Re: 40 Days

1

"Love is a central theme in humanity across time and cultures" is every sentence friends who teach have ever posted to facebook in despair about teaching.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 9:16 AM
horizontal rule
2

tl;dr to the first paragraph.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 9:18 AM
horizontal rule
3

So what, they never finished it? I'm confused.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 9:40 AM
horizontal rule
4

He slouches.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 9:47 AM
horizontal rule
5

1: I have a speech i want to give to students about clich├ęd, pompous opening sentences. The central theme of it is "Please don't open with a sentence that saps my will to live."

I've never given it because it would make me seem weird and dramatic and not actually change the way students write.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 10:10 AM
horizontal rule
6

I've never given it because it would make me seem weird and dramatic and not actually change the way students write.

I'm fine with weird and dramatic--part of my first day of class schtick is to tell students I will Lose. My. Shit. if I catch any of them plagiarizing. I also hate on the grandiose opening sentence thing, and it's as successful as anything else I ever say to my students.*

* The ones who are listening usually remember. The ones who aren't, don't.


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 10:55 AM
horizontal rule
7

The conclusion of my "These are the mistakes you should not make in a paper" talks is usually something like, "Your professors will make snarky remarks about this stuff to all of their Facebook friends."

I will probably regret saying that some day.


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 10:57 AM
horizontal rule
8

You could kill several birds with one stone and threaten to plagiarize their worst opening sentences for the Bulwer-Lytton contest. While losing your shit.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 11:05 AM
horizontal rule
9

5: "Since the dawn of time, man has yearned to expunge the scourge of pompous opening sentences..."


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 11:33 AM
horizontal rule
10

I don't understand this project. They're having a "relationship" but not physically?


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 11:38 AM
horizontal rule
11

The pompous opening sentence was first recorded by the Ancient Egyptians, who wrote them all over their monuments because they could never think of good second sentences.

SRSLY, 40 Days Guy makes me want to spoon out my eyeballs: "I love the thrill and parody of it all." Do you, Timmeh? Do you really. Tell me was a 'parody' is, please.


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 11:40 AM
horizontal rule
12

It's a Gormanesque book project, right?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 11:47 AM
horizontal rule
13

Webster's dictionary defines "pompous" as "Affectedly and irritatingly grand, solemn, or self-important".


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 11:48 AM
horizontal rule
14

It becomes much closer to delightfully charming if you think of this as an online portfolio for themselves and their graphic/multimedia designer friends. Look at the list of credits along the right-hand side, and look at their own professions.

As for the dates, I am guessing that the 40 days occurred in April-May 2013, but that it took a while for them to clean up and polish the summaries. Hence the "About" page, which says they are posting one article a day, Mon-Fri until Aug. 22, 2013.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 11:50 AM
horizontal rule
15

The list of questions on the front page is missing the most important one: "Why should anyone not involved with this care?"


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 12:14 PM
horizontal rule
16

These people seem very young.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 12:16 PM
horizontal rule
17

I initially thought the OP was about Trapnel and the Iberian Beauty, to be honest.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 12:18 PM
horizontal rule
18

Ok, reading past the first sentence now. I'm curious about this "everyone always thinks they can do better" line. I heard it a lot about New York. I am skeptical that it's particularly true here or particularly not true elsewhere. Is the idea that, in Philadelphia, people are really eager to settle?

Ok, he just quoted Winnie the Pooh in service of sleeping around. Tonstant Weader fwowed up.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 12:19 PM
horizontal rule
19

18.2: yeah, I'm pretty sure Owl never actually said that, and I like to think I'm fairly familiar with the oeuvre in question.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 12:24 PM
horizontal rule
20

Good grief, I want someone to date Tim and laugh at him. New Yorkers? Any takers?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 12:25 PM
horizontal rule
21

BEST WINNIE THE POOH DERIVED PICKUP LINES:

Hi. Oh, look, it's almost eleven o'clock. Time for a little something?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 12:26 PM
horizontal rule
22

I'm curious about this "everyone always thinks they can do better" line. I heard it a lot about New York.

In New York it's probably true.

(sorry)


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 12:27 PM
horizontal rule
23

21.1:

The single entendre: "How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard."

Comments on the outfit: "When you see someone putting on his Big Boots, you can be pretty sure that an Adventure is going to happen."

The PUA.1: "It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn't use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like "What about lunch?"

The PUA.2: "Think it over, think it under."

The PUA.3: "It's not much of a tail, but I'm sort of attached to it."

The furry: "Some people talk to animals. Not many listen though. That's the problem."


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 12:35 PM
horizontal rule
24

19: Googling tells me the line is from a Disney TV show, not from a Milne book.


Posted by: Todd | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 12:36 PM
horizontal rule
25

Not a pickup line but: For a little while Pooh and The Floating Bear were uncertain as to which of them was meant to be on the top, but after trying one or two different positions, they settled down with The Floating Bear underneath and Pooh triumphantly astride...


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 12:43 PM
horizontal rule
26

If it wrapped up may 22, then at the end of the posting we should get an update about whether or not they kept dating of their own accord, which is the only part I'm curious about.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 12:43 PM
horizontal rule
27

Also 17 is awesomely insulting.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 12:44 PM
horizontal rule
28

18: I could see it as a big city v. anyplace else issue -- not so much that you could exactly always do better, but that there's never a moment when you could say "I've exhausted the pool of possible options, and this is the best I can do" because the pool of possible options is so big.

21: "I may be a Very Small Animal, but not where it counts. Laydeez."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 12:46 PM
horizontal rule
29

"Well, I'm very glad I brought you something to put in your useful pot."


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 12:49 PM
horizontal rule
30

BEST WINNIE THE POOH DERIVED PICKUP LINES:

"End of the road. Nothing to do, and no hope of things getting better."

Well, it worked for me eventually.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 12:50 PM
horizontal rule
31

27: Oh my, I had no idea. I just thought that Trapnel was a commitmentphobe (otherwise known as polyamorous, though that's not quite right, as polyamory people can commit to numerous people), so I thought he might be finding himself in a commitment trending situation.

That was before I clicked through to the linked piece, which is about something entirely different.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 12:51 PM
horizontal rule
32
But Eeyore wasn't listening. He was taking the balloon out, and putting it back again, as happy as could be....

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 12:53 PM
horizontal rule
33

29- should be "...but I always seem Bigger because of the Bounces."


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 12:54 PM
horizontal rule
34

29: "Sure to be a pole, because of calling it a pole ... because there'd be nowhere else to stick it."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 12:56 PM
horizontal rule
35

"I can see mine!" cried Roo. "No, I can't, it's something else. Can you see yours, Piglet? I thought I could see mine, but I couldn't. There it is! No, it isn't. Can you see yours, Pooh?"
"No," said Pooh.
"I expect my stick's stuck," said Roo. "Rabbit, my stick's stuck. Is your stick stuck, Piglet?"
"They always take longer than you think," said Rabbit.
"How long do you think they'll take?" asked Roo.
"I can see yours, Piglet," said Pooh suddenly.
"Mine's a sort of greyish one," said Piglet, not daring to lean too far over in case he fell in.
"Yes, that's what I can see. It's coming over on to my side."
Rabbit leant over further than ever, looking for his, and Roo wriggled up and down, calling out "Come on, stick!
Stick, stick, stick!" and Piglet got very excited because his was the only one which had been seen, and that meant that he was winning. "It's coming!" said Pooh.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 1:03 PM
horizontal rule
36

I'm confused. Have they posted any of the descriptions of the couples therapy sessions or the answers to the questionnaires? Because I couldn't find them on the site.

His use of the word "parody" *is* lame. On the whole, she sounds more interesting to me than he does. I can't really hate them. I totally want to know how it turned out. I hate myself for that.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 1:10 PM
horizontal rule
37

Doing couples therapy from the very first week is the most boggling part.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 1:34 PM
horizontal rule
38

24. - another reason to hate Disney.

So are the posts videos of them talking? I'm not watching that. Or have I missed a link?


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 1:36 PM
horizontal rule
39

You reprobates disgust me. How long should it take you to come up with "That's no honeypot!"


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 1:47 PM
horizontal rule
40

I don't understand this project. They're having a "relationship" but not physically?

Spoiler alert!

They have sex on day 24/25 (depending on who's counting). I hadn't thought 17 was particularly insulting--it wouldn't be entirely out of character for me to ask "How much do we hate these people?" while referring to myself--but 31, on the other hand...

I only got through Day 15 or so before deciding that they just weren't very interesting (and if I want to read about a selfish NYC dude dating, I can reread Waldman's "Love Affairs of Nathaniel P", which has the benefit of a wiser authorial voice behind the shallow protagonist).


Posted by: x. Trapnel | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 1:52 PM
horizontal rule
41

I find them equally irritating. Although there are lots of dumb/funny pull quotes.

Love is not a matter of the heart, it's all in our brain. Chemicals like dopamine and norepinephrine are released when in love. The chemicals increases energy, increases focus, and helps make us feel fucking awesome all the time. In fact, research shows brain activity in love is almost identical to our brain activity on cocaine.

(that's from Day 2)


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 2:00 PM
horizontal rule
42

40: but 31, on the other hand

I apologize, then, for misunderstanding a bunch of things. We should talk about this some time, off-blog. I'm off for now, though.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 2:01 PM
horizontal rule
43

Doing couples therapy from the very first week is the most boggling part.

Before they even so much as kissed, right?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 2:02 PM
horizontal rule
44

OT: I don't really mind very much, but I wonder whether I am utterly alone in thinking that (i) people with Internet access take television too seriously and (ii) if every typist from Slate to Gawker to ESPN and back assures me that "Breaking Bad" is the Second Coming without the negatives, I'll keep on not caring.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 2:02 PM
horizontal rule
45

41: Neuroscience is the new fucking veldt, with added punchability.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 2:04 PM
horizontal rule
46

27: I too thought it was about trapnel and IB all the way to the word, "asks." Then I realized it was a link AND I found five dollars.

The funny thing is that for the few seconds I thought it was about trapnel, I assumed he was the hopeless romantic.


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 2:25 PM
horizontal rule
47

44: You are not.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 2:43 PM
horizontal rule
48

a commitmentphobe (otherwise known as polyamorous, though that's not quite right

That's not even close to right.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 2:54 PM
horizontal rule
49

God the people in the link are annoying.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 2:55 PM
horizontal rule
50

And not very interesting, either.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 2:55 PM
horizontal rule
51

How much do you hate them?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 2:58 PM
horizontal rule
52

Very much.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 3:01 PM
horizontal rule
53

I am curious what 45 means. I don't really buy it, but I am curious about it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 3:09 PM
horizontal rule
54

That is to say, is quantum physics the original veldt?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 3:11 PM
horizontal rule
55

he means he thinks it's easier to punch a neuroscientist than a caveman.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 3:11 PM
horizontal rule
56

They tend to have less upper-body strength.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 3:12 PM
horizontal rule
57

Oh that does seem likely.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 3:12 PM
horizontal rule
58

Calling commitmentphobes polyamorous and vice versa seems like a really rewarding way to needle either one, although in the reverse case you'd certainly get an earful.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 3:13 PM
horizontal rule
59

53: 45 means the new source of just-so-stories that reify social processes as natural ones. (I think you know that.)

Offered generously, it suggests that the actual science is quite interesting but it gets horribly mangled by popularizers with reactionary agendas, although it need not be offered generously.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 3:15 PM
horizontal rule
60

Shorter 40 Days: "I'm young and wrapped up in my own drama, which is incredibly ordinary and gender-specific. Of course I'm going to sleep with my good friend with whom, for the reason stated above, I clearly have no business sleeping. But I'll feel it's more special/defensible if I throw it out to the world as a social experiment wrapped in shiny bows of hipstery cascading style sheets."


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 3:18 PM
horizontal rule
61

59.1: sure. The key difference though is that this goofy reifying dualist misunderstanding is not being offered by prominent voices in the field, who instead tend to push back against it reasonably hard. And the field is a lot more rigorous and empirically grounded than even the best ev psych.

Which is to say, it's not the fault of the science that people are stupid. In ev psych... well, harder to say.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 3:19 PM
horizontal rule
62

What popularizers are doing good work explaining what is breathy pop reductionism and what is the actual state of the science?


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 3:26 PM
horizontal rule
63

Mo Costandi and Neuroskeptic are both good.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 3:28 PM
horizontal rule
64

I wasn't really talking about popularized, though; one of the somewhat troubling things about ev psych is the degree of overlap between popularizers and actual prominent researchers; successful neuroscientists doing excellent work tend to not really be in the business of telling stories to a lay audience (although of course that's a fairly important part of the enterprise in general).


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 3:31 PM
horizontal rule
65

I had a friend in college who did 40 days of celibacy.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 3:31 PM
horizontal rule
66

65: What, like, deliberately?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 3:31 PM
horizontal rule
67

66: Yeah. He was feeling like he had been hooking up with too many people or something. He later wrote an article about it in the alt weekly.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 3:36 PM
horizontal rule
68

Now I kind of hate him too.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 3:39 PM
horizontal rule
69

"I'm young and wrapped up in my own drama, which is incredibly ordinary and gender-specific. Of course I'm going to sleep with my good friend with whom, for the reason stated above, I clearly have no business sleeping.

Or you could have just summarized it as 'I'm young'. The only variable being are they going to sleep with the good friend they have no business sleeping with or not sleep with the good friend who they should sleep with.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 3:41 PM
horizontal rule
70

68 gets it exactly right.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 3:56 PM
horizontal rule
71

||

Nothing, but nothing, makes me angrier than the knowledge that there are people who found and continue to find latter-day Achewood funny.

|>


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 4:02 PM
horizontal rule
72

Latter-day? As in, the one strip that's been posted in the pat year?


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 4:34 PM
horizontal rule
73

People pay to attend Penny Arcade-sponsored conventions, neb.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 4:35 PM
horizontal rule
74

Latter-day? As in, the one strip that's been posted in the pat year?

"Latter-day" means "since the beginning of the Great Outdoor Fight arc".


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 4:45 PM
horizontal rule
75

Huh. That's where I dropped off! So nice to be correct in something.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 5:15 PM
horizontal rule
76

I'm kind of shocked the 40 Days thing has sustained this many comments. To 65, was that before the crappy movie?


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 5:27 PM
horizontal rule
77

76.last: Yeah, before the movie.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 5:33 PM
horizontal rule
78

That's at least not so derivative.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 5:48 PM
horizontal rule
79

76,77: oh man was that ever a crapt movie


Posted by: Turgid JacobIan | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 6:06 PM
horizontal rule
80

I'm kind of shocked the 40 Days thing has sustained this many comments.

Ouch! Everybody's a critic today.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 7:28 PM
horizontal rule
81

Don't be so negative, trapnel. It's unpleasant.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 7:29 PM
horizontal rule
82

Since apparently this thread needs more fuel: one of the woman's recent project was designing this "We Are All Workers" billboard for Levi's.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 7:29 PM
horizontal rule
83

There exists a book with the title "The Big Book of Lesbian Horse Stories".


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 8:08 PM
horizontal rule
84

Have they posted any of the descriptions of the couples therapy sessions or the answers to the questionnaires? Because I couldn't find them on the site.

Well they need to save something for the book. I mean, they're clearly angling for a book contract, aren't they?

I don't hate these people. I'm just not that interested. And I wouldn't buy the book.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 8:19 PM
horizontal rule
85

80: I guess not caring enough to hate is worse than hate?


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 8:20 PM
horizontal rule
86

82: That's not all she's known for. (The guy on the right in the second link is her business partner, previously known for doing things like this.)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 8:28 PM
horizontal rule
87

83:

The debut pulp-fiction collection from Alisa Surkis and Monica Nolan will not induce wet panties. Not even a little bit. But the book can be loved for what it is--eight vintage stories of ladies, lust and the pretty ponies they love. It's kind of like Black Beauty for big girls.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 8:39 PM
horizontal rule
88

I wonder if okcupid users in other parts of the country or world also take it for granted that everyone likes Ender's Game.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 8:42 PM
horizontal rule
89

That's what I wonder.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 8:58 PM
horizontal rule
90

You could try Plenty of Fish instead.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 9:02 PM
horizontal rule
91

Just be careful the dating site's code hasn't been compromised so people can steal your information. I heard that there's plenty of phish in the C.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 9:09 PM
horizontal rule
92

Zing!


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 9:12 PM
horizontal rule
93

Anyway, I haven't particularly noticed that about OKC users in Anchorage.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 9:13 PM
horizontal rule
94

86 pretty definitively moves her into reactionary and uncreative territory, as far as I'm concerned. Yuck.

(I guess it's not worth going back and actually reading any of the 40 days entries. I only read the About page before.)

I kind of wonder whether any reputable couples' therapist could even take this on as a project. Aren't there ethics rules?


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 9:28 PM
horizontal rule
95

I'm still at a loss for what, specifically, makes the OP couple contemptible. That they're bohemian hipster types? That they're doing performance-art dating?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 9:35 PM
horizontal rule
96

I wouldn't say they're contemptible, necessarily. Just kind of boring and overly pleased with their cleverness.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 9:37 PM
horizontal rule
97

I don't actually hate them as much as I implied in 52.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 9:38 PM
horizontal rule
98

Everyone is contemptible all the time.

Except for you, my brothers, and you, my sisters, and also all of you, my genderqueer siblings.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 9:38 PM
horizontal rule
99

98 - What if your siblings like Ender's Game? Or Daniel Quinn's Ishmael?


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 9:52 PM
horizontal rule
100

I don't know anything about the second one, but the first is not possible.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 9:53 PM
horizontal rule
101

Ishmael's the one about a super-intelligent gorilla or something, right?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 9:56 PM
horizontal rule
102

A super-intelligent gorilla that delivers the important message that mankind should never have dallied with agriculture.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 9:57 PM
horizontal rule
103

No, that's "Report to an Academy".


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 9:57 PM
horizontal rule
104

I don't remember that part from "Report to an Academy".


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 9:58 PM
horizontal rule
105

If it were a novel about Gorilla Grodd or something, I would be down with that. Not if it were Gorilla Grodd delivering third-hand John Zerzan, I guess.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 9:59 PM
horizontal rule
106

102: Gorillismo!


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-10-13 10:04 PM
horizontal rule
107

Having just returned from a 20th HS reunion, at which I was (a) probably the best dressed male-identified person, and (b) probably one of the people my classmates least expected to attend, I have to say that we are a huggy motherfucking society nowadays. Also, that the kind of people who show up to reunions of my class seem to be evenly split into three groupings:

1. Comfortable white UMC liberals
2. Fun, but pathetic, lumpenproletarians
3. Slightly past-their-prime bohemians

Groupings 2 and 3 made it to the after-party in force. Grouping 1, not so much, as they had baby-sitters who needed to be in church the following morning.

Given the kind of social groupings I find myself in most of the time these days, the fact that probably 25% of the food provided wound up going uneaten was perhaps the biggest shock of the evening. The most positive surprise was that the person I had been somewhat afraid might be dead is actually doing just fine, is a division head of a Fortune 500 company and just became a 2nd generation international adopter.

Also, beer and wine were free.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 1:41 AM
horizontal rule
108

Ender's Game is the exact kind of book my brother would love. I must never ask him. (I once read David Eddings and Dragonlance to humor him.)


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 1:55 AM
horizontal rule
109

I don't know how much I hate these people until I know if they were paid for this stunt. If they were handsomely recompensed, then I hate them only slightly; if they did it for free because they wanted to be famous for 15 minutes, then I hate them only slightly less than Robert Mugabe.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 2:29 AM
horizontal rule
110

You should, it's a good read. I mean, it's no Use of Weapons but for YA stuff it's excellent.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 2:30 AM
horizontal rule
111

I read it. I thought it wasn't bad, but it appeals to literally the worst aspects of humanity. 15 minutes after discovering Usenet, I found myself reading people who explained how they were a superior type of humanity like Ender and his siblings, and that's why they deserved to be in charge.

Use of Weapons makes you feel bad about yourself and humanity, which is the appropriate purpose of reading.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 3:06 AM
horizontal rule
112

card is a nutcase and has never written another book that was any good (causing me to wonder why I have read, seriously, like 4 or something), but ender's game is actually a tight little novel in its way and, when read properly, makes you feel bad about yourself and humanity. we shouldn't let its base appeal to proto-libertarian assholes, who think that they would save the world by being good at mariokart, deprive us of amusement. it's a YA novel; it's good viewed along a certain axis. ender himself appropriately recognizes that the adults running the game/war are just as psychopathic as his older brother, especially when he sees their reactions at the end of the last battle. and did his parents consent to have these horrible things done to their children each in turn? ender still adores his sister but now almost pities his brother--he has no interest in any of the adults who brutalized the people he loved and everyone, all, everyone, in a whole world. it's also one of very few books that people 25 have all read in common, if you try to come up with one, at least in narnia.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 3:25 AM
horizontal rule
113

The imminent Ender's Game film is causing some discussion amongst my kids. The 12 year old is uncomplicatedly pro seeing it, and the 16 year old is explaining to him why Card is a dick and why we shouldn't want him to get any of our money. But she does still want to see it.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 3:56 AM
horizontal rule
114

proto-libertarian assholes, who think that they would save the world by being good at mariokart

New mouseover everything text.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 5:18 AM
horizontal rule
115

Years ago someone linked the novella version on here and I read it and it rubbed me wrong in a way I can't find precise words for though probably close enough to mariokart reference above. But I don't have a lot of love for Sci-fi to begin with. My sister and I did like Star Trek books! There was one that seems particularly awful and aimed-at-young-Smearcase in retrospect where Uhura had to save a planet full of singing kittehs. In the ever useful words of Anna Russell: I'm not making this up, you know.

Did I read somewhere that Star Trek books were fanfic?


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 5:59 AM
horizontal rule
116

Count me among those who initially read Ender's Game as a powerful statement on the inherent inhumanity and uselessness of war and the insanity of the adult world. Okay, yes, it turns out it was actually about the total awesomeness of war and the inherent radness of getting to do adult things like massacring intelligent beings, but I contend that the former interpretation is still possible.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 6:07 AM
horizontal rule
117

successful neuroscientists doing excellent work tend to not really be in the business of telling stories to a lay audience

What about Christof Koch?


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 6:16 AM
horizontal rule
118

115: I have mentioned before how Star Trek books allowed me to realize that there was actually a level of prose shittiness up with which I would not put.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 6:19 AM
horizontal rule
119

117: true. I was thinking of, like, Deisserof or Friston. But Koch and Sebastian Seung and so on certainly write popular books. I guess Eagleman counts as a neuroscientist, too.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 6:21 AM
horizontal rule
120

My proposed 40 day experiment: recapitulate your life day for year (adjust # of days for those who don't happen to be 40). So, take good shit on the 1st day, throw a tantrum on the 3rd, masturbate on the 11th, get laid on the 17th, do some courses or go on binge 18th-21st, wallow in self-pity on the 24th. Whatever. Or could do themes--books, movies, food, beverage.

It's a terrible idea.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 6:22 AM
horizontal rule
121

I call it 40 Days of Me.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 6:30 AM
horizontal rule
122

Do we have to hate Stormcrow now? Because I've always been fond of the guy. Could I hate the couple in the OP twice as much instead? Because I think I could work up to that if were to read the rest of Josh's links.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 6:56 AM
horizontal rule
123

122: watch out, then Stormcrow will have to start posing naked to catch up.

Actually he didn't say, but presumably day 2 involves running around naked while laughing hysterically, right?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 7:04 AM
horizontal rule
124

We could play Act As If The Temperature Were Your Age and Decade. So if it's 85° out you have to act like an octogenarian during the Reagan era.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 7:12 AM
horizontal rule
125

Sucking tit.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 7:13 AM
horizontal rule
126

124: That's going to get awfully old in Texas.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 7:14 AM
horizontal rule
127

I'm in Alberta!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 7:17 AM
horizontal rule
128

126 to 125.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 7:17 AM
horizontal rule
129

124 would certainly make the dead of winter in Boston jazzier.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 7:17 AM
horizontal rule
130

Living it up like a young retiree avoiding the Vietnam draft.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 7:18 AM
horizontal rule
131

Although the Albertans currently surrounding you would probably not enjoy soiling themselves and dying of dropsy, come January.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 7:24 AM
horizontal rule
132

The thread has already made me hate Noah and 80% of E. L. James. I don't have the energy left over to hate Stormcrow.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 7:35 AM
horizontal rule
133

127: One of the bridesmaids?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 7:49 AM
horizontal rule
134

I welcome the hatred.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 8:05 AM
horizontal rule
135

115: Yes, I think they're the equivalent of regulated-public-utility fanfic, not canon.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 8:17 AM
horizontal rule
136

135: although some elements from the books have entered canon, such as Kirk's middle na... shut up shut up shut UP. SIFU. GEEZ.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 8:28 AM
horizontal rule
137

116 was my interpretation too. It's a book about how a climate of endless war and paranoia turns people into monsters. Pretty much every character in the book, in fact.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 9:12 AM
horizontal rule
138

116 was my interpretation too. It's a book about how a climate of endless war and paranoia turns people into monsters. Pretty much every character in the book, in fact.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 9:12 AM
horizontal rule
139

The problem with any kind of detailed exegesis of Ender's Game is that you have empathize on some level with Orson Scott Card, and it's very distasteful to interface even slightly with his creepy politics and personality. Perhaps if there was some way to train especially brilliant, but socially alienated youth in techniques of literary and psychological analysis, say in a competitive environment far away from the mainstream of everyday life, and, upon completing an analysis, the children could be sent on a long trip, so that they wouldn't have to pollute ordinary society with their knowledge of Card and his ideas, that would be okay.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 9:23 AM
horizontal rule
140

I think 116 made perfect sense as an interpretation of the original novella version, and because I'd read the novella first, it's how I read the novel as well. OTOH, in retrospect the novel version leans a lot more toward arguing that being a monster is absolutely necessary and in fact commendable, and anyone objecting to monstrous behavior is weak and unrealistic.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 9:25 AM
horizontal rule
141

139: I dunno, the fact that his creepiness springs from an excruciatingly painful yet totally unacknowledged (and, right, yes, entirely speculative at this point) history of childhood sexual abuse makes me feel a little bad for the dude.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 9:32 AM
horizontal rule
142

140: you know, I also bought the idea that Starship Troopers (the book) was about the horrors of a society shaped by war, so maybe I just read things through War Sucks colored glasses.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 9:33 AM
horizontal rule
143

I thought that was the accepted interpretation? Or perhaps that's only the accepted interpretation of the movie.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 9:36 AM
horizontal rule
144

141: Well, certainly, all kidding aside, if he was indeed sexually abused then I can feel some empathy for him. And even with the whole deeply-frustratingly-closetedness of his adult life, I'm sure his long, dark nights of the soul must be pretty brutal, and that is sad. At the same time, we're not talking about some idiot man-child in a Southern gothic novel. The guy's had every opportunity to work on his shit, and he's chosen, consciously, to indulge his right-wing power fantasies, both in his fiction and in public policy debates. Hitler had a somewhat shitty childhood too, you know.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 9:40 AM
horizontal rule
145

143: I fear the latter may be the case, and that Heinlein really thought a society on a permanent war footing where only veterans get to vote would be a solid way to solve some of these problems we've been having with the long hair and the sapping of fluids.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 9:42 AM
horizontal rule
146

143: I thought the point of the movie (ST) was that government inevitably veers towards fascism, even as it maintains the trappings of bourgeois democracy.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 9:42 AM
horizontal rule
147

Is there a well-known AH story where Heinlein becomes the cult leader instead of Hubbard? Seems like there should be, it practically writes itself.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 9:44 AM
horizontal rule
148

Hitler had a somewhat shitty childhood too, you know.

And creative aspirations! If only he'd had some of OSC's stick-to-it-ivness a/f/a making art maybe things would have worked out better.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 9:44 AM
horizontal rule
149

112: card is a nutcase and has never written another book that was any good (causing me to wonder why I have read, seriously, like 4 or something), but ender's game is actually a tight little novel in its way and, when read properly, makes you feel bad about yourself and humanity.

I do love this as a summary of the book's virtues.

And I dunno, Card did have some other decent moments. The Alvin Maker books penned in the Eighties were all pretty decent. The Folk of the Fringe story collection was unabashedly Mormon but not in any crazy or unpleasant way that was readily-detectable. Speaker for the Dead and Xenocide were both okay, although it seemed like he got closer and closer to fully unzipping and waggling his scabrous politics in our faces with each outing. Which I guess is why I never did read Children of the Mind or any further Ender universe wankery.

One can detect the warning signs all the later unpleasantness reading in retrospect, with fresh eyes. But ut sort of seems like somewhere in the early to mid-Nineties was when he truly started to lose his shit in a way that was obvious in his creative prose.


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 9:47 AM
horizontal rule
150

147: Although, now that I think of it, one where Ursula LeGuin or John Brunner founded a cult might be even more entertaining.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 9:51 AM
horizontal rule
151

What Castock said. Though Speaker was definitely better than Xenocide.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 9:52 AM
horizontal rule
152

one where Ursula LeGuin or John Brunner founded a cult might be even more entertaining.

That some bunch of Californian hippies did not, as far as I know, try to reconstruct the world of Always Coming Home and probably perish in the attempt, has always struck me as providential.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 10:13 AM
horizontal rule
153

I never read the novella version, but I think Ender's Game might have value beyond any political lesson its author might draw from it. Put another way, it is a well-realized dramatization which offers as many questions as answers, but works on its terms. Card might have become a fascist, and may even have been one at the time, but Ender's Game isn't fascist trash, it's about a character who becomes a ruthless general and who happens to be a child. What I found most interesting about it is that Ender's empathy is a necessary condition for his success. His sociopathic brother can never be as successful because he can never understand his enemy.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 11:07 AM
horizontal rule
154

Walt gets it exactly right in 111.last with this:

Use of Weapons makes you feel bad about yourself and humanity, which is the appropriate purpose of reading.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 11:20 AM
horizontal rule
155

Before EG was "Mikal's Songbird" and Songmaster. I remember reading it as I read all the award nominees, but don't remember it. Looks very interesting, doesn't it? Course, haven't read any Card written since EG.

Starship Troopers, well, hard for me to wrap my head around a Heinlein that liked any gov't, but it was the height of the fucking Cold War. You cannot imagine. You can't. Great powers opposing each other in terminal battle, we all gonna die.

Wasn't anything much written around 1960 that was *nice* like y'all seem to want. Vidal and Mailer, Planet of the Apes, Fanon, Stalinists, shit was fucking mean why-don't-you-all-just-die from all and any possible subject positions.

Heinlein, in context, was very far from the worst. Fuck, when Curtis Lemay was stroking JFK's hard-on, the Dixie Racists were far from the worse.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 11:43 AM
horizontal rule
156

re: 155

You cannot imagine. You can't.

Or, maybe we can. What with having been alive during the Cold War, and all that.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 12:17 PM
horizontal rule
157

You weren't alive the way bob was alive, man! bob, do you have a Cuban Missile Crisis bit that you're just dying to get through?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 12:24 PM
horizontal rule
158

I really tried to like Vidal*, but he was just too fucking boring to follow. Heinlein is very readable.

* Once, for a half hour.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 12:33 PM
horizontal rule
159

And as far as EG goes, shit, I am into anime. 14-yr-olds destroying the world are a fucking trope.

I was also remembering C J Cherry the other day. EG was a moral joke compared to The Faded Sun

***spoilers***

Out identifiable characters are a race of mercenaries, with women being the brains, of course. Mercenaries are scary as fuck, but damn, are always betrayed by their employers. Go home for help. These mercenaries, in an attempt to protect themselves, committed serial xenocide. Betray us, we eliminate your species.

Book Two is just fucking glorious, as our bushido queen, having had her family and followers massacred, FTL "jumped" according to the old mapped traditions, from wasted empty planet to empty planet, learning what revenge and honour really means. Weird combination of horror and pride.
Does she really want to do this?

That was 1976. Card's a wuss.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 1:03 PM
horizontal rule
160

Seth Edenbaum put me in this mood. Not that it was hard.

He also directed me to re-read Hannah Arendt Feb 1959. God knows how many times.

Try just the last page again. Not as Gandhi as you remember.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 1:14 PM
horizontal rule
161

I think 13-ish-year-old-me liked Speaker for the Dead more than Ender's Game and rapidly lost interesting during the fourth book, but my memories of the books are fuzzy and I don't really want to revisit them to figure out if I had reasonable opinions then. Probably not.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 2:40 PM
horizontal rule
162

Are we avoiding the math thread just to fuck with neb?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 3:58 PM
horizontal rule
163

I'm in a Wendy's. There's no math allowed except for the cash register.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 4:02 PM
horizontal rule
164

162: Oops.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 4:03 PM
horizontal rule
165

162: I was, but it looks like the jig is up.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 4:03 PM
horizontal rule
166

One word comments only.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 4:05 PM
horizontal rule
167

Also, racist.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 4:05 PM
horizontal rule
168

Okay, now I hate Stormcrow. Noah and 80% of E. L. James can rest easy.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 4:07 PM
horizontal rule
169

Okay, okay, the bijection is up.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 4:08 PM
horizontal rule
170

162: as long as there's a reason.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 4:26 PM
horizontal rule
171

Are we avoiding the math thread just to fuck with neb?

I was avoiding because it didn't amuse me.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 4:36 PM
horizontal rule
172

The reason is because assholes!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 4:37 PM
horizontal rule
173

171: I wasn't aware that was an option.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 4:40 PM
horizontal rule
174

Amusement is mandatory?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 4:41 PM
horizontal rule
175

Research needs to check his royal privilege.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 4:42 PM
horizontal rule
176

There is, however, an isomorphism between what essear did feel and amusement.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 5:01 PM
horizontal rule
177

Is "hypothesize" acceptable British English, or would it be "hypothesise"?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 5:03 PM
horizontal rule
178

Or "marginalise"? These just don't look like words to me.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 5:04 PM
horizontal rule
179

Research in 175 was supposed to be essear.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 5:05 PM
horizontal rule
180

essear is Anthony Weiner?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 5:19 PM
horizontal rule
181

177: "hypoþæzise"


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 5:21 PM
horizontal rule
182

Research in 1795 was supposed to be Lavoisier. Bad French people. Bad.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 5:22 PM
horizontal rule
183

I would have a witty retort if I understood what Stormcrow was saying.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 6:16 PM
horizontal rule
184

I've been debating whether to weigh in, but it happens that I teach a course with EG, Speaker for the Dead, and some Le Guin (among other stuff). As many problems as the Card books have, they're also rich texts for discussing self/other relations and a host of related topics ("Speaker" in particular, of the two). I do worry about whether or not to include a spoken disclaimer about Card's politics, but that pushes right up against the line where I think it's appropriate to share my beliefs with my students.* (Then again, it's not like he's Roman Polanski, whose films I won't show until he's dead.)

As for other Card books, which I read mostly because i could find used, English-language versions when I lived in Poland, Enchantment is the only one I could stand. Ender's Shadow was kind of cool, but Petra and the rest of the series took a huge nose dive.

* For the record, I did tell them last year that Card was a vocal political commentator, and that I personally found his politics offensive, but YMMV.


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 6:21 PM
horizontal rule
185

Why would you debate whether to weigh in?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 6:42 PM
horizontal rule
186

Why would you debate whether to weigh in?

The slim but very real chance that she will be weighing in on a coded debate that determines whether a deeply foreign yet fundamentally knowable species lives or dies.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 6:58 PM
horizontal rule
187

I've been mulling over whether to debate whether to weigh in.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 6:58 PM
horizontal rule
188

183: It was a stupid attempt to reach for a joke based on linking "didn't amuse me" with the (probably apocryphal) Queen Victoria story. It was rendered hopelessly pointless and imbecilic by iPhone auto-correct, and did not warrant my attempt to correct it. This overlong explanation completes this episode of comedic humiliation. So, yes please, do retort wittily.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 7:15 PM
horizontal rule
189

188: did you know you can turn autocorrect off? it's under settings-->general-->keyboard. recommended!


Posted by: Mr. F | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 7:45 PM
horizontal rule
190

That's bikes hit. Can't be Dow.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 7:49 PM
horizontal rule
191

NASDAQ's what I'm talking about!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 7:51 PM
horizontal rule
192

Anif Susan dud. Heidi nice.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 7:59 PM
horizontal rule
193

Someday we'll even be able to wreck a nice beach.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 8:03 PM
horizontal rule
194

You better check yourself before you auto-correct yourself.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 8:09 PM
horizontal rule
195

Also I kinda liked David Eddings ever since I read (in one of the terrifying spin-off merchandising bits) that he literally writes his books by (and I paraphrase his words only slightly) "take one from column A, one from column B, and any TWO of column C, then proceed according to Rules X, Y, and Z. Do not allow quality or dignity head space".

Also he's open about his wife's role as co-author, which, you know, is quite cool I think.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 8:33 PM
horizontal rule
196

ALSO


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 8:34 PM
horizontal rule
197

I'm a little sad this thread never really turned into an extended serious discussion about dating, or shamelessly-self-promotional blogs.

But only a little!


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 8:42 PM
horizontal rule
198

Yeah, me too. It had such promise!


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 8:45 PM
horizontal rule
199

Maybe we can discuss that stuff in the math thread.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 8:46 PM
horizontal rule
200

an extended serious discussion about dating

My girlfriend is about to move a few hundred miles away to start her new job. I has a sad.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 8:55 PM
horizontal rule
201

Sorry to hear that. Are you guys going to try to do the long-distance thing?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 8:56 PM
horizontal rule
202

Yes.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 9:08 PM
horizontal rule
203

I suppose I should elaborate but I'm too sober.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 9:27 PM
horizontal rule
204

Luckily that's an eminently solvable problem.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 9:29 PM
horizontal rule
205

Unlike the relationship one, which is way harder.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 9:29 PM
horizontal rule
206

Banff mosquitoes: much worse than Texas, possibly worse than Florida. Or at least equal.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 9:41 PM
horizontal rule
207

Otoh, in Florida they sprayed the streets down once or twice a week, so the mosquitos weren't full force. Still, this weekend was mosquitorially brutal.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 9:44 PM
horizontal rule
208

I thought summer mosquitoes were notoriously bad in most northern forests.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 9:48 PM
horizontal rule
209

I think I may have gotten into a quasi-romantic friendship where a long-distance thing is about the only way it could move forward. She was only around for the summer, and it has been a very slowly developing thing which we haven't actually clarified as romantic or not. I think we were overly cautious, knowing she was about to move.


Posted by: future former president | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 10:01 PM
horizontal rule
210

The whole thing seems embarrassingly teenagerish summer given our ages.


Posted by: future former president | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 10:05 PM
horizontal rule
211

Forty-eight and twelve.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 10:08 PM
horizontal rule
212

And on that bit of helpfulness, I say goodnight internet.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 10:11 PM
horizontal rule
213

185: I get nervous about pseudonymity and discussing classes I teach is all.


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 10:32 PM
horizontal rule
214

I thought summer mosquitoes were notoriously bad in most northern forests.

Yep.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 11:02 PM
horizontal rule
215

It's seriously unbelievable if you haven't experienced it before.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 11:04 PM
horizontal rule
216

teofilo, may I ask you for some quick advice? I'm planning a short (maybe 7-10 days) road trip to New Mexico with a friend. What are your favorite places to see (or to send visitors)? We'll probably be in northern NM, so around Chaco, Santa Fe, Taos, Bandelier, etc.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 11:10 PM
horizontal rule
217

You may! The places you list all sound like good options. Do you have any particular preferences for things you'd like to see? You can fit quite a bit into that much time.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 11:13 PM
horizontal rule
218

Other good options that occur to me: Jemez Springs, Acoma, Pecos, El Morro, Aztec, Chimayo, Albuquerque (especially Petroglyph National Monument and the Sandia Peak tram, maybe also some of the museums and stuff).


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 11:24 PM
horizontal rule
219

But I feel like a week is not quite enough time for all of those places, right? We'd like to do a mix of outdoorsy things (hiking in pretty scenery) and looking at historically or archaeologically interesting places. Also, I'm told there's a Benedictine monastery with good beer.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 11:24 PM
horizontal rule
220

Well, it's not enough to do them all in any depth, no. There's generally going to be a lot of overlap between outdoorsy and historically/archaeologically interesting, in that most of the interesting places will be in rural areas with beautiful scenery.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 11:32 PM
horizontal rule
221

This is the monastery with the beer. It's in Abiquiu, but the beer is available lots of places.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 11:37 PM
horizontal rule
222

We're also deeply interested in beer and sopaipillas!


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 11:37 PM
horizontal rule
223

You'll find plenty of beer and sopaipillas wherever you look.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 11:38 PM
horizontal rule
224

Thanks teo!


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 11:40 PM
horizontal rule
225

So upon giving it some further thought, I guess my main recommendations would be:

1. If you're going to do Chaco, budget two whole days. It really is quite isolated and hard to get to, but definitely worth the effort. You'll need to either camp at the park or stay in Cuba (unless you want to keep going up to the Four Corners area, in which case you might stay in Bloomfield or Farmington). If you're going to camp, be aware that it might be pretty cold, depending on when you'll be there.

2. The main things you'll want to see in Santa Fe are the plaza area (including the Palace of the Governors and the New Mexico History Museum) and Museum Hill (including the Folk Art Museum, the American Indian Art Museum, and the Wheelwright Museum, which is another museum of American Indian art). I'd suggest probably two days at least.

3. Bandelier and Taos are both easy day trips from Santa Fe, as is Pecos. If you go up to Taos definitely consider taking the High Road and stopping in Chimayo.

4. You'll almost certainly be going through Albuquerque anyway, so you might as well stop and see some stuff there. It's not really a tourist destination like the other places, but there's still some interesting stuff if you know where to look.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 11:55 PM
horizontal rule
226

1. I don't think we're going to have camping equipment, but I'd definitely like to see Chaco. Is it a pain to drive from Cuba?

3. Chimayo is at the top of my list of places to see.

4. So, what are the interesting things in Alburquerque?

Thanks so much!!!


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 12:04 AM
horizontal rule
227

I don't think we're going to have camping equipment, but I'd definitely like to see Chaco. Is it a pain to drive from Cuba?

Not really. It's about an hour and a half one-way, and the last thirteen miles are dirt. You can certainly see plenty of the park in a day driving in from Cuba. There are three motels in Cuba (or were the last time I worked at Chaco), which from what I've heard are all fine. There are also some good Mexican restaurants; El Bruno's is a particular favorite of Chaco staff. I think Del Prado is just as good, but it has a much less impressive ambience.

Chimayo is at the top of my list of places to see.

And rightly so. It's a fascinating place.

So, what are the interesting things in Alburquerque?

Well, there's Old Town, which is like a less impressive version of Santa Fe but has some good museums. The Natural History Museum is pretty cool if you like that kind of thing (i.e., dinosaurs), and there isn't really anything else like it elsewhere in the state. The Albuquerque Museum is an art and history museum that is pretty small but often has interesting traveling exhibits.

As I mentioned before, there's also the Sandia Peak tram (allegedly the longest in the world) and Petroglyph National Monument, which are on opposite sides of the city and probably further out of your way than you're really going to want to go if you're just passing through. The Maxwell Museum on the UNM campus is pretty cool if you're into archaeology. The campus itself is also interesting architecturally, as it's all in Pueblo Revival style. If you're there in October there's also the Balloon Fiesta.

Also, if you're into Breaking Bad, I guess there's a lot of stuff featured on the show that you can check out. I've never seen the show myself, so I don't have anything more specific to say about that.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 12:21 AM
horizontal rule
228

227 is exactly the kind of info I wanted. Thanks again.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 12:35 AM
horizontal rule
229

You're welcome. Have fun!


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 12:36 AM
horizontal rule
230

Wasn't anything much written around 1960 that was *nice* like y'all seem to want. Vidal and Mailer, Planet of the Apes, Fanon, Stalinists, shit was fucking mean why-don't-you-all-just-die from all and any possible subject positions.

I always thought there was something a bit dark and nihilistic about "Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 1:46 AM
horizontal rule
231

142: I read starship troopers when I was really young, so the message I took away from it was "grenades that are little nukes! fuck yeah!"


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 4:08 AM
horizontal rule
232

Reading 231 in a hurry made me think that alameida had read a rather different edition of "Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves" to the one I had.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 6:41 AM
horizontal rule
233

sorry about the gf, essear.

The 40 days thing is stupid. They are going to date for 40 days exclusively? That bar seems pretty low.

Also, the Wash Post recently had an article about the wedlease topic that we has discussed.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 6:46 AM
horizontal rule
234

Oh, can I talk about Orson Scott Card, even though the conversation has moved on a bit? Or perhaps I mean "may I"?

When I was in my early teens, I found Seventh Son, Red Prophet and the short stories in Folk of the Fringe totally revelatory. (In fact, I think I read Card in the first place because I read an anthology - in the waiting room at the dentist! when I was eleven or twelve! - in which a short story from FotF appeared (along with a Fahfrd and the Grey Mouser story which prompted me to start reading Fritz Leiber around the same time).

Red Prophet was the first book I had ever read where one of the main points of the book is "white people ruin everything because they are terrible, and it isn't by mistake, it's on purpose out of cruelty and greed, and just because you the individual white person may be sorry about this it doesn't mean you're off the hook". I strongly suspect that my adult politics would be totally different if I hadn't read that book at that particular moment. Of course, I am given to understand that the series continues with "white people ruin everything until the Mormons arrive and show everyone else, including the indigenous, how to Be White Correctly", which is a bit of a let down.

I dislike Card's fetishistic writing about child suffering - a better example of the feeling described as "squick" is hard to imagine. I started to loathe him when I read the extremely homophobic and generally gross novel Lost Boys - despite the fact that it seems very much a metaphorical treatment of what we all assume to be Card's own abuse. And then I read that one from the late nineties about how the genocide of indigenous people in the Americas was totally justified - though tragic - because otherwise the Mayans would have developed an ocean-crossing fleet, devastated Europe and instigated mass human sacrifice and paganism everywhere and really loathed him even more. At least in the Red Prophet series there is no suggestion that native people deserve their own genocide.

The main theme in Card is that life is incredibly tragic and brutal and unjust but you'll be killed/suffer worse if you try to change the brutality and injustice. Sometimes he's talking about how brutality is genetic (the native creatures in Speaker for the Dead, for instance); sometimes he's talking about how it's religiously ordained; sometimes he's talking about how it's political/historical. But the Card story is always about a basically good person/people trapped in a situation where they must both endure evil and perpetuate it even though the whole process basically wrecks their humanity and/or body. And unlike, say, Lars Von Trier, you don't get the feeling that he has engineered his characters' horrible and pointless suffering because he gets a kick out of it (as one feels when watching Dancer In The Dark).

Now I'm all feeling sorry for him again, despite the fact that he is horrible.

I still like his novel Wyrms, even though it's full of the same fucked up stuff, because the characters seem to have more agency and it seems much clearer that the characters are choosing the Horrible Scenario that benefits them rather than the Horrible Scenario which would benefit the other creatures in the book instead of being forced to accept one awful situation because all the other alternatives are so much worse. And almost uniquely, it's a novel which suggests that while homosexuality may be a little too much on the glitter, spangles and debauchery end of the spectrum, it isn't some kind of uniquely appalling yet enticing perversion but rather is just something that some people engage in.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 11:07 AM
horizontal rule
235

Oh, I mean I loathed Card even more after reading the one about the genocide of indigenous Americans - not that the Maya would have loathed him even more, although they undoubtedly would have.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 11:08 AM
horizontal rule
236

And I mean that I am a person who closes their tags. Virtually all the time.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 11:09 AM
horizontal rule
237

The Mayans seem like a particularly bad group to focus on since they actually weren't victims of genocide and are, in fact, still around.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 11:13 AM
horizontal rule
238

Lots of groups that were the victims of genocide are in fact still around. But quite a lot of Mayans did get killed.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 11:33 AM
horizontal rule
239

238: With disclaimer that I'm not at all an expert, my impression was that the Maya fared somewhat differently from the other major South and central American groups.

Because the conquest of the Mayan states occurred later and took longer than that of the Incas and Aztecs, they were never "de-Mayanized" to the same extent. Significant numbers of people still speak Mayan languages today, for instance.

Again this is all from Discovery channel and wikipedia level knowledge.

On the other hand, I study biological molecules, the Mayans are made of biological molecules, therefore I'm an expert on Mayans! (see the math thread for an explanation)


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 11:54 AM
horizontal rule
240

All I'm saying is that you don't need everybody to die or assimilate before you can say it was a genocide.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 11:57 AM
horizontal rule
241

240: Yea, I didn't express myself well.

I just thought it was odd to single out the Mayans out of all of the indigenous peoples conquered by the Spanish because:

1) Culturally and linguistically they seem to have fared better than most in terms of surviving their contact with the Spanish

and

2) They seem like especially unlikely candidates to build an ocean crossing fleet, invade Europe and institute human sacrifice because by the time the Spanish showed up their classical period was already over


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 12:41 PM
horizontal rule
242

Does anybody have Mel Gibson's number? I'm picturing a small group of Mayan warriors, having first recruited the legendary Jaguar Paw, sneaking into Spain and sacrificing a bunch of humans. He could do a lot worse and I bet somebody wants to pay for a sequel to Apocalypto.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 12:53 PM
horizontal rule
243

Apocalyptoo


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 12:54 PM
horizontal rule
244

Or maybe it could be filmed from the Spanish point of view and as a comedy. Something like 1941. Maybe 1541?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 12:56 PM
horizontal rule
245

244: So, the Mayans don't actually invade Spain, there's just a panic in Spain that they are going to? I like it!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 12:59 PM
horizontal rule
246

241.last: Maybe not the way you play Civilization.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 1:00 PM
horizontal rule
247

245: Tell that to Slim Pickings.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 1:01 PM
horizontal rule
248

They seem like especially unlikely candidates to build an ocean crossing fleet, invade Europe and institute human sacrifice because by the time the Spanish showed up their classical period was already over

I suspect that Card didn't know what he was talking about. It seemed like an especially ridiculous plot twist (there was time travel involved and alternate timelines and all kinds of goofy stuff) but I assumed that Card associated the Mayans with particularly grisly and repulsive human sacrifice so he felt that they'd make a good unassimilable other. I don't think he even posited that Europe would be decimated by New World diseases, thus making the Mayans' evils schemes easier to carry out. (Although it wouldn't have been anyway, right? Weren't the New World diseases less severe than the Old World ones brought over by the colonists?) No, it was a terrible hack job of a book. I only read it because I was in a situation where I'd read all the other available English-language books, even unto completing Infinite Jest.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 1:03 PM
horizontal rule
249

246: Civ 5's "Great General" feature really does result in some funny things, like you're trying to conquer the Aztecs and Cortez is fighting for them.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 1:04 PM
horizontal rule
250

And I felt a little nervous when I had to conquer Mecca in order to get resources, but it worked just fine.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 1:05 PM
horizontal rule
251

249: The new expansion means that you can have "ancient" or "medieval" works of art produced by, say, Brahms or Manet.

Although your scenario in 249 sounds like the basis for some great-white-hero Civ 5 fanfic. (Which I guess is just alternative history.)


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 1:22 PM
horizontal rule
252

Alternate history. Alternative history started in the 80's.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 1:22 PM
horizontal rule
253

250: However, unlike Instapundit you didn't conclude from this, that invading Saudi Arabia in 2002 would be a good idea.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 1:25 PM
horizontal rule
254

Ironically, I was after aluminum.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 1:32 PM
horizontal rule
255

I still took their oil, of course. I'm not made of stone.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 1:42 PM
horizontal rule
256

Almost completely OT, has anyone else read Wen Spencer's _A Brother's Price_?


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 1:42 PM
horizontal rule
257

249: Have you actually been able to play Civ 5 for any length of time? I'm still waiting for Civ 6 in order to determine whether the franchise has been permanently screwed.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 1:51 PM
horizontal rule
258

Steam reports that I've played Civ 5 for a scarily long time. But I also loved Civ 4. They're very different takes on the same idea, but I don't think the new one is broken.

You might luck out, though: Civ 5's lead designer left Firaxis a year or so ago so it's possible they might take the series in a different direction.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 1:57 PM
horizontal rule
259

In one of the older Civs, I was once the victim of an unprovoked nuclear attack by Gandhi. From that I learned not to trust world leaders.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 3:08 PM
horizontal rule
260

257: Yes. I only bought it this summer. Steam annoys me as a concept, because I want to be able to play when the internet is down.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 3:30 PM
horizontal rule
261

I'm pretty sure you can play offline. Or at least I just tested and it works fine. I thought you needed to check in on occasion (I was assuming a month or so), but this KB item doesn't mention it.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 3:36 PM
horizontal rule
262

241.last: Maybe not the way you play Civilization.

Crusader Kings 2 actually has DLC in which the Aztecs invade Europe.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 4:15 PM
horizontal rule
263

Heh, that's awesome. I'm going to stay away from that, though--I've lost too many nights to Europa Universalis 3 and Victoria. Paradox games are too addictive for me.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 4:21 PM
horizontal rule
264

Back to the OP, I decided to check in on our friends Tim & Jessica, and perhaps this will help out those of you on the fence about drinking the haterade:

Jocelyn challenged us to start thinking about what's going to happen when this project ends in 10 days. Do we want to continue dating or do we want to stop?
Honestly, I have no clue. Jessie said that she is preparing for things to be over between us. She thinks I'm going to call it off after the 40 days are over. I don't necessarily agree with that. I do feel resistant to promising anything too definitive, though. I just want to go with the flow, keep it light, have a Coke and a smile and enjoy what's going on here. Is that so bad? Is that me just being a coward?

You "have no clue" if you want to stop dating this person in 10 days, this person you've known for 4 years and seen every day for the last 30? Yes, that is so bad. Yes, you are a coward.

And if that's not enough, try this on for size: these cutting-edge designers have apparently configured their site so that, if you're viewing it on an iphone (shut up, I was walking by the AT&T store and I just wanted to play with it), it forces you to rotate the phone to landscape mode, so that you can better see both goddamn columns of text at the same time, despite the fact that said columns, thusly formatted, are only about 4 goddamn words long, and why the hell would you want them side by side like that, anyway--what, I'm going to read Jessica's paragraph, then Tim's, then scroll to Jessica's next paragraph, etc.?--fuck no, that would be stupid! The point is: these people are eminently hateable. (It strikes me that the obvious way to handle the blog-concept on a small screen is to allow for swiping left-to-right to switch between Jessica & Tim's "reports", but what do I know, I didn't study design.)


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 8:57 PM
horizontal rule
265

Indulging in hatred is fun. Okay, back to Ruby text-processing.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 9:03 PM
horizontal rule
266

back to Ruby text-processing

Why on earth would you do that to yourself?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 9:04 PM
horizontal rule
267

Because I'm indulging in self-hatred.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 9:05 PM
horizontal rule
268

(Kidding aside: because this.)


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 9:06 PM
horizontal rule
269

264: The two-column thing wasn't an effective device when James Dickey used it in Alnilam and those hipsters ain't James Dickey.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 9:57 PM
horizontal rule
270

Heh, that's awesome. I'm going to stay away from that, though--I've lost too many nights to Europa Universalis 3 and Victoria. Paradox games are too addictive for me.

Europa Universalis 4 is coming out today. Just saying.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 11:09 PM
horizontal rule
271

I rather liked the "rotate" thing (although it took me a while to figure out what to do, because I am old), but then yes, it was worse than pointless when it came to actually reading the words. (Which I eventually found, I'd got stuck on the About page before, because, as I said, I am old.)


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 08-13-13 4:02 AM
horizontal rule
272

Europa Universalis 4 is coming out today.

You're telling the truth. Oh no.

I think I'm going to have to ignore this fact for a few years, for the sake of my sanity and career.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-13-13 4:43 AM
horizontal rule
273

264/5, OK, I'll play. The most hateable bits to me were that Tim "doesn't carry condoms on him" so they had "had no choice but to use one of her Sagmeister & Walsh company condoms," complete with photo of the wrapper. She says, "I knew having condoms as business cards would come in handy one day. I woke up with an empty package under my pillow."

The eight hours of continuous handholding was icky. I was thinking, surely they'll drop hands to use the bathroom. Nope, she learns that he has a shy bladder. Totally romantic. (Can't find the day, so no link.)

Finally, Tim's end of the project involves Sharpie?


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 08-13-13 4:58 AM
horizontal rule
274

Although it wouldn't have been anyway, right? Weren't the New World diseases less severe than the Old World ones brought over by the colonists?

Yes, basically. The only really severe disease that an invading New World fleet would have brought to the Old World was, IIRC, syphilis. The invading Mayans would have had:
no cavalry
no artillery
no firearms
no steel weapons
no metal armour
no experience of large-scale command and control
no engineers
no local allies
no wheeled transport

And as soon as they landed, their soldiers would have started dying from the diseases that, in our history, were spread to the New World by European explorers.

I really can't see it turning out well for them...


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-13-13 5:01 AM
horizontal rule
275

The fact that there are Sagmeister & Walsh company condoms redeems everything.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-13-13 5:11 AM
horizontal rule
276

How could there not be Sagmeister & Walsh company condoms?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-13-13 5:21 AM
horizontal rule
277

275, because it reduces the chance that their employees will reproduce?


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 08-13-13 5:28 AM
horizontal rule