Re: Feelwitness

1

I don't think it would normally have popped out for me the same way, but this week:

Though he is now married, Mr. Greenfield said much of the thrill in his impersonations had to do with a sudden ability to approach women who otherwise would not have given him a second look.

"Miss, miss, miss," he remembers saying to a beautiful girl -- a model, as it turned out -- whom he spotted during his turn in the West Village.

"What's the problem?" the girl asked.

"She was very sweet," Mr. Greenfield said, recalling a foolish game that he does not recommend and swears he will never play again.

"I let her go."

Mighty decent of you, letting her go like that.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 3-14 1:48 PM
horizontal rule
2

I think it's extremely common to wonder what it feels like to be a cop. In that cops aren't subject to the normal rules of behavior... or even the normal rules, i.e. laws. There's a reason why 1/3 of movies and TV shows are about cops.

And another 1/3 are about career criminals, who also don't have to follow the same rules the rest of us do.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06- 3-14 1:56 PM
horizontal rule
3

I'd like to be a cop for a day, if only to learn what it would be like to feed an auroch from behind.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-14 1:59 PM
horizontal rule
4

Is it a crime to wear the uniform if you don't act under color of it (not that he doesn't do that)? Or are fake cop uniforms required to be identifiable as such (other than by tear-away midriffs)?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 06- 3-14 1:59 PM
horizontal rule
5

Is it a crime to wear the uniform if you don't act under color of it

Sounds like yes.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 06- 3-14 2:10 PM
horizontal rule
6

I've never wondered what it feels like to be a real cop. (I can just read gswift's comments for that.) But I frequently wonder what it would be like to be an action movie cop, you know in a "Bert Macklin, FBI!" sort of way.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 06- 3-14 2:10 PM
horizontal rule
7

Tangentially, I only realized this morning that Andy Dwyer is a Manic Pixie Dream Boy, and April Ludgate is the sullen screenwriter surrogate who needs to be taught a lesson about living life.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 06- 3-14 2:12 PM
horizontal rule
8

Legally, Halloween cop costumes have to be distinguishable from real cop costumes. (costume, uniform, same thing) As a result, manufacturers made versions containing nonregulation elements such as low-cut necklines and booty shorts. Then this spread to all other Halloween costumes. And now you know the rest of the story.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06- 3-14 2:14 PM
horizontal rule
9

I did it by accident for a time. I had a blue motorcycle and white helmet with a dark visor. Trying to get out of my neighborhood was frustrating 'cause people kept suddenly slowing down and closing up the holes in the traffic. They would also slow down when they spotted me in their mirror. I changed the helmet for a silver one without a visor and the cop effect went away.


Posted by: biohazard | Link to this comment | 06- 3-14 2:14 PM
horizontal rule
10

I always wondered what it would feel like to be a Major League shortstop. Or maybe an astronaut or a cowboy. Or an ice cream man.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 06- 3-14 2:19 PM
horizontal rule
11

The closest I have come to wondering what it would be like to be a cop is unhappy musings of the form: "if I had started when I was 18 I would be retiring with a pension in three years."


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 06- 3-14 2:21 PM
horizontal rule
12

7 reminds me that I watched the Joseph Gordon Levitt porn addict movie (the thing about Netflix is a lot of things get a "why not?" and anyway me+JGL 4 ever) and he goes with the less common Manic Pixie Dream Substantially-Older-Woman variant.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 06- 3-14 2:24 PM
horizontal rule
13

Manic Pixie Dream Substantially-Older-Woman variant.

The prototype for this is clearly Harold and Maude.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 06- 3-14 2:32 PM
horizontal rule
14

7: I'm not sure the concept is gender-symmetric.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 3-14 2:33 PM
horizontal rule
15

Kubrick made The Killing when he was 27. Alex Cox made Repo Man when he was 30.

This dude sounds less interesting than my cat.

Alice Goffman, Erving's daughter, wondered what it was like to be black and live in a ghetto, she did a lot better than this.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 06- 3-14 2:35 PM
horizontal rule
16

I drank a bunch of beer by 27, so the dude's well ahead of me.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 06- 3-14 2:37 PM
horizontal rule
17

Oh I forgot about Harold and Maude, which I saw part of in high school and had one of those "there is something big about this that I'm not getting that causes everyone to love it" experiences.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 06- 3-14 2:38 PM
horizontal rule
18

17: it's the theme song.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-14 2:39 PM
horizontal rule
19

I watched it with a potential love interest, and he was super grossed out and uncomfortable, which pretty much pushed me over towards Not Interested. Among other things.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 3-14 2:42 PM
horizontal rule
20

It made it hard to evaluate the movie on its own merits, because there were so many competing things to keep track of, but I think I did like it.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 3-14 2:44 PM
horizontal rule
21

7: Oh, huh, that's an interesting inversion. Especially as Aubrey Plaza could easily be cast as an MPDG.

It definitely isn't gender symmetric, but that's where some of the humour comes from. Especially as Andy's clearly a moron, except when he's a savant. I guess that could describe a lot of MPDGs (I suppose? Been a long time since I've watched anything with one), but it's either more obvious to me with a man in that role or it's more over the top with Andy.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 06- 3-14 2:44 PM
horizontal rule
22

19 is a good premise for a post: real dates in which something not-outrageous made you realize you weren't interested in the other person. The other day, my wife told me about a date that was otherwise fine, but they saw Brokeback Mountain and the guy didn't understand why my wife thought it was a sad movie. Not Interested.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 06- 3-14 2:55 PM
horizontal rule
23

I wonder if "Everyone wonders how it would feel to be a cop" breaks down by people who believe that cops really are allowed to order people around arbitrarily, break traffic laws, and so on, so "being a cop" means, "not being bound by ordinary laws or social norms"? For the most of us, who don't think that's what being a cop means, "being a cop" isn't a particular topic of fascination, but this guy specifically seems to be a little strange on the subject.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 3-14 2:55 PM
horizontal rule
24

I'm in the camp of people who find daydreaming about cop-hood not super captivating.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 3-14 3:01 PM
horizontal rule
25

I feel like I can never change professions because I'm unwilling to give up summer vacation.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 3-14 3:02 PM
horizontal rule
26

23: I think that's the main distinction, but there's also the glamor/authority of the uniform.

In wartime this famously applies to soldiers, at least when things are going well. In 1970-71, not so much, I can tell you.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 06- 3-14 3:03 PM
horizontal rule
27

glamour

I guess Webster didn't take the "u" out of every word, but I can never even now remember every one.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 06- 3-14 3:05 PM
horizontal rule
28

The female version of putting on a cop outfit is Alanna Massey.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 3-14 3:08 PM
horizontal rule
29

Brokeback Mountain

Now there's a movie that could have used a MPDG. Or anyway a visit from that youtube meme that became increasingly annoying where they super fey guy calls everyone a crazy bitch.

My story for this subthread is the time I went out with a sweet, handsome, my-height guy who had just straight up chatted me up at a video rental place (not that kind) in Austin and got my number, and it was clear we didn't have tons in common but it seemed like it was worth a shot. Anyway at some point, because we had gone on a movie first date, the favorite movie conversation happened and well...Forrest Gump. This did not prevent me from consummating the date, because I may be a snob, but I am a warm-hearted one. (Does Forrest Gump qualify as not-outrageous?)


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 06- 3-14 3:12 PM
horizontal rule
30

Generically being a cop and wearing a uniform I could take or leave, but being McNulty or Harry Bosch seems like it'd be really interesting (though dangerous).


Posted by: dz | Link to this comment | 06- 3-14 3:14 PM
horizontal rule
31

I wonder how many people daydreamed about being a detective until learning that it would probably involve being a cop.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 06- 3-14 3:16 PM
horizontal rule
32

real dates in which something not-outrageous made you realize you weren't interested in the other person

Open-mouthed chewing.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 3-14 3:18 PM
horizontal rule
33

Pharmaceutical rep.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 3-14 3:19 PM
horizontal rule
34

21 Especially as Aubrey Plaza could easily be cast as an MPDG.

The movie Safety Not Guaranteed also kind of turned this around, with her as the disillusioned bored girl who meets and eventually runs away with a crazy guy with a time machine who turns out to maybe not be crazy after all.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06- 3-14 3:20 PM
horizontal rule
35

This did not prevent me from consummating the date, because I may be a snob, but I am a warm-hearted one. (Does Forrest Gump qualify as not-outrageous?)

Of course. It won six Oscars. If you don't care about movies, that's one of the default things you say. Options now...

- Can you be with someone who doesn't care about movies?
- Does he actually care about movies, and really really loves Forrest Gump and watches it all the time?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06- 3-14 3:23 PM
horizontal rule
36

Open-mouthed chewing.

You are consistent.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 06- 3-14 3:26 PM
horizontal rule
37

Wow, nine years ago.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 3-14 4:14 PM
horizontal rule
38

7: I'm not sure the concept [MPDG] is gender-symmetric.

Perhaps not. But then we might ask what different things are going on in Rainmaker, Picnic, or Playboy of the Western World. Etc.

Is it that the mushroom-men are passive by choice, whereas the women are constrained by social conditions?

Is the default, even among feminists, male agency and female lack? Or something else...

Manic Pixie Dream Lesbian? (T-W, Summer Will Show)


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 06- 3-14 4:54 PM
horizontal rule
39

Picnic

I will admit to being amused by the idea of William Holden as Roz Russell's Manic Pixie Dream Guy. God, Inge was an awful writer.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 06- 3-14 5:04 PM
horizontal rule
40

Kim Novak was the female lead, but it has been a lifetime.

I though about Brazzi in Summertime, then wondered who was what in African Queen so I went to tvtropes to get my head clear.

"there is a reason there is no page for a "Manic Pixie Dream Boy"."


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 06- 3-14 5:17 PM
horizontal rule
41

people who believe that cops really are allowed to order people around arbitrarily, break traffic laws, and so on, so "being a cop" means, "not being bound by ordinary laws or social norms"?

A rather alarming number of people who fall into this category are, in fact, cops.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 06- 3-14 6:17 PM
horizontal rule
42

Speaking of which, I have no problem whatsoever with this rule being inflexible.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 06- 3-14 6:22 PM
horizontal rule
43

22: on the other hand, he didn't mind that she was married to you. That's got to count for something.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 06- 3-14 6:50 PM
horizontal rule
44

"if I had started when I was 18 I would be retiring with a pension in three years."

You have to be 21 because of the handgun thing.

I wonder how many people daydreamed about being a detective until learning that it would probably involve being a cop.

A lot. I get asked how does someone apply to be certain types of detective all the time. They never like the answer.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 06- 3-14 7:09 PM
horizontal rule
45

Gswift, go weigh in on Ile's ATM. If you don't mind.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 3-14 7:11 PM
horizontal rule
46

Will do.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 06- 3-14 7:23 PM
horizontal rule
47

but being McNulty or Harry Bosch seems like it'd be really interesting (though dangerous).

Being a homicide detective is not dangerous. Lots of office time, all the action has cooled and the scene secured when they arrive. Patrol is largely the most dangerous gig followed by detective units who operate on the street. My unit (auto theft) is one of those. Most of our time is spent out of the office looking for guys in stolen cars and we're operating in the busier areas and helping patrol if needs be on big scenes.

"All of a sudden, I notice, there's an energy," he said. Girls looked interested. Drunken frat boys showed respect. It was, he explained, "like wearing a superhero uniform"

Superhero might be a stretch. But there's definitely chicks who dig guys with muscle in the uniform along with the ones who look at you like you're the impending boot of oppression. It's also interesting how people respond in a "perceived class" kind of way. We're in full duty belts and all but detective units are in navy polos, tan boots, tan pants, and in unmarked slick tops (low profile lights, no light bar on top). No difference in pay from patrol but there's a tendency for people to show more respect.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 06- 3-14 8:52 PM
horizontal rule
48

Kim Novak was the female lead [in Picnic]

Bob, you are so not gay.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 06- 3-14 9:45 PM
horizontal rule
49

dead thread

48: I suppose not. Like I said it has been decades, but after a while I remembered Russell in Picnic. The only interesting character, but hey, Russell vs Holden and Novak.

While thinking on it, after the classic Joyce story "Eveline" the other quick examples that popped up were "Glass Menagerie" "Summer and Smoke" and "Bus Stop." I suspect the subgenres of "saving spinsters" and "saving fallen women" are easily as large and varied as MPDG. Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
Idealized Men provide an opportunity, contingent women make the decision.

Point being that the guys in these stories are empty stereotypes and the women have the complicated and dramatic inner lives, with choices. I also identify more with the girl in the song "Thunder Road" although I lived my youth as the drifter rather than the domestically imprisoned.

Also "Thelma and Louise" (meh) and whatever the movie with Gershon, Tilly, and Pantoliano (yeah) which I remember not for the sudden romance or hot sex but for the fantastically tense claustrophobia of the apartment scenes.

I enjoy the tv tropes site because although it starts at stereotypes and archetypes it doesn't take much exploration to discover the nuance and infinite variety in their actual expression.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 06- 4-14 2:38 AM
horizontal rule
50

In the mid Eighties I hung out with the police in the east end and out towards Essex a lot for book writing purposes. Sometimes I was taken for plainclothes, if I was with a group arresting someone. But what I really remember was standing with them on match days, when there was a football derby and all hands were required to police the crowds: the way that on a crowded jostling pavement a space would open all around the uniforms.

That and the way the detectives were all proud of typing one fingered (not even two) because it showed they were real men who belonged out on the streets, and not wusses who spent (as actually they did) six hours a day in an office.


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 06- 4-14 3:42 AM
horizontal rule
51

50 last is such a great detail.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 06- 4-14 4:45 AM
horizontal rule
52

If they learned how to touch type, they could have spent more time on the streets.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 4-14 5:10 AM
horizontal rule
53

Moby, I used to say that and they would explain that it showed I didn't understand policing. [touchtyping is for GURLS] I also suggested once that they could use word processors instead of typewriters, and was told that the bad guys could pick them up to use as weapons. I have never otherwise encountered manual typewriters as cock surrogates, even among old skool journalists


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 06- 4-14 8:48 AM
horizontal rule
54

I learned to type on an IBM Selectric and I just don't buy that a Word Processor would make a better weapon than a typewriter. Those things had five pounds of iron for a case.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 4-14 8:52 AM
horizontal rule
55

50 is awesome. We've still got a couple old guys typing on the laptops that way, sending in these terse reports in all caps.

Loads of old timers resisted body armor when it came out because protection from bullets is for pussies or something.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 06- 4-14 9:01 AM
horizontal rule
56

55 I hope they were carrying .38 Detective Specials to complete my mental picture.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 06- 4-14 9:39 AM
horizontal rule
57

55: the other funny thing was that the younger ones had picked up their ideas of how to behave from America - in particular the novels of Joseph Wambaugh. So they would refer to defendants as "scrotes", something I have never heard in any other context in Knife Crime Island.


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 06- 4-14 9:45 AM
horizontal rule
58

57: I have heard this in plenty of contexts in Knifecrime Island, but admittedly post-Eighties.

Calling the police "the Feds" is now common London slang and still surprises me.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06- 5-14 6:50 AM
horizontal rule
59

Dead thread, but I always thought being a cop would be a cool job. Gets you out of the office, tons of good stories, and there's a lot of fascinating public policy issues at the higher levels of police management for when you don't feel like running around to crime scenes any more. Promotion by test which if you're smart you should be able to do. Good pension benefits. Plus I like staying up all night and sleeping all day, and since I can't play jazz and don't want to do factory shift work, police work would be one of the few ways to get the vampire schedule.

I'm way too old for it though. Plus I imagine I underestimate the amount of extreme boredom involved, although you can sort of tell just by looking at cops on the street that there must be a ton.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 06- 6-14 3:26 PM
horizontal rule
60

That's a pretty good summation, but the boredom part is heavily dependent on what dept/sector you're in. Busy metro pd's you're running around call to call and when the call volume goes down there's always places to go troll for for onview arrests. Small suburban depts patrolling mostly UMC residential areas are slow.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 06- 6-14 3:40 PM
horizontal rule
61

58.2: They must be confused Euroskeptics.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 06- 6-14 3:58 PM
horizontal rule
62

I don't think Mexicans.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 06- 6-14 4:20 PM
horizontal rule
63

Thanks? I guess.


Posted by: Opinionated Mexican | Link to this comment | 06- 6-14 4:28 PM
horizontal rule
64

Urple is just apologizing to Mexico for his various actions over the years. He meant "I don't think, Mexicans."


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06- 6-14 4:55 PM
horizontal rule