Re: "Looks like the backstroke, ma'am."

1

The snarky linked piece ends thus:

I'm sure her, ah, heart is in the right place.

Minus the snark, I do think that this is one correct moral of the story. As inept as this person is, she really is trying.

Yeah, sure. I'm projecting here. I'd like to be cut a little slack for my own half-assed efforts at empathy and human decency.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-28-14 9:43 PM
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Yeah, I'm actually pretty sympathetic to her. I don't know that she's even all that inept; she may well be correct that there's not really anything she, personally, can do about the systemic problems she's just identified.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-28-14 9:58 PM
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Yeah, I can kind of picture going through a similar set of emotional perturbations about race/class/gender in such a situation, but I'd say something about it here, or at home, not under my own name. Jeez. Also, the whole "she was directing hostility at me and my white skinny body" part definitely engendered some hostility in me.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01-28-14 10:09 PM
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Also, the whole "she was directing hostility at me and my white skinny body" part definitely engendered some hostility in me.

Yeah, that part was not very sympathetic. I'm not surprised she would have felt that way in the moment, but it's not a good thing to mention in this sort of writeup.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-28-14 10:20 PM
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There are sooooo many steps between thinking any of her thoughts and publishing them that my sympathies ran out pretty far from the end of the trail. Moral: internet publishers do NOT have your best interests at heart, confessional author.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 01-28-14 10:43 PM
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Moral: internet publishers do NOT have your best interests at heart, confessional author.

You're telling me. Damn you, Unfogged!


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-28-14 11:03 PM
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More seriously, it's quite possible that I'm being the clueless white guy in this thread and that the original piece was more clueless and offensive than I realized when reading it.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-28-14 11:05 PM
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OMFG Kurt Cobain has been dead almost 20 years and "It Happened To Me" is still alive.* I can't think any further about the implications of this, or about whether race relations among women have made any progress in the U.S. in that time. (No, there's no connection between Nirvana and the OP -- I'd just been thinking about them lately.)

There is definitely something messed up with the effusive performance of sensitivity in the original piece, the narcissism, etc., but I'm inclined to blame the venue. It's a terrible idea for a feature and the results are mostly terrible. Once you've got "it" vs. "me," you can pretty much coast your way to self-sabotage.

* This was a regular feature in the early 90s teen magazine Sassy, cover linked above, whose editor seems now to be running the website where the yoga piece ran. I had no idea she was still around, as this is not really my scene.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 01-28-14 11:44 PM
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6 gets it very, very right.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 01-28-14 11:48 PM
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We should do a class action suit. If only we knew where to find some lawyers.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-28-14 11:50 PM
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Who counts the money underneath the bar?
Who rides the wrecking ball into our rock guitars?

Don't you remember?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 12:36 AM
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a little slack for my own half-assed efforts at empathy and human decency

I didn't like her or the piece because there was NO attempt at human decency. She's so caught in her inner drama she can't even manage to toss out a basic version of "it gets better". There's nothing a student can dooooooooo! I went home and criiiiiied.

This was, of course, pointed out in the comments. My favorite comment was "perplexed why Gawker would want to discourage any sort of thought".


Posted by: simulated annealing | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 2:00 AM
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Who counts the money underneath the bar?
Who rides the wrecking ball into our rock guitars?

Don't you remember?

Who controls the British crown?
Who keeps the metric system down?
We do! We do!


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 2:43 AM
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On the OP, I think this article goes some way towards explaining the question GY asked last week about why so many Americans seem to be in therapy.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 2:46 AM
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Who counts the money underneath the bar?
Who rides the wrecking ball into our rock guitars?

We built this city on broken ropes.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 4:34 AM
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We Built This Village On A Trad. Arr. Tune

http://www.halfmanhalfbiscuithalfhearted.com/2007/06/we-built-this-village-on-tradarr-tune.html


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 4:39 AM
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Hmm, I sleepily read this just before going to bed last night, and although it did not quite work (who was the original author that heebie had sympathy for?), I just assumed it was an Onion-style parody.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 4:48 AM
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17. Me too. I still assume that in fact.

On the other hand, most things become clearer through the lens of HMHB.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 4:59 AM
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Isn't yoga supposed to be from someplace is Asia anyway.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 6:23 AM
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Love the Michelle Obama gif in the Gawker comments.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 6:25 AM
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I don't really have time to write much, but the thing that bothered me most was the assumption that she, the white woman, is upset and distracted because she's just realized how non-diverse her yoga practice really is, whereas the heavyset black woman is upset and distracted because she's jealous of the author's thin white body and yoga abilities to the point where she can't function without really taking into account, that it was more about size than just race. I mean, every black women's magazine article about exercise that I've ever read has at least a subtitle of "how to get fit without losing your curves" or sometimes explicitly "lose weight without looking like a skinny white girl!" and yoga is often recommended there.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 6:38 AM
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Now I feel guilty for being happy whenever a yoga class isn't just me and a bunch of skinny white women.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 6:56 AM
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My yoga classes are just me and the Wii lady.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 7:04 AM
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She's a skinny blue woman.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 7:05 AM
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assumption that...the heavyset black woman is upset and distracted because she's jealous of the author's thin white body and yoga abilities

Right. What's offensive about the piece is that it's stunningly presumptuous. This black woman hates me because I'm skinny and awesome at yoga--determined without knowing or speaking to the black woman at all. But I think that also explains why it's possible to find her a little sympathetic: if the presumption were correct, her reaction is sensitive and kind (and a little batty, but hey).


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 7:18 AM
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This article has been torn to shreds on my Twitter feed in the last 24 hours.

I couldn't begin to repeat some of the funniest and most apt responses, but one thing that I think bears noting is this: A number of folks have pointed out that the behavior described is consistent with a person who has a back injury taking it easy in yoga class. It's....something...that this simple explanation appears not to have crossed the mind of the original article's author.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 7:18 AM
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23, 24: Keep it clean, James Cameron. Can you tell Ahnuld I said hi?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 7:22 AM
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17 and 18: I thought it was a parody too.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 7:28 AM
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The thing that keeps it from being exactly offensive, in my eyes, is that this is a predictable (early) stage of maturity and growing awareness of racism and differences of outlook, and if the author is in her early 20s, then it's age-appropriate.

In my mind, there's an age-of-accountability for these things. This thought process would be offensive coming from someone older.

What's baffling is that it was published, of course. This is perfect fodder for discussion in an undergraduate course, and it would show that she was being introspective, and trying to grow, and taking the assignment seriously.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 7:28 AM
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Aha. A little googling reveals that the author is a formerly chubby girl who has become a bodybuilder. Honestly, she seems sweet, but not what you might call a deep thinker. I presume (why not!) she was seeing her former self in the new yoga student. Because no one asked, I give her a pass, and maybe a gentle admonition.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 7:29 AM
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17, 18, 28: I was pretty sure it was a parody as well. Is the consensus that it's genuine? Wow.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 7:29 AM
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A number of folks have pointed out that the behavior described is consistent with a person who has a back injury taking it easy in yoga class. It's....something...that this simple explanation appears not to have crossed the mind of the original article's author.

I don't buy this whatsoever. I bet the author can tell the difference between a person familiar with yoga classes but injured, versus a person unfamiliar with yoga class and very possibly resenting the group of classmates in there. I'm willing to bet that the author semi-correctly sized up the emotions emanating from the new student, even if she attributed them to completely narcissistic sources.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 7:31 AM
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25: I generally avoid most forms of exercise for fear of making people nearby feel uncomfortable with my sheer awesomeness. Because I'm a feminist.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 7:36 AM
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I'm willing to bet that the author semi-correctly sized up the emotions emanating from the new student

I see what you did there.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 7:38 AM
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I've always found ogged's yoga class very welcoming.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 7:38 AM
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34: do share! It must have been accidental.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 7:39 AM
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Did you bring enough insight to share with the whole class?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 7:43 AM
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36: "sized up"?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 7:45 AM
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Lulemon's insight is a bit more transparent than you'd expect.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 7:45 AM
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38: Oh. Accidental pun, I promise.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 7:45 AM
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I bet the author can tell the difference between a person familiar with yoga classes but injured, versus a person unfamiliar with yoga class and very possibly resenting the group of classmates in there.

I imagine that's true to some extent, but if she thinks that lying on your mat and not doing the poses is something to feel sorry for someone about, she's a shitty yoga student and it sounds like a shitty class. In a good class, the teacher should be reminding people that they can opt in and out of the poses at will, doing child's pose or just sitting or lying there when that is what they need. In an intense practice like ashtanga that has a set series of poses you have to know in advance, sitting and observing is encouraged for at least the first session.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 7:53 AM
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Actually, the more I think about it, the more WTF I get. Where was the instructor in all of this? The instructor just let someone sit in the middle of class and be uncomfortable?


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 7:54 AM
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In other skinny white women news, I just read this: From Yoga Dropout to Competitive Powerlifter and Boxer in One Year

I am not afraid of people looking at my body, nor of what the scale says, nor -- most importantly -- of trying new things. This includes trying things that might hurt me, or that I might be terrible at. For the first time in my life I feel like I'll try anything at least once. I have no fear of or for my body anymore. It has been an incredible year.

All it takes to get there:

Today, I box about six hours a week, run four miles a day most days, strength train three times a week, and am getting ready for my first powerlifting competition (in the under 105-pound masters class) in March. I ride my bike about 100 miles a week, and I've recently started dabbling in parkour. I've put on a ton of muscle and my body fat is around 16 percent."


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 8:09 AM
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41:I imagine that's true to some extent, but if she thinks that lying on your mat and not doing the poses is something to feel sorry for someone about, she's a shitty yoga student and it sounds like a shitty class.

First paragraph of the article:

A few weeks ago, as I settled into an exceptionally crowded midday class, a young, fairly heavy black woman put her mat down directly behind mine. It appeared she had never set foot in a yoga studio--she was glancing around anxiously, adjusting her clothes, looking wide-eyed and nervous. Within the first few minutes of gentle warm-up stretches, I saw the fear in her eyes snowball, turning into panic and then despair. Before we made it into our first downward dog, she had crouched down on her elbows and knees, head lowered close to the ground, trapped and vulnerable. She stayed there, staring, for the rest of the class. Because I was directly in front of her, I had no choice but to look straight at her every time my head was upside down (roughly once a minute).

It seems to me that the thing to do at this point, if the author is at all concerned about the other person, would be to turn around and ask if the other lady is OK. (This might not be proper yoga etiquette in which case one wonders if yoga sucks.) At a minimum, asking loudly, 'Are you all right?' while staring at the glaring woman seems like it would be the sensible thing to do.

The rest of the article is all about what the author is presuming and over-presuming, and looks like a whole cargo ship of projection. That said, I think the author is obviously very good yoga, because she's gone and parked her head entirely up her own ass.

max
['Props for dictating that long a piece from her own colon.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 8:22 AM
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This might not be proper yoga etiquette in which case one wonders if yoga sucks.)

I don't know about etiquette, but it might draw a lot more attention to the non-participating student, given that students often don't talk during yoga class. (Depending on the nature of the class and the teacher, of course.) That's why I've come around to putting the blame on the instructor, who should be normalizing and welcoming beginnerhood. Though if the instructor wasn't stepping up, yeah, the author could have said something.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 8:26 AM
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Max!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 8:32 AM
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Though if the instructor wasn't stepping up, that could be a sign the narrator is unreliable and the heavyset black student was perfectly fine.

As an aside, in my first and only yoga class to date, poses involving balance produced what I think can only fairly be described as violent shaking. The instructor told the whole class that if anyone was shaking that was ok, sign of challenging new muscles, whatever. Seemed like a great way to encourage without drawing attention.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 8:40 AM
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It Happened To Me: I Saw A White Person Buy Jerk Chicken and I Couldn't Handle It


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 10:10 AM
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Heh.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 10:12 AM
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The "everyone in the world is stupid except you and me" tone of Gawker the entire internet Gawker is so wearisome.

Also wearisome: the fact that the comment window scroll bar no longer works for me in Chrome and I have to open IE to read unfogged.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 10:52 AM
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It's probably the right place to observe: it's not often that I have a student name that I find distracting, but somehow this student's name - Elmer - is just that. The name just jumps out at me when I'm grading or something, and affects how I think about the person.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 11:21 AM
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||

I am going to be interviewing a law-student-summer-intern-candidate who is (a) Harvard Law; (b) named Chip Chippington II (actually II. I thought that was never right, that you counted Sr., Jr., III); and heavily involved with Republican party politics. We'll hire him unless he's awful in the interview -- our internships don't pay, so they're not terribly competitive. But I will be biting back a sneer.

|>


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 11:26 AM
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52: apparently you use "II" if your namesake is a generation away. So Chip Chippington I is his grandfather.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 11:30 AM
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Chip chippity chip chippity chip chip cheree, if he has a Chippington he'll be Chip III


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 11:31 AM
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Man, 41/42 is right: where the hell was the instructor? The newcomer perhaps should have been in a beginner rather than an intermediate class, and there should have been some screening or explanation for prospective attendees to the class about what level of knowledge and practice was assumed in this class. The better, by which I mean proper, classes I've had involved the instructor or an assistant actually walking around to each participant and observing how s/he was doing, offering suggestions for bettering the stretch or pose, or sometimes just taking note that someone was sitting something out (which, Blume is right, everyone should always be welcome to sit something out) and possibly discussing the sitting-out later, after class, with the participant in order to see whether s/he is having a specific musculoskeletal pain or stiffness.

Good grief.

I'm not seeing any reason to suppose that the difficulty experienced by the new attendee in the article had anything in particular to do with race. That's what's annoying about the writer, for cripe's sake: it's perfectly imaginable that a beginner student, perhaps heavyset, who happened to be white would behave in exactly the same way. But oh! This one is black, so that must be the source of the problem.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 11:32 AM
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I seem to have become righteously indignant.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 11:32 AM
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52: He sounds charming. You should ask him about his hobbies - horses, yachting?


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 11:33 AM
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48 is excellent.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 11:34 AM
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I'm sure you mean dressage.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 11:34 AM
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You can't ask sex questions in a job interview.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 11:35 AM
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Also, he signed his letter by typing his name in a script-ish font. I hate that.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 11:39 AM
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It's probably the right place to observe: it's not often that I have a student name that I find distracting, but somehow this student's name - Elmer - is just that. The name just jumps out at me when I'm grading or something, and affects how I think about the person.

Bumpkin associations today, but once solidly middle class. John Aylmer was a protestant martyr, I think under Bloody Mary, and the Puritans honored--honoured, I guess--him with the name Elmer.


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 11:47 AM
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61: If he does come work for you, you can teach him not to do that.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 11:47 AM
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The Puritans sure are glued to their martyrs.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 11:48 AM
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63: I'd be unlikely to be working with him specifically. It's a big bureau.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 11:51 AM
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59: I was thinking of racing or polo. Isn't dressage kind of girly?

62: I'd have guessed Asian, actually. I used to see lots of college kids with old-fashioned names. Lots of Charlies (yeah, I know it's coming back now), Eugenes, Olives, Floras, etc.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 11:57 AM
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My take on the article: skinny white girl is uncomfortable because the black girl's presence is noticeable to her, which makes her reflect that her yoga studio/practice is not diverse, because it wouldn't be noticeable to her otherwise. Because she's uncomfortable, and the other woman looks uncomfortable, they must be uncomfortable for the same reasons!

It's bizarre that she jumps straight to jealousy rather than thinking that the other woman might be rehabbing an injury, or new to yoga and watching someone who looks like she knows what she's doing because the pace of the class is overwhelming.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 12:00 PM
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I agree with 66; I was just on a project with a Chinese-American Alvin. ABC=American-born Chinese.


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 12:02 PM
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52: Non-paying Manhattan-based internships are unlikely to be possible for anyone named anything other than Chip Chippington II.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 12:04 PM
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The instructor told the whole class that if anyone was shaking that was ok, sign of challenging new muscles, whatever. Seemed like a great way to encourage without drawing attention.

I hear this often. Also, when I fall down, "That's why it's called practice."

The "everyone in the world is stupid except you and me" tone of Gawker the entire internet Gawker is so wearisome.

But H/am/ilt/on N/ol/an is so hardcore! So hardcore! And he has met both African-Americans and poor people, with whom he sympathizes more than you, thanks to his diamond-hardcore exercise regime.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 12:05 PM
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comment window scroll bar no longer works for me in Chrome

This happens to me when I have a pdf open in Chrome.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 12:09 PM
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Speaking of religion-related names, I think I have met exactly one person named "Jonah" in my entire life, and perhaps two named "Noah" (no female "Noa," either). The infrequency seems odd.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 12:10 PM
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I kinda love HamNo's hardcore. It is only relative to the worker-out's own self. I've seen him in the comments cheering on an old shaky lady who describe how she shows up and tries hard.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 12:12 PM
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Huh, apparently the name I googled isn't her real name. I take back my qualified defense.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 12:17 PM
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No one should read gawker. You're better than that.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 12:18 PM
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You're better than that.

But not less bored by the papers on my desk.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 12:19 PM
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Once you've got "it" vs. "me," you can pretty much coast your way to self-sabotage.

This is a good way of putting it. I've been thinking about lurid keyaki's comment since this morning, and about all the "It Happened to Me" columns that I still remember. One about becoming a vegetarian, one about converting to Islam, one about dating a devil worshipper (remembering the details of this one, I can see in retrospect that it was obviously made up), becoming a person who goes to the midnight showing of Rocky Horror every week. It seems like a better title for the series would have been "I Never Thought I Would..."


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 12:21 PM
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69: Non-paying internships generally. Lower-tier law school students have to take them all the time. Retail in the evenings, I guess?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 12:23 PM
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69: We get a fair number of locals who are commuting in from deep Queens or similar. Some Chip Chippingtons, but not exclusively. (I mean, no one in a decent law school is all that likely to be working class, but there are definitely some non-wealthy.)

And the Chipster stood us up. It was supposed to be a phone interview, and he didn't answer three times over a fifteen minute period. We left a message allowing him to contact HR to reschedule. But I am unimpressed. Did I mention that he volunteered at the presidential library for the president who was not a crook?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 12:24 PM
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I seem to have been completely misinformed.

Aylmer was one of the founders of the Church of England, and while he did have to flee briefly, he was just as intolerant of Puritans as he was of Catholics.

Wikopedia says this of the name Elmer:

"It was adopted as a given name in the United States, 'in honor of the popularity of the brothers Ebenezer and Jonathan Elmer, leading supporters of the American Revolution.'"

I remembered the Aylmer connection from a Hugh MacLennan article I read years ago. Canadian literary heritage fails me again.


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 12:27 PM
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Is there any great Canadian literature about the Fenian raids? I've always been curious to know what they say about it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 12:29 PM
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"for the president who was not a crook?"

This confused me until I remembered that only one, your birth president, ever said that he wasn't in those exact terms.


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 12:29 PM
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I'd have guessed Asian, actually. I used to see lots of college kids with old-fashioned names. Lots of Charlies (yeah, I know it's coming back now), Eugenes, Olives, Floras, etc.

I've had a Korean-American Eugene explained to me as phonetically pleasing/comfortable sounding to a Korean ear. Also an Ian in the same family.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 12:31 PM
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your birth president

Obstetricians have been on such a power trip, but I can't see that term spreading very far.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 12:33 PM
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I needed 48. Thanks, Minivet.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 12:39 PM
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Is there any great Canadian literature about the Fenian raids? I've always been curious to know what they say about it.

I don't know, ask David Frum. Seriously, we have had Canadian intellectuals here before, but I haven't seen their names in the two days I've been back.

I read a biography of Sir William Otter, The Canadian General, where the battle between the Fenians and the Queen's Own Light Infantry, the Toronto militia unit then and now is described. He was just a kid, a subaltern in 1867; he was still serving as a general during WWI. The Q's O lost that battle: none of them had ever been in combat, while the Fenians would have Civil War vets; think of the passages in The Red Badge of Courage where the old soldiers--who must be all of 23--show the boy how to survive. Nontheless, they retreated back across the border leaving the stunned Queen's Own in possession of the battlefield. Searing, life-changing experience for Canada and Otter.


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 12:40 PM
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Weaponized Otters.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 12:42 PM
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your birth president

Old Mineshaft discussion of age cohorts.


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 12:43 PM
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79: A note to Chip's law school's career office would get him reamed out, and maybe give him a "teachable moment." (I love to hate that phrase. One of the worst phrases of this low, dishonest decade.)


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 12:45 PM
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Nontheless, they retreated back across the border leaving the stunned Queen's Own in possession of the battlefield.

That's because the United States cut off supplies and reinforcements.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 12:45 PM
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89: I really can't in good conscience; it's right on the line of what I'd let slide in general, so if I ratted him out I'd probably be doing it because I don't like his political/cultural affiliations, and I can't do that. But it's a pleasant thought.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 12:47 PM
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72: Speaking of religion-related names, I think I have met exactly one person named "Jonah" in my entire life, and perhaps two named "Noah" (no female "Noa," either). The infrequency seems odd.

Coincidental acquaintance on your part, I think. I know two Jonahs, a Jonas, two Noahs. Weirdly, or not, it didn't occur to me that they were religiously themed names. Because I don't see religion unless it gets in my face (at which point it may annoy me, but that's my problem).


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 12:50 PM
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But, it really does seem like something the law school should know about because it could affect their other students trying to seek work.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 12:51 PM
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And now HR has emailed Chip, and he thought the interview was tomorrow but he's accepted another offer anyway so just cancel the interview, thanks! Perhaps I will suggest feedback to the career office at the law school as a possibility, and leave it up to the HR lady who is probably less ideologically driven than I am.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 12:52 PM
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your birth president

I don't think I'd considered the notion of birth presidents before.

Thanks a lot. Now I get to go through life thinking of myself as a "Nixon baby".


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 12:55 PM
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On Chip Chippington II, I am assuming that this is not his real name in the first place. I thought "Chip" was generally a nickname, not a real given name anyway, right? So ... would you apply for an internship using your nickname? I think not!

I know not the ways of these people.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 12:55 PM
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No, I was just trying to convey the ethnicity communicated by his name -- Pilgrim-esque. He gave us his full first name, although he did sign his cover letter with a standard nickname for that first name. But that I wouldn't judge him for at all.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 12:58 PM
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Chippington?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 12:58 PM
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His name is actually Chad. Chad Chadworthy II.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 1:17 PM
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Nah it's Pip Pippingsmith II.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 1:25 PM
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Bill Billington. Chuck Chuckworthy.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 1:30 PM
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But now, for all this fun-making, I have a friend with a name along these lines -- a construction with an enormous stick up its ass -- and it's not his fault. I'd reprint it here for demonstration purposes, but I'd need it to be redacted almost immediately. Suffice it to say that he uses, in normal life, a shortened version of his middle name -- though that actually doesn't help a hell of a lot.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 1:43 PM
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I knew someone who used the first name from LB's potential intern as a nickname, which was entirely understandable as his actual first name was Gallus.

He was also a IVth, and I believe the nickname also ran in the family.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 1:51 PM
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Billington Brothers: David and James. Princeton professors, etc.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 1:56 PM
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One of Mara's preschool classmates and good friends is named Es/qu/ire. His mom is concerned about what it will look/sound like if he becomes a lawyer, but his dad apparently thought that was the point. (The newest child in Selah's class is Leg/end. There's also another her-real-name who joined the school this week, but I haven't found out whether that girl is also black. I'm guessing it's going to be and stay a more-black-than-not name for a while.)


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 1:57 PM
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I've always felt bad for kids named Dean.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 2:07 PM
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Or Nurse.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 2:08 PM
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83 Also an Ian in the same family.

I know a Korean guy who transliterates his name as Ian-[something else] but pronounces it in a way that sounds nothing at all like it begins with the vowel sounds in "Ian" and in which the "n" sound seems more attached to the second syllable. It's very confusing.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 2:08 PM
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Further to 102. google-proofing in the extreme, said friend's name is Yello/t/t Fi/tz/hugh Ha/rdcast/le III. My god.

You really can't blame people for what their parents and grandparents et al. saddle them with.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 2:14 PM
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Or Lord Chief Justice Judge.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 2:14 PM
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It looks like there are hundreds of women named Chardonnay in the US, but only one Mozzarella. Ther are sixteen Stiltons.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 2:24 PM
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OT: I ain't enjoyed no fancy conservatory education, but I identified Grieg's "In the Hall of the Mountain King" faster than Little Miss I-Went-to-[REDACTED].


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 2:35 PM
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112. Because Apocalyptica.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 2:49 PM
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Pilgrim-esque

Cooke? Warren? Fuller? Soule?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 2:52 PM
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Pilgrim-esque

Scott


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 2:54 PM
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114:

Seconded. My daughter and I have been looking on the Winthrop Society website to try to find which Puritan Great Migration ship a foremother was on. The passenger lists are full of very ordinary names that don't convey anything Chippingtonian.

They live among us!


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 3:00 PM
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116 was me; Chrome doesn't automatically populate the Name field.


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 3:02 PM
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Elmer is actually Hispanic, for the record.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 3:04 PM
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Ian-[something else] but pronounces it in a way that sounds nothing at all like it begins with the vowel sounds in "Ian" and in which the "n" sound seems more attached to the second syllable. It's very confusing.

My parents have friends named Sig and LeJean, so obviously I thought it was a single person named Siggle-lajean for years.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 3:06 PM
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The passenger lists are full of very ordinary names that don't convey anything Chippingtonian.

It's actually much more this sort of name than something floridly Chippingtonian -- without the "II" and Harvard Law, it wouldn't be a noticeable name at all.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 3:09 PM
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I think Elmer Fudd killed the name in the English-speaking population for the past 60 years.

The only real person I can think of named Elmer is also Mexican, ex-Pirates great Elmer Dessens.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 3:10 PM
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If that's so, how come so many people still name their kids "Bugs"?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 3:14 PM
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Moby is Encyclopedia Brown?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 3:28 PM
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I'm not sure where to put this comment, since there's been a lot of action on this blog lately, but:

||

Sullivan speaks to a Thomas Edsall column in the NYT on modern day income inequality, in the context of Thomas Piketty's forthcoming Capital in the Twenty-First Century.

Sullivan says, or Edsall says, that the ideas contained herein or therein are new, but I don't know about that. Quoting Sullivan:

But the book powerfully suggests a rather determinist view that capitalism constantly sows the seeds of its own destruction, by gradually and inexorably increasing social and economic inequality in such a way as to undermine the legitimacy of democratic politics that undergirds its existence.

This doesn't seem an especially new notion to me, but if it's gaining some mainstream attention, that's alright.

Also togolosh said that Sullivan's worth reading, so I read him. From memeorandum it doesn't seem so far that the Edsall NYT piece is getting a lot of attention, but that may be because people are obsessed with the SOTU address at the moment.

|>


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 3:30 PM
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124:

I had the same thought reading Drum's gloss: Marx is back.

As you and Charley will remember, the old VW beetle was a pretty good snow car.


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 3:36 PM
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125.2: I actually never drove a VW bug (beetle) myself on any regular basis*, but buses weren't bad in the snow at all. High clearance, and I suspect the fact that their drivers were used to a more hands-on experience anyway.

*70's-era Saabs were like tanks for snow driving, though

125.1: Oh, I just looked at what Drum has to say. I'd forgotten that he'd talked about Picketty before.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 3:50 PM
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Way upthread, but sorry I couldn't get back before now; the critique as I understand it was that the person could have been a back-injured person who was trying yoga for the first time -- not that they were an experienced yoga person.

Anyway, in the meantime the Internet has now produced It Happened to Me: I Saw a White Person Buy Jerk Chicken and I Couldn't Handle It, which is pretty good for a quick off-the-cuff reaction piece.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 3:53 PM
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Also, IDP, is that you, from the old days? It's good to see you. That pseud is from a long time ago, and I'm a big hazy on it.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 3:55 PM
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I know you were involved with pros, and I was never more than an amateur--albeit one who had his engine out about 4 different times and did other major repairs--but I remember John Muir's How To Keep Your Volkswagon Alive as a great book of its kind.


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 3:56 PM
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It is me, shortened to what everybody always called me anyway. I'm in a different place and a derived name suits me. Megan may remember the backstory on the old name but I doubt anyone else does.


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 3:59 PM
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I remembered it was from a book and a search of my email found the conversation. So now I know the details again.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 4:04 PM
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130: Well, great. It's great to see you. Stick around!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 4:11 PM
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If that's so, how come so many people still name their kids "Bugs"?

He did typically get the better of those exchanges.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 4:29 PM
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It is me, shortened to what everybody always called me anyway.

Sorry, I just thought this would be a really good opening sentence to an article or essay titled, "The Return Of Francis Soddenpants II".


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 4:37 PM
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Just for what it's worth, I am against the new abbreviation-ism.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 4:40 PM
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But I am moderately in favor of I Don't Pay, in full form. For now.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 4:41 PM
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Regarding Elmer, I had a blogfriend who typically had a blog pseud for talking about her kid, and talked a lot about how her mother hated her kid's name, so of course I was all "get over it, mom" until I found out on facebook that the real name was Sylvester. Ouch.

No one should read gawker. You're better than that.

What about Jezebel? I'm in like the fourth day of an Internet Argument about that fucking Jezebel article I posted here. I was just on the business end of "why are you making this about YOU? Don't you care about the oppression of women?" which is, in terms of things you can make any response to whatsoever, on par with "I know you are but what am I?"


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 4:45 PM
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I don't feel like that guy anymore and would like to change. Abbreviationism preserves some continuity and recognisability.

I'd started here with my real name and was immediately recognized when I pseudified. No doubt elliptical syntax and arcane references make that child's play.


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 4:47 PM
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in terms of things you can make any response to whatsoever

I thought the whole game was saying things to which people couldn't respond, and then pretending to have insulted them. No?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 4:51 PM
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137.last: Sounds maddening. Is it at least entertainingly maddening? Can you cut and paste excerpts for us to make fun of?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 4:51 PM
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I owned several Beetles, and the idiot book got me through a lot (adjusting my valves etc). My Passat is also very good in snow, but way too complicated for me to try anything much at all.

I've just returned from the car dealer -- the wife is getting her first, and probably only, new car. A Subaru. After putting 185k miles on her old Jeep.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 4:52 PM
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138: Child's play, low-hanging fruit, however you want to shorten it.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 4:52 PM
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No but seriously; glad you're back, even if you insist on acknowledging that you've changed.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 4:54 PM
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Back to the original subject, XOJane has posted a response that's pretty great.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 4:57 PM
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Most any car can handle snow if it has front-wheel drive and can start in the cold. Or am I missing something?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 4:57 PM
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137: That's a really weird argument. I mean, the article basically says gay men are assholes to women and should stop it. It was a very broad brush and didn't seem recognizable compared to circles I travel in, but it was as much about gay men as women, so making it all about you doesn't seem like an offensive response.

Maybe, though, you should just sit with your privilege in your backpack until you learn to be a better ally.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 4:59 PM
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140: Mildly entertainingly maddening. It was a weird feeling to be loathed by everyone in a conversation. The OP of the article was by this guy I knew blogically a thousand years ago and added on fb when I moved here just because I wanted to feel more connected here. I think we are perhaps not going to be pals.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 5:01 PM
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145: I'd say a heavy car, even with RWD is better than a light one with FWD in snow. Depends on how much snow you mean, though. Buffalo blizzard is pretty different than Chicago, and both are different than the hell they call "wintry mix" in places like OK.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 5:02 PM
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but it was as much about gay men as women, so making it all about you doesn't seem like an offensive response.

This was my feeling, but at that point if I had said so, the response would have been "see? Still all about you!" People had already made sure I knew that talking about homophobia was an attempt to derail the conversation about sexism.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 5:04 PM
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What about Jezebel? I'm in like the fourth day of an Internet Argument about that fucking Jezebel article I posted here.

An error inside a mistake wrapped in a blunder on top of a stumble.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 5:13 PM
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148: I could be wrong. The front-wheel drive cars which have conveyed me through snow storms were probably heavy. I never weighed them. And my experience is limited to Chicago storms. In Virginia nobody drove until they plowed the roads. Or if this is one of those innuendos, I think you've lost me.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 5:13 PM
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151: Just a quibble, not disagreeing with your overall point. If I were picking the key parameter (assuming the car starts fine), I'd pick weight, but FWD is good, too.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 5:19 PM
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I always thought of FWD as being an abbreviation for Four Wheel Drive rather than Front Wheel Drive. Not sure I have an overall point, except that if the kids are all talking about drugs again so openly, they'll likely find themselves in jail.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 5:26 PM
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Further to LB's question, my basic mistakes piled upon each other...abbreviated version: first I said the thing I posted here about how young gay men feel alienated or undesired at some point and feel like there's a gay hegemony they're on the outside of, so the OP said "I think dismissing the author because he's 'undesired' is problematic." I responded to this pointing out that it's not really what I had said*, but wondered if someone might have been primed to think so because they had just read an article about gay men being bitchy, the response to which from this other guy was "So it's not sexism or misogyny - just some gay men being bitchy?"... "I'm trapped in a virtual Women's Studies 101 class where the men take up half the time talking about how we too are victims of sexism/homophobia/etc." whereupon I said ok, you've clearly decided I'm a misogynist asshole and I'm going to bow out now, which is when we got around to " And once again, this issue isn't about you. It's about women being the targets of - as [OP] said - sexist tropes that are claimed as part of gay male identity." I'm pretty sure this guy is straight, but it's fine for him to lecture me on gay identity, because he's a feminist.

*and p.s. I googled the author and he's perfectly doable.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 6:11 PM
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I can point you to a thread about how the Atlanta traffic problems are the result of Atlanta's mayor hating white people, if you'd like to go double or nothing.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 6:20 PM
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I'd say a heavy car, even with RWD is better than a light one with FWD in snow.

My experiences with a '79 Mercury Monarch and a '96 Corolla are not consistent with this at all.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 6:25 PM
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Idp!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 1:58 AM
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(Individual Development Plan in the idioacro of my workplace.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 1:58 AM
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Looks like someone's catching up on all the recent threads.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 2:00 AM
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At 4:00 am, no less.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 2:01 AM
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Busted. Teo's the Gladys Kravitz of the blog.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 2:03 AM
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I didn't say stop.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 2:10 AM
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Either did I.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 2:11 AM
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Or Lord Chief Justice Judge.

And his colleague Lord Justice Laws. I think we've done this before.

Or Nurse.
The head of the Royal Society, a medical researcher no less, is Paul Nurse.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 4:08 AM
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To cross the race and Chippington subthreads, I have a professional client, an executive with the huge US telco that's not Southern, whose business card reads Chip W. Chippington III, the only person I've ever met who signs themselves with Latin numerals. And he's black. This did not give rise to any anxiety on my part, and neither did I find V dinari.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 4:16 AM
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The best thing about Lord Justice Judge (who was actually Judge Judge at one point in his career) is that his Christian name is even better: Igor.

Of course, George C. Marshall was the historic champion of this sort of thing, as well as being General Marshall and a constant temptation to bad spellers everywhere, he held the equivalent rank (General of the Army, five stars) of Field-Marshal.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 4:24 AM
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166: I know someone named Igor. It's in his e-mail address and that's how he's listed on the boards he serves on, but he goes by something else.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 4:43 AM
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144: People started the thread by trying to work out the exact contempt-to-sympathy ratio required. That essay persuades me that the correct answer is 4:1.

xojane has essentially apologized and the author has been persuaded to go anonymous, so I would say: Internet, your work here is done.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 6:58 AM
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That'll do pig internet. That'll do.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 7:01 AM
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the only person I've ever met who signs themselves with Latin numerals.

I was going to say "other than the Queen of course" (because all 20 of us Brits have met the Queen) but then she doesn't sign herself with Latin numerals, she signs herself "Elizabeth R", this being her gangsta stage name.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 7:22 AM
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I assume Beth I signed herself "Elizabeth Q".


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 7:24 AM
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"Elizabeth Q".

"Don't touch that, 007 my Lord Essex!"


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 7:30 AM
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When it comes to naming state-owned companies, Denmark wins.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 7:41 AM
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Of course, George C. Marshall was the historic champion of this sort of thing, as well as being General Marshall and a constant temptation to bad spellers everywhere, he held the equivalent rank (General of the Army, five stars) of Field-Marshal.

Story may be apocryphal, but that he observed the absurdity of being Marshall Marshall and rejected it. He also didn't want a higher rank than historic American Commanders, including his old boss and mentor John Pershing, who had been styled "General of the Armies"

As I say, maybe apocryphal, but my source was my dad, so I'd kind of like it to be true.


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 6:45 PM
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but then she doesn't sign herself with Latin numerals

But doesn't she? Her cypher is EIIR. Wait, she doesn't even sign the acts?! (The clerks do.) Assent seems to be a speech act. The wiki entry on Royal Assent is quite interesting. They still speak French!

The Clerk of the Parliaments, an official of the House of Lords, traditionally states a formula in Anglo-Norman Law French, indicating the sovereign's decision. The granting of Royal Assent to a supply bill is indicated with the words "La Reyne remercie ses bons sujets, accepte leur benevolence, et ainsi le veult", translated as "The Queen thanks her good subjects, accepts their bounty, and wills it so." For other public or private bills, the formula is simply "La Reyne le veult" ("the Queen wills it"). For personal bills, the phrase was "Soit fait comme il est désiré" ("let it be as it is desired"). The appropriate formula for withholding assent is the euphemistic "La Reyne s'avisera" ("the Queen will consider it"). When the sovereign is male, Le Roy is substituted for La Reyne.

Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 7:35 PM
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168.2: xojane has essentially apologized and the author has been persuaded to go anonymous, so I would say: Internet, your work here is done.

I'll be honest: That the author has been persuaded to go anonymous doesn't strike me as awesome at all. She'd do better to write a follow-up essay acknowledging, or not, that she's read the Pia Glenn response (which is excellent, linked in 144) and understands it.

I do feel a tad sorry for her: she didn't know what she was getting into, one imagines.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-30-14 8:17 PM
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The Queen, as is appropriate for an absurd and bizarre legal convention, has many different ways of making her mark, as it were --- seals, signature, by voice, and various delegated ways.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 3:46 PM
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