Re: Feel Bad About Yourself!

1

Hey, it's that poet you like. Also, Alison Bechdel and Yitang Zhang. Seems like a good group.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-16-14 10:27 PM
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And Steve Coleman.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-16-14 11:15 PM
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If I were Zhang I would either be feeling soooooo incredibly good, or perhaps even smug, right now, or soul-crushingly worried about my follow-up act.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-16-14 11:17 PM
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4

Getting a genius award seems like it would involve a lot of work.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09-16-14 11:25 PM
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Personally I'm still at a point in my life where all the genius award winners are older than me, so I don't yet feel bad about myself when they're announced. It seems I only have a few years of that left, though.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-16-14 11:34 PM
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Why can't I sleep???


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-16-14 11:48 PM
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Probably envy over not having been awarded a genius grant yet.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-16-14 11:49 PM
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"[Zhang] served as a lecturer at UNH from 1999 until around January 2014, when UNH appointed him to a full professorship."


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-16-14 11:53 PM
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9

See, you've got time.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-16-14 11:54 PM
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10

You just need to solve a longstanding high-profile problem at some point.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-16-14 11:54 PM
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Is "why can't I sleep?" such a problem? I think I have a lead.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-16-14 11:55 PM
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12

Possibly. When you come up with a solution post it to the arXiv and we'll see what happens.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-16-14 11:57 PM
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It's pretty unusual in math these days for anyone to have a follow-up act. The outstanding problems are getting too hard.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 12:27 AM
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14

Good points being made here, love the commentary.


Posted by: Karen Lowe | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 1:25 AM
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Why can't the spambot sleep?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 4:23 AM
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Do insomniac spambots count up electric sheep?


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 4:56 AM
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It's better to burn out, because spam never sleeps.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 5:03 AM
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Alison Bechdel!


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 5:10 AM
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Age 71 sounds like a perfect time to get it and enjoy it without needing too much of a follow-up, so props to Pamela O. Long. I think all of us should aim for that.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 5:28 AM
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5: Looks like they're mostly in their 40s or older. But this year there's one who's my age! Scary.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 5:40 AM
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4: Yeah, 90% perspiration is what I've heard.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 5:41 AM
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I just realized I know one of them from back when he was active in the hacker scene. Hah!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 5:54 AM
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I think an old neighbor of the Flip-Pater's was a '90s-vintage M-genius. Lovely house.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 5:54 AM
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I just realized I know one of them from back when he was active in the hacker scene.

This is where it starts feeling weird. Taking a class with a MacArthur fellow professor: cool, but still within the realm of normal. Going to a Christmas party where another guest is a MacArthur fellow, close to my age (as happened to me a few years ago): whaa?


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 6:11 AM
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One of the professors in my department got one a couple of years ago, which wouldn't be weird except that he's younger than I am.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 6:19 AM
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Huh. I hadn't realized that the one person in my department who actually got tenure in recent memory won one of these.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 6:26 AM
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Your way forward is clear, essear.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 6:29 AM
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I just heard about another person getting denied tenure. I guess that's the threshold. "What, you don't have a MacArthur grant yet? You're fired!"


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 6:30 AM
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For excellence in Dinosploitation, a genius grant for essear! I do think you're probably unfogged's best hope right now.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 6:32 AM
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30

Hm, I can think of three or four at least semi-regular commenters that I wouldn't be terribly surprised to see on the list. Maybe a couple more than that?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 6:34 AM
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I think I've mentioned that an old friend (who emailed me two days ago about her new book--why stop?) won one, but she's been so wildly successful (deservedly!) that the MacArthur has turned out to be just one more thing. I'm glad no one I know and hate has won one.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 6:34 AM
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30 is probably right, really, and I only meant to build him up because of the dinosaur joking. I do like that they cover such a wide range of endeavors, which makes it seem like they mean more than more pointed awards.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 6:36 AM
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"What, you don't have a MacArthur grant yet? You're fired!"

If they really wanted to encourage people, they would have denied the winner, too.

three or four at least semi-regular commenters that I wouldn't be terribly surprised to see on the list

Really?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 6:37 AM
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34

I wonder what percentage of Fields and Clark medal winners win MacArthurs.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 6:43 AM
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33.last: well, sure, insofar as "successful early-to-mid-career academic at elite school" is sort of the modal descriptor for a winner.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 6:47 AM
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"Jacob Lurie for Derived Algebraic Geometry (DAG)." Foo on initialism overloading! DAG is "Directed Acyclic Graph," goldurnit.

No, I'm not going to look up which one came first.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 6:54 AM
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24. Knowing a (previous) winner when he was an unsufferable undergraduate is weird too.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 6:56 AM
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three or four at least semi-regular commenters that I wouldn't be terribly surprised to see on the list

Really?

Well we do know one person who figured out who have have to blow to get the Bancroft Prize in American history.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 7:06 AM
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well, sure, insofar as "successful early-to-mid-career academic at elite school" is sort of the modal descriptor for a winner.

I think it's bimodal, along with "artist/musician/writer being rewarded for proficiency and consistency in the face of obscurity".


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 7:09 AM
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36 no need, you're right.


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 7:10 AM
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41

How funny would it be if he got a MacArthur, too? He'd never live that down.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 7:10 AM
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42

I thought the new thing for rewriting swathes of mathematics was homotopy type theory; now it's derived algebraic geometry? When will these crazy mathematicians stop?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 7:11 AM
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43

Anyway, somebody from here won, which is nice.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 7:11 AM
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44

41 to 38.

39: "minority-oriented nonprofit founder" also makes a strong showing.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 7:11 AM
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45

One of the winners looks and talks a lot like a semi-regular commenter, but is not that commenter.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 7:12 AM
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46

44: So it'll either be Essear, or you, or Witt. Or the poster who appears to have had a book published by University of Pittsburgh Press, but it's someone with the same name.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 7:13 AM
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47

It will definitely not be me, no.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 7:13 AM
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48

Let's rank commenters by likelihood of winning a Macarthur.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 7:14 AM
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49

46: Much more semi- than regular, but Cosma should also be on that list.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 7:16 AM
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50

48 was meant to be facetious, dalriata.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 7:17 AM
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51

I've been funded by that foundation before. It's not the same thing, I guess. Anyway, it was my boss's grant.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 7:18 AM
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50: Massive reserves of earnestness is probably a good trait if you want to win.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 7:19 AM
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53

51: that might mean you're off-limits for the big prize, sorry to say.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 7:19 AM
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54

That was always my boss's reason for why he didn't ever win.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 7:20 AM
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55

We have an Orwell Prize winner in our midst, too.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 7:20 AM
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56

My dad won a prize for Least Coordinated Skier. They gave him a trophy and everything.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 7:21 AM
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57

Hey, so we do.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 7:22 AM
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58

Is the Orwell Prize one of those things Andrew Sullivan came up with so he can criticize people in a pseudo-ironic way, but he never explains what it means?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 7:22 AM
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Tying two OPs together, I've been made aware of a MacArthur fellow who's working on what sounds a lot like ">http://newamerica.net/publications/policy/the_family_independence_initiative"> culture-of-poverty stuff. Not sure what I think of it - I like the mutual aid tack, but it also sets itself up in opposition to the welfare state more generally. They're from genuinely humble origins, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 7:22 AM
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re: 58

It's a well respected political journalism prize. I don't know what the US equivalent would be.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 7:32 AM
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Like a Grammy, if it were given for journalism and respected.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 7:34 AM
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62

21: Trying isn't cool.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 7:37 AM
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63

Do they give MacArthurs for writing slightly less infuriating user interfaces? Because I'm coming to the realization that I'm never going to get that Nobel I've always wanted, and I may have to set my sights a little lower.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 7:50 AM
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64

Oh, I see Jacob Lurie has been namechecked in HoTT contexts.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 7:53 AM
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65

I can't even use this as a way to feel bad about myself. I mean what was I doing that was going to get a Genius Grant? Another year they have neglected my Facebook status updates!!!


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 7:54 AM
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66

Yes, I am looking forward to my Genius Grant for mediocre scholarship, pen and ink drawings, and staring into space a lot.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 7:56 AM
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67

Did we ever come up with an appropriate German word for the joy you feel at a friend's success when it is mingled with envy?

I'm already feeling bad about myself and deeply resentful.

The world does not seem good about second acts for people who've failed these days--unless you're a serial entrepreneur in Silicon Valley. And even that seems more like a performance.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 7:59 AM
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68

I'd settle for $50 and a nice certificate. Anybody want to give me that?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 8:01 AM
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69

Spike, congratulations on your Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 8:09 AM
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70

Now we just need ten of us to find $5.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 8:11 AM
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67.3: That's not true - look at Joan Rivers, all those overweight former athletes that get to be on "Biggest Loser", and all those has-beens on other reality tv shows. The key is to have become famous during your first act.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 8:17 AM
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72

My uncle won a MacArthur once. Regular bragging!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 8:19 AM
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73

Is Alison Bechdel most known for the Bechdel test? Are there a significant number of people that know what the Bechdel test is, but have no idea who she is?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 8:21 AM
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Wait, that's something my mom says on occasion, and I just looked him up and he's not there. Haha on me.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 8:21 AM
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75

73: Yes


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 8:22 AM
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75: I thought so. I wonder if the Bechdel Test will outlive her and her work. Then she'll be remembered only as an answer to a trivia question.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 8:24 AM
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Maybe your uncle won over MacArthur once? Was he part of the Chinese Volunteers that surprised him when get to near the Yalu?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 8:24 AM
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78

Possibly he left a cake out in the rain?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 8:25 AM
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And lost the recipe for some reason that, I guess, must be related.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 8:26 AM
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80

Fuck. Ear worm.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 8:29 AM
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81

78: Was he pressed in love's hot, fevered iron
Like a striped pair of pants?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 8:30 AM
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Hey, it's that poet you like.

Which one? Google says neither has ever been mentioned here.

For instance, no one has written, "It's like I was saying to my buddy Terrance at dinner a couple weeks ago..." For instance.

Amusingly, he switched from CMU to Pitt because he was recruited by Pitt's basketball coach. That's one hell of a poet.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 8:49 AM
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Atypical basketball coach also.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 8:54 AM
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84

66: They are very nice drawings.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 8:55 AM
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I was aware of Bechdel as an artist, and then I heard about the Test, and it was years later before I realized it was the same Bechdel (in truth, I knew the strip; I don't know if I particularly knew the name).


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 8:59 AM
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I'm impressed as hell by Bassett. 32!


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 9:00 AM
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A poet I linked to mere days ago. Finger on the pulse, man.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 9:02 AM
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88

I wonder if the Bechdel Test will outlive her and her work. Then she'll be remembered only as an answer to a trivia question.

And, amusingly, she didn't even come up with the test -- the original cartoon presents it as comments from a friend of hers (I'm not going to look it up to see who she credited).


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 9:16 AM
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OK, maybe it wouldn't have killed me to mouse over the links.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 9:16 AM
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90

88: It's Wallace. "Wallace" is the name you want if you want to be sometimes, but not always, remembered as being behind a particular idea.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 9:23 AM
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72: just once? Whatever.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 9:31 AM
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92

I wonder if the Bechdel Test will outlive her and her work.

Her work is a fairly big deal if you are a certain age and a certain orientation. The musical of Fun Home is set for a Broadway transfer which...I realize not many people pay attention to theater, but I think the Bechdel Test is also discussed among a pretty limited set.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 10:06 AM
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93

Theater is expensive compared to complaining about sexism.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 10:08 AM
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94

Hayes wrote a blurb for my niece's chapbook, which came out in January. She was thrilled.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 10:11 AM
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92: I'm a fan of her work (and I'm not of a certain age or a certain orientation).


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 10:15 AM
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95: peep, of uncertain age and no particular orientation...


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 10:16 AM
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Because of Pittsburgh's skewed streets, I don't know my orientation. Probably something close to NNW.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 10:22 AM
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It's the exact equivalent of body mass index in that it's really useful when you use it at a population level to determine the extent of a real and serious problem, but everyone uses it at an individual level to get results that are irritating and pointless. The difference is that BMI was originally meant to be used at a valuable population level and the Bechdel Test was meant to be used in the irritating pointless way.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 10:33 AM
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92: I'm a fan of her work (and I'm not of a certain age or a certain orientation).

As am I, incidentally.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 10:44 AM
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100

There's something weird about talking about how the Bechdel Test was 'meant to be used'. In the original strip, it's a rule personally used by a fictional character, leading to depressing results (that is, that living by it meant, at the time, basically giving up movies), not something being advocated by Bechdel as a rule everyone should abide by.

In practice, I've only seen it used as commentary on movies generally, rather than as a reason to see or not see an individual movie.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 10:45 AM
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My policy on seeing movies is to not bother because if it is a great movie, it will end up in the machine outside the grocery store for $1.26.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 10:47 AM
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I hadn't heard of Bechdel until hearing of the Bechdel test, but it's pretty clear that she's one of those people who, even if you've never heard of her, you've seen tons of people imitating her. When I read her comic strip for the first time it was like "oh OK that's why every single "webcomic" (also not something I read much) is that way."


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 10:47 AM
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For the heck of it, two links about the Bechdel Test:

First:

The Bechdel Test has become a huge part of our conversation about pop culture, but we all feel compelled to dismiss it or minimize it.

Perhaps the greatest complaint about the Bechdel Test, though, is the notion that it ends conversations instead of starting them. You just check the boxes and mark a movie "pass" or "fail." But that one is definitely not true -- the Bechdel Test is often a part, or the beginning, of a larger and more complicated conversation about female representation in movies.

...

The fascinating thing about the Bechdel Test page is that it breaks down, by category, which of the three steps of the test a movie fails. (And actually, the user debates about a lot of the films are fascinating to read, because they do drill down into the relationships in the movie, and how the characters are represented. . . .

Second

For example, yes Pacific Rim fails the Bechdel test. Pacific Rim is not perfect. There should be more women! The Russian and Chinese teams should have gotten a lot more to do. Mako and Sasha talking would have indicated that both roles were stronger/more present in the film. There could have been less focus on white dudes. But the above perspective by @spider-xan on Mako is important and should be listened to and considered by all people dismissing the movie in the name of feminism. (It doesn't mean you have to like the movie! I more than understand someone who wouldn't, because there aren't more women or for any other reason. But your perspective =/= universally feminist). She's a female lead of color who gets her own hero arc, and whose function is not to support or admire a man. Why would we want to send the message that we don't want that? Why do we think that is automatically not feminist or anti-feminist, because it doesn't meet this one arbitrary "test for feminism" (women minimally interacting)?

Let's propose the Mako Mori test, to live alongside the Bechdel test (not to supplant it! My point is not that we shouldn't care about women interacting--I care about this A LOT--but that isn't the pinnacle of feminism or the only thing we should care about). The Mako Mori test is passed if the movie has: a) at least one female character; b) who gets her own narrative arc; c) that is not about supporting a man's story. I think this is about as indicative of "feminism" (that is, minimally indicative, a pretty low bar) as the Bechdel test. It is a pretty basic test for the representation of women, as is the Bechdel test. It does not make a movie automatically feminist. (Many movies/shows would not pass it).


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 10:55 AM
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In practice, I've only seen it used as commentary on movies generally, rather than as a reason to see or not see an individual movie.

This is both a false dichotomy and wildly implausible. The passage, or not, by individual movies of the test is comes up frequently, even if not as a reason to see, or not to see, the movies in question. And sometimes as that reason, even.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 11:05 AM
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Substitute in 'sole reason', if you would? What I don't recall seeing is anyone suggesting that there's anything wrong with seeing a movie that fails the Bechdel test if it's a good movie, or you want to, particularly if there's some structural reason for there to be no women in the movie, or only one.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 11:14 AM
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But yes, I have seen it applied to individual movies as part of an argument about how that movie was not a good movie in a sexist kind of way.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 11:15 AM
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Well, "sole reason" makes the dichotomy starker, right?

particularly if there's some structural reason for there to be no women in the movie, or only one.

Hell in the Pacific fails the Bechdel test!!!!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 11:16 AM
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108

Transformers passes. I guess Michael Bay is a feminist.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 11:18 AM
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109

In honor of the 70th anniversary of Operation Market Garden, I'm going to watch the DVD of A Bridge Too Far that I picked up at a local video store's going out of business sale. I believe it fails the Bechdel test.

The guy in front of me at the counter at that sale was buying what appeared to be the store's entire porn section. Seriously, he had a shopping cart and needed multiple trips to get everything out to his car. I'll bet that a few of the movies he bought pass the Bechdel test.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 11:23 AM
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Fun Home is one of my favorite comics of all time. It's right up there with Little Nemo in Slumberland and Watchmen.

I think I am of a certain age, but not of a certain orientation?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 11:27 AM
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The Bechdel Test is pretty great at both an individual and population level, really. At an individual level it's great because you can apply it to movies that really, by any measure, should obviously pass the Bechdel Test (sprawling urban comedies, maybe) but don't. And then when, for some movies, it is not informative for good structural reasons (it's a period war movie! It only stars robots!) you can ask why it is that so very many movies have perfectly good structural reasons for not passing the Bechdel Test, and if that itself isn't a problem. Hooray! And then, if you want to get all pedantic, you can say "I'm only going to see movies that pass this test, because even if a given movie fails it for perfectly good reasons, it's part of a system that robustly fails to make movies that pass it, so hell with that."

So useful!

I mean personally I don't really think about it, but I'm a dude, you know? I like it when the robot dudes dude it up.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 11:33 AM
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Pacific Rim causes insanity. People are so desperate to rehabilitate that movie that they're willing to invent new tests to do it.

The genius of the Bechdel test is how trivial of a thing to ask it is. All you have to do is have two women characters in the movie who aren't just love interests, and you've passed the test. Sure, it means that Das Boot isn't going to pass the test, but it dramatizes that Hollywood won't make a character female unless it's strictly dramatically required. A character won't be a girl unless she's The Girl.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 11:39 AM
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113

How can you tell if the robot is a robot dude?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 11:44 AM
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114

113: Does the robot have eyelashes?

Can we call that "the peep test"?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 11:47 AM
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115

Somebody should make a movie where there's boy robots and girl robots, and the way you can tell them apart is the girl robots wear Ms. PacMan bows. But then it turns out that somebody is aimlessly switching the bows when no one is looking. Plus some action and explosions, I guess.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 11:54 AM
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116

113: well, in Michael Bay movies they have robot genitals, but in general I suppose you just have to infer.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 11:56 AM
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117

Pretty likely a boy robot.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 11:58 AM
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118

The genius of the Bechdel test is how trivial of a thing to ask it is.

Well, yes. Part of what's going on was that the original strip was a joke -- a bitter joke, but a joke. First the character explains the test, which sounds maybe a little tensely feminist, but not like a huge deal, and then says "I haven't seen a movie since Aliens."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 11:58 AM
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119

I'm pretty sure that Under Siege 2: Dark Territory passes the Bechdel test. I'm thinking of when the female mercenary throws Capt. Linda Gilder off the speeding train.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 12:01 PM
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120

My stepdaughter and I are not the only ones that wonder if BMO on Adventure Time is a boy or a girl (although I'm fairly certain the answer is neither)


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 12:03 PM
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121

||Will I resist the temptation to link to this? No, no, I will not.

Now a frail 96-year-old widow, Margot Wölk has overcome feelings of shame and broken decades of silence about her time as Hitler's food taster to tell her story to German television. "The food was always vegetarian," she told Berlin's RBB television channel, for a programme about her harrowing and sometimes horrific experiences, which was aired on Tuesday. "There were constant rumours that the British were out to poison Hitler. He never ate meat. We were given rice, noodles, peppers, peas and cauliflower," she recalled.|>
|>
Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 12:06 PM
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122

Jonah Goldberg beat you to that one.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 12:08 PM
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123

I'm not saying she deserves reparations for her time as food taster, but I'm not not saying it.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 12:10 PM
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||

I need to learn how to spend time in the kitchen without drinking too much beer. At this point, canning tomato sauce inevitably gives me a hangover.

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Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 12:30 PM
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125

I don't understand the problem.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 12:31 PM
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126

I was just trying to figure out whether Bellini's Norma passes the Bechdel test. At one point Norma and Adalgisa are discussing whether Norma should kill her children whose father is Pollione, who is a guy, so hm.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 1:33 PM
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127

Star Wars wouldn't pass the test, but the first of the prequels would.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 1:35 PM
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128

Are we sure R2-D2 and Chewbacca are male?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 1:39 PM
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129

128: Neither of them has a bow, which conclusively settles it.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 1:42 PM
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126: I'm pretty sure Dialogues of the Carmelites does, even if you count God as a man for the purposes of the test.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 1:43 PM
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128: I think we can say that neither is a woman. (And, come to think, that arguably neither is capable of speech.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 1:45 PM
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(And, come to think, that arguably neither is capable of speech.)

LB demands full recursion in her beepy robot noises before she'll call it language.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 1:46 PM
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128: Chewbacca is canonically male. R2D2 being half a Laurel & Hardy routine makes me think male, but reanalysing her as female is intriguing.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 1:46 PM
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134

Both R2-D2 and C-3PO are female.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 1:51 PM
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135

Pretty likely not a boy robot.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 1:51 PM
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136

I didn't see this award recipient mentioned upthread -- sorry if I missed a mention. Domestic Workers Advocate Wins MacArthur Genius Award.

Poo has been organizing domestic workers, the majority of whom are women, for the last 15 years. She's given voice to a group of an estimated one to two million workers who have been largely ignored by society, meeting them in parks, on buses, and other gathering places to hear their stories, give advice and help develop a framework for legal standards for the industry.
After a challenging, multi-year legislative campaign led by Poo and others, New York state enacted in 2010 the Domestic Workers' Bill of Rights, which entitles workers to overtime pay, a day off each week, protection from discrimination, and three days paid leave per year. Poo is currently the director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance and co-director of Caring Across Generations.

Seems like a good start, though the benefits gained so far -- one day off per week, three days paid leave per year -- are stunningly skimpy.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 1:56 PM
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||

Do other people's children kick them in the shins when they try to correct the kids spelling?

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Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 2:01 PM
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138

That's why you don't give them handguns until they are at least ten.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 2:06 PM
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139

Sally generally goes for the headlock.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 2:06 PM
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140

What I'm saying is that I was hungover, and then a nine year old kicked me in the shins. These are things that lie at the intersection of "first world problems" and "problems losers have."

This is the "Feel Bad About Yourself!" thread, right?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 2:26 PM
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141

Nine? Send them upstairs for a long timeout.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 2:28 PM
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142

Hm, I don't know. What did the child misspell?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 2:30 PM
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143

How hard does the word have to be for them to get a free kick?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 2:38 PM
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Moby, Helpy-Chalk isn't a decadent European. There are no free kicks. He and his kids have to resolve their conflicts on the field of battle until one side drops from exhaustion.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 2:40 PM
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143: I'm probably not the person to ask, having spent two hours this morning unsuccessfully trying to get my less motivated daughter to do her homework.

||Speaking of feeling bad, the Dodgers are getting totally slaughtered by the worst team in the National League. Chin up, Halford.|>


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 2:45 PM
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146

Oh what's that standings still say we'll be a minimum 2 games up, max 3 at the end of the day with 10 remaining after taking 2/3 from the Giants so this is me not caring about an 8-run first inning in Coors field from Carlos Frias..


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 2:49 PM
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Wait, is that not how I'm supposed to react when someone corrects my spelling?


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 3:46 PM
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Someone I know confessed to me today, in all earnestness, that he was bummed about never winning one. It was surprising to hear but not really illegitimate -- in fact, a friend of mine who has followed his work for years expressed the same sentiment earlier in the day.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 6:18 PM
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Do other people's children kick them in the shins when they try to correct the kids spelling?

Did you say "shinning" when you meant "shining"?


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 10:01 PM
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150

Shhh! Do you want to get sued?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-17-14 10:04 PM
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re: 137

Proper coup de pied bas technique?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-18-14 4:18 AM
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