Re: Digging up history

1

Also I haven't read everything thoroughly.

The once and future mouseover text.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 2:48 PM
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I had never even heard enough details about this to be aware that he had conclusively beaten world #1 player Margaret Court a few months previous, so sure, this story sounds more than plausible.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 2:53 PM
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On the other hand, maybe Margaret Court threw HER match, in the interest of her traditionalist right-wing views.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 2:54 PM
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"If it happened he would have put it in his book" is pretty unsatisfying.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 3:00 PM
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The article was long and extensive but basically hinged on "this one guy claims he randomly overheard something forty years ago and a couple of other people who have been claiming a fix for years find it plausible."


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 3:09 PM
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The claims about the Washington Generals should be looked at also.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 3:17 PM
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The random mob witness was not super persuasive, but the fact in comment 2 was. It seems that either you believe that Court was unprepared for how good the 55 year old Riggs was, or you believe that Riggs blew it (either intentionally or not) against King.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 3:28 PM
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7 doesn't make too much sense to me, Riggs could just have had an off game. It happens in sports.

Also since the mob controlled the sports bookies, they could have just set a line to collect equal money on both sides of the match, and collected their vig regardless. That's how sports betting is supposed to work (though I'm not familiar with how they structure tennis betting).

I mean obviously the mob could do even better by fixing the match, but they could presumably also make money just by amping up hype about the event and encouraging betting without fixing it.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 3:41 PM
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Also, having glanced at the article, the basic premise is that he must have thrown the match because . . . he was getting drunk all the time and hanging out at some rich dudes house banging starlets, and therefore wasn't in shape. There certainly could be more than one explanation for that choice of behavior! Also Riggs apparently used to hustle members and get drunk at the place I learned to play tennis, which I hadn't heard before.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 4:23 PM
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I found the article persuasive. The fact that Riggs did not do any serious training for this match (which I've seen mentioned in other articles on the match) apparently goes contrary to his typical habits and is consistent with throwing the match.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 4:34 PM
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Collins has a good point that Shaw's story sounds over-convenient and farfetched -- it may at minimum be fictionalized somewhat, or some more "famous" figures from the papers might have been imaginatively substituted into it by the faults of memory over the years. If it were just that story and the "strange" behaviour of Riggs before and during the match, it would be easy enough to dismiss... but the independent mention of a mob presence by Larry Riggs is a lot harder to wave off.

Fortunately the women's movement is far along enough by now that the outcome of this particular story won't matter too much.


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 4:40 PM
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10: Wasn't Riggs being a deliberate asshole about how little he thought of her as an opponent?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 4:45 PM
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Was there a way to differentiate when Riggs was being a deliberate and an unintentional asshole?


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 4:59 PM
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I don't know. I'm not good at ontology.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 5:03 PM
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Fucked over ontologically beyond all recognition?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 5:58 PM
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Am I sexist for thinking that it makes no difference whether the match was rigged? It was an exhibition, and either way I would want to watch ladies play tennis.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 7:23 PM
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My preferred plausible imputation of motive is that Riggs tried his best, but was also being an asshole on purpose to drum up attention -- not because he was a feminist but because he liked attention -- and would have kept playing lady tennis players until one of them beat him.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 7:26 PM
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I suppose I don't think the veracity of Important Symbolic Moments is all that important, and I am generally skeptical of anything that gets very much publicity right away. And I don't care.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 7:30 PM
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Surely if you're throwing a match you train just as much as if you're not --- the point of throwing a match is to appear as if you'll win, and then lose.

I also have philosophical doubts about the applicability of the concept of "throwing" to a one-off exhibition match.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 7:37 PM
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being an asshole on purpose to drum up attention

I believe this is the canonical interpretation: that Riggs was both a showman and conman, and that he happily played the heel to King's hero in order to drum up attention, ticket sales, and advertising dollars for the match.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 7:39 PM
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Is this the sort of feminism thread? May I ask you guys folks a question?

Erm, how common is it still for partnered women today to make lunch for their partners? Chiefly heterosexual women, I'm thinking, and married.

I've encountered this recently with a couple I know: she makes his lunch, every day. If he's working out of the home, she packs it in a brown bag (sandwich, a piece of fruit, a couple of cookies), and if he's working at home, she prepares these things and leaves them on the counter for him covered with plastic wrap before she herself leaves for work.

If she herself is home that day, and he is as well, she makes lunch and calls to him that lunch is ready.

Is this normal?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 7:43 PM
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No.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 7:45 PM
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The making lunch for someone who is going to work is fairly mainstream (that is, I can think of a reasonable number of women who do it -- and of course other couples where whoever happens to be wrapping up the dinner leftovers is the one who packs up the next day's lunches).

The making lunch for someone who is going to be at home (while you yourself go out) is extremely odd and something I've only seen from people 60 or 65 and older.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 7:51 PM
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Our chore split is that I cook and he cleans. I actually make his coffee and breakfast, pack both lunches and make dinner. I would not set things on the counter if he worked at home, though. Do I fail feminism?


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 7:54 PM
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My mom packs a lunch for my dad, but it's actually a display of power, because she controls what he can eat.


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 8:00 PM
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Come to think of it, a lot of their habits that used to be affectionate have now evolved into expressions of dominance.


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 8:03 PM
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And expressions of dominance evolve into affection. Marriage is weird.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 8:07 PM
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The making lunch for someone who is going to be at home (while you yourself go out) is extremely odd and something I've only seen from people 60 or 65 and older.

Yeah, I think that's what really threw me. Well, that and the making lunch and calling out that lunch is ready.* This couple is in their early 60s.

I found it somewhat creeping me out, but was shrugging it off as their own particular thing, until I was there when their 25-year-old daughter was visiting while the wife/mother was out of town, and she too, the daughter, made a lunch sandwich for her dad and called to him that his lunch was ready. Okay, that's just weird, I thought.

* Making lunch and presenting it -- without asking what a person wants for lunch -- is the kind of thing moms and dads do for their children. The behavior I'm seeing here looks an awful lot like the wife/daughter/woman being the mother to the fully grown man. If it works for them, which it does, fine, okay, but it really casts a different light on things.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 8:10 PM
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When we were still cohabiting I usually made lunch for my wife if she was at home, at least post-child. But it was almost always exactly what I was making for myself. And she ate it and I was happy (about that).


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 8:16 PM
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Our chore split is that I cook and he cleans. I actually make his coffee and breakfast, pack both lunches and make dinner. ... Do I fail feminism?

It depends how messy you are.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 8:18 PM
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And your second serve.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 8:23 PM
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29: Past tense? Sorry, text.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 9:08 PM
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21: Is this normal?

Describes a normal enough pattern for married couples of a certain generation. My folks followed it until they (recently) developed an eccentric weight-loss regimen and stopped eating lunch. Sounds like something you could reasonably expect to encounter in couples sixty and over at least.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 9:39 PM
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(That was me...)


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 9:40 PM
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32: yup, and that's quite alright. thanks Cala.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 9:41 PM
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Wikipedia says Court didn't take her match with Riggs very seriously. Also King beat Court earlier that year, as did Chris Evert.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 08-29-13 10:37 PM
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My mum makes my dad's lunch when they're both at home. She wouldn't make it and leave it if she were out (which she often is). She has been known to leave meals for him when she goes away (which she also does frequently). It's just a habit. I don't think it's creepy, just old-fashioned. She'll make my kids breakfast and lunch too if they let her.

I make my kids' packed lunches, but not C's. I don't make lunch for any of them if they're actually in the house. If I have a friend round I might make her a sandwich, after asking what she wants, but I'd probably just put all the bits on the table.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 1:01 AM
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25 is a good point. I knew several men at work whose wives packed them fruit and salad that they'd never have done for themselves. This is my generation or older.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 2:24 AM
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If I'm home, most of the time, I'll make all the food. Lunch included. I'd ask what my wife wanted, but most of the time I'd be the one making it. I wouldn't generally make it if I wasn't going to be in. But before she was on maternity leave, and working late, it wouldn't be that unusual for me to head out to the pub and leave a meal ready on the cooker or in the oven.

My wife claims she is going to start packing me a lunch and part of a general health drive, and as I rarely have time first thing. Never happened yet, though.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 2:28 AM
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38: hence the joke about the two builders having lunch:

"Oh, God, chicken again! I hate chicken!"
"You've had chicken in your sandwiches three times this week. Why don't you just tell your wife you don't like chicken?"
"My wife? I made these sandwiches myself."


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 2:49 AM
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Next Unfogged meetup idea: the Soul Train Cruise.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 2:54 AM
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41. The spring 2014 lineup looks fucking amazing. I'm almost tempted. Almost.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 2:58 AM
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NMM to Seamus Heaney.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 3:50 AM
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Fuck 43.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 3:59 AM
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Speaking of feminism, my son's public school just posted the class rosters. There are 27 teachers. 11 are "Miss," 16 are "Mrs". Apparently none of tham have a doctorate, a first name, or a penis.


Posted by: Unimaginative | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 4:21 AM
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45.last: CIS-normativist!


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 5:32 AM
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What amazes me about the Collins piece is the seriousness with which she apparently still takes the whole King-Riggs thing. Are she and J Diddy friends?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 8:05 AM
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I wonder to what extent boys are explicitly discouraged - say, in college - to teach elementary school because of not inciting general molestation panic. Ie "you're not going to want to deal with nervous parents, are you?"


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 8:08 AM
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48: We hired two men to teach kindergarten this year, and both of them said very self-aware things about how they handle hugging and classroom interaction. All the parents of kids in their classes that I've talked to are thrilled about having male role models for their sons. The faculty is still super white, though, while the student body is not.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 8:14 AM
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47: One has to admit it is rather like discovering someone who refuses to believe that Andy Kaufman's inter-gender wrestling matches were choreographed.


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 8:16 AM
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We hired two men to teach kindergarten this year, and both of them said very self-aware things about how they handle hugging and classroom interaction.

What did they say?


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 8:50 AM
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48: My brother-in-law is a youth minister, and all of his church's clergy are very deliberate in how they handle that sort of thing, even in terms of how they've set up their offices so that secretary's can see into them.


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 9:39 AM
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What amazes me about the Collins piece is the seriousness with which she apparently still takes the whole King-Riggs thing. Are she and J Diddy friends?

Wait, why? It's a hugely iconic feminist moment. The idea that someone is going to great lengths to investigate why it might be faked grates on me, too.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 10:09 AM
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What did they say?

My whole life I... have known two things. I love sex and I wanna have kids. And I always thought that those two things would go hand in hand, but now I think it might be one or the other.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 10:12 AM
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I guess there's no contradiction between hugely iconic and ridiculously staged. You'd have to be a complete moron* to think that a woman tennis pro at the top of her game is completely incapable of beating a middling over-aged male player. Or that the match would have proven anything of value one way or the other in terms of the feminist movement.

Are women regularly playing on the men's circuit? Has the ghetto of women's tennis been dissolved?

This was a carnival sideshow, played exactly as such by everyone involved. That it has become iconic trivializes an entire multi-decade social phenomenon.

* It's a big world, with plenty of morons, and I guess they were proven wrong. But really now most of us back in the bad old days weren't applying the equivalent of a one-drop-rule to women's tennis. But, rather, a view exactly as we have today.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 10:25 AM
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I guess there's no contradiction between hugely iconic and ridiculously staged. You'd have to be a complete moron* to think that a woman tennis pro at the top of her game is completely incapable of beating a middling over-aged male player.

Taken together, this is nonsense on so many levels. Why would it be ridiculously staged if it's a reasonable proposition that she might kick his ass? On what planet is it common knowledge that this was ridiculously staged? On what planet was there not widespread ridicule of women playing sports?

Are women regularly playing on the men's circuit? Has the ghetto of women's tennis been dissolved?

No. Yes. WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH ANYTHING?

. That it has become iconic trivializes an entire multi-decade social phenomenon

Oh, give me a fucking break.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 10:45 AM
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51: Stuff like that under the guise of "I'm tall" rather than "I'm a dude" they teach children that they'll always kneel down for hugs and don't need to be grabbed at crotch level, essentially. There are women working as the assistant teachers in both rooms, and I think they feel more comfortable with that and have asked them to manage the girls' bathroom, while in all the other classes women still manage the boys'. In both cases, this came up in talking about how they'd make the parents feel comfortable with and connected to their classrooms, so they understand it's in large part about propriety and image.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 10:54 AM
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Interesting!


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 10:59 AM
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I thought her victory was a sure thing at the time. I didn't think then and don't think now that this is because he was going to throw the match, but because I thought she was a better tennis player than he was. The hoopla surrounding the thing was ridiculous. It looked exactly like the stunt it was.

I'm very glad of the progress that has been made towards freedom and equality so far, and hope to see the pace accelerate over the rest of my lifetime. I just don't think this little show was actually very important in that trip.

I don't think that Ronald Reagan's speech in Berlin had anything at all to do with either the end of East German enforcement of its border security laws years later, or with the break-up of the Soviet Union years after that. A lot of people consider it highly iconic. A harmless fantasy, I guess, but it leads to all sorts of misunderstandings about how things happen.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 11:03 AM
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Did you think Margaret Court's victory was a sure thing at the time?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 11:15 AM
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"Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall and put in a clay court."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 11:21 AM
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61: Reagan would never have demanded a clay court. That's commie.


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 11:23 AM
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I got 7 out of 10.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 11:25 AM
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60 I didn't know about it at the time.

As I think about it, the Riggs-King was probably a lot more important for womens tennis than I've been saying above and thinking over the years.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 11:46 AM
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I wish there were more women occasionally competing against men. I mean, obviously it'd be silly for Serena Williams to play men's majors instead of women's majors, but why not play a few lower tier men's events a year for the improved competition?

In general the peak women athletes vs. old or young male athletes is interesting. I don't feel like I have any sense for how old a top man has to be before he can't beat the top women in a given sport. I saw Sampras play at 40, and he's still quite good. What's the switch-over point? 45? 50? 55? (Of course, it depends on style of play, Sampras's advantages hang on longer than Agassi's did.)


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 11:55 AM
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48: It's been sort of going through my mind. I was a substitute teacher for a couple of years, until my daughter was born and I became a SAHD. I had expected to get mostly middle school and high school assignments, but it was 75% grade school (and most of the middle and high school assignments were special ed). I was nervous about being in charge of a room full of first graders. Nervous about others being nervous.

The truth is, though, I loved it and if I went back to school to become a teacher, there is a solid chance that I would actually go the grade school route. If, however, I didn't have lingering fears of discrimination. Not even of the "We don't think men can be good grade school teachers" variety, but rather of the "Parents will object" and "We fear lawsuits" variety.

So maybe I will just aim for high school social studies. Or special ed, where there is a dearth of teachers. (Special ed kind of became my niche. I think because I took the assignments while everyone else declined. I sort of came to like it.)


Posted by: Trumwill | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 11:59 AM
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The rest of the wiki on the Battle of the Sexes is interesting. For instance, there this:

A fourth event dubbed a "Battle of the Sexes" took place during the 1998 Australian Open[20] between Karsten Braasch and the Williams sisters. Venus and Serena Williams, aged 17 and 16 respectively, had claimed that they could beat any male player ranked below 200, so Braasch, then ranked 203rd, challenged them both. The matches took place on court number 12 in Melbourne Park.[21] Braasch first took on Venus and beat her 6-2. He then played Serena and won 6-1.[22] Braasch said afterwards, "500 and above, no chance". He added that he had played like someone ranked 600th in order to keep the game "fun."

And this:

In 2013, Andy Murray responded to a Twitter user who asked whether he would consider challenging Serena Williams, saying "I'd be up for it. Why not?" Williams also reacted positively to the suggestion, remarking "That would be fun. I doubt I'd win a point, but that would be fun."


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 12:03 PM
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It's a shame those matches happened when the Williams's were so young. It'd be much more interesting to see 2002 or 2009 Serena compete against some men in the 100-1000 range.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 12:14 PM
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When Serena and Venus were at the top of their game, Jon McEnroe commented that he suspected any decent college level player could beat them. Of course, there was a flurry of disapproval. I think you could probably guess match outcome using some combination of how different speed of first serve is corrected for accuracy, although obviously speed of service is not the only important stat. I think it would serve as a proxy for how fast a player hits most shots, which is the big difference in men's vs women's play. The Williams sisters serve faster than the NCAA averages I could find with a quick glance, so maybe they'd win at that. I think you'd need to go pretty far down the depth of pros before the Williams sisters would win, even on their best days.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 12:25 PM
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I don't feel like I have any sense for how old a top man has to be before he can't beat the top women in a given sport.

I can finally out-jog my dad, for distance/speed. He's 70.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 12:27 PM
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You're probably able to outrun me at any distance.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 12:32 PM
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You're younger than me, but not younger than anytime I was a better runner than now.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 12:36 PM
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For running, these things have become pretty standardized via age-graded calculators. A 25 year old woman runs equivalent times to a 50 year old man. After age 40, a woman runs equivalent times to a man 15 years older. It's amazingly consistent across distances.

Also, times start to increase at short distances at age 32, and at long distances at age 38.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 12:50 PM
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I ran a half marathon. I got passed by plenty of people ten years older than me of both genders. My sister (5 years younger) beat me by two minutes despite the fact that she stayed with me until mile 11 or so.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 12:55 PM
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I tend to make lunches for myself and my husband, without really consulting him on what he wants unless it's to find out which set of leftovers he wants or asking what he wants in his sandwiches while we're both at the store. It's more efficient that way, to be honest. (And overall, I think I do less than 50% of the housework.)

My first step-father is a kindergarten teacher. Parents (and children) seem to love having a male teacher at that age, and he's pretty actively sought after in his school. I definitely heard some odd comments here and there, about men who went into teaching young children. They always seemed relieved to see me and hear about the presence of my mother.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 1:00 PM
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A 25 year old woman runs equivalent times to a 50 year old man.

This is the most depressing thing I've read all day. I am routinely passed by young women when I'm running, and I always think "well, they have a natural advantage over me, because they are so young and vibrant." In fact, they are equivalent to men five years old than me, which means I am a slug.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 1:04 PM
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A slug who gets a good view of butts.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 1:11 PM
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This is the most depressing thing I've read all day.

Remember, though, that the comparison only involves people who care enough about running to compete in times events. I suspect that's a self-selecting group of fifty year olds.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 1:13 PM
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The 25 year olds are self selected, too.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 1:20 PM
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75: To be honest, I received nothing but goodwill from other teachers and administration. I never really met any parents (except those who were teachers). So my concerns may be misplaced.


Posted by: Trumwill | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 1:36 PM
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This was my oldest kid's kindergarten teacher and he's fucking awesome.
Found that site randomly, I haven't looked through it enough to tell if it's a genuine resource for male teachers or some freaky anti-feminism thing. I think it's benign.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 1:50 PM
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My mom ran the NY marathon at age 65 at 4:03. It was her first marathon and I believe she'd done only one road half marathon though she'd done half and three quarter ones on mountain trails. I'm pretty sure that's faster than your average eighty year old male marathon runner. And it matches Repub fitness hero Paul Ryan in his early twenties.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 2:06 PM
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Your mom's a badass. And the age graded calculator agrees, saying that she if she were a 25 year old woman, her equivalent time would have been a 3:06, which is better than 99.9% of runners out there and enough to win most regional races.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 2:44 PM
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She would have come in between 2nd and 5th in her age group in every NY Marathon this decade.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 2:48 PM
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Any prize money for that?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 2:49 PM
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She came in second I believe. She almost always places in the top three for her age group in any race she runs - road, trail, or ski. No prize money but free sports gear ranging from good quality wicking t-shirts to nice jackets and sunglasses.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 3:01 PM
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I'm kind of skeptical about that calculator in the 85+ range. My understanding was that women dominate athletics in that age range. (Though I guess one could imagine that there just aren't enough men, so the average man could be better with the top athletes all being women just because there aren't enough men for there to be any 2 sigma men left.)


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 3:04 PM
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That's a pretty depressing way to think about mortality. You know you're old when there aren't enough people your age to construct a normal distribution.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 4:08 PM
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I think you'd need to go pretty far down the depth of pros before the Williams sisters would win, even on their best days.

Yeah, in a sport with a power component it's hard to overcome that Serena, who looks enormously muscled out for a female tennis player, is 5'9 and 155 pounds with the upper body muscle ratios of a woman.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 4:13 PM
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I think Serena said that if she gets alleys, including on serves, and Murray doesn't serve at all, it should be competitive. A French sportscaster said that under those terms she'd kill him.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 4:28 PM
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There's a surprising number of male tennis players who are very small guys. Maybe Serena should go up against Diego Schwartzmann. Probably not World #4 David Ferrer (5'9", 160) though.


Posted by: cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 5:24 PM
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I mean, obviously it'd be silly for Serena Williams to play men's majors instead of women's majors, but why not play a few lower tier men's events a year for the improved competition?

I think that'd be a pretty poor choice from a marketing and financial point of view. Serena William's 'brand' as an athlete would be pretty seriously contaminated if she was being regularly beaten by [or even winning with difficulty against] very low ranked male players.

Murray returns so well, I expect she'd struggle to even win that many points on her own serve.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 5:30 PM
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Statistically, fwiw, Murray is ranked as one of the best returners of server, ever.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 5:36 PM
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I don't want to belabor this, but on the making lunch for your partner thing, I suppose it gives me the heebie-jeebies just when it seems to become expected, when it seems to become a case of the recipient of the lunch expecting to be served.

By way of demonstration, I've seen the couple I'm remarking on go through the following scenario:

He arrives home and enters, declaring, "I'm starving!"

She says, "Oh, I've just been home for 5 minutes myself, and I need to make a few phone calls to iron out some things from this morning."

He nods and replies, "I guess I'll check email, then; let me know when lunch is ready."

Now all I can think is: Why don't you make lunch for the both of you yourself? since your wife is busy and you're starving and at loose ends. This is just weird.

I do admit that I'm reacting to what I recall as the first adult-ish fight I ever had with my parents. It was established that my mom cooked (and cleaned): at the dinner table one evening, food was on the table and my mother had just settled to her place when my dad said, "[Mom's name,] where's the butter?" She immediately leapt up to fetch the butter, and sat down again, just before he said, "Where's the salt and pepper?" She leapt up again. The rest of us are all seated through this. Mom settling after salt and pepper had been set on the table, dad then said, "There's got to be some A.1 steak sauce -- [Mom's name]?" And she leapt up again.

I lost it. I was maybe 14 or 15. I just shouted out, "Dad, why don't you get it yourself?!?"

All hell broke loose. Dad got red in the face, mom just sort of shut down, and I think I was sent to my room after I'd ranted and raved a bit more about how dad expected mom to be his servant, and mom, you shouldn't put up with it, I can't STAND it, blah blah, and then I started to cry, because I'd transgressed so badly.

Um, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. It makes me uncomfortable to see gender-inflected divisions of labor that don't look quite voluntary.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 5:49 PM
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Sorry that was so long, but I apparently wanted to get it off my chest.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 5:51 PM
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WOOHOO I'M ON THE ACELA!

Kind of a bumpy ride, actually. Nice wifi, though.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 6:54 PM
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Are you the one making noise in the quiet car?


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 6:59 PM
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I think your flipping out was totally reasonable, Parsimon.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 7:10 PM
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Seems like some people just don't appreciate musical flatulence.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 7:12 PM
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98: Appreciated, trapnel.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 7:23 PM
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No kidding, 94 is an excellent first serious fight to have with one's parents.


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 8:22 PM
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98, 101: Agreed.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 9:05 PM
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Are you people high? The point is valid but seriously, don't have that argument with your parents when you're fifteen.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 9:23 PM
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Why not?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 9:30 PM
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It's a fine argument to have with your parents, at whatever age. Why not? I would try not to gender-police other couples as an adult, however, even though yeah, all things being equal, the lunch thing sounds odd.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 9:32 PM
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Or, ignore me because I'm drunk but generally, don't get in the middle of your parents marriage because that will end badly.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 9:32 PM
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gswift's kids are about that age now, aren't they? Maybe he's just particularly sensitive about how teenagers fight with their parents.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 9:35 PM
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Apo has good advice somewhere in the archives for people sober enough to search for it but it has something to do with not knowing what goes on in other people's marriage's and this IMO goes doubly for your parents.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 9:37 PM
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I dunno, I mean, kids living in the same house with their parents are both more likely than anyone else to have a sense of what's going on in their marriage and much more likely to have their personal interests affected by it.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 9:40 PM
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Ha, as it so happens I was joking with my wife about this thread because I'm totally the wife fixing the meals in our marriage.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 9:41 PM
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In other "gswift is castrated by fate" news I'm told SOP for guys on light duty is to trade in the marked car for a city fleet Prius.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 9:46 PM
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DUDE, I'm posting while my wife's taking a power nap while we're drunkenly watching the Office episode where they stage an intervention on Meredith for her alcoholism.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 9:53 PM
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111: Heh.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 9:53 PM
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112: Hm, maybe you were right in 108.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 9:57 PM
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When I was around 12 or 13, I was a pretty good kid in school, but I had to rebel against something. My parents (and, by extension, the Catholic Church) won the honor.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 10:02 PM
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Let it be known that I have a dream of Teo getting a job here so I can drag him out for drunken hijinks in a town where the cops are all buddies of mine.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 10:09 PM
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Noted.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 10:12 PM
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A desire to not make lunch for the man of the house is a desire for eternal childhood, when your mother would make lunch for you.


Posted by: j diddy | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 10:34 PM
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108: Just in general, I try to avoid paying attention to other people.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-30-13 11:37 PM
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116 would make a great TV show.


Posted by: x. Trapnel | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 12:31 AM
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116: Or Superbad: 10th High School Reunion.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 4:23 AM
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McTeo.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 4:24 AM
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120: Obviously once you're a cop too, you can make guest appearances. Or maybe they could just do a Very Special Episode about piracy and/or gray-market yarn resale. (I got to retell that story at knitting group and they're now a trapnel fan club.)


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 4:58 AM
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The news in the OP certainly shows that Didion's view of The Women's Movement was correct.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 7:36 AM
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I guess I didn't read the J. Diddy thread closely enough.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 7:43 AM
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When I was running track in HS, I considered it a fine achievement to beat the times of 2 of the girls who were State-class runners (and who hadn't joined merely to pad their college applications).

I was (reasonably) competitive in 400M hurdles because the really fast guys mostly ignored them, and I was tall enough that they didn't especially slow me down.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 7:51 AM
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Oh, and one thing we love about Iris' (and now Kai's) elementary school is that the faculty is fairly diverse along color and gender lines. Although the lower grades are almost exclusively female*, while the males are teaching math and science to 3rd graders and up. Hmm.

Although they're also some of the most beloved teachers at the school, which is awesome in terms of getting kids excited about those topics.

*Kai's kindergarten class seems to have a male teacher's aide - it's not clear what this guy is there for, but this is what we've gathered over 2 days.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 7:54 AM
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Also, Jammies and I have discussed the OP at more length, and Jammies has been - completely nonironically - reappropriating language like "buncha wise guys" and "giving him the business", and I love it so much.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 8:04 AM
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I think Parsimon was totally right to confront her parents. It makes a better topic for an argument than "WHHHHYYYY WON'T YOU BUY MEEEE A CELLLL PHONE!" which is all we ever get from our daughter.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 9:00 AM
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She's only 10, though. She has another five years to become aware of how the patriarchy continually replicates itself through everyday habits.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 9:02 AM
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128: Have you come to any conclusions, besides that of course Jammies is awesome?


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 9:12 AM
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111-- I'm so sorry.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 9:35 AM
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108: Apo has good advice somewhere in the archives for people sober enough to search for it but it has something to do with not knowing what goes on in other people's marriage's and this IMO goes doubly for your parents.

Yeah, it didn't take me long after the dinner table episode to realize that there were a lot of other things I could have done: why didn't I get up to fetch the salt and pepper myself? I could have said, "Mom, I'll get it; you go ahead and eat, your meal's getting cold." Instead I sat there and watched my mom obey dad's orders until I blew up.

But teenagers have limited self-control.

On interfering with their marriage: I agree now that I was probably causing more rather than less trouble.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 10:39 AM
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94: I'm surprised your folks hadn't hit on the expedient of just having the kids do all the fetching of stuff at dinner.


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 10:56 AM
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134: In retrospect, I can't quite figure out what was going on there either: just that my mom was the mom, and that's what mom does?

Which brings us back around to the lunch-preparing issue I started with in 21 and 28: the behavior of the couple I now know -- who are parents -- has apparently been passed on to their daughter, as when she made her dad lunch unbidden. It makes me squirm. That daughter is otherwise a relatively free-thinking person, but she's gone from being a lesbian majoring in Russian studies with an eye toward working in international affairs, to barefoot and pregnant, about to be married to a man, and making her father's lunch - at age 25.

I'm being really judgmental here, I know that, and I feel a bit ugly in voicing it. Just trying to work through what looks to me like nothing other than the child having absorbed from her parents what an adult (female) life looks like, and reproducing it.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 11:10 AM
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Yeah, it didn't take me long after the dinner table episode to realize that there were a lot of other things I could have done: why didn't I get up to fetch the salt and pepper myself?

Well, even if flying off the handle wasn't justified, it sounds like your dad deserved a rebuke of some kind. (Though this is dependent on the broader context. I would view it differently, say, if your dad had a back-breaking job that made him not want to get up. Or if it was standard practice in your family that whoever is responsible for a particular chore is responsible for it 100 percent, and shouldn't expect even minor help from others.)


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 11:23 AM
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When I've found that I feel ugly in voicing things I've always written them in other people's blogs instead, and afterwards, when I looked in the mirror, it was all pretty again.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 11:28 AM
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Parsimon, I love that you confronted your dad about this, and have had similar conversations with my dad about his treatment of my mom at dinnertime.

Growing up with that kind of observation, though, means that I see that "go get me something" command as humiliating and hostile. My ex-gf and I were once in a coffee shop and observed a woman doing this to her male partner. "Get me some sugar?" He does. "And some milk?" He does. "A napkin?" He does, etc.

I say, "Gross. Are her legs broken? That's just awful."

My gf says, "Don't you see that she's giving him an opportunity to demonstrate his love for her, and that it makes her feel loved when he does it?"

I've thought about that a lot, and since then, I've tried to be more OK with asking for little favors from my loved ones. I've always been good at performing little favors, but perhaps the reason I see it as oppressive behavior in others is that I don't know what it's like to have a relationship in which both parties ask *and* do for each other.

That's not to say the parental situation described isn't patriarchal and gross--it is--but I wonder if the solution isn't just everyone being willing to get up for others.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 11:44 AM
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136: No broader context of that sort explained it: my mom worked as well, as a nurse, and my dad was no more exhausted than she was. It is true that my dad had set up an arrangement whereby my mom was responsible for all things food-preparation and serving: the arrangement was not of her devising. Dad was king of the castle, that's all. That's a function of their generation, whose assumptions I was questioning.

I guess I've just been freaked out to witness something a bit similar -- not identical -- in a household today, 30 years later. And then see it begin to be reiterated with their children, or at least their daughter. I hope to god the daughter doesn't also do her husband's laundry.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 11:45 AM
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138: a relationship in which both parties ask *and* do for each other.

Right, that's the ticket.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 11:47 AM
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Parsi, I think I speak for everyone in typing that we are all sorry your parents didn't have a different arrangement.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 11:59 AM
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Amendment to 140: Although a form of asking that amounts to request for service for something very simple, when you're not ill ... is not something I'm familiar with in relationships I'm comfortable in. I can't really imagine asking someone to get me a napkin (unless I'm ill). I have certainly asked someone if they'd like a napkin.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 12:14 PM
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One last train of thought on this: if gswift comes back, I'm interested* in his thoughts on what it's like to have nascent adults (your teenage kids) in the household all of a sudden.

I imagine: you're parents, you've got young, relatively helpless kids who bring not much independent judgment to the table (heh), so you operate as though there are really two adult people here. Eventually your kids become teenagers, and they have an opinion.

It's forced on you to consider that *other people [your teenaged kids] are watching and seeing you now*.

That's got to be unsettling. ?

* Biscuit conditional, sorry.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 12:25 PM
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I can't really imagine asking someone to get me a napkin (unless I'm ill). I have certainly asked someone if they'd like a napkin.

This is totally me, usually. I've been trying to change that over the past year in response to friendships in which people have told me that my unwillingness to ask them for little things ("get me a beer while you're up?") makes them feel unloved. They go to the kitchen, and then I go to the kitchen, and they can't see why I didn't just ask them for what I wanted. Or the fact that I'm really polite about when and how I come to people's houses (with a contribution to food/drink, within 5 minutes of scheduled party time, ring the doorbell)--my friends sat me down and said that they don't feel I care about them until I walk right in the house and don't bring a thing.

It's all very confusing to me.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 12:26 PM
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"get me a beer while you're up?"

The "while you're up" is key: if someone is already going to get him/herself a napkin or a beer, it's no problem to ask them to get you one as well. In my experience, they'll often ask if you want one as well. That is quite different from asking someone in a cafe to just get up and get you something.

my friends sat me down and said that they don't feel I care about them until I walk right in the house and don't bring a thing.

This sort of makes me smile. I wouldn't frame it, as you say your friends do, in terms of love, or them being unloved (are you sure you're not projecting that language onto them?)

That kind of thing is just a measure of intimacy. Mi casa es su casa -- you don't have to bring a thing, or be formal in any way, you can just show up. If you have friends whose homes are open to you in that way, I wouldn't continue to stand on ceremony with them.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 12:43 PM
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(are you sure you're not projecting that language onto them?)

I wish I were. Measures of my love or lack of love are a constant topic of conversation.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 12:46 PM
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I am anal about timeliness to social events and bringing some form of alcohol along with, which has caused relationship issues and, now that I've seen it put this way, can be chalked up to my hatred of all friends, acquaintances, and strangers.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 12:58 PM
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That is, I am anal about doing it myself. Perhaps because it didn't dawn on me to do it at all until a bit after everyone else. Back when I was entertaining more regularly I don't think I paid that much attention to what people brought, but I was sad when people were late.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 1:05 PM
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146: I confess I'd find that obnoxious on their part. I wonder if you could ask them whether they're actually asking about intimacy and trust.

Measures of my love or lack of love are a constant topic of conversation.

That would make me a nervous wreck.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 1:06 PM
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That would make me a nervous wreck.

As great as my job is, and as productive as my work has been, I have learned that it is not good for me to have a tiny circle of friends that I see every day who are obsessed with processing our relationships. I look forward to moving elsewhere, if I am lucky enough to get a job this or next year.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 1:08 PM
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I'm interested* in his thoughts on what it's like to have nascent adults (your teenage kids) in the household all of a sudden.

Expensive!

It's forced on you to consider that *other people [your teenaged kids] are watching and seeing you now*.

It's been fairly low key so far. But really, there hasn't been a lot of opportunity for worrying about that kind of thing. We're a pretty low conflict household. I've done loads of the childcare, cooking, etc. from the get go and these days my wife and I each have careers that are very close in terms of status, pay, etc. There's also the running joke that the foundation of our marriage is that my wife likes to get her way and I like to give in.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 1:52 PM
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Oh, AWB, 144 is a on target for me too. And I have been sat down & talked too about it too.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 3:19 PM
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143 - tbh if my kids tried to tell C or I how to behave to each other, they'd get short shrift too.

Re this other couple, I don't understand why you care so much about what they do? If you visited my parents for a short time, you'd see my mum wait on my dad in a similar way. If you stayed longer, or were more of a fly on the wall, you'd see lots of other, perhaps less obvious, ways that he looks after her (not gender-split things). And then they have big projects that they do collaboratively. If neither of them are complaining to you, probably best to let it go. And ffs, yes, people in the same family often do each other's laundry, because it's more efficient to just do what needs to be done than for each person to wait for a full load of their individual clothes.

It's interesting having a 15 and a 16 year old, certainly, but not unsettling. You have a long time to get used to it, it's not like they suddenly become people. And I think most parents realise very early on that having children means that there are people in your house watching you - you see your actions, your words, your tone of voice, reflected back at you from toddlerhood upwards. I don't feel more observed now than then.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 4:26 PM
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153.2 is very true. My in laws have a pretty traditional gender split (she cooks everything; stay at home mom after my husband was born, etc) on the surface, but once you start paying attention it becomes clear they're constantly working for each other, just in different areas.

It took me a fairly long time to become accustomed to having minor things done for me. Now I think I may have gone too far to the other side -- surely, I can refill my wine glass every once in awhile! Still, it is nice to be shown appreciation that way, and to give it in return.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 4:41 PM
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And ffs, yes, people in the same family often do each other's laundry, because it's more efficient to just do what needs to be done than for each person to wait for a full load of their individual clothes.

Oh god, I am horrible about having other people wash my clothes! It feels so strange to me; I've been doing mine since I was 10. So now I do all the laundry, just because.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 4:43 PM
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people have told me that my unwillingness to ask them for little things ("get me a beer while you're up?") makes them feel unloved.

I would tire of these drama queens so goddamn fast.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 4:49 PM
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Actually, I can't imagine not teasing someone relentlessly for saying something like this. "What if I wear my hat like this? Or get up and pet the cat? Now do you feel loved? How bout now? Now?"


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 4:54 PM
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Then they would tire of me mighty fast and that would probably be a wrap for the friendship.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 4:55 PM
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I'm trying to write a sabbatical application, and I thought it might be fun to actually do some, y'know, math, and I'm experiencing massive grad-school-style insecurity that I'm no longer capable of doing math. What if I can't read any papers? Or do anything with them? I am seriously such a fucking incompetent researcher.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 5:02 PM
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And I'm incredibly embarrassed to ask for help.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 5:03 PM
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Eh, I suspect you're just out of practice. After I've been away from the archives for a long time, I forget how to deal with documents. The same is true of reading secondary literature and writing: if I don't do those things consistently, I forget how.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 5:05 PM
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And it's not obvious to me what I'd ask, so that was not some passive-aggressive plea for the mathematicians amongst us.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 5:05 PM
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within 5 minutes of scheduled party time

My hero.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 5:06 PM
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And every time that happens, I'm pretty sure that I'll never have a useful thought again -- or that, should I luck into a useful thought, I'll be able to write it up. It's a great feeling to have one's impostor syndrome magnified by a gazillion times!


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 5:07 PM
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When I look at any paper, there seem to be wildly many definitions to review, and I've got the sinking sensation that tracking those down will lead to a ponzi scheme of more and more definitions.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 5:08 PM
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Imposter syndrome, yes. Why should I believe that it's just a syndrome?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 5:09 PM
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Imposter syndrome, yes. Why should I believe that it's just a syndrome?

That's the syndrome!!! That's how they get you!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 5:11 PM
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166: fair question. The only way to know for sure is to try, over a decent period of time, to do some math. My guess is that you turn out not to be a fraud, but I'm not willing to make any guarantees.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 5:11 PM
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Imposter syndrome is the fibromyalgia of academics.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 5:13 PM
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I want to tinker with an accessible problem that gives me lots of ideas and then never show anyone what I've done. Can that be my application?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 5:15 PM
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Is it internal? Is the application process largely pro forma? If so, yes, you can probably say pretty much whatever you want, so long as you keep it credible enough that people won't feel embarrassed when they carefully vet your paperwork and then vote to give you the funding/time off. Or at least that's the case here.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 5:23 PM
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Also, frankly, this application is being reviewed by nonmath people, which means that...it's not going to be read very well, exactly. It's hard to know how long to make your mathematical proposal for a lay audience. The stakes are low except for my superego.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 5:23 PM
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172 before seeing 171. Yep.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 5:24 PM
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165: and you can't make unfogged do that part for you?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 5:30 PM
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174: Has there ever been a thread where you all talked about the topic as directed?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 5:35 PM
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Maybe the committee would be impressed by talking about the surface area to volume ratio of various solids.


Posted by: x. Trapnel | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 5:37 PM
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I would tire of these drama queens so goddamn fast.

I am totally AWB's friends. I'll cop to being a drama queen sometimes, though.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 5:38 PM
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Also, my crazy fucking husband decided to take the 2 and 4 year old tailgating and then to the UT game, because they're playing his alma mater. I've had the most lovely afternoon with the baby, but it sounds like his experience at the game is going rather poorly.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 5:38 PM
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177: And wouldn't you hesitate before rolling that crap out on me?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 5:39 PM
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People sense my heart of steel before they're exactly sure what force field they've entered.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 5:43 PM
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Nah, heebie, you're a total sweetie pie. :)


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 5:45 PM
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179: I probably wouldn't actually bring it up except with a girlfriend. It would totally be the kind of thing that would convince me that I wasn't going to be best friends with someone, though. (Well, more accurately me bringing it up -- in a non-guilt-trippy way! -- and having my concerns dismissed would be the kind of thing that would convince me not to be friends with someone.) Doing things like that for other people is how I show affection; I understand that not everyone is like that, but if you don't let me do it at least sometimes it really does feel like a rejection.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 5:45 PM
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Aw, nebby, you and your mushy girl heart.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 5:48 PM
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I mean, I'm not one to turn down a fetched beer or napkin, so you and I are probably square, Josh.

I show affection by being nosy, a standard that practically no one in this godforsaken state has ever heard of. Fucking politopotomuses.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 5:51 PM
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161: I feel like I've been away from history so long I should just tell my adviser that my revived dissertation is dead again and move on.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 5:56 PM
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Aaaaand Jammies has thrown in the towel. They're heading to get pie.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 5:56 PM
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If nobody brings me a napkin, I use my socks. The trick is to remember to roll your cuffs up before you grab the first chicken wing.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 5:57 PM
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Now you're just hurting Josh's feelings for sport, aren't you.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 5:59 PM
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185 makes me feel bad. I haven't communicated with my committee since 2006.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 6:00 PM
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I feel like I've been away from history so long I should just tell my adviser that my revived dissertation is dead again and move on.

You've been away from history so long you could study your first attempt! Ba-dum-ching.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 6:01 PM
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178, 186: There are some errors that are so unforced, that it is hard to generate any sympathy.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 6:07 PM
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It sounded staggeringly miserable to me when he proposed it.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 6:11 PM
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185: WRONG!!! Instead, you should send him whatever piece of shit you currently have on your hard drive, promise him that you'll NEVER ask him for a letter of recommendation for an academic appointment, and then tell him to sign the damned thing as-is (or after minor revisions). Whatever you have is, I promise you, far better than the vast majority of dissertations produced in the vast majority of history departments. And being Fake Accent, PhD will open some doors for you in the future, I'm sure. Plus, why not?*

* The motive force that has animated my entire career.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 6:29 PM
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Further to 193: there is no academic job market these days, so many advisors are becoming much more flexible about what they will and won't sign. Put another way, you've done the work necessary to earn a PhD in history, even if what you've produced to date might not be good enough to compete for one of the academic jobs that used to exist before there were no academic jobs.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 6:31 PM
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After I've been away from the archives for a long time, I forget how to deal with documents.make clever inside jokes in a timely fashion.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 6:36 PM
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Ironically, I was just asked to serve on a history search committee.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 6:36 PM
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196: what field?


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 6:37 PM
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185 makes me feel bad. I haven't communicated with my committee since 2006.

My former advisor requested me to join his professional network on LinkedIn not long ago, which was more contact than he ever initiated back when I was supposedly his advisee.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 6:41 PM
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Gah! Over the last mumble years I have read three quite good books that followed through on possible history dissertation topics that I had thought about (even down to extensive literature and source searches) back in the late 1980s. As I go through them and read their notes and bibliographies I think "yup, that's the stuff right there. Yup, those are the right sources." But the key is that these people carried through the work and produced something instead of getting all anxious & depressed about the overwhelmingness of it all, which ended all that. On the whole I am better off not being an academic. But I still have that damned itch.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 6:42 PM
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144: I am this way and basically feel like asking anyone to do even the smallest thing for me is too much to ask. And yet during a recent therapy session my partner told me I'm selfish and lacking empathy. Maybe if asked him to do more for me he wouldn't consider me so self-absorbed.


Posted by: Nancy Reagan | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 6:42 PM
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197: "outside the western hemisphere". Big emphasis on quality and passion for teaching.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 6:43 PM
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What's particularly funny about the asking thing is that I have, in fact, on very rare occasion, made very specific requests, in a state of need, from these same people, who have completely 100% flaked and not been helpful about things that matter at all. I only ask for something when I really need it, but I think it makes people feel loved only when you ask to allow them to feel as if they are being helpful. Yes?


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 6:47 PM
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Think of the asking thing like apes grooming each other. I'm being serious. It's casual and indulgent.

The crisis behavior speaks poorly of them, but is unrelated.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 6:49 PM
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"outside the western hemisphere".

I was going to say "so, the eastern hemisphere?", but I guess some history has happened on the moon or in space.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 6:50 PM
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Have I told about when my therapist gave me a homework assignment to ask my then-boyfriend to go get me something (ketchup or whatever) during a meal? I did not do it. But I have maybe gotten slightly better about asking for small favors.

My parents are not hard-core about it, but my mom does end up fetching lots of things for my dad during meals. He also criticizes her cooking fairly regularly, which really pisses me off.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 6:50 PM
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193: I don't have anything written.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 6:50 PM
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Buck has a tendency to wait on me hand and foot -- I like this, because I'm astonishingly lazy, but it makes me nervous because I feel like I don't reciprocate enough. But I don't ask for service, he just appears with cups of coffee or drinks depending on the time of day. I've learned to deal with the nervousness.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 6:51 PM
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201: if you want to send me an e-mail with the job description, I can probably direct a few applications your way. These are people who would be very happy teaching, advising, and not writing much.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 6:52 PM
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I don't have anything written.

That complicates things somewhat. Still, you're a really outstanding writer, so crank something out and be done with it. Or hire a ghostwriter!


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 6:53 PM
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209: I wrote three chapters, or parts thereof. Am I in?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 6:54 PM
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198: That reminds me. My boss endorsed me some stuff so I should go endorse him.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 6:55 PM
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208: sure. It'll be when I'm on a computer.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 6:56 PM
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I only ask for something when I really need it, but I think it makes people feel loved only when you ask to allow them to feel as if they are being helpful. Yes?

I can only speak for myself, but in the cases where people have asked me for help only in situations where they're in need, it's usually made me feel like they don't really care that I'm the particular person helping them, that what they really care about is having *anyone* help them out and that I just happen to be the most convenient/most likely to say yes.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 6:58 PM
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210: sure, send it along. I'll sign off.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 6:59 PM
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It's in Word Perfect.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 7:00 PM
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Josh is so picking up the tab the next time he comes to town. Because we love him.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 7:00 PM
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215: there a bunch of computer people around here. I bet one of them can help.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 7:02 PM
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This thread is aptly named.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 7:03 PM
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it's usually made me feel like they don't really care that I'm the particular person helping them, that what they really care about is having *anyone* help them out and that I just happen to be the most convenient/most likely to say yes.

That's well put. I wouldn't have thought of that, but once you say it, I can immediately think of situations I've been in that fit that description (and which left me feeling midlly annoyed).


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 7:04 PM
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Just speaking personally, I do not have a history dissertation in any stage of planning or completion.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 7:05 PM
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Good thing, too. You wouldn't want to scoop fake accent.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 7:07 PM
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Obviously heebie should hire fake accent.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 7:11 PM
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so crank something out and be done with it

This. This is like 90% of being a successful academic. (Says the guy who will never get tenure.) It's good enough, put it out there and move on to something else before you bore yourself to death.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 7:12 PM
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Done.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 7:12 PM
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To 222 or to boring myself to death. Who can say.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 7:13 PM
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174 to 206.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 7:14 PM
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224: I thought you'd finished a history dissertation.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 7:17 PM
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I thought you'd finished a history dissertation.

See how easy that was, fake accent? Now get to work!


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 7:19 PM
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If teo had accepted Von Wafer's first offer of a graduate studentship, he could well be done or nearly done by now.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 7:23 PM
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And applying for a job in BFE Texas.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 7:31 PM
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I knew I didn't want to be an academic before I revived the dissertation. But when my job search was going horribly last year, I dropped it so I could start working on an exit strategy/yet another career change. Now that I have a full time job (managing to avoid the exit for now), it's just hard to get back to history again, especially as there's a bunch of stuff I want to do in terms of professional development/continuing education. Also, in about a year I'll be back on the job market again. But not the academic professorial job market. I'm never going anywhere near that.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 7:56 PM
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I still wish I could be a philosopher, but not, like, in BFETX.

The other day a member of the Steinford phil dept posted to facebook a longish (for facebook) description of something he was quasi-working on. Dann haben sich in mir zwei entgegengesetzte Gedanken gestritten. First, that exactly that is why I need to be part of philosophy, because someone needs to combat that kind of empty, ill-formed blah. Second, that exactly that is why I need to leave it behind for good and all, because if that kind of thing is so widespread, meets with success, etc., what's the fucking point.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 8:00 PM
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Boy howdy do I identify with those entgegengesetzte Gedanken.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 8:04 PM
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I could set the end of my current job as a deadline. It's not like my not working is draining resources at the institution where I'd file. I'm not officially a student. But it will be work for my adviser if I sent him stuff, and I'd eventually have to get reinstated. It's kind of crazy this is even possible, bureaucratically.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 8:06 PM
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231: it's completely not my business, and I can't claim to know for certain that what I'm about to say is true, but I do think that it's probably worth the relatively small investment of time it would take to write up your dissertation. Given your sunk costs and the relative ease of cranking out a slapdash thesis, it just seems sensible to get the PhD, a degree that might open some doors in the future. Or not. I honestly don't want you to think I'm pressuring you, because again, it's not my business, and I can't be sure that the advice I'm giving is any good at all. I just think people overestimate how hard it is to write a dissertation, especially if on is aiming for "just good enough" rather than "brilliant."


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 8:07 PM
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It seems fairly common. Several other persons to whom I've related this incident---who are academics still---have also claimed familiarity.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 8:07 PM
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Second, that exactly that is why I need to leave it behind for good and all, because if that kind of thing is so widespread, meets with success, etc., what's the fucking point.

This. This right here is pretty dispiriting, I have to say. But if you think about being a historian or a philosopher or whatever as a job rather than a calling, it lessens the sting somewhat.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 8:09 PM
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233 gets it exactly right. I mean, mutatis mutandis, etc.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 8:10 PM
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I just want to be able to stop correcting people who call me "doctor."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 8:12 PM
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I think I was given a gentleman's master's degree, as the saying almost goes, because they knew I was never going to try to have anything else to do with the field. The knowledge that a person is going to fuck off is powerful.

Did I tell about the time someone's therapist (not Bave) assigned them to ask, for once in their life, for help with something, and they asked me a small favor, and I kinda flaked because I am the worst?


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 8:12 PM
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Dann habe ich fünf Dollaren gefunden.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 8:14 PM
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235 without seeing 234. Have I ever told the story of my grad school crisis of confidence? Of the night I sat staring at the ceiling in my New Orleans house, certain that I couldn't write a dissertation worth writing? Cliffnotes version: the only way I could get it finished was by telling myself that I didn't care if it was bad, that I only cared if it was done. I also read a couple of other people's dissertations, including one that was ostensibly brilliant but that was actually awful, and realized that even the best theses are generally pretty bad. And that strategy -- deciding that something doesn't have to be great, it just has to be off my desk -- has served me very well at critical junctures throughout my career.

Shorter VW: fortunately, the bar is very low.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 8:18 PM
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that even the best theses are generally pretty bad

See? That's what I'm on about!


Posted by: Opinionate Pope Leo X | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 8:22 PM
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I don't think my dissertation would be bad. Maybe a bit thin but it's, uh, strategically designed. Or was. I still have to actually sit and read the sources I've gathered.But it would be bad for me not to be able to jump to some more tech-oriented work than I'm doing, as that's where the field needs to go to stay around. You know, making it possible to open Moby's Word Perfect files forever, and such.

There would be real benefit to having a PhD as a credential. But mostly later, if I want some senior position in an academic institution where the PhD can be a shield against sneering, status-conscious faculty.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 8:28 PM
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242.2 is a story about meeeeee!


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 8:29 PM
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Shit, sorry: 240.2


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 8:29 PM
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244.last.amended: Not all faculty are like that, of course. But some of them are in positions with a lot of influence over institution-wide priorities.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 8:31 PM
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247: It's too late! They know! Run!


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 8:34 PM
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So far I've been approaching this problem by watching a lot of Netflix and Hulu, so I'm not exactly getting a lot done dissertation or non-dissertation-wise. Except for actual at-work work.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 8:35 PM
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246 is true. You should totally kill me.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 8:42 PM
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242 is how I live. My joke lately is that I picked a theme for the school year like the cheesy mommy bloggers do, and my theme is efficiency. Under me, hourlong meetings wrap up in 20 minutes. Several students have told me that my syllabus is very short. I corrected them, of course, because they meant efficient.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 8:43 PM
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I should take bids on how short I can make this sabbatical application and still get it. How efficient, I mean.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 8:45 PM
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252: "You owe me."


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 8:51 PM
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So far I've been approaching this problem by watching a lot of Netflix and Hulu

This is my approach to all of my problems lately.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 8:54 PM
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250: You feel way way too bad about it. The big exercise was me asking, not achieving getting someone to do something.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 8:55 PM
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And that strategy -- deciding that something doesn't have to be great, it just has to be off my desk -- has served me very well at critical junctures throughout my career.

Note, however, that this strategy isn't necessarily transferable to other career fields. For example, when preparing a presentation to be given to a bunch of fairly important people from outside your own organization, it's a good idea to carefully check that the information you're presenting is accurate, as I discovered the hard way yesterday.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 9:03 PM
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Also, your zipper was down the whole time.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 9:06 PM
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Anyway, you mostly want to worry about being accurate in grad school. Just go ahead with bad writing.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 9:15 PM
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I need to bookmark this thread for my next crisis of academic confidence, currently scheduled for this coming Tuesday.


Posted by: Gabardine Bathyscaphe | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 9:28 PM
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259: You and me both. I got an article accepted (yay!) to a major journal (yay yay!) but the reviewers just hate it. The editors are like, we need it done in the next few weeks, but can you just please make these people happy? I don't know why they accepted it if they agree with these damning criticisms. One of the reviewers keeps mentioning and then analyzing her "impatience" with me, and how angry she gets with herself for allowing me to get so far under her skin with my audacious and ignorant arguments. OK, I'll change... the way I make you feel?


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 9:53 PM
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258: In this case I later realized that it was actually bad (or at least sloppy) writing that was the problem; the underlying math was correct.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 10:05 PM
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(It was not actually a big deal; the presentation went very well overall. But it was certainly a learning experience for me.)


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 10:09 PM
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If trying to write it is going to fuck you up psychologically, don't. Otherwise do. Says the person who wrote most of a draft history diss. It sucked, that is the writing, the ideas and the research underpinning them were good.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 08-31-13 11:02 PM
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202 et seq. In the society in which we live, the primary responsibility of people who are sick or in trouble is to make everybody else feel better about it. Once you realise this life becomes a lot more straightforward, though not necessarily more pleasant.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09- 1-13 4:22 AM
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203 and like those: Heebie is right. The casual request & response routine just shows one is part of the tribe/herd/pack/etc.

Done right, it's bonding. IMX when initiated too often it leads to divorce. You know you're close to that point when "You suddenly became paraplegic? Get your own fucking drink!" is thought even if not said.


Posted by: biohazard | Link to this comment | 11-24-13 9:07 AM
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I show affection by being nosy, a standard that practically no one in this godforsaken state has ever heard of. Fucking politopotomuses.

Look, Jon Polito is not a svelte man, but I don't think he'd appreciate being turned into an all-purpose insult this way.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11-24-13 9:22 AM
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