Re: Chew On This

1

Nothing says "stud" like a guy who can deep-throat a double whopper.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-28-06 11:59 PM
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Three men, again, proving their masculinity and heterosexuality by bursting into melody,

Uh huh…

Immediately, [the one whose masculinity was questioned] rejects his much-loved vegetables to sing the praises of sausage,

Yeah.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 12:03 AM
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So how do the Carl's Jr. ads, of which the most recent I saw involved a woman, sitting in her truck, eating a massive taco salad, fit into this scheme?


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 12:04 AM
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The King bade me welcome, yet my gut drew back,
Guilty of lust and binge.
But flame-broiled King, observing me grow slack
From my first exhale in,
Drew neare to me, sweetly questioning
If I like'd anything.

"A man," I answer'd, "worthy to be here";
King said, "You shall be he."
"I, the unfit, the unhealty? ah my dear,
I cannot cook with thee."
King took my hand and smiling did reply,
"Who made the fries but I?"

"Truth, Lord, I thought I'd charr'd them; let my shame
go where it doth be proper."
"And know you not," says King, "who bore the blame?"
"My dear, then I'll have a whopper."
"You must sit down," says King, "and taste my meat."
So I did sit and eat.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 1:34 AM
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2 gets it exactly right.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 6:54 AM
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4 totally pwns.

Check out the illustrations in Amanda's post on the same subject.


Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 7:08 AM
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1. And...? There are lots of little bit pieces of culture that we use just as something to talk about. There is nothing more cliched than the idea that real men eat meat. But nobody really cares about it or makes any decisions or categorizations on the basis of it.

2. Does Fleet Blogging commence later today?


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 7:27 AM
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You think she might be reading too much into it, SCMT? The Burger King people are going to be pissed that no one makes any decisions on the basis of this sort of thing, since they just dropped a bunch of money on these ads to try to make people decide to buy their burgers. And it's not remotely innocuous to teach guys that the thing we must avoid, most of all, is acting like a woman; which is what the attack on "chick food" does.


Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 7:38 AM
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The Burger King people are going to be pissed that no one makes any decisions on the basis of this sort of thing, since they just dropped a bunch of money on these ads to try to make people decide to buy their burgers.

You'd have thought people would have been pissed to find that money managers generally don't outperform indexes. And maybe they are. But they keep handing their money over, and paying the required fees.

And it's not remotely innocuous to teach guys that the thing we must avoid, most of all, is acting like a woman;

If by "not remotely innocuous," you mean "actively good," we agree. But, then, I think we should be teaching women not to be acting like girlie-girls (which iw what we're really talking about). The Carl's Jr. ad that eb describes, if I have it right, should be treated as a feminist PSA. If womyn really care about the sisterhood, they will only eat at Carl's Jr. (where available) from now on.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 7:47 AM
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A few years ago the Australian franchise of Burger King (which is called Hungry Jack's for some reason which escapes me) had an ad campaign featuring Aussie Rules football players - basically a bunch of gorillas in man suits. What I remember most, apart from the untrammelled masculinity, is that they 'cheers'ed with their burgers. They banged them together like squashy paper-wrapped glasses of beer - an act I have yet to see repeated in the real world.

About the same time, Red Rooster had an ad in which a man biting into a cheesey chicken burger sent a stream of liquid cheese flying across the table, where it landed on a woman's face. Bukkake with your burger, anyone?


Posted by: Anthony | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 7:54 AM
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9: I got sick after I ate a Carl's Jr. $5 burger, and I don't like their fries. If I were in California, I'd go to In 'N Out even though it is owned by a fundamentalist weirdo. I don't terribly mind the Bible verses--even if it is a bit naff--but others may feel differently.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 8:01 AM
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You would think food companies/fast food chains would try to appeal to the largest consumer segment possible instead of targeting either men or women exclusively. Because after all, women have been known to eat meat (even steak!), and men have (gasp!) been known to enjoy vegetables.

I know a lot of marketing is gendered: there are "chick" cars, and "chick" flicks and "chick" lit and so on. But I think of food as more genderless, like an ipod or something.

But then, I'm not a marketing expert.


Posted by: dagger aleph | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 8:19 AM
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12: The women are assumed to have kids, and so you have ads (I think McDonald's is worse about this) trying to bring the kids in with promises of Happy Meals and toys toys toys.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 8:39 AM
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Advertisers are pretty adept at bringing to bear peer pressure on behalf of their products. I'm pretty sure people don't even have to take the ads seriously for the process to work.


Posted by: Matt McGrattan | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 8:42 AM
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The Sexual Politics of Meat is a concept with a pedigree.


Posted by: DonBoy | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 8:46 AM
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And it's not remotely innocuous to teach guys that the thing we must avoid, most of all, is acting like a woman;

If by "not remotely innocuous," you mean "actively good," we agree.

Can we stop pretending that you're not sexist now? Since when are we talking about acting like girlie-girls? We're talking about eating vegetables.


Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 8:48 AM
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So how do the Carl's Jr. ads, of which the most recent I saw involved a woman, sitting in her truck, eating a massive taco salad

was it a pink taco salad?


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 8:59 AM
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Can we stop pretending that you're not sexist now?

It was a joke, a contrarian impulse intended to keep the thread from being one solid wall of agreement. See, e.g., reference to Becks Fleet-blogging, and reference to Carl's Jr. ad as PSA. That said, I might still be a sexist.

Since when are we talking about acting like girlie-girls? We're talking about eating vegetables.

I agree. Nobody cares about whether someone's a vegetarian, except as it makes it difficult to choose a restaurant. Have you ever in your life something like, "Well, he's a a vegetarian, so X," where X was important? Similarly, nobody really cares if a woman eats meat, or eats heartily, or whatever.

It's a common cliche that has a primary function of moving conversation along. Men like sports too much, or dress badly. Women take too long to dress. Some of these matter, some them don't. "Men like meat," is one that, in my opinion, doesn't matter. Are we really worried that, as a result of these commercials, women might eat too healthily, sticking to vegetables and eschewing the fatty fast food that is man-ish?



Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 9:03 AM
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It's not reinscribing the norm "Men like meat" that is a problem for me, it's reinscribing the norm "Men had better not act like women in any way, or the other men will despise them." (cf. homosociality.) So "Men like sports, women like chick lit" may not be so harmful a way to pass the time, "Real men don't like chick lit or eat quiche" is pernicious.

[Becks: edited - link fixed]


Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 9:22 AM
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18: Actually, you know... becoming a vegetarian really illustrated the social importance of food to me. I've known more than a few people to get weirdly defensive upon being informed I was a vegetarian; apparently this translates in a great many minds, if not precisely to "prissy," then at the least to "here's another one of those self-satisfied lefty granolas judging me for my diet." I've also had conversations with people who actually turned out to be self-satisfied granolas and assumed I was therefore an ally of any number of their pet political causes.

How much did it matter in the great scheme of things? Well, it's only a dram of weight on the scale -- only the shallowest of people, I think, are going to judge someone entirely based on what they eat -- but it's not completely unimportant either. I don't think Pollak is wasting his time in paying attention to it.


Posted by: Doctor Slack | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 9:26 AM
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7: Oh lordy. My #1 was basically my own version of Ben's #2.

Lighten up, Tim. I really think you're reading way too much into my comments....


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 9:30 AM
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So, if I'm not mistaken the "1" and "2" in 7 do not refer to comments 1 and 2 but are more ordered list thingies?


Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 9:34 AM
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The most desirable fast food customer is people in their twenties and thirties who eat fast food 3-4 times a week. Not suprisingly this group is predominantely male.


Posted by: joe o | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 9:35 AM
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When Mr. B. and I were vegetarians, his mother was Very Very Worried that this was undermining his . . . strength.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 9:35 AM
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re: 20

I think a lot of people's dietary strictures, unfortunately, really are about teh prissy and that can, I suspect, be a source of that defensiveness vis a vis vegetarianism.

Although I eat meat these days, I was a vegan for about 10 years and even I used to get annoyed by some people whining about their diets or using the fact that they didn't eat certain foodstuffs as a way of drawing attention to themselves or exercising passive-aggressive control over where friends ate, etc.

's a shame all the other common-or-garden non-meat eaters get tarred with teh prissy brush though.


Posted by: Matt McGrattan | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 9:37 AM
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Oh, well in that case ignore #21.

The real problem with the food advertising thing, obviously, is that the "macho" diet is bad for you, and the "girly" diet encourages you to starve yourself, which sooner or later leads to pigging out on cake or something because you're fucking famished. I don't think these are messages that people ignore, if cholesterol levels and eating disorders are any indication.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 9:41 AM
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I'm basically with SCMT, here. I just don't care about the mental processes of people who think "vegetables = girly." Such people are a small minority, and I have difficulty believing it's anything but a superficial belief, without any real normalizing force. Why is meat = manly making it into commercials, then? B/c guys like playing "manly." It associates an atmosphere of fun and camaraderie with BK, where otherwise you might just think "depressingly commercial food chain."


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 9:53 AM
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The first part of 26 gets it exactly right, but I think we all recognize that this is old news. As to the second part, I'm not sure there's a causality b/w over- or undereating disorders and food advertisements. Don't magazines often get the blame for those? And TV? And hectic work scheudles?


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 10:00 AM
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I'm not sure if the tone of #2 is poiting out the funny in the post, or ridiculing the melodramatic tone of the post.


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 10:01 AM
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27 shouldn't have referenced BK, whose commercial I haven't seen, but whatever restaurant that is where the guys sit around the table calling out meat products.


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 10:03 AM
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I don't disagree with the larger points, but it's not like these are the only ads out there, or that their target audiences are all men and women everywhere. I've seen the Burger King and TGIF ads a lot during the NBA and NHL playoffs - and I'm pretty sure that's where I saw the Carl's Jr. ad I mentioned above - but though I haven't watched every ad during every game, I don't think Lean Cuisine advertises much there.

The most irritating ads I've seen recently were the VW ads where the "fast" brand icon tells people what to do: "My fast likes to keep the windows down" or "Sometimes my fast and my girlfriend don't get along" (or something like that, I'm paraphrasing). Nothing says independence like being totally obedient to a dominating mechanical icon with a deep metallic voice.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 10:09 AM
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Re: gendered food. It may well be that pushing food towards one gender drives more sales. Certainly that seems likely with Lean Cuisine. If LC was just another frozen dinner, it fades into the background. But with those commercials, which establish an identity with sexy, on-the-go-women bonding over their mutual self-denial to stay ahead, it jumps to the foreground. Identity is crucial. This is also why you wouldn't expect to see LC commericals durings sports. The LC angle, that of self-improvement through self-denial of food, doesn't work with most men.


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 10:21 AM
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The LC angle, that of self-improvement through self-denial of food, doesn't work with most men.

This has buckets to do with traditional gender roles. It's women who are expected to deny themselves sensual pleasure so they can look good for men. And this leads to an equation of dieting and femininity, which leads to pressure on men to do exactly the opposite of dieting, even if it's unhealthy.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 10:36 AM
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33 by me.


Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 10:37 AM
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33, well, of course it has to do with gender roles. That's the play-doh for advertising firms. But gender roles are micro as well as macro, and social circles establish their own norms. And it's not as if all ads are in lockstep. Is that 3 lb burger advert followed by a Bowflex, GHC, or Men's health advert?


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 10:50 AM
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2. Does Fleet Blogging commence later today?

I, of course, have run into no more sailors since commenting about Fleet Week.

If womyn really care about the sisterhood, they will only eat at Carl's Jr.

Yes, Carl's Jr.: for the sisterhood.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 11:18 AM
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I, of course, have run into no more sailors since commenting about Fleet Week.

Check the local butcher's shop.

Yes, Carl's Jr.: for the sisterhood.

The Hilton ad is empowering in the same fashion as 80's Madonna or Erica Jong.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 11:27 AM
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B-wo took my comment (#2), but I'll note that, no, guys, you don't look more manly while proclaiming your love for sausage loudly while out on a date with your three cowboy friends.

The not at all gay men proclaiming their love for hot meat commercial ends incongruously with an elderly lady squeaking 'meat!' Gay men and old ladies. Mm-mm.

Beef.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 11:36 AM
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39

I don't really know how this ties in exactly, but there's also the stereotype of the manly man who only wants to eat what he's always eaten, the "meat and potatoes" guy, with the wife who's always trying to jazz things up a bit or try new foods. You know, this guy.

And actually, all of the really fussy eaters I've met in my life, i.e. people who will barely even consider trying something they're not familiar with, have been guys of the macho (or trying to be) variety. I've always thought that attitude towards food was pretty prissy, even wussy.

That said, the other extreme is pretty annoying too.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 11:44 AM
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I am glad it's been a long time since I've seen that Hilton ad. Also, the last time I went to Carl's Jr it was disgusting. I pretty much agree with B-girl in 11, except In'N'Out can take a long time to put together your order, and sometimes that wait just isn't worth it.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 11:44 AM
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Gay men and old ladies

Well this is going to generate some interesting referrals.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 11:45 AM
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Second link in 39 should go here.


Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 11:51 AM
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except In'N'Out can take a long time to put together your order, and sometimes that wait just isn't worth it.

Because they are making the fries (if your In'n'Out order doesn't include fries, you're doing it wrong)! Don't badmouth In'n'Out!


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 11:52 AM
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In'n'Out is vastly overrated. People who don't like Carl's Jr. don't like America.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 12:02 PM
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The Hilton ad is empowering in the same fashion as 80's Madonna or Erica Jong.

My fanny it is.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 12:18 PM
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In'n'Out may be vastly overrated, but even when rated correctly, it's still way better than Carl's Jr.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 12:21 PM
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Carl's Jr. is total crap, but nothing is worse than Long John Silver's. And In'n'Out may be the best of the lot, but really, wouldn't you rather have a big ol' mission burrito?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 12:27 PM
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45: Or Camille Paglia.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 12:32 PM
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Paglia! I knew there was another candidate for worst lesbian evah.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 12:38 PM
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Has anyone eaten both at In 'n' Out and at Five Guys? Many folks here in the Mid-Atlantic evince a passion for FG that seems comparable to the In-'n'-Out-ism of many Southwesterners.

I've tried only FG's version of a veggie sammich, and it was Teh Grease. But I could see that greasiness being a desirable characteristic in a burger.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 12:49 PM
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wouldn't you rather have a big ol' mission burrito?

I just want to take this opportunity to let it be known that the West Coast is far too burrito-centric in its Mexican food.

Also, the use of the word "wrap" to describe a food item is deeply deeply wrong.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 1:44 PM
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Burritos aren't even real Mexican food, people.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 1:53 PM
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I don't like rice inside my burritos. I wanted to like the mission burrito I ordered on my trip to SF but couldn't get over the rice. The inclusion of rice seems to be a defining characteristic of a mission burrito so I doubt this is a surmountable complaint.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 1:57 PM
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What exactly is a mission burrito? I've eaten many burritos in the Bay Area but have never been conscious of eating a "mission" version.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 2:07 PM
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According to a friend, real Mexican food is rice and beans, maybe some greens, and if you're lucky, a tough old hen that quit laying.

According to a Salvadoran friend, real Salvadoran food was rice and maybe beans, or else nothing.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 2:07 PM
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Actually there's some fantastically good stuf going on in Mexican cooking. That said, of course, there are a lot of poor people in Central and South America, and of course poor people don't eat well, duh.

Mission burrito is an extra-huge tortilla with rice and beans and pico de gallo and cheese maybe chicken, or beef, or fish--in which case it has cabbage and a tangy white sauce and no cheese--and they're damned good. I never claimed they were "authentically Mexican," but they are authentically west coast, and they beat the crap out of fast food burgers and cost the same amount of money. You do usually have to get out of your car to get one, though.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 2:12 PM
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Ignore the quotation marks, I have no idea what that was about.

I agree with M/tch about the word "wrap." But I haven't seen that used any place but those stupid wrap shops, which are gross. The grocery stores around here call tortillas "wraps," though, and this--along with the fact that they've got a dozen different "flavors" of flour tortillas and no goddamn corn tortillas--really pisses me off.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 2:15 PM
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a dozen different "flavors" of flour tortillas

Can you guys get the chocolate chip ones out there? Those are totally my favorite.


Posted by: The Modesto Kid | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 2:21 PM
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Seriously. Flavored tortillas = teh gross.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 2:35 PM
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Ever since the "Beef: Its what's for dinner" campaign, the meat industry has been pushing the tough guy image of meat. This was a conscious decision made when they realized that the era when they could tout the health benefits of eating a lot of meat was really, really over. Although most people still have bizarre notions of how much protein a healthy, non pregnant adult needs, most people associate meat, especially red meat, with poor health. This is a real sea change in attitude that didn't really occur until the 70s.

Companies turn to image marketing when they know their product sucks and can't be sold on its own merit.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 2:37 PM
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re: 39

Yes, that stereotype is definitely real and that sort of prissily 'old-fashioned' eater does often seem to be male or elderly people of both genders.

I've cooked for my wife's parents a few times -- Czechs in their late 50s -- and that was pretty difficult as there's just no way they'd go for anything not firmly within their traditional meat and veg purview. Difficult not just to find the right things to cook them -- most 'ethnic' food would be a definite no-no -- but also because they're pretty suspicious of guys cooking in the first place.

Britain in this respect is pretty good; the majority of people who aren't really elderly are going to be used to Indian and Chinese food and will have moderately wide ranging experience with other cuisines too. Going to the Czech Republic is like travelling back into the culinary dark ages.

On the other hand, people who are suspicious of offal, seafood or anything that's not white meat tend, in my experience, to be overwhelmingly young or female.

There's more than one way to be prissy about food and, I'm sure, these crude stereotypes only vaguely break down on gender or age lines.


Posted by: Matt McGrattan | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 2:43 PM
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I guess I haven't had an authentic mission burrito, then, though I've had ones with some of those ingredients in various proportions. The best burritos I've eaten have all had rice; I'm no culinary segregationist.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 2:52 PM
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I feel like I should take this opportunity to comment Becks style. But I must not be that Becks style, because look at my spelling. Why yes, it is the middle of the afternoon. I feel drunker than my spelling would indicate.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 2:55 PM
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Get drunk!


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 3:04 PM
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Flavored tortillas = teh gross.

So is that what those round flat things that are colored green or yellow or red are, that they use to wrap lunchmeat in? I had never made the jump to calling those tortillas -- weird now that I think about it I never really had occasion to name wrap components, but seriously I always sort of figured they had some name that was not "tortilla". I agree with you that wraps are gross; and I can't really see those wrap coverings as having any non-gross use outside the realm of the wrap.


Posted by: The Modesto Kid | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 3:08 PM
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Oh and happy memorial day, Tia! I hope you are taking the opportunity to meditate on drunkenness and to take notes for tomorrow's discussion of same.


Posted by: The Modesto Kid | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 3:11 PM
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I agree with you that wraps are gross; and I can't really see those wrap coverings as having any non-gross use outside the realm of the wrap.

I think they are to be called "flatbread". A name suggesting that indeed they are unappetizing and have no role outside serving as the bare minimum edible container for a cylindrical sandwich.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 3:19 PM
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I think they are to be called "flatbread". A name suggesting that indeed they are unappetizing

Ummmmmm, are you nuts? Flatbread, a genus under which fall as species naan, tortillas, and matzoh, is great.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 3:32 PM
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Also tasty members of the genus flatbread:

paratha (mmmm!), puri, poppadum, chapati and pitta.


Posted by: Matt McGrattan | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 3:45 PM
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Just the other day I read about three men eating themselves to death and three women starving themselves to death, all due to clearly satirical fast-food commercials. Neither group had realized that such behavior was required of them until they encountered the awesome authority of BK and LC commercials.

In other news, Sephora, Bath&Body, and spas are closing down, bowing to the pressure society places upon women to deny themselves sensual pleasures.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to shotgun a beer, belch the alphabet, say something rude, and adjust myself in the most obvious way possible.

Disclaimer: The preceding is satire and/or parody, and is not intended in any way to reinforce, vivify, create, endorse, encourage, or in any way promote social norms that harmfully gender behavior and/or in any way further or cause the oppression or objectification of any self-identified members of any gender.


Posted by: Andrew | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 3:52 PM
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But Andrew, it wasn't funny.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 3:55 PM
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Working with the idea that meat is manly and vegetables are "chick food," how might one market vegetables to men...? V8 (not that pansy ass fruit-blend kind, but the real, *original* V8) is generally considered nasty by most people. A can is also equivallent (sp) to 2 servings of vegetables (however that's determined, I have no idea). So, V8 could capture a whole new market by making the claim that while you don't want to be a sissy like the fag in the comercial who chimes in about the vegetable medley, you can get your vegetables by being a MAN and downing a V8. Because only a real man can stomach that stuff. I'm going to call the V8 marketing people right now.


Posted by: Stroll | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 3:56 PM
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I have lost count of the wasted evenings in Indian restaurants trying to explan to pals that a) there is nothing intrinsically heterosexual about eating a hotter curry than you want b) that I am unlikely to respect any hierarchy of manliness that anyone derives from our curry orders and c) there are no birds about anyway so even if this was impressive, you're not inmpressing anyone.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 3:57 PM
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I've got it: a V8-Listerine combination drink and/or mouthwash!


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 4:03 PM
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70: Just the other day I read about three men eating themselves to death and three women starving themselves to death, all due to clearly satirical fast-food commercials.

But it still effects people. Advertising doesn't have to completely control people in order to have effects, both the intended effect and host of other effects that were at least forseen.

If the ad is effective, and I actually think it is funny enough to be effective, it will not only bring people into BK, but it will reinforce the idea that men, to be men, must distance themselves from the weak and feminine.

The advertisers may even be aware of the addional effect, and are glad that it is present, because it keeps open another channel to influence people. As long as these gender norms exist, they can be used to sell other crappy products. Advertisers, especially advertisers who specialize in marketing to children, are keenly aware of the role they play in creating a broader culture of consumption that will let them sell more things in the future.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 4:09 PM
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To add to 75, most people (myself included) pride themselves on the fact that they are not "tricked" by advertising. But research (to which I can't be bothered to find a link or a reference) has suggested that even if you think otherwise you're still influenced on some level.


Posted by: stroll | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 4:13 PM
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But it still effects people.

Sex effects people.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 4:16 PM
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re: 73

Yeah, definitely. And I'll have the phal, with extra chillis.


Posted by: Matt McGrattan | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 4:19 PM
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re: 75

"will reinforce the idea that men, to be men, must distance themselves from the weak and feminine."

The problem, surely, is with conflation of weak with feminine. Rather than with the idea that, say, we ought to prefer not to be weak.


Posted by: Matt McGrattan | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 4:20 PM
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68: This demonstrates that it is irresponsible to make blanket statements about flatbread. Naan is great. No man but a blockhead ever ate matzoh, except for religious obligation. (Offer does not apply to matzoh brei.)


Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 4:22 PM
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The Hilton ad is empowering in the same fashion as 80's Madonna or Erica Jong. Or Camille Paglia.

Yeah. Thanks to this concentrated dose of empowerment, I feel empowered to throw up on my keyboard now. Thanks, SCMT.

Overheard at the workplace: "You know what I had yesterday? a doughnut!"


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 4:23 PM
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79: "Men to be men, must distance themselves from the feminine" is bad enough.


Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 4:24 PM
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Weiner, I feel sorry for you, for having apparently had an upbringing in which matzoh was an instrument of punishment. I urge you to try it sometime, not during but say a week or two before Pesach. It's good. Like a giant cracker.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 4:25 PM
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matzoh was an instrument of punishment

I am having visions of Weiner getting his knuckles rapped with hard, stale matzoh.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 4:27 PM
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If the ad is effective, and I actually think it is funny enough to be effective, it will not only bring people into BK, but it will reinforce the idea that men, to be men, must distance themselves from the weak and feminine.

I'm not sure that three guys yelling for meat reinforces the idea that we should distance our selves from the weak and the feminine. But whatever idea it reinforces, does it reinforce the idea, or does it simply make fun of the idea? I see commercials like this more as parody, which if anything undercut the targeted idea, just as I see playful competition to see who can eat the hottest spices to be a kind of parody of social constructions of masculinity----and is simply typical male play.


Posted by: Andrew | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 4:28 PM
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what's really interesting is what chumps people who work in ad agencies are when it comes to advertising. They seem to be total suckers for the whole message, when you'd think they'd be immune. They have to have the smallest phone, the biggest car, the whitest of scary white teeth, and the women who actually eat lunch come back and throw it up in the ladies room.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 4:31 PM
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I actually thought the joke in the TGIF ad was that the vegetable medley guy is holding up the side dish; the others are holding up the main meat dishes, which presumably also come with vegetables on the side.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 4:33 PM
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re: 85

Advertising tends to want to have its cake and eat vis a vis parodying apparently sexist points of view.

There are a lot of 'laddish' adverts that manage to both poke fun at and at the same time celebrate those points of view and if called on the celebratory aspect they can point to the parodic aspect as mitigation.

For what it's worth, I still find some of those ads amusing but it doesn't necessarily let them off the hook for reinforcing fairly reactionary views.


Posted by: Matt McGrattan | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 4:56 PM
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73 reminds me of a time I went out for curry with a London friend and his flatmate. LF ordered mild, flatmate spicy (which LF mocked as flatmate's trying to be hard), and I ordered spicy (similarly mocked), and neither of them could eat the spicy food, both of 'em having British palates, and southwestern piggy me finished it all off.

Then, to reaffirm my girlishness, I went and puked it all up in the bathroom* and shagged the flatmate later.**

*Not really.
**Really, but he was a lousy lay. I should've known that any guy who can't eat spicy curry = teh lame in bed.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 5:07 PM
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87: I actually thought the joke in the TGIF ad was that the vegetable medley guy is holding up the side dish;

Ah, the awful vegetables are side dishes prejudice.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 5:11 PM
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The real joke of the TGIF ads is that their food is gross.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 5:13 PM
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I think I've said "gross" three times in this thread. Now four. Someone slap me so I can move on to a new verbal tic.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 5:14 PM
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You're really gnarly for a chick, B.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 5:27 PM
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Dude, totally.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 5:39 PM
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B tastes of spicy curry.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 5:44 PM
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I should've known that any guy who can't eat spicy curry = teh lame in bed.

Your reinscription of patriarchal norms about food and masculinity is not helping. You need to go listen to Open Your Heart and get your head right.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 5:48 PM
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95: Well if I do, flatmate sure didn't find out.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 6:08 PM
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and no goddamn corn tortillas

Yeah, those can be hard to find, although the situation is improving as Mexican migration has moved beyond the traditional border states plus the produce-picking trail up to Chicago.

I actually several times schlepped bags of powdered masa harina (not nearly as good as fresh, but better than no masa) over to China because corn tortillas and tamales were some of the few food items I really missed that I couldn't find a reasonable replacement for over there.

Also, I fully agree that mission burritos beat the crap out of fast food burgers, and my complaint about Cal-Mex's burrito-centric view of Mexican food isn't based on any argument about authenticity, or for that matter on whether burritos are good or not.

And who would have guessed that dsquared was such a nancy boy? Not me.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 6:22 PM
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"I ordered spicy (similarly mocked), and neither of them could eat the spicy food, both of 'em having British palates"

This is clearly explained by them being soft southerners and therefore teh ghey.

Although I did once find myself unable to finish a Thai curried swordfish at a restaurant where a former flatmate was chef. I don't know if he'd added extra green chillis since he'd seen it was me and thought it might be amusing or if he always served it that way but this shit could have stripped paint.


Posted by: Matt McGrattan | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 6:23 PM
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69 -- papadum is more a cracker than a flatbread.


Posted by: The Modesto Kid | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 7:11 PM
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Advertising tends to want to have its cake and eat vis a vis parodying apparently sexist points of view.
There are a lot of 'laddish' adverts that manage to both poke fun at and at the same time celebrate those points of view and if called on the celebratory aspect they can point to the parodic aspect as mitigation.

I can see that possibility, but do you think that the BK and LC ads qualify? And maybe this is because I'm male and therefore insensitive, but I'm having difficulty thinking of any truly sexist commercials.


Posted by: Andrew | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 7:19 PM
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but I'm having difficulty thinking of any truly sexist commercials.

I'd say there's no doubt you're insensitive, but I don't think it's because you're male. Maybe it's because you're stupid, or intellectually dishonest, or have never seen a television.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 7:37 PM
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This is clearly explained by them being soft southerners and therefore teh ghey.
That would explain why LF never would fuck me, and why Flatmate was so bad at it. Hmm.

I'm having difficulty thinking of any truly sexist commercials.
I am really forced to ask, then, what in your mind constitutes "true sexism"?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 7:42 PM
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99: There is a hierarchy of hotness among foods, and Thai stands at the pinacle. While I generally don't subscribe to a claim of correlation between manliness and the spiciness of the food consumed, if you can eat hot Thai food, you are a total masculine stud. This means that most of the hot Thai women you know have penises. (Strangely enough, depending on where you live, this may actually be true.)


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 7:43 PM
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I am really forced to ask, then, what in your mind constitutes "true sexism"?

Sex effects, people.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 7:53 PM
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Flatbread, a genus under which fall as species naan, tortillas

While I was on vacation in Greece, I went to a combination Indian/Chinese/Thai restaurant. (Surprisingly tasty, despite what you might think. Also: not Greek food, which was a big point in its favor.) I asked the owner if the "Indian flatbread" on the menu was naan; he said it was more like a chapati.

It was a flour tortilla.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 7:56 PM
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And just what do you have against Greek food?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 7:58 PM
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And just what do you have against Greek food?

Not a damn thing. (Greece would have been a poor vacation choice otherwise.) Nonetheless, a little variety was quite welcome.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 8:04 PM
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The crust of the pizza in Sicily was very naan-like. And delicious.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 8:30 PM
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if you can eat hot Thai food, you are a total masculine stud.

Have you seen many Thai men, SCMT?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 8:42 PM
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That's not the question. The question is, have they fucked him?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 8:45 PM
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Is he under 30?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 8:45 PM
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I am really forced to ask, then, what in your mind constitutes "true sexism"?

It's those commercials where the hubby is stoopid and incompetent and the wife is all smart and everything. Totally oppressive.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 8:58 PM
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I'll let Amanda say it:

Every guy who’s left a stupid comment on my blog about how I’m over-reading the “poke it/own it” commercial leaves me flabbergasted. To the last one, they think that if the price one must pay to ignore sexism is to deliberately make one’s self into a fucktard with an IQ of 10, then that’s not too high a price to pay.
--Amanda Marcotte of Pandagon, commenting on IBTP re the "You poke it, You own it" beer commercials.

And here's a link to an amusing little ad. Probably I'm reading too much in to it. but I like the cannibalism aspect.
http://www.milkywaybar.com/tvspots/index2.html


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 9:14 PM
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One of my favorite dishes made by my mom is a bunch of miniature, boneless chicken breasts marinated (completely covered) in Louisiana hot sauce, and baked on very low for five hours. Louisiana hot sauce isn't terribly hot as a condiment, but as a major ingredient, it's more than a lot of people can handle. I would bet that there are extremely few people who enjoy food as spicy as my family.

We housed a family from New Orleans after Katrina hit, and they cooked some of their "really spicy" food. They were sure we wouldn't be able to handle it. We had to add a bunch of hot sauce to it.

Now, I did know a guy who would, many days at lunch, eat a small tray of french fries floating in a complete ~6 oz. bottle of Louisiana hot sauce. I probably wouldn't have enjoyed that, had I tried it.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 9:14 PM
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Now, now, mcmc. Let's not get shrill and, you know, hostile. It's unbecoming.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 9:26 PM
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mature women represent!


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 9:31 PM
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Thai food has a 1-to-5 hotness scale. 1 is not hot. 2 is "mild" and we would call it hot. 3 is medium and we would call it "very hot". I tried 3 and I couldn't eat it, and I can take a spoonful of Tabasco.

So anyone who wants to be macho, go to a Thai restaurant, ask if it's got a 1-5 scale, and if it does, ask for a 5.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 9:31 PM
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I've gone for medium at a good Thai restaurant near my grad school and it's never been too spicy. I've never had the guts to go for hot.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 9:34 PM
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Have you seen many Thai men, SCMT?

He could kick my ass.

The question is, have they fucked him?

Again, B, with the standard assumptions. Why should masculine attributes correlate with topping? Break the chains in your mind, B.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 9:34 PM
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The key to good Czech cuisine, I've been told, is lots of lard.

Your northernmost flatbread is lefse, a Norwegian potato flatbread. It's very good.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 9:36 PM
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I ate at a restaurant today that had signs all over the place warning about how hot the chile was and how they weren't responsible if your order was too hot for you, but it really wasn't all that hot (roughly medium, I guess) and was quite tasty--I had three delicious tamales and an enchilada. I suspect they cater mostly to tourists who don't know what they're getting into.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 9:37 PM
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Spicy Thai food is good, but takes a li'l getting used to. I'm not so good w/ spicy Korean food.

No, no, Tim, I'm now completely convinced that all my feminist beliefs simply come from overreading perfectly innocent things. It's just wrong for me to look beyond the surface of things and question the status quo. La la la la la.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 9:41 PM
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The weirdest Czech food I ever ate was pork (it's always pork) with a sauce made, basically, of whipped cream.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 9:42 PM
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Like Philip Roth, I am self-sacrificingly willing to fuck women under 30, thus saving them (at my cost) from the problem B alludes to.

Even though it's marginally relevant, I'll repeat my favorite Roth line (the words of a student he had a fling with):

"Professor X, I can't save you. I'm only twenty years old".

(My Life as a Man, paraphrased quote.)


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 9:46 PM
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Wrong thread.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 9:46 PM
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I'm now completely convinced that all my feminist beliefs simply come from overreading perfectly innocent things.

I don't think I've said anything even approximating that. You just hadn't read the Farley ouvre closely enough or deeply enough.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 9:47 PM
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my favorite Roth line

So it seems.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 9:51 PM
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But some still find hope in that.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 9:53 PM
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Oh, now I see 125 has been reposted in the correct thread. 128 and 129 are not going to follow it around.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 9:55 PM
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It remains a lovely bit. Gawd, Roth's a fucker. Why did The Human Stain suck so much?


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 9:57 PM
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I had a 5 at a Malaysian restaurant once in some sort of peanuty and tomato-y soup, and I swear my eyelashes were sweating from the spice.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 9:58 PM
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There is a hierarchy of hotness among foods, and Thai stands at the pinacle

Not true at all. I did the SouthEast Asian thing like every other repulsive middle class backpacker and Indonesia was top dog out of the SE Asians, but still not as hot as Kerala in India. In general, the spiciness of the food correlates pretty well with the typical rancidness of the meat, which is a good reason to start experimenting with your sexual identity wrt vegetarianism while abroad.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 11:09 PM
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Quite right; capsaicin is a preservative.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-29-06 11:17 PM
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re: 124

Yeah, I've had that. Sometimes they stick some peach slices or something in the whipped cream.

I do remember flicking through a Czech cookbook and seeing a recipe for brain goulash, and then for another recipe where the sauce was thickened with pured/diced brain and saying to my wife, 'I don't fancy that' and receiving the reply, 'Oh, I think you've already eaten that' ...

re: Thai food. Generally I find it OK. Some dishes occasionally verge on too spicy and there are some that I like in small quantities but really wouldn't want to eat a huge amount of but mostly I really like that kind of spiciness -- the fresh chilli heat with the other flavours. The swordfish thing alluded to in 99 was a whole order of magnitude spicier than most things I've eaten in Thai places.


Posted by: Matt McGrattan | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 12:06 AM
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Brain isn't bad, necessarily, depending on what you do with it. I mighta had the peach slices, come to think of it.

And what about that Czech thing where it's like a pork chop with bacon and ham? Dude.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 12:12 AM
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50: Stanley, I have eaten at both 5 Guys and In'N Out. I like In' N Out better. 5 guys is good, but it's more expensive, and the fries are greasier. The experiences are different. In N' Out makes shoe string fries which you can order extra crispy, and they have their special sauce. Plus you can order their burgers animal style

Five Guys fried are more like boardwalk fries. I do like the fact that you can get vinegar at 5 guys, and the peanuts there are pretty cool.

In 'N Out also makes great milkshakes.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 12:17 AM
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re: 136

Yeah, 'basta' that is, I think -- sort of like what we'd call a mixed-grill here in the UK. Several different kinds of meat (pork) on a plate.

'Krk' would probably have been in among that -- smoked pork neck. Krk is both tasty and a tongue-twister. 'Str? prst skrz krk' is one of the classic Czech tongue twisters for foreigners to get their head around.

I had a meal in Granada (Spain) last week that was almost the exact Andalucian equivalent -- various cooked meat-stuffs on a plate. It looked nigh on indistuingishable from Czech food.


Posted by: Matt McGrattan | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 1:00 AM
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Oh, now, I ate really well in Granada (and I'm so envious that you were there--haven't been in almost twenty years!). I think a lot of it was b/c I was a cute American college girl who spoke a little Spanish and wasn't above flirting with wait staff....


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 1:08 AM
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Indonesia was top dog out of the SE Asians
I'm glad someone pointed that out. Thai food can be hot, but it's not usually pointlessly, stupidly, turn-your-guts-inside-out-ingly hot like some of the regional Indonesian food.
Where I am, they do it to disguise the fact that rancid charred dog is not the best tasting of meats. Surprise!


Posted by: Anthony | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 2:10 AM
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re: 138

The food was pretty good but I think I was expecting more from it. The seafood was good, particularly the whole fried anchovies (yum), and some of the tapas were nice, but it didn't really blow me away. The standard was pretty uniformly OK though, we didn't have a bad meal while we were there.

The city itself is pretty great though. My wife speaks a little Spanish and I found that a couple of hours spent scouring a phrase book and some basic grammar tips from my wife before we went were enough for me to communicate with waiters, bar staff, etc. pretty much entirely in Spanish.


Posted by: Matt McGrattan | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 2:42 AM
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hi everyone.

a food thread! does anyone know if it is very bad to eat raw duck? i ordered some "ros" at a wedding party and it was basically raw meat with a layer of raw fat on top of it because it was maigret de canard. i am not dead yet. should i be worried though?

it was tasty enough but kind of hard to cut, esp. the fat layer. i love raw seafood of all kinds including lovely fresh raw shrimp, but this was a bit much. uh, chewy.

hope you're all well!


Posted by: mmf! | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 3:04 AM
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Years ago we went with some friends to a new Indian Restaurant in London and ordered a Vindaloo curry (native to Southern India and famous for being HOT, HOT, HOTTTTTT)

We also ordered papadums. Half way through our meal I noticed my partner on the opposite side of the table, sweat pouring down over his eyes, reaching for his serviette and wiping his brow with a papadum..........

and I don't think he ever realised.


Posted by: Herr Torquewrench | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 4:47 AM
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An acquaintance once went into a Szechuan restaurant in Beijing and ordered a dish called "3 chilli pork" or something like that, and the waitress refused to let him have it, because he wouldn't be able to eat it.

Of course he had to make a scene and insist on it, so she stood over him and watched him to make sure he ate it all. Very, very ill.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 5:45 AM
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83: It's good. Like a giant cracker.

This may be true if you are eating the non-pesedich giant crackers that are marketed as "egg and onion Matzoh." Genuine Matzoh, however, just sucks. Henceforth I will ignore anything you say about food.


Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 5:47 AM
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re: 144 and waiter/waitress interventions...

Actually, in Spain last week I ordered cuttlefish as I'd never had it, and the waitress told me she'd bring me bocadillos instead as 'I'd prefer it'.

I have no idea if the cuttlefish would have been good but the whole anchovies deep fried and served with their little piranha like teeth biting their own tails (ouroboros style) were great...

I also ordered morcilla in one place -- spanish black pudding -- and the waitress told me she'd bring me a small plate in case I 'didn't like it'. Which was a good call -- it was nice but way too salty to eat much. I presume she thought that as a Brit I'd find the morcilla unpalatable -- it's a lot 'rawer' than British black pudding -- but that aspect of it was fine.


Posted by: Matt McGrattan | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 6:13 AM
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I'm wondering whether experience with tourists hasn't taught the Thai to moderate their spicing even when asked not to. The time I ordered level 3 Thai food what I really got was level 2 1/2 Thai food, the waiter explained afterwards, and I could barely eat that.

Whereas the ignorant Keralans and Indonesians just treat you like anyone else.

My infamous friend Razib claims that it's a genetic thing.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 6:42 AM
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146: Cuttlefish = chocos? You'd have liked them.

Another thing I've found in Spain is that waiters will moderate your intake if they think you don't realise how much you've called for. In Galicia a few weeks ago, we ordered soup and some fish for lunch. The soup came in bowls the size of window-cleaning buckets, each containing a head of cabbage, a peck of potatos and most of a dead pig. The rest of the order was quietly forgotten by mutual consent.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 6:49 AM
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133, 140, 147: We should be able to settle this. Unfogged has an Asian correspondent, I believe. We can just set up a spicy tournament, with competitors from each country trying to survive all of the other country entrants' food. Last person standing wins. (I've never had Indonesian food, but I'm still betting on the Thai.)


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 6:50 AM
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Japan, knowing its entrant would almost certainly be reduced to a quivering mess in the first round, is unlikely to compete.


Posted by: Tarrou | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 7:13 AM
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I have eaten Indonesian food a couple of times in Amsterdam and don't remember it being especially spicy. Plenty of chilli flavours, yes, but I certainly don't remember it as being any spicier than Thai food.


Posted by: Matt McGrattan | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 7:20 AM
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Dutch Indonesian food is designed for the Dutch palate.


Posted by: Anthony | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 7:30 AM
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I mean, I've had plenty of spicy food in Thailand, but haven't had (say) a fish encased in chili paste, baked, and then served with extra chili paste, and sambal tomat (chili with tomato, for variety).


Posted by: Anthony | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 7:38 AM
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re: 152

That would make sense. Like the tikka masala's Glaswegian origins.


Posted by: Matt McGrattan | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 7:42 AM
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The mother of a college friend of mine used to FedEx her home cooked Indian dinners in Tupperware that she would then share with her friends. Once I scooped some green beans for myself, and thought, "What is this odd red green bean? I must try it." I bit into it, chewed, and swallowed. I spent the next hour eating rice and drinking water, with tears streaming down my face the whole time.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 7:43 AM
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Someone *just* told me that tikka masala was invented in the Village.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 7:45 AM
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Someone *just* told me that tikka masala was invented in the Village

The truth is lost in the mists of time. Birmingham, England also claims it. Onion bhajis, however, are pretty securely sourced in London.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 7:48 AM
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re: 155

It's definitely a British thing, and there is quite a good claim made for the particular point of origin being Glasgow -- but I gather there are a lot of conflicting claims. Given the history of the UK as the colonial power in Indian and Pakistan I'd be *very* surprised if the dish originated in the U.S. You'd also then have to explain how it got here, in the 1960s, from the US.

Similarly, 'balti' style Indian cooking originates in Birmingham but different restaurants lay claim to having originated it.


Posted by: Matt McGrattan | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 7:49 AM
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My gripe really is that I've been in Indonesia, specifically Minahasa, too long, and Thai cuisine it ain't. While chili usually adds something to a complex bunch of flavours in a Thai dish, here it just overwhelms (though you can still taste the rancid pork, bat or dog underneath). So I guess I'm not really hung up on the idea that it is the hottest food, but that hotness is often the only (palatable) flavour.
That said, I am in Singapore today and have eaten 2 cheese platters. They weren't spicy at all!


Posted by: Anthony | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 7:52 AM
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158
I've been to a few restaurants in London that claim to be the originators of Balti cooking too.


Posted by: Anthony | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 7:55 AM
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hi mmf!,
You must still be in France then, right? I don't think you could get this duck concoction of which you speak anywhere in massachusetts. If I am wrong, please let me know. I shouldn't think raw duck would be any worse than beef tartar. probably safer.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 7:57 AM
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anthony,
have you considered the vegetarian option? I'm sure no one would consider it foofy when the alternative is rancid bat.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 7:59 AM
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I've had duck tartare in France and duck sashimi in Japan with no ill effects (other than not particularly wanting to eat raw duck again). Salmonella is your biggest worry - if you are not ill 1-2 days after you're probably fine.


Posted by: Anthony | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 8:02 AM
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I'm sure no one would consider it foofy when the alternative is rancid bat

It'd be about being polite to one's host: "I spent hours cooking that bat! Up before dawn to make sure it was just the right level of rancidness; carrying home five tonnes of chillis and peeling them with my own eyeballs! And now you sit there and ask me for BK. Ingrate!"


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 8:04 AM
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162: If anthony is actually chef Anthony Bourdain (not to un-pseudonomize someone), then he must think that being vegetarian while travelling is an unforgivable sin.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 8:05 AM
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162
I do eat a lot of noodles and kangkong (charmingly translated as 'water convolvus'). Unfortunately it has become personally important to a number of people that I be seen to eat (and seemingly enjoy) all the festive meats as often as possible.


Posted by: Anthony | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 8:06 AM
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In other words, what OFE said. Also I swear too much to be Anthony Bourdain.


Posted by: Anthony | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 8:07 AM
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http://www.menumagazine.co.uk/book/restauranthistory.html

Has a history of Indian and Chinese restaurants in the UK and mentions the various tikka masala claims. The first Indian restaurant in London opened as long ago as the end of the 18th century.

I've eaten in about half the old Glasgow ones.


Posted by: Matt McGrattan | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 8:08 AM
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167: Yes, OFE semi-pwned me. But Bourdain's disdain for vegetarianism seems to offend him specifically, not just the host or preparer of food. Listen to that interview if you can. He's seething with contempt for non-meat-eating travellers.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 8:10 AM
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all the festive meats

I love this.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 8:16 AM
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Yes, I've heard it. Do we have a term for someone who articulates a position you more-or-less agree with (go to a country, eat the food) in such a manner that you find you don't agree with it any more?


Posted by: Anthony | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 8:16 AM
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171 -- when that happens to me (as it did when I heard Bourdain spouting off about travellers who are not culinarily adventurous -- don't remember if it was the linked interview or another similar one though) I usually try not to reject the original position but rather to refine it in a way that distinguishes what I think from what Bourdain (or whoever) thinks. So it goes -- this seems to me to be rooted in a kind of narcissistic fixation on being right -- if you can actually reject the position you held previously after hearing it argued in an offensive way, more power to you.


Posted by: The Modesto Kid | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 8:25 AM
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Does Fleet Blogging commence later today?

Y'all, the New York Times wants you to know that the Navy is totally not gay:

Once it was strip clubs and bars and tattoo parlors and girls. And while there still may be some of that, sailors who sauntered around Midtown on Memorial Day gave some surprising answers when asked how they experience New York City in the two or three short days they are here. They mentioned frozen cappuccinos, and Off Broadway, and the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art, and architecture — specifically, terra cotta facades.

Posted by: Joe Drymala | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 8:28 AM
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A handy tip for handling what the the Mexicans refer to as being "enchilado" (overcome by spice, all spiced out): squeeze a lemon or lime into a glass of water and drink that. Works like a charm, and very fast too. For severe cases, such as in Tia's story, just suck directly on the lime or lemon. Orange juice sort of works too.

Capsaicin is an alkaloid compound and is highly basic, the acid in the citrus counteracts that.

Also, Anthony Bourdain is an ass.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 8:35 AM
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My father was fond of beef tartare up to a certain point. You'd be surprised at how big tapeworms can get.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 8:36 AM
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Also, Anthony Bourdain is an ass.

Anthony Buridan's ass?

I'll get my coat.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 8:40 AM
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A friend of mine reported reading an article in the Daily News which suggested that Fleet Week is the perfect time for no-strings attached sex. I'm not sure if the article was clear on which gender it was giving the advice to, since I didn't read the article.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 8:42 AM
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Do Fast Show references work with this trans-Atlantic (and beyond) crowd?


Posted by: Anthony | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 8:43 AM
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178 to 176


Posted by: Anthony | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 8:44 AM
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chef Anthony Bourdain

via friends in the trade, he is really not that well respected a chef. His book, "Kitchen Confidential", if you look at it objectively, describes a really badly run kitchen. I know (third hand) that at least one of the people mentioned in his book "A Cook's Tour" has absolutely no time for him at all.

via friends in a different trade, he was at best a B-minus heroin addict too.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 8:44 AM
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w/d, Gawker did the research:

Hits for “Fleet Week” search broken down by Craiglist Personals section:

men seeking men: 60
women seeking men: 2
men seeking women: 1
women seeking women: 0


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 8:45 AM
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Wow.


Posted by: Joe Drymala | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 8:46 AM
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180
He even sucked at being a junkie? How does that work?


Posted by: Anthony | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 8:47 AM
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179: Evidently not all


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 8:48 AM
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Thanks for 174. I'd always heard, and employed, sweet and/or milky--raita, cafe sua da, or just a glass of milk. Shall have to try the citrus option at some point.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 8:50 AM
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And I did try my best yesterday - I chatted up the one sailor I saw, in line at the coffee shop. My flirtation was unsuccessful, though, because the guy was married. Make that "kid" -- turns out he was only 19. It's bad enough to find out that someone you've been talking with is less than 1/2+7 but less than 1/2+7 and already married? That's so wrong.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 9:01 AM
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This is something of a tangent, but this thread has gone from meat marketing to international cuisine to meat markets of a nother kind, i.e. Fleet Week, so here goes. IIt's somethign I've been curious about for a while.

Unfogged seems to attract a more international audience than most American blogs. (See, it isn't totally unrelated to the food posts.) There are some Asian posted people and a shockingly (and wonderfully) high number of British commenters. Does anyone have a theory for why this is? Did they all dollow dsquared over from crooked timber which has, in addition to dsquared, an Australain?

But why do they stay? Is our "clever" banter comfortable for Europeans in a way that the earnestness of a lot of quasi-political blogs isn't. Are the Americans among us just completely freakish, not just in the blue-state vred state divide kind of way? I think you'd all make wonderful dinner party guests. and--although most Americans have people over for dinner, even, sometimes fairly fancy obes--I don't think that we, as a people, do dinner parties very well.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 9:02 AM
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And I did try my best yesterday - I chatted up the one sailor I saw, in line at the coffee shop.

Becks, you are a great American. Where were you when I came back from the Gulf in '91? (middle school, probably--never mind).


Posted by: Idealist | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 9:09 AM
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It's bad enough to find out that someone you've been talking with is less than 1/2+7

It's just possible that a sailor would know other sailors, even unmarried ones.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 9:15 AM
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189: OK, that's wierd. Um, I quoted the above because I had suggested 1/2 +5 rule for women. (Affirmative action adjustment based on historic denial of opportunities to sex the young, etc.) I must have dropped it.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 9:20 AM
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190 - But is that change to the rules necessarily for the better?


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 9:33 AM
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I'd always heard, and employed, sweet and/or milky--raita, cafe sua da, or just a glass of milk.

Citrus works way better.

Do Fast Show references work with this trans-Atlantic (and beyond) crowd?

As 184 said, no, they don't.

They also don't work when one is the lone septic playing the British edition of trivial pursuit with a bunch of the natives (all of whom insist that the USA has 52 states).

And while it pains me to say it, I would be remiss if I didn't note that comment 77 pwns. Especially because at first I was all ready to spring into "w-lfs-n misspelled something!" mode. Then I thought, "wait, it's too easy, it must be a trap." And sure enough . . .

[x] Yay comity


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 9:41 AM
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Ideal, it's my understanding that Fleet Week brings out the patriotism in all sorts of women. And lots of men.


Posted by: Joe Drymala | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 9:42 AM
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BG @ 187:

Er...

1. Unfogged seems to attract a more international audience than most American blogs Is this true - I haven't really thought about it.

2. Yes, came here via CT, but independently of D^2. I was just wandering around their blogroll. I went to CT out of curiosity because I knew Chris B in a past life.

3. Is our "clever" banter comfortable for Europeans in a way that the earnestness of a lot of quasi-political blogs isn't. Dunno. Can't generalise. I think of Unfogged as being a bit like the Deipnosophistes, only not boring.

3. Are the Americans among us just completely freakish Probably, but you'd be freakish anywhere. One thing I've learned in this vale of tears is never to trust anybody who doesn't have a well developed sense of their own absurdity. Which is why I don't have many friends.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 9:49 AM
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Ideal, it's my understanding that Fleet Week brings out the patriotism in all sorts of women. And lots of men.

Great Americans all!


Posted by: Idealist | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 9:51 AM
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Some of the young soldiers I know seem to get engaged when they're 19 or 20 and married young because they want to keep their girlfriends around.

Sometimes with worrisome consequences. One of my sister's soldier friends is on leave now and he's planning to ask his girlfriend to marry him before he returns to Iraq and everyone knows she's been cheating on him. Drama.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 9:53 AM
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Normally, I'd agree with you, Cala, about the worrisome consequences of gettinbg married too young to keep a girlfriend. But I do wonder whether there aren't other considerations in a time of war. Wives get benefits if the poor guy dies in Iraq; girlfriends don't.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 10:00 AM
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it's my understanding that Fleet Week brings out the patriotism in all sorts of women. And lots of men.

Navy uniforms remind me of pictures of my dad. Ick.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 10:07 AM
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The blog ate my commmenttttttt!

197: All I think is worrisome is the fact that the soldier's beloved is cheating on him and he doesn't know and she'll probably accept the ring. The young age doesn't bother me so much -- 19 makes me blink, but marriage age seems to be tied more to adulthood and position in life (judging by my friends whose trajectory goes college, job/law school, new job, hum around a year, meet woman, BOOM, married, and if they'd met their wife at the wrong time, it wouldn't have happened.) A 21-year old soldier is different than a 21-year old college student, perhaps.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 10:22 AM
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re: 187

I also came here via the Crooked Timber blogroll and stayed because of i) the general absence of politics, and ii) dick jokes.

There are political discussions but -- and this is the cool thing -- the politics is leavend with self-deprecation and humour and, this is the key thing, the absence of those totally f*cking nutso U.S. rightwingers that are *everywhere* else.

I generally don't comment over at CT anymore for that reason.



Posted by: Matt McGrattan | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 10:29 AM
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The libertarian-bashing over at CT and other leftish sites often leaves me mystified.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 10:44 AM
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absence of those totally f*cking nutso U.S. rightwingers that are *everywhere* else.

Not a complete absence. Sorry.


Posted by: Idealist | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 10:49 AM
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This may be true if you are eating the non-pesedich giant crackers that are marketed as "egg and onion Matzoh."

For what do you take me? Only the genuine article for me.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 10:49 AM
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Do Fast Show references work with this trans-Atlantic (and beyond) crowd?

Maybe no, but references to 14thC philosophical paradoxes work.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 10:57 AM
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202: I'm not sure if Matt's "nutso rightwingers" was intended to include your type, Idealist, but I agree with his sentiment, and I wouldn't include you. Rightwingers at places like ObWings (besides Seb. H. and Slarti) and CT seem to me to contribute less than you do here.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 10:57 AM
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re: 202

No offence, Idealist, but you're not really scaling the same heights of idiocy as elsewhere. :)


Posted by: Matt McGrattan | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 10:59 AM
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By nutso rightwingers I don't have in mind the run of the mill old-school conservatives that still exist in odd pockets here and there.



Posted by: Matt McGrattan | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 11:03 AM
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202:

How many times must it be explained? Neither you nor baa are f*cking nutso, U.S. rightwingers though you may be. Everywhere else wishes it had rightwingers like you.


Posted by: mealworm | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 11:12 AM
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When is pwnage like carnage?


Posted by: mealworm | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 11:13 AM
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203: I thought it more charitable to take you for a consumer of egg-and-onion matzoh than one who would, for pleasure, eat corrugated cardboard with a hint of ass.


Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 11:16 AM
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Don't let 205-208 get you down, Idealist. I still think you're a nutter.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 11:16 AM
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205-208: Hear, Hear.

Don't care how conservative or right-wing anyone's opinions, they can be distinguished in an instant from those arguing like trolls, with obvious and boring obsessions and lack of interest in facts, except as proof of pre-existing conclusions.

Orwell's Notes on Nationalism is a virtual catalogue of then-existing varieties of this sort of worthless creature.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 11:21 AM
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I have w-lfs-n's back on the matzoh question. Yummy.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 11:32 AM
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I still think you're a nutter.

Thanks, SCMT. My world-view was crumbling there for a minute.

I must admit that the use of nutter in close conjunction to a discussion of the Navy's habits on shore leave makes me vaguely concerned that you have attacked my manhood rather than my politics. Is this some slang term you kids use these days?


Posted by: Idealist | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 11:35 AM
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First Weiner doesn't think Jin Hi Kim makes for a good question's answer in Botticelli, then he doesn't know from matzoh. Bad signs all.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 11:37 AM
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Is this some slang term you kids use these days?

I think I picked it up from one of the Brits that now infest this place. I've assumed it means "nuts."

When you've left the military, do you get to keep the uniform? Might there fake sailors out there taking advantage of patriotic New Yorkers?


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 11:40 AM
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215: Weiner's clearly right. In fact, I wrote out almost precisely his comment without posting it. (I was worried that I had mispunctuated it.)


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 11:42 AM
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As if anyone whom some call "Tim" is in a position to adjudicate questions concerning matzoh.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 11:45 AM
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Most matzoh I've had could have benefited from more salt.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 11:47 AM
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Most matzoh I've had could have benefited from more salt.

You're not supposed to like it.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 11:49 AM
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w-lfs-n:

You're not seriously trying to defend your grouping of naan, tortillas, and matzoh, are you? Madman.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 11:50 AM
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I've often found matzoh to be a snack.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 11:50 AM
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I've often found matzoh under the seat cushions.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 11:52 AM
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It was hiding from you. It knew you wanted to munch it.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 12:00 PM
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Matzoh is OK flatbread, AFAIK&IMHO. But gefiltefish is perhaps the worst food I've ever tried to eat. I did it in an ecumenical spirit, but I decided that the anti-Semites may have had a point.

Kosher pickles are OK, though I far prefer vinegary pickles. I'm a discriminating anti-Semite.

Also, if Dr. B. were to make a kinky video with a father-figure in a Navy uniform, that would be transgressive as shit.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 12:11 PM
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gefiltefish is perhaps the worst food I've ever tried to eat

Not lutefisk?


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 12:13 PM
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Under the seat cushion is the first place the kids will look. And, come on, matzoh isn't that bad, but it certainly isn't good.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 12:14 PM
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Lutefisk gives gefiltefish some competition, but as always, the Jews win in the end.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 12:17 PM
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I have grown to love gefilte fish. With horseradish. Plenty of horseradish.

There are two separate schools of thought, one where the parents hide the afikoman somewhere easy for the kids to find, one where the kids hide the afikoman and the parents pretend not to find it. Although if the kids are devious fuckers like me, that may not be necessary -- I went upstairs and dropped the matzoh down the laundry chute. Nobody looked for it in the basement. I'm the John Dickson Carr of afikoman-hiders.


Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 12:17 PM
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Gefilte fish can be terrible. The mass-market stuff in jars I've tasted is poor. Often served as a fish course right after haroseth, at the beginning of the eating as opposed to ceremonial part of seders. Treated as a sort of soul food.

We make our own. But it's getting expensive: six pounds ground fish, including pike, cost me $90 two months ago.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 12:18 PM
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228: Do they win fabulous prizes?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 12:18 PM
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I'm the John Dickson Carr of afikoman-hiders.

And who, Mister Smarty-pants, spent a weekend brushing the crumbs out of your clothes? That's right, your mother. Oy, such a child.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 12:20 PM
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Mostly just world domination.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 12:21 PM
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Is the "pike" used in gefiltefish northern pike or walleyed pike (aka "pike-perch"). Because walleye is wonderful, when not made into gefiltefish.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 12:24 PM
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$20 or so, now. Not bad for a kid.

Since it's beat up on Tony Bourdain day, anybody see that buried rotten fish they gave him to eat in Iceland? Makes lutefisk sound lke food of the gods. I liked Kitchen Confidential, but I'm tired of the schtick.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 12:24 PM
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What are the good Jewish foods? Are latkes really Jewish, or are they Eastern European?


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 12:25 PM
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Where are all the women bloggers?


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 12:26 PM
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What are the good Jewish foods?

Have you never had a pastrami on rye?


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 12:27 PM
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Thanks to that Burger King commercial, they all have food issues, and don't feel comfortable commenting on this thread.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 12:27 PM
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via friends in the trade, he is really not that well respected a chef

I don't think anyone disputes that, least of all Bourdain himself.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 12:28 PM
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239 to 237.

Have you never had a pastrami on rye?
Mmm. Pastrami. Knishes and the rest, too, right?

I love delis.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 12:30 PM
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What are the good Jewish foods?

Christian baby blood is delicious.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 12:32 PM
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Where are all the women bloggers?

Ooh, there's one. Quick! Try to catch it!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 12:35 PM
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Wiki reports that it is Northern Pike, which is not at all auspicious. All the fish reported by Wiki were indigenous American fish.

Bring on the Icelandic rotted fish! There's an Eskimo dish mush like that -- 3 months brewing undergraound inside a seal carcass.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 12:36 PM
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'Postropher, we already covered matzoh.

What are the good Jewish foods? Are latkes really Jewish, or are they Eastern European?

Is there a difference? At any rate, I'm ready to lay claim to latkes, brisket, matzoh ball soup, and, as slolernr says, pastrami (or corned beef) on rye.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 12:49 PM
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Charoset.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 12:50 PM
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Are you correcting my spelling or listing a food you like?


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 12:53 PM
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Listing a food I like. I didn't see that it had previously been mentioned.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 12:56 PM
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Marmoset.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 12:59 PM
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There's a cookbook called Cucina Ebraica that has some good stuff in it.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 1:05 PM
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[Bourdain] is really not that well respected a chef

According to that NPR interview, he's not much of a chef at all these days. He said he doesn't really cook at the restaurant anymore; with his travel schedule, he's only there a day or two a month, and even then only in a sort of emeritus position.


Posted by: Matt F | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 1:06 PM
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A mixture of marmite, apples, nuts, and wine? Sounds nasty.


Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 1:07 PM
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Monkeys are often eaten; isn't one of the theories of the origin of HIV based on the practice. No idea what it really tastes like.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 1:12 PM
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Monkey brains, though popular in Cantonese cuisine, are not often to be found in Washington, D.C.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 1:21 PM
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I like the rye, I like the latkes, I like the matzoh in almost all its incarnations, but pastrami I find gross. Too salty!


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 1:29 PM
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256

Are bagels and black-and-white cookies still considered Jewish? If so, they have to make the list of deliciousness.


Posted by: JAC | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 1:36 PM
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254 reveals Becks' secret identity: Mrs. Peacock!


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 1:48 PM
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Monkeys are often eaten

This is true.

(via apo)


Posted by: Matt F | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 1:50 PM
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254: Awesome.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 1:51 PM
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Haggis.

That is all....


Posted by: Matt McGrattan | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 2:05 PM
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Haggis.

Funny, the Scots don't look Jewish.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 2:06 PM
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Also, if Dr. B. were to make a kinky video with a father-figure in a Navy uniform, that would be transgressive as shit.

Um, no.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 2:21 PM
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No you won't do it, or no it wouldn't be transgressive?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 2:36 PM
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The former. The latter, I suppose, would depend on the context.

In other news, haggis is pretty gross, but blood pudding is surprisingly good. And Jewish food, by and large, is great, although the stuff that sits on the "Jewish" shelf in the grocery store all looks nasty as hell.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 2:41 PM
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And Jewish food, by and large, is great,

Indeed. More people should eat Jewish.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 2:44 PM
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What an uncharacteristically confusing sentence, Ben. Do you mean "eat like Jews," "eat Jews," or "eat Jewish food"? Or were you trying to make some kind of cock joke?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 2:47 PM
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What matters intention?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 2:49 PM
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Excellent point! Come see me during office hours.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 2:50 PM
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Jewish food, by and large, is great

As an example, from the delicious Katz's (.pdf link). High prices for deli food, and not somewhere one would eat every day (or every week, even), but still excellent.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 2:54 PM
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What matters intention?

Don't ask that question out loud. It brings to mind the stupidest, least interesting blogfight evar. In fact, you'd all be doing yourselves a favor not to click that link.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 2:54 PM
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It does, however, prove that I'm right about oh, so many things.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 2:59 PM
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Proper haggis is lovely. I suspect people's opposition to it is founded, generally, on what it's made from rather than on how it actually tastes -- which is lovely and spicy.


Posted by: Matt McGrattan | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 3:03 PM
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All of the NY-Style/Jewish delis put way too much meat on their sandwiches for my taste. I always end up taking at least 2/3 of it off, and then I feel wasteful. Two thin slices of rye do not call for four inches of pastrami.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 3:06 PM
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Maybe the one time I tried it it was improper haggis. But it definitely had an organy taste that I don't care for.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 3:07 PM
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an organy taste that I don't care for

Are you trying out for straight-man set-up of the year?


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 3:11 PM
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First, no rice on burritos. Then, only a small amount of pastrami on sandwiches. What's wrong with you?


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 3:15 PM
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What's wrong with you?

I'm surprised Becks will eat sandwiches at all; they require two different kinds of food to touch one another.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 3:16 PM
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As opposed to that good organy taste, iykwimaityd.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 3:17 PM
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275 - Really. I at least had the sense to rewrite 273 so that it no longer said "I don't need four inches of meat".

276 - And don't forget the "no food touching", which I'll bring back up just because of how much it bothers slol.

What's wrong with you?

Where to begin...


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 3:18 PM
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Yeah, I'm having a hard time understanding Becks' "separate, but eaten" doctrine.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 3:20 PM
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Is it Katz's deli where if you share a sandwich they charge you like an extra five dollars? And their sandwiches are filled with enough meat to give even apostropher and Chopper instant heart attacks? If it's the same place, I went away feeling slightly sick to my stomach and more than a little mad at their policies.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 3:20 PM
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Pwned in 277. See? I told you that bothers slol.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 3:20 PM
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Is it Katz's deli where if you share a sandwich they charge you like an extra five dollars?

Do they send minders after you when you leave?


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 3:21 PM
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FOODS MUST TOUCH


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 3:22 PM
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FOODS MUST TOUCH

Only connect! That was the whole of her sermon....


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 3:24 PM
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276: Agree entirely.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 3:24 PM
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Of course no rice on burritos, and much love for the compartmentalized plates—but less pastrami on a reuben? This is a food quirk too far.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 3:25 PM
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It's all going to the same place after all, you know.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 3:25 PM
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287: Eh tu, Smasher?


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 3:28 PM
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Eh tu
No, that's et tu, eh?, as elucidated in Bob & Doug McKenzie's Caesar; or, Shakespeare in the Great White North.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 3:30 PM
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Haggis has never tasted organ-y to me. It tastes a bit like a rich spicy dark sausage with barley and herbs.

Maybe you didn't have a good one, or maybe it's just not a taste I've noticed.


Posted by: Matt McGrattan | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 3:30 PM
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Smasher and I are going to go have our own picnic without you all crazy people. Neener neener.

(Our previous discussion)


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 3:30 PM
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Look, it's a simple equation:

Less pastrami=less meat=BAD

No rice on burrito=more room for meat=GOOD


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 3:31 PM
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Only connect! That was the whole of her sermon....

Becks and 'Smasher have monk/beast issues.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 3:32 PM
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Becks and 'Smasher have monk/beast issues.

On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, I might hazard an argument that this entire blog amounts to an exhibit of monk / beast issues.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 3:34 PM
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Would 'Smasher-Becks children simply have more elaborate rules about eating, or would they just refuse to eat entirely?


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 3:34 PM
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Foods may only touch once a year, during the week after Thanksgiving, in the form of the Thanksgiving sandwich. A-MEN.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 3:35 PM
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297 - There are a few other minor exceptions, but not many. Immediately coming to mind: coleslaw may be put on a pulled-pork sandwich and egg yolks may be broken atop pancakes.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 3:39 PM
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On Tuesdays I might admit to playing pot-kettle with the monk/beast.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 3:40 PM
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Egg yolks on top of pancakes? Meaning, like, pancakes used as sponges for sunny-side up eggs? Ick.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 3:41 PM
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What about synthetic foods like Reece's Peanutbutter Cups? Or Neopolitan ice cream?


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 3:41 PM
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I remember that discussion very well, thank you. Disturbing.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 3:42 PM
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Sigh. I really wish someone would make those links Safari-compatible. How much would I have to donate to bribe y'all into doing that?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 3:44 PM
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like, pancakes used as sponges for sunny-side up eggs

Yum.

301 - See.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 3:44 PM
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304: But it would make the pancakes all soggy and mushy. Like bread soaked in milk. ::shudder::


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 3:46 PM
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The link in 304 gets it precisely right. And I endorse 298 with the substitution of biscuits for pancakes (i.e., eggs benedict).


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 3:47 PM
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Now, what's really good for breakfast--and Chopper will confirm this--is pouring maple syrup over your bacon.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 3:47 PM
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Does this work, B? It should go to comment 65.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 3:47 PM
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Eggs benedict uses English muffins, not biscuits.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 3:49 PM
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308: It does! How'd you do that?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 3:50 PM
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I can support 307's biscuit conditional.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 3:50 PM
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It's the post-redirect URL I got from clicking on "link to this comment" for the comment I linked instead of right clicking.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 3:54 PM
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Huh, that's interesting. You hear that everyone? That's how you have to do comment links from here on out.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 3:56 PM
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309: You're right. I meant eggs confederate.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 3:59 PM
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That's how you have to do comment links from here on out.

Pending Ben's approval. I can see him not liking that because it bypasses the mt-comments.cgi redirects he set up, possibly complicating future server changes.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 4:00 PM
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Hey, Ben has a naked picture of me. He owes me.

(And I was kidding about bossing people how to code comments, really.)


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 4:02 PM
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Ben should take some lessons in hardball from our host: "B, while I would like to continue to support your requests at the level of a tit shot, I am afraid they are requiring more of my resources than our other users. If you wish to continue our service relationship, you will need to upgrade to full-frontal."


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 4:47 PM
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Hey, now, Becks, what makes you think he needs your advice?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 4:49 PM
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B's boobies have cause technical problems before.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 4:52 PM
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Yeah, I suspect he'd be able to come up with that one on his own.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 4:52 PM
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Plus, if I upgrade, I'll expect more and better services.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 4:57 PM
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I'm sure Ben is willing to service you for the right price, B.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 4:58 PM
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Yes, but what kind of service? Because I expect a full range of options. What would it cost to get my own dedicated server?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 5:02 PM
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He'll need root access.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 5:05 PM
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l337 hum0r!


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 5:08 PM
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I'm extremely dedicated.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 5:18 PM
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Hm, Becks. What are you getting in order to do his marketing for him? Can you give me any information on his customer service record?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 5:19 PM
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Apo, maybe you and Ben can submit competing bids.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 5:23 PM
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The two post titles duking it out in latest comments are melding. Chew on this spongy mackerel.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 5:28 PM
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The link that should have appeared in 269.

It would be impossible for them to have the policy JM mentions in 281 in their counter-service business, since there they just write the price of your item on ticket which you pay on the way out the door. Such a policy could exist in table service, having never used it I'm not sure how it works.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 5:36 PM
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The thread has moved on a bit, but here are some more Jewish foods that are good: kugel, kasha varnishkes, tzimmes, borsht, hamantashen. I agree that the amount of meat some delis put on sandwiches is ridiculous, but they are still (in my experience) damn good sandwiches. And I don't even like sandwiches.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 5:47 PM
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less pastrami on a reuben?

We're not talking about reubens, gentile.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 5:49 PM
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Borscht, in my mind at least, is more Russian than Jewish.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 5:51 PM
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No one's even mentioned knishes, I don't think. Or blintzes. Mmmm.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 5:52 PM
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Tell me this isn't excessive.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 5:54 PM
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And pierogie, while more Polish than Jewish, best them all.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 5:55 PM
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I think someone mentioned knishes somewhere above. I don't think anyone mentioned blintzes, but I'm not as fond of them. And borsht is a traditional food of both the Jews and Gentiles of the Russian Empire.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 5:56 PM
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Dude, blintzes are the best! What's not to like?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 5:57 PM
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Becks, how 'bout we have lunch and order sandwiches? The you won't have to worry about being wasteful, IYKWIM.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 5:58 PM
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IYKWIM

And I think I don't. What are you planning on doing with all that extra meat, eb?


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 6:00 PM
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What's not to like?

I'm not saying they're bad. I haven't actually had very many; I don't really recall how they tasted, but they weren't impressive enough to put on a list of good Jewish foods.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 6:01 PM
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You're just wrong.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 6:02 PM
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And objectively anti-sandwich.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 6:04 PM
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I don't even like sandwiches

So you're a communist, then.


Posted by: silvana | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 6:06 PM
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343 gets it exactly right.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 6:06 PM
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Like I said, you won't have to worry about it. I'll find a special place for it right next to my heart.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 6:07 PM
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344, not so much. All the communists in my family loved sandwiches.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 6:07 PM
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Damn, y'all are making me want a reuben now. Or maybe corned beef on rye.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 6:10 PM
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A lot of foods created by impoverished immigrants are noted for their extreme generosity. To have too much meat on your sandwich is a sign of success, to have naans the size of your torso is a sign of success, to have ungodly portions of all-you-can-eat congee is a sign of success.

Maybe this is a corrollary to the original post about masculinity and food. Eating a lot is a sign, first, of success/manliness/virility, but then, second, of paranoia about success/manliness/virility. Upper-class people, then, in order not to seem too desperate, go to restaurants with teeny tiny portions as if to say, "I know I will never starve, no matter how little and dainty my food is."


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 6:13 PM
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Here you go, B.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 6:16 PM
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I have no idea who that is, but he is quite a cutie pie....


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 6:17 PM
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351, I don't even have a TV and I know who that is.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 6:18 PM
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352: So tell me already.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 6:19 PM
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Ruben Studdard, winner of the American Idol thing a couple of years ago. He put out a shitty album, and everyone ran to his runner-up, Clay Aiken, for comfort and affection. When it turned out Clay was homosexual, his fans sued him for false advertising.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 6:24 PM
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Oh, right, the AI guy.

Did Clay Aiken really get sued? Wow.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 6:25 PM
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B wants a studdard on rye.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 6:26 PM
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B, if you would read my blog...


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 6:27 PM
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I didn't say I want him. I said he's a cutie. But I bet he's probably under 30.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 6:28 PM
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He's 27. He has an album due out this summer called Return of the Velvet Teddy Bear.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 6:30 PM
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I make a point of skipping all the American Idol posts.

(Actually I went and spent 45 minutes the other day watching Taylor Hicks videos on their site just because you'd talked him up so much. That's 45 minutes of my life I'll never get back, you know.)


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 6:30 PM
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I still don't understand the appeal of American Idol. But then I'm a godless communist.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 6:33 PM
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He also apparently spells his name "Ruben."


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 6:34 PM
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I still don't understand the appeal of American Idol.

And yet, you're up to date on the biographical and career details of former winners. Uh-huh, I believe you, Apo.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 6:35 PM
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My boyfriend went through a Clay Aiken phase, which, luckily, ended just before we met. I've found evidence in the CD collection, tucked between legitimate interests Blind Blake and the Talking Heads.

"What the fuck is this?" I ask.
"Something," he responds peacefully, "from before I knew you."


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 6:35 PM
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And yet, you're up to date

Wikipedia is my friend, B.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 6:40 PM
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"Where was the Reuben sandwich invented and first served?"

Reuben's was a landmark Manhattan delicatessen, first established around 1908. It occupied several locations before moving to East 58th Street in 1935, where it stayed for the next thirty years. Arnold Reuben's daughter describes a Reuben Special sandwich created in 1914 to feed Annette Seelos, Charlie Chaplin's hungry leading lady. The Special featured meat, cheese, cole slaw, and russian dressing on buttered toasted rye.
Folks in Omaha advocate a different genealogy. They claim that a wholesale grocer named Reuben Kulakofsky created the sandwich at Omaha's Blackstone Hotel back in 1925 (1922 in some versions), to feed players in a late-night poker game. It was such a hit that the hotel owner put it on the menu and named it in Reuben K.'s honor.
Years later, in 1956, Fern Snider, a waitress at the Blackstone, entered the recipe in a national sandwich competition and won. Documentation for some of these events does exist, including a 1937 menu from the Cornhusker Hotel in Lincoln, Nebraska, describing the Reuben as we know it today: corn beef, sauerkraut, and swiss cheese on russian rye with a special dressing.
"I suspect the real history of the Reuben sandwich has yet to be written," concludes dictionary editor Jim Rader, and we suspect he's right. Cruising the Web for reubenesque recipes and references did not lead us to any new conclusions.

Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 6:40 PM
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365: A likely story.

My boyfriend went through a Clay Aiken phase. Um, like, wow.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 6:42 PM
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My boyfriend went through a Clay Aiken phase.

Nice euphemism.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 6:45 PM
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But then I'm a godless communist.

Would you like a sandwich?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 6:51 PM
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Salami tactics.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 6:56 PM
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Mmm. Fleet week. Perhaps the drunkest I've ever been in my life was chatting up sailors with my previously mentioned buddy Scrabble Girl in the Bleeker St. Bar, Fleet Week 1995. The bartender was buying our drinks about every other round, I think out of some miscolor guided sense of patriotism.

The odd thing about the evening is that the next morning, my hair was in a ponytail held back by an elastic of an unfamiliar color, not mine, not hers -- couldn't have come from one of the sailors I was talking to, given their hairstyles... Some things I'll simply never know.

(And then of course there was the weekend in Samoa where some large US Naval vessel docked, depositing 500 sailors in the capital, where they found that all the women were either (1) chaste, and had their chastity enforced by violent male relatives or (2) men in drag. I and the other Peace Corps Volunteers went out dancing with the sailors in a spirit of pure charity, but given that there were only about ten of us, the overall effect was still of every bar in town being filled with men staring around at their shipmates and feeling cheated.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 7:28 PM
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miscolor guided

I have absolutely no idea what I was thinking here -- 'misguided' obviously, but where the word 'color' came from, I don't know.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 7:37 PM
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372: Perhaps you were thinking ahead to the color of your elastic hair-tie.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 7:53 PM
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Must be -- to the extent the story has a punchline, that's it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 7:57 PM
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So it's settled. B will send me a nude full-frontal picture of herself and then I'll root her.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 8:19 PM
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I dunno, Apo hasn't sent his bid in yet. Plus I see no mention of the necessary Safari-compliant linking strategy.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 8:24 PM
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Actually Apo did submit his bid, but it was too small to notice.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 8:40 PM
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I've found evidence in the CD collection, tucked between legitimate interests Blind Blake and the Talking Heads.
I deduce that at least one of the following four claims is true:

a)your bofriend has very few CDs;
b)your boyfriend's CDs are not randomly distributed by first letter of title;
c)your boyfriend does not alphabetize his CDs
d)your boyfriend has bizarrely filed the Talking Heads under "By" for the last name of the lead singer and person primarily in charge of the band's artistic direction

a) is probably false, while a collection can surely have very few items, one's instict is usually not to call a grouping of very few itemsm, unless the items themselves are very rare; cf. "diamond collection", a collection.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 9:00 PM
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What do you think of peoples' "instict"s relating to COMMA SPLICES, BITCH?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 9:13 PM
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371: I bet those guys **really** hated Margaret Mead after that.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 9:14 PM
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Apo hasn't sent his bid in yet

I don't do competitive bidding. I'm on a mission from God.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 9:16 PM
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380: Not more than the Samoans did.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 9:18 PM
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383

That comment does appear to contain multiple spelling and punctuation errors. However, appearances can be deceiving. In this case though, they're reliable.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 9:22 PM
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Well, fuck that mission from God shit. Everyone knows what Jake did to Carrie Fisher.

So, Ben, what about the Safari link, hm? What's your customer service record like?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 9:24 PM
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What's your customer service record like?

I service all my customers to their complete satisfaction.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 9:28 PM
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Hm, that's a pretty sweeping promise. One full frontal nudie pic for "complete satisfaction"? Who could possibly say no?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 9:34 PM
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B is pseudonymous, so Ben may end up with a picture of just anyone. There should be some authentication.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 10:25 PM
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Ben's met me, he knows what I look like.

From the neck up.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 10:29 PM
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If this is an implication that the other picture of you I have was actually not of you, I'd like a replacement, please.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 10:40 PM
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I suggest an objective authentication committee of gay men -- who presumably are immune to B's wiles.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 11:00 PM
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But Ben, dear, what matters intent? The author is dead. If you believe it's a picture of me, then it's a picture of me, n'est-ce pas?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 11:22 PM
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But B, that only works in a closed system. I no longer believe it's a picture of you, because of John Emerson's words and your own. New shit has come to light, you see. After all, one would be irrational to continue to believe that it isn't raining in the midst of a downpour, just because at the time one formed the belief it was in fact not raining. Similarly, I would be irrational not to ask for more pictures of your nude self.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 11:26 PM
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an objective authentication committee of gay men

I can vouch for McManlyPants. And I'm gay where it counts.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 11:31 PM
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It's irrational for you to think that it's not me, just because John hasn't seen it and I've pointed out that while you've met my face, you have not actually met my breasts live and in person. These are facts that were already known to you; there is no new shit.

Anyway, you said a full frontal. Once I find the cable to my camera, you'll find out whether or not I can be trusted.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 11:35 PM
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The proof is in the pudding trolley.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-30-06 11:45 PM
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Or rather: The proof of the pudding trolley is in the suckling.


Posted by: The Modesto Kid | Link to this comment | 05-31-06 6:18 AM
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378: I eagerly await an explanation for the possibility of anything but (c), given that Clay Aiken's last name begins with "A." (OK: AWB's boyfriend alphabetizes by first name; AWB's boyfriend buys CDs printed in non-Roman alphabets.)


Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 05-31-06 7:00 AM
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A solution: when B sends the new pic to Ben, he can send them both to me so I can check the image metadata--if both pictures were taken with the same camera, that would indicate that they are both of B.

Trust restored! Happiness all around!


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 05-31-06 7:04 AM
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It would work fine if he alphabetized by first name of principle artist: Arthur Blake, Clay Aiken, David Byrne. Presumably he eschews the electric sound of Bob Dylan as insufficiently authentic


Posted by: The Modesto Kid | Link to this comment | 05-31-06 7:06 AM
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that would indicate that they are both of B

It might equally indicate that they were both of Something Else.


Posted by: The Modesto Kid | Link to this comment | 05-31-06 7:08 AM
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It might equally indicate that they were both of Something Else.

Sure, if we thought that B were willing to track down multiple pictures of the same person taken using the same camera, and track them down at separate times months apart. I'm not saying that it's a 100% solution, but good enough for me to get nekkid pictures the PITA factor to be high enough that we judge B unlikely to go to the effort is good enough.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 05-31-06 7:53 AM
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401 -- Well my point (and is it too late to shout "400!"?) was more that B might be getting eldritch assistance in her photoshopping endeavors -- note the capitalization.


Posted by: The Modesto Kid | Link to this comment | 05-31-06 7:58 AM
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I! Shub-Niggurath! As a foulness shall ye know Them.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 05-31-06 10:40 AM
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B is a technical whiz and could probably doctor the metadata anyway.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 05-31-06 10:42 AM
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You could have her hold a sign that says "apostropher was here".


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-31-06 10:56 AM
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if both pictures were taken with the same camera, that would indicate that they are both of B.

In fact, my old camera crapped out, and I am now using a different one. Nice try.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-31-06 10:57 AM
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There you go, Ben--she's sending you fakes.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 05-31-06 11:03 AM
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B's titties are fakes?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-31-06 11:04 AM
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No woman who knows as much as I do about bras could possibly have fake tits. There's a lifetime of experience in my encyclopedic bra database, I'll have you know.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-31-06 11:11 AM
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Chew on this, indeed.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-31-06 11:16 AM
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Rather than with the idea that, say, we ought to prefer not to be weak.

I was thinking about this last night, and I've been meaning to comment that I think there is more of a problem than one might think with preferring not to be weak. Giving in to, or even expressing, one's emotions is constructed as weak for men (I think this has changed a lot in maybe the past 30 years, but it still persists). Eating spicy food, or other kinds of risk taking behavior that may be unenjoyable, unconstructive, and even dangerous, is constructed as strong. Not all the kinds of strength that get coded as masculine are valuable, and many of them needed to be moderated with the ability to be "weak" when appropriate.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 05-31-06 9:00 PM
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Re 102 and 114 etc.

And here's a link to an amusing little ad. Probably I'm reading too much in to it. but I like the cannibalism aspect.

I've never seen the "you poke it/you own it" beer commercial. But sure, that would qualify as sexist. Though possibly amusing.

As far as the other comment, it's possible but unlikely that I'm stupid, insensitive, and have yet to see a television set not stacked upon another (television sets all the way down...). But I notice that you only referenced what must have been an extremely short-lived beer commercial, and a Milky Way commercial that, while exceedingly odd and a little creepy, doesn't really seem sexist either. So it seems that I wasn't the only one having difficulty thinking of sexist commercials.

;) Nice to know that we stupid and insensitive folk aren't alone on here.

More seriously, there's a line in Melville about the tendency of an obsessive ("monomaniac" in his words) to color the world with his obsession, and find portentious signs of it even in the smallest trifles. I'm not saying that anyone here is an obsessive, but it's striking how the language and micro-culture in which we work can sometimes exert an undue and unbalanced pressure upon our otherwise balanced and sensitive perceptions.


Posted by: Andrew | Link to this comment | 05-31-06 10:43 PM
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portentous


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 05-31-06 10:48 PM
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whatever


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-31-06 10:49 PM
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If you don't think the Milky Way ad was sexist (wouldn't it be comforting if you could purchase and consume women, who wouldn't be able to reject you?), then, like B., I'm not sure what you're limiting sexism to.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-31-06 10:50 PM
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No, no, LB. The point is that the Milky Way ad is sexist, and the beer ad is sexist--but funny, ha ha!--and that those are the only two sexist commercials, like, evah! and really, little girls, you'd be much happier if you just stopped looking for things to be offended by all the time.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-31-06 10:52 PM
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Another sexist television commercial.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 05-31-06 10:58 PM
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It's comforting to know that in these uncertain times, we can at least count on Andrew to make the case for insouciance.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 05-31-06 11:01 PM
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417: OMG. There's more?


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-31-06 11:03 PM
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and another


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 05-31-06 11:06 PM
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I could scarcely believe it myself, eb. I had to scour the four corners of the earth.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 05-31-06 11:07 PM
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Tia, you'd be a much happier person if you'd stop scouring the earth. Plus, isn't scouring something women don't like to do?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-31-06 11:30 PM
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Scouring gives women an orgasm; which orgasm, paradoxically, does not exist! This is why you only see women scrubbing ecstatically in TV commercials. If they tried it in real life, logic would explode.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 05-31-06 11:39 PM
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397: Perhaps he does alphabetize by last name but either attempted to hide his shame of the Aiken CD by purposefully mis-filing it OR simply made some form of mistake in his organization.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 05-31-06 11:58 PM
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423: Wait, you're saying that if I will only scour, I can explode the hegemonic patriarchy of masculinist logic? Oh, the irony....


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06- 1-06 12:01 AM
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portentous

Portenthouse.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 06- 1-06 1:53 AM
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Wait, you're saying that if I will only scour, I can explode the hegemonic patriarchy of masculinist logic?

Of logic itself. And so the world.

Scour ? n0rgasm! ? modus AIEEEEEE ? void


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 06- 1-06 2:24 AM
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I realized Andrew was doing us a favor. He saw that the thread was already above 400 comments and he wanted to help us make it the longest thread evar by asking, "Where are all the sexist TV commercials?"


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 06- 1-06 7:23 AM
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Apparently in Europe.


Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 06- 1-06 7:41 AM
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The lady we see
when we're watching TV—
The lady who smiles
as she scours
or scrubs
or rubs
or washes
or wipes
or mops
or dusts
or cleans
or whatever she does
on our TV screens—
that lady is smiling
because she's an actress.
And she's earning money
for learning those speeches
that mention those wonderful
soaps
and detergents
and cleansers
and cleaners
and powders
and pastes
and waxes
and bleaches....

Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 06- 1-06 8:00 AM
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412: As I said, it's possible that you are not stupid or ignorant, but merely intellectually dishonest.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 06- 1-06 8:02 AM
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You guys are all missing the point. The point is, the British public is a complete embarrassment to the human race.


Posted by: Joe Drymala | Link to this comment | 06- 1-06 8:54 AM
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What is it with the Stone Roses? After this I listened to their album and not only did I not think it was the best album ever, I couldn't understand how anyone would think it was the best album ever. Not that it was bad, I quite liked the middle three tracks, but how could it possibly be the best album ever?

While researching this post (i.e. accidentally googling "Stone Roses" here instead of at my site) I found this, which is kind of funny, in that Ogged (HBUH) is pretending to like music.


Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 06- 1-06 9:03 AM
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Wait, Weiner...you looked at that list, zeroed in on the Stone Roses, breezing right by the number one slot occupied by fucking Oasis?


Posted by: Joe Drymala | Link to this comment | 06- 1-06 9:16 AM
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OTOH, look at #9. Maybe Oasis is better than you think, Joe. Have you listened, I mean really listened?


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 06- 1-06 9:18 AM
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The Stone Roses are a long-standing puzzlement. And anyway, "How could anyone think this is the greatest album ever?" is not the same as "This sucks." I can imagine someone thinking Forrest Gump was the best movie of its year, Dodgeball not so much, even though Dodgeball was good and Gump GRAARH WEINER SMASH.


Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 06- 1-06 9:25 AM
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430 just almost threw me into a deep and dark depression because I couldn't remember where it was from but knew it was something important to my childhood. But now I know, and everything is ok.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 06- 1-06 9:36 AM
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I'd trade my bat and ball and glove to have a doll that I could love.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 06- 1-06 9:36 AM
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Tia, the dolls you can love are awfully damn expensive. You may have to up your bid.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 1-06 9:43 AM
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But apo, my bat, my ball, and my glove? That's all I have.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 06- 1-06 9:47 AM
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The key thing is the Stone Roses album is associated in the mind of a particular section of the British public with the 'second summer of love'. That is, the period somewhere between 1987 and 1990 -- I always forget which summer was the 'official' 2nd summer of love -- when everyone rediscovered the joys of slacking off in the sunshine, copious drug taking [especially ecstasy which was newly widespread], dancing and flared trousers. It's also the period when dance music and indie/rock music were crossing over a lot and there was a lot of cross-fertilisation between different scenes. For a lot of 30 something Brits those years are looked back on with quite a lot of nostalgia. The Stone Roses need to be looked on in that light.

That first album was also pretty different to a lot of the stuff being made immediately before so a lot of people associate it, I suspect, with outgrowing teen pop music and discovering more 'adult' music in general.

Also, most of the key people in the British music press are probably around the right age to have been in their mid to late teens when that album came out so it has a certain demographic advantage.


Posted by: Matt McGrattan | Link to this comment | 06- 1-06 10:34 AM
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1988.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 06- 1-06 11:59 AM
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knew it was something important to my childhood

We are all, secretly, hippie-children.

(Note, that's not "hippy" children.)


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 06- 1-06 5:33 PM
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Portentous. Damn it. Well, after a 12+ hour day you might be misspelling a few words too.

Tia, I'm familiar with the two commercials you referenced (the Gilligan's Island pie-throwing ad, and the Paris Hilton/hamburger ad). They depict pretty women doing what many men would find erotic; I don't think that by itself that makes the ads sexist though. I can appreciate a "performance" for various qualities, including eroticism. That doesn't mean that the performers themselves, much less the entire gender of the performers, are reduced to erotic objects. And yes, I've read/suffered-through MacKinnon and others.

LB, to my eyes the Milky Way commercial was equating the comfort of a Milky Way bar with that provided by a sincerely warm and attractive woman. The man in the ad wasn't saddened by the fact that his date had an opinion, or was intelligent, or was independent; he was saddened because he was rejected. I didn't get the sense that the ad was promoting prostitution. You'd think that the marketing people would catch something like that.

Mcmc, I'm being entirely honest. ;) Please use this clear opening to make another snarky comment.


Posted by: Andrew | Link to this comment | 06- 1-06 8:46 PM
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The point isn't what he was saddened by, it was what he was comforted by: a tiny little commodified woman who would be nice to him before he ate her. If you can't see that as sexist, there's no point in talking to you about this -- not that you're a bad person, but that your perception of what things mean is so far away from mine that there's no potential for communication across the gaps.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 1-06 8:53 PM
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Further, the woman was spoke heavily accented English, which is shorthand for unchallenging, and, in conjunction for large breasts, foolish and easy. If you rack your brains and can't think of an example of this, Andrew, I offer American Pie.

And you obviously don't know what objectification is. There is no sense of the subjective experiences of either performer or character in either of those ads; that's what it means to objectify someone. And in conjunction with a larger culture that treats women as ciphers whose job it is to perform for men, the ads are sexist: they're cheerfully maintaining the status quo.

I'm willing to go further than LizardBreath. When you're a member of a priveleged class and you manage to whistle through your culture choosing not to see the way your privelege is upheld, that's a bad personal quality.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 06- 1-06 9:21 PM
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And also, you can object to ads like that without being a MacKinnon-like opponent of all porn under all circumstances. However, it is an extremely entitled position to argue that it is fine and dandy for the world to be a porn flick, and hooray for Burger King for providing the erotic satisfaction "many men" demand.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 06- 1-06 9:37 PM
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When you're a member of a priveleged class and you manage to whistle through your culture choosing not to see the way your privelege is upheld, that's a bad personal quality.

I'm also really put off by the tone of indifference/dismissiveness when people are really going out of their way to explain something you claim not to be able to see. It really seems unkind, arrogant even, to shrug and smile when reasonable people are making an earnest effort to explain why something bothers them, and to dismiss their work by saying, in effect, "eh, that's not the way I see it." I'm getting the sense from your comments that you're not even trying to see what LB and Tia are pointing out. If you honestly don't care, then why bother engaging at all? Just to say other people are wrong? Just to be amused by their attempts to discuss something? Do you really think that the fact that most people in this thread (and all of the women) seem to see something very clearly, something that's apparently invisible to you, is something that you should so casually dismiss?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06- 1-06 9:51 PM
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equating the comfort of a Milky Way bar with that provided by a sincerely warm and attractive woman

This is, truly, a masterwork. Every word builds so perfectly on the last. That "sincerely"—oh, my God.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 06- 1-06 10:16 PM
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I too am challenging. Leave the buffet of manliness alone. Hee hee hee.


Posted by: sincerely warm and attractive Milky Way bar | Link to this comment | 06- 1-06 10:21 PM
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The comfort provided by a woman. Andrew, engage the fucking noggin.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 06- 1-06 10:22 PM
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SB, the elegant understatement of your comments in this thread might just cause the world to end. You've been warned.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06- 1-06 10:26 PM
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Mcmc, I'm being entirely honest. ;) Please use this clear opening to make another snarky comment.

I'm not being snarky, I'm accusing you of arguing in bad faith. Although this couple of sentences: I didn't get the sense that the ad was promoting prostitution. You'd think that the marketing people would catch something like that... inclines me consider the possibility that you are in fact from some alternate universe.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 06- 1-06 10:28 PM
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it was what he was comforted by: a tiny little commodified woman who would be nice to him before he ate her. If you can't see that as sexist, there's no point in talking to you about this -- not that you're a bad person, but that your perception of what things mean is so far away from mine that there's no potential for communication across the gaps.

You and I just differ in our interpretation LB. If I saw the ad as you described it above, I would wholeheartedly agree with you. But I don't view the woman as commodified, which would imply that she's simply a product that can be bought, sold, and used. Far from it: the man derives comfort because she seems very warm and humane. The message is: had a hard day? A Milky-Way bar can be as comforting as a mother-figure.

And gaps or no gaps, I think we're doing a good job communicating with each other.

Tia, There is no sense of the subjective experiences of either performer or character in either of those ads; that's what it means to objectify someone.

Actually, in the Paris Hilton ad one has the sense that the actress is aroused, interested, purposefully seductive, etc.. There is in fact a mental component, and an essential one, to the performance.

But aside from that, your definition of objectification is too broad imho. Do we have any sense of the subjective experiences of a figure-skater or gymnast? Of the ballerina? I don't think so. We appreciate the performers in those cases for the sheer physical acts, and the aesthetic thereof, that they accomplish. But we wouldn't say that figure-skating, gymnastics, or ballet objectifies the performers, would we?

I think that to objectify women, a performance must communicate that women are ONLY object-X, e.g. objects of sexual desire. In other words, the performance must imply that the class of people associated with the performer either have no subjective experience, or have no worthy subjective experience.

And in conjunction with a larger culture that treats women as ciphers whose job it is to perform for men, the ads are sexist: they're cheerfully maintaining the status quo.

I think that in recent history our culture did so. I'm less willing to quickly believe that such treatment is the dominant mode towards women today. More women graduate colleges, and enter graduate schools, than men; women marry much later today than they did in earlier years, which certainly signals a greater measure of, and valuing of, independence; in the military's officer training programs, women train side-by-side with the men. And so on.

In my workplace, and I'd imagine in LB's workplace, and in the workplaces of a very large and very dominant sector of our culture, it would be considered deeply offensive and ignorant to treat a woman as a cipher whose only job is to please men.

Individuals and aspects of our culture still are sexist, of course. But we were only talking about commercials.

When you're a member of a priveleged class and you manage to whistle through your culture choosing not to see the way your privelege is upheld, that's a bad personal quality.

Someone who chooses not to see how their priviledge is upheld isn't really whistling through anything; s/he does see, but just prefers not to think about it in order to avoid the dissonance such a realization would produce with those ethical principles that s/he also feels responsible towards.

I don't think I do that, though I'm certainly as capable of being ignorant as anyone; and I welcome an opportunity to correct it. Neither would I say that either my gender or my race is responsible for where I am today, though. I'm conscious of many of life's unfairnesses, whether they be genetic or social, or for that matter meteorological. I'm sure there are some that I'm not conscious of.

That we disagree about whether certain commercials are sexist, however, is a pretty slim basis for asserting I whistle through anything.

it is an extremely entitled position to argue that it is fine and dandy for the world to be a porn flick, and hooray for Burger King for providing the erotic satisfaction "many men" demand.

Doesn't the fact that we're having this discussion at all give you some pause about your analysis?

Off to sleep. Look, this is a charged subject and I'm truly not a sexist in any way, nor ignorant nor unappreciative of the various undeserved obstacles that society places in front of certain groups. But here I think we're simply exploring different perceptions and interpretations of certain phenomena. At bottom the question is really empirical: Does commercial X cause sexist beliefs/attitudes to be strengthened in a majority of the population?

Imho, what we're doing, clever jabs at my intellectual dishonesty and oblivious priviledge aside, is simply exploring different interpretations of certain works, and perhaps different facets of possible reactions to certain works.


Posted by: Andrew | Link to this comment | 06- 1-06 10:30 PM
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455

okay. snarky. can't stop.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 06- 1-06 10:30 PM
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456

No, we're listening to you being a self-indulgent asshole.

And gaps or no gaps, I think we're doing a good job communicating with each other.

Nope. You are either, as mcmc speculates, arguing in bad faith, or from another planet. In any case, you are both offensive and dull.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 1-06 10:32 PM
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449-51: SB -- have I told you lately how very fond of you I am?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 1-06 10:36 PM
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I'm so very, very tired.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06- 1-06 10:38 PM
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Thanks B, LB. (450 wasn't me, though.)


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 06- 1-06 10:42 PM
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It's vain to say it now, but 450 was me.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 06- 1-06 10:44 PM
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'Twas a very nice duet, you two.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06- 1-06 10:51 PM
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May we please not use the word "works" to term commercials? I haven't followed this thread so closely but I'm fairly certain that the defenses of these ads do not constitute an interpretive act, whether successful or not.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 06- 1-06 10:53 PM
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Do you have an argument for why commercials couldn't have artistic merit, or are you just a reflexive snob trying desperately to maintain some kind of "high culture" legitimacy?

HUH?????


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 06- 1-06 10:54 PM
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Cue ben w-lfs-n, right on schedule to prove yet again that he is teh sexiest. Predictable.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 06- 1-06 10:58 PM
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I don't know about you people, but I'm feeling turned on by the Armsmasher-w-lfs-n smackdown. And do you know what I, like all women with normal emotional and physiological processes, do when I'm aroused?

*bites into a large hamburger*

Mmmfghggh.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 06- 1-06 11:12 PM
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Maybe I don't have to give in to despair after all.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06- 1-06 11:20 PM
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And do you know what I, like all women with normal emotional and physiological processes, do when I'm aroused?

Once you finish chewing on that hamburger, could you please finish your thought?

This is a subject of great mystery to me.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 06- 1-06 11:41 PM
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Never been around a normal aroused woman, M/lls?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 06- 1-06 11:45 PM
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Never been around a normal aroused woman, M/lls?

Do you count?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 06- 1-06 11:50 PM
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Not habitually, but sometimes if I want to know how many of something there is, sure.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 06- 1-06 11:55 PM
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I'm just glad B and LB appreciated my comment instead of treating me like a piece of meat.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 06- 1-06 11:56 PM
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Not habitually, but sometimes if I want to know how many of something there is, sure.

Well, how many of something is there?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 06- 2-06 12:03 AM
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Girls don't like meat.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06- 2-06 12:13 AM
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I'm no Lean Cuisine, either.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 06- 2-06 12:17 AM
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Girls don't *like* lean cuisine, either. It's vile.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06- 2-06 12:38 AM
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Good thing I'm not that, then. And while I'm at it, here's another thing I'm not: a light switch.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 06- 2-06 12:43 AM
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Are you a porcupine?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 06- 2-06 12:51 AM
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I could go for a big Texas burger right now.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 06- 2-06 8:12 AM
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It really seems unkind, arrogant even, to shrug and smile when reasonable people are making an earnest effort to explain why something bothers them, and to dismiss their work by saying, in effect, "eh, that's not the way I see it." I'm getting the sense from your comments that you're not even trying to see what LB and Tia are pointing out.

I've been nothing but polite and respectful B. I understand how the commercials can be interpreted the way that others have on this thread, but *imho* I don't think that interpretation is the most obvious, nor one that the public generally is likely to adopt. We simply disagree. All I've done is state my reasons for disagreeing in a constructive and clear fashion.

Those who suggest I can't possibly believe what I'm writing, and end with either sarcasm or ad hominem, are the ones refusing to see the other side of the argument.

See e.g.,

No, we're listening to you being a self-indulgent asshole.

and

You are either, as mcmc speculates, arguing in bad faith, or from another planet. In any case, you are both offensive and dull.

But inconveniently I'm none of those things LB, which should at least lead you to consider the other side of the argument. I understand your view and reading of the commercials; my own differs. If you can't discuss this without being blinded by your own knee-jerk reactions, perhaps we should just drop it.

We're also discussing commercials, for Pete's sake, not feminism or sexism generally. But even if we were,

A very popular error: having the courage of one's convictions; rather it is a matter of having the courage for an attack on one's convictions.


Posted by: Andrew | Link to this comment | 06- 3-06 10:17 AM
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I missed most of this, and I'm more sympathetic with the non-Andrew people here, but let me try and address one of the things you said in what I hope is the manner you're looking for.

In 454 you said:

A Milky-Way bar can be as comforting as a mother-figure.

Do you think it's in fact accurate to describe that woman as a mother-figure? When I think of mother figures in advertising, I think of the football players' mothers in the Campbell's Chunky Soup commercials. The woman in that commercial seems to be younger than the man. So I think it's not that the man derives comfort simply because the woman seems "warm and humane" (granting that for the moment), but because she also is sexually appealing.

And, and perhaps this a bit more of a subjective reaction, I really don't think that the ad could have been run with an actual mother-figure (think "Kurt Warner's mother" offering words of consolation)? I can imagine the mother appearing and being motherly, but I just can't imagine the man proceeding to bite off the end of the candy bar.


Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 06- 3-06 10:42 AM
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I think that to objectify women, a performance must communicate that women are ONLY object-X, e.g. objects of sexual desire.

We're also discussing commercials, for Pete's sake, not feminism or sexism generally.

Andrew, this is not an either/or kind of blog. The world doesn't divide so neatly into little bins.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 06- 3-06 10:49 AM
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rather it is a matter of having the courage for an attack on one's convictions.

Indeed, many are called, but few are chosen, to defend male privilege on the internets.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 06- 3-06 10:55 AM
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So I think it's not that the man derives comfort simply because the woman seems "warm and humane" (granting that for the moment), but because she also is sexually appealing.

Yeah, I agree with you. Warm+caring plus sexually-appealing.

But in this case I think the sexual appeal of the woman functions as a component of comforting the man. Sentiments of compliment, condolence, and admiration from a sexually appealing woman, post rejection by a woman one desired, could be received as far more comforting and uplifting than similar sentiments from a woman one considered not sexually appealing.

But for the interpretation that commercial is sexist to work, IMHO, one would either have to read the woman as commodified and a proxy for women generally, or read the commercial as imparting the message that the sole and/or primary value of women lies in their ability to comfort men.

I don't think the commercial would work if the woman was truly commodified, as she simply wouldn't be comforting nor ego-restoring to the man.


Posted by: Andrew | Link to this comment | 06- 3-06 11:00 AM
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"We're also discussing commercials, for Pete's sake, not feminism or sexism generally."

Andrew, this is not an either/or kind of blog. The world doesn't divide so neatly into little bins.

We can disagree about the implications of a Burger King or Milky Way commercial without disagreeing about feminism or sexism generally, can't we?

Indeed, many are called, but few are chosen, to defend male privilege on the internets.

Which implies that disagreeing about the commercials amounts to defending male privilege. Don't you think that this comment contradicts your earlier comment?


Posted by: Andrew | Link to this comment | 06- 3-06 11:07 AM
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if the woman was truly commodified,

This is the part where I get lost. Absent a commodometer, I would think that the only way to judge this is by reference to the reaction of most people to such commercials. (I await the philosophers to tell me that a commodometer would, itself, only reflect the reaction of most people.) If more or less everyone but you thinks it's sexist, that's pretty good evidence that it's sexist. Or, just, it is sexist. It would be one think if there were an easy split, maybe men vs. women, on this, but I don't think that exists. I haven't seen the Milky Way ad, but I saw the Ginger & Marianne one. It's hard not to see that as sexist, or maybe playing to sexist tropes, or something involving the word sexist.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 06- 3-06 11:14 AM
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We can disagree about the implications of a Burger King or Milky Way commercial without disagreeing about feminism or sexism generally, can't we?

In principle, sure. As it happens, this particular disagreement reaches both.

Which implies that disagreeing about the commercials amounts to defending male privilege.

More precisely, I think your particular argument amounts to a defense of male privilege.

Don't you think that this comment contradicts your earlier comment?

No.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 06- 3-06 11:15 AM
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the implications of a Burger King or Milky Way commercial


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 3-06 11:24 AM
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Absent a commodometer, I would think that the only way to judge this is by reference to the reaction of most people to such commercials. (I await the philosophers to tell me that a commodometer would, itself, only reflect the reaction of most people.) If more or less everyone but you thinks it's sexist, that's pretty good evidence that it's sexist.

Totally agree with you SCMT. I even wrote in 454, But here I think we're simply exploring different perceptions and interpretations of certain phenomena. At bottom the question is really empirical: Does commercial X cause sexist beliefs/attitudes to be strengthened in a majority of the population?

Though, moving away from the issue of these commercials in particular, we could also say that the question of whether X-commercial is sexist is similar to the question of whether Serrano's Piss-Christ is really "blasphemous" or irreverent. Most of the public likely believes that Piss-Christ is in fact those things. But the more educated public, and those who have given more consideration to the work, including Serrano himself, would say differently.

I guess I'm saying that, even if the public at large does consider a work to be X, it might still be a fruitful discussion to exchange and compare interpretations, and see which one seems most compelling on complete consideration.

SB, More precisely, I think your particular argument amounts to a defense of male privilege.

Fair enough. Could you explain to me how? I'll be away from my computer for a time, but I'd welcome an explanation.


Posted by: Andrew | Link to this comment | 06- 3-06 11:42 AM
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Michael Berube has a good post on the larger issue of recognition vs redistribution harms, though the comments are a mess.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 06- 3-06 11:43 AM
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But SCMT, neither do I think that the opinions of the other commenters on this thread are likely to track well with those of the general public. The other commenters probably wouldn't disagree with that either.


Posted by: Andrew | Link to this comment | 06- 3-06 11:45 AM
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But SCMT, neither do I think that the opinions of the other commenters on this thread are likely to track well with those of the general public. The other commenters probably wouldn't disagree with that either.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 06- 3-06 11:45 AM
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s/he does see, but just prefers not to think about it in order to avoid the dissonance such a realization would produce with those ethical principles that s/he also feels responsible towards.

If this isn't a description of bad faith, I'd like to hear one.

I don't think the commercial would work if the woman was truly commodified, as she simply wouldn't be comforting nor ego-restoring to the man.

Are prostitutes commodified? I think most people would say yes. Yet many men claim to turn to prostitutes for comfort and ego restoration.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 06- 3-06 12:21 PM
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Anthony -- See, this is a situation where I think calling you an asshole (or, more politely, accusing you of playing dumb) is more respectful to you than taking your incapacity to follow the arguments being made.

To elaborate on one point of the argument:

(1) The woman is equated with the candy bar. (She emerges from the candy wrapper, she's the size of the candy wrapper, he eats her... I don't think you are going to argue with this one.)

(2) A candy bar is a commodity -- bought and sold for money, and with no important individual identity. You buy one, eat it, and buy another.

(3) The man treats the woman as a commodity. He eats her. One would expect that if he intended to relate to her as an individual human being, he would have some impulse to save her for later, so that he could, oh, interact with the same person again. Instead, he eats her. If he wants 'comfort' in the future, there will be another woman in another candy wrapper.

Now, this is pretty damn obvious -- the equation of the woman with the candy bar, and the fact that the candy bar is a commodity. Claiming that this is in some way a strained or unlikely interpretation of the commercial requires you to either be an idiot, to deny the possiblity of any sort of subtextual interpretation, or to be arguing in bad faith.

I don't, particularly, think you're an idiot, and if you're denying the possibility of any subtext, your participation in this conversation is completely pointless -- you might as well check out of it now. My conclusion is that you are arguing in bad faith. Endless explanations of the obvious to someone arguing in bad faith are dull, and those who attempt to require them are assholes, or in this context, are trolling.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 3-06 1:33 PM
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I should further note that, to the extent that you are offended by being called an asshole and a troll (which you should be), you were treated reasonably politely on this topic for quite a while. I'll be polite forever (well, with occasional lapses) to people I disagree with (even quite seriously) so long as they remain interesting and are themselves polite. You've failed to be interesting or informative in any way in this conversation. You remain welcome to stick around, but don't expect me to treat you with respect until you stop wasting my time.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 3-06 1:42 PM
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Yet many men claim to turn to prostitutes for comfort and ego restoration.

Strippers, also. There may be disagreement about whether strippers are commodified, but I hope we can agree that this guy:
http://denbeste. nu/essays/femaleperson.shtml
is being sexist. (Link must be cut and pasted.)

[Edited: this was auto-linking. Cut and paste the URL and remove the space before the ".nu"]


Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 06- 3-06 1:53 PM
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Now, this is pretty damn obvious -- the equation of the woman with the candy bar, and the fact that the candy bar is a commodity.

I realize that you think it extremely obvious that the commercial presents a commodified woman. I don't.

The commercial associates the character and qualities of the woman with the candy bar, certainly. It does so in the most obvious way possible: having the woman appear where ordinarily a candy bar would appear. Does the commercial imply that the woman, as such, is a commodity----which would make it sexist? No. Neither does it equate the woman, as such, with being chocolate, sugary, containing a caramel filling, fattening, or available for reasonable prices at gas stations, drug stores, and other fine vendors across the country. It wants you to associate the product, and all the chocolate caramel goodness therein, with certain qualities presented by the woman---not with women generally.

Claiming that this is in some way a strained or unlikely interpretation of the commercial requires you to either be an idiot, to deny the possiblity of any sort of subtextual interpretation, or to be arguing in bad faith.

No, it requires me to imagine whether the average viewer would watch that commercial and think, "okay, so the commercial is presenting women as commodities." But I realize that it's much easier to think item-X sexist when all those disagree must be idiots or arguing in bad faith.

I don't, particularly, think you're an idiot, and if you're denying the possibility of any subtext, your participation in this conversation is completely pointless -- you might as well check out of it now. My conclusion is that you are arguing in bad faith. Endless explanations of the obvious to someone arguing in bad faith are dull, and those who attempt to require them are assholes, or in this context, are trolling.

What you find obvious may not be so obvious to other people. To think that whatever you find obvious must be so, and that those who disagree are either idiots, trolls, or assholes, is simply to shield oneself from critical thought in an arrogant ignorance, or, in this context, a hermetic and cranky self-righteousness.

Your rhetoric is remarkably similar to those on the right who claim various works of art to be anti-religious, blasphemous, pornographic, etc.


Posted by: Andrew | Link to this comment | 06- 3-06 2:09 PM
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Jesus you're dull.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 3-06 2:12 PM
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Are prostitutes commodified? I think most people would say yes. Yet many men claim to turn to prostitutes for comfort and ego restoration.

Men turn to prostitutes and strippers, for the most part, for sexual arousal and gratification, imho, not emotional comfort or for an ego boost.


Posted by: Andrew | Link to this comment | 06- 3-06 2:13 PM
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Anthony

Andrew.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06- 3-06 2:14 PM
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One would expect that if he intended to relate to her as an individual human being, he would have some impulse to save her for later

This is one of the funniest observations I've read all week.


Posted by: The Modesto Kid | Link to this comment | 06- 3-06 2:14 PM
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Men turn to prostitutes and strippers, for the most part, for sexual arousal and gratification, imho, not emotional comfort or for an ego boost.

This disagrees with my experience and perceptions.


Posted by: The Modesto Kid | Link to this comment | 06- 3-06 2:15 PM
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No, it requires me to imagine whether the average viewer would watch that commercial and think, "okay, so the commercial is presenting women as commodities."

This does seem to me to deny the very possibility of a subtextual interpretation. Things conveyed through subtext do not produce explicit thoughts that can be put in quotes -- that's practically definitional. If you don't think subtext is important, well, that's your prerogative, but I think it'll really hurt you in attempting to decipher commercials.


Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 06- 3-06 2:16 PM
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Have we stopped calling numbers?


Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 06- 3-06 2:17 PM
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Oh, thank goodness. I was thinking this was Anthony in Indonesia with the bats, and wondering what was wrong with him: he's not like this. This is why I have a silly nom-de-net, I realized lurking that I couldn't keep real-first-name users straight, and figured I wouldn't give other people that problem.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 3-06 2:17 PM
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I guess so (that was part of a lame attempt to set myself up for 500, but I got thoroughly pwned).


Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 06- 3-06 2:18 PM
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But I got 500 errors!


Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 06- 3-06 2:18 PM
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re 497: Time spent in an echo chamber, as you apparently are, usually is.

501: I could see a man turning to strippers and prostitutes for ego boost as well. But wouldn't that boost depend upon some sense of illusion about the transaction? In other words, wouldn't he have to view the stripper or prostitute as being genuinely desirous in pleasing him to derive an ego boost from it, even if of course she isn't?


Posted by: Andrew | Link to this comment | 06- 3-06 2:21 PM
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503: I was tracking down the comment initially suggesting switching "100!" to "Kobe!" so that I could link do it when I said "quintuple Kobe!" but it took too long to find it.

Also: quintuple Kobe +8!


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 06- 3-06 2:22 PM
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More seriously, there's a line in Melville about the tendency of an obsessive ("monomaniac" in his words) to color the world with his obsession, and find portentious signs of it even in the smallest trifles. I'm not saying that anyone here is an obsessive, but it's striking how the language and micro-culture in which we work can sometimes exert an undue and unbalanced pressure upon our otherwise balanced and sensitive perceptions.

--------------

We're also discussing commercials, for Pete's sake, not feminism or sexism generally. But even if we were,

A very popular error: having the courage of one's convictions; rather it is a matter of having the courage for an attack on one's convictions.

------------

I didn't know how much of it he believed himself. I didn't know what he was playing up to -- if he was playing up to anything at all -- and I suspect he did not know either; for it is my belief no man ever understands quite his own artful dodges to escape from the grim shadow of self-knowledge.


Posted by: marlowe | Link to this comment | 06- 3-06 2:24 PM
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Matt, I just mean that at some level the average viewer would have to take away the message in quotes. I didn't mean that the viewer is necessarily explicitly thinking it.


Posted by: Andrew | Link to this comment | 06- 3-06 2:24 PM
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The den Bes/te essay linked in 495 has been taken down, which is probably a good thing. this provides a taste, and this.

Anyway, in re 507.1, fuck off.


Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 06- 3-06 2:28 PM
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Time spent in an echo chamber, as you apparently are, usually is.

Dude, I can see why you feel abused, but this is a bit much. No liberal I have ever know since I stopped being one (and that was a LONG time ago) has been as willing as LizardBreath is to listen to political disagreement. The conversations are not always friendly or even tempered, but they happen because she makes a point of not living in an echo chamber--something few people, left or right, can say.

Look, I get shit here all the time. But eventually, almost everybody (even me) cools down and can be civil later. Chill. Go have a beer.


Posted by: Idealist | Link to this comment | 06- 3-06 2:28 PM
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Idealist,

I'm completely cool. But it's fair of me to respond a little in kind to being called an asshole or troll, isn't it?

Matt,

Would it have been more acceptable if I called her a troll or an asshole, rather than referencing an echo chamber? I'm adaptable.


Posted by: Andrew | Link to this comment | 06- 3-06 2:34 PM
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Now, this is pretty damn obvious -- the equation of the woman with the candy bar, and the fact that the candy bar is a commodity.

I don't know if it's quite that straightforward. I went back and looked at the commercial through the link. I have no idea how I would react to it normally, as I looked at it only 30 comments ago. It strikes me as sexist now, or at least troubling on the basis of gender. But what seems problematic to me is that the woman is a candy bar, and the natural thing to do with a candy bar is to rip it to pieces with your teeth as you eat it. That's violent, that's right after a bad ending to a date, and that's wierd.

But I feel like I've seen a commercial for ice cream where a woman is let down by her boyfriend or date (I think by a message on the answering machine), and she turns to a tub of X chocolate ice cream, which speaks comfortingly to her in a male voice. I didn't (or wouldn't now) think, "Commodification of man!" Or if I did, I wouldn't care. Obviously, the crucial issue is the context of male/female relations, which is probably why I see more implied violence than implied purchase.

I mention this only because I think that it is often true that there are uncomfortable subtexts in commercials, but it's not always clear that they are as self-evident as people who see it think. I still don't see anything in the BK commercial; if anything, it's a spoof on men. (The one thing that would irritate me if I were a woman is the use of the song.) And I think unwarranted assurance that problem X is self-evident makes the general class of analysis more suspect to people who didn't see as self-evident the specific instance of X.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 06- 3-06 2:39 PM
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Personally, I think the 'echo chamber' reflects a lack of understanding of the nature of the interaction between us. I have certainly, and intentionally, been rude to you, and if you wish to break out the epithets in response, more power to you.

I have not, on the other hand, been rude to you because I disagree with you. I have been rude to you because your posts have been a boring and pointless waste of time, and your evident level of literacy (this bit is a backhanded compliment. Don't say I never said anything nice about you) indicates to me that you are unlikely to be as dumb as you are playing. Posting time-wastingly disagreeable nonsense for the purpose of eliciting heated responses is the very definition of trolling.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 3-06 2:39 PM
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Andrew, you seem to be under the impression that there's some sort of moral equivalence here between you and LB. There isn't, because (a) she's one of the bloggers here and (b) she hasn't spent most of her time on this blog making ridiculously tendentious assertions. 'mkay?


Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 06- 3-06 2:45 PM
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I didn't (or wouldn't now) think, "Commodification of man!" Or if I did, I wouldn't care

See, I think you wouldn't consciously think 'commodification', but that subtext would be there. (And could be brought to the surface rather easily -- a reasonable conversation among a couple of female watchers of such a commercial might be "Yeah, wouldn't it be great if you could just take a man out of the fridge when you wanted one and not deal with all the bullshit?") Not caring (about either commercial) is a more complex matter. There are arguments to be made that either commercial or both is harmlessly amusing despite the message, or that one is harmless or the other isn't depending on other social factors. And I'd treat arguments like that, made reasonably, with respect. Denying that there's any such message in the commercial at all, on the other hand, is just bizarre.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 3-06 2:46 PM
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517: Fair point. Fuck.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 06- 3-06 2:47 PM
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Personally, I think the 'echo chamber' reflects a lack of understanding of the nature of the interaction between us. I have certainly, and intentionally, been rude to you, and if you wish to break out the epithets in response, more power to you.

Gosh LB, I thought the implication of the echo chamber comment was obvious.

The "echo chamber" was a reference to your refusal to make any attempt to see a different side here, which is a consequence of your attitude that those who disagree on this must be either idiots or assholes. Nothing to do with whether you're being intentionally or unintentionally rude.

Frankly I've enjoyed the cooler disagreements and comments a lot more than yours, or any of the other heated ones. Receiving responses such as your own isn't my preference; but I'm not going to simply walk away from them either, and I tried to remain polite and open even while receiving them.


Posted by: Andrew | Link to this comment | 06- 3-06 2:49 PM
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But it's fair of me to respond a little in kind to being called an asshole or troll, isn't it?

Look, if I kept arguing every time LizardBreath said something mean to me, she and I would have been in a continuous argument since some time in mid-2004. And if she held a grudge every time I said something intemperate or ill-conceived, we would have stopped talking some time in mid-2004. So no, I do not think you have to or should respond. It's her (alng with others) blog. Really, chill. Have a beer. Come back later and tell a cock joke.


Posted by: Idealist | Link to this comment | 06- 3-06 2:54 PM
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Look!


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 06- 3-06 2:57 PM
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521: I think the actual quotation you were looking for was, "Look, defenseless babies!" I guess kittens will do.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 06- 3-06 3:04 PM
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That's absolutely inferior to my own conflict-diffusing kitten.

Troll.

(Damn, you run the joint. Can I call you a troll? What the hell, sure I can.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 3-06 3:06 PM
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Are you trying to restart the FG argument?


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 06- 3-06 3:08 PM
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Fair point re her blog Idealist. This isn't a particularly pleasant way to spend my time either; so this will be my last comment on the matter.

Regarding subtext:

Lots and lots of subtext can be found in commercials, children's books, the shape of the Washington Monument, Serrano's Piss-Christ, and so on. That doesn't mean that any particular subtext always carries as a message, on any level, to the viewer. There's no disagreement that the commercial can be interpreted as imparting a sexist message. There is disagreement as to whether the general public is likely to take away that message, in any way, or whether that particular reading is the strongest reading of the ad. My point re Melville is that our own backgrounds and occupations will play a strong role in determining which subtext we find strongest. An advertising exec would be unlikely to find the same reading strongest as would a feminist activist, as would a crab fisherman, etc. The benefit of a conversation about subtext, imho, is that it brings the different weights we accord to our interpretations to the surface, and may even allow individuals to view a work from the perspective of another background, and thereby gain insight not only into the work, but also into the other background itself.

I like the Conrad quote, but I'm not the one it should be applied to.

In any event, the irony of those who cannot see other possible subtexts accusing another of being unable to see any subtext is remarkable.


Posted by: Andrew | Link to this comment | 06- 3-06 3:12 PM
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conflict-diffusing kitten.

Great. Now you have started a conflict over who has the best conflict-diffusing kitten. Nice going.


Posted by: Idealist | Link to this comment | 06- 3-06 3:13 PM
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Do we have any sense of the subjective experiences of a figure-skater or gymnast? Of the ballerina? I don't think so. We appreciate the performers in those cases for the sheer physical acts, and the aesthetic thereof, that they accomplish. But we wouldn't say that figure-skating, gymnastics, or ballet objectifies the performers, would we?

This part cracks me up.

Dude, I've been a ballerina, pointe shoes, eating disorder, and all; it's ALL ABOUT OBJECTIFICATION. The training is to teach the ballerina to interiorize as perfectly as possible the other's gaze. I could explain this in more detail, but it gets technical.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 06- 3-06 3:27 PM
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174 just made me realize why yogurt is my remedy of choice for an overly spicy mouth-state.


Posted by: The Modesto Kid | Link to this comment | 06- 3-06 3:34 PM
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523 - Dude, your kitten sucks. Mine is far superior. If you can't see that, there's no point in talking to you about this -- not that you're a bad person, but that your perception of what makes a cute kitten is so far away from mine that there's no potential for communication across the gaps.

Troll

Damn right.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 06- 3-06 4:23 PM
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528: I wish I hadn't gone back there and seen the tapeworm thing again.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 06- 3-06 4:53 PM
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There's no disagreement that the commercial can be interpreted as imparting a sexist message.

Andrew, you said you'd never seen a sexist TV commercial. That's the original comment that's started this brouhaha. It's really just an unutterably stupid thing to say, and yeah, someone who'd say it, or at the very least who can't see very quickly after a bit of conversation why it was unutterably stupid, shouldn't be hanging around here. SB said "many are called, but few are chosen, to defend male privelege on the internets" precisely because men who strut into spaces filled with a bunch of feminists and say such facially stupid things because they are too blind to see what they don't wish to, they're intentionally trying to disrupt conversation that's threatening to them, and/or they get a little ego boost from imagining they've put down some uppity women with their quite dubious wit, are quite easily come by. You are obviously (unfortunately) hostile to feminist analysis; no one who knew anything about how to read for gender subtext could honestly make the arguments that you're making.

A question, though you're not around: why would the producers give the woman a strong accent? That was a conscious choice; what does it signify? It certainly isn't inherent in the notion of comfort or sexual attractiveness.

I said it already and I'll say it again: it signifies unchallenging sexual availability. A woman who will only feed your ego, who won't have the language skills to argue with you, or ever say anything but nice things. How is the positive depiction of a gratified male fantasy to have such a woman anything but sexist?

Hint: it's not.

When you add in the gratified fantasy that he can have another just like her, that he can consume her it only gets worse.

You say "In any event, the irony of those who cannot see other possible subtexts accusing another of being unable to see any subtext is remarkable" but in some works the messages are so powerful to people who understand how to look for subtext at all that to argue that there's no hierarchy of intelligent interpretations is ridiculous and tendentious. If we'd all just finished reading Gone With the Wind and you said, "Well sure Mammy was big and sexless had no particular interests and desires except as related to her white masters, but I didn't take her as representative of all black people, why, that's just how the book portrayed that particular character! And maybe Mammy just sincerely only had feelings about her white owners and no real existence of her own. And really how could Mammy's care for Scarlett be valuable if she wasn't a full human being? I guess seeing the Mammy portrayal as racist is just one of a spectrum of readings, and not the best one. Really the important thing in that relationship was that Mammy was a mother figure to Scarlett, and there was no racial agenda at all." That would be about the same level of sense you're making now. We understand that it's possible to read that commercial as unsexist. It's just stupid. And further, regardless of whether most people are as unskilled in cultural criticism as you are, and I've no doubt they are, commercials like that observably teach people what to want and expect from women. Many people luckily hear other, better messages more loudly, but the "women are valuable as empty, unchallenging, sexual commodities" message still manages to resound pretty emphatically. There's a joke about how the ideal girlfriend has a flat head to put a beer on and then turns into a pizza. Do you see how that might relate to this commercial, and illustrate how the attitudes it's teaching reach beyond it, or is that just too darn obscure for you?

There are people on the margins who are worth engaging, because they can be led to understand how male privelege is constructed and enforced, and they seem interested in doing so, but that hasn't been you in this conversation.

P.S. Hostility to feminist analysis of mass media helps uphold male privelege. You're doing exactly what SB said you were doing. Hello The Man, I haven't seen you since, oh, ten minutes ago.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 06- 4-06 3:53 PM
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Hey just this evening I saw the ultimate conflict-diffusing kitten. I will brook no dispute -- this one is it.


Posted by: The Modesto Kid | Link to this comment | 06- 4-06 8:00 PM
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That is emphatically not the proper use of a bandsaw.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 06- 4-06 8:42 PM
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Tia says what I was content just to hint at, in the service of scoring cheap rhetorical points. On this I should say two things. One, that I'd stopped taking Andrew seriously as of the Diebold nonsense. (Linked comment's mode of argument looks … familiar.) And two, that however much guilt I felt for writing him off, was evidently too much guilt.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 06- 4-06 9:52 PM
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Well.... This was a thread I really wanted to ask about... but my personal views leaned a little more toward Andrew's initial thoughts and after seeing the several new assholes he had torn open, I'm a bit scared and running every long word through spell check.

Just a couple random questions and thoughts, please don't take them as attacking or disingenuous, because I really like this place so far:

1) Did you ladies such as Tia and LizardBreath and Bitchphd, etc. find these commercials slightly funny at first, then put your Feminist Critical Theory helmets on and start laying down the semiotics and critiques? Or were any of you offended and/or shocked by the sexism of them immediately?

2) As for the "You poke it, you own it" commercial. Wow, my first thoughts were "Hey! I do that all the time to carry extra bottles! But my hands are clean, so it shouldn't matter." It really took me a minute or two to get what was even dirty there when it was brought up early on.

3) Just to lay out my blindingly obvious, surface-only interpretation of the Snickers commercial: The guy got turned down by the girl. First things running through his mind "Am I not hot enough? Was that thing I said over the entree really that stupid? Maybe she doesn't do anything on the first date, so it's just her? Nah... I'm not hot enough." The best possible comfort for this dilemma? An attractive woman signaling attraction to you. Snickers provides instant comfort. My interpretation emphasizes that last sentence only. (Plus, despite what Tia says, I just think that guys find most European accents hot. Many of us are attracted to outside genes, as they help the immune system.)

4) What they could have done to avoid this whole dilemma and provide just as effective a commercial: Office workers slouched around a cubicle, loosened ties and untucked shirts, ruffled hair, obviously exhausted. Empty office stretches out behind them, perhaps a clock showing a super late hour. One of them bemoans this data calculation, and that they'll never get it done for the boss tomorrow. As that worker slouches in their chair, they unwrap a Snickers and out pops a computer nerd with a laptop (could be any race or gender, but they need thick glasses and bad hair. These things are important.) The nerd adjusts their glasses and rattles off a couple statistics, everyone sighs in relief and the worker bites into their delicious, all-fulfilling Snickers.

5) When will advertisers learn to ever-so-subtley marginalize groups that don't churn out PhDs in analyzing pop culture to find evidence of discrimination? (Hint hint, advertisers: computer nerds)


Posted by: JAC | Link to this comment | 06- 4-06 11:51 PM
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535: Just to clarify on random point 3, I am not saying that this is the only interpretation or that the subtext read by the other bloggers here is irrelevant. What I am saying is that I personally believe this rationale for the commerical to be closer to what probably was in the minds of the creators. This is mostly because anyone designing the commercial's effectiveness to draw from the objectification of women would either have to be unbelievably bigoted or incredibly cynical about the viewing public. The idea of either type of person working for a major ad company and not being spotted and stopped in the layers of copy editing seems a little far-fetched.

Now, I'm entirely sympathetic to the argument that this is an unconcious process due to society's ingrained prejudices. But to be honest, that idea just scares the crap out of me.


Posted by: JAC | Link to this comment | 06- 5-06 12:14 AM
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493 Anthony -- See, this is a situation where I think calling you an asshole
Hey, what did I do?
Doubly insulted. Mistaking me for an Andrew indeed.


Posted by: Anthony | Link to this comment | 06- 5-06 12:51 AM
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Oh, now I saw 504. Yes, I certainly try not to be like that.


Posted by: Anthony | Link to this comment | 06- 5-06 12:55 AM
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incredibly cynical about the viewing public

That's a prerequisite for working in advertising, I think. I'm not even being snarky–I think advertisers want to manipulate us at any level they can. And also I think you're overestimating how much people in general are going to be offended by the objectification of women; most of the people who post here will at least respond positively to a lot of feminist ideals, but that's not always true in general (by which I mean, Maxim has a lot of subscribers; if I'm getting the nature of the magazine wrong, apologies, since I've never read it, but still feminism is not as widely accepted as it should be).

Anyway, with point 4, as in the mother-figure commercial I suggested in 480, I can picture that up to the moment where the workers bite off the end of the candy bar. Then, EWWW. Which makes me think that that is somehow tied to sex, though I'm not sure how that works. (And I just watched the ad again, and the real woman is definitely coded as "hot in an intellectual way, much unlike the candy bar woman." She looks a little like Tina Fey as math teacher.)

(Also, I think in this context "ladies" is deprecated.)


Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 06- 5-06 6:01 AM
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533 -- there is a running joke on that forum (a bulletin board for "Neanderthals" i.e. hand-tool geeks) that the proper use for moter-driven woodworking tools is as shop furniture, since wood is more properly cut and shaped with planes, chisels, hand saws, rasps etc. Thus Todd's cat Mack has found the proper use for Todd's bandsaw.


Posted by: The Modesto Kid | Link to this comment | 06- 5-06 6:36 AM
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Nevertheless, that cat is ineligible to be a conflict-defusing kitten, because it is not a kitten at all.


Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 06- 5-06 7:05 AM
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As for the "You poke it, you own it" commercial. Wow, my first thoughts were "Hey! I do that all the time to carry extra bottles! But my hands are clean, so it shouldn't matter." It really took me a minute or two to get what was even dirty there when it was brought up early on.

Sort of the same reaction. I didn't know that they were talking about the beer commercial until I read the linked post. The first time I saw that commercial, I thought sort of the same thing you did: "Hey, I've done that." However, because I'm not a barbarian, I realize (and realized at the time of poking) that doing that is wrong. It's convenient and obvious. But wrong.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 06- 5-06 7:19 AM
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535 (1): Sure, sexist stuff is often funny. I grew up in the same culture you did, and laugh at the same jokes. The fact that something's funny has nothing to do with whether it's sexist.

This is mostly because anyone designing the commercial's effectiveness to draw from the objectification of women would either have to be unbelievably bigoted or incredibly cynical about the viewing public. The idea of either type of person working for a major ad company and not being spotted and stopped in the layers of copy editing seems a little far-fetched.

This is a point that we've talked about before, although I can't think of what to search on to find the thread. You don't have to be unbelievably cynical about the viewing public to think that a joke riffing off the objectification of women will appeal, and you don't need to be unbelievably bigoted to make such a joke. This stuff is normal in our society.

That doesn't mean that it's not objectionable, but it does mean (a) that the proper response to someone making or laughing at a sexist joke is something closer to "Hey, quit it," than "You horrible, horrible person, I hate you now you sexist bastard," and (b) the proper response to someone pointing out that a joke (or commercial or what have you) is sexist is to consider the comment seriously and work on controlling the sexism in future rather than saying "How dare you make such a horrific accusation against me you irrationally hostile bitch; you'd have to be incredibly oversensitive to see any such thing going on, because sexism is really really bad and I'm not a really really bad person."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 5-06 7:47 AM
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and 537: I am terribly, terribly sorry about the mixup. The funny thing is that I was giving myself all sorts of credit about being polite and helpful to you re: bacon over at J&B's place, and of course I was cross with the wrong person entirely. Good thing I didn't give into my impulse to be rude over there.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 5-06 7:49 AM
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I haven't seen the commercial, so I can't comment on the poking and owning, but:

But we wouldn't say that figure-skating, gymnastics, or ballet objectifies the performers, would we?

If speaking of figure skating, yes, we would. (I've heard it's true of ballet and gymnastics, too.) Eating disorders, severe body-image problems, and well, 15-year-olds trying to be artistic by looking breathless and orgasmic.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06- 5-06 7:58 AM
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What I am saying is that I personally believe this rationale for the commerical to be closer to what probably was in the minds of the creators. This is mostly because anyone designing the commercial's effectiveness to draw from the objectification of women would either have to be unbelievably bigoted or incredibly cynical about the viewing public. The idea of either type of person working for a major ad company and not being spotted and stopped in the layers of copy editing seems a little far-fetched.

Weiner responded to this well, but I just wanted to say that this is begging the question. The argument takes this form: for this to be evidence of sexism, people and institutions would have to be sexist, and that just can't be. I rather doubt that advertising firms are engaged in an effort to root the sexists from their midst and the sexist messages from their work; rather, they profit off of the sexist messages, and internally, brutally competitive hierarchical institutions are usually more than a little misogynist. It makes a little more sense to start considering the possibility that sexism is pervasive in people and institutions. I do understand that it's astonishing when you first start to see it; long after I had learned to see this stuff in cultural products, I was still floored when I really began to realize how widespread it was in people, even liberals. The Kos pie fight thread and people referring to complaining women as "menstruating she-devils" and people shouting out "bazongas!" while there was an attempt at serious conversation going on was really illuminating for me. I should not have been that surprised, though, because I've been around a lot of vicious misandry that I've also found pretty repellent, although it doesn't function in the same way with preexisting power structures.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 06- 5-06 8:06 AM
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Did you ladies such as Tia and LizardBreath and Bitchphd, etc. find these commercials slightly funny at first, then put your Feminist Critical Theory helmets on and start laying down the semiotics and critiques?

I actually found the Snickers ad funny in a Sweeney Todd sort of way, as I daresay the makers did, but that doesn't keep me from seeing how sexist it is.

And if I bothered to actually be offended by sexist commercials my head would have exploded a long time ago. I was just pointing some shit out to Andrew that is so blindingly freaking obvious that a child ought to be able to see it.

Matt W. is right that the rejecting woman is coded as intellectual, so the man is turning not only to a candy bar, but to a superhot-in-a-hollywood-way yet adoring woman, the way they oughta be. Really the whole thing is already an anti-feminist parable, before the first bite. Then, actually, you could see this as a cautionary tale for women: play the hyper-feminine role and you can expect to be commodified and consumed.

Now, I'm entirely sympathetic to the argument that this is an unconcious process due to society's ingrained prejudices. But to be honest, that idea just scares the crap out of me.

Well then, you should be very afraid. Although I don't know why. This is where we've always lived.

P.S. I thought your geek ad was funny too.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 06- 5-06 8:07 AM
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also, let me add that I'm not a critical theorist or academic of any kind. I work in marketing (or, as we like to call it, communications).


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 06- 5-06 8:10 AM
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people referring to complaining women as "menstruating she-devils" and people shouting out "bazongas!" while there was an attempt at serious conversation going on was really illuminating for me.

This sounds like a good ad for some brand, maybe Dockers or Chevrolet, to me. I also hope to have the chance to call someone a menstruating she-devil some day.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 06- 5-06 8:19 AM
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Posted by: 549=washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 06- 5-06 8:23 AM
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devil-girl chocolate bars. mmm.

hey! is that sexist?


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 06- 5-06 8:26 AM
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This is mostly because anyone designing the commercial's effectiveness to draw from the objectification of women would either have to be unbelievably bigoted or incredibly cynical about the viewing public.

Nope, they just have to want to sell their product. I have not studied advertising in depth, but my dad majored in it (and journalism) in college, and because my dad is a geek, he's always pointed out.... the subtext in ads. Mostly print ads. The shape of the perfume bottle. The slight suggestion of the skull & crossbones in the Salem cigarettes ads (danger! excitement! Sales jumped.) How the shot of the woman's manicured hand gesturing toward the shot glass is framed.

The subtext is there to get you to buy things and it's not accidental. Advertisers study this shit. Take a really easy one that doesn't raise the anti-feminist hackles. Everyone's seen the Apple ads with the fit, easygoing man as the Mac and the nerdy, pudgy guy as the PC. Do you think it's a coincidence they're dressed that way? Do you think it's a coincidence that the nerdy PC bears a passing resemblance to Gates?

Now, it's one thing to argue (as JAC does), that the subtext is confusing, or not harmfully sexist, or missed its mark. It's pretty much willfully blind to believe that there isn't any subtext in advertising at all, or that it's something that only feminist scholars (btw, not one, and neither is my wingnut father) see. It's like saying that the PC man isn't meant to be nerdy because well, no one said it.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06- 5-06 8:49 AM
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"Do you think it's a coincidence that the nerdy PC bears a passing resemblance to Gates?"

And I was just happy that John Hodgman was getting more work.


Posted by: JAC | Link to this comment | 06- 5-06 2:40 PM
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