Re: This Must Be Blogged

1

Where is his penis? Is it inside the joystick?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-14-08 9:06 PM
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2

That photo would be nothing without the moustache.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-14-08 9:07 PM
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3

And what's so wrong with that, AWB?


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 08-14-08 9:08 PM
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4

I mean, a guy wants to play Pong with his penis, and you get all judgmental. Sexist.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 08-14-08 9:10 PM
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5

I think it might be photoshopped. Look very, very closely.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-14-08 9:10 PM
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5: I think it might be photoshopped

Geez, was the whole opening ceremony faked?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-14-08 9:20 PM
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7

Stop tricking me into looking at that photo, Tweety.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-14-08 9:21 PM
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8

Analytic philosophy is surpassing itself.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-14-08 9:24 PM
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9

I'm having trouble understanding the relationship between his panties and his balls. Perhaps this is what Sifu's referring to in 5.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 08-14-08 9:26 PM
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Look at the border between the joystick and the rest of the image. Look at the refraction of the suction devices. Look at the relative levels of detail on the joystick and the vr glasses. Look at the edging on the two squeeze bulbs. I think somebody took a perfectly unobjectionable photo of a large man in lingerie enjoying the internet and photoshopped it into a terrible vision of our shared cybernetic future.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-14-08 9:28 PM
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11

Sifu is a Luddite who refuses to believe that the future is now.

The brain in the bottle is only a year or two away.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-14-08 9:31 PM
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12

The Future!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-14-08 9:32 PM
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13

The Future!

The future isn't safe for work.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-14-08 9:33 PM
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That would be a creepier picture if the octopus were alive, right side up, and motivating.

Good thing you didn't want a creepy picture.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-14-08 9:35 PM
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15

No creepy pictures here.

(Still not safe for work, though.)


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-14-08 9:37 PM
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13: The future isn't safe for work.

Nor is the past. (Some of it, at least.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-14-08 9:38 PM
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17

Look very, very closely.

No, thank you.


Posted by: My Alter Ego | Link to this comment | 08-14-08 9:38 PM
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18

Were you looking for this?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-14-08 9:43 PM
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19

Teh future!


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 08-14-08 9:45 PM
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20

"El irresistible encanto de los Daleks" is going to be the title of my first album.


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 08-14-08 9:45 PM
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21

I feel you, 'smasher.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-14-08 9:48 PM
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22

"El irresistible encanto de los Daleks" is going to be the title of my first album.

Damn, I was so going to call dibs.

Is anyone else loving the current Doctor Who series, or should I be embarrassed about how awesome I think it is?


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 08-14-08 9:51 PM
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23

David Tennant is scrumptious.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-14-08 10:01 PM
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24

So's Freema Agyeman.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08-14-08 10:03 PM
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I should admit that the first time I encountered David Tennant, it was while googling for Ainsley Harriott videos, desperately trying to remember when he had that American daytime show that was so intensely weird (for American daytime TV). On one of AH's many shows, he pitted Tennant against his old Scotsman dad in a cooking contest and it was painfully adorable. But yes, I have seen several episodes of the new Dr. Who and it is awesome.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-14-08 10:06 PM
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Yeah, Freema's scorching.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-14-08 10:07 PM
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27

Smasher wins the thread.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-14-08 10:20 PM
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28

Freema's hot hot hot, but give me Billie Piper any day.

(Yes, yes, I know: racist.)


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 08-14-08 10:23 PM
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29

Not racist, just wrong.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08-14-08 10:30 PM
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30

21 is great.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-14-08 10:31 PM
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31

Night and the City is great.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-14-08 10:32 PM
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32

wow. the hiatus hasn't been good for Ogged.


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 08-14-08 10:34 PM
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33

Next: The Naked City.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-14-08 10:34 PM
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34

Sifu loses the internet and is banned from ever searching it for disturbing images ever, ever again.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 08-14-08 10:35 PM
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35

31: Oh, what's that.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-14-08 10:37 PM
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36

Via comments on that robots-n-chicks post: I am your automatic lover.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-14-08 10:38 PM
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37

The rest of Mrs. Norman's photobucket directory makes it seem a bit more likely that the content of this photo has been manipulated artificially. Also, I CAN TELL FROM SOME OF THE PIXELS AND BECAUSE I HAVE SEEN QUITE A FEW SHOPS IN MY TIME.

This is probably the only one that's not a shoop.


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 08-14-08 10:43 PM
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38

The future.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-14-08 10:44 PM
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39

The future. N


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 08-14-08 10:48 PM
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40

It's a movie.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-14-08 10:53 PM
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41

40 to 35? Okay, then!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-14-08 11:07 PM
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42

Freema's hot hot hot, but give me Billie Piper any day.

Horsey face or trout pout; what a choice.


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 12:19 AM
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43

Now.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 1:00 AM
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44

If you don't prefer Catherine Tate it's clearly because you hate gingers. Or are ageist. Or both.

Have to admit, I gave up on Doctor Who about halfway through this last series.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 2:12 AM
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45

re: 44

Catherine Tate was the show jumping the shark and clearly the right time for Russell T Davies to go.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 2:43 AM
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46

Does this go some way to explain the photo in the post?


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 4:08 AM
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47

43 is wonderful.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 5:42 AM
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48

I am so excited about the forthcoming reign of Steven Moffat.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 5:59 AM
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49

I am very, very much looking forward to the Steven Moffat era, and I loathed Catherine Tate at first, but I quickly warmed to her as they toned her down and highlighted ways in which Donna is an adult, with grown-up life experience.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 6:02 AM
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50

Oh, hello, dear, I didn't see you there.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 6:03 AM
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51

Have to admit, I gave up on Doctor Who about halfway through this last series.

Alas! This was exactly the time not to stop.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 6:05 AM
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Echoing rfts -- Yeah, that wasn't the time to stop. There is a very lovely Moffat-penned 2-part episode in the second half of that season.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 6:33 AM
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53

Catherine Tate was the show jumping the shark and clearly the right time for Russell T Davies to go.

Man, did she grow on me. Also, 51 gets it exactly right, because while there was at least one abysmal episode this season right in the middle ("The Doctor's Daughter," anyone?) it got awesome from episode 7 on.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 6:34 AM
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54

"The Doctor's Daughter," anyone

Whooo, boy.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 6:35 AM
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55

Huh. Stephen Moffat, while an excellent writer for television, seems to be kind of an insufferable tool:

Regarding bad episodes of Doctor Who, has there been a more embarrassing spectacle on television than the "Daleks in Manhattan" two-parter?


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 6:42 AM
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That's weird. There was supposed to be a blockquote in that last comment:

Well, the world is vastly counted in favour of men at every level - except if you live in a civilised country and you're sort of educated and middle-class, because then you're almost certainly junior in your relationship and in a state of permanent, crippled apology. Your preferences are routinely mocked. There's a huge, unfortunate lack of respect for anything male.

Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 6:44 AM
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57

Moffat said that? Wow, that is hugely toolish. He writes for women very well, I find, and doesn't seem to be exploring the plight of the scorned modern male in his episodes at all (thank jeebus).


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 6:49 AM
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Regarding bad episodes of Doctor Who, has there been a more embarrassing spectacle on television than the "Daleks in Manhattan" two-parter?

Truly, so terrible. So, so terrible. It was so bad that we looked into it, and I think that the writer was a first-timer who got tragically abandoned when Russell T. Davies suddenly got bronchitis or something and so there was no one there to help at all. Even so, though, it's hard to imagine how it could have been salvaged. Happy cheerful Racial Harmony Shantytown! No.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 6:49 AM
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59

Ditto 57.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 6:50 AM
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60

Happy cheerful Racial Harmony Shantytown! No.

I like the Racial Harmony Shantytown in Sayle's Matewan, though! But yeah.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 6:54 AM
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61

Look very, very closely.

Enough with your Jedi mind tricks, Sifu.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 7:11 AM
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62

The Moffat quote doesn't seem toolish to me.

I know lots of people in relationships where the Moffat quote is pretty apt. I read him as talking about the dynamics internal to personal relationships at a particular place and time rather than making some 'women are taking over' comment which, given the financial and political realities of the world as it stands, would be incredibly stupid.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 7:31 AM
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63

All riight! Let's take this to 1000!

Poor, poor middle class men. All they get is education, social status and well-paid jobs. Why can't they have a barbarian princess clinging to their knees, too? Those chicks in the scrolly metal bikinis know how to respect huge male things.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 8:18 AM
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64

almost certainly junior in your relationship and in a state of permanent, crippled apology

If this actually describes the relationship of anyone here, male or female, you have my deepest sympathies, and my strong recommendation to DTMFA.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 8:25 AM
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re: 63

You don't have to read his comment as saying that. There's a toolish and a non-toolish reading.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 8:25 AM
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66

65: Sure, but see 64.

If 33 percent of males are "junior" in their relationships, even within the demographic Moffat describes, then, allowing for 33 percent of couples having perfectly equal relationships, we would still have gender parity. But a huge lack of respect for anything female, as evidenced by the large number or women who are "junior" in their relationships, is so totally taken for granted that it's barely worth remarking. And I'd be really, really surprised if 33 percent of males in that demographic are cringingly subordinate in their relationships.

I conclude that Moffat is a total tool, of the extremely irritating "just kidding" type.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 8:30 AM
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67

I haven't read the thread, but if there is a political party that is promising barbarian princesses, I would be interested in receiving their campaign literature.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 8:31 AM
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68

Sorry Walt. We are mourning their passing.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 8:32 AM
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69

67: I'm afraid you need California residency to vote for Arnold Schwarzenegger, Walt.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 8:33 AM
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70

ttaM's right that there are such relationships--and c'mon, don't we all know at least a couple? in each gender direction?--but the solution turns out, as mrh notes, to be pretty simple.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 8:34 AM
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71

First, what mrh said -- anyone who's junior in their relationship and in a permanent state of cringing apology is being treated badly, and has my sympathy and support in getting out of a bad situation.

Beyond that, what's the non-toolish reading? The closest I can get is that for a man with feminist sensibilities on some level (that is, he accepts that a gender-egalitarian society or relationship is more just), but who's still attached to traditional gender performance/gender roles on an esthetic or habitual level is going to feel like he's in the wrong all the time, when his habitual behaviors run up against his beliefs about what's just. And he's going to feel bad about himself more than someone who's just unapologetically sexist.

Someone in that position, I can sympathize with -- I think most of us, male and female, are in that position to some extent. But if that's what we're talking about, it's not a problem of insufficient respect for maleness.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 8:34 AM
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72

which, given the financial and political realities of the world as it stands, would be incredibly stupid.

Do you have independent evidence that he's not incredibly stupid? That is, writing comix for TV and not living in your parents's basement require distinctively different skill sets.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 8:41 AM
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73

I think the most generous reading is mcmc's in 66: he's doing the "ha-ha, only serious" thing, which still makes him a tool. It's not true that there's a "huge lack of respect for anything male" at a societal level, and if he's talking about and individual relationships, well, we've covered that.

And I mean, come on, read the rest of the article:

There's this issue you're not allowed to discuss: that women are needy. Men can go for longer, more happily, without women. That's the truth. We don't, as little boys, play at being married - we try to avoid it for as long as possible. Meanwhile women are out there hunting for husbands.

Tool. In fact, it looks like he's projecting his own relationship angst onto society at large, which: tool.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 8:42 AM
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74

Both "insufficient respect for maleness" and "insufficient respect for femaleness" exist in Unfogged-style middle-class educated civilized communities, of course. I think the scale has tipped so there's more of the former, at least among people under 40. But really all this means is that it's okay for women to make generalizations about men, but it's not okay for men to make generalizations about women. That doesn't exactly outweigh all the advantages that men have.


Posted by: Ardent reader | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 8:44 AM
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75

re: 71

Your 2nd paragraph is part of the way there, I think. But it's cast entirely in terms of how the male partner feels and behaves.

I do know women who really are like Moffat's description: who on a deep level just don't seem to have much liking or respect for men and whose habitual response is one of scorn. Women who are, nevertheless, heterosexual. Combine that with the sort of phenomena described in LB's paragraph 2 and you get some pretty toxic relationships.

I can think of particular social circles I've moved in in the past where that sort of relationship wasn't uncommon. It wasn't the majority either of course [far from it].

But, just because those relationships are pretty toxic and an exaggerated version of something milder that probably features a bit in many of our relationships, you notice them. Just in the same way that relationships in which the male partner is a controlling, jealous aggressive prick [and we probably all know some of them] draw attention to certain unsavoury dynamics in the relationships between some men and women and may cast some of our own thoughts and behaviours [as men] into a stark and perhaps unflattering light.

Moffat is being a bit toolish in making it a general claim, though. And, re-reading the rest of what he says, maybe does point to the tool reading.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 8:45 AM
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76

I can't view the photo, being at work, but I would love to bravely enter this minefield of a discussion.

Would someone please give me a summary of where the discussion is at? I get a general sense from LizardBreath, I think, but I was hoping for something I could disagree with and she is too sensible for that.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 8:48 AM
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77

75: Come to think of it, this has come up before -- we're thinking of the sort of situation where both partners are in that 'gender egalitarianism is just, but traditional gender roles are awfully comfortable' place, and it can go badly for the man involved: he's either insufficientlly respectful or insufficiently chivalrous, depending on which works out better for the woman involved.

This is certainly a model for a bad relationship, but it's a real significant error to think of what's going wrong in it as 'insufficient respect for anything male'.

who on a deep level just don't seem to have much liking or respect for men and whose habitual response is one of scorn. Women who are, nevertheless, heterosexual.

You know, it's not the most important thing about feminism, which is justice, but as a straight woman one of the biggest personal advantages of being feminist is that it makes it an awful lot easier to like men, or at least the men I'm emotionally close to. I think traditional gender roles are a huge and unpleasant cause of mutual contempt across gender lines.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 8:53 AM
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78

73 is definitely completely toolish, and counterfactual. As I'm sure we've discussed somewhere, married men rate themselves as happier, live longer, etc.

Reading the first paragraph in isolation, I'd agree with the last sentence only insofar as there is the obnoxious "men are doofuses" representations in the media, which I loathe. But, of course, they stand out because many of the sexist representations of women are so routine as to be invisible.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 8:54 AM
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79

77.last: Word.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 8:55 AM
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80

Oh, I'm getting it. So far I'm agreeing most with ttaM. Imagine that.

In general the ideas of 'junior' and 'senior' and 'better' and 'worse' are gonna cause a lot of problems when trying to discuss relationships.

People are gonna get all pissed off before you even get to define your terms. And you'll never get total agreement on the terms anyway. I've talked to both sides of some disputes - divorces and squabbles within a family and it is pretty incredible how both sides can see the same thing so differently.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 8:56 AM
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81

re: 77

Yes, we have talked about it, yeah.

And yeah, on your second point. The women I know who have that kind of scorn and these kinds of [to an outsider] fairly toxic relationships with men are emphatically not the ones who'd describe themselves are feminists [or who'd could fairly be described by others as such]. In fact, the particular social circle that I am thinking of [not one I move in now] was pretty conservative/reactionary on that level.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 8:57 AM
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82

To move to a slightly different can of worms, I think this point is a big but not particularly well-understood fault line in the 'at least reasonably feminist' community. A whole lot of Unfogged's tenser feminism arguments have been on a similar point, around how much of traditional gender roles can you retain before running into justice problems?'. I lean pretty heavily to the 'you really can't retain much' side, but this belief is anything but a consensus.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 9:08 AM
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83

I think traditional gender roles are a huge and unpleasant cause of mutual contempt across gender lines.
All roles, whatever they are, may lead to problems after long periods of time.

One possible pitfall is that one partner may grow to hate what he/she first loved about his/her partner.

For a generic example, one partner will be better at something than the other partner. Partner B, with less of the talent or attribute, initially admires and likes the attribute in the other. Over time, though, partner B may begin to develop that attribute in him/herself, and even if partner A encourages it partner B may still begin to resent the fact that A is so good at it and B will never be that good and why doesn't A get out of the way?

Even if A remains constant and helpful B may begin to dislike the attribute in A that first seemed so good.

To give another personal example, when I first married I was determined to share the cooking. I wanted to be a good little feminist man. For whatever reason I found that my wife preferred to do the cooking - she was good at it and she wanted to contribute in that way to our partnership. I accepted, even though it may have made me look like a pig.

Over the years cooking has become a chore. I can see that. But for some reason my wife, who is starting to dislike cooking, does not want to turn that over to me, not even a part of it. The kitchen is her workspace and she doesn't like other people in it. Actually she really can't stand other people in it.

So we are trapped in an unhappy situation and there is not really anything I can do about it.

I don't think this is a man/woman thing, but I do think it displays one of the ways longterm relationships can have problems.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 9:11 AM
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84

So, I stopped watching Dr Who at the start of the third season. I didn't dislike it, I just didn't like it all that much. There would be a couple of great episodes per season but, overall, meh.

Should I give it a second chance and, if so, which season should I start with? Or should I just pick up where I left off?

(and, for the record, Billie Piper was good in season 1 but appeared to be incapable of going beyond "wide eyed innocent who feels sympathy for everything she sees" even when the character has had enough experience time traveling to make this seem like a reaction completely lacking in any instinct for self-preservation).


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 9:17 AM
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83 - This really rings true. The interaction between personal evolution and the necessary compromises of being a couple was part of the complex dynamics that lead to my divorce. The fact that we should never have gotten married in the first place helped, of course :-)


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 9:21 AM
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86

Most hilarious thread to become humorless ever.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 9:22 AM
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87

how much of traditional gender roles can you retain before running into justice problems?'. I lean pretty heavily to the 'you really can't retain much' side, but this belief is anything but a consensus.

I think that there isn't much of the current gender roles that is unproblematic, but that it isn't possible to start over with Year Zero in gender relations (sorry, lingering hyperbole left over from reading the "pile on Megan" thread).

It's entirely possible that I just haven't gotten myself to a consistent position. On one hand I think that many of the activities that are currently coded as "masculine" or "feminine" or "butch" or "geeky" etc . . . can be fun, and I'd like to keep them available to people who enjoy them. But it's hard to see how to keep the existing modes of gender behavior / expression around while shifting the overall cultural sense of gender sufficiently that they are no longer part of a hierarchical sense of gender.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 9:23 AM
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88

USING "TOOLISH" AS AN INSULT IS CARBON-BASED CHAUVINISM.


Posted by: OPINIONATED MIDDLE-CLASS MALE ROBOT | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 9:28 AM
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I wanted to be a good little feminist man.

Wow, Tripp. That's... a telling turn of phrase.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 9:36 AM
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90

On one hand I think that many of the activities that are currently coded as "masculine" or "feminine" or "butch" or "geeky" etc . . . can be fun, and I'd like to keep them available to people who enjoy them. But it's hard to see how to keep the existing modes of gender behavior / expression around while shifting the overall cultural sense of gender sufficiently that they are no longer part of a hierarchical sense of gender.

One thing to think about when playing the feminist utopia game is that we have the option of not only dropping some gender coding and keeping others, but weakening how strongly things are coded. If you enjoy butch and femme roles, you can keep them in a weak way that allows for frequent rule breaking. Think of the taboo against female toplessness. In some technical sense, it is still around, but there is no shortage of ways to look at boobs, and not much will happen to most people if they show their boobs. The taboo is just strong enough to give you a little thrill in breaking it. That might be a model for retaining some fairly harmless gender roles, so that, say, cross dressing is still exciting, but commonplace.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 9:38 AM
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91

In general the ideas of 'junior' and 'senior' and 'better' and 'worse' are gonna cause a lot of problems when trying to discuss relationships.

But due to incompetence, not terminology.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 9:38 AM
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Oddly enough, in relationship matters, I am for strict individualism unless children are involved, in which slightly modified individualism could be employed. Way too many annoying relationship quandaries could be solved if people weren't so caught up in some ideal of standing by their man/woman, or repeatedly doing things they hate and will resent to make their partners happy. Stay in a relationship with someone who hates you only if you get off on being hated! That's what I tend to assume about those people anyway. (This is, of course, talking about people who aren't dealing with actual domestic violence. It's genuinely scary to want to leave someone who threatens to kill you. OTOH, it would be nice if those people could DTMFA, too.)

I'm not saying people shouldn't be nice to each other in relationships. In fact, I wouldn't date at all if it weren't for the fact that I (a) crave sex, and (b, related) I adore doing stuff for someone, and I miss both terribly when I'm single. I draw the line at doing things I am aversive to, but if I'm dating, it's because I want to spend some time with someone. The resentment that grows up around people doing what they don't want to do, so they can pat themselves on the backs for being "caring" makes me really paranoid. How can I know that the guy doing [whatever] isn't inwardly groaning?

One guy I dated was really into going out with me, which I like. We'd go out somewhere cheap for dinner, share the bill, and then go for a long walk in the park and stuff. I love long walks, and I thought it was fortuitous that he was always suggesting long walks. Turns out, he figured out I liked long walks, but he'd far rather sit at home and watch TiVO'd Mythbusters episodes. HAD I KNOWN that he was the kind of guy who preferred watching TiVO'd Mythbusters all evening to doing anything I enjoyed, I could have saved us both six months of weirdness.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 9:42 AM
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Should I give it a second chance and, if so, which season should I start with? Or should I just pick up where I left off?

I don't know. I really love it for the good episodes, and tolerate the eh, which I think is easier to do if you watch it the way we do: downloading the whole season at once and galloping through it at an approximate rate of one episode per night. Season 3 has some real blah to it, and I never really warmed up to Martha, but it has three of my very favorite episodes in it, too: "Human Nature," "Family of Blood," and "Blink." I think those would all be perfectly enjoyable without sitting through the rest of the season first.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 9:43 AM
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91: was probably too short and ambiguous. What I meant is that while I can easily see how terminology like this might, in context, but useful to describe dysfunction in relationships, typically looking at relationships through this sort of lens is a sort of category error.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 9:45 AM
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The "Blink" episode was one of the few I saw from that series and was a real cracker.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 9:45 AM
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93: "Blink" was rad. I heard that episode was written by a fan of the show. Is that right?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 9:46 AM
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84: Yes -- pick up where you left off. As mrh mentions above, it does get awesome at like episode 7.
(But, hey, I *liked* the Pompeii episode, mostly because part of it rests on a nerdtastic English schoolkid Latin joke. The family in it has the same names and structure as the family in the Cambridge Latin Course [popular textbook].)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 9:46 AM
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RFTS's advice is good. Martha was OK, but my least favorite companion.

"Blink" is a totally awesome stand-alone episode.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 9:46 AM
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I think Blink was written by Moffat. Generally "scary horror, but also, touching!" = Moffat. Part of why I find his quote suprisingly toolish.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 9:48 AM
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93: "Blink" was rad. I heard that episode was written by a fan of the show. Is that right?

It's a Steven Moffat episode, based on a short story he had written previously for a Doctor Who annual.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 9:48 AM
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So, insofar as Steven Moffat is indeed himself a giant dorky Doctor Who fan, yes.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 9:49 AM
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mrh,

Wow, Tripp. That's... a telling turn of phrase.

Used on purpose. At the time I lacked confidence and felt I had to be humble and meek and good and little for a woman to like me.

Imagine that.

I've changed a lot since then.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 9:49 AM
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97: Oops. You were talking 3 not 4.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 9:49 AM
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99, 100: Ah. Don't know where I got that idea.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 9:50 AM
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Yes -- pick up where you left off. As mrh mentions above, it does get awesome at like episode 7. (But, hey, I *liked* the Pompeii episode, mostly because part of it rests on a nerdtastic English schoolkid Latin joke. The family in it has the same names and structure as the family in the Cambridge Latin Course [popular textbook].)

You're thinking of season 4, there. I liked the Pompeii episode too. Did you know that the Cambridge Latin Course family are based on real people? (Though the Doctor Who version of them incorporates some of the artistic license of the textbook version.) It's a big chain of adorably dorky referencing.

Speaking of incorporating people in the archeological record into textbooks, have you seen the Minimus books for kids? I think they are delightful.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 9:53 AM
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99, 100: Ah. Don't know where I got that idea.

Well, it is sort of like it was a fan story, just a fan story by a professional writer who wound up being a writer for the show. The other two episodes I loved from that season were also adaptations of earlier Who prose, in that case of a Who novel.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 9:55 AM
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Oh, it was before he wrote for the show. I get it. It was super-cool.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 9:56 AM
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Is the new Dr. Who worth watching if I don't have any prior attachment to old Dr. Who? I've got a sense of the show from cultural background noise, but I don't think I've ever seen an episode.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 9:58 AM
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Let me enthuse some more about Doctor Who and primary school Latin books! Apparently I have been possessed by a small, nerdy, English boy child.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 9:59 AM
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Is the new Dr. Who worth watching if I don't have any prior attachment to old Dr. Who?

Yes! It helps if you are sentimental, spazzy, and a dork, though.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 9:59 AM
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108: You could solve that by watching some of the old Dr Who, though.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 9:59 AM
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108: You could solve that by watching some of the old Dr Who, though.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 10:00 AM
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rfts is Nigel Molesworth?


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 10:00 AM
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Oh, it was before he wrote for the show.

Well, no, but when he wasn't yet a regular writer for the show, let alone the annointed future showrunner. And I believe that he was a huge, huge fan well before he wrote for the show.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 10:01 AM
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Sentimental spazzy dork? That works. Netflix, here I come.

112: The problem with watching some of the old Dr. Who is that the goddam show's been running since Queen Anne died. Figuring out which bits of the 4000 year run I'd want to watch to get caught up is daunting.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 10:02 AM
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115: I picked up on the thread of the thing while watching just new episodes, but it often helped that my Dr.-Who-history-spouting friend was at my side. Sometimes it did not help.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 10:05 AM
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108: Yes, absolutely. I loathed old Doctor Who (don't yell at me! I am kind of over it), but CA made me watch the new ones and they are really very good and as you can see, I now have a nerdly devotion to them. "The Empty Child" in season 1 was the scariest thing I had seen on television in ages. It was genuinely creepy.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 10:05 AM
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Is the new Dr. Who worth watching if I don't have any prior attachment to old Dr. Who?

My prior association with Dr. Who was have read a few issues of the comic book, and that was sufficient for me to feel sentimentally fond toward the new Dr. Who.

You have enough affection for classic SF cliches that you should be fine.

Which reminds me, have I recommended Harry Harrison's Star Smashers and the Galaxy Rangers here? Not as good as the first Bill The Galactic Hero but not much is.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 10:05 AM
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having never seen the new one (and only a handful of the old ones ages ago) I should probably have refrained....


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 10:07 AM
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re: 108

Yeah, I think so. I liked quite a bit of the first of the new series with Christopher Ecclestone, and the 2nd series with Tennant was, I think, particularly good.

I didn't get into either the 3rd or 4th series as much, though.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 10:07 AM
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We don't, as little boys, play at being married - we try to avoid it for as long as possible. Meanwhile women are out there hunting for husbands.

What's weird is that almost universally in my experience, this is so entirely not true. I don't know if little girls really play at being married, but both men and women seem to get to a point where if they are the sort that wants to be married, they start actively looking. To the extent that differences sort out by gender, it seems to sort out mostly by other gendered expectations (the Man Should Be the Provider, He Should Be Settled In His Career, etc.), but not because women are wanting to get married at 14.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 10:10 AM
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Figuring out which bits of the 4000 year run I'd want to watch to get caught up is daunting.

Yeah, I have CA forcing me to do things like watch the first Sontaran (sp?) episode or the first dalek episodes and he explains things I don't get. Many years ago --say 1995 -- we were watching a Mr Bean Christmas show that involved his playing with the creche under a tree in Harrod's. A one point he takes a toy dalek and runs over the baby Jesus saying "Exterminate!" CA almost fell off the couch when I asked him what that was about.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 10:11 AM
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has there been a more embarrassing spectacle on television than the "Daleks in Manhattan" two-parter?

Aside from the fact that I don't think there ever were Hoovervilles in Central Park, the implausibility of the happy racial harmony of the camp, and the dramatic cheapness of yet another Dalek threat so soon after the last, it wasn't the worst episode I've seen. There were pig-people and what's not to love about pig-people? Worse are the episodes that are just dull ("Idiot's Lantern" and "Fear Her" come to mind).

Rose is one of my favorite Who characters. The depiction of Rose as a underprivileged young woman who discovers unexpected resources of talent and brilliance had a lot of potential, but it was something only hinted at, never really developed, and Billie Piper couldn't (or wasn't allowed to) give it any depth, ultimately. I'll second (or third or fourth) the Freema love, but she's playing a more conventional character.

(Moffat's remark is pretty toolish, or at least remarkably uninsightful.)


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 10:11 AM
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Star Smashers and the Galaxy Rangers

Is that the one where the spacecraft is powered by a cheese sandwich?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 10:14 AM
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has there been a more embarrassing spectacle on television

Even having never watched an episode, I have real trouble with the idea that this particular nadir is owned by Dr. Who.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 10:17 AM
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121 is true, I think. By college, at least, most of the men I knew had some kind of overly elaborate five-year plan-type thing involving getting settled in a career, having a nice car, taking a few trips around the world, and then getting a wife and eventually babies. Meanwhile, it was almost at the same time that most of the women I knew were saying, "OMG, I don't have to get married at all! I could pursue my career! OK, maybe someday, if I fell crazy in love, but that's a long ways off and I don't have to think about that yet."


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 10:17 AM
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it wasn't the worst episode I've seen.

I am pretty sure that it is the only one that has made me want to hide behind the sofa not from childhood terror, but from sheer cringing at the awkward clunky badness.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 10:18 AM
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125: Seriously. Age of Love gets no points there?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 10:18 AM
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I have real trouble with the idea that this particular nadir is owned by Dr. Who.

Point.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 10:18 AM
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121/126: Just another example of the common Tripp-ism of unsupported generalization from projection and/or stereotype, so not sure you're going to engage with anything.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 10:21 AM
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but from sheer cringing at the awkward clunky badness.

Even worse than the spray-painted bleach-bottle-weapons the Cybermen used to carry in the old days?


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 10:23 AM
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121:

Cala,

I agree. Speaking for myself and other little boys, I first played at stuff I liked to do. Once the testosterone really took hold I played at getting dates, and sex. Marriage didn't enter my mind until my early twenties, and even then it was mostly because I wanted a steady date with someone I loved. I would have been happy not marrying but sleeping together until probably when I was thirty or so, when I started thinking about kids.

Personally I never knew of any women who were husband hunting - certainly not in college or even later.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 10:25 AM
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By college, at least, most of the men I knew had some kind of overly elaborate five-year plan-type thing involving getting settled in a career, having a nice car, taking a few trips around the world, and then getting a wife and eventually babies.

Really? Wow.

At around the same period I'd have been hard pushed to think of more than a couple of people who had concrete plans that stretched more than a couple of years into the future and only a couple of people's included marriage.* And, with that exception, there wasn't much of a gender divide at all. Most people's plans were pretty vague.

* One of whose included marriage so strongly that when her boyfriend of about 8 years told her he didn't want to get married right then -- she gave him a pretty tight ultimatum -- she dumped him and married his best friend.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 10:26 AM
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I went to Nerd U, though, which was overly populated with the kinds of guys who think about life as some kind of video game in which the objectives are to make money, get married, and have kids. It's not "projection" or whatever; it's a certain kind of experience of middle-class Midwestern guys, who are usually depicted in stereotypes that, IME, have little to do with their actual stated desires.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 10:30 AM
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130: 121/126: Just another example of the common Tripp-ism of unsupported generalization from projection and/or stereotype, so not sure you're going to engage with anything.

Would the anonymous speaker care to clarify this?

From what I see people are speaking of what they have seen in their acquaintances.

If we are not allowed to discuss personal observations and experiences then we will have little to discuss.

In sort - anecdotal? Yeah. So what?


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 10:30 AM
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133 the latter. Wow. Did the friendship survive?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 10:31 AM
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Aside from the fact that I don't think there ever were Hoovervilles in Central Park

I just read Squatter City, which talked for the last third of the book about historic squatter cities in the states. I was super surprised at how extensive they had been. Don't know about Central Park, but there were lots.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 10:33 AM
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ttaM,

I certainly had no five year plan, but I did have the genuine knowledge that I wouldn't get married until later, and for sure after I was more settled.

The subject never came up in college but if any of my girlfriends would have asked I would have been honest that I really didn't think I'd be married before I graduated and probably a couple years after that.

For sure though I hadn't, like, set any possible dates or goals to get married by my 25th birthday or something like that.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 10:34 AM
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I don't know if I'd describe it as a five-year-plan, exactly, because no one would have described it that way. It's just that nearly all of them who were pre-disposed towards marriage ended up getting married as soon as they were reasonably settled in their careers, with almost no preamble. "She's the One" seemed to be less a quality of their (wonderful) wives and more a quality of "This is what happens next, right?"

I also wouldn't discount the desire of some men for having kids. It's again something that's usually framed around women's desires, but a lot of my friends seemed to go from being indifferent but friendly towards kids to having their own biological clock tell them MUST BE DADDY NOW!


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 10:38 AM
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135: Whups. Mea culpa (switching windows dropped personal info for some reason). Doubly so, because I miss-atrributed Calas quote to you...

But it wasn't about the quote, I was talking about language usage. Of course people talk about anectdotal and personal experience, particularly when we don't have better information. Usually this doesn't generalize well, but it's easy (and you often do this) to state personal quirks or experiences as if they do. "I did this" or "I like this" can come across as "this is how people work" etc. and sound like someone is stating a strong position on flimsy evidence.

Re-reading 130 this probably wasn't clear.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 10:39 AM
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Anonymous Coward at 130: Very explicitly not generalizing to the entire population of men, in both of my comments.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 10:39 AM
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re: 136

Not really, no. After a while they were able to be civil in each other's company, but no, they never became friends again.

The guy who was dumped was a lovely guy but could be kind of flaky at times so in all kinds of other situations I could easily have sympathized with his girlfriend. However, as a good friend of all of the parties involved I was in a pretty good position to know the details of what was going on and, even though I remained really quite good friends with her for years after, and we are still in contact, she really did behave abominably over it.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 10:40 AM
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"This is what happens next, right?"

There is a lot of that, it seems. I did X because it seemed like the thing to do at the time and I hadn't really though of alternatives: not exactly a recipe for happiness but an easy enough path.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 10:42 AM
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I have some sympathy for the people who think "this is what happens next," just because doing something else requires, frankly, a lot of soul-staring and wondering whether something is wrong with one or not. That narrative of how life and relationships are "supposed" to go is so pervasive that resisting the narrative makes a lot of people assume you're broken or crazy.

I do believe there are a lot of people who actually desire marriage and babies, maybe even a majority of people. But it's certainly not all of the people who decide to do so. I think that if my mom had the opportunity to do something other than follow that path, or even the opportunity to think about something else, she would have, and she would have been happier for it. I wouldn't exist, of course, but eh, what's done is done.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 10:48 AM
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"She's the One" seemed to be less a quality of their (wonderful) wives and more a quality of "This is what happens next, right?"

I think there's an aspect of traditional gender roles that leaves men less angsty about marriage: he (not attributing this as a conscious thought to anyone, it's not even a subconscious element for lots of men), if he's thinking traditionally, is doing something that's kind of like hiring a housekeeper/daycare worker/sex worker. If she's attractive and looks reasonably competent on the household stuff, that's good enough -- larger issues of character aren't really going to be much of a problem. She, on the other hand, is turning over all control of major life decisions, and particularly all economic control of income or property, to him. So she's going to need to be much more assured that he's wonderful before committing.

Again, this is purely about traditional gender roles, not anything innate in men generally or women generally. But if your concept of marriage is something that leaves women much more practically vulnerable to the effects of a bad marriage than men, you're going to get women who are going to be much more emotionally invested in the idea that the particular marriage they're in will be safe and will make them happy, while men will be happier to get married thinking "Eh, I want to settle down and have kids and she seems perfectly fine for the purpose."

This is all horrendously obsolete, and wasn't ever terribly realistic, but I think it leaves vestigal traces in people's attitudes.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 10:49 AM
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I went to Nerd U, though, which was overly populated with the kinds of guys who think about life as some kind of video game in which the objectives are to make money, get married, and have kids.

In the video game of life, I've gotten surprisingly far by button-mashing.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 10:53 AM
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Is that the one where the spacecraft is powered by a cheese sandwich?

Yes!


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 10:53 AM
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144: Agreed. I think sometimes it's a failure of imagination, but other times a very real reaction to social pressure. People are on average extremely conformist and the social pressures are pretty strong.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 10:54 AM
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I do believe there are a lot of people who actually desire marriage and babies, maybe even a majority of people. But it's certainly not all of the people who decide to do so.

Indeed, indeedy-deed! Moreover, some people desire marriage but not babies or babies but not marriage and nevertheless wind up with both because if you want one you are supposed to do the other. It is hard negotiating for what you really do want without giving in to alot of stuff that you don't.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 10:55 AM
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147: Hee. I read that in high school, and then went off to the main branch of the New York Public Library to read the EE Smith Lensman books on microfilm (the only place I could find them) because I was annoyed at missing some of the jokes.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 10:57 AM
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This is all horrendously obsolete, and wasn't ever terribly realistic, but I think it leaves vestigal traces in people's attitudes.

Yeah, with the best will in the world, that vestigial stuff is hard to get rid of.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 10:58 AM
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not exactly a recipe for happiness but an easy enough path.

You know, I'm not sure. Think of it as becoming a satisficer rather than an optimizer.

145: I know you're only attributing it as a subconscious just-so-story at most, but I'm not sure it's accurate. For a couple of my friends, it seemed more like maturity struck rather than them filling a job: they could hold out for the exotic supermodel who was also a French chef and astrophysicist and part-time yoga instructor who wanted three kids but let them play their video games in peace*, or they could marry the beautiful, intelligent, but utterly real woman they were in love with.

(It seems to hold true for women, too, in my experience. None of the wives of my friends were thinking 'this tubby but charming geek is how I drew Prince Charming as a little girl.')

*My friends are geeks.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 10:59 AM
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Yeah, with the best will in the world, that vestigial stuff is hard to get rid of.

I suspect we've talked about this before.

One of the things I dislike about the institution of marriage is the inability to separate it from these sorts for vestigal issues in others minds. It becomes a convenient box for people to put you in and believe they have a set of understandings and expectations about you & your relationship(s). When these are wrong, you get dissonance.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 11:01 AM
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Think of it as becoming a satisficer rather than an optimizer.

I'd find it easier to believe this if I didn' t know so many people who ended up miserable this way (that and the divorce statistics, `starter marriage' idea, etc.). I've also watched people get miserable by going against their better judgement rather than against popular opinion.

That being said, I think for a lot of people it works out ok. They do the default thing because they don't have any strong feelings about it, and it works out ok. Your point about people maturing is good --- giving up on the idea of prince/princess charming and a perfect effortless relationship in favor of the idea that you can work together with a real person is a grown up response. It's still playing solidly in the socially expected realm though, which makes it a bit different from thinking about what your options are outside of that.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 11:08 AM
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145, 152: One alternate explanation might be that you're seeing people with very different senses of their power over certain sorts of choice in the world out there. It matters here that Cala's guy friends are geeks. Soon out of college, geeky guys look around and think, "Getting a great girlfriend/wife is hard. I better lock the one I have up." Young, reasonably attractive women are in a market friendly to them at that point. Positions seem to change later on, as women start sweating biological stuff and unmarried men they think of as pretty decent sorts start seeming more rare. And, at that point, men start having more options than they're used to, and their perspective shifts a bit.

I don't know that such is happening, but I think it's a pretty common explanation.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 11:10 AM
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Alongside the marriage-and-babies narrative bind, it's also really hard to maintain a relationship when neither is a goal, even when both people want to. The idea that the development of a relationship is not emotional (I get to know you better, we make one another feel safer and happier) but marked primarily by status (fiancés, spouses, parents, grandparents) means that, if you're not making those steps, there is a constant awareness that other people think you can't possibly "really" care about one another or have any growing emotional intimacy. Whether you think that's true or not, I do think it eventually eats at the relationship. Us non-marriagey types don't have a lot of role models to point to and say, "Oh, look, those people didn't get married or have babies and no one doubts that they love each other!"


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 11:13 AM
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156 is very true, but even leaves out pressures (financial/legal/visa/whatever) of legal status that can make it easier to just go along with the norm.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 11:16 AM
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re: 156

I don't know about the US, but I think that's increasingly not the case here where long-term cohabitation -- with or without kids -- is very common.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 11:17 AM
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158: I think it's less true here. Also, I know of at least one couple who only bothered with formally getting married because of health insurance, which wouldn't be an issue there.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 11:19 AM
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157 is true, and I admit that if I was with someone for a very long time and needed health insurance, I'd be tempted to marry, totally against my principles.

158: I think that's true; it seems like long-term co-habitation is more common in the UK. Of course, I'm even queasy about ever co-habitating, too...


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 11:20 AM
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re: 159

I got married for immigration reasons.* Which is about the only financial/legal reason that I can think of that really applies here.

* I didn't really have to. If we'd waited 6 months my wife could have legally moved here as an EU citizen, but it seemed silly to wait.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 11:22 AM
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It's still playing solidly in the socially expected realm though, which makes it a bit different from thinking about what your options are outside of that.

Agreed. Especially when it comes to having kids, which seems to be one area where long-term cohabitation suddenly isn't mentally 'enough.' There's no reason it shouldn't be, but a couple of long-term couples I know that had sworn off or not worried about marriage suddenly changed their mind once they decided to have kids.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 11:22 AM
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160.1 These sorts of decisions are very difficult. Unmarried heterosexual couples in the US are sometimes in much the same difficultly as unmarried homosexual couples with the difference that you can make these problems go away by signing a piece of paper. In theory you can have a civil marriage an just not tell anyone who doesn't have to know (i.e. for health insurance, taxes whatever) but in practice I think this won't work easily.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 11:24 AM
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re: 162

Again, less common here, I think. Looking at my friends and family, none of the couples who have kids are married.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 11:25 AM
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163 wuz me. And of course I mean that the descisions are difficult if you find it a matter of principle. If you don't care about the symbolism etc. one way or another it's not.

161: Yup, that one kicks in here also.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 11:26 AM
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164: It is definitely my impression that this is much more socially accepted there than here.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 11:27 AM
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--


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 11:31 AM
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Who got into Farber's photobucket?


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 11:32 AM
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166: Yeah, 'socially accepted' feels like an odd way to put it -- there's not AFAIK any major social penalty to long-term cohabitation with kids, like the kids taking shit for their parents being unmarried or anything -- but intentionally unmarried but coupled-up parenthood seems quite unusual in the (white, middle-class) US.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 11:34 AM
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168: What a pointlessly nasty thing to say.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 11:35 AM
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In academia you tend to meet people moving around a fair bit. I've known many people who are only planning on being in the US for a few years (graduate degree, post-doc, whatever) and the easiest way as a couple to deal with immigration and health insurance is to be married. I'm certain quite a few of these couples wouldn't bother otherwise.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 11:37 AM
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163. We got married for financial and legal convenience after cohabiting for 15 years because it was time to make those pressures go away. There was no family pressure, but even here it's still a lot easier to deal with stuff like insurance and pensions if you're married. We toyed with not telling anybody, but in the end we though it was a good excuse to give a party.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 11:44 AM
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It is shocking to me that the very people who support financial and social benefits for marriage are trying to promote the "sanctity" of it. You make a certain life-status an irresistible temptation, and people are going to do it because they feel they have to, not because they want God's blessing. Those same people might have a certain tendency to divorce when the convenience wears off or is no longer needed.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 11:45 AM
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but in the end we though it was a good excuse to give a party

This is true. Also though, I think many people have at least a family member or two who would be deeply hurt by the idea that you didn't tell them. And if you tell one person ...


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 11:46 AM
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Especially when it comes to having kids, which seems to be one area where long-term cohabitation suddenly isn't mentally 'enough.' There's no reason it shouldn't be, but a couple of long-term couples I know that had sworn off or not worried about marriage suddenly changed their mind once they decided to have kids.

Well, there's all that horribly stuff about not being allowed in the emergency room if you're not legally married. That's the primary reason that my parents are riding our ass to get married before we have kids.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 11:47 AM
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173: This all makes much more sense when you realize that almost without exception, these people are all about telling others how they ought to live their lives. It's not `sanctity of marriage' so much as `punish the ones who aren't like us'.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 11:48 AM
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173 is an interesting take I've never heard before. Would you argue that people who want to bully people into marrying to save their souls should advocate removing all earthly benefits, so that the grace is unalloyed?


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 11:50 AM
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not being allowed in the emergency room if you're not legally married

GAH! Jesus doesn't want you to help with the birth of your bastard child that he so desperately needed your partner to carry to term. Add "slut" in there wherever necessary.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 11:50 AM
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175. Is that general in America, or just in a few peasant backwaters. I never heard anything so abominably cruel.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 11:52 AM
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179: That sort of thing is pretty general. One of the things that makes this country the greatest place on earth (wait, was that disneyland?).


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 11:54 AM
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177: Sorry, that's my pre-neocon Baptist self talking there. In Sunday School, there was one teacher who gave small toys to kids who memorized Bible verses, but my family decided that expecting earthly compensation for spiritual deeds was pretty sick, and I declined the toys. We were hardcore once.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 11:54 AM
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179: It's everywhere. It's HIPPA regulations, ostensibly to protect your privacy. I'm sure there are legal documents one can draw up ahead of time to express permission for a given person to be allowed into the emergency room, but it is not user-friendly.

I'm slightly speaking out of my ass, but these are the things my mom tells me. Someone else is probably better informed.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 11:55 AM
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179: Policies like that are set on a hospital by hospital basis. So you might run into it anywhere. Probably also depends on the particular petty martinet bureaucrat you run up against.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 11:55 AM
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OFE gets three replies, and three different answers.

Heebie is probably right, though. I wasn't thinking about HIPPA. But what exactly HIPPA requires generally takes a team of layers to figure out.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 11:58 AM
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I'm sure there are legal documents one can draw up ahead of time to express permission for a given person to be allowed into the emergency room, but it is not user-friendly.

I suspect if you did so, a hospital might well ignore it in a case of CYA. Particularly in an emergency room (i.e. short term) situation.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 11:58 AM
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180: No, parents can get in with their kids, assuming someone believes you're their parent. Unless someone knows something different. I can get in by saying I'm an aunt if there's no other adult involved. You just can't necessarily get in for your partner.

In terms of "proving" you're the parent, different last names could be a problem, but that can happen whether you're married or not.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 11:59 AM
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182. That is appalling. Over here they give you a form when you're admitted to hospital with a slot for "next of kin" and a slot for "relationship", but they don't care if you put "casual acquaintance". When I had open heart surgery before we were married, I put "friend" IIRC, and nobody tried to keep her out of the intensive care ward. I'd have risen from my bed with all the electronics attached and killed somebody if they'd tried.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 12:00 PM
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I have been in the emergency room with people to whom I am neither related nor married. If it is a regulation, it may be (very) selectively enforced.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 12:01 PM
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I don't think any HIPPA privacy protections apply between a minor and a parent. We've got lawyers galore here, though. Maybe it comes up in divorce stuff. Will?


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 12:01 PM
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HIPPA????


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 12:02 PM
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188: I've been bumped for `family members only' even though injured party requested they let me stay. So I guess mmv.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 12:03 PM
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HIPAA???


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 12:03 PM
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"Any" may be too broad. If minor can make a health care decision by him/herself, it's probably protected.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 12:03 PM
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190: Actually HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

I'm not seeing anything in the wikipedia entry about ERs. All the privacy stuff is about information & patient records.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 12:05 PM
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192: Yeah, it's HIPAA. So sue me.


190: Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 12:05 PM
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helpy pwned.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 12:05 PM
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Ah. Insurance liability. No wonder it's vicious. Well, there's another argument for socialised medecine.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 12:07 PM
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187: It's definitely YMMV. With scheduled surgery, I suspect you can say ahead of time who can be with you in most hospitals. I've certainly accompanied friends to recovery rooms, etc., with no questions asked.

Also, open heart surgery? Yikes!


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 12:08 PM
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I'm not seeing anything in the wikipedia entry about ERs. All the privacy stuff is about information & patient records.

I don't think HIPAA is the problem here. Many hospitals won't allow visitation of non-family members without written approval or whatever. Which is easy enough (if annoying) to do if you know you're going to be there. Not so much with ER. Couple that with a policy of keeping the place clear of extraneous people as much as possible, and you may well find some of them that default to `go away'


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 12:10 PM
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Typical horror story.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 12:11 PM
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170: Only if you think there's something wrong with Tron sex, LizardBreath.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 12:11 PM
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Heebie's mom is right. I've heard many, many stories from queer couples about being denied the most obvious rights -- what we would think of as just common courtesies, really -- and unmarried hetero couples can face the same kinds of problems.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 12:12 PM
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Huh. Does anyone know what a parent-to-be ought to be prepared to do if his kids will have a different last name? Maybe this should go on the law advice thread.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 12:13 PM
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200: Ok, it's also HIPAA too. Fuckers.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 12:14 PM
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heebs, just tell your mom that your kids won't be alone in the ER, but you may have to stay in the waiting room while Jammies is getting a trach. I'm sure she'll feel much better.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 12:14 PM
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Heebie's mom is right.

So that's where she gets it from.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 12:14 PM
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200. Unfuckingbelievable.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 12:15 PM
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207: something to remember the next time someone complains about the NHS.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 12:16 PM
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203: I think if you're in any kind of cosmopolitan area most hospitals are going to believe that you're the kid's father even though your i.d. says something different. Still, maybe you should hope your kids are identical twins and give one of them your last name and one of them R's.

(BTW, do you know yet if they're identical?)


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 12:18 PM
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A friend of mine had an aunt whose non-legal wife was not allowed to be with her when she died because she wasn't "family." They had raised an adopted son together, and had lived together for thirty years. Every time they tried to question the hospital's refusal, all they got were a bunch of invasive questions about the "nature" of their relationship, etc. Because someone dying of cancer really needs to verify the sexual relationship that she may or may not have had with her multi-decade partner.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 12:19 PM
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My son has Molly's last name and my daughter has mine, and we have never run into any serious trouble.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 12:20 PM
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soup biscuit,

"I did this" or "I like this" can come across as "this is how people work" etc. and sound like someone is stating a strong position on flimsy evidence.

To be blunt when I say "I did this" it means exactly that and if you take it as stating a strong position on flimsy evidence then that is your problem, not mine.

Sheesh.

It is my job to try to be clear and it is your job to ask for clarification. Maybe you've got some invisible friend whom you see mouthing my words and adding meaning to them but you need to deal with your own fantasies and either take me at face value or ignore me.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 12:20 PM
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That case is a case of good intentions (not releasing medical information without the patient's consent) getting caught in the asphalt mixer on the way to tell.

I think the ER rumor isn't right, or at least not universal.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 12:21 PM
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A lesbian couple we know needed to certify that they were monogamous before the University would give them partner benefits.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 12:22 PM
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210, etc.: The most outrageous part, if that weren't horrible enough, is that sometimes hospitals won't even honor a power of attorney even though, legally, they're supposed to.

My understanding is that a power of attorney for health care is the strongest protection you can have, not just for admittance but also for making health care decisions.. Living wills and such aren't legal documents.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 12:22 PM
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210: This sort of thing is such bullshit it can drive you crazy. Especially in the case that the patient is lucid and can voice their own preference. I know of a similar case, muddied a bit because the sick partners blood relatives asked the hospital to deny visitation. Which is also mind boggling to me.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 12:23 PM
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214: Very common, as are provisions that require proof of financial interdependence -- joint checking, both on a lease -- that you've been together for 6 months to a year, and that you can't sign up a new partner until some period, often 6 months, after the previous partner was taken off your benefits.

I needn't add, and yet I will, that to sign up your spouse you just write down their name.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 12:26 PM
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What soup said. Also, in the link in 200, what kind of insane Stalinist bureaucrat tries to apply an "opt out" clause to somebody who's unconscious? Do these people leave their brains at home when they come to work?


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 12:26 PM
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215: The worst part is, her wife had power of attorney, but the family was extremely hostile to it (being bigoted and estranged from them for the entirety of their relationship), so the family's challenge took precedence over their relationship, as far as the hospital was concerned.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 12:26 PM
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To be blunt when I say "I did this" it means exactly that and if you take it as stating a strong position on flimsy evidence then that is your problem, not mine.

You read me backward to my intent.

To be blunt, when you say "This is the way things are in reality" it often means "This is what I did/like/saw".


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 12:28 PM
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Do these people leave their brains at home when they come to work?

Yes, on account of the backalley brain surgery they had because their insurance wouldn't cover pre-existing conditions.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 12:29 PM
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My understanding is that a power of attorney for health care is the strongest protection you can have... Living wills and such aren't legal documents.

Power of attorney is the only real legal provision regarding proxy decision making for incompetent patients in hospitals. Everything else you do is just a way of advising the person who power of attorney.

This is why the Shaivo case was so open and shut legally. Michael Shaivo had power of attorney, and that is all the law needs to know. All the crap about how he didn't have her best interests in mind because he had a new girlfriend has no legal standing.

I guess I'm just saying what you already know.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 12:32 PM
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Actually, what it all boils down to is that hospitals suck.

I was just talking with a nurse practitioner who got in a fight with a doctor who wanted her to call him "Sir."


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 12:33 PM
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217: Here I think I think it's just a six month requirement plus lease or proof of co-mingling of finances.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 12:34 PM
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BTW, do you know yet if they're identical?

They're fraternal. Right now, the last name decision is going to based on euphony with the first names, if we can ever decide on those.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 12:34 PM
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Living wills and such aren't legal documents.

There's variation from state to state, but in general that's definitely not true. (Still, someone w/ medical power of attorney may well be a better idea in most cases--less risk of confusion, being ignored, etc.)


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 12:35 PM
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Hey Sifu, did you notice that this turned into a humorless health care and homophobia thread instead of a humorless gender thread?


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 12:35 PM
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225: Do you guys know/are you sharing the sexes?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 12:36 PM
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227: Don't forget a humorless Dr. Who thread, too.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 12:37 PM
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shit, 220 still sounds cranky. Which wasn't my intent, so apologies for that as well as the misattribution, Tripp.

I apparently shouldn't be posting today. What was meant as a little tease about your tendency to overgeneralize went off the rails, no harm meant, just a little snarky.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 12:37 PM
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225: Um, don't you mean they're sororital twins? mrh is a sexist tool.

Have you considered "Euphony" as a name?


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 12:37 PM
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229: hey, if nothing else, we can do humorless.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 12:37 PM
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I HAVE TO TEACH A CLASS ON SUNDAY. I have to finish up all kinds of handouts today, because this GODDAMN FUCKING Welcome To Your Freshman Year course starts during orientation. On Sunday. Instead of Tuesday, with the rest of the school.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 12:37 PM
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I mean, as long as we're being humorless.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 12:38 PM
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that's no fun heebie-geebie. Make them write a long paragraph on how much it sucks.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 12:39 PM
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||

Another thing I hate, if we're being humourless, is companies which reduce the size of their food packages so they can pretend they're not raising the price. I'm trying to make a quick and dirty chilled pea and watercress soup, which was designed around a 1lb pack of frozen peas. But the supermarket has decided to sell peas in 400 gram packs instead, so I have to recalculate all the other quantities. Bastards.

|>


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 12:42 PM
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Do you guys know/are you sharing the sexes?

We don't know, because we don't want anyone else to know, and don't trust our ability to hold up under pressure.

Wait, hang on, let's try that again:

Do you guys know/are you sharing the sexes?

How do you think she got pregnant in the first place?

Have you considered "Euphony" as a name?

There's an example of a name that would have to go with her last name, since my last name ends in an "ee" sound, and that just won't do.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 12:42 PM
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226: Huh, the medical ethics textbook that I teach from says the same thing as your link. I guess I was wrong and that I should do my damn homework rather than commenting on Unfogged.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 12:43 PM
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OT: Is this a joke?


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 12:43 PM
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239: I cannot imagine a group whose basic principles I agree with that has tactics I despise more. PETA's rapidly becoming evil. I would not be surprised if that's real, considering how reprehensibly tone-deaf, classist, and generally offensive their work has become in general.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 12:49 PM
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I cannot imagine a group whose basic principles I agree with that has tactics I despise more.

Let's see, is strasmangelo jones a "group"?

(since this is the humorless thread I will not include a smiley)


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 12:53 PM
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240: well, it's showing up on peta.org (which I assume is the official site?). Bizarre.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 12:53 PM
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since this is the humorless a mineshaft thread I will not include a smiley


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 12:54 PM
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Maybe their next ad could show a picture of Paris Hilton and say, "In our country, only the wealthy can afford to be as skinny as you are! Stay in Mexico, stay poor, stay thin! It's the fashionable thing to do!"


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 12:56 PM
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Right now the only big group I know of that does animal rights work in a responsible way is the Jane Goodall Institute.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 12:59 PM
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For some great ideas about how to sexualize women's bodies covered in blood, check out here, and (especially) here. Thanks, PETA. I fucking hate you for making vegetarians look insane, sexist, and stupid.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 1:03 PM
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I would not be surprised if that's real, considering how reprehensibly tone-deaf, classist, and generally offensive their work has become in general.

God yes. Several years ago PETA went down to an elementary school in Austin of which a friend was principal at the time, had a couple people dressed up in cutesy cow and chicken costumes, and freaked the fuck out of a whole bunch of little kids by telling them that if they ate meat they might as well eat their puppies and kitties.

This looks like it was a related incident (not the same school, but the right time period).


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 1:05 PM
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Is there some individual loon who can be blamed for PETA? They just seem to be getting worse and worse.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 1:07 PM
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PETA has certainly careened madly downhill since this, which actually made me chuckle. But that was five years ago.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 1:11 PM
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apo, do any bulls get hurt in Pamplona? OK, lots of them get professionally slaughtered afterwards, but that would happen anyway. But during the run, isn't it mainly people who get injured?


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 1:18 PM
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Vegan fundamentalism is as bad as fundamentalist pro-lifer shit. For a while, there, they were doing some good work trying to expose truly horrendous factory farming practices used by KFC suppliers, and that's a good thing. But you really undermine your message if you then go on to say that the death of any animal for food is equivalent to the murder of a human being. Doubly so if you're a bunch of psychos who think you get that message across by equating naked brutalized sexy women with a steak. Is the message that animals are equivalent to human beings, or that women are basically slaughterable? It's hard to tell.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 1:19 PM
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WHAT HAPPENED TO THE FUCKING ROBOTS?


Posted by: HUMORLESS FUTURIST | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 1:22 PM
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I used to be lukewarmly sympathetic to PETA, but this convinced me that they're agents of Satan. You know what lobsters are? Enormous fucking aquatic bugs, that's what. Don't get between me and my lobster.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 1:23 PM
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251: Or 'uh, maybe if we had some hot chicks we'd get our point across.' So, so wrong.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 1:24 PM
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253: Oh, Lord. I'm sure DFW is really flattered that PETA is using his essay as part of their message. Did they read it? It's hardly the work of a vegan extremist.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 1:25 PM
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People are animals, too, OFE. We're all gawd's creatures.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 1:25 PM
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252: fuckingrobots.com


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 1:26 PM
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251 - Yup. PETA needs a better PR firm. They need to decide what their message is and state it clearly and evocatively.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 1:26 PM
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I don't quite get why PETA is the lefty organization that all other lefties love to condemn and repudiate, really. Yes, they use shock tactics. So? Their issue is animal rights, not feminism. The "chicken chumps" cards don't seem so bad to me, and it's hardly as though they're the only people in the world to propagandize children. Basically the objection seems to boil down to "they're shrill," and, well, so?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 1:27 PM
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Sometimes I worry about you, apo. And then I think,ah fuck it, and have another drink.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 1:28 PM
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259. Would you like to offer three generally accepted criteria by which PETA is a lefty organisation?


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 1:29 PM
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248: PETA-haters on the right generally blame Ingrid Newkirk. Then again, the love to hate on women activists.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 1:30 PM
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259: Because, on the assumption that they are a lefty organization, they're very bad at advancing their own lefty cause and neutral to good at undermining other lefty causes?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 1:33 PM
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Jesus: Lobsters and terrestrial insects are fairly distantly related. They're all arthorpods, but their common ancestor lived over 500 million years ago.

I generally don't ascribe sentience to insects, but I'm fairly confident that lobsters do in fact feel pain when you boil them alive.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 1:34 PM
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I can see how that would work, Cala. You should wait till you're my age to get that cynical.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 1:35 PM
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259: I think the problem is that a lot of them would like PETA to be something it isn't. There is a lot of popular support for more ethical treatment of food animals, constraints on testing, legal support for some animal rights, etc. Pretty hard to find anyone who actually likes the idea puppy mills or battery farming (although plenty who are happy with the outputs if they can ignore the source).

And PETA has been by far the most popularly effective organization at getting some of these things talked about --- but that's not the entire extent of it. As someone noted, they're more vegan fundamentalists, and much of what they do lines up well with their own principles. It's just that those principals are far more black and white than many erstwhile supporters might like (see 253)


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 1:35 PM
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There's a lot more to it than what soup says. If it were just that PETA advocates vegetarianism rather than "more human treatment of farm animals," like AWB and I wouldn't be pissed off at them. I'm vegetarian. I'm down with that agenda.

The problems are the sexism, the insane focus on things that seem demeaning to animals but that animals just don't notice or care about, things like that.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 1:39 PM
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I understand the urge to avoid conciliatory half-measures. I hate that kind of stuff myself. But when your entire message depends on the literalization of a metaphor (women=meat), it introduces a lot of stupidity and confusion that troubles the entire movement against factory farming. Maybe PETA is just some organization with wacky tactics to someone who isn't vegetarian, but they're deeply offensive to me, as a vegetarian who would rather not have to distance myself from a bunch of psychopathic nutjobs every time I order a meal in public.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 1:39 PM
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I don't quite get why PETA is the leftyorganization that all other lefties love to condemn and repudiate, really. Yes, they use shock tactics.

Self-pwned. That PETA is has an empathetic agenda, intended to ameliorate immediate ongoing suffering through illiberal means, is what burns. Puts to question the self-justifications pf process liberals.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 1:40 PM
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PETA does sometimes advocate for half-measures. Ingrid Newkirk thinks Temple Grandin has done more for animal welfare than anyone else, ever, and Temple Grandin designs slaughterhouses. When PETA leads a KFC boycott, it isn't to make them serve tofu, but rather adopt more humane practices.

But truly, while I think it is probably useful for folks to see what a veal crate looks like, even with a person in it, I don't at all see why it must be a naked college girl.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 1:45 PM
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267: Fair enough. Perhaps I should have emphasized the aspect that they are both a single issue organization, and a ends-justifies-the-means organization.

Also, vegan /= vegetarian (not that I think you missed the distinction) and I think they are pretty absolutist about this.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 1:46 PM
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I don't at all see why it must be a naked college girl.

Yeah. This seems pretty crazy. I'm fairly good at avoiding advertizing, so I haven't actually seen these. I guess it gets people talking, but I can't imagine it's a clear net gain.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 1:47 PM
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I don't at all see why it must be a naked college girl

That's what gets the picture in the paper.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 1:48 PM
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I'm fairly confident that lobsters do in fact feel pain when you boil them alive.

I'm inclined to think the same, and when I cook lobsters I immerse them rather than steam them, so the death is quick. Which may be silly, but there you have it. But what does it mean that lobsters feel pain? Where does pain fit in the context of other lobster feelings? Do lobsters give a shit about anything? What's the difference between awareness and consciousness? These are questions in which vegan fundamentalists seem uninterested, and that's one of the things that pisses me off about PETA (another one of those things is the equation of cooking, say, a lobster with the murder of a human being, which seems offensive to human beings who have actually been murdered).


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 1:50 PM
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I'm inclined to agree with Soup. Also Apo.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 1:52 PM
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Aren't you supposed to be able to stick a knife into the lobster's head or something for a quick death just before boiling?


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 1:53 PM
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And actually, I just realized something: I'm a lot less bothered by PETA's using naked college girls than I am by yer average hot-chick-selling-technology type ad, because in the PETA ads the image is *supposed* to be offensive.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 1:53 PM
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Basically the objection seems to boil down to "they're shrill," and, well, so?

I recall getting the PETA magazine for a year during 1989-90. While reading along month to month, I was all like, 'Yeah, ok, ok.' They lost me about the point they had the doctor in there detailing how he was using his practice to work as a full-time propagandist (including advocating practices that I considered somewhat dubious). Then, the next month (or so) their cover story was about the horrible horrible life suffered by Ralph the Diving Pig. The key issue of which was apparently the hideous emotional humilation Ralph suffered by diving for his din din, or something like that. The actual non-PETA evidence to hand suggested that Ralph mostly enjoyed his work.

At which point I rather got the same sensation reading their mag as I would reading a $cieno mag.

max
['Save The Body Thetans!']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 1:54 PM
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I have to agree with 277. Which isn't the same as thinking it's a great idea.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 1:54 PM
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I don't at all see why it must be a naked college girl.

Hmm. I see a future for PETA/American Apparel co-sponsoring.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 1:55 PM
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280: they could bring out a line with paint encrusted faux-fur trim.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 1:56 PM
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274: If you're actually interested, you ought to read Taking Animals Seriously: Mental Life and Moral Status by David DeGrazia.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 1:57 PM
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See, I don't get the position Jesus is taking in 274 at all. If one accepts that being boiled alive is painful to lobsters, which clearly it is, then questions about whether that "matters" to them seem like so much self-serving rationalization. Living creatures avoid pain; therefore putting them in pain deliberately is mean. You might feel like hey, the deliciousness of lobster meat outweighs your desire not to be mean, which is fine with me, but trying to argue that it's *not* mean so that you can enjoy the deliciousness without feeling responsible for the pain seems pathetic.

And I mean, to the lobster, being boiled is *its* death. That the death of a lobster means less to me, as a human being, than the death of a human being, is perfectly acceptable--just as it's clearly acceptable that lobsters don't give a shit about human murders or that pets will eat their dead owners. But again, this isn't some *absolute* moral distinction, where people matter more than lobsters. People matter more to us, because we are people. That's all it is.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 1:58 PM
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Ralph the Diving Pig

Who lived in San Marcos! And swam with the Aquamaids at Aquarena Springs, right down the way. Come see their exciting aquatic lifestyle!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 1:58 PM
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274: I'm sure somewhere there is a calculus (based on mouse orgasms, naturally) underlying all that.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 1:59 PM
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278: I actually don't go along with the idea that keeping pets is wrong, or that milking well-treated cattle is wrong, etc., myself. Obviously. But I'm not *offended* by people believing that.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 1:59 PM
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274 and 276 are addressed in Wallace's essay, which contains some pretty excellent research on the lobster nervous system. Apparently, the problem is that lobsters don't have many nerves other than the ones that react to temperature change, and the nervous system is so decentralized that you can't efficiently kill it by stabbing its brain. In the end, he sort of concludes that it's an interesting thing to think about (how animal pain affects us and how people make all these futile attempts to relieve the suffering of something they're about to eat) but it's not an essay advocating against the eating of lobsters (though I think his research made him a bit more queasy about it). It's more sociological than anything, asking how and why we deal with animals the way we do.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 1:59 PM
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274 and 276 are addressed in Wallace's essay, which contains some pretty excellent research on the lobster nervous system. Apparently, the problem is that lobsters don't have many nerves other than the ones that react to temperature change, and the nervous system is so decentralized that you can't efficiently kill it by stabbing its brain. In the end, he sort of concludes that it's an interesting thing to think about (how animal pain affects us and how people make all these futile attempts to relieve the suffering of something they're about to eat) but it's not an essay advocating against the eating of lobsters (though I think his research made him a bit more queasy about it). It's more sociological than anything, asking how and why we deal with animals the way we do.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 2:00 PM
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Aren't you supposed to be able to stick a knife into the lobster's head or something for a quick death just before boiling?

Not surprisingly, PETA says no.

While we're on the subject of my bloodthirstiness, I would have no problem with picking off all the damned starlings around here. I'd make good use of them, of course.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 2:00 PM
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Sorry for the double-post. Also, should say "cites" rather than "contains."


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 2:00 PM
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282: I am actually interested, and I'll check it out.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 2:02 PM
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284. Pig like that you don't eat all at once.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 2:07 PM
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If one accepts that being boiled alive is painful to lobsters, which clearly it is, then questions about whether that "matters" to them seem like so much self-serving rationalization. Living creatures avoid pain; therefore putting them in pain deliberately is mean

Well, at some point there's a question as to whether a lobster is the sort of thing that can have subjective experiences, rather than reflexive reactions. It seems clear to me that a mammal can (or anyway, that my evidence for thinking that my dog has subjective experiences is as strong as my evidence for thinking that other people do. In both cases, I can't be sure, but it seems very likely.) , and clear to me that an oyster can't (while I could be wrong, I don't feel even a little guilty about eating oysters alive. I just don't believe there's anything there, despite the fact that the oyster is alive, that's experiencing the process in any meaningful sense). Where a lobster fits in isn't clear to me at all, but I'm receptive to a belief that a lobster is, like an oyster, not the sort of thing that has experiences.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 2:10 PM
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I submit that the fact that cutting off a lobster's head doesn't really kill it should count as evidence that there's no there there.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 2:12 PM
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Not surprisingly, PETA says no.

Of course, they say it in a mind-blowingly stupid way:

Dr. Jaren G. Horsley, an invertebrate zoologist, says, "The lobster does not have an autonomic nervous system that puts it into a state of shock when it is harmed. It probably feels itself being cut. ... I think the lobster is in a great deal of pain from being cut open ... [and] feels all the pain until its nervous system is destroyed." In other words, the lobster feels being cut in half much like you would

Yes, because for many animals, being cut in the sagittal plane, through the spinal cord, is identical to being cut transversely through the hips. There's noooooo possible anatomical entity in the head and back of mammals and other terrestrial animals that would cause this to sensibly seem like a more humane method of dispatch. It's especially stupid when the very expert they cite is giving the reason why a cut through the brain and spinal cord would kill a human and stop pain while not doing the same for a lobster.

I never like it when dumbasses are on my side.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 2:13 PM
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I was thinking that, as well.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 2:14 PM
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But what does it mean that lobsters feel pain?

More seriously, we know the lobster reacts to stimuli, but we don't know whether it experiences it as unpleasant. More like a cow, or more like a mimosa plant?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 2:14 PM
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my evidence for thinking that my dog has subjective experiences is as strong as my evidence for thinking that other people do

That's one articulate dog.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 2:17 PM
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298: You have no idea.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 2:18 PM
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293: I don't feel bad about eating oysters, either, or really about eating meat, period. But I'm as willing to recognize that that might just be because oysters can't sqirm away as you are to assume that lobsters are like oysters, y'know?

And I mean, from the moral point of view, it seems to us that lobsters have a subjective experience of pain, what with the clanging around in the pot and all. I mean, people used to argue that dogs and babies don't feel emotions, either. I'm really really leery of the "we can't get inside its brain, so let's assume it doesn't mind pain even though it sure *looks* like it does" argument.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 2:19 PM
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Since we're randomly assigning lobster feelings, I hereby assert that the lobsters love getting in the boiling water, and see their death as service to a greater good. A little pain, yes, but total consciousness upon death. So they've got that going for them.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 2:20 PM
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I thought the clanging was mostly due to steam expanding and bumping them around.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 2:22 PM
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301: Right, exactly.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 2:22 PM
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If you want certainty, I guess you'll have to take a more Jain-like approach.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 2:22 PM
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302: I haven't noticed that veggies clang when you boil them.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 2:23 PM
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302: No, they walk/scrabble around too.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 2:23 PM
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306... well at least for a little while


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 2:23 PM
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301: We should release lobster doomsday cult leaders to spread the gospel.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 2:24 PM
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Living creatures avoid pain; therefore putting them in pain deliberately is mean.

That's fine, and I could counter that putting living creatures in pain indirectly or inadvertently, as we do with our consumption patterns &c, is no different from the creatures' POV, but the fact remains that I could minimize my pain-causing by not eating lobster (though since moving west I've mostly switched to crab, so I'm keeping my carbon footprint low even if my crustacean murder count stays roughly the same). Maybe it is self-serving rationalization, but I'm not really that troubled by the momentary pain of lobsters. Sorry, buglike aquatic creatures. Maybe I'll be one of you in my next life, which would serve me right (with drawn butter).


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 2:25 PM
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308- How do you think they get into the lobster traps? You think they do that voluntarily? No sir, they are led by charismatic lobsters, who somehow never seem to get into the trap.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 2:27 PM
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it seems to us that lobsters have a subjective experience of pain, what with the clanging around in the pot and all.

It doesn't really seem that way to me. I think my dog has desires and emotions because I see her behaving in a way that indicates that she's forming plans to serve those desires and emotions. Clanging around the pot doesn't appear to me to be the same sort of information about the lobster's subjective state at all - the lobster might have such a state, but I don't believe that I know that to be the case from watching them get boiled. Same with oysters -- they might experience getting shucked and eaten as terrifying and painful, but I don't have information that makes me believe that.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 2:27 PM
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305,306: I was mostly being facetious, but veggies aren't encased in rigid shells. I think it makes more sense, given what we know, to draw the line somewhere above shellfish.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 2:28 PM
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311: Be honest, LB. That might be the least bit influenced by the fact that your dog doesn't taste delicious with butter.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 2:31 PM
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312: Sure, I know you were being facaetious, but the motion isn't steam action, it's co-ordinated movement. I'm not inferring meaning from that, trying to pin down the significance of lobster neural states is as noted above, problematic.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 2:33 PM
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All the delicious lobsters belong to me, he said shellfishly.


Posted by: Tom Swift | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 2:33 PM
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That might be the least bit influenced by the fact that your dog doesn't taste delicious with butter.

Assumes facts not in evidence.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 2:34 PM
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313 assumes facts not in evidence in a BIG WAY.


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 2:34 PM
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305,306

306 to 305.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 2:34 PM
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I got really upset when I was in the ER and they wouldn't let my lobster come visit me because they said he lacked the ability to feel my pain.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 2:35 PM
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312: well, lobsters are somewhere above shellfish, after all...


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 2:35 PM
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319: I didn't vote for Bill Clinton for the same reason.


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 2:35 PM
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I want to second oudemia's recommendation of the DeGrazia book Taking Animals Seriously: Mental Life and Moral Status. It is seriously the best book I've seen that tackles the issue of animal consciousness.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 2:36 PM
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Lobsters' nervous systems apparently react really strongly to subtle temperature changes in water. Their clambering to get out of the pot is a natural extension of the fact that they spend most of their time moving around in the sea looking for the right temperature. Whether they experience it as "pain" in the sense that we do is silly, because our sense of pain has a lot to do with fear (of death, of dismemberment, etc.), which requires some sense of narrative, and also with memory, which I highly doubt lobsters have. Do they experience an extremely negative sensation for three minutes while they die? Well, it seems pretty obvious they'd rather be somewhere else, but that's inevitable.

People only care about this lobster business because it's the last death of a somewhat large and moving animal that still happens in home kitchens pretty regularly. Personally, I think it's great that people are willing to eat an animal whose death they have to be personally responsible for. The great tragedy of meat-eating, to me, is not, OMG those poor animals!!, but the total mental barrier some people are able to place between themselves and their food. I don't farm my own food, but I have grown food. I've also killed and gutted animals that I then ate.

I guess my objections to that distancing aren't a vegetarian's objections, but a country-girl's objections.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 2:37 PM
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Next meetup will include a taste testing of LB's dog, prepared in a suitably reverential style, as befits said canine's superior qualities.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 2:37 PM
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314: I got that.

The trouble is distinguishing between reacting to the environment (everything alive does that) and having the neural machinery to feel pain.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 2:38 PM
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I feel much guiltier eating calamari than I do lobster. The bugs, both aquatic and terrestrial, mostly exist as foodstuff whether we touch them or not.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 2:38 PM
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She's old and lean. Really not a good eating dog at all.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 2:38 PM
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Damn. Now I really want a lobster to cuddle experiment on eat.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 2:39 PM
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Personally, I think it's great that people are willing to eat an animal whose death they have to be personally responsible for.

This is a really good point.

I guess my objections to that distancing aren't a vegetarian's objections, but a country-girl's objections.

There is a perfectly reasonable position that has no problem with the eating of meat in absolute terms, but doesn't accept how we tend to do it. It's not exactly a city/country divide. I know several functionally-vegetarian people who basically hold this position on food.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 2:40 PM
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Also, Cala, don't dismiss the possibility of consciousness just because the nervous system is decentralized. Octopi, famously, have very sophisticated but decentralized brains.

In general, all consciousness has to be underpinned by some spatially extended mechanism. Our consciousness is at least decentralized across our brain. It's not all located in the pineal gland, no matter what Descartes said.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 2:40 PM
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Really not a good eating dog at all

So you say, in a pathetic attempt to keep your animal companion in servitude. I bet you think your kids are good to eat, either. (tushie nibbling to the contrary).


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 2:42 PM
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The trouble is distinguishing between reacting to the environment (everything alive does that) and having the neural machinery to feel pain.

Exactly. It's completely hypocritical of people to worry about the sensations that lobsters experience but be perfectly happy with the typical industrial farming practices for poultry, hogs, cattle employed here. In this case the difference is clearly in being forced to face the implication of your actions, nothing to do with the food source itself.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 2:44 PM
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326: Cephalopods are pretty sophisticated beasties. Shrimp and oysters, not so much.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 2:44 PM
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DeGrazia uses three categories of evidence to identify animal consciousness: anatomical, behavioral and evolutionary.

For me, the evolutionary arguments are the most compelling, but they are the least discussed in contexts like this. Basically, consciousness is an adaptation. It has to serve some purpose for the organism. Generally, that function is linked up to the capacities for belief, desire & learning. This is why, he argues, most insects are not likely to feel pain. Their lifespans are too short and their learning capacity too limited for pain to serve much function.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 2:44 PM
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The great tragedy of meat-eating, to me, is not, OMG those poor animals!!, but the total mental barrier some people are able to place between themselves and their food

I'm not sure I understand what you find tragic about this.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 2:44 PM
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The trouble is distinguishing between reacting to the environment (everything alive does that)

Everything, tout court, does that.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 2:45 PM
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Um, aren't good to eat.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 2:45 PM
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330: I think 'sophisticated' is doing a lot of work there, and aren't octopi something of an exception? Higher processing generally means 'put it in a brain where we can keep track of it', evolutionarily?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 2:46 PM
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To expand on 335 -- is it just as tragic to you that people eat potatoes that they didn't dig out of the ground?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 2:47 PM
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335: I find it particularly stupid that PETA thinks you can convert people to vegetarianism by saying, "Did you know animals are where meat comes from and they feel pain???" Like, duh. It doesn't stop people who kill their own food animals; why should it stop you?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 2:48 PM
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To further 334: Lobsters live hundreds of years. In fact, they don't age at all. They die when they are eaten, injured or sickened. So here are two points in their favor: they have the right hardware for pain and are likely to evolutionarily benefit from the capacity.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 2:48 PM
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325: Sure, but given the fact that the distinction is difficult--and taking into account the obvious incentive we have to lean towards believing that lobsters dont mind being boiled, no really--surely the safer position would be to avoid lobster. If one cared about these things. Which again, fine if people dont, but not caring is different from dismissing the problem.

AWB, Ive killed my own food, too. And I basically agree with you. I still find it perplexing and kind of annoying that people seem to say things that imply that the positions PETA takes are ridiculous on the face of them, because it seems obvious to me that they arent.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 2:49 PM
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340: Because as a matter of fact, very few people really think about these things at all. And they especially don't think about, or even know, what farming and slaughter conditions are like for most meat animals.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 2:51 PM
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This discussion is so absurd. Oh wait, if that's true, I shouldn't read or participate in it. Okay, Sifu, good advice!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 2:52 PM
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Isn't it the animals fault for being so tasty? They should develop a bad aftertaste, or other anti- eating defense mechanism.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 2:53 PM
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But can run that the other way, can't you? Something that isn't aging is probably not evolved enough to feel pain, as evidenced by the other things that exhibit non-aging are things like sponges and tulips.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 2:54 PM
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Tragedy is too strong a word. I just find it really ridiculous that some people can't handle the possibility that meat is animals. My mother is one of these, in that she really can't associate, say, chickens with feathers and eyes hopping around with the thing on her plate and still eat it. Not many people seem to have problems associating potatoes with the thing that comes out of the ground with dirt on it with a bowl of mashed potatoes. That emotional disconnect that some meat-eaters have between where their food comes from and the thing they're eating seems to allow for factory-farming cruelty because so few people want to think about it.

There was a good video about where the lamb comes from at our Cooperative that interviewed the farmers, talked about how they culled the lambs, and all that, very frank but not graphic, and I thought, "Wow, I'd eat that lamb if I ate meat." I think someone like my mom would rather get lamb from somewhere shadowy off in the distance that doesn't talk about how they cull the lambs for slaughter.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 2:54 PM
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mental barrier some people are able to place between themselves and their food

That is interesting. When Keegan won his lobster at the claw machine this summer, he was a little squicked by the whole boiling alive, though probably more the dismantling, of this big animal. And I think he was surprised to be squicked. He only had a bite or two of it, then let the grownups have the rest.

I grew up going to these several times a summer. For weddings, even, which didn't seem weird at the time, but kinda does now.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 2:55 PM
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347: Yeah, I think that's generally true (not about your mom, but about a lot of people). The funny thing is that my agreement with you is why I kind of *like* PETA--it seems to me that "don't be a hypocrite" is one of their fundamental propositions.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 2:57 PM
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(I mean, I believe you about your mom, but just I'm not in a position to be able to say.)


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 2:59 PM
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Tweety: I don't think this discussion is remotely absurd. In fact, I think the problem of animal minds is the most interesting one in philosophy and cognitive science right now. (Aren't you in a related field?)

Basically, there is no way we will ever understand our own mind unless we put it in an evolutionary and larger animal context. Further, we won't accomplish shit if we act as cognitive psychologists for all humans and behaviorists for all animals. We've got to do cognitive psychology for animals.

Further, further: you can't do the problem of other minds without addressing moral issues. You won't be able to pin down a definition of pain unless you include the fact that it is bad. A crucial criterion for whether what a lobster feels counts as pain is whether I would have a moral duty to prevent it.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 2:59 PM
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AWB I have heard this as a larger point as well, mainly that as 21st Century westerners we are cut off from death, either human or animal. Death happens somewhere else, either the factory farm or nursing home. From that we get the sense that we are immortal, and if something bad happens, especially if someone dies it has to be someone else's fault. it is the government's (society, whatever) job to prevent death, at all costs. Please buckle your seatbelt.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 2:59 PM
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I still find it perplexing and kind of annoying that people seem to say things that imply that the positions PETA takes are ridiculous on the face of them

I thought the main objection here was to their tactics, not their positions.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 3:00 PM
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352: Funny, because my take on what you're saying is that we get the sense that we're immortal, and when bad things happen, as they always do, it's because the person they happened to Made Bad Choices. Even after things happen to us, a lot of people still feel ashamed; the ones that don't, and say "hey, I need some help here" get accused of being lazy and irresponsible or of trying to deny reality and wanting the goverment/society to play mommy.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 3:03 PM
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Related: Check out Sue Savage-Rumbaugh's bonobos, who have learned to make fire and use stone tools.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 3:04 PM
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353: I thought it was both: that their tactics are offensive (naked women) and that their positions are ridiculous ("companion animals," haw haw, lobsters are basically giant bugs, killing a lobster is *clearly* not the moral equivalent of killing a human being, etc.).


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 3:05 PM
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354. Other side of the same coin, I think.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 3:05 PM
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357: Sure, but it goes a long way towards explaining why we get along and yet have opposing politics.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 3:06 PM
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Oh, I suppose you're right. Their positions, to me, exist on a continuum of reasonable (heck, I'm a person, and I think ethically treating animals is a swell idea) to unreasonable, but I don't really object to an organization having aims I don't agree with. The problem with PETA is that they often seem to seeking the most unsympathetic means possible to their ends.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 3:08 PM
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Who lived in San Marcos! And swam with the Aquamaids at Aquarena Springs, right down the way. Come see their exciting aquatic lifestyle!

Damn skippy! I wonder if they ever got a wading pool and had Ralph dive off of one of those Cadillacs buried up in the Panhandle.

278: I actually don't go along with the idea that keeping pets is wrong, or that milking well-treated cattle is wrong, etc., myself. Obviously. But I'm not *offended* by people believing that.

I don't believe in transubstantiation. I'm not offended by people believing in that (or miracles). I'm not offended by people believing ... whatever it is that PETA actually believes. It does bother me when they get all culty and clinic-bomby about it, much like I do not care for Catholic radicals bombing abortion clinics. Or forming secret organizations (Opus Dei?) to terrorize homosexuals or whatever it is they get up to.

I'm not sending money to either group. PETA's heart may be in the right place (but again, reading their magazine I started to wonder a lot) but their collective heads seem to be up their collective asses. Surely, I thought to myself, there must be some organization dedicated to the welfare of animals that isn't run by maniacs... and Lo! There are! So if I sent money it was (and is) to the SPCA and the like.

max
['That was a long time ago, so I have trouble recalling the rather long slew of incidents that suggested PETA people were not right in the head.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 3:14 PM
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And to bring it full circle, the future.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 3:15 PM
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355: Those bonobos are OK, but just OK. I can still do all those things better.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 3:16 PM
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That looks yummy.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 3:17 PM
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Yeah, 'smasher, but do you get laid as often?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 3:31 PM
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362: "A special form of frot called 'rump rubbing' occurs to express reconciliation between two males after a conflict, where they stand back-to-back and rub their scrotal sacs together."

Who does it better, Smasher or a bonobo?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 3:32 PM
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crucial criterion for whether what a lobster feels counts as pain is whether I would have a moral duty to prevent it.

What does not kill me makes me stronger.


Posted by: Extreme Lobster | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 3:47 PM
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And when you stare too long into a bisque, the bisque stares back into you.

['stabbing Nietzsche in the head couldn't kill him either']


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 3:51 PM
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Apo, I'd be offended if you answered "bonobo" after our all the times we've made up after barbecue debates.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 3:58 PM
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Obviously you're the sentimental favorite, but I've never rump rubbed an actual bonobo, so.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 4:04 PM
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Hey, I'm barbecuing right now! Who wants to rump rub?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 4:08 PM
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I prefer to dryrub rump. Apo likes to slather it with vinegar.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 4:09 PM
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Interestingly, the recipe I'm (not) following called for brining and then a dry rub, allowing you to rub balls in a spirit of comity.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 4:19 PM
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I'm a red sauce guy.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 4:19 PM
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Comity! Frot!


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 4:21 PM
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Shit maybe we'll dip it in some sauce! Feel the love!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 4:21 PM
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Make my frot the p-frot. I wants to get frot up.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 4:23 PM
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I haven't noticed that veggies clang when you boil them.

Also, trees.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 4:28 PM
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re: 376

Speaking of P-Frot, I came across this link the other day.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sUViPj3qNq8&ftm=18

There aren't enough turbans in music.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 4:29 PM
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Rob's link made me think that we'd probably better finish wiping out the bonobos while we still can. Preemption. My friends.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 4:36 PM
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['stabbing Nietzsche in the head couldn't kill him either']

The maximization of SK continues apace. Also, she appears to be confusing Nietzsche and Rasputin.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 4:37 PM
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Speaking of P-Frot, I can't recommend nearly enough that fans of jazz or Afropop or postpunk see The Ex + Getatchew Mekuria while they're on tour right now. I'm happy to heap a host of superlatives on this show: It was one of the best live rock shows I've ever seen. There isn't nearly enough of whatever Mekuria is wearing here.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 4:48 PM
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The maximization of SK continues apace.

Bigger, better, faster. The bionic crab.

Also, she appears to be confusing Nietzsche and Rasputin.

Ah, but Nietzsche gets +20 defending on a death roll because he's already dead. Zombie Nietzsche, on the other hand, is vulnerable to Lighting, Fire, Adolescent Adoration and Cheese Whiz.

max
['There's nothing about barbeque tho.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 4:59 PM
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After that last exchange, I drove down the street and bought a pound and a half of pulled pork, a large fried okra, and a large onion rings. Oh sweet Jesus, is it good.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 5:01 PM
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Yum. Perhaps I shall surprise the wife and kinder by brining home lobsters for dinner. We'll be sure to thank them for their sacrifice.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 5:15 PM
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Lobsters are naturally brined.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 5:26 PM
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The wife brines the turkey as well. Not like W-lfs-n's chicken though.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 5:29 PM
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don't be a hypocrite" is one of their fundamental propositions.

Except for those repeated incidents of slaughtering "rescued" animals? 'Oh, we can't afford to feed/house them [so we "liberate" them and kill them]'...


Posted by: DominEditrix | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 6:39 PM
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Boston, Chicago, New York, DC and Baltimore do not make a very comprehensive US tour.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 6:41 PM
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388: Links? Details?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 6:47 PM
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I see the Ex have gotten rid of their lady bassist.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 6:48 PM
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390: Here's some to start with:

http://www.nokillnow.com

and

http://www.petakillsanimals.com


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 7:31 PM
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384: Since becoming a quasi-vegetarian at seventeen, I only miss two kinds of meat: grilled burgers and barbecue. Sometimes, when I drive by a really good barbecue place, I'm sorely tempted to partake of the white devil's pork. Man, good barbecue is god's own food.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 7:40 PM
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And yes, right now I'm eating lentils and rice.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 7:40 PM
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393: Yeah, every once in a while I have this urge to fly back to the South and get some good barbecue.

My kid the vet is a very-mostly-vegetarian. He got into it after the course that took him to the beef slaughterhouse. He has no objections to my shooting a deer and eating it though.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 7:54 PM
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quasi-vegetarian

So what is stopping you from eating the barbecue? Or are you using quasi in some hifalutin academic way I fail to grasp?


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 8:01 PM
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||
That was a fucking race.
|>


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 8:07 PM
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397: Holy crap. By one hundredth.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 8:35 PM
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396: I never eat meat. But I occasionally eat fish. So I'm not really a vegetarian. But I don't like the term pescetarian. Mostly because I can't spell it properly.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 8:42 PM
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397-98: Vanilla ogged won another gold?


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 8:44 PM
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Ralph the Diving Pig

Who lived in San Marcos! And swam with the Aquamaids at Aquarena Springs, right down the way.

IS THIS GOING TO BE ON THE FINAL?


Posted by: OUTRAGED FRESHMAN | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 8:49 PM
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-


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 8:50 PM
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400: That boy is charmed, if they are anyplace else in their respective stroke cycles at the end, he loses. (Cavic needed two short strokes instead of the one long with a stretch.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 8:52 PM
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He really is having the most amazing Olympics ever: both in terms of performance and also good fortune. The Lezak anchor leg still blows my mind.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 8:57 PM
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Greg the Bunny gets to the heart of the lobster question in Bunnie Hall (hot crustacean action starts about ~1:40 in).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 9:04 PM
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||

If any of you people are ever put into positions of power, and they come to ask where to put the illegal prison in which to carry out your various unlawful, nefarious, and unconstitutional activities, tell them not to put it in the path of every fucking hurricane that comes along.

|>


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 9:28 PM
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It's not funny, but 406 is making me imagine a bitter, darker-than-dark remake of Key Largo.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 9:55 PM
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First they came to ask where to put the illegal prison in which to carry out my various unlawful, nefarious, and unconstitutional activities, and I didn't speak up because, like, WTF was up with that?

Then they came to ask why text in a mirror appears reversed from left to right, but not up to down, and I didn't speak up because I'm not totally stupid.

Then they came to ask if they could take the lobsters and I said, "Go for it, doesn't hurt me one bit."

And finally they came to ask if this was really all I had and


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-15-08 10:10 PM
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"Om nom nom nom!"


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-16-08 2:48 AM
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Just watched Phelps (was busy this morning) - lucky lucky talented git!

But did you see our Rebecca Adlington in the 800m freestyle? Opposite of Phelps, she was 6s ahead of everyone else. Superb.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 08-16-08 4:34 AM
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"Our?" Asilon, nationalist sentiment has no place in the Olympic Games.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-16-08 5:28 AM
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||

While you bums have been sleeping. I've been getting on top of the news for you.

Comments to this LGM post tell you everything you need to know about Georgia / Ossetia

Interview with Swiftboater Corsi featured on Nazi Stormfront site. NOTE: Corsi is a Harvard PhD, whereas Yglesias is merely a Harvard B.A.

David Brooks envies Chinese ability to suppress bad thinking
Weenie liberal (Julia of "Sisyphus Shrugged" points out that Brooks has been played. Authoritarianism is now ideology-neutral, it seems.

One of the links posted out on LGM notes that the Ossetes are persecuting the Ingush. See, it's like one of those Russian dolls -- you open up one doll, and inside there's a littler doll, inside which there is a still littler doll.... and so on. The question is: Who are the Ingush persecuting?

|>

Ja, sure, I posted politics on a non-political thread. What are you going to do? Sue me? All your divisions are tied up in Iraq, and your lame-duck President is falling-down drunk and trying to hump beach volleyball chicks. Ha! Ha! You are powerless, American swine!


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-16-08 6:49 AM
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And your true leader has abandoned you and is off with the Bass-playing librarian doing God knows what. You are rudderless and lost. Give it up, Unfoggetariat! Your day is past! Ha! Ha! Ha!


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-16-08 6:52 AM
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Via Yglesias here is McCain explaining his selection of ABBA's "Dancing Queen" as his favorite song:

"If there is anything I am lacking in, I've got to tell you, it is taste in music and art and other great things in life," McCain joked. "I've got to say that a lot of my taste in music stopped about the time I impacted a surface-to-air missile with my own airplane and never caught up again."

Actually, I kind of admire a man who is willing to name "Dancing Queen" as his favorite song, but the lede is buried; apparently McCain was once shot down or something. Who knew? Boy, most politicians would be trying to exploit that.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-16-08 7:13 AM
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Don't make us invade you, Georgiamerson.


Posted by: Russpostropher | Link to this comment | 08-16-08 7:20 AM
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Also, it is going to be an all-heterosexual Men's 100-Meter final.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-16-08 7:20 AM
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"Don't worry, I'm not cultured or anything," McCain explained. "What I am, however, is a veteran. Vote for me!"


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-16-08 7:30 AM
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Don't make us invade you

Sure, Russposterior.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-16-08 7:33 AM
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Well, isn't Stormkraine feeling sassy?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-16-08 7:42 AM
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Ready for something new, Hunter left New York for Los Angeles to escape the drugs and pursue her acting career.

Alas, much to her disappointment, she found that Hollywood's squeaky-clean reputation is just Chamber of Commerce PR hype.

I'm convinced that we will not get to the bottom of the Edwards-Hunter story until Pigeon O'Brien tells us what she knows.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-16-08 7:44 AM
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PigeonO'Brien photo page


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-16-08 7:46 AM
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Note also that in the Salon photo in 420 Hunter has an astonishing resmblance to Marge in "Fargo".


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-16-08 7:51 AM
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BOLT! Bloody hell.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 08-16-08 8:29 AM
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One of the links posted out on LGM notes that the Ossetes are persecuting the Ingush. See, it's like one of those Russian dolls -- you open up one doll, and inside there's a littler doll, inside which there is a still littler doll.... and so on. The question is: Who are the Ingush persecuting?

Yeah, but the Ingush are on the other side of the line... also the Chechnyans have been picking on the Ingush as well. Since the Ingush are in the unfortunate position of being tiny and trapped between both sides.

Meawhile:

Saakashvili tried to project confidence during the interview, but could not completely hide the stress he is under. A few hours earlier, refugees from Gori held a spontaneous demonstration in front of parliament, calling for Saakashvili to resign.

"We will fight to the death until the last Russian soldier leaves Georgian territory," Saakashvili told reporters. "We will never surrender."
He characterized the announcements against him by Russia's government, blaming him for the suffering of the Georgian people, as "typical Nazi propaganda." He accused Russia of ethnic cleansing in the Georgian villages in the north of the country. "If Georgia falls, all of the energy supply routes will be blocked," he said.
You can't tell me that the neocons are not running this (although to be fair it seems to be as much the other way around). And he's determined to drag us into WWIII, if he can manage it.

max
['Don't poke sleeping bears with sharp sticks.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 08-16-08 8:46 AM
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re: 423

Word.

Unbelievable. Just unbelievable.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-16-08 8:49 AM
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423 bodes well for the future of Jamaican bobsledding.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-16-08 9:09 AM
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Some run.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08-16-08 9:16 AM
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If there's one thing I can't stand, mon, it's Rastafarian nationalists.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-16-08 9:22 AM
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USAin! USAin! USAin!


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-16-08 9:24 AM
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Any chance that Barack Usain Obama will congratulate his coreligionist? No, I thought not.


Posted by: Andrew C. McCarthy | Link to this comment | 08-16-08 9:46 AM
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I'm going to have a barbecue next weekend and make pulled pork...I'm jealous of apo. and rolls, coleslaw, green beans, and coconut layer cake. and tea! but maybe not "statesboro sweet" as my family calls it, which involves putting a couple of packets of sweet'n'low into the supersaturated sugary tea, to hype the sweetness.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 08-17-08 7:29 AM
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putting a couple of packets of sweet'n'low into the supersaturated sugary tea

Oh, yikes. The mere description makes my tongue retract in alarm.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-17-08 7:39 AM
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(I say this in all admiration of such an inventively diabolical strategy for hypersweetness.)


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-17-08 7:40 AM
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We will never understand The South.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-17-08 7:44 AM
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I dont hate it he thought, panting in the cold air, the iron New England dark: I dont. I dont! I dont hate it! I dont hate it!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-17-08 8:00 AM
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I was digging for that one, RFTS.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-17-08 8:02 AM
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434: I love that book so much. He forged in the smithy of his soul the uncreated consciousness of my race, right there.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-17-08 8:29 AM
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I love that book so much.

Me too. Also, I find it incredibly, incredibly hot.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-17-08 8:52 AM
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"statesboro sweet"

Ha! That *is* gross.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-17-08 8:53 AM
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