to falter around 1970.

I think this is relevant to the question of women's possibilities after ten+ years of prosperity in Westeros


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 6:22 PM
horizontal rule
367

Fuck it. Flight to Japan time.

Bruce Wilder is good over at Quiggin's Romney=Obama thread at CT.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 6:27 PM
horizontal rule
368

"Westeros" should be a breakfast cereal.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 6:28 PM
horizontal rule
369

I'm beginning to regret ever bringing it up.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 6:30 PM
horizontal rule
370

There are sf/fantasy fans here, Flip, and even some writers. So.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 6:33 PM
horizontal rule
371

There are two ways to bring up breakfast, one that is easier on the carpet.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 6:33 PM
horizontal rule
372

363: But both religious orders and lay religiosity - beguines, for instance - allowed women to pursue (real, but limited) alternatives to living lives defined around marriage.

But some of the most powerful women of the actual Middle Ages lived lives defined around marriage. That's part of how they became powerful. Eleanor of Aquitaine, for instance. (The Church produced respected, famous and sainted women, but powerful ones?)


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 6:35 PM
horizontal rule
373

How many nuns have you met?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 6:40 PM
horizontal rule
374

370: Not the discussion, just the little detour into bob's particular borough of Crazytown.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 6:40 PM
horizontal rule
375

373: I used to meet nuns regularly, but then I fell out of the habit.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 6:42 PM
horizontal rule
376

Something wimples something.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 6:48 PM
horizontal rule
377

I guess you'd have to explore the question of what counts as strong (and independent, and powerful?) for women in any given time and society.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 6:49 PM
horizontal rule
378

Which is to say, of course, that it's not necessarily going to look like what counts as strong (or independent, or powerful) for men. That is.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 6:51 PM
horizontal rule
379

There's no church or remote church analogue in the TV Show. I haven't read the books.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 6:56 PM
horizontal rule
380

I guess you'd have to explore the question of what counts as strong (and independent, and powerful?) for women in any given time and society.

Monica Vitti in Modesty Blaise.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 7:00 PM
horizontal rule
381

377: One would. For the record, I'm using "powerful" to mean "wielded political power," not "had strong personalities" or something vaguer. (Discussions about "strong" female characters in stories often annoy me for just this reason -- the definition of what makes a "strong" female character is unhelpfully vague, basically just requiring that she departs from the idealized Victorian norm in any direction whatsoever.)


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 7:00 PM
horizontal rule
382

I've just been reading The Hobbit to the boy before bed. I think Bilbo's long dead mother may be the most frequently mentioned female in the book. On the other hand, the fight with the spiders is great reading. Plus, no raping.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 7:01 PM
horizontal rule
383

Does a female hobbit other than Frodo's grasping, inquiline aunt speak at all in any of JRRT's works, notes and/or table talk?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 7:09 PM
horizontal rule
384

Sam married the only talking hobbit woman. (Actually, his future mother -in-law has a line our two.)


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 7:12 PM
horizontal rule
385

Stupid phone. "or two"


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 7:14 PM
horizontal rule
386

There's no church or remote church analogue in the TV Show. I haven't read the books.

I think it's a serious weakness of the books that the Church/"Faith" is depicted as fairly negligible in the first few books before all of a sudden becoming a force to be reckoned with in the 4th. I hope it's handled a bit better in the next seasons of the TV series.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 7:16 PM
horizontal rule
387

372: Sure, if you only mean state or proto-state political power, then your only powerful women are going to be women who were politically powerful. I wasn't claiming that only way to achieve some power and independence over one's life was to live outside of marriage. Adding in the church and religious aspects, which if you're claiming to be inspired by medieval Europe seems to non-novelist me just acknowledging that part of the history and working with it, would just expand what you could do with your characters. I don't really see why on an individual character level you'd want to restrict your idea of power and autonomy to state politics. I guess social history never really did reconcile itself to narrative history.*

Otherwise you've just got nobles and non-nobles, pretty much conventional politics, and that just doesn't seem very imaginative in light of what could be done with the material. I pretty much don't read historical fantasy, so probably everything I say can be discounted on the literary production side of things.

*In another realm, I think this is one of the fundamental differences between The Corner and The Wire, but that's another topic.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 7:17 PM
horizontal rule
388

And I basically agree with Jackmormon in 292--but also Cala's 300.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 7:17 PM
horizontal rule
389

381: Oh, I agree with you on the vagueness of "strong personality." I don't think anything about women's religious orders boils down to those women simply being strong women. It's more that this was a way of running their own communities, living relative independent (but again, in a rather limited sense) lives. A fiction writer could probably do a lot with heretics and witchery. I'm sure some probably have. Escape from Convent Island, or something. Beguile the monarchy with mysticism, if you want a route back into regular politics.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 7:23 PM
horizontal rule
390

I wonder if anyone has done a novelization of "Gremlins"? They could add some female gremlins and explore the inner motivations of the characters.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 7:35 PM
horizontal rule
391

Cala has been dealing in the counter-factual of a 16-yr-old Sansa, and trying to claim it wouldn't change the plot of GoT significantly

I made no such claim! I claimed only that it would not be less historically accurate (true), and would not change her life or prospects.

I'm not sure if the story gets off the ground if she and Joffrey are married rather than engaged, but the story takes the engagement seriously as a contract so I think the relevant factor is not her age, but the fact that she doesn't have kids. (And hard to say whether that would have made Ned more or less boneheaded.) I mean, we have other women married in the story, and some of them are married at fifteen or sixteen, and yup, still appear to be property, still appear to be used for contracts.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 7:40 PM
horizontal rule
392

Escape to Convent Island, actually, e.g. Mists of Avalon. Much has been done.

It's the sequel to The Book of the City of Ladies.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 7:44 PM
horizontal rule
393

387: It would indeed be an impoverished take on the period that didn't account for "softer" forms of power and religious and social influence, of which the Church provided plenty of interesting examples that wouldn't have played out the same way without some literate alternative to traditional Germanic paganism present. No argument there. I really don't know how this intersects with GRRM, except that it does in fact seem like he has a Church analogue in the books.

I don't think the Church does much to alter whether you've pretty much just got nobles and non-nobles. The vast bulk of the Church's most famous figures of the Middle Ages were nobles who went into the Church. The struggle of orders between the nobility and the commons was in many ways the defining feature of Church history throughout the period.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 7:48 PM
horizontal rule
394

I'd complain that we're pretty much agreeing, but actually, I can't put off packing any longer. I wish I'd planned ahead for something to do with my bag of pennies.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 7:59 PM
horizontal rule
395

It's spelled "penises." As long as each one is less than three ounces and your bag is a clear, half-gallon freezer bag, you just put in a bin and let them scan it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 8:12 PM
horizontal rule
396

It's spelled "penises."

Hence the well-known phrases "penis for the guy", "penises from heaven", and, of course, "penis for your thoughts".


Posted by: One of Many | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 9:22 PM
horizontal rule
397

When I was a kid, I was jealous of my cousin's extensive coin collection. Years later I realized it was just pennies envy.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 09- 2-11 10:11 PM
horizontal rule
398

395: DETACHABLE PENIS!


Posted by: OPINIONATED RUDIMENTARY PENI | Link to this comment | 09- 3-11 12:03 AM
horizontal rule
399

390: "Call me Mogwai..."


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09- 3-11 3:12 AM
horizontal rule
400

399: Heh.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 3-11 4:03 AM
horizontal rule
401

Heebie was totally wrong, Day 3.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 3-11 4:19 AM
horizontal rule
402

Not all black tie is black; midnight blue often looks better in artificial light and/or photographs. Also, I hope this wedding won't be taking place in the afternoon or something, because black tie before six or so is just wrong. Wrong.

So,so true. My current church only does weddings in the evening, so I think that I could get away with a black tie wedding. I've always kind of wanted a day-time wedding in day-time formal wear, but I don't think that anybody would show up dressed that way. I also thought about having a small destination wedding in the day with a black tie reception in the evening. I think that people would probably refuse, and I'd resent the ones I already didn't like for coming to the reception without making an effort to dress up.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09- 3-11 6:24 AM
horizontal rule
403

To go bridezilla, you need to lose the self awareness.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 3-11 6:35 AM
horizontal rule
404

401: Heebie was just being modest, I'm sure, not wrong-wrong.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09- 3-11 7:35 AM
horizontal rule
405

||

Hee!

|>


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09- 3-11 9:27 AM
horizontal rule
406

I love you Alice B Toklas.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 3-11 9:44 AM
horizontal rule
407

That's no way to make brownies.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09- 3-11 9:59 AM
horizontal rule
408

In most situations, I don't approve of dosing people, and brownies can hit you pretty hard, but going to the hospital seems a bit extreme. Learn to hold your weed better, hosers, eh?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09- 3-11 10:03 AM
horizontal rule
409

The paranoia could get pretty bad, especially if you've never used before.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09- 3-11 10:07 AM
horizontal rule
410

Green Chartreuse is worth it. ... (or chartreuse straight, from a thimble, as a digestif)

I was inspired to go and buy a bottle of Green Chartreuse today and, tasting it straight -- oh my gosh is it good.

It helped, I think, that I knew that I was trying something that was going to be strong and not something you would normally drink straight. It seems too spicy and too strong at first, but as I got used to it, it's fantastic. By the end of the taste I wasn't sure that I wanted to mix it with anything, it was so good by itself.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09- 3-11 5:20 PM
horizontal rule
411

Cala is here! I am way late to this party, but I really need to talk to you for specific reasons! Please hit me up on my email. Please.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 09- 3-11 10:12 PM
horizontal rule