Re: Liebestod

1

I've only read the title, and I already hate it.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 6:46 PM
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(This poignant aspect of the female heart proves once again a theory advanced by a high-school chum of mine, an improbable lothario who replied when I demanded that he explain his freakish success with the ladies: "Chicks thrive on rejection.")

I would pay a hundred dollars to see the reality t.v. show where Caitlin Flanagan hooked up with Mystery.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 7:06 PM
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Hmm. I hated the writing but was intrigued by the message. My 11 y.o. loves Twilight- read it first before seeing it. I think the pro-abstinence message is what I want her to hear. (Why is virginity like a balloon?)


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 7:08 PM
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I didn't make it past page 2.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 7:12 PM
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One of my Very Religious Women's College students explained to me today that Twilight is the novel of choice among life-long girls'-school types who really need to figure out that actual sexual desire is not the world's scariest thing. I.e., losing your virginity doesn't make you a vampire, ffs.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 7:12 PM
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(Why is virginity like a balloon?)
You don't want to throw either into the ocean?


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 7:13 PM
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Why is virginity like a balloon?

If you let go of the small end, they both fly around the room making a farty noise?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 7:13 PM
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I had a lot of co-workers reading this series, enough that I was surprised to discover, when the movie came out, that it's a SQUEEEE! teeny girl trend. Were/are there a lot of adults reading it?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 7:13 PM
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Is vampirism-as-sex the most tired trope of our time? Really zombie-ism is a more convincing metaphor -- you stumble around making a mess, leaving parts of yourself all over the place.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 7:14 PM
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Why is virginity like a balloon?

If a baby pops one and swallows it, he can suffocate.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 7:15 PM
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Lycanthropy is totally masturbation.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 7:16 PM
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Fools! Nincompoops!

Why is virginity like a balloon?

One prick and it's all over.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 7:16 PM
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12: You're auditioning for Father Knows Best, aren't you?

max
['I will now read all your comments in black & white.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 7:17 PM
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12: Au contraire. In Japan they now have restorative surgery for that.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 7:18 PM
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12: What the hell is *that* supposed to mean?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 7:18 PM
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I don't think it's precisely pro-abstinence. It is an argument against the ultimate consummation, but this is not quite the same thing.

"I hate Y.A. novels; they bore me." Oh, in that case, Caitlin Flanagan, I am exceptionally eager to hear your penetrating analysis.

I just read Twilight, and I enjoyed it. However, this is false: "It's a page-turner that pops out a lurching, frightening ending [an intelligent adult could] never [see] coming." It's a page-turner, but there is nothing startling about any turn of the plot. It is impressively titillating, though, and the charged, justified, nigh-endless deferring of pleasure is nicely wrought. The later books, you will not be surprised to hear, spin things out past the point of being really fun for me, but then I'm not newly pubescent.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 7:18 PM
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Lycanthropy is totally masturbation

What?


Posted by: American Werewolf in London | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 7:18 PM
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your penetrating analysis

Snort.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 7:19 PM
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Caitlin Flanagan is so obnoxious I could spit.

One of the signal differences between adolescent girls and boys is that while a boy quickly puts away childish things in his race to initiate a sexual life for himself, a girl will continue to cherish, almost to fetishize, the tokens of her little-girlhood.

Her evidence here seems to be her friend's daughter and some vague idealized memory of herself as a fascinating little girl. I can't name one person I knew in adolescence who was not horrified by her own "little-girlhood."

In my own case, I moved from one room to another in sixth grade, in part because my mother couldn't stand to let me redecorate my girly child's room, which I didn't even decorate myself. She'd bought this outrageous white-with-pink-hearts bedspread and nightstand cloth that I hated, specifically to make me feel I should be more girly or something. She still treasures it.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 7:20 PM
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Hooray! Appreciation for my feather-light pun.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 7:21 PM
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Also, she's a little overexcited about how sexually jaded today's teens are, don't you think? She's not too far from my age -- late thirties, early forties, or if I'm wrong at least under fifty. Which means that when she was in high school, plenty of kids were having sex, although plenty weren't. Which is just about how it is today.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 7:23 PM
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19: Right. And teenage boys don't play with any of the same sports equipment and video games as small boys. There's a total break in interests at twelve, when normal boys stop playing soccer and subscribe to the Economist instead.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 7:25 PM
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Good of Flanagan to give a shout-out to her spiritual predecessor Marabel Morgan in that Twilight piece.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 7:25 PM
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Is there some rule that Flanagan has to refer to middle schoolers having oral sex every single time she puts words to paper?


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 7:25 PM
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24: Oh, yes.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 7:26 PM
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She's clearly obsessed with the erotic symbol of cuddly little girls and their tragic descent into dumb-eyed sluts. Very Humbert.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 7:26 PM
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It's rule 34. Someone finds Flanagan talking about middle schoolers having oral sex titillating, and that means it has to be on the internet.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 7:27 PM
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She's clearly obsessed with the erotic symbol of cuddly little girls and their tragic descent into dumb-eyed sluts. Very Humbert.

"Caitlin Flanagan is the author of To Hell With All That (2006). She is at work on Girl Land, a book about the emotional life of pubescent girls."


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 7:30 PM
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I think we should write a YA novel by Caitlin Flanagan for today's youths. "And as every young girl must, she wrapped her pubescently lipsticked mouth around his insistent teen-boy cock as she worried whether he'd notice that her tiny, budding chest only gestured toward the tiny push-up bra that hung loose from it."


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 7:31 PM
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She also tosses off broad statements (outside of the 'girls are like this and boys are like that' ones) that are just laughably false.

the nature of modern children's literature (which, since the Victorian age, has centered on a sentimental portrayal of the happy, intact family)

Yeah, nevermind, say, Peter Pan. The generalizations aren't as troubling as the gender essentializing ones, but they're awfully distracting to the reader.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 7:32 PM
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What this thread needs is more Linda Hirshman, dammit.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 7:34 PM
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I think we should write a YA novel by Caitlin Flanagan for today's youths."

L.M. Montgomery's Rainbow Party.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 7:35 PM
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Yeah, nevermind, say, Peter Pan.

Or, indeed, every single kid's book about orphans and kids with absent parents, which is basically all of them, ever.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 7:35 PM
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30: Didn't Miss Caitlin just write a (widely criticized) article on Mary Poppins?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 7:35 PM
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There were wacky Hirshman hijinx at McMegan's place today -- McMegan wrote a snippy post about a Hirshman op-ed, Hirshman showed up in the comments to take issue with the criticisms, and someone impersonating McMegan told Hirshman to 'eat a dick'.

That's all the Hirshman related news I've got.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 7:37 PM
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34 - It wasn't that it was so widely criticized; a Travers biographer accused her of plagiarism, and the New Yorker neutered her complaint.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 7:38 PM
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Lycanthropy is totally masturbation

WHAT?


Posted by: OPINIONATED ETHICAL WEREWOLF | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 7:38 PM
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someone impersonating McMegan told Hirshman to 'eat a dick'.

This makes me happy, all around.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 7:39 PM
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35: Oh, yeah, and McMegan. More McMegan!


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 7:42 PM
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38: That is really, really funny.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 7:46 PM
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It was pretty funny. I think the offending comments have been deleted by now, though.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 7:48 PM
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It was pretty funny. I think the offending comments have been deleted by now, though.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 7:48 PM
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Maybe it wasn't quite that funny.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 7:49 PM
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36: Wow, that's incredibly frustrating. And the NYer's first suggested letter to the editor is just terrible. I'll never read those the same way again.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 7:49 PM
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36: I should really read the CJR more often; that kind of stuff is really fascinating. That "letter template" shit boggles my mind.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 7:50 PM
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As far as I can tell, without knowing the particulars of the material, because the New Yorker is not the kind of place that uses footnotes - not our kind of text, really - it can have some real problems with attribution. Not really a plagiarism case, and probably not uncommon in non-footnote journalism.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 7:51 PM
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44: Yeah, I always wondered why the letters always sound so passive-aggressive. "I'd like to thank [writer] for calling our attention to a problem I've been researching tirelessly for the last twenty years and have written several books about..."


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 7:51 PM
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And yeah, that first template is just wrong.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 7:53 PM
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48: Honestly. I would have been enraged.

I am a little stuck on what acknowledgment is minimally appropriate in non-scholarly (footnoted) writing, though. Standards relating to plagiarism don't require the identification of your source for every fact, do they? Even if there's only one possible source. Flanagan was obviously obnoxious in not thanking the biographer effusively in the article and making it clear that the article couldn't have been written without the book, but it doesn't seem quite like wrongdoing.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 8:00 PM
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I've run into this problem recently while discussing citation with my TA. I gave him a day to teach a text he liked, which happened to be a journalistic essay on food that dropped a lot of weird, possibly unresearched factoids about food behaviors in various cultures. I don't know where he got his information, but it sounded mostly like convenient anthropological legend to me. And, because it's one of these chatty journalistic essays, there's not even a prayer of a citation in sight. And this was during the part of the semester when I'm teaching academic citation and students are desperately trying to figure out what we cite and what we don't.

Obviously, anyone with any academic credibility is going to be frustrated as hell when they see some NYer writer blithely tossing off fascinating theories and ideas as their own. I can't stand certain NYer writers for this reason. They raise my hackles.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 8:06 PM
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I figured this thread might be fun, if anyone would bother with Flanagan.

"But outside the door to our Spanish class, leaning against the wall--looking more like a Greek god than anyone had a right to--Edward was waiting for me."

Haven't read the books, but clipped this. A first-person narrative voice, intelligent, witty, snarky, but essentially kind and empathetic under all the fun...one possible appeal of the series has not been covered adequately in the reviews.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 8:11 PM
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I'll admit it, I like Caitlin Flanagan. Her politics don't matter; she's one of those people whose genuinely more interested in imaginative understanding than politics. She enjoys complexity and she always gives a few thoughtful twists on things. I thought this article was terrific, one of the best things I've seen from her, but since I've never been a teenage girl I don't suppose I can truly judge. Thanks for posting it though, W-lfs-n.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 8:13 PM
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21: she was born in 1961.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 8:16 PM
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I think I could have deduced 52 from first principles.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 8:18 PM
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Her politics don't matter

Given the topics she most often writes about, you understand that this is a pretty inflammatory statement, right?


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 8:20 PM
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OT
i like this song very much
glad to find


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 8:20 PM
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52 is actually about Camille Paglia, right?

It's okay, we all miss ogged.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 8:23 PM
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I'll admit it, I like Caitlin Flanagan Ann Coulter. Her politics don't matter; she's one of those people whose genuinely more interested in imaginative understanding than politics. She enjoys complexity and she always gives a few thoughtful twists on things. I thought this article was terrific, one of the best things I've seen from her, but since I've never been a teenage girl I don't suppose I can truly judge. Thanks for posting it though, W-lfs-n.

This is fun!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 8:24 PM
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Come to think of it, most genre fiction has that fucking over-intelligent ironic voice, which is why I stopped reading fiction.

52:Yes, PGD, Cailtin (and isn't that a beautiful name) understands and is honest 'bout what women really want. It is so refreshing.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 8:24 PM
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58 was so fun I fucked up the tags. Figures.

Whoever 59 was should stop pretending to be mcmanus. Too over the top, whoever you are. Nobody's buying it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 8:25 PM
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Props to bob for nailing it.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 8:25 PM
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I guess there's something really flattering to male readers when a woman writer is pretending to tell the mysteeeerious seekrits of what it's like to be that bizarre, inhuman creature called woman and it happens to reflect every fucked-up pathologizing stereotype of femininity imaginable. Plus child porn!


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 8:30 PM
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62: well, back on the veldt...


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 8:32 PM
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44, 47 -- That the New Yorker, or any publication, would provide a "letter template" to someone writing a letter to the editor criticizing one of its writers was something that managed to shock even cynical old me. It seems pretty damn dishonest -- you could expect that kind of thing in a negotiated statement after a legal settlement, but a published letter to the editors at least on its face purports to be the publication of an actual letter to the editor. Maybe a little bit of editing for space, but not total rewriting. It also seems like a really stupid way to run a magazine, since reading those kinds of accusations of plagarism, etc., is totally fun (who doesn't like a smackdown?).

I guess it's an effort by the New Yorker to protect its carefully cultivated veneer of middlebrow omniscience, which is what makes the New Yorker so annoying to read in the first place.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 8:33 PM
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62: No there isn't. Caitlin Flanagan sucks.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 8:34 PM
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I suppose my great opus Women Are Basically Just Like Regular People Except with Smaller Genitalia isn't ever going to get a contract, is it? See, there will be pictures of brains, showing that basically there's no difference. And there will be graphs and stuff, showing that women are really not statistically different from men, and anecdotes from people talking about how they like sex and love, but it makes them anxious sometimes, from men and women. Doesn't it sound like a page-turner?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 8:34 PM
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62 - That's the LGM argument, although I tend to go with Echidne of the Snakes that it's more a reflection of class warfare.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 8:36 PM
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66 -- You can write that book, but only teenage girls will be able to read it with the kind of intensity that's the product of their desperate need for a secret emotional life.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 8:37 PM
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Based on reading over 17 of his comments, I think PGD likes writers who betray an anxiety towards modern life, particularly if they lean in a traditionalist direction themselves. I don't think it's particularly political.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 8:39 PM
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How about Women Are Regular People (and So Are Men)?

And it only needs to be written and published once, then the bibliographic information will be available for quick cites in letters to the editor everywhere.

Don't worry, the follow-up volume Teens Like Sex (but Are Somewhat Afraid of It) will be a far bigger success as it talks about how a lot of people get it on, even if they aren't anywhere near comfortable enough with themselves and others to actually get naked and blow lots of people like so many prurient adults prefer to believe.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 8:40 PM
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I guess there's something really flattering to male readers when a woman writer is pretending to tell the mysteeeerious seekrits of what it's like to be that bizarre, inhuman creature called woman and it happens to reflect every fucked-up pathologizing stereotype of femininity imaginable. Plus child porn!

a lot of fucked-up pathologizing stereotypes of femininity have some truth to them, or have their roots in something true anyway. The same thing is true of a lot of fucked-up pathologizing stereotypes of masculinity as well. People are fucked up. That makes them human, not bizarre and inhuman.

I get why some people have a beef with Flanagan -- her version of femininity is sort of trad. But she never tips over to the dark side with the Independent Women's Forum, she doesn't make the authoritarian move (if you did want to compare her to an annoying conservative writer, I suppose the right one would be David Brooks). The thing is, with lifestyle writing people always seem to take the expression of a gender vision as a power play, that this writer is somehow part of a grand conspiracy to force conformity on me. (The right obviously reacts this way to left lifestyle alternatives). That is in certain ways an instinctive recognition of something deep about the informal pressures through which social life operates (people react to lifestyle writers as though they were the neighbor over the back fence badmouthing their marriage), but in certain ways it's an annoying kind of censorship.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 8:49 PM
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David Brooks is so annoying that he makes my eyeballs catch on fire, so that's hardly a point in her favor.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 8:50 PM
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a lot of fucked-up pathologizing stereotypes of femininity have some truth to them

Exactly how long have you been a woman, PGD?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 8:52 PM
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73: he's just wise, is all. You can't tell?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 8:53 PM
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75

I liked Twilight before it was cool.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 8:56 PM
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It's the internet. We're all women. Or not.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 8:57 PM
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75: Oh, don't think we've forgotten. I was blissfully ignorant of the whole phenomenon until that post. I blame you.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 8:58 PM
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I get why some people have a beef with Flanagan -- her version of femininity is sort of trad and hypocritical.

And you're wrong about her not forcing conformity. For CF, it's gender essentialism all the way. So when she tries to analyze why these books are popular with girls, it's not that the books are playing into popular cultural narratives, it's necessarily that they express something deep and essential about being a girl.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 9:00 PM
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71 -- I'm having a little trouble finding PGD's worldly chronicler of human depravity and complexity in the overwritten why-the-Democratic-party-left-me screeds and not very interesting reviews of teenage fiction that Flanagan actually writes, but maybe that's just me.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 9:02 PM
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79: The party put a bayonet to her back. A BAYONET.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 9:05 PM
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But she never tips over to the dark side with the Independent Women's Forum...

"I am a 44-year-old woman who grew up in Berkeley who has never once voted for a Republican, or crossed a picket line, or failed to send in a small check when the Doctors Without Borders envelope showed up.... [T]here is apparently no room for me in the Democratic Party. In fact, I have spent much of the past week on a forced march to the G.O.P. And the bayonet at my back isn't in the hands of the Republicans; the Democrats are the bullyboys....
Here's why they're after me: I have made a lifestyle choice that they can't stand, and I'm not cowering in the closet because of it. I'm out, and I'm proud. I am a happy member of an exceedingly "traditional" family. I'm in charge of the house and the kids, my husband is in charge of the finances and the car maintenance, and we all go to church every Sunday."


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 9:05 PM
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Damn you, AWB!

* takes ball, goes home, joins GOP to avoid further pwnage of the middle-class white male *


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 9:06 PM
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And, as Echidne points out, the woman's never changed a sheet in that house, and neither has her husband. She manages the staff who look after her household and kids. It's like a living hell being her, with so much sorrow and shame and degradation at the hands of her liberal oppressors.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 9:07 PM
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I think PGD likes writers who betray an anxiety towards modern life, particularly if they lean in a traditionalist direction themselves.

OK, that's completely correct and perceptive about me. Basically I feel like modern life is dangerously isolating and alienating, impoverishes communal bonds, blah blah blah insert your favorite "organic" vs. "mechanistic" solidarity stereotype from sociology here. I blame capitalism for that, not feminism, though. The traditionalist analysis often does blame feminism -- the nuclear family was a "haven in a heartless world" held together by the selfless love of women, who then somehow got brainwashed into believing that they were unhappy, etc. That is obvious bullshit, and yeah it's sort of offensive because it ignores oppressive constraints that made that system work. Flanagan to her credit is too smart to go that far. But she is one of those people who thinks that gender roles, or gender differences, might play some part in a workable reconstitution of forms of community that have been lost. That's a position quite compatible with mainstream difference feminism BTW, which I also like, although the difference feminists are more common-sensical about the whole thing and obviously if you want politics they would be more the people to turn to.

Anyway, my view, like everyone's views on the good society, is in part shaped by my own personal anxieties, strengths and weaknesses, etc.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 9:09 PM
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PGD have you ever considered poisoning David Brooks and taking his place? I think you could really fill that niche.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 9:12 PM
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How on earth does this

gender roles, or gender differences, might play some part in a workable reconstitution of forms of community that have been lost

avoid this

held together by the selfless love of women

???????


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 9:14 PM
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81: OK, I didn't see that and certainly can't defend it. Nor do I want to be identified with it in any way. The Democrats are the ones who fight for the family leave policies that let ordinary women who want to play a more "traditional" role in the family do so, even when they have to work for income reasons.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 9:14 PM
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81: That quotation is like high distillate of Flanagan.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 9:14 PM
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86: it's selfish love, because all women want is the freedom to leave the workforce and take care of children.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 9:15 PM
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81 -- Yeah, that passage is totally, completely, and permanently credibility killing.

I have a real bee in my bonnet about her because she's basically just the upper middle class educated female version of the Rush Limbaugh fan whining about all of those uptight liberals keeping him from cracking hilarious jokes about Mexicans. You know what is completely fucking possible? Being in a marriage where the man works and does the finances, going to church every Sunday, and still having enough imaginative and political empathy to see why other women are constantly struggling against sexism and see it as a problem.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 9:16 PM
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How on earth does this...avoid this

This time the boys get to do the selfless love, I guess.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 9:16 PM
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I hear women especially like to be told how they feel and what they want, too.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 9:18 PM
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92: yes you do.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 9:19 PM
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PGD, have you ever watched Heimat? It's basically a 16 hour German TV show about your apparent political position.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 9:20 PM
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I think PGD likes writers who betray an anxiety towards modern life, particularly if they lean in a traditionalist direction themselves.

See, that's what I appreciate about PGD.

[PGD: I was reminded of you and the question of whether you went to college with Mr MC just a few hours ago, when I read the worst (or perhaps the best) annual holiday letter ever written...You know those annual letters that some people like to send out? where they talk of all the places they've travelled in the past year, and all the books they've published, and all the awards they've won, and so on and so forth, and nobody ever dies of cancer or anything, and their children are all charmingly precocious prodigies, of course, with genius-level IQs, with one of them trotting off to an equestrian camp for the gifted on a prestigious scholarship, and the other one has a display at an art gallery (oh, just a couple of pieces, and just a local gallery, but the venue is considered quite good)...Anyhoo, this letter is so bad (or so good), it almost reads like a parody of a genre that is always already satirical (but it's just too easy to satirise, really: I mean, it's like shooting fish in a barrel, isn't it?). So: did you get a copy? Are you on the mailing list?].


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 9:23 PM
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85: Sifu, you see the American political spectrum like a man on an island peering at a distant shore, whose inhabitants appear clumped together as a single dot. I'm not sure the metric of distance is the conventional right/left spectrum either, but instead distance from whatever is pissing Sifu off at that exact moment.

86: that's a good question, as indicated by all the question marks. I'm not tied to the gender differences idea myself, at least not in any traditionalist way. True essentialism is always going to be pretty problematic because it doesn't recognize the reality of cultural malleability, so it's built on a flawed vision of human nature. But if you want to see how some people have tackled it, look at some of the feminist theorists of an ethics of care have tackled it.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 9:35 PM
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85: Sifu, you see the American political spectrum like a man on an island peering at a distant shore, whose inhabitants appear clumped together as a single dot. I'm not sure the metric of distance is the conventional right/left spectrum either, but instead distance from whatever is pissing Sifu off at that exact moment.

I don't get it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 9:39 PM
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95: "So I was in the Phnom Penh airport when I spotted the Prime Minister sitting in the terminal waiting for a flight to Hong Kong. He looked up and noticed me staring, and then after a quick look down at his book, he came on over. Wouldn't you know it, my second book had just been published in Khmer, and he recognized my photo from the author's page! The family ended up invited to a State Dinner with him and The Honourable Donald Tsang (photo enclosed)."


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 9:39 PM
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98 as parody is excellent. If it's true, so much the better.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 9:42 PM
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The thing is that the 50s in America are just as much a creation of capitalism as the 2000s. The kind of organic society you have in mind has probably never existed for anyone living in America since the time of Columbus. The US is a self-consciously constructed society. The 50s in America was a deliberate synthetic creation, and people had the same complaints about inauthenticity then that they do now.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 9:42 PM
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99: Parody is the only truth, ari. You would understand that if you weren't a historian.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 9:43 PM
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Boy, I'd be cautious about going anywhere with Hun Sen.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 9:46 PM
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Kobe! nails it.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 9:47 PM
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In October 2007, Hun Sen made a surprise announcement at a graduation ceremony in front of an audience of around 3,000 that his adopted daughter is lesbian. He has taken legal steps to disown his daughter and to prevent her from receiving any inheritance. Nonetheless, he asked the audience to accept homosexuals.

Accept them how, exactly?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 9:50 PM
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100: with respect to the 50s, of course you're right. The 50s were very atypical, and ironically they were notably so in the pattern of family life (extremely young age at first marriage, the youngest in American history, plus I think the highest fertility rates in American history). I think the attempt to *make* a communitarian critique of current American life is in many ways objectively progressive, but then when you root that critique in an idealized past, especially in the 50s, then it can quickly turn reactionary. (It's funny that certain stereotypical left critiques of American lifestyles also take the 50s as normative or typical). That's one reason why I'm personally conflicted about a lot of this stuff.

Also, the link in 96 sucks, I was thinking of what is referred to as the "maternal ethic" in this article . I don't think what those people are trying to do really works, but they are clearly wrestling with some of the questions Blume asked above.

Anyway, I'm tired and I have to go. Plus I'll admit 81 embarassed me.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 9:50 PM
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The problem with using traditionalism per se as a critique of capitalism or modernity is that it slides imperceptibly into actual conservatism, and, at least in the USA, you end up with morons like Flanagan or despicable neo-Confederates as your allies.

Liberal Christianity (or progressive strands of religion more broadly) is a more powerful means of making a similar critique, about emphasizing the communal and moving beyond politics per se as a source for value while critiquing capitalism. But of course this requires you to actually become a believer which, well, requires a series of decisions that are far more than political.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 9:51 PM
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95: Mary Catherine, no I'm not on the mailing list, hook me up! With the parody letter. Email is linked on this comment.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 9:51 PM
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I suppose in Cambodia there are far worse things to worry about than being disowned.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 9:53 PM
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Okay, we've driven PGD off. Now it's time to turn on each other. Feminism sucks! Mormon vampires suck!


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 9:55 PM
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The problem with using traditionalism per se as a critique of capitalism or modernity is that it slides imperceptibly into actual conservatism, and, at least in the USA, you end up with morons like Flanagan or despicable neo-Confederates as your allies.

And outside the USA you end up with ultra-nationalists and crypto-fascists.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 9:55 PM
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The problem with using traditionalism per se as a critique of capitalism or modernity is that it has fuck-all to do with American history, except insofar as reactionary elements have always held sway some way or other?

I dunno. I'm no history-talking-guy.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 9:55 PM
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All vampires suck. By definition.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 9:56 PM
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But of course this requires you to actually become a believer

Isn't Kotsko our local counterexample to this?


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 9:57 PM
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110 -- True enough. And some of the fascists aren't even crypto! I'm curious about how that new Tom Cruise Valkyrie movie will deal with the Prussian military conservative vs. fascist dynamic. Probably very, very stupidly.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 9:58 PM
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Mormon vampires suck!

Yes, but no penetration.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 9:58 PM
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I dunno. I'm no history-talking-guy.

Looks like it's time for a batsignal!


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 9:58 PM
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98: Greetings, Dear Friend and Honoured Sir,

My Name is [redacted], I am only Daughter of my late parents Mr.and Mrs. [redacted]. My father was a highly reputable busnness man (A COCOA DEALER) who operated in the economic capital of [redacted] of Ivory coast during his days. I'm a girl. It is sad to say that he passed away mysteriously in France during one of his business trips abroad year [redacted]. I am a girl. Please to help me settle his accounts, how I can transfer this funds, and after the transaction I will come over and settle down and plan my future. I am in a sincere desire of your humble assistance in this regards, I am a girl. I wish to invest under your care please. Please to send me your bank account number, and ideas from you will be highly regarded.

Immedaitely I confirmed your willingness then I will tell you how we will go about the transaction.

Yours sincerely,

Miss [redacted]


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 10:01 PM
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111 -- Yeah, there just is no pre-capitalist, communal America -- our leading agrarian culture (and current center of the "agrarian" conservative movement, such as it is) featured massive numbers of slaves forcibly imported from thousands of miles away who were selling a cash crop to Europe.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 10:01 PM
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116: That blog sucks. Though it's* been better since I stopped posting.

* In this case, is this a contraction for "it has"? That seems terribly weird to me, unjustifiable really. And yet, there it is. Or not?


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 10:04 PM
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100: According to the Palgrave Companion to North American Utopias (which is, Jesus, $65 on Amazon now!), the Sanctificationists were pretty nice. I should ask Ari or one of the other Edge of the West folks if they know anything about this weird and awesome-sounding post-Second-Great-Awakening feminist sect. (John Emerson would approve of them, as they disapproved of sex. They were eventually run out of Texas, for encouraging abused women to join up and disapprove of sex along with them.)


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 10:05 PM
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Ari! Who among your fellow history bloggers knows about weird feminist Protestant sects of nineteenth-century Texas? Surely there are at least three.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 10:06 PM
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118: and, I mean, one would assume we're not looking back to those traditional norms in place pre-women's suffrage, right? Because that would be a little shady. So maybe we're talking about the traditional, communitarian wonderland that obtained during the depression? I assume the forties aren't the representative sample we're looking for here. I dunno, I'm puzzled.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 10:07 PM
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106a - Or the angry Fascist shade of Ezra Pound!


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 10:07 PM
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* In this case, is this a contraction for "it has"? That seems terribly weird to me, unjustifiable really. And yet, there it is. Or not?

It's its uses.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 10:09 PM
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106a - Or the angry Fascist shade of Ezra Pound!

Who quotes Tristan and Isolde in "The Wasteland". The thread reaches its final end, as foreseen by W-lfs-n in his title.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 10:19 PM
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125: I don't get it.


Posted by: T.S. Eliot | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 10:22 PM
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120: Feminist utopians shouldn't settle in Texas. I learned that in graduate school. Also, this is the best* essay on the so-called era of reform. If you have access to jstor, you win. If not, send me an e-mail, and I'll attach it as a pdf in a return message.

* Albeit dated and [insert here all the caveats that will make me seem smart and like a sophisticated reader of texts].


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 10:24 PM
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In this case, is this a contraction for "it has"?

Yes.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 10:44 PM
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Ari! You're a gentleman and a scholar. I think I have jstor access, but if it turns out I don't, I'm going to email you tomorrow.

Also, feminist utopians (of which I am one, more or less) should read Mary Astell's Serious Proposal to the Ladies, of course. Also, feminist utopians in America should probably seriously consider the possibility that women in America lag very seriously behind much of the rest of the western and non-western world, ranking 69th globally in terms of the political representation of women, with women making up only 16 percent of both the Senate and the Congress. And perhaps start thinking of what steps to take accordingly. Or at least maybe read Mary Astell or something.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 10:46 PM
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Mormon vampires suck!

Maybe they're all vampires. It would explain a few things about how all those nice young men manage to claim so many converts.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 10:51 PM
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129: I think Shulamith Firestone had some good ideas on the subject. Or maybe Valerie Solanas. Also, don't call me those dirty words again.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 10:52 PM
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Also, this is the best* essay on the so-called era of reform. If you have access to jstor, you win.

Access to JSTOR lets you onto the UC Davis VPN? Sweet!


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 10:54 PM
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Halfway thru the Romanian abortion movie. I think this is gonna get rough. I like it.

Not looking for props, I watch a new movie every night, and have been putting this one off.

Lead actress is very good. Harrowing, enraging, enlightening.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 10:56 PM
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After reading the thread, I seem to be reminded of various disagreeable things I've heard/read about Flanagan in the past.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 11:32 PM
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113:

Kotsko isn't a believer?


Posted by: Pliggett Darcy | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 12:18 AM
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I was wondering about that too.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 12:22 AM
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One of my religious education teachers in high school wasn't a believer, afaik.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 12:32 AM
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Flanagan makes me think of Catharine Beecher, if we're going to go all 19th century on this.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 1:49 AM
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||

My Chowhound update just arrived:

Incidentally, item number 14, handwritten in pen on the first page of the menu and not translated into English, is goat penis, says Mr Taster. The cost of goat penis is either a low $1.50, or a whole $2, depending on which particular menu you get.

Meetup!

|>


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 1:56 AM
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Several of the important rabbis at my (very large) synagogue were atheists. Though this seems to be not-atypical in Judaism.


Posted by: feldspar | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 2:08 AM
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141: That's one of the things I like about it. Also, Hannukah = guerilla warfare holiday.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 2:10 AM
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142: You make a really excellent point. Why don't you comment more often?


Posted by: feldspar | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 2:19 AM
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The problem with using traditionalism per se as a critique of capitalism or modernity is that it slides imperceptibly into is, more or less by definition actual conservatism


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 2:21 AM
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145: I'm not going to wait much longer.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 2:49 AM
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why oh why/better press corps/blah blah zzzz

a: delong's 15-yr-old sez flanagan gets the plot of twilight wrong
b: delong spells flanagan wrong


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 4:31 AM
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The problem with using traditionalism per se as a critique of capitalism or modernity is that it slides imperceptibly into actual conservatism, and, at least in the USA, you end up with morons like Flanagan or despicable neo-Confederates as your allies.

This is really good (as you can tell from everyone else who quoted it).

Another thing is that there's a lot of value to trusting your allies. Flanagan's someone who pisses a whole lot of feminists off. That alone doesn't mean that everyone progressive has to despise her. But if you're the progressive sort of person who thinks of feminists as allies, at that point it makes sense to put the effort in to really understand what the critique of her is, and make sure that you genuinely disagree with it on principle rather than just dismissing it. (This is a version of the DFH problem. If you're going to be a progressive, regardless of your esthetic reaction to giant puppets, you want to check yourself closely when you find yourself diverging from the DFH line. It may on occasion be the right thing to do, but it's generally not going to be.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 5:41 AM
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re: 143

Yeah, but there's conservatism and conservatism.

One can be a left-wing conservative -- nostalgic for the days of greater union power and high wages for skilled manual workers -- or a right-wing conservative -- nostalgic for the days when ... well, when it was quite like now, actually.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 6:41 AM
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The main plot point I see her getting wrong is this: If Edward fails--even once--in his great exercise in restraint, he will do what the boys in the old pregnancy-scare books did to their girlfriends: he will ruin her. More exactly, he will destroy her, ripping her away from the world of the living and bringing her into the realm of the undead. In fact, if he fucks up, he's going to slurp her dry and kill her. Nom nom! (Later on, there is a very drawn out waffling over whether to turn her into a vampire, but that's not what his Terrible Dark Temptation is about.)


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 6:41 AM
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nice plotpoint in buffy -- season two i think* -- involves spike declining to turn someone into a vamp ("sire" them, in the excellent jargon) even though they've just done him a vast and important evil favour, on the grounds that made slayer-slayers get to to be totally picky who they share undead eternity with (he breaks this person's neck instead) (i heart spike)

possibly this idea is previewable in anne rice somewhere, but i lose the will to live myself when i attempt reading rice


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 6:59 AM
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146 - The problem s distinguishing between political differences and aesthetic revulsion (or, contrawise, between political affiliation and aesthetic admiration). See also the man-crush, which emerges in good ways and bad.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 7:07 AM
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Like the undead, I'm back.

146 is sort of paramilitary in a way I don't like. I'd rather not see the process of listening to other Americans as like fighting a war, where discipline in choice of "allies" must be enforced. That might have been necessary at times under Bush, but long-term it's not healthy.

147 is completely correct. There's a wing of democrats who want to restore what they see as the 1948-1973 social bargain between management, labor, and government. They tend to be rather impatient with the cultural politics that emerged from the 60s.

The problem with using traditionalism per se as a critique of capitalism or modernity is that it slides imperceptibly into actual conservatism, and, at least in the USA, you end up with morons like Flanagan or despicable neo-Confederates as your allies.

This is nicely put, but I think it's also a pretty crude perspective both on the nature of coalition-building or potential communications across ideological lines, and also on the complex cross-cutting divisions within both right and left. In particular, statism and anti-statism are sort of orthogonal to right and left. I think of the right-wing tendency as driven by romanticizing order, authority, and hierarchy, while the left romanticizes liberation. When the right turns statist -- mixing a romantic authority fetish with militarism and statism -- you get fascism. What I'm sympathetic to are right-wingers who want to restore more authority for smaller, informal non-state communities such as the family or the small community. This is definitely anti-capitalist (as Marx pointed out), but the danger is it veers toward feudalism and these communities can of course have their own oppressive uses of intimidation or violence. However, I think they are also very closely tied to what people really value in life, and I'm potentially interested in the project of strengthening them. I think this perspective would be more acceptable in the U.S. if not for the history of states rights being synonymous with racist oppression, but the post-Civil War constitutional amendements gave us the institutional leverage to address that.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 7:09 AM
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It would be entertaining to write a spoof of "Twilight" in which a teenage girl, recently moved to a new school, slowly realises that the enigmatic boy she has fallen for is not mumbling, shuffling and refusing to make eye contact with her because he is adorably shy, but because he is a zombie.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 7:14 AM
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i dated an emo-mbie


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 7:30 AM
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152: A zombie who can only be revived by frequent and energetic sex.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 7:31 AM
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146 is sort of paramilitary in a way I don't like. I'd rather not see the process of listening to other Americans as like fighting a war, where discipline in choice of "allies" must be enforced. That might have been necessary at times under Bush, but long-term it's not healthy.

Enforced? Paramilitary? Misread much? Why don't you just say that you don't like politics?


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 7:35 AM
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Time for Rage Bunny!


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 7:50 AM
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Twilight is fairly comprehensively sporked here. The reviewer points out all the parallels to the Book of Mormon.


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 8:05 AM
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Sorry, that should be
http://stoney321.livejournal.com/317176.html


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 8:05 AM
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Anyone who thinks the need for political consciousness will go away with Bush learned nothing from the Bush years. That's depressing.

The linked Flanagan column seems pretty ridiculous, for all that I share her dislike of the vast majority of Y-A writing. (I gave up at the point where she was informing us that the adolescent girl is a creature shaped like no other for the act of reading.) And as for politics, let's just say she hasn't seemed very acute in the past, for all that there may be some merits to her criticisms of common feminist attitudes toward domesticity and housewives.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 8:19 AM
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Steer clear of Preston, Lancashire.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 8:22 AM
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Nabokov.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 8:29 AM
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154: the key to this is that it won't be setting the readers' expectations too unattainably high, because incoherent mumbling shuffling blokes aren't exactly a commodity in short supply at your average school. Or, indeed, anywhere else. Ultimately, if this book can make incoherent mumbling shuffling = Teh Hott, it will be a great service to humanity.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 8:30 AM
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Will the zombie smell of rotting flesh and the grave?


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 8:32 AM
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163: no, of Axe, the teenage deodorant of choice, liberally applied to cover the graveyard reek.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 8:32 AM
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146 is sort of paramilitary in a way I don't like. I'd rather not see the process of listening to other Americans as like fighting a war, where discipline in choice of "allies" must be enforced.

WTF? PGD, if you don't think of feminists as political allies, no one's going to discipline you for making that choice. Choose your own allies in the free, open, joyful manner you should make all political decisions in.

But if you've freely chosen to think of yourself as the kind of progressive who thinks that feminism generally is a good idea, and who therefore generally shares feminist goals (was 'allies' a trigger word? If you've got another word for 'someone more likely than not to be on the same side of the relevant political issues as I am', I'm probably fine with it), it makes sense to take the reactions you're hearing from feminists as a guide to your thinking -- not that you necessarily have to agree, but where you disagree it makes sense to put some effort into checking your work, and being certain that your disagreement is not something you wanted to stand by here.

See, 81 was embarrassing for you. That wouldn't have happened if you'd either said "Huh. While I like CF on first blush, she pisses off a lot of people who I generally agree with. I don't have the time to sort through the rights and wrongs, so I'll trust the people I generally agree with, and not talk her up for fear that I'm missing the big negatives," or said "While I like CF on first blush, she pisses off a lot of people who I generally agree with. I'm not going to substitute anyone else's judgment for my own, but this is a red flag, so let me see what they're on about. Huh. "And the bayonet at my back isn't in the hands of the Republicans; the Democrats are the bullyboys." She does seem like not the sort of person I want to rely on." Either way, you avoid looking like a dope.

I'm not talking about paramilitary discipline, I'm talking about trusting your friends to keep you out of boneheaded mistakes.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 8:46 AM
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I'm out, and I'm proud. I am a happy member of an exceedingly "traditional" family. I'm in charge of the house and the kids, my husband is in charge of the finances and the car maintenance, and we all go to church every Sunday.

This drives me up the wall. You are not that unique, and if you're not welcome in liberal circles, it's probably because you're a pain in the ass, lady.

Flanagan's gender essentialism, as well as the sense that I get that her entire ideas about adolescence have been gleaned from a couple of episodes of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, also drive me up the wall. And her criticisms of some of the Y.A. novels seem to be nuts: they're all salacious and evidence of our degenerate age, with all their sex, and blowjobs and how the main themes are often that friendship endures while first love fades. What a horrible message for a young girl to get!


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 8:47 AM
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But when she ditched school to sneak a bottle of wine with a boy, that was romance!


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 8:49 AM
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Lucy Mangan on Twilight. She didn't like it. And this is the Lucy Mangan fanblog.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 8:50 AM
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151.last and the general commentary around the excellent lines about conservatism:

I was just pondering this sort of issue walking back from dropping Iris off at Waldorf School. Waldorf is, of course, explicitly anti-modern, with its rejection of "media"* and plastic and embrace of the handmade/home-cooked/self-created. So does that make it "conservative?" Obviously it does in some sense, but it's also anti-authoritarian in a way that makes it incompatible with modern American conservatism/Republicanism. Until there's a movement of American conservatives that explicitly rejects authoritarianism, I'm not sure there's anyone over there to ally with; to talk with, perhaps (although even someone like Rod Dreher, whose "crunchy-con" concept has a lot of appeal, has vast swathes of really unacceptable positions), but certainly not to ally with.

IOW, I think that authoritarianism defines modern conservatives, not conservatism per se. They will embrace all sorts of innovation if it's done in the name of authority - not only Bush's despicable contortions of government and the Constitution, but also things like pre-millenial dispensationalism, which is a 19C invention** with plenty of 20C leavening.

* defined as "radio and video," more or less

** I know that a lot of what we think of as "traditional" is actually 19C invention, but when you're talking about a 2000 year old religion, hearkening to inventions of the past century is not "conservative" in any meaningful sense. Reactionary, perhaps.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 8:52 AM
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See, 81 was embarrassing for you. That wouldn't have happened if you'd either said "Huh. While I like CF on first blush, she pisses off a lot of people who I generally agree with.

sure, sure. But I'm not voting for her for anything or appointing her to anything -- I lose nothing by saying I like the parts of her I like and then letting other people point that stuff out. Except within the internal politics of Unfogged, of course.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 8:53 AM
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No time to read the thread yet but I would like to note that Let the Right One In is probably the best vampire movie I've ever seen.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 8:54 AM
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I mention this because I saw it last night and am still kind of unable to say anything aloud other than ohmygodsthatwassogood.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 8:57 AM
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Also, on the allying with conservatives thing, this sentence:

I think this perspective would be more acceptable in the U.S. if not for the history of states rights being synonymous with racist oppression, but the post-Civil War constitutional amendements gave us the institutional leverage to address that.

Even if you put aside the whole racist oppression/civil rights history, I think this line of thinking is a mistake. Devolving power to the states has very little or nothing to do with devolving power to genuinely local communities. States are simply too big to have the virtues of localism and communitarianism; they're government that remain too big to be effectively influenced by individual citizens, but are small enough to be more easily subverted by private power structures.

Thinking about devolving power to localities is interesting and valuable, but using 'states rights' as a shorthand for it is messed up.

(None of this is legal thinking. We're stuck with a structure that gives states a certain amount of autonomy, and can't change it without a great deal of difficultly. I'm just talking about the normative policy implications.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 8:58 AM
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I think what PGD said about the role of capitalism in isolating people upthread is important. The market is always finding ways to drive a wedge between people and turn a relationship mediated by noneconomic activity into one mediated by the purchase of a good or service. It doesn't require golden age mythology to see that suburbs are isolating and gated communities even more so. High density housing does not require women to be second class citizens, and trolley cars do not require Jim Crow, for example.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 9:00 AM
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I lose nothing by saying I like the parts of her I like and then letting other people point that stuff out.

Well, you're in the position of reading her stuff with interest and a certain amount of trust in its good faith and that she's generally moving toward goals you share. This is, insofar as I understand your politics, not really the case. There's nothing wrong with reading people you don't agree with, but trusting people who you don't know don't agree with you is a good way to get yourself confused.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 9:03 AM
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(looking over my last few posts, there are so many typos and grammatical weirdnesses that I'm not even going to try to pick them all out. Consider them all corrected.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 9:08 AM
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I've only read half the thread, so this may come as off-topic. My sister read Twilight out of LDS solidarity, and even though she (like me) enjoys trashy and silly romance novels, she HATED it. In her words, she "kept wanting the vampire to just eat the main character already."


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 9:10 AM
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I've only read half the thread, so this may come as off-topic. My sister read Twilight out of LDS solidarity, and even though she (like me) enjoys trashy and silly romance novels, she HATED it. In her words, she "kept wanting the vampire to just eat the main character already."

For me, the first book went by fast enough that this wasn't a problem. After that, though...


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 9:13 AM
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I read the first novel of the Sookie Stackhouse series that the True Blood vampire show is based on. It was okay. At first I thought it had a charming narrative voice, but I kept wanting the plot to rachet up a notch.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 9:14 AM
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My sister is curious what I make of the novels, but since there's a 200-person waiting list for the first one, I've pretty much said fuck it.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 9:22 AM
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157 is great. Uncle Joseph, making the ladies swoon!


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 9:34 AM
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There's a whole category of conservatives that takes a thin, carefully-selected slice of rich Berkeley-San Francisco-Manhattan-Boston liberals to be characteristic of all liberals and the whole Democratic Party. David Brooks is the master of that schtick. McMegan and Flanagan are others playing that game. (McMegan actually seems to be a pet / pest conservative for liberals themselves, rather than a public liberal-baiter). I've also met a fair number of smart non-media people whose whole politics is based on resentment of snotty liberal individuals and groups they had to spend too much time with at some point.

That's a pretty crappy may to make up your mind about national issues, but those attitudes tend to become part of personal identity and are pretty hard to shake.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 9:55 AM
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someone has probably said this already but

I suppose my great opus Women Are Basically Just Like Regular People Except with Smaller Genitalia isn't ever going to get a contract, is it?

Sounds like Mismeasure of Women with a more inflammatory title (so it will sell better).


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 9:58 AM
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possibly this idea is previewable in anne rice somewhere, but i lose the will to live myself when i attempt reading rice

Even more embarrassing, that sounds like something that could from a mediocre role playing game inspired by Anne Rice.

(actually, I'm not sure how embarrassing that is. The strength of Buffy was in it's ability to take interesting bits from contemporary vampire iconography.)


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 10:12 AM
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Does the uterus count as genitalia? It is used to generate.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 10:14 AM
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So is the whole body.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 10:15 AM
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possibly this idea is previewable in anne rice the sopranos[*] somewhere


[*]or, you know, any other mob fiction


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 10:24 AM
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The link in 158 is pretty fab.
Amelie Gillette asks the important follow-up question.


Posted by: JPool | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 10:26 AM
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34, 36, 44-49: That CJR article is really fascinating, mostly for the evolution of the letter to the editor but also because Lawson's complaints are a weird mixture of reasonable and totally refusing to believe that any facts she uncovered can be researched and fact-checked in a way which doesn't source her.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 10:44 AM
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And even though no one seemed to care about my 169, I want to append a thought to it:

It seems to me that the kind of non-authoritarian conservatism that you see in England is so absent in America that the English version is almost incomprehensible to us. My evidence for this is more or less exclusively Ray Davies, although I've seen hints of it elsewhere (hell, D^2's "I shit on the progressives of the world" has a taste of it). Basically, someone like Davies is conservative and even nostalgic, but without the undertones of longing for the days when women and minorities knew their places. At least I haven't heard such undertones from him - I'm often as not surprised to hear some rather liberal position floating in the midst of a Little England paean to pudding or something.

Now maybe I'm wrong, and Davies is really a rightist bastard, or he's idiosyncratic and every other conservative in England is longing to put the masses back down, and so there's no such thing as a non-authoritarian conservative anywhere. But I suspect that such a creature can exist, just not in the US.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 11:07 AM
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190: maybe it's exclusively the province of people named "Davies".


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 11:08 AM
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Fucking Taffys.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 11:09 AM
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Seriously, I've got a lot of sympathy for that sort of 'conservativism'. Strong families eating dinner together. Children who feel that they're making real, valuable contributions to the family unit. Having nothing in one's home which one does not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful. And so on.

I just get suspicious and hostile when I see lifestyle conservativism from a political right-winger, because I'm pretty sure it's going to end up being used in service of the politics.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 11:17 AM
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Twilight centers on a boy who loves a girl so much that he refuses to defile her, and on a girl who loves him so dearly that she is desperate for him to do just that, even if the wages of the act are expulsion from her family and from everything she has ever known. We haven't seen that tale in a girls' book in a very long time.

The part about this not having been in a girls' book for a very long time doesn't sound true to me, nor do I really believe that Flanagan had read enough of recent "girls' books" (whatever that is, I expect it's just whatever is currently popular with YA girls) to know, but I'm curious if anyone here does know.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 11:18 AM
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Even more embarrassing, that sounds like something that could from a mediocre role playing game inspired by Anne Rice.

Rather than launch a nerd war, I'll simply note that I think V:tM, though tremendously ripe for satire and derision, is also a really fun game and that any game can be good if one has good players and Storytellers (with which I am tremendously blessed).


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 11:23 AM
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I just think it's fucking ridiculous for Flanagan to pretend she's a stay-at-home mom (and since when is the husband controlling the finances particularly conservative?)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 11:25 AM
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I'm not coming up with anything of that pattern -- Buffy is closeish, but not really on point. "I love you so much I'm going to restrain myself from taking advantage of you, no matter how much you want it, you incontinent slut," is tricky to write in an affirming way. Come to think of it, Casablanca. But that's not a teen girls' novel.

You could probably find that plot in grownup romance novels more easily.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 11:25 AM
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196: If your conservativism includes female submission as a tenet, it is. Not so much otherwise.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 11:26 AM
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Dude. Even the ones with female submission generally include handing the paycheck over to the wife, no?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 11:29 AM
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Rather than launch a nerd war, I'll simply note that I think V:tM, though tremendously ripe for satire and derision, is also a really fun game

Absolutely. I'm of very mixed mind about the Storyteller games in general.

On one hand, I frequently enjoyed reading the source material and I think they could be great settings with the right group. On the other hand, when I mentioned being a gamer at some point at college and a woman in the group said that she'd never really gotten into gaming but that she had been involved with a live action Vampire group for a while my first reaction was, "I'm sorry."

In other words, the downside of the games is that, in some ways, the actively encourage unfortunate adolescent social dynamics.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 11:30 AM
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you incontinent slut

Is this really the word you were looking for? Because if so, there's some angles to these books I'm just as happy not knowing about.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 11:32 AM
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199: Lower/working class yes. Upper middle class and above, isn't a traditional female submissive pattern that the man controls 'the finances', while paying a household allowance so the woman can buy food and cleaning supplies? Allowing comedy hijinx when the silly minx overspends and doesn't have any money to spend on food for the last two weeks of the month, because she's too embarrassed to admit she messed up?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 11:33 AM
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201: Sexually incontinent, you pervert.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 11:33 AM
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that sort of 'conservativism'. Strong families eating dinner together. Children who feel that they're making real, valuable contributions to the family unit. Having nothing in one's home which one does not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.

It's not at all apparent to me how that maps onto any feasible definition of conservativism, aside from the kind defined by "conservative is good, therefore good things x, y, and z are conservative."


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 11:35 AM
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A live-action Vampire game sounds not too different from the Dare part of a Truth-or-Dare.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 11:38 AM
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204: Well, it hits the same emotional note of a retreat from modernity, with its 12 hour workdays and meals eaten out of the microwave at all hours, no? I'd agree that it's got no necessary connection with political conservativism, but that's the problem: you get people like Flanagan doing the: strong families are good! modernity destroys strong families! conservativism resists modernity! Kill the liberals! tapdance. There's a flaw in the reasoning there, but its a chain of reasoning that people do follow.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 11:39 AM
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199 - My own prejudice is that the wife controls the money. It's negotiated exactly how it's spent, but she's the accountant, bill payer, and handles all the details. He gets an allowance of walking around money and they negotiate over big ticket personal items. That's the way it's been in my family going back generations, and frankly, of all the gender role shite out there it's among the least absurd.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 11:39 AM
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Isn't the rule that the wife controls the money that remains if and when the husband comes home on Friday night?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 11:40 AM
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It's not at all apparent to me how that maps onto any feasible definition of conservativism

I think of it as conservative in the same fashion as this passage from Freud:

In recent generations the human race has made extraordinary advances in the natural sciences and their technical application, ... [is it not] an unequivocal increment of my happiness, if I can hear, as often as I wish, the voice of the child who lives hundreds of miles away, or if a friend can inform me, shortly after reaching land, that he has survived his long and arduous voyage.... [however] most of these satisfactions follow the pattern of the 'cheap pleasure' recommended in a certain joke, a pleasure that one can enjoy by sticking a bare leg out from under the covers on a cold winter's night, then pulling it back in. If there were no railway to overcome distances, my child would never have left his home town, and I should not need the telephone in order to hear his voice. If there were no sea travel, my friend would not have embarked on his voyage, and I should not need the telegraph service in order to allay my anxiety about him.

Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 11:42 AM
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she "kept wanting the vampire to just eat the main character already."

This is a characteristic of lots of art obsessed with women's virtue, right? I'm thinking specifically of The Story of the Miss von Sternheim, in which the title character's rape is definitely the dramatic high point of the book.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 11:43 AM
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Or Pamela. Actually, I can't remember if Pamela makes it all eighteen thousand pages without getting raped. I know he marries her in the end, so probably.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 11:45 AM
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Exactly. Sternheim is basically copied from Pamela, I think, but I haven't read it so wasn't sure about the plot. In Sternheim, she's super lucky because a nice guy marries her at the end, even though she's ruined.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 11:46 AM
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207: I think of the traditional gendered division as being exactly opposite. If it weren't, how would the man be able to hide the money he spends on his mistress?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 11:49 AM
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In other words, the downside of the games is that, in some ways, the actively encourage unfortunate adolescent social dynamics.

True, especially the live-action versions. Oof.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 11:49 AM
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New York and Massachusetts have the lowest divorce rates. Conservative family values seems to consist entirely of non-abortion, non-homosexuality, female submission, and not talking about unpleasant topics.

It's not all bad. Female submission means that good Christian girls usually put out eventually.

I'm convinced that a major reason for the obsession with homosexuality is that a large chunk of the conservative churches are full of heterosexual recidivist sinners. I've heard something like "I'm no angel, but that's one thing I'd never do" more than once from nominally Christian scumbags. I read one article where a Christian explained that gay sex is not just a sin, but an abomination.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 11:50 AM
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Isn't the rule that the wife controls the money that remains if and when the husband comes home on Friday night?

The story is told about the very efficient new comptroller for the company who nearly caused a riot by paying the men with only one pay packet. The tradition had been to pay with two packets, so that one could be delivered to the little woman still sealed from the paymaster.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 11:50 AM
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213: Like I said, it's a class division, you Brahmin.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 11:51 AM
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213: Sifu reveals his blueblood status yet again.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 11:52 AM
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LB wins.

Low hanging fruit.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 11:54 AM
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I'll have the coachman tell you you're welcome.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 11:55 AM
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The mash-up between Republican, conservative and traditionalist has become as useless as Democrat, liberal, and progressive. These are not interchangeable terms, yet are used as such so as to render them meaningless.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 11:56 AM
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even if the wages of the act are expulsion from her family and from everything she has ever known. We haven't seen that tale in a girls' book in a very long time.

Oh cruel was my father
that barred the door on me.
And cruel was my mother
this dreadful crime to see
And cruel was my own true love
to change his mind for gold
And cruel was that winter night
That pierced my heart with cold.

That's how it's supposed to go.


Posted by: The Folk | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 11:59 AM
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LARP is its own special corner of Hell and I don't count it when I praise White Wolf. Oy. No thanks.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 11:59 AM
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My impression from living in a red state is that fundamentalist morality is a subspecies of bulemia -- it's okay to sin as long as you purge afterwards. So where I live has churches on every corner, and strip clubs where you can play Twister with naked strippers.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 12:00 PM
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Or like this:

You don't have to tell them,
That ever you played this joke,
That you were drilled in a sentry box,
Wrapped up in a soldier's coat.

Come to think of it, I suppose that's missing the whole noble renunciation theme. What can I tell you?


Posted by: The Other Folk | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 12:01 PM
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it's okay to sin as long as you purge afterwards

Catholics have been doing this for centuries though, right?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 12:02 PM
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223: comity


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 12:05 PM
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LARP is its own special corner of Hell

"It's a big game of Let's Pretend for the socially inept, with terrible acting, ridiculous costumes, blatant attention whoring and the most desperate cries for help you'll see this side of a successful suicide."


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 12:06 PM
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Catholics have been doing this for centuries though, right?

I will be happy to sell you some Evangelical indulgences for gay sex. Signed by Ted Haggard himself; can not be rescinded or even questioned.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 12:08 PM
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226: Good point, though like the stereotype most everyone I know who was raised Catholic can really sustain internalized guilt for a long time.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 12:15 PM
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And they've got all those doctrines about scandal and such, which make the public face of a repentant sinner different from the evangelical version. I'm not an insider, but I have the sense that the repentant evangelical pattern includes a certain amount of bragging about how badass you were when you were sinning, and that's not really a Catholic thing.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 12:26 PM
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Actually, I can't remember if Pamela makes it all eighteen thousand pages without getting raped. I know he marries her in the end, so probably.

Clarissa is the eighteen thousand page one. She gets raped, and then wastes away to prove her virtue. Pamela is much shorter (it's only about 400 pages), and she holds out successfully by means of having seizures when Mr. B tries to get in her pants, and for her reward, she marries him and gets lectured in etiquette for another 200 pages. The first half is hott, though, because she really is in great danger, in a way that the Twilight twit and most modern historical-romance heroines can't really approach.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 12:26 PM
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Actually, I can't remember if Pamela makes it all eighteen thousand pages without getting raped.

She does. Clarissa, by contrast, is raped and comes to a bad end. I'm not going to talk about how much I hate Richardson in case AWB is listening and gets cross.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 12:26 PM
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Nooo, Clarissa is sublimed! It's a good end because everyone finally believes that she meant what she said!

I mean, it *is* ghastly, but it's not your traditional "she'll come to a bad end, that one."


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 12:28 PM
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What about Shamela; what happens in that?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 12:28 PM
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The story is told about the very efficient new comptroller, etc.

You may remember this story from such places as unfogged comment threads.


Posted by: ZOMBIE (sadly) TROY MCCLURE | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 12:28 PM
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232: That is it -- I was getting them mixed up. I have a hell of a time keeping those doorstop-sized Woman's First Name-titled 18th/early 19th C novels straight; I can't accurately key the title to the plot.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 12:29 PM
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235: Shenanigans.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 12:30 PM
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Nooo, Clarissa is sublimed! It's a good end because everyone finally believes that she meant what she said!

Much good it does her, though.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 12:34 PM
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235. The further adventures of Pamela are explored in more detail in Joseph Andrews which is one of my favourite books.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 12:35 PM
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Dood, she goes to heaven. She's totally thrilled about it.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 12:35 PM
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240: I was literally reading JA this morning. I should really dig up a copy of Tom Jones somewhere -- I haven't read it since the Peace Corps.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 12:37 PM
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Now, of course it all sucks, from our perspective. One of my favoritest literary critics, Frances Ferguson, wrote a great essay on problems of consent in Clarissa, in which she suggested that Clarissa was operating on anorectic logic, refusing to participate, even at the cost of her life, because that was the only choice she had.

Uh, sorry, anyone who hasn't read it yet. SPOILERS?


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 12:40 PM
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I have the sense that the repentant evangelical pattern includes a certain amount of bragging about how badass you were when you were sinning

This is exactly correct. There is a whole genre of evangelical repentance porn in which the author confesses to gruesome sins in titillating detail before wrapping the whole thing up with a come to Jesus happy ending. Often the details are obviously exaggerated, but nobody cares.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 12:40 PM
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Have you seen the 1960s movie version of Tom Jones? I'm quite fond of it.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 12:41 PM
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the 1960s movie version of Tom Jones

Albert Finney didn't exactly age as gracefully as Cary Grant, did he?


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 12:44 PM
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244: is that a Stephen Baldwin batsignal, or what?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 12:45 PM
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Isn't he more of an example of what's fucked up in both the before and after versions?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 12:49 PM
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I really like a lot of 18th century fiction-- the casual assumption that reader shares the author's cynicism and interest in reason is nice. Fielding's Jonathan Wild is nice, as is Defoe's Moll Flanders. Liaisons Dangereuses too.

Thanks for the pointer to JA, I've wanted to read more Fielding but hadn't thought what.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 1:04 PM
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247 - I actually missed the whole Stephen Baldwin thing - my last contact with repentance porn was in the 1980s. Right about the time I started dealing with the fact that (a) God is a pretty fucking sketchy hypothesis, (b) "don't be an asshole" is really all you need for a comprehensive moral code, and (c) sex in nice. The repentance porn played a minor role in that it was really obvious these reborn exemplars of Christian excellence were lying in order to make a buck, which lead to questioning which lead to (a) above.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 1:21 PM
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235: The fact that Henry Fielding wrote basically a novel-length Mad Magazine parody of Pamela made me so happy when it was mentioned in passing during freshman English. I wish serious novelists still did this; I would buy Hilary Mantel's Shmilight!


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 1:29 PM
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250: Is this `repentance porn' basically like recovering addicts pissing contests?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 1:31 PM
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252 - It's more complicated than that. There's an element of voyeurism in the readership, but it's also about building the us/them barrier and reinforcing the evangelical worldview. The author establishes credibility and with stories of horror and debauchery, which is important but it's not a matter of competition really.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 1:52 PM
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Maybe indulgences aren't such a bad idea, after all. Better than shitty books, anyway.


Posted by: Martin Luther | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 1:59 PM
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I would buy Hilary Mantel's Shmilight!

Oh god, that would be awesome.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 2:04 PM
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ooh i just found out i have an unexpected six degrees of separation from twilight the book:

i: twilight the book inspired twilight the film
ii: twilight the film's success has made the newcomer lead a bit of a star...
iii: ... leading to interest in is earlier projects, inc.a film he made a few years back which was made but didn't get distribution (apparently it's not very good but now it has distribution to the teen market)
iv: and its director has started getting other work
v: which director generally works with a certain scriptwriter...
vi: ... who in his dayjob as an astrophysicist and geek appeared on my friends' radio show talking about arthur c. clark


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 3:35 PM
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Also, tierce has been screwing Kristen Stewart for months. That's a less interesting linkage, however.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 3:45 PM
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She gets raped, and then wastes away to prove her virtue.

You know, Lucretia deals with this rather more assiduously by stabbing herself straightaway (well, she names who did it first and then yells something like, "You sluts can't use me as a model for your skanky ways!"). Thus begins the Roman republic.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 3:50 PM
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way (well, she names who did it first and then yells something like, "You sluts can't use me as a model for your skanky ways!"

Now I understand what the Republicans were expecting of Monica Lewinsky.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 4:02 PM
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shakespeare's version has a runyon-esque flavour:
'No, no,' quoth she, 'no dame hereafter living
By my excuse shall claim excuse's giving.'


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 4:10 PM
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"You sluts can't use me as a model for your skanky ways!"

This is how I've always imagined I'd teach my daughters about sex.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 4:28 PM
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Steven Chu, I choose YOU!


Posted by: President-elect Ash | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 5:08 PM
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I noticed the Twilight hardcover at Target today [there's a whole freakin' display], with its hands profferring an apple as the cover art. They look female to me, if only because the nails extend beyond the finger tips. So we have Eve tempting Adam again? Sheesh, even the art director is a misogynist.

212: My first husband once argued for the goodness of himself because he had married me even tho' I had not been a virgin. I pointed out that neither had he been, and divorced him soon thereafter.


Posted by: DominEditrix | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 5:13 PM
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262: Holy shit! I heard rumors, but I still find it hard to believe they'll have an honest-to-god scientist (and a good one at that) on the cabinet.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 5:20 PM
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263.last

boggle.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 5:21 PM
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My first husband once argued for the goodness of himself because he had married me even tho' I had not been a virgin.

This was in the 19th century, right?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 5:23 PM
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You had never been a virgin? That's a story!


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 6:04 PM
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You had never been a virgin? That's a story!

Sign of the Apocalypse or tribbles, I'm not sure which.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 6:21 PM
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Speaking of virginity.


Posted by:
F | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 6:48 PM
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Oops. Screwed that up. Try this


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 6:48 PM
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Original sin, bitches. We are none of us virgins.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 7:15 PM
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270: Oops indeed. I'll bet that was a fun trip home.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 7:18 PM
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1. Did look at the detail very closely, but it does not strike my as plausible that either side would preserve the screen shot if it were true.

2. And if it is there are 20 things fucked up about it, not the last of which was you posting it here.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 7:25 PM
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I admit that my BS detector did register a non-zero reading, both regarding the screen shot and the fact that a picture of the girl accompanied the story and that the father deciphered what could have been a pretty ambiguous text message. Still funny.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 7:28 PM
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Make that "Did *not* look at the detail.."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 7:30 PM
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Original sin, bitches. We are none of us virgins.

We are fucked, toujours déjà.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 7:30 PM
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I maintain my belief in the uniqueness of DominEditrix's original lewdness.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 7:37 PM
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I actually came here to say that I totally love Rachel Maddow. I haven't been able to stand TV news at any point in my life until now. I guess I'm mellowing or something. Or maybe it's Her.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 7:39 PM
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194: Conversation has moved on, but as an avid reader of Young Adult fiction (I did my reading in reverse - the classics at 10 and then the trash at 27), I'd say Flanagan is actually pretty much wrong on the about the absence of YA plots centering around a young woman wanting a man who holds back for fear of destroying her. I can name any number of authors who use this as a subplot. The more interesting ones (Robin McKinley, Tamora Pierce) tend to combine it with a certain amount of holding off on the part of the woman as well, though, usually out of necessity to complete some huge heroic task.


Posted by: DL | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 8:05 PM
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278: Me, too. She is my news crush. I loved her on the radio and I love her even more on TV.

277: And you are, of course, correct. My lewdness was, and continues to be, unique.

268: Probably tribbles. The Apocalypse requires CGI, which wasn't around in those days. Oh, and a personal question: Wrongshore kept calling you "Tassled Loafered Lech" during the meet-up. Has he misread your nom de blogue or have you misspelt it?

265/66: Yeah, kinda boggled me, as well, budding young feminist as I was. I was also too young [19] and too nerd grrrl to have any real grasp of the madonna/whore thing. Frankly, he married me to piss off his parents - when they sent him to a predominantly Jewish university, they did not expect him to come home with a shiksa, especially one from a spiky Episcopalian family. Oops...


Posted by: DominEditrix | Link to this comment | 12-11-08 9:34 AM
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Sounds like one or more Philip Roth novels.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-11-08 9:36 AM
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I am both a lecherous leech and a leeching lech, depending on circumstances. The shoes are professional camouflage.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 12-11-08 11:16 AM
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No time to read the thread yet but I would like to note that Let the Right One In is probably the best vampire movie I've ever seen.

I mention this because I saw it last night and am still kind of unable to say anything aloud other than ohmygodsthatwassogood.

Can you, RMMP, or anyone else who's seen this movie, say more about what you liked about it (if you liked it). I just saw it. It had good pacing and performances, as well its share of tense moments, but it certainly wasn't terrifying in the way I want a great horror movie to me. In particular, for the first half hour or so, I didn't care about any of the characters (because the film intentionally made them ciphers) and so didn't care if anything happened to them. And on an allegorical level, I don't think it had anything interesting to say other than noting the oft noted cruelty of children and, I suppose, a possibly interesting message about the value of retaliation. But I don't really see it as a great "Coming of Age" story they way, e.g. My Life as a Dog (just to stick with Swedish movies) is. So I wonder what I'm missing that made you (and most critics) rave about it.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 12-22-08 10:09 PM
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I didn't much get this movie either; in fact, I didn't get it at all, to the point where afterwards I was talking to MJ, who had read the novel before watching the film, and I realized I had completely missed several key points. By key points I mean like basic facts about what was going on.

I did think the film was prettily composed, like a nice painting. But it was basically just like "The Neverending Story," except that instead of Falkor the fluffy dragon you have Eli the vampire girlboy. If the identical movie had been made by an American, I doubt that it would have been quite so critically beloved. For some reason, films are considered several degrees scarier/awesomer if they are made by Scandinavians, or by the Japanese.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 12-22-08 10:27 PM
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Don't think I missed key points, but certainly can't rule it out. To avoid spoilers for anyone else, would you mind e-mailing anything elucidating I might have missed?

I did think the film was prettily composed, like a nice painting.
Definitely, and I wouldn't want to underrate that.

If the identical movie had been made by an American, I doubt that it would have been quite so critically beloved.

Some critics have this problem, but others have gotten over it. Enough critics that its metacritic ratings shouldn't be as high as they are.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 12-22-08 10:37 PM
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I'd e-mail you, but your handle appears to link to a nonexistent blog.

I'll just tell you here, because I don't think anyone's watching this thread and anyway I don't have any real spoilers. I just miss things a lot, because I'm crap at paying attention. I didn't catch that Eli wasn't a girl but a castrated boy. I saw the stitched-up scar but totally missed the significance of its placement. Although even now, I don't get the significance in that I don't see how it matters. Also, I didn't understand Eli's caretaker in the beginning. I thought he was her dad or something, but it turns out that he's her pedophile friend with whom she has an arrangement. Which changes the ending, I guess -- I had read it as hopeful and liberating, like kids escaping from adults and going on holiday, but maybe it's sad and will eventually be really gross. There was probably more that I missed, but that's what I remember now. I saw it a couple of months ago and in addition to crap attention I have a crap memory.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 12-22-08 11:24 PM
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