Re: But I Hadn't Even Imagined It Yet

1

Juice me!!


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 02-28-08 9:32 PM
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One too many viewings of Willy Wonka, obviously.

(That said, it seems more reasonable than a lot of other fetishes; it just takes the infantile "mama is big and round!" thing to an extreme, is all.)


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-28-08 9:33 PM
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Probably? Absolutely NSFW. I mean; scroll down.


Posted by: MrBitchPhd | Link to this comment | 02-28-08 9:37 PM
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that turned out sorta hotter than i expected, but i didn't see the 'fetish' word in the post before i clickthroughed


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 02-28-08 9:44 PM
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Two of the "Ads by google" were related to the Fed and inflation. That was noteworthy and hilarious. Thanks, google.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02-28-08 9:49 PM
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I was looking at a health blog the other day talking about the evils of soda (especially caffeine and aspartame), and all the ads (like 5 big ones) were from Pepsi's new high-caffeine diet soda. Come on, Google.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-28-08 9:51 PM
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Blueberry girl appears to buy her undergarments from the same store that sells the Hulk's pants.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 02-28-08 9:57 PM
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Stuff white blue people like.

This post needs an Alternate-Reality Kotsko to guide the comment thread.


Posted by: arthegall | Link to this comment | 02-28-08 9:57 PM
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I move we call in a well-qualified and duly registered psychoanalyst to field questions about this "latest" (ha! are you kidding me? it's the oldest one on the books, and probably predates the invention of written language by several millenia or so) fetish, before the whole thread degenerates into competing (though not necessarily mutually exclusive) accusations of sexism, sizeism, and the like.

Also, some men should probably get over their mothers, but probably never will.

But also, today's ideal of a half-starved anorexic with breast implants is like nothing that any man ever thought of, much less lusted after, before consumer capitalism told him that this was his beau ideal (are you kidding me? back in the day when sex was not yet de-linked from reproduction, a man wanted a gel with a bit of heft to her...). You're being played, boys, and the gals fall right in line, so they're being played too...

I feel so freed up by my new pseudonym to finally actually say such things.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 02-28-08 9:58 PM
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Mary Catherine is banned.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-28-08 10:00 PM
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This thread obviously needs a fruit fucker reference, too. For completeness sake.


Posted by: arthegall | Link to this comment | 02-28-08 10:02 PM
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You know what would be a good thread? people's favorite mp3 blogs. There are so many, and they have such oddly overlapping audiences, based on people's ineffable similarities and dissimilarities of taste.

And it's a gift that keeps on giving, unlike just telling someone one album they should listen to.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-28-08 10:16 PM
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Any particular reason for mentioning that in this thread, Ned?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-28-08 10:18 PM
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It's a pop culture thread.

As soon as I posted that, I realized that that was the rare situation in which the pause and play signs would actually be warranted. sorry.

Anyway, this linked site is disgusting.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-28-08 10:19 PM
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Anyway, this linked site is disgusting.

Sizeist.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-28-08 10:21 PM
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i like being played.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 02-28-08 10:25 PM
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But also, today's ideal of a half-starved anorexic with breast implants isn't a patch on yesterday's ideal of a half-starved anorexic with breast implants, let me tell you!


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-28-08 11:02 PM
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And wait 'til you see tomorrow's!


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-28-08 11:43 PM
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The commenters here seem none too pleased to be described by the site ogged linked, which is, apparently, very unofficial.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:02 AM
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But also, today's ideal of a half-starved anorexic with breast implants is like nothing that any man ever thought of, much less lusted after, before consumer capitalism told him that this was his beau ideal (are you kidding me? back in the day when sex was not yet de-linked from reproduction, a man wanted a gel with a bit of heft to her...)

Not true, as even a cursory glance at classical statuary will show you. Something more or less equivalent to the modern standard of female beauty can certainly be traced as far back as Egypt; the claim that apple-shaped bodies were considered desirable in prehistoric times is very very dependent on a small number of carvings like the Wilendorf Venus, which IMO is shaped like it is because it's the easiest shape to do if you're just learning glassblowing.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:11 AM
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Y'all're mostly too young to remember the AMC Pacer, apparently designed by one of these fetishists.


Posted by: MrBitchPhD | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:25 AM
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which IMO is shaped like it is because it's the easiest shape to do if you're just learning glassblowing.

Even though it's not any sort of glass at all?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:27 AM
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Why would stone carvings be in shapes that are easy to make by glassblowing?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:30 AM
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Dammit, ben.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:31 AM
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it isn't but it owes its fame to vast numbers of replicas which are.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:31 AM
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Anyway, d^2's certainly right on the larger point.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:34 AM
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So to speak.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:34 AM
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Not that the current western standard of beauty was ever universal, but something like it has been around for a long time. As have other standards of beauty.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:40 AM
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I don't know. Seems to me that during pre-historic, pre-capitalism times, there were likely men who liked to procreate with fat chicks, those who preferred skinny girls with big breasts, and everything in between. You know, kinda like today.


Posted by: fnook | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:45 AM
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What teofilo said.


Posted by: fnook | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:46 AM
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date with internet stalkee: at least quasi-successful! No comment will be made on beauty standards and their applicability.


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 1:10 AM
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if 20 and 28 are true, the world makes a lot more sense.


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 1:11 AM
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This is the OT thread, right? All right then. The Slate.com discussion of this season's Wire (not exactly spoilers, but content ahead) has been mostly irritating, but this, suggested by Bazelon, who's not one of the annoying bloggers, was exactly right:

Usually The Wire has asked us to sympathize with the rebels, to relish the way Lester and Jimmy (and Bunny Colvin, and Teacher Prez) broke the rules of the system to do good. But this season the rebels have befouled everything. Their homeless killer mishigas is ruining the good, institutional police work of Bunk and Kima. The Wire has put us in the unprecedented (and uncomfortable) position of siding with the institutional loyalists against the noble rebels.

No, you don't get a link. Good night.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 1:28 AM
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Not true, as even a cursory glance at classical statuary will show you.

Oh, get real, Daniel. The typical classical and hellenistic representations of ideal women (goddesses) are US size 16 with small breasts. Not Rubensesque by any means, but way too heavy for Hollywood in 2008, and all the 'wrong' shape.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 2:50 AM
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The Venus de Milo has visible muscle definition on her stomach and thighs, as do most of the rest, and they have normal-sized breasts. They would fit in just fine in Hollywood today.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 2:53 AM
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I demand nude celebrity pics for comparison.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:04 AM
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OFE, you're undermining yourself. Most of those images you link are really not of people who are a US size 16. They're arguably not even of people who are a UK size 16.

http://far-horizons.biz/catalog/images/37278.jpg

There's visible muscle definition there and not particularly small breasts, as per dsquared's 35.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:25 AM
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Meant UK 16, sorry. Muscle definition means she's in shape, not skinny - look at the hip shape too, and although some of them have average modern breast size, there are no examples of the artifical tit fetish boobs that seem to be ubiquitous these days. I'm not persuaded that this lass, actually Phryne, the girlfriend of the sculptor Praxiteles, and widely regarded in antiquity as being teh hottest evah, would even get an audition for a glamour shoot, let alone a favourable reference from -gg-d.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:38 AM
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I'm not sure the history of beauty standards has much to do with inflationism. They're not BBW fetishists; they're into "normal" women who are, for some reason, inflated in parts, like women who have enormous breasts or pregnant bellies, but also the fantasy of blowing up a "normal" woman into a ball.

Uncharacteristically, I side with ogged here. These people are sexually into spheres. I suspect there is, somewhere, a sexual fetish for cones. And since I've just thought of it, it must already exist. Madonna pictures from the 80's, plus fantasy cone-girls!


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 5:14 AM
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Plus, "cone porn" is funny.

Anyhow, inflationism is among the fetishes a friend of mine catalogued on his blog when he was doing a series on fetishes that can never be truly fulfilled in real life, like being into women 50 times your height, or being swallowed by an enormous snake (a la vorarephilia). The point is the unnatural, the fantasy, and pregnant women are just, like, a poor local substitute for the "real" thing, a woman pumped to spherical with fluid or air. This is not some natural ideal of woman from another era.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 5:27 AM
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20: There are lots of those Venuses, few of them made of glass. Renaissance nudes were mostly plumpish and not necessarily busty by modern standards.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 5:36 AM
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The Chinese preference usually seems to have been, and possibly still be, for willowy young-looking women who are not terribly busty. The Chinese called the missionary's wives "cows", probably partly for this reason but mostly because they were uncomfortable with women in public places. (As I've said elsewhere, Protestant missionaries were a force for sexual liberation in XIXc China).

Some of the rage about white guys being attracted to Asian women seems motivated by the fact that many Chinese women naturally look girlish well into their twenties or early thirties.

One great Chinese beauty was described as plumpish, however. I do not recall any Chinese references to racks, balconies, etc.

Ex-Mrs.-Barney in Richler's book "Barney's Version" describes her ex-husband's young dates as "boys with breasts". The weird thing isn't the big boobs, but the combination of big boobs and slenderness.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 5:47 AM
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AWB is probably right, but I think this is more of a hyperbolic extension of real-life preferences than being swallowed by a snake. My evidence is solely the frequency with wich Hetty Sorrel and her magnetic sexuality are described as "round," which I am listing for today's lecture.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 5:49 AM
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I didn't see any penis inflationism or extensionism at the link. I suppose that the penis equivalent would be a 20-foot erect penis stopping traffic on a city street (like a RR crossing bar, as was recently said). A globular penis wouldn't work.

Unfortunately all of the Argentine Lake Duck Penis photos are of dead ducks. People would pay good money for a picture of one erect. But how do you masturbate a duck? That sounds like quite a task.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 5:52 AM
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"Not particularly small breasts" is moving the goalposts. So is "size 16". The porn ideal is something like a 36D bust and a 22" waist. In Hollywood the Venus de Milo would diet and get implants.

And arms. Americans are not attracted to amputees. Not healthy Americans anyway.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 5:54 AM
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Gigantism porn sites always include hundreds of drawings of men being crushed by Empire-State-Building-sized ladies, but also always a handful of photos of 6'5" women. Would the 6'5" women be as attractive to them if they didn't have in mind the "ideal" super-giantess? Being into tall girls is its own fetish.

And vorarephiles seem to like being deep-throated and having their fingers sucked. Most guys like those things, but they're not experiencing them as steps on the way to getting swallowed whole.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 5:55 AM
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But how do you masturbate a duck? That sounds like quite a task.

Jerking off a parakeet, by contrast, is so easy, even a grandmother can do it.



Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 5:56 AM
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Python swallows alligator, but both die.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 6:02 AM
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So, I think maybe I misunderstood you, AWB? You mean to say that all of these fantastical fetishes are grounded in empirical preferences, not historically distant rubrics of beauty? Cause yea, that seems totally reasonable.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 6:07 AM
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They would fit in just fine in Hollywood today.

Are you kidding? At least two of the four statues OFE linked to would be characterized as "thick" by today's standards.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 7:18 AM
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Anyhow, inflationism is among the fetishes a friend of mine catalogued on his blog when he was doing a series on fetishes that can never be truly fulfilled in real life

This calls for, nay, demands, a link.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 7:34 AM
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Different subject, but since we're talking fetishes and porn, this story struck me as Unfogged material for some reason.


Posted by: Timothy Burke | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 7:36 AM
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19 - New thing I learned from that link: the blueberry girl fetish is a distinct subfetish of the larger, and more inclusive, body inflation fetish.


Posted by: Wry Cooter | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 7:46 AM
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52. That story seems to be a clear case of character buttbuttination (see addendum).


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 7:55 AM
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the larger, and more inclusive, body inflation fetish.

There's a scene in Faust: Love of the Damned that's all about that. Unfortunately, the video has been removed from Youtube, and the trailer only shows enough of it to recognize it if you'd already seen the clip (first link is safe for work, second one not so much).

Having seen the clip myself, I'm not sure who would find it titillating, but I guess it takes all kinds.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 8:01 AM
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So how does late-period fat-suited Eddie Murphy fit in to this? Has he moved on from transvestite hookers?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 8:31 AM
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I agree with dsquared that there's something a little bit off about pretending that a lumpy little fertility goddess statue was meant to represent the ideal female form. (All those statues with gigantic penises aren't meant to capture the ideal male, either.)

But the Venus de Milo would be a little heavy by modern Hollywood standards, though probably not by average man-on-the-street standards.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 8:52 AM
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Probably shouldn't dredge this up, but I'd argue that, while most Greek statuary wouldn't work for a 22-yr-old in Hollywood:

A. It's closer to the modern ideal than to either Rubensesque or to a hypothetical prehistorical chunky preference
B. A lot of it depends on how specific you're being - the last 20 years have seen an acceleration towards non-natural body types in Hollywood, to the point where even gorgeous women are expected to diet and get implants (which was the original phrase used - "half-starved anorexic with breast implants"). But Marilyn Monroe, still considered hot, was pretty comparable to FOE's examples, albeit bustier
C. Non-Hollywood ideals are closer to the Greeks. IOW, no one expects to see "half-starved anorexic[s] with breast implants" IRE, and the typical American guy, IMO, would find a real woman with the body of FOE's examples to be quite adequately hott (maybe not some of the less busty examples - we're clearly a breasty culture)
D. Let's not forget the spectacularly unrealistic breasts of Hindu statuary. It's never been clear to me what the deal is with that - the bodies are more or less realistic except for these hemispherical breasts - but it clearly looks a lot like the modern ideal. Another data point for D^2.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 9:01 AM
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Some might say that 58 was Cala-pwned, but I prefer to think that, while Cala had made the argument previously, I was the first to make it with such care and detail.

Also,
52: Holy shit!


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 9:05 AM
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I think that most men are most attracted to women at least 10-20 lbs. heavier than the fashion ideal. Jennifer Lopez, Kate Winslett, and Jennifer Lopez, for example. Even shallow sexist guys who think only about appearance find them women attractive.

The exception is anyone involved in fashion, so guys who want their date to be stylish would probably shun them.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 9:06 AM
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My memory is that the erotic Hindu statues are of fullbodied women, not slender busty women.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 9:10 AM
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OFE's totally right: those statues all have bellies (the horror!) and are fairly pear-shaped, which is not much of an ideal these days. They are nonetheless attractive, of course--as are many young women who have terrible body images.

If I'm not mistaken, though, that's just one era, and the women idealized in art are usually pretty young, if not virginal. By and large, teenagers tend to be slimmer and better muscled than mature women.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 9:15 AM
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Jennifer Lopez and Jennifer Lopez?


Posted by: Wry Cooter | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 9:15 AM
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They are nonetheless attractive, of course--as are many young women who have terrible body images.

Nothing hotter!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 9:21 AM
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60: For Jennifer Lopez read Beyonce.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 9:22 AM
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Has anyone mentioned the difference bt the likes of a 22 yr old man v. a 38 yr old man?

When you are 22, all the women around you are super skinny with no curves. By 38, you appreciate that women's bodies come in many different, amazing shapes.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 9:27 AM
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61: Depends on what you mean by "full-bodied" I suppose. I picture them not as "half-anorexic," but also not as Rubensesque. Regardless, my main point in bringing them up is that they're plainly busty, unlike Greek statues or Rubens paintings.

that's just one era One culture, maybe, but hundreds of years. Romans in 300 AD were still copying Greek originals from 450 BC - and they weren't skinnying them up or adding more thigh. I would also add that pre-Classical Greek statuary, while not as naturalistic, used similar proportions. So we're looking at 1000 years of an aesthetic that, to my eyes, is in line with mid-20thC American beauty ideals (I wonder how much the busty thing has to do with modern underwear; big boobs don't hold up well without support, and so wouldn't be idealized, but once you've got bras, a large bust still looks good into adulthood)


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 9:28 AM
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On this topic, I appreciate the comment about what women and men think when they get naked for the first time together.

Women = "does he think I am fat??"

Men = "Sweet, a naked woman!!!!!'


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 9:28 AM
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66: vy. true.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 9:32 AM
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I am still not really accepting that there is a practically or statistically significant difference here - viz, regarding those Lindsay Lohan/Marilyn Monroe photos, do we really think that they looked "like Marilyn Monroe, but much thinner" rather than "like Marilyn Monroe"?


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 9:35 AM
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70: "like MM, but without hips."

But, you know, she's 15 years younger.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 9:37 AM
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No, we think they looked "nothing like Marilyn Monroe; for one thing, Lohan is much thinner."


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 9:38 AM
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We think that they looked "like Marilyn Monroe, but much more visibly strung out and dead inside."


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 9:38 AM
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When you are 22, all the women around you are super skinny with no curves. By 38, you appreciate that women's bodies come in many different, amazing shapes.

Y'know, sometimes I wonder if half our social problems don't stem from overly revering the youth, and taking their opinions as representative of the whole. If the world view of people in their 40's was revered, there'd probably be a lot more of this type of thing. People mellow as they age.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 9:39 AM
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74 gets it exactly right. And of course it's all the fault of the damn baby boomers.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 9:39 AM
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74

Heebie, you meant a "y" there, didnt you?

40s people Rule!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Bitch and I are taking over the world.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 9:41 AM
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When you've had a bad day, nobody says, "I need some 20s." They say, "Let's go get some 40s!"


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 9:42 AM
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Heebie, you meant a "y" there, didnt you?

I did? People myllow as they age?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 9:44 AM
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Y'all are all way off. Well, JRoth was kinda right, but you are missing the point about old "this chick is objectively hott" and new "this chick is objectively hott."

An important part of being culturally hott is signaling sexual attractiveness. The ways in which we signal have obviously, changed over the years, and signaling has become exponentially more important in the last, say, fifty years. Consumer culture vastly increases the number of ways you can signal.

The reason that thinness has become much more important, is because being thin and working out in a particular way as to emphasize and "tone" certain muscles, has become a very important signal. As is wearing modern underwear that makes your breasts look a certain way, and clothing which also affects the way your body looks. Other signals are hair that is kempt (whether straight, curly, or just-so wavy) and parted and treated with products, a certain sort of skin, makeup and a particular shape of eyebrow (this has become very important).

If the Lindsay Lohans and other hotties of today didn't diet, exercise in a particular way, but just did the normal kind of running-around getting-shit-done picking-up-babies exercise that women of antiquity got, they'd basically look the same as the women in the pictures OFE linked.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 9:44 AM
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Every Playmate since 1962. The class will report on the results of their research tomorrow. Get to work, guys.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 9:46 AM
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Does taking over the world mean I can't take naps any more? Because if so, I'll pass.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 9:46 AM
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For example, I noticed when I would sit on my college campus and watch all the hottie sorority girls walk by, that they all had the same legs! I mean, given the variety in human shape, how was it that they all seemed to have exactly the same leg shape?! Answer: they all worked out the same way and did the same kind of exercises to achieve that look.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 9:46 AM
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a particular shape of eyebrow (this has become very important)

I think this kind of thing is important between women, as status signalling, and between women and men (in a very small way), as same. I really don't think it's important to sexual attractiveness per se.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 9:48 AM
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I think it's important to sexual attractiveness-signalling.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 9:49 AM
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I would sit on my college campus and watch all the hottie sorority girls walk by, that they all had the same legs! I mean, given the variety in human shape, how was it that they all seemed to have exactly the same leg shape?!

Otherwise they're not allowed in the sorority.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 9:49 AM
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Not, of course, to actual sexual attractiveness, which I really think is far broader than most people acknowledge, even for each individual.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 9:50 AM
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85: Maybe, but they weren't totally cookie-cutter. Some had larger breasts, some had small ones, some didn't have much hip while some were more hourglassy, some had little bellies and some were flat-stomached, but they all had the same goddamn legs.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 9:51 AM
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Ah, fair distinction. Sure.

I actually own eyebrow makeup. It's the stupidest thing in the world, and yet.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 9:52 AM
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eyebrow makeup. It's the stupidest thing in the world

Especially when it gets all smeared by those damned motorcycle helmets.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 9:55 AM
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It was sad to realize how much work my friend with the beautiful eyebrows put into them. I thought it was just a little plucking now and then. Nope, multiple-times-a-week plucking, trimming, shaping, some other weird tool I don't understand, and eyebrow makeup and browbone accenting with eyeshadow. For the love of Christ.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 9:55 AM
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"Signalling sexual attractiveness" in a conventional way also signals conventionality and the willingness to make an effort to be sexually attractive, whereas signalling unconventionally indicates unconventionality, unwillingness to make the effort, and possibly lack of interest and/or an uncooperative nature.

And alas, unconventional people are unconventional in many different ways, since it's a residual class whereas conventionality is an imposed unity arranged in a hierarchy of success.

But then standard forms of unconventionality arise, and they date each other, and sometimes the old unconventionality becomes the new conventionality, and the wannabes show up and everything's ruined.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 9:55 AM
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89: I don't actually *wear* it. It just sits in a drawer with all the other makeup.

(Also, I don't see myself ever getting on a motorcycle. I have a kid.)


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 9:57 AM
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Well, JRoth was kinda right

Close enough.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:00 AM
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It just sits in a drawer with all the other makeup.

That's sad.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:01 AM
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My sister (56 y.o.) still spends at least a half an hour every day putting on makeup and fixing her hair. When I was reorganizing the bathroom I counted over 100 hair, makeup, and cleansing items.

She doesn't date and has no interest in dating. She's very, very nice looking and I'm always having people ask about her.

It helps her at work to look good, but she wouldn't have to look that good. By now it's really for her.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:02 AM
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The legs thing is annoying. It's not just exercise, either. It doesn't matter how much I exercise. They're not going to get into the thin, lean look because it's fundamentally about muscle shape. You know why Venus is not wearing a miniskirt? Because she probably has my legs.

74 makes a very good point. We don't as a culture seem to have a good mental image of a beautiful woman that is older than 15.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:03 AM
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94: It's okay, they keep each other company.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:03 AM
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I have eyebrow makeup. I wear it almost daily.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:04 AM
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You know why Venus is not wearing a miniskirt? Because she probably has my legs.

This isn't really a bad thing, though. Miniskirts are ridiculously impractical.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:06 AM
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It is pretty silly.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:06 AM
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Miniskirts are ridiculously impractical.

Depends on what you're trying to achieve.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:07 AM
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I rest my case.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:07 AM
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I think my fiancee's legs are cute because they aren't as thin as the rest of her body. Thin thighs are weird.

I've never told her that though. It's the part she's self-conscious about.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:07 AM
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99: I'm sure it's just body dysmorphia or whatever, but it's miniskirts, pants, anything. I don't get it. I guess I just must store all of my fat there but the average overweight woman has more conventional looking legs than I do.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:09 AM
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Oh yeah? I think your thighs are weird, Ned!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:10 AM
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eyebrows

I think, with eyebrows, you're getting tertiary - eyebrows that are *just so* indicate that you are a woman who gets these things right, yes; but, setting aside unibrows, eyebrows are incredibly weak sexual signals. If you're a very particular guy, you may notice that a woman has *just so* eyebrows, and that's a point in the woman's favor. But I think it's on the level of woman with very refined fashion sense - once you're beyond "flattering and current," you're only signaling to others who are exactly as tuned in as you are. And it's just a tiny, tiny group of people (or men; maybe a huge number of women are aware of brow fashion without partaking).

My point being that, when you're talking about that level of signaling, it's not really about sex, it's all about status. Starlet bodies may be valued because they reflect status, but a hundred million men appreciate skinny-with-boobs, and find it some flavor of sexy. When only a few thousand men are attracted to your signal, it's no longer a sexual signal (I can't quite make myself clear, but I swear that I understand what I'm trying to say).


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:11 AM
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106 gets it right.

When I try to envision a man considering rejecting a woman based on her eyebrows, I envision Late Night Shots. A word of nothing but status symbols, that is to say.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:14 AM
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104: You and I probably have v. similar body types. I have "bad" legs too.

But I kinda like rocking them occasionally with the full just-above-the-knee skirts and the converse.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:17 AM
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108:

Now, I have to go back to the pics to laugh at Bitch's bad legs.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:19 AM
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But I kinda like rocking them occasionally with the full just-above-the-knee skirts and the converse.

The converse would be skin-tight way below the knee skirts?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:21 AM
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Darn it. Foiled by that Heebie who kept climbing on to Bitch's lap and ruining the pictures of Bitch's legs.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:21 AM
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106, 107: You guys aren't quite getting what LeBlanc means. She's not saying that men would reject women with ungroomed eyebrows, or even that guys notice. She's saying that a certain "look" signals to the world at large "I'm a cute girl."

Women who aren't deliberately advertising their "cute girl"ness can certainly be cute girls. But women who are advertising their "cute girl"ness definitely get noticed more; they're playing the "notice me" game.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:22 AM
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108: I can't do just above the knee. I have to wear skirts that are far enough the knee to show muscle definition, but not so high that the fact that they're what my cousin calls 'triangle shaped' and my sister calls 'Italian.'

Of course, it may just be my dance class driving me crazy.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:24 AM
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I don't want to boast, but I have incredibly high eyebrow self-esteem.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:25 AM
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110: No, you big dork.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:26 AM
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113: If a skirt is showing your triangle, it's definitely too short.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:26 AM
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116: Depends on what you're trying to accomplish.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:27 AM
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I submit that almost any eyebrow configuration other than a unibrow can be consistent with being a cute girl.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:28 AM
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Comity!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:29 AM
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"cute girl"


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:29 AM
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119->117.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:29 AM
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Yeah, what she said!

Obviously it's like like eyebrows are make-or-break. Why do people think I am asserting ridiculous things?

For about a month last summer, I stopped doing any kind of hair-removal. No shaving, no eyebrow-plucking. I'm not a particularly hairy person, so it wasn't too serious, but my guy friends noticed the eyebrow change even though they didn't notice the leg or armpit hair (and it was summer, so I was wearing shorts and tank top and stuff).

Anyway, it drove me nuts. Like bitch says, I felt like I couldn't be "cute." It was really very odd.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:30 AM
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I hope that if we have kids, they inherit shivbunny's eyebrows, which look perfectly manicured with no effort.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:30 AM
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I just did a quick review of eyebrows from Unfogged DCon. All of the women, plus Knecht, spend money getting those eyebrows done.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:32 AM
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I never paid any fucking attention to my eyebrows at all until a friend of mine asked if I plucked them. When I gave her the "what are you talking about??" look, she said she was surprised because "they're so perfect."

Needless to say, the stupid bitch made me somewhat self-conscious about the goddamn things, and now I will occasionally tweeze a stray hair. Plus the purchasing of the stupid eyebrow makeup. I swear to god.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:32 AM
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If we had kids, Cala, how would they get shivbunny's eyebrows?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:32 AM
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It's very subtle, given the presence of other things like boobs, but it is there. It's status.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:32 AM
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It was a very funny experiment. I also contemplated cutting my hair short lesbian-style.

Actually, I wondered how different my world would be if I presented as a lesbian in the style common to my neighborhood. Short hair, minimizer sports bras, baggier gender-neutral or men's clothes, minimal makeup. It would be so weird.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:32 AM
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She's saying that a certain "look" signals to the world at large "I'm a cute girl."

I think this confuses "cute" and "more readily available than some others."


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:33 AM
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128: I miss having the short dykey hair. I was so fucking adorable with it.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:34 AM
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Blume has the best eyebrows.

And, Bitch is totally lying. Anyone can tell that she spends top dollar getting those brows waxed. Her glasses are a toil so that people see her brows.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:35 AM
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All of the women, plus Knecht, spend money getting those eyebrows done.

Nope. I really do have natural high eyebrow self-esteem. Those are the real deal holy field.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:35 AM
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130: So cut it?


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:36 AM
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You're on crack, will. I do not wax my effing eyebrows.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:36 AM
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132:

Maybe, if real deal holyfield includes shaping and dying.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:37 AM
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133: Nah, I'm going for the long hair now. Short hair's a little hard to maintain. Plus, at its cutest, I was a lot thinner.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:38 AM
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134:

Right. Wink, wink. totally natural. Just like my new calf muscles and pecks.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:38 AM
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I tried to say 129, but it would have come out wrong. exactly.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:39 AM
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Maybe, if real deal holyfield includes shaping and dying.

They are marvelous, it's true. Like parentheses for my eyeballs. Nature's (natural) miracle.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:39 AM
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139:

They are fabulous. Maybe not Blume fabulous. But fabulous, nevertheless.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:42 AM
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totally natural. Just like my new calf muscles and pecks.

It's spelled p-e-c-k-e-r, will.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:43 AM
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My eyebrows are practically clear, so I don't bother shaping them because it would be pointless.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:44 AM
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In the springtime, there is nothing more innocent than the tapping sounds of the young peckerwill.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:44 AM
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Apo:

I hate you. I just spit my diet coke out.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:45 AM
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My eyebrows are practically clear

I'd love to comment, but since you blew us off, I cannot.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:46 AM
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144: If you loved me, you'd swallow the Diet Coke.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:48 AM
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129: Dude, but that signal is a big social deal, in terms of whether you get sexual attention. I'm reasonably pretty and very poorly groomed -- clean, and most of the time my legs have been shaved sometime in the last few weeks, but that's about as far as I go. Back in my college days when I was looking to get some action, though, I got bupkis in the way of attention or expressed desire compared to better-groomed women -- the difference appeared to be a function of grooming.

Men may have thought, internally, that I was just as attractive as some chick with plucked eyebrows and so on, but if that belief isn't communicated, then the attractive but poorly-groomed don't get any of the social benefits of being attractive.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:50 AM
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the attractive but poorly-groomed don't get any of the social benefits of being attractive

Hmm, I'm not sure this is right. It's been a long time since I was in college, but hippie chicks certainly got plenty of play.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:54 AM
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All of the women, plus Knecht, spend money getting those eyebrows done.

I categorically deny spending money getting my eyebrows done.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:55 AM
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You were probably just surly, LB. Every time I've been in a group and thought "that woman is secretly quite attractive, despite not playing it up at all," I've found that all the other guys have already noticed and are making a play. Again, I think this depends on social circles; there are several large subcultures here where the women don't have to do a lot of grooming to be considered attractive, and before that it was college and grad school, where everyone's horny, but this notion that you have to groom in a particular way to get attention is bound to particular social circles.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:56 AM
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149: KR's eyebrow technician uses the barter system.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:57 AM
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I got bupkis in the way of attention or expressed desire compared to better-groomed women -- the difference appeared to be a function of grooming.

I seriously doubt this. Band nerds get a ton of action.

As per the recent discussion, I think how much action one gets is some sort of synergy of cajones. Are you sending bold signals to the type of person who takes action, when sent bold signals? Bold signals to scaredy-pantses doesn't result in action, and mute signals to action-types doesn't go anywhere either.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:57 AM
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Dude, but that signal is a big social deal, in terms of whether you get sexual attention.

I'm not arguing otherwise. I was just saying that the signal isn't for "cute" (as read by some, at least; I suppose there could be signals that intend one thing and are understood as another).


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:57 AM
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cajones

Cajones are drawers.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:58 AM
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Whuh?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:59 AM
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this notion that you have to groom in a particular way to get attention is bound to particular social circles.

It really isn't. It's true that there are a lot of social circles where grooming like a sorority girl would be exceedingly weird, but it is also true, as LB is saying, that being pretty but not playing the "cute girl" game to *some* degree, however that's defined in your circle = getting ignored, for the most part. I've had plenty of friends who were much more attractive than I am, but much less inclined to draw attention to themselves, and therefore pretty much dateless.

And men have the same damn problem, and you guys know it.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:00 AM
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Cojones=testicles. Cajones=drawers.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:00 AM
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The mating signals sent aren't consciously received. It's not like guys say "I like / don't like her eyebrows". They just get turned on or not by her look. It's their reptile brain, as programmed by advertising geniuses.

Your desires are not yours. Partly they come from the veldt, partly from people who run focus groups.

As a result, Will will never starve. The focus group people work to keep the relationships churning. Happy relationships destroy the commercial buzz.

Will, how many divorces do you have to do to pay for one of your own? Are divorce lawyers like the high-end jewelers who can't afford the jewelry they sell?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:01 AM
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And men have the same damn problem, and you guys know it.

Which is why I always act like a cute girl.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:01 AM
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(And it is true that in *every* circle, the conventionally pretty girl with the nice eyebrows is going to get attention.)


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:02 AM
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hippie chicks certainly got plenty of play.

I wasn't there, so I could be wrong, but there's a difference between well-groomed in a different idiom and poorly groomed. 'Hippie chicks' I've known have spent nearly as much time and attention on beauty and presentation as anyone else.

You were probably just surly, LB.

This, on the other hand, could be a complete explanation.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:02 AM
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I don't even know what that means, B. "Not playing the cute girl game to some degree." It's true that if you shun social contact, you probably won't have much social contact.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:03 AM
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I've had plenty of friends who were much more attractive than I am, but much less inclined to draw attention to themselves, and therefore pretty much dateless.

But it's not "grooming" necessarily. It's flirting and being bubbly and making guys feel good about themselves, no?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:03 AM
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159: Actually, you totally do.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:03 AM
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164: [blink blink blink] Pay attention to meeeee!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:05 AM
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162, see 163. Do you really not know what I mean? You don't know any women who on first glance seem mousy or plain, but who are actually very pretty, and who get a lot less attention than otherwise less attractive women who play "cute girls" (whether that's makeup, flirtatiousness, extroversion, punching guys on the arm, whatever)?

LIke, a female version of w-lfs-n. Or Teo.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:05 AM
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150: I'd say that what counts as good grooming simply varies, not that it only matters in some circles. People keep saying the little status touches don't matter, but I see who they date and who they marry and it's just amazing how similar they all are.

I'm a little amused by this conversation on a blog as status-conscious as this one.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:05 AM
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This, on the other hand, could be a complete explanation.

I'm going with that theory. A girl who can't get laid at MIT and U. of Chicago must be actively (if subconsciously) repelling would-be sexors.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:06 AM
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164: Heh. On having met Apo for about 45 seconds at the party in DC, I know exactly what you mean. It's very attractive.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:07 AM
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165: Exactly.

Come to think of it, that's probably why you're not a feminist. You don't *want* the Teos and the w-lfs-ns to steal your thunder. It's like you're Ann Althouse or something.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:07 AM
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166: In my HS there was an established pecking order of cute girls, and the two cutest girls in the class by far were left out of it because their families were not quite right.

One of them went from dire poverty to being a professional realtor who owned her own airplane, so there was a happy ending.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:08 AM
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You don't know any women who on first glance seem mousy or plain, but who are actually very pretty, and who get a lot less attention than otherwise less attractive women who play "cute girls"

No, this is exactly my point. Those actually very pretty girls get lots of attention; they aren't escaping anyone's notice.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:09 AM
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164: [blink blink blink] Pay attention to meeeee!

I've got a camera, baby. Want to dress up like Marilyn Monroe?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:09 AM
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A girl who can't get laid at MIT and U. of Chicago

Among the most misogynist, least erotic guys in the world?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:10 AM
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172: In my experience, that isn't the case. They may be getting noticed, but the people doing the noticing seem to be keeping it to themselves.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:10 AM
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Those actually very pretty girls get lots of attention; they aren't escaping anyone's notice.

No way. Ally Sheedy looks like a mousy rat, and then everyone is shocked at the end of the movie when she puts on a headband. But, but, she's beautiful.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:10 AM
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I categorically deny spending money getting my eyebrows done.

I am glad that Apo caught this non-denial denial.

Fleur probably waxes them for Knecht. That poor woman. So sweet.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:10 AM
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I'm glad Emerson said 174 and not me.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:11 AM
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Among the most misogynist, least erotic guys in the world?

That doesn't rule out horny, though.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:12 AM
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actually very pretty

Perhaps we're getting confused about what grooming and presentation do for the only respectably attractive (which is about as much as I'd lay claim to) rather than the smokin'? I'd be willing to believe that there's some level of stunningness at which grooming ceases to make a difference.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:12 AM
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a mousy rat

??


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:13 AM
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No, this is exactly my point. Those actually very pretty girls get lots of attention; they aren't escaping anyone's notice.

Mmm, everyone notices, but I think B's right when she says, In my experience, that isn't the case. They may be getting noticed, but the people doing the noticing seem to be keeping it to themselves. But that's because the signaling isn't about "cute" so much as likelihood of success.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:13 AM
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In my HS the boys ignore the cute girls who had been excluded from the pecking order because there was no prestige to be gained. At least one of them was a very good student, too. And actually, I can think of two more.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:13 AM
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Again, I think this depends on social circles

we have already established on a previous thread that your social circle consisted of the nelliest, gwenniest simpering milksops in the history of college sports, so you might be getting a distorted picture here.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:13 AM
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175: That may be true. It may also be true that some women who are unbelievably hot are not approached by a lot of guys they would like, because said guys are intimidated.

But still, a given woman is a heck of a lot more likely than a man to be made aware that someone finds her attractive.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:14 AM
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I am glad that Apo caught this non-denial denial. Fleur probably waxes them for Knecht. That poor woman. So sweet.

Seven years of the Bush administration have made this country unsafe for the pregnant negative, I tell you.

OK, so Fleur does maintain my eyebrows. But she loves it! She has to force me to submit to it.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:14 AM
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164 and 169 are correct.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:15 AM
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??

Just that the Breakfast Club has a very heavy-handed portrayal of the mousy girl who'd be beautiful if she'd just push the hair out of her eyes. But of course, it's Ally Sheedy, and when you watch the movie you think, "Wouldn't Judd Nelson's character be attracted to the hot goth chick? Why are we pretending she's ugly?"


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:15 AM
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No way. Ally Sheedy looks like a mousy rat, and then everyone is shocked at the end of the movie when she puts on a headband. But, but, she's beautiful.

Yea, I think I disagree with Ogged. For some girls, it is simply that they are not high school beautiful, but by college, people recognize that they are beautiful.

The standards are different as is the perspective of the observer.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:16 AM
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the people doing the noticing seem to be keeping it to themselves

That's because they're hoping to make a play without alerting all the other guys that there's a secret hottie in their midst. 100% serious.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:16 AM
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Hollywood-homely is what the rest of the world calls "cute". Everything has to be carefully discounted. All media MDs are hott, young, and slender, for example, except for the typecast grizzled old verteran.

I'm mean, the ugly of ugly duckling girls. Ugly monsters that eat people are really ugly.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:18 AM
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"without alerting all the other guys that there's a secret hottie in their midst" s/b "without alerting all the other guys that they want to get freaky with the kinda-plain-looking chick"

100% serious.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:18 AM
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190 is wrong.

They cannot get the traditionally hot girls, so they like the other girls. Given a choice, most would pick the universally recognized hot girl.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:18 AM
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They may be getting noticed, but the people doing the noticing seem to be keeping it to themselves.

This is absolutely the case. Gets back to the status thing.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:19 AM
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188: I was making fun of "mousy" as a descriptor for "rat."

190: Huh. Well, some of my friends waited all through hs and all through college and no plays were made. And some of my friends got very little attention in graduate school, though perhaps not none.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:19 AM
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196

Ogged is getting it right here.

Outside one-night-stand-type encounters, meeting strangers at bars or something, men do spend a lot of time considering which women are attractive, in what obvious or nonobvious ways, and whether there is really something there beneath the superficial cues. Among women they actually know, that is. Among strangers, of course not, that's what the signals are for, to make a good first impression.

Just like women do when thinking about men.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:19 AM
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They cannot get the traditionally hot girls, so they like the other girls. Given a choice, most would pick the universally recognized hot girl.

But she's taken, so that's why we're talking about the other girls.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:20 AM
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I was making fun of "mousy" as a descriptor for "rat."

Oh. That is funny.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:21 AM
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But she's taken, so that's why we're talking about the other girls.

But, that is different from independantly deciding that she is hot.

"Eh, she is better looking than I thought" is settling, not choosing.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:21 AM
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Some guys really, really go for the "cute girl" signals to the exclusion of everything else. Others less so.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:23 AM
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164 and 169 are correct.

Aww, you guys are the best.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:24 AM
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Those actually very pretty girls get lots of attention; they aren't escaping anyone's notice.

This is absolutely correct, and not at all inconsistent with what Emerson says:

In my HS the boys ignore the cute girls who had been excluded from the pecking order because there was no prestige to be gained.

The problem is, Emerson's forgetting that HS society consists of cliques nested with cliques. Those cute girls might not have been getting play from the varsity quarterback, but there were guys on the soccer team/in forensics/&c. who crushed on them with varying degrees of success.


Posted by: SEK | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:24 AM
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I concur with Emerson and Bitch about the sort of geeky guys one finds at MIT and U Chicago (also places like /.) They are incredibly misogynist and far more concerned with their status within the geek hierarchy than anything else. Dating a woman who doesn't look like an anime character would make them loose status, so they are very hard to score with.

Of course, they have sex drives like anyone else, but their real-doll-esque fantasy lives generally sate that.

None of this applies to Kotsko, Oudemia, or anyone else at unfogged who went to those schools. Or has /. as her browser's startup page.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:25 AM
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192: thank you for rephrasing that in the least charitable way imaginable.

I won't say anything else, but I'm surprised there's so much of a gender split on the issue of "women getting attention from men". I cannot believe that any vaguely-attractive girl I've ever been friends with didn't receive any obvious interest throughout the entirety of college, even if it was from guys she wasn't entirely interested in. That's still interest.

But I don't know of course.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:26 AM
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192 is interesting, and I'm trying to think through how both versions can be (are) true -- because I'd say they are.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:27 AM
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any vaguely-attractive girl I've ever been friends with

...has gotten a drunken pass from me at one point or another.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:27 AM
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ned:

they got attention. Just not from the good looking guys.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:28 AM
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"Eh, she is better looking than I thought" is settling, not choosing.

No, no. It's "She is better looking than she superficially appeared in my first impression of her." The other girl was obviously good-looking at first glance, but after knowing them for a little while, it's clear that both are good-looking. Isn't that normal? Isn't that true of both men and women?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:28 AM
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Emerson's forgetting that HS society consists of cliques nested with cliques.

That too. From my outsiders perspective, high school looked very rule driven, with many of those rules thrown out after high school because the reward/status system is all out of whack. Of course some things don't change ... the ones with money tend to keep it, etc.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:29 AM
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...has gotten a drunken pass from me at one point or another.

There goes apo again, acting like a cute girl.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:29 AM
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Eighty-nine go-arounds of this discussion has convinced me that men are largely oblivious to whatever signals they are picking up.

Though I suspect the importance of these signals is overrated, along the lines Tim suggests. If you don't want to send the signals through grooming, there are other ways that are equally effective. I believe way back when DominEditrix suggested "wanna fuck?" as a sort of signalling mechanism of potential availability.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:29 AM
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varying degrees of success

... running the gamut from "fuck-all" to "a bag of chips".


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:29 AM
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they got attention. Just not from the good looking guys.

Exactly!

Whereas the corresponding man would not get any attention at all. Not from teh good looking girls, or the bad looking girls. He would have to go out and initiate things on his own.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:29 AM
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I'm surprised there's so much of a gender split on the issue of "women getting attention from men"

That's because there's this narrative out there that women are constantly getting hit on, and then a lot of women who are like "wait, that doesn't happen." Yes, I get random men on the street yelling after me, but I don't really think that's relevant "attention."


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:30 AM
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Those cute girls might not have been getting play from the varsity quarterback, but there were guys on the soccer team/in forensics/&c. who crushed on them with varying degrees of success.

IME, the guys in forensics never let on anything about their crushes until they got drunk at the 10 year reunion.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:30 AM
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This sentiment is psychotic:

"Eh, she is better looking than I thought" is settling, not choosing.

Fill in the inevitable divorce lawyers joke here: _______.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:30 AM
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That's because there's this narrative out there that women are constantly getting hit on, and then a lot of women who are like "wait, that doesn't happen."

I think the narrative is more like "unlike men, women get hit on at all." That's changing, but still, people need to be more straightforward and not wait for the person they like to mysteriously detect that they like them.

Really leaving now! Bye!


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:31 AM
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they got attention. Just not from the good looking guys.

Throughout college and law school, I have gotten romantic/sexual attention directed at me by precisely two of the people who were in school with me. One was a guy who was in my department and asked me out, but then decided he liked some other girl in the department. The other is my current boyfriend.

The other men who acknowledged me were dudes yelling on the street, who I don't count.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:32 AM
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This sentiment is psychotic:

Yes, but in polite society we call it "romantic."


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:33 AM
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... running the gamut from "fuck-all" to "a bag of chips".

Did you people even go to high school? 'Cause you know, the unpopular people had sex too. And many of them were attractive -- some strikingly beautiful -- but were 1) poor or 2) named "Anita Johnson."


Posted by: SEK | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:34 AM
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Whereas the corresponding man would not get any attention at all. Not from teh good looking girls, or the bad looking girls.

I think both men and women forget about the people they turned down and remember the ones who turned them down. Someone hit on you, and you knew it, and you weren't interested.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:34 AM
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I know you're leaving, Ned, but I thought the conversation was about which kinds of women with various levels of grooming get paid attention by men, not whether women get hit on vs. men. No one would argue that men are much, much more likely to initiate contact and express interest. That's not particularly controversial.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:34 AM
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213: Sorry, I was just whining about nothing. Actually, I was ignoring the rich, fulfilling sex life I could have had if I'd only lowered my sights from Chip Chipperson III, the only billionare Rhodes Scholar ever to win the Heisman Trophy playing football for U. Chicago.

Not to be cranky or anything, but that's really irritating of you.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:34 AM
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I think I'm realizing the source of the disagreement here. I know for a fact that socially awkward / geeky / nerdy guys nurse crushes on the women they think that only they've noticed like a mother bear nurses its pups. But it's quite likely that the woman (and other people in the group) never get wind of the crush, because the guy is socially awkward and never acts on it.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:36 AM
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131: Thanks, will!


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:36 AM
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Chip Chipperson sounds like a talking horse. Kind of amazing he went to college at all.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:36 AM
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You know, I honestly think that pretty much every guy I've dated or fucked, I either made the first move or else it was quite mutual. Yeah, some guys made the first move and got turned down, poor bastards, but I really don't think I've gotten more passes than I've made.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:36 AM
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Anyway, LB is right here. It's irritating because we have a bunch of women saying "I didn't get much attention from men because I didn't comport with social norms in X way" and you all are saying

yes you did, quit whining
or
you did, but you just didn't notice it
or
you didn't, but quit whining, because a man in your position would have gotten even LESS!!!!


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:36 AM
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LizardBreath likes 'em old.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:37 AM
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Has nobody congratulated dsquared on a truly masterful troll?

Good stuff, formerly big guy.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:37 AM
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Someone hit on you, and you knew it, and you weren't interested.

True, true, false.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:38 AM
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224: Sure, and vice-versa. But it doesn't necessarily follow from that that being a plain girl, presentation-wise, isn't relevant to whether or not guys in general find you attractive.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:38 AM
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202: I went to a rudimentary high school with one clique and no soccer.

It's true that someone was crushing on these four cute girls, but none of the guys in the clique were. And they were both cuter and hotter than most or all of the clique girls. Not just minimum-standard cute.

Of course, in Lake Wobegon being sexless is normal.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:39 AM
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Blume does have quality eyebrows, it's true.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:39 AM
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OK, on the one hand, I now get the argument/claim that was originally advanced by m. and B. OTOH, I still have a lot of trouble accepting, "[particular shape of eyebrow] has become very important." It was the strength of that statement that made me want to dispute it, and was what I was trying to get at in 106. When you're getting down to "particular shape of eyebrow," you're getting into rarefied territory, where you're signaling to those "in the know."*

Stepping back to the broader view, I can totally see the point where a certain level of eyebrow care (plucking dark strays, trimming wild, long ones - the latter of which I have to do, despite being someone who only bothers to shave twice a week) is a part of "cuteness" and "availability." But so is everything. And you don't need to pass in every category to read as cute - it's more like a preponderance of the evidence. Clean? Hair combed/brushed? Flattering Clothes? Tasteful makeup? Eh, 3 out of 4 ain't bad.

I certainly won't deny that, the more things you do to signal your attractiveness, the more people will be attracted to you (duh). But I think that diminishing returns set in way earlier than you may be realizing (thinking about it, this last statement may be a summary of my position on every one of these threads in Unfogged history).

* I'm not actually certain which shape m. thinks is critically preferred; speaking for myself, I find obviously shaped eyebrows to be a negative signal, because it's telling me that the woman (or man, actually) in question has very different values from mine. It's like a tiny dog in your purse - hott for some, stupid for most.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:39 AM
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Did you people even go to high school?

Well, not properly, no. So I should probably stay out of this one. For what's it's worth, most of the kids not in high school were having loads of sex though.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:40 AM
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I think 192 is perceptive. It's a variation of sour grapes. These are guys who insist Jessica Biel is hot, so it's clear that what is conventionally beautiful is appealing to them, but then in their own life insist that they, and they alone, are the only ones refined enough to appreciate the mousy woman.

It's a form of snobbery. And I'm not all that interested in whether desires are teh Authentic, but one wonders if they'd be insisting that they really plain girls if they had a chance with Jessica Biel.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:41 AM
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I know for a fact that socially awkward / geeky / nerdy guys nurse crushes on the women they think that only they've noticed like a mother bear nurses its pups.

Except you've just said that everyone notices, and I don't quite understand why you have access to this information and they don't.

This conversation has less to do with "hott" than "accessible." LB with the dangling earrings is "girl, approach like other girls." LB without the dangling earrings is "friend, really attractive, what if she rejects me and I fuck up the friendship, isn't it creepy to hit on a friend," etc. As you go up the scale of signals, you think, at least, you have more information about how to treat a someone as a member of a class, rather than having to figure out the individual.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:41 AM
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There is no fucking trolling these people. How on earth could I, even at the height of my trolling powers with my posse from ade/quacy.org in full effect, have provoked a longer, more passive-aggressively bitchy or sillier discussion? How could I or anyone else have encouraged anyone to make themselves look sillier? I love this site.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:42 AM
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I have also pointed out that the high school quarterback was gay, but he actually dated a lot because he was one of the few guys in the school who was willing to talk to girls.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:42 AM
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This sentiment is psychotic

Walt, my point is that the guy wasn't choosing the girl because of her looks. The decision that she was attractive only came later, as a result of other factors.

I think it is worth repeating that what qualifies as an attractive girl changes somewhat from high school to college to after college and many geeky looking high school girls become appreciated as really hot post college.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:42 AM
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When you're getting down to "particular shape of eyebrow," you're getting into rarefied territory, where you're signaling to those "in the know."

Sort of, and certainly at the conscious level ("obviously shaped"). I think the point is that grooming standards ebb and flow, and we all, to some extent, adjust without really thinking about it.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:42 AM
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I went to a rudimentary high school with one clique and no soccer.

Well, it seems as if everyone here is talking as if there's only one clique, which seems to me to be the problem. To build on my previous example: my friend Anita Johnson was stunning, but since she'd been mocked by the same crowd for ages, she was a social outcast. Beauty and popularity aren't coterminous.


Posted by: SEK | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:43 AM
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And for the record, in college I turned down 2 sexual advances. One from the guy who had already slept with most of the women in the house, causing widespread hatred between his steady girlfriend and his latest girl on the side -- given the numbers involved, I didn't take that approach all that personally. And then an incident in which I behaved rather badly -- I smooched a friend to whom I wasn't particularly attracted but who seemed available, in the hopes that I'd get interested in the event. I regretted making the approach, and backed off although he'd expressed reciprocal interest. (Sorry about that, [X].) That's it. In four years, that's everyone I turned down.

I really get irritated with the 'all reasonably attractive women have their pick of sexual opportunities' bit. Not that we're owed anything of the sort, of course, but the failure to believe that it's simply not true for everyone is kind of maddening.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:43 AM
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238 is quite perceptive, except for the "hott" and "accessible" distinction, which I think is a distinction with out a difference.

"you have more information about how to treat a someone as a member of a class" is particularly good.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:43 AM
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I'm not all that interested in whether desires are teh Authentic, but one wonders if they'd be insisting that they really plain girls if they had a chance with Jessica Biel.

See Cala agrees with me. (Not that I would have noticed if Bitch had agreed with me.)


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:45 AM
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'Cause you know, the unpopular people had sex too.

Not everywhere. Maybe in New Orleans, which would explain why God smote New Orleans.

I will never figure out why God smote Grand Forks, though. The default theory is that the devil's in the details, whereas God is a bit careless because of his undiscriminating love.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:45 AM
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Oh, how I wish I could go back to high school / college with the knowledge I have now.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:46 AM
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I will never figure out why God smote Grand Forks, though.

He was probably using Mapquest. They fuck up everything.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:47 AM
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227: You're an outlier. We just throw out your data.

Science, you know.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:48 AM
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OT: While I'm totally not working because of this thread, I have an OT bleg: I want to copy some dvds (like, dvds, with movies on them). How do I do this? You have to have something special b/c of various protective devices, right? I want to do it on a PC. I could do research, but I'm lazy. Anyone want to clue me in? (You can also email me at my addy in this post).


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:48 AM
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243: This is one of the weird things about school. You're often carrying years of background with people. Other factors: popularity often revolves around cliques with particular looks. If you are slow to pick this up, can't afford to keep up, or the look really doesn't suit you. For few school age kids have much talent for makeup, but the ones who know (or define) the right look get status from it -- even if they look a bit goofy. Same thing goes for clothes. If you're a so-called late bloomer, it'll hurt you. If your background is `wrong', it's much harder to leave behind than it will be later. Etc. etc. etc.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:48 AM
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is quite perceptive, except for the "hott" and "accessible" distinction, which I think is a distinction with out a difference.

It's really not, but I'm not quite sure how to make that clear.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:48 AM
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248: Heh, me too. Except that that would be really, really bad.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:48 AM
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251: Put them on the copier glass and hit the green button.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:49 AM
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I thought that was what I should do with my breasts. At office parties.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:50 AM
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254: We could go back to high school together and hit on each other!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:50 AM
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256: You could enlarge them 144%!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:51 AM
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257: True, and everyone else. And not care about having "reputations." It would be incredibly destructive to the development of our peers.

Also I'd probably get kicked out, since I went to Catholic hs.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:52 AM
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I met a gay dude who had spent a weekend in Grand Forks with a theater group, and he verified that the gay community there may be nonexistent.

Billings Montana is hopping, though, including one guy who has been HIV positive for 20 years plus. Yay Billings!


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:53 AM
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258: Holy crap.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:53 AM
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I really get irritated with the 'all reasonably attractive women have their pick of sexual opportunities' bit.

It's funny, because I know my wife feels the same way. Yet:

A. She had way more success with the opposite sex than I did
B. I had the hots for her the first time I ever met her, when she was dressed in wintertime work clothes (and, I might add, wearing short hair that led at least some guys to assume she was gay).

I guess what I'm saying is that the example I'm most familiar with only confirms my sexist-cliche view of things, even as she denies it. I might add that she was also attracted to/interested in me, but I was the one who made the move.

The above is meant as humorous, BTW. I've come to accept the repeated insistences of women here and elsewhere, even as it clashes with my own IRL experiences.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:54 AM
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Also I'd probably get kicked out, since I went to Catholic hs.

I *did* get kicked out of my high school for having sex, and it wasn't even a Catholic school.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:56 AM
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I was in high school w/ an honors/AP track where the same group of 45-odd people took most of the classes together. There were about 12-15 of the guys in that group who took turns asking the same 3-5 girls out, & they were the most done up "cute girls".

This dynamic relaxed in college, in part because we were all geeks to some extent. But it didn't disappear. And a lot of guys definitely sought each other's approval for the girls they dated.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:56 AM
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Oh, how I wish I could go back to high school / college with the knowledge I have now.

I sort of did this, and it was pretty messed up. At least I went back with the knowledge from being out for a while. The time out taught me a lot of things, anyway. I figured I'd quietly slip in and just do the work. That didn't work so well.

I'd been running with a pretty rough crowd, I guess, but I've never thought of myself as being hard. The kids at the high school didn't agree (and this wasn't a suburban school). The first day back was like the parting of the red sea in a busy corridor. So I didn't fit in any better then, either. The weren't right to be afraid of me, but I guess they were right that I wasn't one of them.


Posted by: Abraham Lincoln | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:57 AM
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262: I wonder if that experience is because we can't help but judge by our own standards. So an attractive woman might feel she isn't getting the expected attention because her standard is set by other attractive women. OTOH, a man sees a lot of attention paid as compared to that received by an attractive man, which is his standard.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:59 AM
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265: Is anyone else here picturing President Lincoln dressed as Fonzie? It's a vivid and unsettling image.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:59 AM
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I had the hots for her the first time I ever met her

I think that this is the key thing. Guys think, "I have the hots for you! Doesn't that count?" And girls are thinking, "no one's saying anything." Thinking someone's attractive /= letting them know.

And I think we've established that the guys here (except for apo, who's really a cute girl) tend not to be terribly forward.

So, if y'all are representative of "guys who don't care about eyebrow waxing," then what we can conclude is that guys who don't care about eyebrow waxing wander around having the hots for non-waxing women but tend not to let that fact be known. Which means that the women are not exactly getting hit on right and left, even if it feels to you like they must be, since after all, you're thinking about them all the damn time.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:59 AM
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263: Gawd, I want to have your baby sometimes.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 11:59 AM
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265 is an example of how HS is a status, a convention, or an institution, rather than a utilitarian way of transmitting knowledge. Dsquared has discussed this in an entirely different context.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:00 PM
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I want to copy some dvds (like, dvds, with movies on them). How do I do this? You have to have something special b/c of various protective devices, right? I want to do it on a PC

I don't know how special your special things have to be, or if this was just handled transparently for me by my extremely user-friendly operating system, because I copied a dvd once just by doing "cp /dev/dvd $destination".


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:01 PM
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I only ever got kicked out of other peoples schools for having sex. Not sure if that's better or worse.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:01 PM
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263: Yeah, see? It would be bad. We'd be getting kicked out of every school around, and not giving a shit.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:01 PM
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252: I will never forget the first day of 8th grade, when I showed up at Palmetto Jr High and the "popular" girls were all wearing distinctive new clothes (featuring rhinestone medals - part of why it's seared into my memory, of course). I couldn't fathom how they had coordinated this. I mean, I was aware of "back to school shopping," but where the hell had this fashion come from?

Also, I moved to a relatively insular suburb after 8th grade, meaning that everyone in HS had already known each other for 10 years. "Yeah, Hi, I'm the Dorky New Kid. Would anyone like to mock my ignorance of your strange folkways? OK, great, I'll just spend a year or so hanging out with the stoner outcasts, with whom I have nothing in common. Thanks."


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:02 PM
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273: You've got that all wrong. Getting kicked out of every school around and not giving a shit was excellent.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:02 PM
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I wonder if that experience is because we can't help but judge by our own standards.

No, we judge according to thetan clam engrams programmed by mind control scientists.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:03 PM
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It is all a plot to prevent kids from having sex.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:03 PM
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Bitch's 268 nails it precisely. A bunch of us guys have all kinds of things going on in our heads that have no impact on the rest of the world.


Posted by: Bruce Baugh | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:03 PM
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275: It would be excellent, but it would also be bad. Like the Mongols in China or something.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:04 PM
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And I think we've established that the guys here (except for apo, who's really a cute girl) tend not to be terribly forward.

In conjunction with apo's 248, I could certainly offer my younger self some advice about how to be more "forward." But the really vexing thing for me - the thing I look back on with genuine regret - is how often I utterly failed to realize I was being hit on. (Not that it happened often, but I pretty much failed to realize it every time.)


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:04 PM
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262: I'd also say that it depends on what you count as success. A large percentage of my college sex life was one or two-night stands that I initiated. That, probably, I had a much easier time with than a man at an equivalent level of attractiveness would have had -- a man in my position could truthfully say that I had an easier time getting laid than he did. OTOH, it also fits into a cultural narrative of being humiliated, having low self esteem, and so forth as discussed by AWB in her response to Ogged's post from the other day.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:05 PM
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You're often carrying years of background with people. Other factors: popularity often revolves around cliques with particular looks. If you are slow to pick this up, can't afford to keep up, or the look really doesn't suit you. For few school age kids have much talent for makeup, but the ones who know (or define) the right look get status from it -- even if they look a bit goofy. Same thing goes for clothes. If you're a so-called late bloomer, it'll hurt you. If your background is `wrong', it's much harder to leave behind than it will be later. Etc. etc. etc.

Exactly ... except in the uni-clique worlds some people here.


Posted by: SEK | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:05 PM
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A bunch of us guys have all kinds of things going on in our heads that have no impact on the rest of the world.

I was going to say something like "the inside of your heads isn't the real world, boys," but that would only have started a fight.

how often I utterly failed to realize I was being hit on.

This is no doubt true for women too. Certainly in retrospect there were guys who were interested in me (though they may not have actually "hit on" me) without my realizing it.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:07 PM
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279: I guess `like the Mongols in China' is actually not such a bad description of some of my school experience.

This place is weird to me. Some of the experiences talked about are scarily familiar, others completely alien. Which is normal enough I guess. There just isn't a lot of middle ground.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:08 PM
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How many cliques can you have with about 600 people in 12 grades? I'm the Grumpy Old Man, you know.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:09 PM
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How many cliques can you have with about 600 people in 12 grades?

Approaching infinite. Class/status markers can be sliced very, very thinly.


Posted by: SEK | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:10 PM
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285: that may be an urban/exurban/rural divide, I guess. The high school I should have gone to had 750 or 800 in two grades.

Still, you ought to be able to manage at least two cliques (town/good kids/preppies/sportos vs. bad kids/stoners/artsy) anywhere, shouldn't you?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:11 PM
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Maybe JE just didn't realize there were cliques all around.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:12 PM
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A large percentage of my college sex life was one or two-night stands that I initiated.

Wow. You must have gone to a large school, LB.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:12 PM
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On the strength of this thread, I think it's safe to release all of us back into high school world with our new knowledge.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:12 PM
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274.2 amusingly describes my early high school experience, except I didn't know they smoked pot until years later.

I am not very forward except at just the right sort of unfogged meetup.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:13 PM
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288: Why?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:13 PM
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268, 278: Yep. Goes back to what I said in the last paragraph of my 147. (Which I didn't mean to turn into a giant whine fest about my unfulfilling college experience, really. I just got annoyed with the response.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:13 PM
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289: Large percentage can be quite a small number, dude.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:14 PM
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How many cliques can you have with about 600 people in 12 grades?

2^600 - 1, if we say that each clique needs at least one member, individuals can be members of more than one clique, and cliques are entirely defined by their membership (i.e., there are no 2 different cliques with the same membership).


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:14 PM
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B, I specifically said "rest of the world" so as to be agnostic on whether an existential critique should be applied. I had a feeling that taking a stand either way would likely lead to a long digression that might be very funny to read but would still distract from points I'm interested in seeing.

It seems like "this is an advance upon you" is something that a lot of folks of various genders could use help with in high school and college. I'm kind of reassured about that, as I was one of the very worst at noticing it, among my close friends. It's tempting to wonder how many other things I was insecure about would have been improved by sex earlier and more often with people I cared about.


Posted by: Bruce Baugh | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:15 PM
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amusingly describes my early high school experience, except I didn't know they smoked pot until years later.


Ok, that surprises me. At my middle school (8th-10th grade) the way you identified the stoners (not really outcasts) was that they spent a big chunk of every day on a hill just off school grounds smoking dope. It's not something you could really miss.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:16 PM
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Cliques have to have at least two members, Otto.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:16 PM
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The trick to getting laid in high school and college is to be part of the clique that drinks and drugs a lot.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:16 PM
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I utterly failed to realiz or I was being hit on a nigh-infinite number of times. Almost as often, I would hit on a girl and then not realize she was interested, and wander off.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:17 PM
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(So 300*599.)


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:17 PM
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LB - I'm not totally clear on your college experience, from inside your perspective. Did you have long term intense crushes on specific people? Or were you lukewarm towards all guys that were available to you?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:18 PM
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I don't recognize the two person clique, or any clique involving individuals further than about three years apart.

It seems that a clique needs about 15 people with not much overlap, so mathematically my HS could have had four cliques per year, except that a clique also needs an outsider loser lumpen group which doesn't count as a clique.

Actually I started off deviating from the theme, but because the girls I was thinking of weren't mousy girls who were really beautiful, they were beautiful girls who didn't get much attention from the people in the main clique.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:18 PM
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Because I think another variable is how wide a range one is interested in. Some people (Apo) are interested in 90% of the population, and some people (I suspect LB) are interested in .01% of the population.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:19 PM
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297: I was pretty damn oblivious, which I think they knew, and took pity on me by letting me stay sheltered. I knew people did drugs in theory, just not how or when or mostly who.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:20 PM
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Did you have long term intense crushes on specific people?

Some of those, culminating in some instances in one night stands after I made a pass. A depressing outcome, really.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:21 PM
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You seem to have recovered, though, Sifu.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:21 PM
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Although 304 is certainly true.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:21 PM
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"this is an advance upon you" is something that a lot of folks of various genders could use help with in high school and college

If it occurs to you that it might be, it is.

And if you respond and it turns out that it's not, it's not that big a fucking deal. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Plus, your peers are all idiots, so it's not really worth wasting time worrying about what they think of you.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:21 PM
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Somewhat interestingly, Apo went to a school with a girl to guy ratio of 7 to 1. LB went to a school with a girl to guy ration of 1 to 7.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:22 PM
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305: Oh, I mean it was completely out in the open. You'd get a cloud of smoke most morning if you walked by the hill to get to the main doors. You certainly couldn't spend any amount of time there without someone pulling out a joint.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:22 PM
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girl to guy ration

This sounds promising.


Posted by: Michael Vanderwheel, B.A. | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:23 PM
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309: hence `nice boots. wanna fuck?' etc.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:24 PM
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If it occurs to you that it might be, it is.

False.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:25 PM
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And I think we've established that the guys here (except for apo, who's really a cute girl) tend not to be terribly forward.

Dude! We're married now. How do you think that happened? I thought she was cute, and I called her up and (sort of*) asked her on a date.

* It was a quasi-invite; just because I took the initiative doesn't mean that I was smooth about it.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:25 PM
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307: yeah I solved that particular puzzle quite thoroughly shortly after graduating HS.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:27 PM
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there's some level of stunningness at which grooming ceases to make a difference.

I think that this applies to Uma Thurman only. I'm told that she looks great with no makeup after she's been crying.


I got hit on yesterday (by someone who seemed to be a Trotskyist!), and it was the first time in ages. I'm not an unattractive person.

I wasn't doing anything with my eyebrows, because getting them waxed is really expensive, but then one night, I was out and a loud, drunk acquaintance basically told me that I'd look much better if I took care of my brows. I wound up finding a nursing student who does threading out of her apartment, so it isn't too outrageous. She doubled her prices, and it's still a lot less than I'd have to pay at a salon, and she's very good at shaping. (Her mother made her learn as a kid on trips to India, because she was tired of having to pay money to get her own brows done.) For my face it does make a big difference.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:27 PM
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loud, drunk acquaintance basically told me that I'd look much better if I took care of my brows.

Watch out if she tells you to get your hair bobbed.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:29 PM
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268: Thinking someone's attractive /= letting them know.

I think I'd want to distinguish, though, between not letting them know because you're too geeky/nerdy/whatever to do so (per ogged's view), and not letting them know because they don't present the standard cute girl cues that everyone else will recognize as flirt-worthy material.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:29 PM
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On further consideration, 315 should have quoted "Thinking someone's attractive /= letting them know."

I, representative of the non-waxed-eyebrow-appreciators, met a woman who isn't Hollywood-attractive and was not strongly signaling cuteness, and subsequently called her on the phone to date and, eventually, marry her. Ned isn't just making this shit up - it happens!


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:30 PM
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I got hit on yesterday (by someone who seemed to be a Trotskyist!), and it was the first time in ages.

See? This is an excellent example. I hit on BG all night long at Unfogged DCon, but does she notice?!??!?!?! No!!!!

Why?

BC I am far lower down the dating food chain than she is.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:30 PM
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321: Having your girlfriend standing there is a pretty strong "just kidding" signal, no?

320: Well, I'm married too -- I don't think anyone's said that if you don't pluck your eyebrows you're doomed to celibacy, just that it sends a significant social signal.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:33 PM
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(So 300*599.)

But here you're then saying that cliques can only be of size 2? Surely that's not the case either.

But Emerson has already said that he doesn't consider HS a complete graph, so whatevs.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:33 PM
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B: And if you respond and it turns out that it's not, it's not that big a fucking deal. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. That's the part that was really hard for me to learn. Life got better when I did, at last, with the help of some very persistent friends. (Not just about sex, but about any kind of outward turn, to get stuff out of my head and out where they might affect anything else.)


Posted by: Bruce Baugh | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:34 PM
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I do not understand this eyebrow waxing thing. Is it not easier to pluck your own eyebrows than to go somewhere to have it done?


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:34 PM
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314: And if you respond and it turns out that it's not, it's not that big a fucking deal.

319: I don't think that the difference is clear-cut. I have a young friend, very good-looking guy, who in the past was both (1) afraid of rejection; (2) afraid of what his guy friends would say about the girls he liked. Basically, insecurity is insecurity.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:35 PM
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305: Yeah, me too. Well, we'll have something to talk about should we ever meet-up.

Hey, weird thing about my HS? The stoners - specifically the death-metal, jeans-jacketed ones - were called "sweats." I've never heard of this anywhere else, and never had an explanation for it.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:36 PM
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If a woman asks me to tweeze her eyebrows, is she hitting on me?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:36 PM
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also, to a girl they both scan as "hey, no one's hitting on me."


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:36 PM
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just that in combination with other factors it sends a significant social signal


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:36 PM
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325: Not if you have thick eyebrows, I shouldn't think.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:37 PM
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325: I don't do either, but a skill thing? You think you want to do major reshaping, and don't trust yourself not to fuck it up? Women I know with nicely shaped eybrows tend to pluck themselves, and others are more likely to get them done.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:37 PM
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If it occurs to you that it might be, it is.

Holy shit, is that bad advice.

It's possible someone has already said this - I've fallen a bit behind.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:38 PM
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were called "sweats." I've never heard of this anywhere else

Oh, Mister Kotter!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:38 PM
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I was gabbing about this thread with a couple friends while doing some World of Warcraft farming (hell yes my geek cred is paid up), and one of them offered an insight into clique identity that seems blindingly obvious in retrospect but I'd never quite articulated it. One of the things that distinguishes the out-caste groups is the internalized conviction that we shouldn't be asking for or expecting to get too much physical pleasure, whether it's sex or even just a fun date, the feel of really well-fitting clothing, good food, whatever. Those of us in the nerd brackets are defined partly by the stuff we don't get.

Certainly, in my case, the move to feeling that it was good to take steps to be happier and more satisfied was important, and as much as anything it was an act of will, dragging along my feelings behind.


Posted by: Bruce Baugh | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:38 PM
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Having your girlfriend standing there is a pretty strong "just kidding" signal, no?

Well, BR's eyebrows were waxed, so that should have signaled that we were interested.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:39 PM
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331: But then do you have to wait for unwanted eyebrow portions to get to a certain length before you can get them waxed off again? (Asking out of curiosity, I don't know anything about eyebrow waxing.)


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:39 PM
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I do not understand this eyebrow waxing thing. Is it not easier to pluck your own eyebrows than to go somewhere to have it done?

Has everyone else noticed that Sifu's eyebrows look really good lately?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:40 PM
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I decided that my high school theoretically could have had five or six cliques in three grades, plus 90 losers. I don't think that we maximized our clique potential, though. And the greaser (=~ stoner) clique usually mostly skipped school and dropped out.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:40 PM
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Holy shit, is that bad advice.

Why? Because you might flirt with someone who isn't trying to get in your pants? The horror.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:40 PM
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But here you're then saying that cliques can only be of size 2? Surely that's not the case either.

Right, that was stupid.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:40 PM
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JRoth, I heard that "sweats" usage some in school (late '70s through early '80s, Southern California, should it matter). It stuck in my head because there were two rival etymologies. One was that some of the stoners were ex-jocks, and had a habit of getting stoned and then working out some, rather to the bewilderment of their buddies. The other was a handwave at sweat lodges and the then-coalescing bundle of New Age claptrap about what a Cherokee acquaintance once called the Generic Indian. Amusingly enough, both sides were sure that the writers of Welcome Back, Kotter had been influenced by the same stuff as them.


Posted by: Bruce Baugh | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:41 PM
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332: I know people who've had them professionally shaped (waxed, plucked, threaded, however they've done it) to have a base shape to go by. That makes sense to me.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:41 PM
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327: at the schools in a town near mine they were called "mooshes" (rhymes with "smooshes"). Never did figure that one out, either.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:42 PM
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And if you respond and it turns out that it's not, it's not that big a fucking deal.

I guess it depends how you define a big fucking deal. Thinking someone cute likes you, then finding out, haha, no she doesn't, is a weeks-long soulcrush. But I guess it's better than a terminal illness, so not a big deal.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:43 PM
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One of the things that distinguishes the out-caste groups is the internalized conviction that we shouldn't be asking for or expecting to get too much physical pleasure,

Huh. I remember a funny conversation with a terribly geeky friend, talking about money, and reasons to want it. And I brought up the fact that if you have money, it's easier to have attractive, comfortable stuff (in retrospect, this conversation sounds as if we were both from Mars. You all know me, and he really, really, was. Lovely guy, but very strange.), and couldn't get him to accept that nice stuff was intrinsically desirable, or that a pretty, comfortable chair was better to own than the duct-tape repaired/one-leg short so it wobbled thing he was sitting in. I wonder if that was the same attitude.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:43 PM
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326: Both things can be in play, but I'd say there's still a distinction. Anyway, it's (2) that I'm more interested in, and I thought closer to what we were originally talking about: there are more-approved and less-approved targets for flirting, and they're defined to some significant extent by the degree to which the woman presents a pretty well-understood set of cute girl behaviors. If you don't present as a cute girl, you're much less likely to get attention. This doesn't seem controversial.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:43 PM
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Two eyebrows is best, unless one is above the other.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:44 PM
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344: I can't put my finger on it, but I think I've seen an etymology for that one from Italian -- was the area one that had had Italian immigrants?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:45 PM
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Plus, your peers are all idiots, so it's not really worth wasting time worrying about what they think of you.

This is a nice enough idea in the abstract, or as applied to one's past. I think it's more or less impracticable, though--both because status is something people are inevitably concerned about, and because the fear of sexual rejection is quite often a gut reaction, and not at a level that's accessible to persuasion of the kind you're suggesting.


Posted by: Michael Vanderwheel, B.A. | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:45 PM
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338: they actually don't, but reading this thread is giving me some idea what to ask for as my leap day present.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:45 PM
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If you don't present as a cute girl, you're much less likely to get attention. This doesn't seem controversial.

"Not controversial" is what I thought when I said it originally. Apparently, it was.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:45 PM
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Thinking someone cute likes you, then finding out, haha, no she doesn't, is a weeks-long soulcrush.

It can be pretty excruciating, sure. But this is part of the "if I'd known then what I know now" thing. It's no more excruciating than mooning about for weeks or months without having the skirt to let someone know you're interested.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:47 PM
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LB, I think it's very much the same sort of thing. I started referring to it as a budget gnosticism when pondering it in the context of sf-and-related fandom's fetishization of "content" and lack of comfort with aesthetics of many kinds. If you're trying to ascend to a Platonic heaven, then physical comfort is of course a distraction. This is another one of those things that it seems likes folks get out of more or less at random, and/or by just deciding they're done with it.


Posted by: Bruce Baugh | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:47 PM
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Because you might flirt with someone

Ah, yes, because casual, comfortable flirting is the forte of 15-yr-olds.

If I, as a 15-yr-old, was told someone was interested in me, my response would not be "flirting" - it would be some awkward, obvious expression of interest, the only possible responses to which would be acceptance or clearcut, soulcrushing rejection*.

All that said, it's fine advice for socially competent adults, and could form the basis for advice to awkward kids. But as a general principle, way too dangerous for kids.

* Note that no amount of gentleness would reduce the crushing - it's the radical comedown from "someone likes me" to "no they don't" that hurts, not the "she used the school's PA to announce she doesn't like me"


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:48 PM
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I think the norm that women are initially the passive ones in romantic/sexual encounters does a lot of work when people are young. I know way back when I was almost incapable of responding to subtle passes from strange women because I was a virgin, didn't know what I was doing, and was way too insecure to have such a potentially awkward interaction with someone I didn't know well.

Essentially the norm is that a "pass" for a young woman is a signal that she will allow the guy to take her to bed, while it falls more on the guy to actually take the girl to bed.

Of course, it was all my fault because I passed up the perfect learning experience with shy, ultra-geeky, yet actually beautiful outcast girl in HS because of peer pressure.


Posted by: William Henry Harrison | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:49 PM
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350: Meh. I'm quite confident that one of the things that helped me most in h.s. was being told by my mother not to worry about what everyone was thinking of me, since they were too busy worrying about what everyone else thought about them. It's largely true, and reminding yourself of that occasionally can in fact be a great help.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:49 PM
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Michael, sure, there are gut reactions. The point is that one can overcome such things by the decision that one would like to, and is willing to keep at it until one does.


Posted by: Bruce Baugh | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:49 PM
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without having the skirt to let someone know

Per 157, I nominate "drawers" to be the new gender-neutral euphemism for courage.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:49 PM
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352: You and parsimon seem to be dropping people out of the mix, including, for example, the women who were, back in the day (and obv. quite wrongly), known as "easy." IMLE, they purposely present as anti-cute. And got lots of attention.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:50 PM
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Ah, yes, because casual, comfortable flirting is the forte of 15-yr-olds.

Not the first time, it isn't. So you blow it for a few times, then you realize it's no big deal, and then, yes .. comfortable flirting can be the forte of 15 year olds.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:50 PM
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325, 332 and 337: I have fairly fine hairs, and it's hard to grab on to them. Plus, every now and again the upper hairs need to be trimmed. My fine motor coordination is in the bottom 1% of the population. I don't trust myself to do it for myself.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:51 PM
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355: And again, how the hell are you supposed to get to the point of being able to flirt/being a confident adult if you don't fucking take some risks while you're young, and find out that you can live through them?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:51 PM
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were called "sweats."

We were called "hoods." I loved it.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:51 PM
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Isn't that a situation where it is soulcrushing the first couple of times it happens, but if you get over it at fourteen your life is going to be a lot easier than if you get over it at twenty-eight? Not that it's anyone's fault for not having gotten over it earlier, but I think B's advice is still good.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:51 PM
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Laud Baugh, stoic, ascetical.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:52 PM
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furthermore:

the only possible responses to which would be acceptance or clearcut, soulcrushing rejection*.

was just you (and others). Sorry, but it's true.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:52 PM
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I love it when Unfogged tries to extrapolate the experience of average high school kids, based on our collective mortified, fumbly memories.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:53 PM
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the women who were, back in the day (and obv. quite wrongly), known as "easy." IMLE, they purposely present as anti-cute. And got lots of attention.

If you're talking about what I believe you're talking about, sure, that's a category. One with significant social penalties attached to it, of course.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:53 PM
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One with significant social penalties attached to it, of course.

Sure.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:56 PM
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I definitely got flirted with at unfoggeDCon by someone who was not a member of the Unfoggedariat. The party was dying down, I remarked on it, and he said that it was because there were too many Internet dorks there. I said that I was an internet dork, and that they were the reason that I was there. He then said, "You don't seem like much of a dork..." But I don't think of UnfoggeDCon as my normal life.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:56 PM
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So you blow it for a few times, then you realize it's no big deal

Take this to heart, laydeez!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:57 PM
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357: I'm pretty sure my mother told me that, too, and it didn't really make a whit of difference. I was still worried what people thought of me.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:57 PM
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One with significant social penalties attached to it, of course.

And little connection to actually having sex, as far as I could see. Shit, most of my friends in middle school were having more sex than the `easy' ones, but that didn't change anything in peoples perceptions.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:58 PM
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351: Wait, men are owed leap day presents?


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:59 PM
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Oh, Mister Kotter!

In retrospect this seems obvious. I'm still not convinced. This is mid-80s northern NJ, 40 miles from NYC.

342 is interesting, but neither etymology is conceivable for my HS.

Interesting thing about my HS - and really healthy, actually - is how weak the cliques were. Everyone pretty much got stoned together out in the woods - sweats, jocks, honors students. Obviously, not everyone actually got stoned or drunk, but the presence of that shared social scene prevented any strong divisions. Also, no one gave a shit about sports, so the jocks were denied their traditional top-of-heap location; no one had very much or very little money, so there weren't really "rich kids;" there wasn't a full-sized group of goths (or similar), so the disaffected would simply be part of the continuum of another clique (i.e., there were goth-ey honors students, goth-ey band geeks, etc.). One hot-shot jock transfered in sophomore year, and totally assumed he'd be BOMC, and everyone just thought, WTF? I think he left after 2 years.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 12:59 PM
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Isn't that a situation where it is soulcrushing the first couple of times it happens, but if you get over it at fourteen your life is going to be a lot easier than if you get over it at twenty-eight?

This is so true. Not only will you get more courage earlier, but the sooner you start having sex the sooner you get beyond the phase of pure sexual exploration, defuse those issues around sex as proof of personal worth, etc. and start seriously looking for a really compatible partner.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 1:00 PM
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was just you (and others). Sorry, but it's true.

Help! I don't know what this means.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 1:00 PM
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LB: Isn't that a situation where it is soulcrushing the first couple of times it happens, but if you get over it at fourteen your life is going to be a lot easier than if you get over it at twenty-eight? Right on.

At the risk of crossing the streams, I'm going to compare it to dealing with SSI. When I applied and was rejected, the question for me and the folks helping me was, "Okay, what's the next step?" I had the advantage of a white middle-class upbringing to give me confidence that I could probably keep at the government until I got what I was clearly entitled to. In the years of waiting for hearings, picking up forms, and so on, I met a lot of folks just as deserving as me who had nothing at all like that confidence, because nothing in their upbringing gave them reason to have it. They expected capricious treatment, with altogether too damn much reason, and were persisting because they had no alternative, or they'd promised someone important to them that they would, or any of a lot of other reasons besides expecting anything good to come of it.

One of the things I (to swipe from Sherlock Holmes) saw but didn't observe for a long time about how more confident kids went about dating is that they also strike out a lot. It's just that they expect that they're entitled to a good dating life so they keep at it. (Subject to definitions of "good", and setting aside the real problem of girls acculturated to be props for others' gratification, and so on. Real stuff, but not the point here. I'm thinking here of those who actually do enjoy their dating.) The difference is just what I observed with SSI, applied to a different part of life.


Posted by: Bruce Baugh | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 1:00 PM
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357 is right. Obviously some people can't get there, and go through soul crushing ... but the earlier you figured out that you were all just stupid kids and most if it didn't matter at all, the better off you were, I think.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 1:01 PM
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And little connection to actually having sex, as far as I could see.

Eh, you have to untangle issues like "1 partner, 500 times vs. 10 partners at 25 per," but otherwise, our experiences differ.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 1:01 PM
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378: I mean, it wasn't like that for everyone. Lots of people would never experience what you are talking about, even the first time they were rejected.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 1:03 PM
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I was still worried what people thought of me.

I actually think this is a veldt-related instinct related to being a social animal that is completely dependent on the community for learning, cooperation, resources, etc. Someone who truly didn't care what others thought of them would be a total freak and certainly incapable of learning how to function within their society.

Of course, what B's mother told her is still great to defuse social paralysis. Everyone else is just as selfish and insecure as you are -- they hardly have time to notice you for thinking about themselves.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 1:03 PM
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Unsurprisingly, on Unfogged the mortified and fumbly vastly outnumber the Mongol hordes.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 1:04 PM
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One of the things that distinguishes the out-caste groups is the internalized conviction that we shouldn't be asking for or expecting to get too much physical pleasure,

Very interesting. This base-level alienation from the physical seems to be a common denominator among geek/nerd outcast groups. Shows up in the relationship to sports, sex, clothing, etc.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 1:06 PM
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Only I am owed leap day presents, because normally the 60th day of the year is my birthday.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 1:06 PM
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One of the things I (to swipe from Sherlock Holmes) saw but didn't observe for a long time about how more confident kids went about dating is that they also strike out a lot.

Playing baseball really helped me out in this respect, since people were constantly telling me "even the greatest hitters ever were only successful 30 percent of the time."

Brings new meaning to the term "Two True Outcomes."


Posted by: SEK | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 1:08 PM
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381: In 9th grade a girl I knew got a bad reputation as `a slut' after sleeping with one guy, one time who was a bit of an asshole about it later. A friend of here had a half dozed partners that I knew of, and probably others, but nobody gave her any grief about it.

There's a total disconnect there between perceptions and reality. Another guy in our class a year later told me he wouldn't want to date X because X had slept with her boyfriend (of a couple years) 7 times. That was too many times in his opinion. How the fuck he came by this information and why he thought it was accurate, I dunno. But his girlfriend at the time had had more sex with me than that, not that it was any of his business. I very nearly told him that, but didn't.

Not that there is no correllation with reputation and actuality but in my experience the girls tagged as `sluts' tended to get that tag not because of anything they actually did, but because of what people said they did, and who their folks were, and how they dressed, etc.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 1:11 PM
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I can't believe you people never copy dvds.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 1:12 PM
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Unsurprisingly, on Unfogged the mortified and fumbly vastly outnumber the Mongol hordes.

I'll cop to fumbly Mongol or something. Also, complete slut in school.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 1:13 PM
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I can't believe you people never copy dvds.

I just never use PC's, sorry. Oh, and is it data or vid?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 1:14 PM
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375: seemed like it was worth a shot.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 1:14 PM
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PCs. dammit.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 1:14 PM
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I answered your damn question, leblanc.

It is the only way I can participate in this thread :(


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 1:14 PM
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Lots of people would never experience what you are talking about, even the first time they were rejected.

OK, I thought that might be it. That's very surprising to me. Maybe it shouldn't be, but it is.

I don't think I've gotten around to saying this - part of the reason I disagreed with B's advice is that it's not as if responding with clumsy flirting is cost-free. Even if your soul is not crushed, you've still introduced something new and awkward into a friendship. Again, manageable at 25, less so at 15.

I guess I'm just not a fan of advice that downplays the importance of high school traumas. Yes, 25 years later it's not a big deal. Neither is a broken bone. It's still a big deal at the time.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 1:14 PM
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I'm sorry, dear w-lfs-n, but your answer was not helpful!

I actually have a mac, too, I just figured on a pc would be easier for folks to answer.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 1:15 PM
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||

Found while researching some late C19th geological records (don't ask), the official mineral of Unfogged.

|>


Posted by: SEK | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 1:15 PM
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is it data or vid

I have no idea. All I know is it's dvds of the first season of The Wire.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 1:16 PM
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I don't think I've gotten around to saying this - part of the reason I disagreed with B's advice is that it's not as if responding with clumsy flirting is cost-free. Even if your soul is not crushed, you've still introduced something new and awkward into a friendship. Again, manageable at 25, less so at 15.

And not easily manageable at 25.

I have a crush on her, she doesn't have a crush on me. We've hung out many times. But now that she knows I have a crush on her, she doesn't want to hang out with me anymore unless we're in a group. There ends up being a statute of limitations period, where maybe 6 months later she can operate under the assumption that the crush has dissipated.

on the general topic, my high school experience was so bizarrely unrepresentative of anyone else that even though I felt like my college experience was pretty normal, it probably wasn't either.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 1:17 PM
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meh. high school traumas are mostly self inflicted bullshit. And I'm saying that as someone who spent plenty of time getting all wound up about it back then. But the point is that it actually *is* bullshit, and this is also something you can learn and overcome. Anything that helps you learn it at the time probably reduces your total pain at the time.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 1:18 PM
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JRoth, I can't speak for anyone else but what I'm trying to get at here is we can escape those traumas, people like us. We aren't doomed to that much misery. We can through choice and practice learn to deal with them, and to get at the happiness they're blocking us from, and both those things do in fact reduce pain and misery. It certainly helps to have a surrounding culture support the idea that people like me are entitled to a good time too, but not necessary. (And of course deciding that I am and acting accordingly helps shift the culture for the people I'm around.) Much of the trauma is other people's bullshit being used to peg us into their social scheme, and we can say the hell with that.


Posted by: Bruce Baugh | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 1:18 PM
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I actually have a mac, too

Try opening a Terminal window and putting w-lfs-n's command in there.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 1:18 PM
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I'll put w-lfs-n's command somewhere else, thankyouverymuch.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 1:20 PM
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my high school experience was so bizarrely unrepresentative of anyone else

How so? Talking to people here I feel like my middle-school non-high-school experience was pretty underrepresented here (and not just in the social areas). What did yours look like?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 1:20 PM
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I'll put w-lfs-n's command somewhere else, thankyouverymuch.

Your origin or your terminus: either are acceptable to me.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 1:21 PM
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And now off to fight this damn cold some more. Ugh. I thought about wishing I knew a snot fetishist because I could make them so happy right now, and then decided that on the whole manybe I can live with this particular trauma.


Posted by: Bruce Baugh | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 1:23 PM
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404: Well, I was very friendly with a lot of people at school, but never saw them outside of school. I hung out with one group of people at lunch, another group in study hall, and a sort of combination of the two after school. Out of 400 people at the high school I had about 50 that I would have called "friends".

But I never saw anyone outside of school. Not once. I never knew why. I seemed to be a member of the group, just like the other 9 people in the room, but I realized they were frequently talking about stuff they'd done together on the weekend, and I was never part of those things. I had fun during the week at school and then on the weekends sat at home. I just couldn't figure it out. I scanned the school for people in a similar situation to me, but couldn't find anyone who was part of a group of friends but didn't spend any time with them outside of school. There were some extremely quiet people who didn't seem to be part of a steady group of friends at all, but that was different.

Even the extremely unpopular and weird kids were always together on the weekends and had fun in their own little clique. Eventually I decided that the most logical explanation was that there were several dozen people who were pretending to be my friends, but that I had no actual friends. So then after deciding that the whole senior year was full of melancholy, as I continued to be friendly with all these people while wondering whether I should resent them or not.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 1:28 PM
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387: Cough Ted Williams cough.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 1:30 PM
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I mean, it wasn't a lonely time. I wasn't ostracized or unpopular. I just never knew a single person beyond the superficial level, and 100% of my socialization was at school.

In college I never met anyone else who could relate to that. They'd complain about being made fun of as part of the pot-smoking losers group, and I'd say "at least you pot-smoking losers had each other".


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 1:31 PM
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51: I was going to link, as it was one of the best blogging series I've ever read, with hilarious commentary, but he took it down.

(Sorry to respond so late; I'm theoretically officiating at a conference.)


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 1:32 PM
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410 was me.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 1:33 PM
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I thought about wishing I knew a snot fetishist

They can be found.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 1:33 PM
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High school traumas are mostly self inflicted bullshit.
I have no idea what your evidence or your argument is.

I'll just return to one of my routines: it should be made possible for all students to get out of HS at age 16. HS is an environment where, unexplainably, self-inflicted bullshit abounds.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 1:38 PM
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409: Oh, that sounds lousy. Also sounds like one of those 'less than meets the eye' situations -- somehow, you never made it onto anyone's list of people they habitually called to arrange things with. If you'd been more aggressive about it (you know, just calling randomly and saying "Hey, whatcha all doing this weekend", you probably would have been included without anyone thinking twice about it, but it's really hard to do that once you've started thinking of yourself as intentionally excluded.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 1:38 PM
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Oh, I still cared what people thought, but I tried not to let it stop me doing things too much. And it was really helpful to remind myself that there was a pretty big gap between my caring what they thought and whether or not they were actually thinking anything at all.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 1:38 PM
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Ned: that sounds sort of like my situation. Well, I transitioned from one of the "quiet kids" freshman year to something more like that by senior year.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 1:41 PM
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KR's eyebrow technician uses the barter system

Yes I do. But I will never confess what he gives me in return!!


Posted by: fleur | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 1:41 PM
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JRoth and I seem to have gone to high school very near to one another. I bet we beat you at soccer.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 1:42 PM
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407 was very similar to my experience from 7-9 grades (2 diff schools, I would note). For whatever reason, this guy (who apparently had "hated my guts" in 9th grade, when I never once interacted with him) determined that I would actually be a suitable friend. And we were. He was my entree to what would have been my natural social group anyway, but even then, I hardly saw anyone else outside of school.

In our senior picture, (~350 kids), we were the only two looking neither at the camera nor into space, but at each other, carrying on some conversation. That was how I've always described HS - me and Larry and 350 other people.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 1:46 PM
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418: Iron Hills Conference?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 1:46 PM
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Hm. I had an experience sort of like 409, but there was a pretty clear reason of geography; the people I went to school with generally lived 30+ miles closer to school than I did, and there was no interest in parental shuttling to make social gatherings happen. When I could drive there was a little bit, but it was almost all still connected with stuff at school, or the end of the school day, because the time constraints of coming and going precluded anything but home->school->afterschool thing->back home.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 1:48 PM
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But I will never confess what he gives me in return!!

I believe that already came up, actually.

Also, whenever these threads come up, it seems like the virgin/whore dichotomy, no matter how much we make fun of it, actually sums up the unfoggedetariat's high school and college years.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 1:48 PM
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422: So on average things worked out ok, you're saying?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 1:51 PM
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somehow, you never made it onto anyone's list of people they habitually called to arrange things with. If you'd been more aggressive about it (you know, just calling randomly and saying "Hey, whatcha all doing this weekend", you probably would have been included without anyone thinking twice about it, but it's really hard to do that once you've started thinking of yourself as intentionally excluded.)

Yeah, it just sort of snowballed from being initially excluded as a result of having not gone to the same middle school.

But still, that didn't happen with other people.

I should have picked one person to be specific friends with, and then we could have done things together, and invited other people. But just one person can't invite a dozen other people, not when he has no history of inviting in the past.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 1:51 PM
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I would add that advice along the lines of B's mother's probably contributed to my lonertude. If what those other people thought didn't matter, then those other people didn't matter. So I'll sit at home and read and watch TV. Awesome.

High school traumas are mostly self inflicted bullshit.

I was actually dubious in using the word "trauma." I'm not a big fan of "Oh, HS was so awful" stories - even without belonging much socially, I did well enough, and viewed HS with what I still think was an appropriate critical distance: not "the best years of my life," but a fun, stress-free time nonetheless. But that didn't make what L/ane V/gnola did hurt any less.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 1:52 PM
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No! Shore Conference.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 1:54 PM
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Cripes, Ned. That's uncanny. There but for the grace of Larry We/ndorf go I.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 1:54 PM
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that didn't make what L/ane V/gnola did hurt any less.

You have to go slowly and use lots of lube. But you've probably figured that out by now.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 1:54 PM
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426: Ah, you were more south. We were 35 miles out on I-80 (Exit 30, as they say).


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 1:55 PM
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If what those other people thought didn't matter, then those other people didn't matter. So I'll sit at home and read and watch TV. Awesome.

I swear, some of you people will rationalize sitting around feeling sorry for yourselves no matter what.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 1:55 PM
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I once turned down a signaled invitation to be in a foursome with three lesbians. I completely missed the cues, and the next day one of them said to me, "yeah, we were surprised you didn't stick around." Only then did the light dawn.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 1:56 PM
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429 to 428, obviously.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 1:56 PM
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a foursome with three lesbians

This was in the LPGA?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 1:56 PM
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Last thing: Speaking as a socially semi-adroit, hemigeek, the necessity of interpreting signals in dating is a real fucking pain, one that makes the baby steps so difficult. The last time I was dating, I was almost 30, and reasonably confident with flirting, etc. I wasn't afraid to make a move or whatever. But I was still stymied by not knowing wtf was going on in the other person's head. You're supposed to be able to go on all of these signals, but, dammit, you're never sure. And there's a point at which pushing a bit will, in fact, be obnoxious if you're wrong. There was a woman I was really smitten with, and we hung out a fair bit, but it took agonizing weeks to determine whether she was in any way interested (she wasn't). We remained very good friends, but I have trouble believing we still could have had I made an unwelcome move.

Maybe some of this mindset comes from virtually never having dated outside my social circle - there were real costs to making that false move. Indeed, when I was doing that comfortable dating, I was mostly not in my social circle, so that probably made it much easier. Hi, Stranger. Oh, no? Alright then, see you never!


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 1:57 PM
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I have trouble believing we still could have had I made an unwelcome move.

I can think of a fair number of friendships I know of with a refused pass in their history. While what you say is a common fear, I think it's overstated.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 1:59 PM
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429: Yes. We're straight down the Parkway about 50 miles.

(At the beach last summer, I saw a woman with a big ol' back tattoo that said "RED BANK EXIT 109" in giant Gothic lettering à la Tupac. Classy.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 2:00 PM
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On the other hand, I'm not thinking of friendships ended by refused passes. That's largely because I can't think of any (see my depressing college history above), but there could be lots out there I'm not aware of.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 2:01 PM
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Is 435 addressing the same issue as 399? I've been curious about this.

Personally, I have never had a friendship survive a refused pass to become as good of a friendship as it once was. It creates a power imbalance.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 2:01 PM
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I'm pretty forward, but there were any number of women in my life where it never occured to me to think of them "in that way" unless some event brought them to my attention. I couldn't tell you why it didn't occur to me, so it could have been something subtle.

On the other hand, my wife gets hit on in inverse proportion to how much effort she puts into getting ready. Makeup -- nothing. No effort, and wearing a gigantic baggy sweatshirt? Total strangers hit on her. It makes her crazy.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 2:01 PM
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I swear, some of you people will rationalize sitting around feeling sorry for yourselves no matter what.

Oh, screw off, B. I very much didn't care about my social standing in HS, or what the cliques were (within the bounds of not being a total outcast; I just mean that I didn't spend much time thinking about it). I rarely felt left out, as such, and was reasonably comfortable in my own skin. But a clear side-effect of that attitude was not having a lot of social standing, and not being part of social groups.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 2:02 PM
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433 - Close, nearby women's college.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 2:02 PM
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Classy.
Classie. is better


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 2:02 PM
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433 was awfully quick and clever.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 2:02 PM
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I swear, some of you people will rationalize sitting around feeling sorry for yourselves no matter what.

You're one of the most self-confident people on earth. I think you realize this. Have some empathy.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 2:03 PM
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425: Oh, their are real traumas too. We had a suicide or two, and I remember one kid at the more socially inept end broke his arm to get out of school. He can't have been having much fun.

But the entire social construct is so isolated and to a degree arbitrary that if you are viewing the world through its lens you are getting badly distorted information. It's not that nobodies opinion matters. Of course you can make deep friendships there, and real connections. Listening to the consensus about whose opinions matter and whose don't, what cool and what isn't etc. ... this is all bad enough in the `real world', but in highschool it is both amplified and more screwed up.

People with interesting ideas and opinions for you to listen to are as likely to be the outcasts as the cool kids. More, probably. People who are going somewhere after school are hardly ever the ones who are at the top of any heap in school. If you define your world around the ideas of a bunch of immature kids corralled into a low expectation world with high social pressure and a lot of basically idle time, you can't help but get a lot of bullshit. Letting yourself be defined by that bullshit is half the problem.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 2:03 PM
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438: Power imbalance is fair, and probably some initial avoidance of being together as a pair. But not friendship ending.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 2:03 PM
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One of my best and oldest friends is someone I repeatedly made refused passes at over the course of two or three years.

Yeah, it was mortifying. I'm sure we wouldn't still be friends if I'd gotten so hung up on my mortification that I'd just slunk away. Sometimes you just have to suck it up.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 2:03 PM
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Sometimes you just have to suck it up.

Other times, you just have to suck it.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 2:05 PM
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So on average things worked out ok, you're saying?

I suppose, but as our various economic arguments have shown time and again, the average gains mean nothing when such yawning disparities exist between the winners and losers. We clearly need a system of progressive sexation that will lead to a more even distribution before we can even start with the arguments about increasing efficiency.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 2:07 PM
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Other times, you just have to suck it.

Not usually after a refused pass, though.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 2:07 PM
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Po-Mo is advocating a sex redistribution plan?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 2:09 PM
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440, 444: The thing is, though, I'm really not. I just pretend to be, and unsurprisingly, that fools most of you.

In hs I did the same thing y'all did: I had one good girlfriend, never went to a single party, never dated anyone in my h.s. (except one guy who I asked out myself; a mutual friend of ours told me that he'd said yes only b/c he didn't know how to say no, but I went through with the date anyway, dammit). It was fine; I'm convinced that most people in hs were doing the same damn thing I was, i.e., a lot of nothing. Ditto in college and grad school: I had a small group of good friends, was vaguely acquainted with a larger group of people, but spend a lot of time sitting around.

The point is, you can say "oh, I spend most Friday nights home alone, I'm such a loser, what's wrong with me" or you can say "I spend most Friday nights home alone just like everyone else I know." And since the one is going to undermine any confidence you might have, and the other will boost it, you might as well go with the latter, and fake it when you do go out once in a while. Which is the same thing everyone else is doing, after all.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 2:09 PM
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449 is beautiful.

Where does Dennis Kucinich stand on this issue?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 2:10 PM
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I was surprised when I met with some high school friends years later how little sex everyone was having. At the time, I thought it was only me.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 2:12 PM
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Where does Dennis Kucinich stand on this issue?

He already became the change he wanted to see in the world.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 2:12 PM
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Po-Mo is advocating a sex redistribution plan?

He's a hot-to-Trotskyist!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 2:13 PM
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I was surprised when I met with some high school friends years later how little sex everyone was having. At the time, I thought it was only me.

See, I didn't think anyone was having sex. But they were definitely at least going to the movies, dammit.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 2:13 PM
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I spend most Friday nights home alone just like everyone else I know."

See, this is one of those alien bits. If this is true, and assuming you all didn't like the situation, why didn't you get together and do something?

I'm not the most gregarious person, and I kind of wonder if left to my own devices and short a couple of the experiences I did have I might have ended up spending my teens like a lot of you seem to have. As it was, my social group threw parties 5+ nights a week, and it was just part of the round of things daily.

I wonder if drinking pretty much every day is the main discriminator here.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 2:14 PM
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If this is true, and assuming you all didn't like the situation, why didn't you get together and do something?

I did stuff occasionally with my girlfriend, and when I was dating obviously I went out. But I wasn't part of a social group, and certainly not part of one that threw parties.

In fact, during Xmas break of my freshman year of college, I *did* throw a party, and I got into an argument with someone who asked why I'd come to the party and then refused to believe it was my house.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 2:16 PM
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I'm not the most gregarious person, and I kind of wonder if left to my own devices and short a couple of the experiences I did have I might have ended up spending my teens like a lot of you seem to have. As it was, my social group threw parties 5+ nights a week, and it was just part of the round of things daily.

If you were at parties 5+ nights a week, you're not the least gregarious person either.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 2:17 PM
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455 has me cracking up.

451: You gotta admit, it would make April 15th a lot more interesting.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 2:17 PM
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Where were you from, soup (if you don't mind my asking)?

459.3 is a bizarre but funny story.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 2:18 PM
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Oddly enough, despite spending the last semester of high school wishing it would be over because I knew I'd never stay in touch with anyone, I did in fact stay in touch with several people (AIM was necessary and sufficient for this), and hung out with them whenever I was home on break.

Because then, you know, getting together was a special occasion. During HS, people could get together anytime, so why bother on this particular arbitrary day?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 2:20 PM
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I like hearing people's high school stories. I was actually fairly popular in high school, but it was because the girls that I had been friends with since elementary school ended up skyrocketing to popularity and hotness and I was just kind of there. I was well-known in my own right, 'cause I was in every damn performance the school put on and I talked a lot in class and was sort of a large personality, but boys still didn't seem to like me. I had a lot of guy friends, but they usually just wanted me to hook them up with my sexxxy friends.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 2:21 PM
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In fact, on my senior superlatives thingy I was voted "most outgoing." We all decided that "outgoing" translated to "talks a lot and thinks she's smart."

I certainly wasn't outgoing enough to approach a single boy I liked except for long periods of intensely subtle flirting.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 2:23 PM
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I got into an argument with someone who asked why I'd come to the party and then refused to believe it was my house.

Fantastic.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 2:25 PM
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In retrospect, part 461.2 should have said:

451, 456: What can I say? I am just a humble servant of the lumpenproletariat.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 2:27 PM
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465:

I was most considerate in high school. I cannot think of a single considerate thing that I did in High school.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 2:27 PM
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I'm not the most gregarious person, and I kind of wonder if left to my own devices and short a couple of the experiences I did have I might have ended up spending my teens like a lot of you seem to have. As it was, my social group threw parties 5+ nights a week, and it was just part of the round of things daily.

I was too much of a jock to do this, but even the strange subset of Pynchon-reading jocks had the equivalent: getting together after practice, smoking pot, and "figuring out" Lot 49. Couldn't have survived high school without it.


Posted by: SEK | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 2:27 PM
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But the entire social construct is so isolated and to a degree arbitrary that if you are viewing the world through its lens you are getting badly distorted information.

Yeah, that's a good reason to get out of HS.

I swear, some of you people will rationalize sitting around feeling sorry for yourselves no matter what.

B is The Man. The Man has no patience with low-achieving losers and whiners.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 2:28 PM
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For JRoth and oudemia's sake, I should mentioned that when my son wants to mock me, he tauntingly tells people that I was born in New Jersey.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 2:32 PM
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We clearly need a system of progressive sexation that will lead to a more even distribution before we can even start with the arguments about increasing efficiency.

A rising tide lifts all boats! Your progressive sexation will simply dull the incentives for high achievers and create moral hazard for people to neglect their grooming.

I also worry that progressive sexation and redistribution will crowd out private charity. What will become of the pity fuck if everyone can just go on the dole?


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 2:34 PM
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B is The Man. The Man has no patience with low-achieving losers and whiners.

Heh. I have patience up to a point. But I also know better than to get sucked into the endless game of "why I can't possibly do X" especially when folks start saying "well, of course it's easy for *you*."


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 2:35 PM
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I was most considerate in high school.

I was "most prone to argue". Fancy that!


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 2:35 PM
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OT: I'm tossing this link out there. Does anyone have a list of good I/P-related blogs? Karon is great but doesn't update often enough, Cole has been spending too much time on the primaries, and all of the non-specialists have been in Obama/Clinton mode for the last six months and have written nothing on this.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 2:36 PM
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Well of course it's easy for *you* not to get sucked into that endless game.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 2:36 PM
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476: Let me suck you into *my* game, Apo.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 2:38 PM
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OT:

Annoying article about hate crimes.

/OT


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 2:39 PM
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Hmm. I just realized that I actually had a quasi-Ned experience in college as well. It was disguised by the fact that I was an architecture student, meaning spending 40+ hrs/week in a big room filled with friends, and then a lot of the rest of the time in a coed dorm, where I could usually find someone to hang out with. But, somewhere towards the end of 1st year, I realized that the others were socializing without me. Like, the same 6 people I'd gone to lunch with, all of us laughing and enjoying each others' company, went and did something Saturday night, and I'd had no idea. Hardly bothered me - I had a GF at another school, and I liked reading Loeb editions at the library - but still.

A related realization was that the other guy in my class with my first name was known as J__, while I was always referred to as J___ Roth. I can't tell you how odd that was to me - at the time, my last name formed no part of my identity, but it was, apparently, essential to my identity for others.

A lot of this clearly had to do with not drinking or drugging (at the time). I wasn't judgmental about it, but I didn't do it, and that simply left me out of a lot of activities.

So I guess my advice to my children will be to start drinking ASAP, or they'll never have any friends.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 2:39 PM
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I initially misread the link in 475 as relating to Ireland and Palestine. I had no idea!


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 2:41 PM
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my advice to my children will be to start drinking ASAP, or they'll never have any friends.

That's good advice, if what you want is to be going out all the time and partying every weekend.

Or, like I said, you could realize that the folks whose incredible popularity you're envying are drinking all the damn time. Which rather suggests that they're just as nervous about socializing sober as you are, and that you're basically normal.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 2:43 PM
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If you were at parties 5+ nights a week, you're not the least gregarious person either.

That's true, I'm not. Perhaps oddly enough though it wasn't necessarily very social, i'm using `party' in a pretty genrous way. Just a place to go. A bunch of us lived alone at that age, so there were apartments to go to, etc.

Where were you from, soup (if you don't mind my asking)? Bounced around a fair bit. My high-school years were spend mostly in the Pac NW and SW Canada (i.e., same area both sides of the border)


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 2:47 PM
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my advice to my children will be to start drinking

More slowly than anyone else in the room, plenty of nonalcoholic fluid between drinks, wait 15 min for the effect of the previous drink to kick in, standing up + moving around to check motor skills. Being the first to puke is terrible, and being surprised that you can't walk straight is not so good either.

But at what age? 10 seems too young, 14 is too old, and he's already pretty secretive about his friends.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 2:47 PM
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"I just don't understand why things are so hard for you", said B. "In your position I'd be having the time of my life! Life would go better for you if you had a positive mental attitude and showed a little gumption."

Little did she know she would be the last person that X would ever see in his or her short life. "You're right, I know" said X, looking at his or her feet, tears dripping onto his or her shoes. "I've failed at everything I've ever done. The world would be a better place without me". The bridge was less than a hundred feet away.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 2:48 PM
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LOL. To my knowledge, I've never driven anyone to suicide. And I'm pretty sure my opinion doesn't matter that much to either Ned or JRoth.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 2:52 PM
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(1) afraid of rejection; (2) afraid of what his guy friends would say about the girls he liked. Basically, insecurity is insecurity.

They do have the same result. And I suppose it's true that on some level both are about your image. But you don't form an opinion of yourself in isolation from what other people think of you, and part of your image is going to be so deeply internalized that you really can't disengage from it, much less attribute it to specific other people whose opinion you can dismiss as stupid.


Posted by: Michael Vanderwheel, B.A. | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 2:54 PM
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I also worry that progressive sexation and redistribution will crowd out private charity.

Well, of course pity fucks will be a deduction. The only point is to make sure that everyone contributes, and to maximize the free riders.

There is just no excuse in such a fertile nation for the way that some Americans have to live, scraping by from month to month on only the scantiest of cheek kisses. Did you know that in the UK even the lowliest bekilted kickboxer only has to tick the right boxes in order to be made out with?


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 2:57 PM
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I thought I knew you, B. But there was always something that didn't seem quite right. Now everything fits into place.

Ned, JRoth, your whole future lies ahead of you! Miserable, perhaps, but who can be sure? Don't take a single humorless feminazi's opinions too seriously.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 2:58 PM
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I also had the Ned experience in High School. I could socialize with pretty much any clique and hung around with a lot of people in school, but I barely ever saw anyone outside of it. I also lost contact with everyone I hung out with about 5 minutes after graduation.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 2:58 PM
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the folks whose incredible popularity you're envying

Obviously, I was kidding about wanting my kid to drink in HS in order to get to go to parties, but, for college, it's not about envying anyone's popularity. It's simply that, because I didn't drink, my friends didn't think to invite me over to hang out on a Friday night. I don't actually know what they were thinking, but somehow they drew the conclusion that, while they'd be fine hanging out with me in other circumstances (and many of these people I'm still in touch with - they weren't just college acquaintances), nighttime socialization generally didn't include me.

It does occur to me that I was pretty devoutly Catholic at the time, and that probably gave them a skewed view of me. I was perfectly profane and mischievous, but they also knew I took Church very seriously, so.... Well, at least I won't have to teach my kids that lesson.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 2:59 PM
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Don't sell yourself short, B. I started reading your site years before I came here.

In case you think I'm hitting on you: I'm not.

Just thought I'd clear that up for you.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:00 PM
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The point is, you can say "oh, I spend most Friday nights home alone, I'm such a loser, what's wrong with me" or you can say "I spend most Friday nights home alone just like everyone else I know." And since the one is going to undermine any confidence you might have, and the other will boost it, you might as well go with the latter, and fake it when you do go out once in a while. Which is the same thing everyone else is doing, after all.

I'm sorry, but this just doesn't sound right.

What you're describing sounds less like a person convincing herself that she is confident, and more like a confident person convincing herself that she is not a loser.

I don't think you can force yourself to be confident, any more than you can force yourself to be impulsive. It starts with how you habitually approach things, which can only be changed over a very long time after a lot of hard work...and from day to day it's affected by how other people react to your actions. The only way I ever started being more confident, very gradually, was to actually act on the occasional moments of confidence that I would have at the best point in my mood swings, and then if acting on them worked, it meant that confidence was more warranted than I thought.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:02 PM
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491: In that case, don't kill yourself.

if acting on them worked, it meant that confidence was more warranted than I thought.

That's pretty much what I'm saying. That plus people really cannot see inside your head, so if you act like you know what you're doing, most of the time they'll believe you.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:05 PM
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493:

Yes, but if you act like you know what you're doing while not actually knowing what you're doing, you're not comfortable with what you're doing. That gets exhausting very quickly. You have to make sure not to slip up and reveal your natural inclination toward despair and inertia, or people will be alarmed.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:08 PM
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No one made the Simpsons' joke? "You may remember B from such tapes as 'Get Confident, Stupid!' and 'Smoke Yourself Thin.'"


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:08 PM
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so if you act like you know what you're doing, most of the time they'll believe you

The fundamental error at the root of B's trolling, revealed.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:10 PM
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In case you think I'm hitting on you: I'm not.

Wouldn't do you any good, anyway. I've been trying for years.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:10 PM
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Much like men, confident people have a structural advantage in society. Men and confident people should be aware of this.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:11 PM
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m. leblanc: re: ripping DVDS--It's been a while since I've done it & it's not a quick process. This will probably help, though it's Windows only. I haven't tried this, but looks good. If you're just looking to rip the movie to your computer, I like Mac the Ripper.


Posted by: snoo | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:12 PM
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493: Meh. Y'all know I was little miss suicidally depressive a while back, but you still persist in believing that I'm the most confident person in the universe. It's easy to fool people.

Except Ogged, of course, because he's so very wise.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:12 PM
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Where does Dennis Kucinich stand on this [progressive sexation] issue?

Like most hypocritical leftists, he will be in favor of it -- until his own wife is asked to donate her attentions. The Loony Left only want to redistribute everyone else's resources.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:13 PM
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Thanks, B. A regular fucking Clarence the Angel, you are.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:14 PM
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And Chopper, who seems determined to undermine my reputation as the class slut. Asshole.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:14 PM
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"Get Confident, Stupid!" Simpsons reference! Gawd, you people suck. That kills in Sheboygan.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:15 PM
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502: God, I hate that movie.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:15 PM
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"You may remember B from such tapes as 'Get Confident, Stupid!' and 'Smoke Yourself Thin.'"

God I love Troy McClure. I should make that my handle.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:15 PM
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Y'all know I was little miss suicidally depressive a while back

I thought that was because of the cold weather.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:16 PM
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It wasn't helping, man. Have I mentioned that Canada sucks?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:16 PM
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until his own wife is asked

We can share the women, we can share the wine. We can share what we got of yours 'cause we done shared all of mine. Keep on rollin', just a mile to go; * * *

Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:18 PM
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499: What's snoo?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:18 PM
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510: Not much what's snoo with you?


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:20 PM
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I think confidence is related to how genuinely attractive you are to others, which you will be constantly reminded of dozens of times per day no matter what you do. It's hard to swim upstream against that current just by willpower alone.

Attractiveness is a mix of the natural personality energy you put out (which has to do with the biochemistry of your moods as much as conscious effort), your physical beauty, and success/celebrity/power stemming from your career.

If one out of three is exceptional and the other two are average, you're in good shape. If two out of three are exceptional, you're golden. If two out of three are well below average, you're pretty screwed. etc.

A rather high fraction of young women are physically beautiful.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:21 PM
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507, 508: It's been snowing spectacularly all day here; I almost made reference to it in 502, but I didn't want to be tasteless.

It was only supposed to be an inch or two, but I think we have a lot more. I love it!


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:22 PM
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This conversation is a good example of what happens when shy people and not-shy people try to talk about interpersonal relationships. They can get pretty close to understanding each other's perspectives, but at some basic level there's a gap that's nearly impossible to bridge.

Also, you know what shyness is a lot like? Depression.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:22 PM
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PGD's actually making sense. How'd that happen?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:24 PM
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Hypothesis: teachers are better at enacting personas they do not in real life embody so forcefully, particularly when those personas involve authoritativeness. This makes perfect sense to me. I just today pretended I knew a ton of shit about Corn Laws and think I faked them all out.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:26 PM
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Is that because they all fell asleep, Sybil?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:29 PM
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This conversation is a good example of what happens when shy people and not-shy people try to talk about interpersonal relationships.

This conversation, while fascinating, seems odd even by unfogged standards, and I'm trying to figure out why.

It feels like it keeps almost falling into patterns familiar from previous unfogged conversations and then avoiding them because people back away from actually making an argument.

The stories are interesting.

For what it's worth, this conversation makes me feel very lucky that I've lived in the same area of the country most of my life, and have been able to keep up various social connections. My life has been fine, but I always believe that if I had to start from scratch in a new city it would be a painful process.

As far as gregariousness goes, my ideal is to have 3-5 close friends at any given time, and a larger circle of friends maybe twice that size. Which is perfect for me, until a couple moves away and suddenly my circle of close friends drops in half. So far I've managed, but it doesn't feel easy.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:31 PM
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They were *enthralled.* Visibly excited at learning that corn is wheat!! I spun that alone into 15 minutes.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:31 PM
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515: It's more the rule than the exception.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:31 PM
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The Loony Left only want to redistribute everyone else's resources.

And the rich will just find loopholes to shelter their women from sexation.

To minimize the efficiency loss of progressive sexation and distribution, what we need is a 3rd Way solution: a refundable earned booty sex credit (EBSC). This will encourage the horny to go out and find an easy lay on their own. Generous babysitting allowances and subsidized contraception will remove the disincentives to work that trap the shy and homely in a cycle of celibacy.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:31 PM
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PGD, you sounded good on Kojo the other day.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:31 PM
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514: true. I'm moody and swing up and down so I have that dialogue internally a fair amount.

I've come to feel that a depressive streak means that you don't actually *want* to be happy.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:32 PM
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Btw, all y'all people moaning about how no one ever made passes at you, how painful it is to make a pass and be rejected, have you noticed that someone has declared a crush on you in the other thread and I'm the only one that's responded to her?

I rest my case.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:32 PM
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PGD, you were on Kojo?! Awesome. "Join us, won't you?"


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:33 PM
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I missed a Kojo thread!?

I have no idea what 522 is supposed to mean.

You're all socializing without me, aren't you?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:33 PM
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disincentives to work s/b disincentives to fuck. I got carried away with my right-wing tropes, there.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:34 PM
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528

Visibly excited at learning that corn is wheat!! I spun that alone into 15 minutes.

Well, *I'm* impressed.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:34 PM
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Visibly excited at learning that corn is wheat

They sure look different.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:35 PM
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Generous babysitting allowances and subsidized contraception will remove the disincentives to fuck that trap the shy and homely in a cycle of celibacy.

This doesn't seem like it would work. I don't need a babysitter and can easily obtain contraception and yet not getting any.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:35 PM
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Btw, all y'all people moaning about how no one ever made passes at you, how painful it is to make a pass and be rejected, have you noticed that someone has declared a crush on you in the other thread and I'm the only one that's responded to her?

So I rush over and check the thread and... it wasn't me.

I rest my case.

Ha!


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:35 PM
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You only think that because you've been socialized into mistaking different grooming styles for actual differences.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:37 PM
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I don't need a babysitter

Somebody's not keeping up with his fantasy life.

Cheerleader babysitters are supposed to be the best, but I always liked the ones who were cute but didn't try to hard to show it off.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:37 PM
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527: No they shouldn't! I have enough trouble doing one already.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:37 PM
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535

Dammit. "too"


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:37 PM
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531: "all of you" is inclusive. But of course you're going to persist in staying home alone, even when you're invited along.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:38 PM
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PGD's actually making sense. How'd that happen?

The gap between those who make sense (me) and those who do not (others) also takes place across a gap.

avoiding them because people back away from actually making an argument.

I think we would all still like to communicate but are tired of arguing. That's my feeling, anyway.

For what it's worth, this conversation makes me feel very lucky that I've lived in the same area of the country most of my life, and have been able to keep up various social connections.

This is huge.



Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:38 PM
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Teo, in the end not-shy people always turn out to be sociopaths or psychopaths, but you can never tell in the beginning. Shy people can live in the quiet confidence that they're good, non-sociopathic people, though ultimately their lives are still mostly ruined by sociopaths, and a hell of a lot of good quiet confidence does you if you're tied up in someone's closet while they warm up their instruments.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:38 PM
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533: I like babysitters with bushy eyebrows.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:40 PM
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I think we would all still like to communicate but are tired of arguing.

Believe me, the observation wasn't a complaint.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:40 PM
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If you had quiet confidence, we wouldn't have to kill you.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:41 PM
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damn, first line of 537 made no sense, proving B's point. Probably because I'm simultaneously talking to a friend in Cali on the phone.

Relevant to JRoth's point...I've moved a lot across the country and if you gathered all my friends in one place I'd have a very nice social network. But they're scattered in four or five different cities.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:41 PM
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Just that the Breakfast Club has a very heavy-handed portrayal of the mousy girl who'd be beautiful if she'd just push the hair out of her eyes. But of course, it's Ally Sheedy, and when you watch the movie you think, "Wouldn't Judd Nelson's character be attracted to the hot goth chick? Why are we pretending she's ugly?"

Coming in way late, but... I knew a girl in high school who was totally Ally Sheedy in The Breakfast Club (and Rachel Leigh Cook in She's All That, and every other ugly duckling you can think of in crappy movies). All throughout high school she wore ugly-ass glasses and kinda frumpy clothes and got no attention from guys... and then after graduation she showed up to a party wearing contacts and a little black dress (and she knew how to dance). Bam, every guy in the room was fixated on her.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:44 PM
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544

Is there a black market in Paxil?


Posted by: Michael Vanderwheel, B.A. | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:44 PM
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545

a thread like this can never ever reach comity, right? Too much earnestness of emotional high school wounds leaking through online veneer?


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:46 PM
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PGD also is the only Unfoggedatarian ever to have seen Lake Wobegon, so he's more than just bicoastal.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:46 PM
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I believe B's advice was anticipated by Gary Busey: Winners do what losers don't want to do.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:48 PM
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avoiding them because people back away from actually making an argument.

To some extent I actually think it's people having learned from every other thread along these lines - phrasing things a bit more carefully, being a bit smarter.

Also, the topic isn't exactly the same old - it's the nexus between two familiar topics, which leaves some room for exploration.

538 is great.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:49 PM
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I'm not going to give you a "shout out," Mary Catherine.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:49 PM
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Have I mentioned that Canada sucks?

Often. You're wrong, but often. I'll buy some values of South Western Ontario Sucks, which if I remember right was the only place you've been.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:50 PM
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546 is incorrect, I think.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:51 PM
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No, I've been to other places. SW Ontario's the only place I've ever lived.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:51 PM
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I've moved a lot across the country and if you gathered all my friends in one place I'd have a very nice social network. But they're scattered in four or five different cities.

I can relate to that one. Also, lot's of them are also academics, so also on the move. As a result, you have to replace `across the country' with `around the world'.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:52 PM
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552: I meant lived, but was too lazy to post a fix. You can't really evaluate the proper suckitude of a place until you've lived there.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:53 PM
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I'm beating everybody here up.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:54 PM
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It's nice having friends all over the place though. At the moment it means I don't have anyone to go out to lunch with me, but on the other hand, if I wanted to go to London next week I'd have someplace to stay.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:54 PM
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Relevant to JRoth's point...

Wasn't that my point? Or were you, like me, responding to 274?


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:54 PM
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555: he's a big guy, he might be able to do it. Unless Megan came around. She'd kick his ass.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:55 PM
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Part of the reason I stayed in Pittsburgh after graduation was because I had an existing social (and professional, to be sure) network. The thought of up and moving to an all-new city is very unappealing to me, but I don't really recall how it looked from age 22.

Also, of course, I had to stay here in order to keep dating the Bad, Old GF*. Great fucking call that was.

* She's also an interesting data point for the earlier part of the discussion. I think her natural slot (personality- and looks-wise) in HS and college was kid-sister cute, but she spent a few years as a party girl, and was pretty aggressive sexually (indeed, she made the first move on me when I'd never considered her sexually or romantically; would obviously have been better had she never done so). She was always very aware of exactly what she was projecting; among other things, she resented that I didn't respond much to her traditional "I'm sexy" look - how could I not like her long blonde hair?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:56 PM
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557: whoops, sorry, you're right.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:57 PM
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555: Except Megan. She'll kick your ass.

556: Yeah, that is the nice side of it. Of course to go visit anyone I'd have to find some time. grumble. Maybe I should stop reading unfogged.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:57 PM
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of up and moving to an all-new city is very unappealing

I got used to doing this every few years. There are good aspects of it, but it's getting a bit old.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:58 PM
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Please don't tell my sainted mother that I just wrote "reason... was because."

I can't tell you how much this is bothering me.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 3:59 PM
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Another problem is that the people I get along with best personality-wise almost never overlap with the people who share my interests.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 4:00 PM
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she made the first move on me when I'd never considered her sexually or romantically; would obviously have been better had she never done so

Make up your mind: do you want women to make moves, or don't you?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 4:00 PM
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561.2: I doubt you could visit friends in another town in a 5 minute segments spread out across each workday.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 4:01 PM
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556 is pretty overrated. Most of us don't get to travel anywhere near often enough to make "great friend living 1 mile away" a toss-up against "great friend living 4000 miles away". Especially when those friends are also busy, and don't often have a week to spare at the same time you do.

Plus, London kinda sucks as a place to have a lot of friends. Maybe if they were in Rome, that'd be better. Or somewhere in southeast Asia with direct flights. For all my romanticization of Sydney, even I admit it's too far away to visit often.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 4:01 PM
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JRoth's mother is Ben w-lfs-n?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 4:01 PM
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do you want women to make moves...?

Absolutely! What a silly question.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 4:02 PM
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565: Just not that one.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 4:02 PM
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Most of us don't get to travel anywhere near often enough to make "great friend living 1 mile away" a toss-up against "great friend living 4000 miles away".

Actually, pretty much throughout my 20s it was totally worth it. And I still go see friends around the states pretty frequently. Stupid UK friend is supposed to get his ass over to visit me for a change sometime soon, though, since we haven't seen each other in probably ten damn years.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 4:04 PM
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I like knowing people in different cities that I could see when I visit there, but it's similar to the way I like having health insurance. In a given three-month period it does me no good at all.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 4:07 PM
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565: Actually, now that you mention it, I don't think I usually include her on my mental list of Times I've Been Hit On. Talk about a mental block.

My N for women is so small that I can't make many generalizations, but I'd say that the only decent relationships I've been in (N=3) have involved obvious levels of mutual attraction. Most of the others (N~10-15, depending how you count) didn't work out in any meaningful way, or were disastrous.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 4:07 PM
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London kinda sucks as a place to have a lot of friends.

This part is very wrong. The rest is sensible, with the caveat that B made --- when you're less tied down it's easier. I used to go to one or two international conferences a year usually, so that was fun to have people to visit with.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 4:07 PM
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I dunno, usually if I can find enough money to fly to fucking Europe, I can scrounge the money to stay in a hostel. But that's just me.

Also, I am weird, and don't as much like to combine "visiting friends" with "seeing cool city I've never seen before." But that's probably just dumb.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 4:08 PM
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I doubt you could visit friends in another town in a 5 minute segments spread out across each workday.

Yeah, I was more thinking I might actually get some work done that way ... then take a week off.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 4:09 PM
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Also, I am weird, and don't as much like to combine "visiting friends" with "seeing cool city I've never seen before." But that's probably just dumb.

You'd rather see it alone?

I wouldn't trust my own judgment enough to think I could get much out of that.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 4:09 PM
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||

I'm doing my taxes; how alarmed should I be that the statement from my mortgage company doesn't include any $$ for insurance?

|>


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 4:10 PM
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"visiting friends" with "seeing cool city I've never seen before."

Yeah, this is the good part. Also, locals know where stuff is you'll have trouble finding.

It's not going to save you money. Actually, that's not true -- I've been travelling & broke when a grant paid for a flight but wouldn't cover staying extra time; then it's handy to have someone to visit.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 4:10 PM
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571: What did you and your friends do for a living in your 20s that gave you so much vacation time?

I don't really have any one city with a large concentration of friends*, and could find places to crash in at least half a dozen major cities around the world, but I still never get to see any of these people. Grad school and jobs just seem to eat up all the time.

* Except in summer and winter breaks, when a lot of people come see their families for a while and suddenly I get a dozen people calling in one week. Those are great times, but getting fewer and further between as people graduate and settle elsewhere.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 4:11 PM
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I wouldn't trust my own judgment enough to think I could get much out of that.

Oh, try it some time. I love exploring new places on my own. But the other way is great too.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 4:11 PM
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Well, when I'm traveling I prefer not to have to deal with situations that are likely to annoy me. For example, I have a friend who lives in London, but her dad is a fucking asshole, so I didn't want to stay with her when I was there 'cause I didn't want to deal with that nonsense. Or having to navigate the issue of someone wanting to show you around instead of seeing what you want to see. I would like it if I could just do what I wanted during the day and hang out with the person at night for dinner and drinks or whatever.

I've actually only traveled totally solo once, to Berlin, and it was pretty fantastic, although I wished that I could end the day with someone to chat about what I'd saw/look at pictures/eat dinner. But during the day, I got to do stuff that I'd never do if I were with someone, like get on a bus that I don't know where it's going, or get lost and not care, or get tired and spend a whole day reading in the common room at the hostel and not seeing a single thing.

One day I was standing, waiting to cross the street to go to a particular destination, and this tour-type "see the city" bus pulled up, and in 2 seconds I made a decision to get on, then rode around the city for an hour and a half and paid 10 euro. It was fun.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 4:13 PM
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578: It's all good; good service from Citi, I might add.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 4:18 PM
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I would like it if I could just do what I wanted during the day and hang out with the person at night for dinner and drinks or whatever.

Yes, that would be ideal.

I did that for most of our days off on my study abroad trip. Just wandered around the city. But if I didn't have anyone to meet up with and talk about what I'd done, I probably would have done a lot less interesting stuff.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 4:20 PM
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But during the day, I got to do stuff that I'd never do if I were with someone, like get on a bus that I don't know where it's going, or get lost and not care, or get tired and spend a whole day reading in the common room at the hostel and not seeing a single thing.

OK, I don't want to brag, but this is what it's like when I travel with my wife. As far as travel goes, we are so fucking compatible, it's awesome. It helps, of course, that we're both interested in buildings and cities as such. I'm not sure we've ever had a disagreement about how to spend time in a new city (including the occasional "day off"), and we've been a fair number of places together.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 4:23 PM
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Further: when we stay with someone in a foreign city, it usually works out that Day 1 is a guided tour, then subsequent days we wander on our own, returning for dinner with the host friend; pretty close to ideal.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 4:24 PM
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Where are your favorite buildings outside Chicago and New York, JRoth?


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 4:25 PM
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588

Armsmasher, have you seen Fallingwater?


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 4:31 PM
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I like to travel alone, for basically the same reasons leblanc gives. It's nice to go to a new place and be able to explore at my own pace.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 4:32 PM
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588: FALLINGWATER NEED BUKIT


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 4:43 PM
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587: There's a lot of great architecture in Pittsburgh, of course, but that would be too lengthy. The original CMU campus is actually brilliant. The UVA Lawn surprisingly lived up to the hype.

Wainwright Bldg, St Louis.
PSFS Bldg, Philly.
I like Graves' Denver Library surprisingly much. I hate the contemporary SF library (which I saw on the same trip, when both were new).
Some of the dept. stores in Paris are fantastic.
The old harbor bldgs in Buenos Aires that have been converted into offices/lofts/retail are brilliant, as is the masonry turn of the century stuff all the Italian masons built there
Brasilia is amazing, even if it doesn't quite work.
I have a soft spot for Arquitectonica's Miami stuff, but that's largely sentimental - it went up when I lived there and was starting to think about architecture.
I haven't been, but I'll admit to being a sucker for CR Mackintosh.
There's a restaurant inside the arch of a railway viaduct in Zürich that's pretty great.
My wife's cousin designed a wonderful house in rural Austria - half of it is the 200-yr-old house where his BIL's aunt lives, and the other half is Modern but understated, following the same roofline, but wholly its own.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 4:51 PM
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Oh, and have you been to the closed-to-the-public side of Ellis Island? I'll admit that part of the allure is romantic/emotional, but it's a pretty cool place nonetheless.

And I think the Pei museum at Cornell is surprisingly good.

You've been to Columbus, IN, I presume?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 4:54 PM
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I think the Pei museum at Cornell is surprisingly good.

It is, isn't it? It seems like it should feel out of place in its location, but somehow it doesn't.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 4:55 PM
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Yeah, and I first came to it as an anti-Modernist summer student, but even then I could get what was good about it.

It's also an awesome big wall for bouncing Superballs off of.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 5:04 PM
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Have I mentioned that Canada sucks?

You can take the chick out of Fresno, but you can't take Fresno out of the chick.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 5:05 PM
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I am a huge fan of the Pei museum. It fits nicely right on the edge of the hill.


Posted by: Willy Voet | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 5:07 PM
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597

The bouncy-ball idea is brilliant.


Posted by: Willy Voet | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 5:09 PM
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OT (or is it?), but: Holy crap! Some people can get carried away with this motivational coaching stuff.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 5:11 PM
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599

Pittsburgh is architecturally great. There are so many ways I failed to appreciate Pittsburgh until I moved away (presumably) forever.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 5:14 PM
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600

not-shy people always turn out to be sociopaths or psychopaths, but you can never tell in the beginning
so true, i'm not a psychopath :) but
i'm for example always mistaken for an easygoing type at first, people like to appoint me to something semi-group authoritative
but then i withdraw and after sometime passed all around are friends now and i'm like left out, a very strange and repetitive pattern


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 5:15 PM
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594: oh man that sounds crazy awesome. I want to go do that right now.

In arthitectural news that's been pissing me off today, apparently the Big Dig project has now officially completed, leaving three of the parks they built almost completely inacessible.

Sure, build a $10 million dollar park nobody can get to! What could possibly go wrong?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 5:20 PM
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But you know me, I get pissed about arthitecture. Ith thtupid!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 5:22 PM
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Pittsburgh is architecturally great. There are so many ways I failed to appreciate Pittsburgh until I moved away (presumably) forever.

It is great. An incredibly underrated city. The hills and ridgelines provide a perfect setting, making even the ordinary buildings more interesting.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 5:27 PM
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Underrated by who? I for one am sick of hearing all the time about how awesome Pittsburgh is. You know what's an underrated city? LA! That's right, you heard me.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 5:28 PM
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If my current job possibility doesn't work out--it's an elaborate situation with trying to get a two-department opportunity hire approved--maybe next year I will magically get a job offer from a Pittsburgh school. I'd love that.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 5:29 PM
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606

(My mother would love it, too.)


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 5:32 PM
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607

We're looking for new faculty in my department, shrub. I think you'd be perfect. They claim they really want to hire a woman this time.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 5:33 PM
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608

I would be perfect! I have had many infectious diseases.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 5:34 PM
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609

604: you are right that LA is an underrated city.

San Francisco is an overrated city.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 5:49 PM
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610

Whats yr field, RFTS? I feel like I should know, but don't.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 5:51 PM
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611

609.1 I've heard. 609.2 I agree with.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 5:53 PM
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May I mention that this is a great thread? So long, though, so long.

don't as much like to combine "visiting friends" with "seeing cool city I've never seen before."

This is a weird one: the last couple of times I've spent any amount of time on the other side of the country, I didn't do much that I'd liked to have done exploring-wise, because I was there chiefly to see the friend(s); they'd set aside the time. Random wandering doesn't sit well with catching up.

Some of the hippies I know have friends who are especially travel companions, who share similar paces, tangents, and responses to stimulus. The term "my travel companion" is dying out, I think, perhaps along with the "road trip."

Fallingwater is great, but damn the ceilings are low.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 5:59 PM
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English lit (20th c. British) and cognitive science. My training's in literature and linguistics, but I'm currently associated with a cogsci department.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 6:02 PM
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San Francisco is an overrated city.

It is indeed. The Bay Area, however, is not an overrated metropolitan area.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 6:06 PM
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615

I used to know a big deal guy in cogsci at CMU, but no longer. Alas.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 6:09 PM
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616

I keep hoping I'm going to get magically offered a job in Pittsburgh too.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 6:11 PM
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617

San Francisco is an overrated city.

True. But "overrated" and "quite good" are not mutually exclusive. Neither are "underrated" and "crappy in many ways."


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 6:13 PM
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I feel like Pittsburgh comes up all the time here, in fact. Shouldn't the odds be in favor of one of y'all being on an academic hiring committee?


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 6:14 PM
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What did you and your friends do for a living in your 20s that gave you so much vacation time?

I had a series of stupid jobs that I didn't care about, and then sometimes I was in grad school; Mr. B. was in the military and travelled a lot anyway, so sometimes I'd join him (plus he had a decent leave allowance, what with it being a government job); and since I was visiting my friends, they didn't have to take time off work to see me.

Plus occasional conferences, etc. I still travel more to see friends than family, because I'm a selfish bitch like that.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 6:16 PM
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but I'm currently associated with a cogsci department

Weird, I didn't know that. How many Cog Sci people are there on this blog?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 6:19 PM
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618: Yinz might think so.
Unlamented Pittsburgh academics of the past: Catholic League asshole William Donahue was a sociology professor at La Roche College in the North Hills.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 6:21 PM
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There are so many colossal assholes on faculty where I went to college in the vaguely 412 area I can't even begin.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 6:23 PM
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I'm surprised I never made that evident to you. Several, certainly.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 6:29 PM
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623: my long-lost department sister!

Although I don't feel very at home in cog sci most of the time. Sweep me off my feet, cs department! You get to do all the cool shit!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 6:39 PM
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It seems to me that "Decision Science" does the really cool shit.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 6:41 PM
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Cogsci departments do tend to have some serious kitchen-sink problems. On the other hand, that is the only reason they let weirdos like me through their doors, so I can't complain too much.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 6:48 PM
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626: oh, ditto. I just wish my particular department could hang on to more modelling types, and maybe let a couple of the egomaniacal ethnographer types free.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 6:53 PM
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Ethnographer types and HCI types, I should say.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 6:53 PM
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you are right that LA is an underrated city.

People feel obligated to hate on L.A. Loads of hot women, great weather, beaches, etc. None of them want to admit that the weather alone is most places east of the Rockies brings on thoughts of self immolation.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 6:58 PM
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629: eh, I could do without the air quality and the polluted water. I meant culturally and architecturally.

The temperature range is nice. There are indeed loads of hot women.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 7:00 PM
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polluted water

Eh? Water's not particularly bad there.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 7:01 PM
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631: depends on the beach and the time of year. Malibu after a rainstorm is no place to be swimming. It's usually fine in late summer, though, which is happily also when it's warm.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 7:02 PM
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Ah. I grew up out near Pasadena. We were hitting Huntington and Newport a lot for the good waves.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 7:04 PM
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No fooling, Gswift? Pasadena boy here, too.


Posted by: Bruce Baugh | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 7:07 PM
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Arcadia, actually. But lots of people have heard of Pasadena, but mostly only people into horse racing know where Arcadia is.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 7:09 PM
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Architecturally, Tweety? What moves you? I'm fond of it too, but more the bungalows and Spanish-style homes -- all that 1900-1930s construction. The Julius Shulman/Neutra stuff is cool, but it's not really part of my life, and I do like some of the contemporary residential stuff like the weird building that went up next door to me on top of the chicken lot.

Or do you mean the monumental stuff: Getty, Gehry, etc?


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 7:12 PM
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Water's not particularly bad there.

You haven't been here in a while. The municipal water is fine cuz we took it from megan, but the beaches are shittissimo after the rain.

L.A. passed a 1/2 billion bond issue a couple years ago to treat water on its way to the ocean. There have been some innovative projects approved -- a lot of semi-permeable grassy filter surfaces in parks and the like -- but it's nowhere near enough.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 7:18 PM
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You haven't been here in a while. The municipal water is fine cuz we took it from megan, but the beaches are shittissimo after the rain.

I'm down there at least a week a year. Sure it can be bad, just IME it's not special in that regard. Have you ever been to what passes as a "beach" in places like Texas? Padre Island? Mmmm, tar.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 7:25 PM
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Arcadia is home to where Mr. Roarke and Tattoo lived with Tarzan, of course.


Posted by: Bruce Baugh | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 7:29 PM
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You know what's an underrated city? LA!

You should head up to Andover to see Birth of the Cool at Phillips Academy--and bring all your East Coast snob friends. I've been meaning to for a couple of weeks now but it's just so damn far from here. Need to work up to it.


Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 7:30 PM
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636: a lot of the mid-century stuff, the Craftsman stuff, things in the hills. That residential architecture as slightly batty aspiration stuff, y'know. Plus there's those amazing Deco buildings on the Wiltshire corridor, I love those.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 7:33 PM
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Speaking of, JL, do we have to do a Pawtucket meetup, or what?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 7:33 PM
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I love driving down Wilshire. It's a midcentury fantasy.

Gswift, Bruce Baugh, I am in your hometown RIGHT NOW. Apparently there was some kind of bomb threat at the high school down the street today; the people in the coffeeshop are very nervous.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 7:38 PM
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The most eye-catching thing on Wilshire is the Federal complex. OK, the tallness is different, but the barren plaza is so wrong. Plus the building is fairly boring. It is exactly the type of thing that future preservationists will want to keep.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 7:40 PM
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Speaking of, JL, do we have to do a Pawtucket meetup, or what?

The terrible thing is, if there was one, I'd agree to come and then blow it off, offering an unbelievable excuse like, "Oh, I got lost."


Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 8:05 PM
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It is exactly the type of thing that future preservationists will want to keep.

Hey, now. Preservationists are very attuned to non-starchitecture - there are a lot more rowhouses preserved in this country than there are FLW houses (and he was prolific - it's not a false comparo).


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 8:15 PM
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PGD - do you have a Pittsburgh history, or have you just been here?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 8:26 PM
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647: I used to live in Cleveland and took a lot of weekend trips to Pittsburgh. Less than a 90 minute drive.

The Bay Area, however, is not an overrated metropolitan area.

No question that SF Bay is one of the greatest, most beautiful, natural settings in the whole world. Stunning. But I don't think SF gets credit for its natural setting.

Some things in SF that live up to the setting are Golden Gate Park (gorgeous) and the Golden Gate Bridge. Otherwise, there are some nice things but it doesn't have the culture/architecture/etc. of a great world city.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 9:05 PM
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I don't think SF gets credit for its natural setting

That's your personal bias.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 9:10 PM
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PGD, you're nuts. The houses all up and down the hills are lovely, and fit in beautifully with the natural setting. And what does it mean to say a city doesn't "get credit" for being beautiful?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 9:18 PM
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what does it mean to say a city doesn't "get credit" for being beautiful

I think he means that all possible San Franciscos get that already.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 9:20 PM
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My favorite LA buildings are a bit clichéd, (Griffith Observatory, Union Station and the Coliseum) but I do like the way they (along with the craftsmen homes and older theaters ettc.) fix the idea of a "classic" LA in a certain time period.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 9:24 PM
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Oddly enought, SF and the Bay Area are not exactly the same thing.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 9:26 PM
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Oddly enough, SF and the Bay Area are not exactly the same thing.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 9:26 PM
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And now that I've read more of the thread I think it's hilarious that this, about Pittsburgh,

The hills and ridgelines provide a perfect setting,

is followed by

But I don't think SF gets credit for its natural setting.

I went through Pittsburgh on the train from DC to CA last June. We got in at about 11, left maybe a half hour later. I didn't see much, but from what I could see I'm inclined to agree with those saying the city's beautiful.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 9:38 PM
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I agree with 652, despite only having gotten within 2000 miles of Los Angeles once, that being in Arizona.

"Vertigo" gave me a romanticized view, definitely.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 9:46 PM
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RE Pittsburgh and SF: the hills are actually steeper in Pittsburgh*, but the typical hill street in SF is steeper because they just laid a fucking grid right over the hills. WTF?

Pittsburgh also has 712 public stairs - as in "streets" that consist solely of steps. It's occasionally confusing on maps....

* Including what is often called the steepest street in the world. Someday, when I have a whole summer to train, I'll bike up it.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 9:49 PM
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Do bicycles in Pittsburgh not have gears?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 9:52 PM
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"Vertigo" gave me a romanticized view, definitely.

The San Francisco of "Vertigo" is almost nonexistent anymore.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 9:54 PM
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Pittsburgh also has 712 public stairs - as in "streets" that consist solely of steps. It's occasionally confusing on maps....

The best is when a street becomes stairs for one block, and then becomes a street again.

Or when two staircases actually intersect, with a street sign.

This is the only local history book I own.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 9:55 PM
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||

I just spent five hours on a runway and am now at a lovely hotel whose kitchen closed about 15 minutes before the airport shuttle got us here. I will be getting up at 3:45 a.m. to catch the shuttle back to the airport so that I can hopefully get home. I hate travel.

|>


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:00 PM
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Oh, Di. So sorry.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:03 PM
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DiKotimy, that sucks. Always carry snacks! Sleep!

Pittsburgh sounds even more interesting than I thought. My brother has a friend there he goes camping with ... they might not want me along, though.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:11 PM
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But hey! Free Wifi!


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:11 PM
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I hate travel

There's nothing worse than being away from home, and trying to get home, when one has somehow offended the travel gods. You can cheer up, though, in the knowledge that they don't usually hold a grudge for very long . . .


Posted by: Napi | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:12 PM
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Do bicycles in Pittsburgh not have gears?

A lot of them don't (of course), but these guys' do. Dig the picture on this site I have it on rotation for my desktop - fucking love it.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:14 PM
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When I was young, we lived near a Pittsburgh street not quite as steep as that, but still very steep, with stairs; my mother tells me she once almost lost me down it in a baby carriage. Mandate helmets for infant yinzers!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:18 PM
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Pittsburgh sounds even more interesting than I thought.

Best part is the Strip District - produce warehouses, ethnic grocers, street food, nightclubs. Saturday mornings, it's one of the best places anywhere. I have a standing date with my daughter - she gets a fresh donut, a balloon animal, and either chicken on a stick or fried fish; I get groceries for the week from a half dozen different vendors.

When the Steelers were on their Super Bowl run a couple years back, the crowds were so big that the cops simply shut the street down, unplanned (wish they'd do it more often).


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:19 PM
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I did get to drink the best beer I've ever had during the first hour of the delay (while still in the terminal):

http://www.kentuckyale.com/kentuckyale/Brewing.html

The bourbon barrel ale. And yes, I really should wind down and get some sleep now. But, free wifi...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:20 PM
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my mother tells me she once almost lost me down it in a baby carriage

Aah!

It is nice living in the level part of the East End....


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:21 PM
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Consistency is well-known as the hobgoblin of small minds.

Cities get half credit for beautiful settings.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:30 PM
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I just spent five hours on a runway

Ugh. This happened to me once, and of course they didn't feed us, not even a bag of pretzels. What was interesting, though, was how the passengers developed an admittedly short-lived and shallow-rooted solidarity with one another.

Good luck, Di Kotimy.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:32 PM
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It's funny, reading one of the links in 657 it never occurred to me that SF is known for steep streets. Hilly? Yes. But that's not quite the same thing. Much of the city is more flat/rolling hills, really.

Berkeley has a street that gets up to a modest mid-20s % grade for about a mile. There's a fountain at the circle at the base of the steep portion that's a remake of the original fountain at that spot which was destroyed in 1957 when a truck's brakes failed.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 02-29-08 10:43 PM
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Ithaca has some streets that look like the ones in Pittsburgh, but maybe not quite as steep. There are also stairs. Actually, from those pictures Pittsburgh looks a lot like Ithaca, but bigger. Which is hardly surprising.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 2:05 AM
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Being located on a dissected plateau, Pittsburgh actually has no hills (for some values of "hill"), only valleys and less-eroded interfluves. Ithaca is in the glaciated protion of the same physiographic section.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 6:17 AM
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my mother tells me she once almost lost me down it in a baby carriage

Eisenstein, Ten Days that shook the World.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 7:31 AM
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675: San Diego is on one of those. With the semi-arid foliage it makes for some striking mesas and excellent bicycling.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 7:35 AM
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Being located on a dissected plateau, Pittsburgh actually has no hills (for some values of "hill"), only valleys and less-eroded interfluves.

I never realized! That's very cool.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 7:38 AM
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Eisenstein, Potemkin
but may be in English translation it sounds that


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 7:38 AM
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sorry, i looked up, it's different films, i did not know about the Ten days, may be it has that scene too, but in Potemkin there is for sure


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 7:44 AM
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Trying to picture the entire narrative of this thread, I imagine Veruca Salt rolling downhill, softly weeping, her makeup is torn away, with taunting high schoolers lined up on either side of her pointing and laughing. She crashes through a hillside of modernist homes and finally comes gently to rest in one of Pittsburgh's verdant river valleys.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 7:44 AM
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I think read is right. I remember that scene from the Battleship Potemkin.

And of course in Union Station in Chicago, via The Untouchables.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 7:45 AM
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681 cont'd: at which point a band strikes up the Internationale.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 7:52 AM
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On cue! Altogether now!
C'est la lutte finale, groupons-nous et, demain L'Internationale sera le genre humain!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 7:58 AM
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The Odessa Steps sequence, yeah.

I can't tell if the Mauch Chunk switchback, the father of the modern roller coaster, is still in operation or not -- that always struck me as something that might be a fun day trip from Pbgh.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 7:58 AM
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And then in the background a narrator begins a metaphoric summarization of everything that has happened including the narration itself.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 7:58 AM
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Duuuuuude.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 8:02 AM
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685: The Mauch Chunk (in Jim Thorpe* PA) is much closer to Philly and New York City than Pittsburgh.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 8:02 AM
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685: The Mauch Chunk (in Jim Thorpe* PA) is much closer to Philly and New York City than Pittsburgh.

Oh, really? For some reason I always thought it was near Johnstown. To hell with that, then.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 8:07 AM
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What's with the asterisk?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 8:10 AM
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Jim Thorpe, PA, had its titles stripped when it was revealed that it had participated in semi-professional small town Americana.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 8:13 AM
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690: A delayed footnote (although I like snarkout's explanation better).

*One of several "interesting" town name changes in PA. Jim Thorpe was named when Mauch Chunk and East Mauch Chunk merged. Near Pittsburgh, you would have thought that Hoboken could only change for the better, but it ended up as Blawnox (after the Blaw-Knox steel company),


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 8:46 AM
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I realize the thread has moved on, but until last week I would have said that I never noticed or cared about people's eyebrows (unless they didn't have any and I thought to wonder if they were in cancer treatment). But now that I've spent hours walking past giant posters for a Frida Kahlo exhibit, this self-portrait, I realize that I do have culturally shaped opinions about eyebrows. I don't like that look.

And the single best thing about Pittsburgh is that it has a river called Monongahela. How can just saying that not make you smile?


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 9:06 AM
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Almost, but not quite. The best thing about Pittsburgh is that it's where the confluence of the Allegheny and the mighty Monogahela forms the Ohio. You need to get the word 'confluence' in there.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 9:10 AM
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I almost said what's in 675, but figured I was already boring y'all. Er, yinz.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 9:18 AM
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I was once on one of Pittsburgh's scenic inclines and overheard a woman confidently pointing out the "Monongaheny River" to her companions. It did not seem to be a put-on.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 9:25 AM
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681 and following is nice.

Will you do that for every wandering thread, Sifu? Maybe the Archives could feature blurbs for some of the more noteworthy threads.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 9:27 AM
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Pittsburgh's pretty awesome. JRoth is right on about the Strip District. My grandfather used to load up a produce truck from there and drive it around all the neighborhoods and sell the vegetables.

The area is a little hard to drive in if you've never been there. Some of the guests to my wedding insisted the directions were wrong because they missed the turn and ended up at the hall anyway.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 9:31 AM
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Man, I have never been to Pittsburgh. Maybe I should take a trip out there or something.

Actually, I just realized that I am going to Paris in 11 days. Holy shit. How the fuck did it get to be March already?!


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 9:35 AM
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I have never been to Pittsburgh. Maybe I should take a trip out there or something.

God, I hope you people are happy. I can't believe that the awesomeness of Pittsburgh is a recurring theme on this site. And has anyone said anything other than "it's prettier than you think?"


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 9:41 AM
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We had a ton of people come into town for our wedding party, which was in a park pavilion. I drew a little map for people, including a few cultural highlights along the way.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 9:41 AM
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"it's prettier than you think?"

Whaddya mean? The Strip isn't pretty - it's a culinary-cultural experience!

Ogged's just annoyed that only one person objected when PGD badmouthed SF.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 9:43 AM
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I'm just worried that someone is actually going to go to Pittsburgh based on things said on this blog, and I don't want to be responsible for that.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 9:47 AM
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Stockton is surprisingly beautiful too.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 9:51 AM
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I don't understand why people are always badmouthing various US cities. Like someone said earlier, people loooooove to hate on LA. Why? I can't figure it out. I go there a couple times a year, and it's quite lovely. People in Chicago also love to hate on New York, mostly because of feelings of inadequacy due to the whole "second city" thing. I had an ex-boyfriend who went to NYC for the first time and came back and was like "eh." Shut the fuck up, man, and I hadn't even been there yet.

Same thing with San Francisco, where because so many people go on and on about how great it is, other people like to be Of Even Better Taste by declaring it not good enough for them.

You know what, suckers? Even fucking Houston has a lot of things to recommend it. America's large cities are all quite wonderful. Quit hating.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 9:51 AM
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Leblanc is a chauvinist.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 9:52 AM
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Did Cala get married in the 'burgh, too? Because then that would make Cala, JRoth, snark, RTFS . . . anyone else? Is Pittsburgh the wedding capital of Unfogged?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 9:53 AM
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Looks like flights to Pittsburgh are pretty cheap from Chicago, actually.

But as to my "visit these US cities!" list, it's now on the list after New Orleans, Memphis, Seattle and Portland.

The problem is those last two are expensive to get to (relatively).


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 9:56 AM
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I'd offer to show you around, m., but, you know, 582.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 10:03 AM
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I don't understand why people are always badmouthing various US cities.

Totally.

My brother has this belief that Gainesville, Florida, where we grew up, is this redneck backwards hillbillyhole, and it comes through indirectly and always pisses me off. I'm like, "What do you mean, there was nothing to do? You were in high school. What magical high school activities do you think take place in big cities? What, you would have been going to art galleries and playing the mandolin?" Plus, there's a big giant university two streets away, if you feel like going to art galleries and playing the mandolin, dude.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 10:03 AM
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I don't understand why people are always badmouthing various US cities

Because they all suck? Chicago: humid, flat, ugly, congested, too big. New York: too crowded, too loud. Seattle: rain-sodden, surrounded by rednecks. San Francisco: dirty, too many yuppies and homeless. Etc. Etc. You could go on for all the cities. They have all nice things about them, but for the most part, they're all shitty places to live. Maybe the relative youth of the commentariat makes it blind to this fact.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 10:18 AM
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Yeah, I went to high school in a city of eighteen fucking million people, and what did we do? Went to restaurants. Tried to get into bars. Sometimes we'd go downtown to the opera house or some performance or other. We did dumb shit like see high school plays and choir concerts, cruise around in my friend's car, shop, sit around and drink with ill-gotten alcohol, and stay up all night listening to music. Same shit we could have done anywhere else.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 10:18 AM
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ogged, you are truly depressing.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 10:20 AM
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Seattle: rain-sodden, surrounded by rednecks.

The first of these is a cliche, and the second is hardly unique to Seattle. If you want to talk about reasons to dislike Seattle, traffic would be high on the list.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 10:25 AM
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I got married in Pittsburgh as well.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 10:28 AM
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716

703: Yes, God forbid.

I have lived the majority of my last 30 years in Pittsburgh (the rest in Houston and LA .. so what m.leblanc says in 705), but was not raised in the 'burgh (nor married, that was in Manhattan). I would give Pittsburgh a positive but mixed review. It has the interesting aspects folks have mentioned plus a much more developed traditional cultural scene (an OK but realtively small alternative scene) than most cities its size (undoubtedly in part due to its earlier prominence), and is a decent college town. It is also provincial and hidebound with a dominant culture of social conservatism, and the same topography that makes for an interesting look in the city itself, does extremely poorly with modern suburban development (denuded, eroding slopes etc.). Some of the "quaint" aspects are a pain-in-the-ass to actually live with—full blown Steelermania, for instance, is best appreciated from afar. The weather is the weather (I don't mind it too much, but it is in the eastern grey sky, sleety drizzle belt with Cleveland and Buffalo.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 10:31 AM
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I have friends in NY who are planning a weekend trip to Pittsburgh on the strengths of the Warhol Museum, the Mattress Factory, and proximity to Fallingwater. I think that's fair and doesn't even approach the overall prettiness of the city.

I do want to note that while I am on the Pittsburgh-is-gorgeous team, the surrounding areas are utterly miserable, aesthetically.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 10:32 AM
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695: I almost said what's in 675, but figured I was already boring y'all

Don't hold back, I've noticed that geography nerds tend to dominate the tail end of some Unfogged threads (where's teo?). One of the greatest days of my childhood was when I figured out that our house was located precisely on the "Eastern" Continental Divide between the Atlantic & Gulf of Mexico. The only person who actually believed me or cared was my father. (It is actually not as uncommon as you might think, it goes through some relatively populated places: Atlanta, the Chicago suburbs, Akron ... and North Dakota.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 10:39 AM
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It is actually not as uncommon as you might think, it goes through some relatively populated places: Atlanta, the Chicago suburbs, Akron ... and North Dakota.)

I pass the sign for that every time I go to visit my grandmother. Not very populated around there in ND.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 10:44 AM
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719:Not very populated around there in ND.

Yep, that was just a sop to Emerson.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 10:47 AM
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This whole Pittsburgh thing started with the observation that Pittsburgh was underrated. Meaning it's great *relative to* its reputation, which is true. But in an absolute sense it would be very hard to claim Pittsburgh is actually better than San Fran (leaving aside the cost of living question).

Likewise, SF is overrated and mediocre relative to its reputation and its opportunities -- oldest city in the Western U.S. (except for Santa Fe), one of the best natural settings in the world, leader of perhaps the world's most important and wealthiest industry (computer/tech). But it's still a better place to live than Pittsburgh, if you've got the money to enjoy it.

Boring and obvious point, but should mollify Ogged.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 10:57 AM
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Bob Dylan was born on a triple divide between the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the Gulf of Mexico, and Hudson Bay. Probably the most impressive divide outside Tibet (where the upper Yangtze, Salween, Brahmaputra, and Mekong all run through one narrow corridor.

But I doubt that any ND water reaches the Atlantic.

You know what cities really suck? Paris and London. Nothing there, really.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 11:04 AM
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I suppose if you count Hudson's Bay as Atlantic, maybe.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 11:05 AM
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722, 723: Yes, it really is a different divide in North Dakota. The map at Wikipedia is pretty good (better if you click on it to blow it up).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 11:12 AM
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Soon Ogged will move away from cities. He'll buy a house & settle in Elgin (ND). Then with the money he saved he'll build an all-weather outdoor 50-meter pool. The Cynic Emerson will visit from time to time.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 11:22 AM
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I don't swim, but in Elgin you can always go down to the reservoir and snag gar if you're bored.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 11:28 AM
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727

A friend just sent me this fetish site, which I'm fairly sure is a parody of Rule 34. Click through the stills, which get increasingly absurd. NSFW.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 11:30 AM
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727 is awesome. Those stills made me almost cry from laughing.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 11:54 AM
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where's teo?

Right here.

oldest city in the Western U.S. (except for Santa Fe)

And Albuquerque (1706). Depending on how you define "city," probably some other places in NM as well.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 2:40 PM
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727 is, in fact, awesome.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 2:47 PM
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The seven cities of Cibola are older.

A friend of mine says that the Zuni call Hispanica "Cibolanos".


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 2:50 PM
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Monterey is older than SF. And a number of other CA cities too - or "cities."


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 2:52 PM
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Screw SF. It isn't even old.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 2:58 PM
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Cities are awesome, and Ogged is a misanthropic freak.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 3:02 PM
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But it's still a better place to live than Pittsburgh, if you've got the money to enjoy it.

Or LA for that matter. But I agree about their reputation relative to actuality.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 3:57 PM
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The weather is the weather (I don't mind it too much, but it is in the eastern grey sky, sleety drizzle belt with Cleveland and Buffalo.)

I think as far as snowy weather goes, Pittsburgh is the ideal for me. There's snow at least once a week from November through March, but hardly ever more than three inches at a time, and there's enough sunny days alternating with the cloudy days that it doesn't just build up and build up and build up and build up like it does in Chicago or Buffalo or Madison or Cleveland.

I generally like cloudy days better than sunny days, except when the sun is during the winter and causing snow to melt. Good stuff.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 4:04 PM
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Oh, really? For some reason I always thought it was near Johnstown. To hell with that, then.

You were probably thinking of the Altoona Curve.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 4:08 PM
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Ned is objectively pro slush.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 4:17 PM
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738: For me, if it goes to the trouble of snowing and requiring me to drive through it, I prefer for it to stick around for a bit.

737: Better known as the Horseshoe Curve (just outside of Altoona).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 4:26 PM
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The thread has moved on, but I was just listening to "At Seventeen" (pdf) and was struck by how on topic it was.

I learned the truth at seventeen
That love was meant for beauty queens
and high school girls with clear skinned smiles
who married young and then retired
The valentines I never knew
The Friday night charades of youth
were spent on one more beautiful
At seventeen I learned the truth
And those of us with ravaged faces
lacking in the social graces
desperately remained at home
inventing lovers on the phone
who called to say - come dance with me
and murmured vague obscenities
It isn't all it seems at seventeen

Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 5:57 PM
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