Re: Shoes fly, don't bother me.

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I'm a bad person for finding this funny. On the one hand, it is embarrassing to have my country disrespected in this way. On the other hand, [voice = "Nelson"]HaHa![/voice].


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 12-14-08 4:44 PM
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Our country was embarrassed by Bush's actions for the last 8 years. This is just the messenger.

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It looks like I'm going to be grading all night alone at the office, can you guys be funny to break the tedium?

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Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12-14-08 4:47 PM
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can you guys be funny to break the tedium?

I'm expecting a series of puns on this story. So far, all I got is that Bush was the sole survivor.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-14-08 4:48 PM
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I'll try to lace the comments with my usual wit.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 12-14-08 4:58 PM
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4: Yes, you 're known for your arch comments.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 12-14-08 5:08 PM
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All pretty flat-footed, so far. A load of old cobblers.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 12-14-08 5:12 PM
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Hold your tongue there Gonerill. ( And what kind of heel uses up two in one comment?)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-14-08 5:14 PM
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6: Hold your fire, Gonerill. This is a well-heeled commentariat.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-14-08 5:16 PM
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Dammit.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-14-08 5:16 PM
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My comments are shoddy tonight.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-14-08 5:17 PM
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I'm not surprised at the lack of effort from this bunch of idle loafers.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 12-14-08 5:19 PM
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Why do eyelet myself get drawn into something like this?


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 12-14-08 5:22 PM
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12 was me, my Internet tubes are clogged or something.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-14-08 5:29 PM
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This is where our nation finds hope, where wingtips take flight.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-14-08 5:31 PM
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13: Perhaps you should reboot.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-14-08 5:32 PM
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14 is right. News like this really pumps me up.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 12-14-08 5:36 PM
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The price for Bush's failure has been high, but with the new administration we should begin to payless.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 12-14-08 5:37 PM
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On Al-Qaeda message boards, many suspected that the assault would be censored in the United States by the shoeish media conspiracy.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 12-14-08 5:39 PM
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Those Al-Qaeda fuckers had better know we're gonna put a boot in their ass, it's the American way.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 12-14-08 5:44 PM
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19: Ugg.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-14-08 5:45 PM
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Who's going to make the Austin Powers remix?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 12-14-08 5:49 PM
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If this doesn't get RHC pumped up to do some grading, nothing will.


Posted by: JP Stromcrow | Link to this comment | 12-14-08 5:50 PM
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I did notice that the guy's socks were very clean- he probably put new ones on when planning this move. That's change we can believe in.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 12-14-08 5:50 PM
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"Who the master?"

"Shoe 'nuff!"


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 12-14-08 6:27 PM
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I haven't watched the video yet -- did the attacker land an upper cut?


Posted by: Todd | Link to this comment | 12-14-08 6:57 PM
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In Iraqi culture, throwing shoes is considered a sign of contempt.

Note to self: If you end up marrying an Iraqi, refrain from affectionately throwing shoes at her or her family the way you would if you were dealing with normal people.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-14-08 7:10 PM
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26: Actually, I rather like it when people throw shoes at me.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-14-08 7:14 PM
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I'm not oing to marry you, Stanislaus. I already told you.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-14-08 7:16 PM
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Hilzoy:

Personally, I don't like people throwing shoes at anyone. .... That said, I also wondered whether Bush would have had any sense at all of how angry a lot of Iraqis are had this not happened. I'm not saying that that makes it OK; just wondering.

Hilzoy can be wonderful, and she can be a total weenie.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-14-08 7:20 PM
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Quoting people out of context isn't nice, John. I mean, "Personally, I don't like people throwing shoes at anyone" is just .. okay, tough to avoid the weenie call there, isn't it. I haven't been reading hilzoy so much lately.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-14-08 7:37 PM
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That Iraqi guy who threw his footwear should run for parliament -- he'd be a shoe-in.


Posted by: NCProsecutor@gmail.com | Link to this comment | 12-14-08 7:38 PM
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Are you serious? That protest was clearly just cobbled together.


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 12-14-08 7:48 PM
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I'm in favor of throwing shoes at people for pretty much any reason, so Hilzoy and I are unlikely ever to agree on this topic.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-14-08 7:52 PM
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33: I gotta say, while I'm sometimes inclined to say something in comments at ObWi, they're too thick and I can't wade in. That place suffers from commentariat clog, maybe.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-14-08 8:05 PM
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Josh Marshall thought the secret service was caught flat footed by the shoe bomber.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 12-14-08 8:10 PM
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I hope the guy doesn't end up getting locked up, beaten up, or even tortured. Guy's fortunate to be a journalist as well as in the news. Probably someone up high sees the risk and the potential for bad PR, but who knows. I wouldn't take for granted that US media would report on it if he did disappear or whatever. Sorry if I spoil the mood.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 12-14-08 8:14 PM
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36: BBC has his name as Muntadar al-Zaid. I am genuinely concerned for the guy.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-14-08 8:27 PM
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Mm, so is anybody out there monitoring his detention in some way? I'm not sure where to look for this. I've just discovered that I seem to be unable to view the comments on TPM (message is javascript:void(0), which I think means I don't have something enabled).


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-14-08 8:38 PM
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Michael Ware in the CNN report on the incident was alluding to the fact that people think he's pretty much screwed. Oddly, though, he suggested that he'd be most screwed if he was handed to the Iraqi security apparatus as opposed to being detained by the secret service or the US military. Seems to me the Iraqis might be the most sympathetic to him.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 12-14-08 9:05 PM
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This is where our nation finds hope, where wingtips take flight.

I said "wings take dream", not "wings take flight". Get it right you pointy-headed Ivy Leaguer.


Posted by: George W. Bush | Link to this comment | 12-14-08 9:08 PM
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The Iraqi shoe thrower is just toast, walking dead.

He missed. Fuck him.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12-14-08 9:15 PM
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41.1: That's not funny, bob.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-14-08 9:17 PM
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42:Are we underestimating the serious felony nature of an assault on the President of the United States with a heavy object...just because it's Bush?

In America, he'd get 10-20, maybe life.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12-14-08 9:22 PM
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No, we are not dismissing the gravity of a physical assault on a national leader just because it's Bush.

He's not an American citizen, and I don't know how the law works in that case. "Walking dead" seems a bit harsh. Surely there are degrees of attack, as well. The "felony nature" of the assault is applicable only within the US, one would think.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-14-08 9:30 PM
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I could be wrong, but I'd be shocked to see 10-20 for throwing a shoe.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 12-14-08 9:38 PM
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Leaving aside the cultural signaling of the crime, which makes it even more embarrassing to the Iraqis.

He threw at the head, twice. There did not look like slippers or running shoes, but boots or ordinary shoes. He intended to do damage, and could have done permanent damage.

This was not a meringue pie.

Shall we talk about what precedents might be set? If he gets 5 years, maybe someone will try with a laptop or baseball at Obama's head from 20 feet next year.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12-14-08 9:39 PM
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They were also not "lobs". They were very hard throws. Watch the bounce off the wall.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12-14-08 9:41 PM
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I don't know. Simple assault, aggravated assault? With no harm done? Yeah, that deserves 20 years.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 12-14-08 9:45 PM
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I don't think I could call it an assassination attempt, but throwing a hard object at someone's head instantly qualifies as "intent to cause grievous bodily harm."

People lose eyes that way.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12-14-08 9:47 PM
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Like I said, I'm sorry the guy missed and I wish he'd get a medal. But the minute I saw it I was thinking the dude's over.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12-14-08 9:53 PM
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Okay, it's simple assault. Mete out appropriate punishment; make sure the man is not executed or tortured.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-14-08 9:57 PM
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WHO THROWS A SHOE? HONESTLY.


Posted by: OPINIONATED AUSTIN POWERS | Link to this comment | 12-14-08 10:02 PM
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"In Iraqi culture, throwing shoes is considered a sign of contempt."

As opposed to all those other cultures who regard it as a sing of respect, like... the Welsh? Venetians?


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 12-14-08 10:04 PM
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44: "No, we are not dismissing the gravity of a physical assault on a national leader just because it's Bush."

Well... I am, actually.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 12-14-08 10:09 PM
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Let the punishment fit the crime: he has to wear Crocs from now on.


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 12-14-08 10:12 PM
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Don't be silly, DS. The Welsh don't have a culture.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 12-14-08 10:13 PM
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By the by, I updated the OP with a (possibly?) more permanent video link. When they cart him off, it sounds fucked-up, at the very least.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-14-08 10:15 PM
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Ack, I've been locked out of the grading/registration system. Also, I'm exhausted and my judgment is flawed. I'm going home and getting up early to finish this. (Grades due by noon!)

|>


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12-14-08 10:18 PM
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54: Shh. Yeah, I know, but seriously, if the guy -- name of al-Zaidi, or Zaid -- is in physical danger for this, I'm inclined to concern.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-14-08 10:20 PM
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56: My bad.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 12-14-08 10:25 PM
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#51: Okay, it's simple assault. Mete out appropriate punishment; make sure the man is not executed or tortured.

Never judge a man until you've assaulted a president with his shoes.


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 12-14-08 11:09 PM
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In America, he'd get 10-20, maybe life.

If I threw a shoe at a guy in a pub, I'd get a fine, maybe community service. Why does it suddenly become a hanging offence because the other cunt has a high profile job?


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 2:30 AM
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#2: Our country was embarrassed by Bush's actions for the last 8 years. This is just the messenger.

Everybody knows, you don't shoe the messenger.


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 3:18 AM
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62:L'etat c'est chat.?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 3:41 AM
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"Iraqi security officers and U.S. secret service agents leapt at the man and dragged him struggling and screaming out of the room..." says Die Welt, in English.

From the way the art teacher at my school talked about it this morning, it seems like "pinned down by security forces" (CNN) is a euphamism for "getting the shit kicked out of you by people in crisis mode."

Apparently the same journalist was kidnapped on his way to work in Baghdad in 2007.

44: Apparently he's in custody while the Iraqi judiciary decides whether he should be tried for assaulting Al-Maliki, which is an interesting way to evade the international legal stuff.


Posted by: Jim Sligh | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 5:25 AM
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62 is exactly right.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 5:33 AM
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re: 62

That's a point. What happened to the bloke that egged Prescott? Did he get any kind of sentence [apart from a solid left jab, obviously].

Checking wikipedia, no. Nothing happened. He was questioned for a couple of hours and released.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 5:35 AM
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If a random individual threw shoes at another random individual that way in the US, my guess is that probation would be plea bargained. But this is the most important man in the history of the world that we're talking about.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 6:50 AM
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68. Therein lies the danger of politicising your head of state. A problem the US shares with France and Italy to name but two. As ttaM points out, when the British Deputy Prime Minister was egged, the guy wasn't even charged - score for freedom of speech, which is why my strong republican sentiments are closely tied to the Grundgesetz model or something like it.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 7:21 AM
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Therein lies the danger of politicising your head of state.

For politicising read 'quasi-deifying' ...

re: 68

Probation? Really? It'd even get that far?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 7:24 AM
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Personally, I don't like people throwing shoes at anyone. .... That said, I also wondered whether Bush would have had any sense at all of how angry a lot of Iraqis are had this not happened.

This mistakes Bush's psychology. The incident will only make him more genuinely confused and aggrieved about why the Iraqi people are not more grateful to him, their liberator. In his down moments he will be even more irritated at the Iraqis, in his up moments he will resolve to be generous and remember that Jesus was not appreciated in his own time either.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 7:24 AM
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I could be wrong, but I'd be shocked to see 10-20 for throwing a shoe.

I don't know. Simple assault, aggravated assault? With no harm done? Yeah, that deserves 20 years.

What everyone's forgetting is that he's a cross-dresser, so there's the extra charge for dealing Mary Jane.


Posted by: Amit | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 7:29 AM
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Not to mention that he also had a stiletto on him.


Posted by: Amit | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 7:35 AM
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71. Maybe this will make things clearer to him, then.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 7:36 AM
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What everyone's forgetting is that he's a cross-dresser, so there's the extra charge for dealing Mary Jane.

Not to mention that he also had a stiletto on him.

If he's a cross dresser, he probably had two, one on each shoe.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 7:39 AM
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70:Probably not, if it was two thugs in a bar or a neighborhood dispute. But if it was an unprovoked stranger assault, probably. It's sort of crazy kind of assault and I bet mental health would be brought in.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 7:40 AM
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re: 76

I don't doubt the police could pursue it here if they wanted to [if you'd given them a reason to make your life difficult, for example]. But I'd imagine most of the time the response would be, "don't be so bloody stupid".


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 7:48 AM
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I think Bush should ask the Iraqi gov't not to just sock the guy away in jail. Once a deed is done, it'd be better PR for Bush to be seen taking it in stride, right?


Posted by: Todd | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 8:03 AM
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Murder, kidnapping, assault, etc. of a president is a federal crime all its own (Title 18, Part 1, Chapter 84). It makes sense, in the abstract, to consider a crime against the head of state of greater weight than the same action against a citizen. (There's nothing about attempted assault in the code, though; the shoe-throwing is indeed pretty paltry.)

Interestingly, that chapter also says "There is extraterritorial jurisdiction over the conduct prohibited by this section."


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 8:04 AM
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It's sort of crazy kind of assault

Well, more crazy here than in Iraq. Here, you'd get the "Huh. Why throw a shoe, particularly?", and there it does seem to have a specific coded meaning.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 8:05 AM
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78: True fact. Given that no serious injury appears to have been intended, I'd really like to see a lot of public pressure on Bush to be all magnanimous and ask that the guy be not prosecuted, or pardoned, or whatever is necessary depending on what legal conditions apply.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 8:07 AM
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Personally, I don't like people throwing shoes at anyone. .... That said, I also wondered whether Bush would have had any sense at all of how angry a lot of Iraqis are had this not happened. I'm not saying that that makes it OK; just wondering.

Jesus Christ. Shoes? In a just world Bush would be swinging from a fucking lamppost along with most of Congress and the Supreme Court. Grow a spine, lady.


Posted by: inaccessible island rail | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 8:07 AM
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81 > 74. Not.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 8:08 AM
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I'd really like to see a lot of public pressure on Bush to be all magnanimous and ask that the guy be not prosecuted

I'd like to see Bush hauled off to the Hague for war crimes. How many hundreds of thousands of Iraqis are dead, and people over here are whining because OHEMGEE, those maniacs threw a shoe!

Sorry if I sound a bit pissed; sometimes I forget the extreme degree of chronic head-up-the-assness this country suffers.


Posted by: inaccessible island rail | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 8:12 AM
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I was really thinking of US public pressure -- I somehow doubt that Bush takes Iraqi public opinion too seriously.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 8:13 AM
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86

Unprovoked random stranger violence is pretty rare. The three time's I've been assaulted, it was my own damn fault and I would have felt like an idiot telling a policeman how I'd gotten into that fix.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 8:19 AM
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I have explained the financial crisis, for those who care: The tweakers are crashing on us.

How serious am I? Much more serious than you'd think.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 8:21 AM
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Bush "getting" it:

And so, the guy wanted to get on TV and he did. I don't know what his beef is. But whatever it is I'm sure somebody will hear it.

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 8:25 AM
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re: 86

Pretty much unprovoked violence has happened to me several times and I've been threatened with it fairly often, too. But only when I was younger -- late teens through to early-to-mid-20s. Now that I am in my thirties I'm largely off the radar for teenagers/young-men looking to look hard.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 8:26 AM
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Now that I am in my thirties I'm largely off the radar for teenagers/young-men looking to look hard.

I've noticed this shift too.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 8:35 AM
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a crime against the head of state of greater weight than the same action against a citizen

That's the problem.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 8:38 AM
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86, 89: Didn't we have this conversation before? It seems to be a regional thing -- unprovoked violence from a stranger not connected to property crime is pretty unusual in the US, regardless of your age bracket. (Might come up more often in areas where there are gang territory issues, but not most places in the US.)

I've been attacked (fairly halfheartedly, but enough to scare the crap out of me) twice, but both times in Samoa; never in the US.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 8:39 AM
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92: Yeah we've talked roughly about this, and , I don't buy it that the difference is as large as you seem to think. As far as I can see, it's more a class division than a geographic one.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 8:42 AM
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If I threw a shoe at a guy in a pub, I'd get a fine, maybe community service.

It might be that here, too. Consider the source when fretting over how the guy would get life for throwing a shoe.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 8:49 AM
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Yeah, what 93 says. There's definitely a significant class division.

I can't speak for certain about geography never having been in the US.

Where I am from is quite violent by first world standards, of course, but even then, it's significantly about class. Middle-class Scots living in nice areas aren't that likely to be subject to random violence, either.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 8:49 AM
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89 - My experience is similar, though I only had the young man looking to look hard thing develop into actual violence once. Funny thing is, the other guy didn't realize that I was the brother of one of the girls in his social circle. When my sister found out she bitched him out so severely that he actually cried. Good times.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 8:52 AM
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I've never even seen any sort of fight happen, among people older than 14, anyway.


Posted by: Cryptec nid | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 8:55 AM
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When my sister found out she bitched him out so severely that he actually cried. Good times.

In that case, put the emphasis on looking, not hard.

I think a lot of people who grow up in random middle/upper class areas have difficulty realizing the level of casual acceptance of violence in some other socio-economic areas.

I think another think that people miss is the acceptance (and indeed leveraging) of this in metro police forces. In some places, no harm no foul extends to pretty much anything not requiring a serious hospital visit.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 8:59 AM
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Now that I am in my thirties I'm largely off the radar for teenagers/young-men looking to look hard.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 9:02 AM
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100

They're no longer ashamed of impotence? A good thing, I think.


Posted by: Cryptec nid | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 9:03 AM
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I wouldn't take for granted that US media would report on it if he did disappear or whatever.

Me either. The Committee to Protect Journalists usually keeps an eye on reporters who've been arrested, but this wasn't something he did as part of his reporting.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 9:03 AM
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I think another think that people miss is the acceptance (and indeed leveraging) of this in metro police forces. In some places, no harm no foul extends to pretty much anything not requiring a serious hospital visit.

Yup. Cops break it up, move people on. Drama over. Next.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 9:03 AM
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98: shiv's experience growing up was somewhat similar. Fights between guys tend not to end with police involvement if no one is seriously hurt.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 9:04 AM
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99 is incorrect, btw.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 9:05 AM
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re; 103

Calling the cops would be a serious etiquette failure unless you'd been seriously fucked up.

The one time I got thumped enough to need a hospital visit the idea of calling the police never occurred to me. I told my friends, and they went to find the guy. He had [wisely] left home.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 9:08 AM
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I think a lot of people who grow up in random middle/upper class areas have difficulty realizing the level of casual acceptance of violence in some other socio-economic areas.

Well, this is where class overlaps geography. I've certainly always been middle class, and so have the vast majority of my friends and acquaintances. Given the tightly-packed and expensive nature of city life, I've lived in, and known more people who've lived in, a fair number of pretty poor areas. There are certainly worse neighborhoods out there than any I'm personally, or even second rather than third hand, acquainted with, but I haven't lived only in middle class enclaves.

That said, maybe being middle class is protective against this sort of violence, even if you're living in the kind of place where it might happen.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 9:10 AM
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Calling the cops would be a serious etiquette failure unless you'd been seriously fucked up.

The one time I got thumped enough to need a hospital visit the idea of calling the police never occurred to me. I told my friends, and they went to find the guy. He had [wisely] left home.

What if you didn't have a bunch of violent friends?


Posted by: Cryptec nid | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 9:12 AM
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Calling the cops would be a serious etiquette failure unless you'd been seriously fucked up.

Exactly.

It works the other way too, I remember a bar clearing fight that involved about 30-40 people and the police got a little involved in the roughhousing. Everyone eventually got sorted out into 1) hospital (couple of nice cuts) 2) drunk tank and 3) go home. now. The latter was most people, probably 8-10 spent a night in cells. The only charges laid were on a guy who actually laid an officer out cold with a 26oz bottle. A couple heads were knocked with night sticks, and the usual gentle bundling of cuffed people into a wagon.

No hard feelings all round, I think.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 9:16 AM
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What if you didn't have a bunch of violent friends?

Then you probably don't live in these spots. It's not so much that you have particularly violent friends, it's that everybody accepts some things are settled this way. There's a big difference between going and looking for it on a friday night, and knowing when it needs to be done (meaning out of all the options, that's the best one).


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 9:18 AM
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Then you probably don't live in these spots.

Really? I'd buy that "you're probably not hanging out in these bars" or "you're not in the same social groups where you'd be acquainted with people who get violent like this", but you're really talking about a neighborhood where everyone who lives there has violent friends?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 9:21 AM
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Then you probably don't live in these spots.

I've lived in those spots a couple of times as an adult. It's noticeable how different an area like that feels when you've not grown up there and don't have the informal safety net.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 9:23 AM
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That said, maybe being middle class is protective against this sort of violence, even if you're living in the kind of place where it might happen.

This is fundamentally true, and I think hard to understand from the outside. There are all sorts of social & class markers --- if you have the `right' sort, you'll be interacted with differently. By the people living there, by the police, by everyone. Police, by the way, tend to have a highly developed sense of this, which is why random middle class people often react with disbelief to tales of police violence crossing a line, while random poor people take it as a matter of course.

Really? I'd buy that "you're probably not hanging out in these bars"

You're right, it's not a simple matter of geography (although it can be, sometimes). I should have been more clear.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 9:23 AM
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Further to LB's comment, sometimes neighborhoods are very fluid, and you have co-existing social strata that don't interact so much.

But there are other neighborhoods, ones with generations of poverty especially, where there is no reason for anyone else to be there unless it's being gentrified. These tend to be pretty closed, and really not friendly to outsiders (with pretty good reason).

ttaM's right, it's a very different thing wandering through them when it's not `your' people. Especially as an adult, I suspect.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 9:27 AM
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re: 110

Most people who've grown up in those areas* probably have some kind of access to some level of 'community backup'. People who come into those areas from the outside can really struggle.

* however, some people are truly marginalised, and those people are basically fucked.

One of my neighbours when I was a teenager had had gotten on the wrong side of the local lads.** He was an odd socially awkward guy with no friends locally. He was basically stuffed. A couple of times I had to call the police [sneakily, and with careful instructions to the police not to involve me or let anyone know I'd called] because his 8 year old son had come to the back door crying because they 'were trying to set fire to his house/kill his dad'.

He was just in a terrible way. He wasn't hard enough to sort it for himself and didn't have access to anyone hard enough to back him up.

** this was all connected to his jailbait-y daughter in a narrative that was sort of Tennessee Williams by way of Irvine Welsh.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 9:27 AM
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112: Yeah, that sounds right to me. I think what I'm getting wrong is the definition of 'stranger' violence -- I've been blithely thinking that 'if it's the sort of thing that isn't likely to happen to you if you're middle class, regardless of what neighborhood you're in, it's not stranger violence, it's people beating up acquaintances for semi-personal reasons.' But that's probably an oversimplification.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 9:28 AM
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I've read that there are fewer old-fashioned fights around here because more people carry guns or knives. I remember that even when I was a kid some local tough went down to Minneapolis to fight a random stranger and had a knife pulled on him. He actually mellowed out; he hadn't wanted to be that serious. I've also een in a couple situations where toughs here were bothering people and no one interfered, and I think that was the reason. In one case I got into a verbal dispute with a guy and realized afterwards that he was a coke dealer and that I shouldn't have messed with him.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 9:28 AM
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One of my neighbours when I was a teenager had had gotten on the wrong side of the local lads.** He was an odd socially awkward guy with no friends locally. He was basically stuffed. A couple of times I had to call the police [sneakily, and with careful instructions to the police not to involve me or let anyone know I'd called] because his 8 year old son had come to the back door crying because they 'were trying to set fire to his house/kill his dad'.

And that man became...Gordon Brown. And now he seeks to take revenge on the poor!


Posted by: Es-tonea-pesta | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 9:29 AM
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114: That's awful. Once that's happening to you, what can you possibly do but move?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 9:30 AM
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81:Given that no serious injury appears to have been intended

What, you his defense lawyer? You don't know that. It is unlikely he could slip anything more dangerou into the pressroom.

Ok, y'all who say this is no big deal, we need some tests apparently. Stand twenty feet from each other and throw your shoes at each other's heads as hard as you can. Once you have improved your arms and aims, try it out on some beatcops.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 9:31 AM
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114: Oh crap, yeah, that's a terrible place to be. Places like this have a sort of parallel `justice' system going, but if your fall foul of the people who enforce it you're well and truly fucked. And you're marginalized enough that nobody else really gives a rats ass about you. So you face the choice of staying in the only place you know and maybe have a thread of a support system, or leaving to try and make it somewhere else with no advantages whatsoever.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 9:32 AM
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116: I've had that conversation with a British friend -- he thinks of the US as very non-violent, comparatively, and talks about people in the UK getting kicked to death. I think of someone getting kicked to death as horrifically violent, yes, but in a sort of quaintly artisinal way: I'd expect someone in a US altercation to start shooting long before you could finish actually kicking anyone to death.

Not that I have any real sense of which comes out to less total mayhem, but there may actually be something to the anti-gun-control line that having a lot of guns on the street reduces violence in some ways.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 9:35 AM
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118: Moving doesn't help much. It's better than dying, sure, but that's probably about it in some cases. There's nowhere you can plausibly go that will be much better. Economics forces you to pick similar areas, but they're all clannish and will pin you as an outcast in seconds. They probably won't actively be against you at first, but the doors are closed.
If you had any real way to bootstrap out of it you probably would have already.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 9:35 AM
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Sometimes I don't think prople who are not experienced with violence understand how easy it is to get seriously hurt. The eyes and throat are very fragile.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 9:36 AM
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re: 118

Well, you can't really leave. This is state-owned social housing. He certainly couldn't have afforded the deposit or the rent for privately owned accommodation.

There is a process for being rehoused if you can convince the council there's a pressing need, but it doesn't happen overnight, and when you lived in this kind of area [what the council euphemistically referred to as 'hard to let'] it can take even longer. Months and months. The council are going to prioritize people who don't have homes at all over those who are unhappy in the ones they already have.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 9:37 AM
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That part of the discussion is over, bob. Your interjections are veritably JamesBShearerian in their incongruousness with the rest of the thread.


Posted by: Cryptec nid | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 9:37 AM
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119:Honestly, Bob, don't be ridiculous. Having someone throw a shoe at you hard would hurt. The chance that it would result in injury requring medical treatment is probably a lot lower than being up at bat in a softball game without a batting helmet.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 9:38 AM
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But he understands, LB, this petit revolutionary performance troll.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 9:40 AM
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116 is IMO correct. It's self-evident bullshit that an armed society is a polite society, but the possibility of having a gun pulled on you does raise the stakes of starting a fight.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 9:42 AM
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An armed society is a society where even the bullies are fearful.


Posted by: Cryptec nid | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 9:45 AM
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LB, I think your UK friend is off a little bit. Your comment about `artisinal' violence isn't far off --- it's usually more carefully targeted. People are much quicker to resort to guns in general here, and that has far reaching effects. One of them is that I'm pretty certain that as a random citizen you are much more likely to be injured or killed in the process of crimes. Amongst the people who are socio-economically involved in this sort of thing, you are less likely to have serious hand-to-hand injuries, more likely to have deaths. In particular, more likely to have `accidental' or mistargeted deaths.

I'm not certain about this, I've spent a fair bit of time in the UK but not lived there for any real stretch, and obviously didn't grow up in the sort of areas there that I'm talking about. But my impression overall is not that the US is really less violent, but that the violence is distributed differently. It's a bit more random, and its a bit more deadly.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 9:47 AM
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127:You don't know me, Cala.

I grew up 5'3" on the wrong side of the tracks. I didn't wait to assess how much real damage the violent person threatening me could do. That reputation for overreaction served me well.

Andf I doubt that the Secret Service or Iraqi Security are allowed to make those judgement calls either.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 9:49 AM
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And yet, everyone else who "grew up on the wrong side of the tracks" finds it laughable that isolated shoe-throwing would excite any police response.

Stick to the "any assault on the president, no matter the details, means the guy's life is over" line of thinking.


Posted by: Cryptec nid | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 9:53 AM
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132: Bob, I'm sure that you have a deep and intimate understanding of violence and its costs and all that. Sheltered as I am, though, I've seen people throw things of about the size and weight of a shoe. I've been hit by such things (things fall off shelves and so on -- being socioeconomically sheltered doesn't protect you from the laws of physics.)

Someone trying to do serious injury by pegging a shoe at someone is either very ineffective, or is OddJob from the Bond movies. And I don't think this guy is OddJob.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 9:53 AM
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A hard-soled shoe thrown at the speed that guy threw it could fracture an orbital socket pretty easily, I would think.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 9:55 AM
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Andf I doubt that the Secret Service or Iraqi Security are allowed to make those judgement calls either.

That's an inept comparison, bob. The secret service's first priority is to control the situation, get the president safe, and then take custody of anyone they see as a threat. If someone (perp or otherwise) gets killed in the process, that's what it is.

After they are in control, it's a different story.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 9:58 AM
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130: I really don't know what I'm talking about here, as you can probably tell. But the impression I got is that there's a category of violence that's much rarer in the US -- the sort of thing that lets someone like Ned say he's never seen a fight involving people over 14. Maybe (and this is really rank speculation here) part of the difference is that where the serious violence is non-gun based, there are more stopping points, so people feel freer to indulge in unserious violence. You can punch someone without any serious risk that anyone's going to end up dead, so people punch each other more.

Here, because the chance of running into a gun is higher, punching someone feels more likely to turn into uncontrollable violence where someone could get killed, so there's less punching in circumstances where people really don't want it to go that far. The end result is that people who aren't intimately involved in very violent communities are less likely to run into violence at all.

Eh. I'm making up stuff on the basis of very limited information, but it seems to fit with what I've heard people say.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 10:00 AM
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134: So could a softball. I'm not saying it couldn't possibly do any damage, just that it'd be a ridiculous method to choose if injury was your intent.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 10:01 AM
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A hard-soled shoe thrown at the speed that guy threw it could fracture an orbital socket pretty easily, I would think.

We've all been beaned with a football. It's not the end of the world.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 10:03 AM
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136: it's certainly hard to see how something like the old tradition of weekly fighting at football games could ever really get established in a concealed-carry society.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 10:04 AM
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I gather Bob's meaning to be more that we should defend the guy on the merits of trying to hurt GWB than on the innocuousness of the gesture.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 10:06 AM
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For that matter, I've been hit in the head with a shoe [tightly laced around the foot of a 6ft tall guy in a lycra unitard] ...


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 10:06 AM
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Come to think of it, this is a great double-reverse-whammy gun control argument: "We need to get the guns off the streets, so the Brits stop thinking we're all wimps. Show those foreigners we're as tough as anyone, and bring the great American barfighting tradition back to life!"


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 10:07 AM
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136: I agree with you very roughly. I do think that the threat of escalation reduces some kinds of violent behavior here. However, the escalated behavior is more likely here too: you are more likely to be shot, and worse you are more likely to be shot `unintentionally'.

However, I've seen loads of this type of violence in the US too, so I still say the divide is socio-economic.

Particularly in the sort of cases ttaM is talking about. You grow up in a rough neighborhood. You know everyone there, everyone knows you. You've got a problem with Joe across the way but it's not the sort of thing someone has to die for, so you fight it out with fists. Everyone understands this. The neighborhood would react badly to either of you overdoing things. This sort of thing is pretty much identical here and the UK and anywhere else I've seen (which isn't so many places)

What's different here from there is when guys from another neighborhood show up, or you see them in the pub/club/whatever.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 10:07 AM
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141: That sounds so butch until you bring the unitard into it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 10:07 AM
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We've all been beaned with a football.

Some of us can catch, heebie.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 10:08 AM
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re: 144

The unitard is a great de-butching device.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 10:09 AM
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it's certainly hard to see how something like the old tradition of weekly fighting at football games could ever really get established in a concealed-carry society.

Yeah, it can't. It also makes the cops here much twitchier. Fwiw, I grew up in an area that was much more the UK model at the time, and the US model now. It's bizarre to go back, for lots of reasons. At the time, cops were reasonably happy to mix it up a bit. Now it's all guns from what I hear.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 10:10 AM
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so the Brits stop thinking we're all wimps.

I once saw this documentary about I forget what, but this British cop is answering the question as to how they get by without guns, and he says, with that wisdom-of-ages self-certainty: "Control the man's thumbs, control the man."

That's one of my favorite quotes ever. Control the man's thumbs: control the man!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 10:11 AM
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This all rather reminds me of that time that someone was trying to convince me that eye-gouging and scrotum-grabbing were real killer self-defence tactics guaranteed to stop an attacker in his tracks, despite the fact that both bag-snatching and la forchette used to be more or less par for the course in scrums in club rugby and were typically the occasion for the start of a fight, not the end of it.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 10:11 AM
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Control the man's thumbs: control the man!

True in Nintendo as in life.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 10:12 AM
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was trying to convince me that eye-gouging and scrotum-grabbing were real killer self-defence tactics guaranteed to stop an attacker in his tracks

They were kidding, right? Just winding you up?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 10:13 AM
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It's obviously hard to tell round here but I didn't think so at the time. I think the context was krav maga/ womens' self defence classes, usefulness of.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 10:14 AM
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used to be more or less par for the course in scrums in club rugby

This was certainly the case in our middle school league, too.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 10:14 AM
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re: 149

Quite. Ditto 'kick their knee caps'. People tell me with a straight face that that's how they'd end a fight. I fight* in a martial art where kicks to the knee cap wearing reinforced shoes are legal. Surprisingly enough, kicks to the knee don't actually function as a killer fight-ending techniques.


* albeit in the mellower 'controlled contact' version of same ...


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 10:14 AM
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Some of us can catch, heebie.

We've all been blindfolded and led away from home and beaned in the head with a football and taunted about running home crying to your mommy. It's not the end of the world.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 10:14 AM
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137,138:1) The heel of a walking shoe is harder than either a softball or football. More like a baseball, and a baseball has killed a man.

2) I suspect the reporter was searched and limited as to what he could take into the room.

3) I seem to remember that the principle is established from baseball beaning incidents, or hockey that if they are to be prosecuted, any hard object thrown at the head is "intent to inflict grievous bodily harm"


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 10:15 AM
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If I recall the conversation, it was about those self-defense classes for women. Considered as tactics hopefully startling enough to help someone break free of an attacker and run like a thief, I'd guess they look a little better than as tactics intended to actually win a fight.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 10:16 AM
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re: 152

Yeah, a lot of self-defense based martial arts seem to go in for that sort of rubbish.

"We don't do much sparring because our techniques are too dangerous ..."

Then followed by a list of supposed fight-ending techniques.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 10:16 AM
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154: I'm sure kicks to the knee cap work basically the same as eye-gouging. Perfectly good fight-ending technique, if only you can get your opponent to stay still in the right position for long enough.

I guess that's why this sort of thing only shows up in real practice as after it's all over techniques meted out by real bastards.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 10:17 AM
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Gouging the eyes is actually fucking painful and dangerous so don't do it kids. Its main drawback as a self-defence technique is that the only conditions in which it's possible to reliably gouge someone is if their head is held motionless in a rugby scrum, which is not particularly representative of the average conditions under which a normal woman meets a normal mugger.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 10:18 AM
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The heel of a walking shoe is harder than either a softball or football. More like a baseball, and a baseball has killed a man

Jack Handey, I think?


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 10:19 AM
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140:I am actually being careful about what I say, for fear of the men in black.

For instance, what would I carry into a Bush press conference if I wanted...never mind.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 10:21 AM
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I'd guess they look a little better than as tactics intended to actually win a fight.

Still require way, way too much accuracy to have any effect at all. If you're ever in that position yourself, put your forehead as far through his nose as you can.

Shoes are remarkably unlike baseballs, regardless of the heel type.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 10:21 AM
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re: 159

Yeah, no doubt. But when someone is actually moving, not so much. I've seen people get really smacked in the knees in competition though, pretty much full force.* I don't doubt they were pretty sore the next day, but they didn't get stopped at the time.

* to be fair, I also know one person who did get an injury that way, but I wasn't there to see it.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 10:21 AM
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161:Chapman, Roy Chapman I think, without looking it up. Chapman might have been the pitcher.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 10:22 AM
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What about a mugger in a neck brace, smartass? Huh?

But seriously, I thought the idea was that tactics like eyegouging would momentarily divert an attacker to thinking about protecting himself, rather than attacking, and therefore would make flight possible. I can see it being hard to actually get at someone's eyes, but going for them would at least be likely to disturb the attacker's focus, wouldn't you think?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 10:22 AM
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I got kicked in the knee by a New Forest Pony that I had been annoying, a couple of years ago. It didn't really hurt all that much - I had an alarming lump for a couple of days, but no more than that.

And that pony ran.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 10:23 AM
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163: The closest I've ever been to that situation, I was lucky enough to be carrying an (empty) .75 liter beer bottle. I didn't swing it nearly hard enough, but the impact dissuaded the guy while I fled.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 10:24 AM
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I got kicked in the knee by a New Forest Pony that I had been annoying,

Should have restricted yourself to the conventional sheep. None of those dangerous horseshoes and such.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 10:25 AM
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166: ttaM is the expert here but I frankly doubt it. If your eye-gouge is going to take more than about half a second to do, then it's pretty definitely going to miss, while if it takes less than half a second, then you haven't really bought much time. Slapping someone into a wall can certainly buy you time for a getaway (as I did with that crackhead who accosted me, longtime readers may recall), but even then I'd have just legged it if I hadn't hurt my foot the day before.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 10:27 AM
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re: 169

To be fair, he'd been annoying it by mocking its short paper on the Lancet controversy.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 10:27 AM
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167:Had a relative, my age, thrown from her horse two weeks ago. Two brain operations, mostly removing fluid I think, and some permanent(?) loss of function. Has to relearn how to swallow.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 10:29 AM
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170: Obviously, I don't know a thing about it first hand, and haven't even taken a self-defense course past the month in ninth grade where the girls did self-defense while the boys did Greco-Roman wrestling.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 10:30 AM
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Actually, the hairy little fucker had been teeing up at little (extremely little at the time) Napoleon's head, and was enraged when I swept him out of the way. Deprived of its murderous hijinks, it lashed out at me, only to realise the error of its ways when I smacked it with the stick I had been carrying.

I heard that it had come back to our cottage later that week with a bunch of its hard mates, but I was long gone by then. Social capital, you see.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 10:30 AM
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re: 170

I'm not an expert at all. I have no regular xperience of 'taught self-defence' classes and my serious martial arts experience is largely of the spandex unitard variety.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 10:30 AM
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a bunch of its hard mates,

Probably unemployed pit-ponies. Once the economic structure of a community has been destroyed, things get very ugly, very fast.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 10:32 AM
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170: I think these close in techniques are suggested for getting out of a grip, then running. I'm no expert either but eye gouging just sounds too iffy. Forehead, stamp to instep, even knee to groin seem much more likely. Then run like hell. It occurs to me that women are often doubly disadvantages in this situation, often wearing hopeless footwear for running.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 10:34 AM
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"I've had that conversation with a British friend -- he thinks of the US as very non-violent, comparatively, and talks about people in the UK getting kicked to death. "

I can believe this (the first part of the sentence - people certainly do get kicked to death here). There's an extraordinary amount of casual violence in England (and presumably Scotland, but I've never lived there) - not so much the stereotypical football hooliganism, these days, but just random alcohol fuelled violence on a Friday/Saturday night. I haven't seen it quite so much in London (although it's definitely still going on), but when I was growing up in Winchester serious fights were pretty much a weekly occurrence in and around the rougher pubs. I saw a guy get thrown through a pub's glass window, western style, once. From what I understand many provincial towns are similar, especially if they have an army barracks like Winchester.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 10:34 AM
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but I was long gone by then. Social capital, you see.

Makes all the difference, that.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 10:35 AM
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The heel of a walking shoe is harder than either a softball or football. More like a baseball, and a baseball has killed a man.

It would be pretty impressive to throw something as non-aerodynamic as a shoe at 95 MPH. Anyone who could do that could probably throw a baseball 200 MPH.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 10:35 AM
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re: 177

To this day, when buying footwear, I do still think quietly to myself, 'could I leg it if I had to?'.



Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 10:36 AM
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180: Shit, that was no Iraqi journalist, it was Sidd Finch!


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 10:36 AM
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181: Me too, although I'm thinking about catching buses and such. Cuts down the shoe options remarkably, though.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 10:37 AM
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181: It's a habit I haven't lost either. That an checking exits. This sort of stuff fades with time, but I don't know how long it takes to entirely go if ever.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 10:38 AM
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Wait, did the Iraqi throw a human shoe or a horseshoe? Because that changes everything.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 10:38 AM
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185: Right, because as we all know, close does count in horseshoes.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 10:39 AM
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185: indeed it does; "close" only counts with hand grenades and horseshoes.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 10:39 AM
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172: Sad to hear that, hope she recovers ok.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 10:40 AM
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apparently it was a more obvious joke than I had thought.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 10:40 AM
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kicks to the knee don't actually function as a killer fight-ending techniques

It did last week, but not in the way expected.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 10:40 AM
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re: 184

I've mentioned before, when this sort of topic makes its periodic reappearance, that it's been years since anyone seriously threatened me. So the odds are pretty high that I'm never really likely to have to test out just how good my shoes are for making a speedy exit. But I still don't fancy chancing it.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 10:40 AM
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178: I've never heard of anything like the English/Scottish culture of widespread casual violence in the U.S. I believe the assault rate in Britain is higher than that in the U.S., although the homicide rate is a lot lower thanks to gun control.

the girls did self-defense while the boys did Greco-Roman wrestling.

Ironically, the UFC proved that wrestling is pretty much the most effective way for a small person to defend themselves against a larger one. Certainly jiujitsu classes were the only experience I ever had where much smaller, lighter women were able to control me just be being more skilled. In boxing classes being hit by smaller women had very little effect.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 10:41 AM
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190: flexible knees that bloke's got.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 10:41 AM
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189: Nah, you've just gotten slow in your old age.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 10:43 AM
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re: 92

The UN claims that Scotland is the most violent country in the developed world -- based on survey results, I believe. I'm not sure how well their methodology stands up [not because I have any reason to be sceptical, I just haven't looked in any detail].


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 10:44 AM
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wrestling is pretty much the most effective way for a small person to defend themselves against a larger one

If they're defending themselves in a regulated sport with a referee, that is.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 10:45 AM
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196: Otherwise, it's all about aggressive litigation.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 10:49 AM
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196: well, one on one, I think grappling plus submissions would be very effective in any circumstances, regulated or not. (True that greco-roman wrestling no longer has submissions). But in any case where you might be outnumbered grappling of course destroys your chance to run away.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 10:50 AM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 10:50 AM
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I had a friend who said that in his area of Wisconsin all you had to do was walk into a bar, sit down, and look someone directly in the eye and you'd have a fight.

Not every bar, I don't think. Some of them were specialized that way, like singles bars.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 10:51 AM
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Some of them were specialized that way, like singles bars.

200: Given that the tactics in each case seem similar, this could lead to terrible confusion.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 10:53 AM
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Certainly jiujitsu classes were the only experience I ever had where much smaller, lighter women were able to control me just by being more skilled.

Actually, now that I think about it, this isn't true at all.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 10:58 AM
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195: My impression is that all international comparisons of crime stats are pretty much entirely meaningless except for murder.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 10:59 AM
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I saw a few fights at night in downtown Gothenburg. The one guy I was casually acquainted with who got in a fight once was pretty nonchalant about it.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 11:02 AM
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You couldn't do it on law-enforcement data, I don't think, because of differences in enforcement norms, but survey data might be able to do it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 11:03 AM
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202: romantic entanglements don't count, PGD.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 11:08 AM
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206: Hey, did any kind of NY meetup get planned for next weekend? I'd show up on the 19th, but probably not otherwise.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 11:17 AM
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206: PGD has also been out litigated by smaller, lighter, more skilled women.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 11:17 AM
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On topic

n American military patrol in Najaf on Monday was pelted by shoes thrown by supporters of Moktada al-Sadr, the radical Shiite cleric.

from nyt

Its the new fad.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 11:20 AM
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And murder stats can be unreliable too.
http://www.stefangeens.com/000422.html


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 11:21 AM
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You couldn't do it on law-enforcement data, I don't think, because of differences in enforcement norms, but survey data might be able to do it.

This is all pretty problematic, that's why all I can offer is anectdata, but I know it's pretty biased because I've spend much more time here than there. And that of course biases the observations too.

Still, there's plenty of the old ultraviolence to go around, if you know where to look for it, wherever you are.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 11:30 AM
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On one of America's Pacific island territories back a few decades 50% of deaths were reported "Cause of death: unknown".


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 11:33 AM
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212: It was when LB was in Samoa, I bet. She's dangerous.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 11:36 AM
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And I should note, much like ttaM, this is all years ago experience.

It's funny how the awareness comes back though. Found myself in a rough project in Puerto Rico a couple of years ago and caught myself sizing absolutely everything up.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 11:39 AM
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Its the new fad.

Following which, a surge in new-shoe sales kick-starts the Iraqi economy.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 11:43 AM
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To this day, when buying footwear, I do still think quietly to myself, 'could I leg it if I had to?'

What's remarkable to me is that I grew up in pretty much the safest, most easygoing environment you can think of, but my radar has been sufficiently heightened as an adult that this is actually a primary consideration for me in buying shoes. I also hate, hate, hate the kind that make loud echo-y heel clicks because I feel like I'm telegraphing my whereabouts to all and sundry.

This past weekend I spent a lot of time driving for the first time in several years, and I realized how much of my daily dress and decisionmaking is based on taking public transit. I've said before that the fact that my sisters go from their suburban homes to their own cars to their suburban workplaces insulates them from issues they would otherwise encounter. It's a funny contrast in that they are both much more frightened and much less wary than I am.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 11:47 AM
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We should start a trend of everyone mailing shoes to W in the Whitehouse with a card stating "this is the farewell kiss, you dog".


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 11:55 AM
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In fact, I think the suggestion in 217 should become a post with a yellow title.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 11:59 AM
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Shoe news


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 11:59 AM
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217: I like the idea of concrete objects sent as political statements.

It'd be a nice response to those halcyon days c. 2006 when Southwestern conservatives were mailing bricks to their Congresspeople to go towards a wall on the Mexico-US border.

And much more humane than horses' heads.


Posted by: Jim Sligh | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 12:02 PM
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NYTimes with some relatively unalloyed snark:

He [Bush] also called the incident a sign of democracy, saying, "That's what people do in a free society, draw attention to themselves," as the man's screaming could be heard outside.

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 12:05 PM
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I think these close in techniques are suggested for getting out of a grip, then running. I'm no expert either but eye gouging just sounds too iffy. Forehead, stamp to instep, even knee to groin seem much more likely. Then run like hell.

Exactly right. Your average women's self-defense class teaches prevention, surprise, and escape. Per the research, including interviews with convicted rapists, rapists (which of course is usually what we mean when we talk about "attackers") generally don't expect women to fight back. A combination of tactics -- foot stomping, finger breaking (if he's behind you with his hands around your neck, try to bend his pinkies back far enough to break them), elbow to the solar plexus, throat gouging (twist a couple of fingers or knuckles together and go for the windpipe), kicking the knee straight backward to try to break it if you get the opportunity, and of course any pain you can inflict on the groin -- might give you the break you need to run the hell away.

If they're defending themselves in a regulated sport [wresting] with a referee, that is.

This is also right. My ability to escape an attacker has nothing to do with whether I can beat a man in a "fair" fight.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 12:05 PM
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"fair" fight.

also a class correllated concept.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 12:07 PM
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Legal issues are 95% evidentiary (ie proof, and verification). The law bidness focuses on the 5% remaining: rhetoric, retribution, monarchist ideology, pandering of various sorts


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 12:13 PM
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You know, it isn't just a class thing, it's also a gender thing. Brawls can start when women are around, but I think it's less likely, and in a lot of situations women can get away with shit that someone would punch a guy over.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 12:16 PM
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Andf I doubt that the Secret Service or Iraqi Security are allowed to make those judgement calls either.

Actually, they are. And they did. The man wasn't shot. And, we don't punish people for wanting to have thrown something more deadly.

And what PGD said about the aerodynamics of shoes.
--
A friend of mine teaches women's self-defense, and one thing that they stress is that they're not trying to turn everyone into fighters, because as she puts it, if you are in a situation where someone is threatening you, you are going to react how you are temperamentally inclined to react, and a six-week training course isn''t going to turn you into a superhero.

Plus, the point isn't to kneecap someone or gouge out their eye with your pennyloafers, but to get away. Most of the class is a) practice hitting someone (who is padded) as hard as you can and b) learning a couple of basic things like how to throw a punch. I don't think they recommend eye-gouging, because in most circumstances if you're close enough to bother with an eye-gouge, you're close enough to do something else that is more likely to work.*

*There's a big psychological problem here, too, in that gouging someone's eyes is gross, and people generally don't like to do that given an alternative. E.g, my college friend who woke up to find a stranger attempting to rape her gouged his eyes, bit him, and screamed her head off. But probably wouldn't have gouged his eyes if he were just a mugger.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 12:17 PM
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Like sticking your tongue in someone's ear.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 12:17 PM
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We should start a trend of everyone mailing shoes to W in the Whitehouse with a card stating "this is the farewell kiss, you dog".

This is a fantastic idea (good work, honey!), even though it will be added to my FBI file when they use my letter carrier's fingerprints to trace the package back to me.

Maybe just a drawing of shoes for the faint of heart.

What's the yellow title thing?


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 12:18 PM
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You know, 500,000 + shoes mailed to the white house would make a pretty good story.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 12:19 PM
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I like 217.

I think the real point of self-defense classes for women is being misconstrued, especially by d2 in his smartassery. It isn't that gouging someone's eyes is going to disable them; it's that if you have a *sense* of yourself as *able* to fight back--and have practiced doing so--you're less likely to just cower in a threatening situation. There's always the chance of a real psychopath attacking you, in which case you're fucked, but most personal crime by strangers is largely opportunistic, and if you make it hard for them, they're likely to just run off and find someone easier to mug/attack/grope/rape/whatever.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 12:21 PM
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Or, like, what Cala said.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 12:23 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 12:24 PM
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Yeah, the sense of "there is something I can do" helps, too.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 12:25 PM
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226: Interesting, because the few self-defense teachers I've known, as well as a bit of reading, definitely use the same overall approach about not trying to remake students, but for that very reason don't work on punching because if it's not something you're used to doing it's not going to be instinctual for many women in an attack. (Damn, that was a long sentence.) I would like to learn how to throw a proper punch, though, as a life skill, just like changing a tire or waltzing.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 12:28 PM
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Like sticking your tongue in someone's ear.

Sign me up.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 12:30 PM
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230, 233: Agreed. My class only used the model mugger for our last class, but it was something when I lifted him off the ground with my knee to his groin. (My height being a factor, obviously.)


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 12:30 PM
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Hmm. They're not going for boxing or anything. But they do teach how to throw a punch, as well as stuff like stomping, or kneeing, or hitting with an open hand.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 12:30 PM
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hitting with an open hand.

aka "slapping". I thought all you ladies knew how to do that from birth.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 12:33 PM
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I would like to learn how to throw a proper punch, though, as a life skill, just like changing a tire or waltzing.

I dunno how proper it all is, but every gym I've been in for the last couple of years has boxing classes, where you'd at least learn how to hit a bag.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 12:34 PM
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I would like to learn how to throw a proper punch, though, as a life skill, just like changing a tire or waltzing.

Yeah, me too. I thought about taking boxing at one point, just for the sake of this. Someone should teach "punching people" at the Y or something.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 12:34 PM
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My dad taught me how to throw a punch. Come to think of it,he's probably never been in a fight...


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 12:36 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 12:36 PM
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Further to 236, the class was also helpful to me to reinforce that one should trust one's instincts and not to worry about being nice, as so many of us are trained to do.

I actually used to teach the prevention, non-physical part of self-defense as part of the anti-anti-queer violence project I worked on for several years.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 12:37 PM
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238: Or the heel of the hand.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 12:38 PM
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trust one's instincts and not to worry about being nice

Can I get an amen?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 12:39 PM
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Come to think of it,he's probably never been in a fight...

Heh. My father is a big strong athletic guy, and grew up in lower middle class Queens back when fistfights were a lot more common than they are now, and managed to almost completely avoid interpersonal violence by spending all of his time with an equally large strong athletic group of friends all of whom wanted to avoid trouble. Your basic pacifist gang of thugs.

The one fight he failed to avoid, he nearly bit through his tongue because someone hit him while he was still trying to talk his way out of it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 12:41 PM
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239/40/41

punching is pretty ineffective unless you've got a bunch of practice. Even then, you've got to have some real weight to cause much damage. If you do it wrong you're most likely to do no little to no damage, or hurt your hand, or both.

Knees, elbows, forehead, boots, teeth on the other hand....


What Cala/B said though. Much like any other situation involving physical violence, more than half the battle is won if you stay on top of things and don't panic. Any sort of training that gets you reacting well in the first few seconds is probably better than specifics.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 12:43 PM
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||

Caroline Kennedy is going for it.

|>


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 12:46 PM
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You have to admit that eye-gouging is rather unladylike.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 12:46 PM
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249: It's ok as long as you use ladyfingers.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 12:47 PM
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punching is pretty ineffective unless you've got a bunch of practice. Even then, you've got to have some real weight to cause much damage.

I find this so frustrating. Similarly, I know how to kick a soccer ball, and can take a hard shot for my size/strength. But Jammies, who plays goalie, will never ever ever wince if he stops my shot. They're really not that hard compared to the guys' shots.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 12:50 PM
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249, 250: What do you think those long nails are *fr*?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 12:52 PM
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I teach the legal portion of a concealed handgun class.

Multiple times in the class, I have to remind people that the gun will probably be useless if the attacker is within 15 feet of you when you realize the danger.

"Can I shoot him now?"

Probably not bc you cannot get your gun out in time, dumbass.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 12:52 PM
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o


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 12:53 PM
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Tom Schaller at Salon a fucking maroon.

If anything, the incident created sympathy for Bush (myself included, yes), who is on his way out the door and doesn't deserve it -- all so that one television journalist, acting unprofessionally, can draw attention to himself
Where do they get these guys?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 12:53 PM
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I'll bet that Jammies cries like a baby once you are out of sight.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 12:53 PM
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technique only gets you so far, heebie-geebie. Sorry.


As far as the subthread about (mostly) womens defense training, it really is a bit of a specialized area. I don't think there is any reason to presume the average rapist, say, knows anything about fighting either. More likely they rely on fear and size advantage ... so if you do pop him one in the nose, the shock might well give you time to get out of there, even if it wasn't much of a hit.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 12:55 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 12:55 PM
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251: Yep. I've probably talked about this here somewhere before, but I really believe that most of the demonstrable difference in physical aggression between men and women comes down to the size differential. It's just hard to get up much enthusiasm for hitting people when the potential for a non-disastrous outcome is so low.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 12:55 PM
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who is on his way out the door and doesn't deserve it

one of these things is even true.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 12:56 PM
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I think I've mentioned this story before, but once I was in Toronto with PK, and PK was acting like a turd so I was pretty pissed off already, and some guy (who was both tall and stockyish) started making fun of PK and it pissed me off and I shouted at him to "leave my kid the fuck alone." He totally flinched (and everyone turned to stare). Aggression, even without actual hitting, is pretty scary.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 12:57 PM
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259: There may be something to this. I once saw a real knock down drag out fight between two women (including loss of teeth and a well busted hand), but both of them topped 200 pounds at a guess.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 12:59 PM
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I dont mind admitting that BitchPhd scares me.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 12:59 PM
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I really believe that most of the demonstrable difference in physical aggression between men and women comes down to the size differential.

Really? I ask b/c I'm surprised at how much physical energy, including aggression, PK and the boys in his class have compared even to the more athletic girls. Are Newt and Sally really about equal, physical-aggression-wise?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 12:59 PM
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264: hormones have to kick in too, but I think she's right that psychologically there is something to it.

Turn it around, then, it's a more socially acceptable outlet for a women to hit a man in anger than the other way around, partially because of the stereotype that it's ineffectual. The hollywood trope of a 100lb girl flailing away ineffectually at her 200lb guy's chest etc. just re-enforce this for all concerned.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 1:05 PM
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a 100lb girl flailing away ineffectually at her 200lb guy's chest etc. just re-enforce this for all concerned.

or kicking a soccer ball at him.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 1:06 PM
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264: Really hard to say. For one thing, they didn't grow up in a vacuum (or on a desert island raised only by enlightened me), so they've got socialized gender roles. But they fight with each other, and he'd be in trouble if we didn't break stuff up -- she's a lot bigger than he is and doesn't hesitate to use it. Doing the TKD he's a lot more cautious and less aggressive than she is, but he's also younger and more slightly built, so the additional caution is well justified.

On the 'confirming gender roles' front, he's jitterier than she is -- like, I worry if he's standing within any limb's reach of something that shouldn't be jostled or knocked over, because he's always moving around restlessly, while she can (and always has been able to) stand still. And when they're with packs of friends, the little boys are running around and jumping on each other, and the girls are sitting and giggling, which is stereotypically what you'd expect.

But mostly I see the confirming behavior when they're socializing with a peer group, not one on one, doing sports, or in a family situation. And I'm not a fair judge, because I've got strong pre-existing opinions. So what it really comes down to is that I don't know.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 1:11 PM
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I'm sure that there's something to it psychologically, too, but I'm not sure I want to say that "most" of it is just about not being as big. It really does seem to me that on average boys and young men just have more physical energy than women in the equivalent age groups.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 1:12 PM
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In free countries you can throw shoes at Presidents. Bush said so. Pass the word. Someone tell McManus. Americans have died for the right to throw shoes at Presidents.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 1:16 PM
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What's the yellow title thing?

Oops. I meant orange.

I can't find a good link to explain it, but basically back in 2005 or 2006 or round thereabouts the Unfoggedetarians at various times discussed adopting some kind of group project to do something more useful than comment and refresh all day long. The scheme involved "action posts" that would have an orange title to alert everyone.

Here's a relatively recent reference to it. And another. This one too.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 1:19 PM
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Where is this "He did it to draw attention to himself" bollocks coming from? He did it to smack Bush in the face with a shoe, you fucking morons.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 1:21 PM
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I've probably talked about this here somewhere before, but I really believe that most of the demonstrable difference in physical aggression between men and women comes down to the size differential.

I think there's more to it than that, what my dad would have called "testosterone poisoning", plus sizable social conditioning. And if only by "size differential" you include things like "lean body mass", because a guy my height and weight would be a strong scrappy little dude who would be stronger than me.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 1:22 PM
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I think the real point of self-defense classes for women is being misconstrued, especially by d2 in his smartassery. It isn't that gouging someone's eyes is going to disable them; it's that if you have a *sense* of yourself as *able* to fight back--and have practiced doing so--you're less likely to just cower in a threatening situation.

I don't doubt this is true in the case of good classes. But it's not really fair as an attack on the smartassery.

I've seen total crap being promulgated by self-defense experts. I've seen it also in martial arts classes. And it is sometimes worthwhile to poke fun at some of the more preposterous self-defense claims that pass into the realm of accepted fact. I suspect the worst culprits here are martial arts guys teaching other martial arts guys -- rather than people specializing in self-defense for women -- but the myths are still pretty pernicious.



Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 1:26 PM
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punching is pretty ineffective unless you've got a bunch of practice. Even then, you've got to have some real weight to cause much damage

Even among trained MMA fighters in mismatches, you don't see very many actual knockouts (as opposed to the ref stepping in to stop a barrage of unanswered strikes) until you get up to welterweight or so (170 lbs).


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 1:26 PM
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a guy my height and weight would be a strong scrappy little dude who would be stronger than me.

Good thing you always carry your calabat then.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 1:27 PM
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There's a formula and rationale I don't remember, but a 200 pound man is much more than twice as hard a puncher as a 100 pound man.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 1:29 PM
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Throwing shoes is like burning the American flag. Deeply insulting, but allowed in free countries. Part of the dilemna, because the perpetrator desperately needs to be seen as doing a brave thing, which it really isn't. (This act anyway. Being a journalist in the ME is its own kind of brave).


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 1:30 PM
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275: Right, lighter weight boxers etc. specialize in speed and accuracy, you want to wear your opponent out and pepper them with blows. This really isn't a strong tactic outside the ring. If you actually have the weight, the hw class approach of `if I just hit you once properly, you're not getting up' translates better. Just don't suppose the other guy will pretend it's a ring for you.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 1:31 PM
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I've seen it also in martial arts classes. And it is sometimes worthwhile to poke fun at some of the more preposterous self-defense claims that pass into the realm of accepted fact.

I will disable you with my Crane Form Kick, ttaM!


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 1:32 PM
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I would tentatively advance the argument that the best self-defence class for girls would be five years of Freudian therapy. Spending half an hour in the YMCA listening to a personal trainer with a Mossad fetish talk crap about eye-gouging isn't going to turn you into someone who's capable of suddenly switching from normal behaviour to violence when needed, but spending a few years developing genuine self-confidence might.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 1:33 PM
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And Freudian therapy will help you develop self confidence?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 1:35 PM
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281: Surely girls are too young yet for 5 years of therapy.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 1:36 PM
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And it is sometimes worthwhile to poke fun at some of the more preposterous self-defense claims that pass into the realm of accepted fact.


This is true. On the other hand, it sometimes has it's own solution. I once saw a guy who seeemed to think a lot of his karate/whatever pick a fight and get comprehensively thrashed in a few minutes. I doubt he made or propagated such claims afterwards. If he remembered who he was, that is.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 1:36 PM
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278: Being a journalist in the ME is its own kind of brave

Indeed.

Friends said Zaidi covered the U.S. bombing of Baghdad's Sadr City area earlier this year and had been "emotionally influenced" by the destruction he'd seen. They also said he'd been kidnapped in 2007 and held for three days by Shiite Muslim gunmen.

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 1:36 PM
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Knowing how to punch is also something most people think they know how to do, but a skill not many people actually possess.

Researchers at the University of Manchester in England were curious about just how much force a top boxer can generate with a punch. So they enlisted local boxer Ricky Hatton, an undefeated 28 year old light welterweight and welterweight world champ. And they had him hit a 30 kilogram punching bag with sensors attached.

The results should make any spectators who figure they could last a while in the ring with a pro think again. Because Ricky Hatton, who's nickname is The Hitman, generated a force of about 400 kilograms. An average person with no boxing training can generate only about one tenth that much force with a punch.

Slow motion video found that Hatton could typically generate punch speeds of 25 miles per hour, with one blow reaching 32 mph. The best punch speed that one of the researchers could achieve was about 15 miles per hour.

Hatton's less than 150 pounds, too.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 1:37 PM
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re: 284

Yeah, although it is quite easy to get away it for years.

People have shown me defenses against 'boxing punches' many times [complicated blocks against slow moving hay-makers telegraphed in every possible way]. They get away with it because they rarely come up against people who've done even the tiniest bit of boxing.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 1:38 PM
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281 might be on to something, but comparing the marginally improved expected outcomes of 3 weeks n therapy and 3 weeks with the mossad fetishist ....

then again, it might be a wash.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 1:38 PM
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Spending half an hour in the YMCA listening to a personal trainer with a Mossad fetish talk crap about eye-gouging isn't going to turn you into someone who's capable of suddenly switching from normal behaviour to violence when needed, but spending a few years developing genuine self-confidence might.

Or maybe finding a better class. The point isn't to turn women into someone who can suddenly turn violent. Sometimes part of it is just information, like "Be aware of your surroundings" or "If someone tries to force you into a vehicle, you are not better off going with him, even if he has a gun."


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 1:42 PM
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287: I'm sure it's great for terrorizing your mates who also don't know what they're doing. Boxers are bloody quick.

I knew a guy who scrapped a lot (for fun, you know the type) who said usually boxers were worse than martial arts types because they hadn't trained to pull their punches. He said the trick with both of them was the same though --- do something they don't expect, use their training against them if you can.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 1:42 PM
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281, 288: Middles excluded while you wait. (or see 289)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 1:43 PM
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Middles excluded while you wait.

new rollover?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 1:44 PM
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I'd like to see a multi-armed controlled experiment that compared Fruedians, Mossad fetishists, and a placebo group. It may turn out that Mossad fetishists are better at helping patients overcome certain kinds of traumatic experience.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 1:47 PM
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I would tentatively advance the argument that the best self-defence class for girls would be five years of Freudian therapy.

I would confidently advance the argument that this is moronic.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 1:48 PM
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a multi-armed controlled experiment

guns and knives?


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 1:48 PM
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Part of my purpose with the "deadly flying shoes" theme was to say that violent situations are unpredictable and uncontrollable, and it is always best to run like hell. That little guy might be Bruce Lee, packing a gun, have a gang, or know where you live. There really felt like there was a lot of machismo above, wafting miasmically from the British Isles.
...
I we are talking gender differences:

In my youth, strength never was the question when men and women got physical. A guy was supposed to so aware & quick that he could keep a woman from hitting him. Like in the movies, you grab her wrists without hurting her.

This may have been bullshit.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 1:49 PM
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Yes to 272.

But it's not really fair as an attack on the smartassery.

Sure it is. Cherry-picking bad courses as representative is dumb. Also see 281: I'm sorry, but actually *practicing* hitting someone--even ineffectively--is surely an important part of actually doing it in a pinch. Doing anything physical is an important part of being physically self-confident. If you're attacked, you need to react physically, not try to process the attacker's feelings with him.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 1:51 PM
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do something they don't expect

Does peeing one's pants and crying count?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 1:52 PM
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286: Kilograms are not a measure of force, they are a measure of mass. I suspect that the researchers measured the force in pounds and the newspaper guy did a simple minded conversion. Alternatively, perhaps the researchers really are incompetent.

This is a particularly annoying tic of American popular science writing - fucking up basic SI unit conversions. Either the boxer hit with a peak force of ~4 kN or with a peak force of ~900 lbf.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 1:52 PM
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Even among trained MMA fighters in mismatches, you don't see very many actual knockouts (as opposed to the ref stepping in to stop a barrage of unanswered strikes) until you get up to welterweight or so (170 lbs).

Probably true, on the other hand, Naseem Hamed used to score first-round knockouts at something like 110. To my eye, MMA fighters punch really strangely - I think they don't plant their feet "properly", because they have to defend against leg kicks.

Sometimes part of it is just information, like "Be aware of your surroundings" or "If someone tries to force you into a vehicle, you are not better off going with him, even if he has a gun."

This is my real beef with these classes - my missus goes to them every now and then when the council puts them on in the local school, and it seems to me that the people running them practically get a kick out of telling the local women to be really really afraid (Camden is a bit urban and does have a little bit of a crack problem, but it's very well policed and not actually dangerous to civilians at all). The pattern of the class appears to be to spend half an hour in lubricious recital of the nastiest sex crimes carried out in LB Camden in the last ten years, then fifteen minutes of miracle punches to make the assembled lasses think "yeah! girl power! if that canal rapist came on to me I'd totally rip his balls off! what a good value course!". It really has the flavour of a confidence trick.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 1:52 PM
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I confidently endorse 293.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 1:54 PM
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YES I REGULARLY WIPED THE FLOOR WITH THE YOUTHFUL MCMANUS!


Posted by: OPINIONATED WOMAN | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 1:54 PM
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Does peeing one's pants and crying count?

That depends what your follow it up with, I suspect.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 1:56 PM
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Watched a factory floor fight once.

The little guy had a knife, was shaking and lunging at the big guy. The big guy just stood straight, laughed, reached out once in a while and slapped the little guys face.

I used to where the "quick" came from.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 1:57 PM
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it is sometimes worthwhile to poke fun at some of the more preposterous self-defense claims that pass into the realm of accepted fact.

Well, this is true, but the fact that a lot of people talk a lot of shit isn't a good reason to tell women that it's pointless to try to defend themselves b/c they can't possibly fight back.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 1:58 PM
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303 doesn't sound like a fight so much as a schooling.

Taking a knife (or any weapon for that matter) when you aren't ready to use it (and know how) is just asking for it.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 1:59 PM
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268: It really does seem to me that on average boys and young men just have more physical energy than women in the equivalent age groups.

This is all complicated enough that you see mostly what you expect -- my own prejudices are obvious, and I'm not claiming to able to successfully put them to one side. That said, my reaction to this is that (a) you're right, they do have more energy, and (b) I think that's a function of their being, on average, more physically fit, which is a not necessarily socially determined, but certainly socially affected, function of how they spend their time.

To spin that out a little -- we've had the kids in a TKD afterschool program for maybe 2 1/2 years; it covers the period between the end of school and when Buck quits work for the afternoon. They do homework for an hour, and then do an hour TKD lesson, five days a week, enough to have a pretty large effect on physical fitness. This didn't have much of an effect on Newt's personality. Sally, on the other hand, I would have described as a quiet, kind of staid kid before the program, and now she kind of bounces off the walls in a 'teenage boy' kind of way (still more controlled than Newt -- if she knocks something over she meant to -- but she's ricocheting around a fair bit). I could be wrong, but I think she just wasn't terribly fit beforehand, and so she didn't have all that energy she needed to burn off.

I'm guessing and spinning stories here, but I think it's one of those very path-dependent things: boys get more social support for active play, which makes them fitter, which makes them more energetic, which leads them into more active play, until a minor physical difference, or possibly one that's entirely socially created, turns into a major behavioral difference.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 2:00 PM
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And further to 299, of course the physical memory of how to do the miracle punch wears off within a couple of weeks, while the fear induced by the "information" section lasts for months, meaning that six months later the same guy (or one of his students; there is a strong pyramid-selling element to these martial arts schools) is able to sell the same damn course again. Unless one's planning to actually take up martial arts as a hobby (which not many people are), then the actual facts are that you're probably going to be incapable of doing anything useful and probably need a self-defence plan that doesn't involve hitting anybody.

(I also wholly disagree that it is only a minority of cherry-picked terrible-quality courses that teach the eye gouge or bagsnatch as viable strategies. They're ubiquitous).


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 2:00 PM
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I'd actually like to take a self-defense class, but have never gotten around to it. Gonna join a new gym in the new year, and I should check whether the various candidates have such classes.

I haven't been beaten up since third grade; possibly, though I've grown up quite a bit since, I would still simply cry, which is just no good at all. I like to think that my first response would be to let loose with a bunch of shouting and swearing. Is one advised to go ahead and become angry when attacked?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 2:00 PM
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the people running them practically get a kick out of telling the local women to be really really afraid

Well, yeah, that's the irritating flip side of most self-defense rhetoric, for girls or for boys. I mean, PK's fucking TKD class occasionally talks about being able to defend yourself against strangers, yadda yadda, which is idiotic (and potentially generates exactly the kind of shit-talkers that we all agree are idiots). But that's hardly unique to women's self-defense classes.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 2:01 PM
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238: Well, aka "karate chop" as well, or some term more appropriate for a different school of martial arts.

285:

Friends said Zaidi covered the U.S. bombing of Baghdad's Sadr City area earlier this year and had been "emotionally influenced" by the destruction he'd seen.

Um... duh. What would you expect?

The newspaper I read most often is a commuter-oriented daily which seems good in slant and coverage but terribly shallow, and it seems like every article has a moment like that, where there's a quote or factoid that just shouldn't need to be stated. It would be bad writing in any other kind of writing except for news articles, where it's required. I'll try to remember to save tomorrow's paper and find some good examples. I've never read newspapers very much even when I was writing for one and I've felt kinda guilty about that, but it really is a stupid medium.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 2:02 PM
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Is the research in 285 remotely surprising? Hatton punches for a living, and is one of the best people in the world at punching for a living. I mean, I'm a journalist and I can touch type reasonably quickly and accurately, but a professional typist would be able to type accurately at least twice as fast, if not more


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 2:03 PM
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Is one advised to go ahead and become angry when attacked?

Yes. Flip out. Red faced screaming is good. It not only draws attention, it amps up your adrenaline, which is handy if you do actually need to hit someone. Plus it's disconcerting to the attacker.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 2:04 PM
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tell women that it's pointless to try to defend themselves b/c they can't possibly fight back

I think the take-home message for both men and women is that the goal is to get away rather than fight back.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 2:04 PM
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probably need a self-defence plan that doesn't involve hitting anybody.

Huh. In my vast experience of violent interactions (that is, two.) both times I hit the guy really embarrassingly ineffectually, and both times that appeared to be enough to convince him that continuing to attack me was too much trouble to be worth it (that is, in neither case was there a serious attempt to chase me as I fled). My impression was that pathetic as my attempts were considered as combat, I was better off than if I'd frozen.

If that's not a completely freak scenario, then there might be some virtue to self-defense courses that attempt to instill overconfidence in how effective the tactics taught are, just because it'll make people more likely to do something rather than nothing.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 2:06 PM
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a professional typist would be able to type accurately at least twice as fast

Not if you could punch them like Ricky Hatton.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 2:06 PM
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Sir Kraab in 293: seconded. Honestly, one of the best things my high school ever did was to allow girls to take self-defense classes towards their PE credit. I'm under no illusion that I'd be able to take down a 6 foot, 180 pound guy with an eye gouge and a kick to the groin, but the self-defense classes did teach me some necessary basics about awareness and physical preparedness.

I also think that martial arts have some utility in teaching people how to defend themselves. I took some years of taekwondo, and I'm not an idiot, I know it's not going to be that useful against a rapist, and no, I don't think I'm going to be able to overpower some huge guy with my fancy parlor tricks. But one thing I learned was that getting hit for the first time is shocking. Growing up a girl, I'd not gotten into a physical fight since elementary school, and I'd forgotten what it was like to be punched by someone who was trying to hurt me. It was good to learn not to be shocked into submission by physical violence -- I can get hit, and I can react in some way, whether by fighting back or running.

Incidentally, I was attacked by a couple of muggers two years ago, just near my apartment. They were unarmed, and pretty small -- neither of them were much taller than me, and they were probably within thirty pounds of my weight -- but there were two of them, and I got away, with my purse, my bodily integrity and most of my dignity intact.* Honestly, without my fighting or self-defense classes I don't think I could have done that -- I think I would have just given up. And no, I didn't outfight them, but I was prepared and able to respond. Which in this instance mostly meant screaming, pushing/kicking them and running away.

*In retrospect, of course, I realized that according to my training I should have thrown them my purse and fled. But I really like this purse, and I can't say I regret keeping it.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 2:07 PM
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312: Cool.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 2:08 PM
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313: yes, somehow we've digressed into a discussion of hitting. But if you're talking about a quicky self defense course, the only sensible concentration on hitting is of the how to break someones grip or get them off you so you can get away variety.

B's right though. Evidence aside, most men probably believe they could throw a punch or whatever in need. The opposite is probably true of women. There is a lot of social programming at work here, and if something can be done to effectively give women a sense of their own agency in a situation like this, it's good.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 2:10 PM
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(I also wholly disagree that it is only a minority of cherry-picked terrible-quality courses that teach the eye gouge or bagsnatch as viable strategies. They're ubiquitous).

I don't know if it's ubiquitous [I just don't have the experience to know], but it's certainly something I hear trotted out with monotonous regularity. Even by people who should really know better.

To my eye, MMA fighters punch really strangely - I think they don't plant their feet "properly", because they have to defend against leg kicks.

I suspect that's more because they are worrying about takedowns. I've never done any MMA -- not even the tiniest bit so have zero practical experience of it -- but I do spar in a style that allows leg kicks and we punch using standard orthodox boxing technique and stand in what is essentially a standard boxing stance. All grappling is barred so we don't have to worry about being taken down.

Well, this is true, but the fact that a lot of people talk a lot of shit isn't a good reason to tell women that it's pointless to try to defend themselves b/c they can't possibly fight back.

I don't think that's what anyone said. I think the point was more that a lot of extant self-defense classes don't look like they do a very good job of helping people learn how to fight back. I'm sure some, on the other hand, are really excellent [given the time limitations that they have].

FWIW, I think (and this is purely personal opinion) that things that would really help aren't things they are going to be able to sell in a self-defense classes. By far the most useful thing is not learning how to hit but getting experience being hit. And that's a hard sell.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 2:10 PM
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This is all complicated enough that you see mostly what you expect

Well, part of why I mention it is that it's *not* something I expected to see, especially not in pre-pubescents. But PK is defiintely far more energetic than I ever was as a girl, and while he's more cautious than (say) the girl in his class who's a real athlete (and whose mothers, btw, are lesbians), he also just has more sort of random energy than she does, in that can't-sit-still sort of way.

the physical memory of how to do the miracle punch wears off within a couple of weeks

Meh, I'm not talking about that sort of thing, but rather just reframing the "how to react to a threat" question--i.e., react (do something) rather than just freeze.

It sounds to me like your objection is to marketing, not to the idea of self-defense.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 2:12 PM
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LB and jms are both right too (but there is a big difference between a weekend course and spending a year or two doing a martial art) the mere acclimatization to the physical actions of hitting someone or being hit are useful. Freezing up is entirely too likely, and the fact that you can act and/or take a hit in stride is more important than the fact that you might not be able to actually inflict much damage. At least in typical situations.

However, from what I've seen talked about these courses concentrate on getting you to hit/kick/punch/bite/whatever a padded `attacker'. They'd probably be better off getting you to hit each other a bit, just to get used to the shock of it.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 2:15 PM
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313: Right, by "fight back" I meant essentially what JMS is saying above: react and resist. Push someone's hand off you, yell at them, run. Do something other than freeze and hope that the other person won't hurt you.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 2:17 PM
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322: agreed: the `curl up and hope it goes away' technique is notoriously ineffective in situations like those being discussed.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 2:19 PM
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307: dsquared, the courses that you're describing suck. They are not, however, representative, at least not in the U.S of women's self-defense classes, which are different from martial arts. And though I haven't spent a ton of time in England, I have a hard time believing that women's self-defense classes taught there are that different.

In any case, that's not at all the kind of class that Cala, B, and I are describing. Among other things, they're about instilling confidence and awareness, and taking away some of the fear.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 2:19 PM
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320: From observing my kids' daycare classes, boys are definitely louder and faster than the girls (as groups, that is). On the other hand, my oldest son was always the calmest child in the room and that has stayed constant up through the 6th grade so far.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 2:21 PM
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Multiply pwned. Some pinky breaking is in order.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 2:21 PM
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Pinkie. Jesus.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 2:23 PM
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But if you're talking about a quicky self defense course, the only sensible concentration on hitting is of the how to break someones grip or get them off you so you can get away variety

OK, let's get totally inflammatory here. For a realistic women's self-defence course (ie, one adapted to the most common actual threats, rather than to the rich internal fantasy life of a certain kind of martial arts instructor), "learning how you can get away" would involve a course on how to move children out of the family house without your partner noticing, setting up new bank accounts for yourself and a very great deal of work on self-esteem and dysfunctional self-image. Courses based on the implicit assumption that the main threat to middle-class women taking courses in the local school gym is of an unidentified but presumably scary stranger, outside the house, are not exactly neutral in their social and class implications.

Meanwhile, the terrible quality of these short self-defence courses is practically legendary in the martial arts industry (which, from an economist's point of view, is basically a branch of the professional indemnity insurance industry - what I know about it, I know from doing due diligence on one of the UK's larger franchises). If you believe that this sort of thing is important, you ought to be concerned that it's generally done so badly - as with fighting wars on terror, the doing of important jobs badly is a specially heinous crime.

It sounds to me like your objection is to marketing, not to the idea of self-defense.

It's not possible to just have the idea; the marketing is part of the industry (and a crucial part, and check out some of the posters used to advertise these courses some day if you are ever short of "scary black guy" images).


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 2:24 PM
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320: Yeah, I think the 'boys are, on average, more energetic' stereotype holds pretty well if you allow for a lot of individual variation. I just suspect that it's a path-dependent result of differently socialized patterns of play.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 2:25 PM
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My sister's smartest self-defense move was stealing the pistol out of her ex-husband's glove-compartment and dropping it off a bridge into a river. Calling his bluff when he threatened to kill himself was effective too, even though he didn't do it (damn him.) Calling him a sociopath is not hyperbole.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 2:28 PM
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women's self-defense classes, which are different from martial arts.

different, in the sense of "extraordinarily sucky version of". They're money-spinners (and often really quite cynical money-spinners) for martial arts instructors. That's when they're not ego trips for local police. As with gynaecologists, I would always assume until proved otherwise that such a course run by a man would be meretricious crap until proved otherwise.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 2:29 PM
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328: Look, obviously the vast majority of women are in far more danger from their husbands and boyfriends than they are from random strangers. And yes, the idea that middle-class women need to be terrified of strangers is fucked up.

But again, neither of those are very good arguments against the fact that most middle-class women have basically zero experience with any kind of sport or physical aggression of any sort. This might be less true for younger women, although I'm appalled to say that even in PK's hippie school, I still see the second-grade girls starting to be reluctant to participate in PE, and their mothers letting them get away with it. And given the research that shows that *any* sort of physical activity increases self-confidence, yadda yadda, I'm gonna come out in favor of self-defense classes if the argument is (as it seems to be) simply "women shouldn't take them" rather than "what we need to do is get women into competitive sports because being able to physically compete is socially important."

FWIW, I suck at competitive sports and I haven't (nor am I interested in) taking a self-defense class. But I can absolutely see the importance of being comfortable with physical combat, up to a point, and despite having been a useless PE bystander myself as a girl, I totally get my butt out onto the court when the class goes to PE in order to set a good example (it seems to work, too).


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 2:32 PM
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the marketing is part of the industry (and a crucial part, and check out some of the posters used to advertise these courses some day if you are ever short of "scary black guy" images)

Bah. I'm sure that such posters exist, but the posters I've seen for self-defense classes are mostly just text.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 2:33 PM
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My sister's smartest self-defense move was stealing the pistol out of her ex-husband's glove-compartment and dropping it off a bridge into a river.

Good work indeed. Smart sis.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 2:34 PM
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I would always assume until proved otherwise that such a course run by a man would be meretricious crap until proved otherwise

Every legitimate (meaning not teaching fear and a few karate chops) women's self-defense class I've ever heard of is taught by women.* The fact that the classes you're talking about are apparently taught by men should be your first clue that your wife is in the wrong place.

*Sometimes with men as assistants and/or punching bags.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 2:36 PM
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It sounds like dsquared's experience is of just a qualitatively different type of class than Sir K. is describing. I'm familiar with the latter; it's often run on college campuses by women's centers, it's emphatically NOT a scare-your-pants off kind of course but instead emphasizes that you CAN fight back, you DO have agency.

I think it has particular value to the social class of women who have 20+ years of social conditioning telling them they're supposed to be "nice" and "not make a fuss" to overcome when somebody DOES take them by surprise.

And that "somebody" doesn't have to be a stranger in a dark alley. There's plenty of acquaintance rape in the world, for starters.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 2:37 PM
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Around here, because it's near a university, there is a lot of street crime. Campus security e-mails whenever there's a mugging with their jurisdiction, and it's been two or three times a week lately. Usually armed, sometimes grabbing people. Women still need to walk home from lab or the library, and a lot of them have never lived in an area where crime is a problem.

The course isn't going to solve domestic violence, but then, it doesn't claim to.

They'd probably be better off getting you to hit each other a bit, just to get used to the shock of it.

I think the class my friend runs does this. For a lot of women, the idea of doing something physical is just something that doesn't occur to them.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 2:38 PM
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Maybe one could rig the box in which one mails the shoe to Bush with some kind of spring, or a small and harmless explosive charge, or something of the sort, so that said shoe flies out of the box when opened?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 2:38 PM
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Huh, once again I'm sort of astonished that people have lower opinions of men than I supposedly do.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 2:38 PM
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The other surprising thing, after how total the experience of getting hit and how it takes you seconds to be alert to anything besides the fact that you just got clocked, is that it hurts your hand to hit someone really hard. It is good to know that going in.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 2:39 PM
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338: That doesn't seem very nice.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 2:40 PM
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339: Who does?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 2:40 PM
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Maybe one could rig the box in which one mails the shoe to Bush with some kind of spring, or a small and harmless explosive charge, or something of the sort, so that said shoe flies out of the box when opened?

"No, Watson, I would not touch that box. You can just see if you look at it sideways where the sharp spring like a viper's tooth emerges as you open it. I dare say it was by some such device that poor Savage, who stood between this monster and a reversion, was done to death."


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 2:41 PM
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Somewhat on topic, I got a phone call from the police dept today warning me that there've been a number of robberies in the (relatively upper-middle-class) neighborhood lately, through unlocked bathroom windows and such, and to make sure my doors are locked and that Xmas presents aren't easily visible from the street. I found it kind of weird that the police department actually called; I wonder if they do this in poorer neighborhoods?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 2:41 PM
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339: Re ?


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 2:42 PM
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341: It would be festive and fun, like one of those snakes that pops out of a can of peanuts!


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 2:43 PM
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342: YOU. No, I meant D2 and Sir K's response to him re. male defense instructors. And yes, before anyone has t point it out, I realize that Sir K wasn't saying that men *can't* teach such courses, merely that all the good courses she knows are taught by women. But, you know, still. It seems weird to me that men can't/don't teach decent self-defense courses. I don't see why that would be the case.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 2:43 PM
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Bush is on record that Iraq is a free country because that guys was able to throw a shoe at him. It seems to me he was just asking for more shoes, but not in the mail. Is this a free country?

No, of course not.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 2:44 PM
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I wonder if they do this in poorer neighborhoods?

Not bloody likely, ime.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 2:44 PM
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347: It has nothing to do with my opinion of men qua teachers. It's about my opinion that learning prevention & self-defense builds more confidence for women when it comes from a woman.

It surprises me that that surprises you.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 2:45 PM
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My friend who teaches it co-teaches it with a guy. He gets to be beaten upon; she demonstrates the techniques (and helps make women who take the class more comfortable.)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 2:45 PM
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350: Of course, it could be the other way 'round for some women, as per our recent discussion about preferences for male and female doctors.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 2:47 PM
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Perhaps it would be more feasible to simply mail photos of shoes to the Whitehouse. Although at this point perhaps it would be better to mail them to Bush's Texas residence since I'm sure mail to the whitehouse takes a long time to get opened due to security concerns and we don't want Obama to think the shoes are for him.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 2:48 PM
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350: Oh, that makes sense. I was thinking in terms of what D2 had said.

349: Yeah, I doubt it too. It made me sad, really. I mean, I often leave the door unlocked, which is dumb b/c if someone stole my laptop I'd die, but this neighborhood is like *pathetically* safe, and it's kind of sad to imagine that someone's decided (reasonably) that this is probably a good place to steal shit one can easily fence. I can't help thinking it's recession-related, and it's depressing.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 2:49 PM
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BTW, I've been meaning to say that 1.3 is exactly right.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 2:49 PM
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It seems weird to me that men can't/don't teach decent self-defense courses. I don't see why that would be the case.

I'm sure they can and do, just as I'm sure that there are some good and considerate male gynaecologists out there. It's just not the way to bet. Also there are a lot of courses taught by women which are the same meretricious crap - as I say, there is a whole quite big industry out there, and one of its big profit centres is subsidised WS-D courses bought by people who don't really exercise much quality control.

By way of example, this guy is admittedly a somewhat parodic example of the genre, but only atypical in his absolute shamelessness. There is an *awful* lot of macho bullshit hanging around the martial arts, and since quite a lot of them don't actually compete in proper sporting contests, it is an environment in which being a blowhard is adaptive, and in which being good at fighting is much less adaptive than one might think.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 2:50 PM
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Would a male gynecologist be better equipped to teach a women's self-defense class than a male surgeon? Than a female gynecologist? What about a woman who specializes in instilling fear?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 2:55 PM
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356: oh, sure, next thing you're going to say being good at fighting doesn't necessarily make you a thoughtful and empathetic teacher.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 2:56 PM
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I think it has particular value to the social class of women who have 20+ years of social conditioning telling them they're supposed to be "nice" and "not make a fuss" to overcome when somebody DOES take them by surprise

This describes most of my male friends too.

Sometimes I wonder what I would do if mugged. The narratives I hear from friends are usually "I stood there and did nothing because I didn't want to get shot or stabbed, and luckily I was unharmed though he got my wallet." Fighting back never seemed like an option.


Posted by: Cryptec nid | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 2:56 PM
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357: arguably a urologist would have the inside track, as far as hitting a male attacker where it hurts.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 2:57 PM
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Sometimes I wonder what I would do if mugged.

The one time somebody mugged me, I asked them not to and walked away. It worked surprisingly well, although I'm not sure what I would have done if I actually heard what they said.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 2:58 PM
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"And then I cathetarized him! He dropped my wallet and ran like a baby!"


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 2:58 PM
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353: By Bush's Texas residence do you mean the ranch in Crawford? 'Cause, being a publicity stunt, I can't see him ever returning there.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 2:59 PM
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Ran like a baby? He must have been in real pain.


Posted by: Cryptec nid | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 3:02 PM
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If you were a surgeon who had the opportunity to operate on Bush, would you do anything to mess with him? You could switch his feet so that his shoes flew off and hit himself in the face from time to time.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 3:02 PM
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I'm guessing and spinning stories here, but I think it's one of those very path-dependent things: boys get more social support for active play, which makes them fitter, which makes them more energetic, which leads them into more active play, until a minor physical difference, or possibly one that's entirely socially created, turns into a major behavioral difference.

There've been studies confirming this sort of effect. Children born in the fall tend to be the oldest in their classes during kindergarten and grade school, which at that age can mean a significant difference in size and coordination. As a result, such students are encouraged more to participate in sports, setting up the sort of feedback loop you describe. The effect is significant enough that people born in those months are overrepresented in college and professional athletics.


Posted by: bizzah | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 3:03 PM
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Somebody's been reading their Gladwell!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 3:04 PM
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Is that where it came from? I googled my little heart out trying to find the study I was thinking of, to no avail. I'm ashamed.


Posted by: bizzah | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 3:05 PM
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366: I'm not sure if there's a study for the effect of the NYT publishing a piece on Malcolm Gladwell's new book and it turning into conventional wisdom within hours. (There is one for getting pwned.)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 3:06 PM
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Coulda been.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 3:06 PM
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367: No, I made up 365 all on my own!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 3:07 PM
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Sometimes I wonder what I would do if mugged. The narratives I hear from friends are usually "I stood there and did nothing because I didn't want to get shot or stabbed, and luckily I was unharmed though he got my wallet." Fighting back never seemed like an option.

Ok, I think at this point it is probably worth pointing out that the typical profile of a mugger and a rapist are really different. While you might end up with a desperate junkie ineptly trying to roll you for your wallet, chances are it's someone who has done this a few times, who is far more comfortable with violence that you ever will be and, if you are in the US, who is armed (they may helpfully demonstrate this for you, but may not). Fighting back for a few bucks and the pain in the ass of replacing cards is *stupid*.

Both the profile and the costs are different if you're talking about rapists.

You may be able to shrug it off like Sifu says, and sometimes merely not freaking out is enough to scare them off, but honestly, best bet is that whoever it is has an awful lot less to lose than you do.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 3:07 PM
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There is an *awful* lot of macho bullshit hanging around the martial arts, and since quite a lot of them don't actually compete in proper sporting contests

I'm sure that there is a lot of macho crap around martial arts, as there is around every sports activity and gym that ever existed. That said, PK's TKD studio is pretty good on this front--there's a little bit of the "be tough" crap, but basically it's a pretty okay place. And I mean, again, yeah, so? Macho crap is bad, but that doesn't mean that self-defense/martial arts/going to a gym/being sporty is a waste of time.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 3:07 PM
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Fighting back for a few bucks and the pain in the ass of replacing cards is *stupid*.

Yup, and this applies double to "I'm going to carry a gun so I don't get mugged": a) you're less likely to use the gun than the mugger is b) really? you're going to kill over the $4.67 in your wallet?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 3:10 PM
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372: Obviously if someone has a weapon you stfu and give them what they want, unless it's to get you in a car or something, in which case you take your chances that the ambulance will get there before you die. But even weapon-bearing muggers are risk-averse; I remember walking home from a party once with a group and passing three young guys who looked a little odd. The next day I found that they'd robbed, at gunpoint, a friend of mine who left the same party alone a minute after we did.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 3:10 PM
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It feels like old times today: I've spent all day arguing about stupid shit on Unfogged instead of grading. Somehow this actually makes me feel better.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 3:11 PM
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If you define "a waste of time", then in terms of opportunity cost, for all but a very small minority of people, yes it is. There's dozens of sports that are lots more fun than martial arts, where you're allowed to actually play the sport from day one rather than having to pass an arbitrary number of exams, and where you've got a reasonable chance of growing up, moving house and finding someone who does the same sport as you. Tae Kwon Do is at least (I think) an olympic sport these days, but really; compared to rugby or football (or even better, something like tennis that's actually a social asset) ... I'm having a hard time seeing it.

As you can tell, by the end of the project, I grew to hate the martial arts guys pretttay badly. They didn't know the first fucking thing about insurance either.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 3:12 PM
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My two friends who recently got accosted-with-intentions-to-mug in my sketchy neighborhood in Oakland both did more than stand there. She was so pissed she threw her phone at their feet ("take it, assholes") and surprised them all when it shattered. He calmly walked out into the middle of the busy road where the cars are, and since a cop car was coming, the mugger didn't follow. My sister says I'm not allowed to walk out at night, since every one of her friends (and she, as well) have been accosted or mugged, I sorta have to obey.

My own experience has been uniformly pleasant. I walk through groups of lounging men, say "evenin'", and get a chorus of good evening's and compliments on my haircut. It'll be some stupid kid that surprises me from the side when my turn comes.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 3:12 PM
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Many of the people in my class start off with the idea that a gun will help them as they are walking down the street.

Hopefully, by the end of the class, I have convinced them otherwise.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 3:16 PM
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379: surely if they want to steal someone's wallet it will? I would have thought that a gun would be just the ticket if that was what you wanted to do.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 3:18 PM
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I only like the martial arts posturing when I do it, and I've never ever understood how capoeira could be dangerous, so I thought this was the funniest thing I ever saw. I watched it again and again and again and laughed every time.

(Why do you hate my link, Unfogged?
www.metacafe.com/watch/1647020/funny_capoeira_knockout/ )

I was sad to realize it was staged, but I still think it is so, so great.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 3:20 PM
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My martial arts pals reckon that capoeira is actually not that bad in that a) mixed in with the acrobatics it's got a lot of the foot sweeps from judo and b) because of the acrobatics, it makes you hellishly strong, which is basically 99% of what you need to be if you're going to have a fight.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 3:22 PM
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That is hysterical.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 3:22 PM
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I was listening the the TAL that aired right before Hallowe'en the other day, while I jogged through a park which has plenty of raccoons, and now I would totally sign up for a defense class against rabid raccoons. That's some scary shit.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 3:22 PM
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surely if they want to steal someone's wallet it will? I would have thought that a gun would be just the ticket if that was what you wanted to do.

Walking down the street, not so much. Loitering, laying in wait, jumping out from behind a car or tree or building, stalking or hunting down, all good times to have a gun.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 3:24 PM
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Yes! Against rabid raccoons and against county health departments! That TAL scared the bejeezus out of me.

Luckily, I live safely removed in my urban enclave, far from raccoons. Although the park down the street does have a mother skunk with a group of baby skunklets. But I figure she's not rabid.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 3:24 PM
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I personally quite enjoy doing martial arts even though I don't do it competitively. Also TKD is in an Olympic sport and is dreadfully boring to watch.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 3:24 PM
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Raccoons are poofs, like New Forest ponies. Hit them with a stick and they'll squeal like little babies. Horrible, screamy little babies, from hell, admittedly.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 3:25 PM
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377.1 to 376.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 3:26 PM
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Loitering, laying in wait, jumping out from behind a car or tree or building, stalking or hunting down

all good times, gun or no gun, maaan.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 3:26 PM
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388: There are different sorts of raccoons. Or at least different weight classes. Some places, they're bloody murder on pet dogs, even pretty large ones.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 3:27 PM
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Lying in wait.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 3:27 PM
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On my walk to campus today, I passed a large, dead raccoon lying on its side smack in the middle of someone's front lawn. Someone had a run in with a dog that didn't go as well as hoped, I suppose. (Snark suggested that perhaps it was beaned by a flying branch in last night's high winds, instead.)


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 3:29 PM
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Perhaps the slave dancers who were hiding their martial art have done a fantastic job, and they are still hiding it from me. It is certainly true that capoeira people are both strong and gorgeous.

But I always thought that switching from upright to upside down was ridiculously slow. I mean, we thought switching feet was a long period of dangerous vulnerability, and turning end over end looks much worse. And what, you take two steps back to get out of range of the cartwheel. They gonna run after you on their hands? I just don't get it.

The only time capoeira has ever looked even remotely dangerous is in the temple fight scene in that Tony Jaa elephant movie. With the flames and water spraying everywhere and some painted up dude whirling like a dervish around every axis, perhaps capoeira could be useful.

(Don't worry! Tony Jaa gets through it OK!)


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 3:29 PM
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Raccoons are poofs, like New Forest ponies.

Not when they're rabid! Then they can tackle a full-grown woman and her husband can wail on one with a tire iron for fifteen minutes before it dies!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 3:30 PM
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Macho crap is bad, but that doesn't mean that self-defense/martial arts/going to a gym/being sporty is a waste of time.

I think you are strawmanning here.

My martial arts instructor is a woman. Half of my regular sparring partners are women. There's no 'women shouldn't do this' going on here.

It's just that a great deal of self-defense advice, as dsquared has said (and I have said) is rubbish.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 3:31 PM
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Ha, I wrote 393 before seeing either 388 or 391. It was sheer luck that it brought together the themes of raccoon-dog faceoffs and hitting raccoons with sticks so neatly.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 3:31 PM
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Many of the people in my class start off with the idea that a gun will help them as they are walking down the street.

This is just bizarre, but I've heard it before. It's more understandable (and worrying) if they have vigilante justice fantasies or whatever; like they'll walk into the corner store while a robbery is going on or see a mugging.

But if some guy pops out and demands their wallet, what do they think they'll actually do? Outdraw him (not likely)? Trump his bluff. Like someone mentioned above, randomly walking down the street what situation are you going to get in where it's worth getting shot *or* shooting someone?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 3:31 PM
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Also TKD is in an Olympic sport and is dreadfully boring to watch.

Word. And I actually know what is going on. The clinching is just deadly dull.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 3:31 PM
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On my walk to campus today, I passed a large, dead raccoon lying on its side smack in the middle of someone's front lawn. Someone had a run in with a dog that didn't go as well as hoped, I suppose.

I kept reading this as "Whoever was nearby when the raccoon died also had a run in with a dog" and I found it very confusing. Fortunately I finally outwitted the confusion.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 3:31 PM
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Not when they're rabid! Then they can tackle a full-grown woman and her husband can wail on one with a tire iron for fifteen minutes before it dies!

I heard that a rabid raccoon can bite you in the middle of the night while you're sleeping and you'll NEVER KNOW!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 3:33 PM
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"bluff" s/b "bluff?" in 398


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 3:34 PM
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Fortunately I finally outwitted the confusion.

I beat my confusion to death with a tire iron.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 3:34 PM
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Do you all know that the there is a movement coming out of Texas to allow concealed handguns on university campuses? It's hard to tell how much momentum it has, because I think it's scarily popular in Texas, but I don't know if it's a state or national law prohibiting guns on campuses. (Seems like a state law?)

See, if you have a concealed weapon, then the next time a goth kid comes unhinged you can plug 'im before he does any damage. The law practically overturns itself.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 3:35 PM
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Texas is, in general, pretty fucked up about guns heebie-geebie.

Wasn't their a high school that wanted to mandate concealed carry for (some number of) faculty?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 3:37 PM
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I beat my confusion to death with a tire iron.

You wouldn't have had to get all sweaty like that if you'd had a handgun with you.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 3:38 PM
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their/there/they're/grrrrrrrrr


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 3:39 PM
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In further news, I can' t believe how much time I've wasted here today. You'd think I had a deadline or something. Oh wait, so I do.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 3:41 PM
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Ok, I think at this point it is probably worth pointing out that the typical profile of a mugger and a rapist are really different.

Muggers? Oh, no, this is rapists. I'm afraid you've got the wrong room. You want Room 32, down the hall"


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 3:41 PM
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My martial arts instructor is a woman. Half of my regular sparring partners are women. There's no 'women shouldn't do this' going on here.

Dude, it was d2, not me, that said that the martial arts was all about machismo.

Also, leave the raccoons alone, you bullies.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 3:44 PM
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377: You'll be glad to know that PK is taking both TKD *and* fencing.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 3:45 PM
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"Next time that liberal math teacher throws us a pop quiz on a Monday I'm gonna blow her away, I swear to God. Don't students have any rights? I've been reading this guy Horowitz, and he's really opened my eyes to a lot of things. No Texas court would ever convict me -- Second Amendment, baby!"


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 3:45 PM
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Texas is, in general, pretty fucked up about guns heebie-geebie.

I can't believe that asshole is settling down in my little metroplex, ruining the place for all ten million of us.

I lose track of the sprawl.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 3:46 PM
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413 On the bright side, people might send you shoes.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 3:47 PM
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I wept because I had no shoes, until people began pelting me with them.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 3:50 PM
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404: I don't know about TX, but most places that have concealed carry require a fairly thorough training course (and background check) before issuing a permit. It's not just law that's covered, but also safety and the like. Frankly I'm really not that worried about concealed carry - it's the hosers who can't get their act together enough to pass a six week course but keep a gun in the glove compartment who worry me.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 3:52 PM
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But if some guy pops out and demands their wallet, what do they think they'll actually do? Outdraw him (not likely)? Trump his bluff. Like someone mentioned above, randomly walking down the street what situation are you going to get in where it's worth getting shot *or* shooting someone?

I don't carry a gun and have no plans to. But I don't think the logic is that hard to understand. You don't buy a gun to shoot people; you buy a gun to threaten someone into doing what you want, be that giving you their wallet or leaving you the hell alone.

To answer your specific question, they theorize that some dude will approach them and demand their money or other valuables. They theorize that they'll pull out their gun and say "try again", at which point the mugger will say "Oh Shit!" and run away. It's not the best line of reasoning ever, but it's not completely insane either. Like I said, not for me.


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 3:54 PM
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This is just bizarre, but I've heard it before. It's more understandable (and worrying) if they have vigilante justice fantasies or whatever; like they'll walk into the corner store while a robbery is going on or see a mugging.

But if some guy pops out and demands their wallet, what do they think they'll actually do? Outdraw him (not likely)? Trump his bluff. Like someone mentioned above, randomly walking down the street what situation are you going to get in where it's worth getting shot *or* shooting someone?

It is. Most people are fairly smart about it, but more than a few have the "let's roll!" mentality that they are going to stop the robbery in progress.

Having said that, people get shot in robberies regularly. Giving up your stuff quickly doesnt mean that you are not going to get shot.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 4:06 PM
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Maybe just Welsh raccoons are poofs. American raccoons, on the other hand, are merciless:

When the female terrapins come up the beach at night to nest, the raccoons intercept them, rip off one of their legs, reach inside their body cavities, and remove the eggs inside.
Raccoons are among the most dextrous of animals, and also have a penis bone.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 4:08 PM
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Raccoons can kill dogs larger than themselves.

D^2 fights his ponies and raccoons at a special cut rate hunting park.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 4:12 PM
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You don't buy a gun to shoot people; you buy a gun to threaten someone into doing what you want

See, this is just stupid. Never threaten to use a weapon you won't actually use. Never carry one you won't use. That's like kindergarten for this stuff.

Your scenario most likely goes in one of the following ways:

1) Guy pops out and demands your wallet with his hand on a gun. You freak out and either a) just give him your wallet anyway (maybe bravely shoot him in the back as he's running away?) or b) make a panicked grab for your gun, in which case he shoot you, takes your wallet anyway and runs off.

2) Guy pops out and demands your wallet, he shows no weapon. Either he has one (back to case 1) or he doesn't. So you grab for your gun. Assuming you haven't panicked and dropped the thing, now what are you going to do? He might run off. But you're shit scared and showing it, so he might decide to take it off you. In which case either you're going to shoot someone for the $37 in your wallet, or he's going to take your gun away and shoot you. In which case, I don't like your chances, 'cause you just scared this guy.

Where's the percentage? There are so many ways this can go badly wrong, and introducing a gun (additional or otherwise) just amps up the bad outcomes. The best case outcome (he runs away) is unlikely enough that balanced against the risks it looks pretty stupid.

That isn't even getting into the other bad cases, where you scare yourself enough to shoot someone innocent, because you thought they were threatening you, etc.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 4:16 PM
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My brother believes that his raccoon scouted his chicken house for months before he was able to get in and kill all eight chickens. "Only kill what they eat" isn't about raccoons.

As I understand, at night chickens just sit there quietly waiting to be killed. Their ecological niche doesn't require shrewdness and alertness.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 4:16 PM
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On the concealed carry question: is it just a terminological quirk, or is there some reason why these proposed laws are always about concealed carry? What I'm trying to get at is, if the idea is to have people armed to deter and/or "deal with" a shooter, surely that purpose would be better served by having them carry the gun openly. The concentration on concealed carry just makes the proponents seem even more like creepy trigger-happy fantasists than they already do.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 4:17 PM
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404: This reminds me that during the time I was in Houston, Texas A&M reputedly had draconian penalties with regard to alcohol on campus, but Texas had no open container law at the time*. So problem solved! Drive around the countryside and drink.

*It looks like it got one in 2001.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 4:17 PM
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Giving up your stuff quickly doesnt mean that you are not going to get shot.

It's true. Neither does having a gun in your pocket. Probably ups the odds a little, all told. Some people would rather have higher odds of getting shot 'cause they can't handle the thought of being shot defenselessly at any odds, I suppose.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 4:18 PM
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where you scare yourself enough to shoot someone innocent, because you thought they were threatening you, etc.

Better hope you are Florida, Texas, or Louisiana:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yoshihiro_Hattori


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 4:19 PM
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423: My understanding is that most states have some form of open-carry allowance. I could be way off on this.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 4:21 PM
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Certainly NY doesn't, but I don't know about anywhere else. But it is an interesting question: obviously, on some level the answer is that it is completely socially unacceptable to be wandering around with a six-gun on your belt, so no one would carry openly eve if it were legal without a major social change first.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 4:25 PM
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To answer your specific question, they theorize that some dude will approach them and demand their money or other valuables. They theorize that they'll pull out their gun and say "try again", at which point the mugger will say "Oh Shit!" and run away.

I think the word you're looking for is "fantasize."


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 4:28 PM
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In Virginia, you can open carry. Open carry could certainly deter some crimes.

However, most people freak when they see a gun. They ask themselves: cop or robber? Very few people think "ordinary citizen carrying openly."

In addition, most people get a concealed carry permit as insurance. They don't want to run the risk that it isn't visible when they are transporting it.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 4:28 PM
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Very few people think "ordinary citizen carrying openly."

That's because "ordinary citizen carrying [a gun] openly" is an oxymoron. Most citizens don't carry guns; cops do.

If I saw someone carrying a gun openly I'd think "robber or crazed shooter?" Presumably, if one is also carrying, one takes out the person one sees with a gun, before that person has a chance to actually take aim. Which sort of makes the idea of carrying a gun for protection dumb, but hey.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 4:32 PM
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428/430:

No less an authority than Wikipedia say's I was right about the `most'.


Texas is weird: open-carry is prohibited, but conceal carry is dead easy (shall-issue law). And (cd will's link), you can pretty much get away with shooting anyone on your property, in practice.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 4:32 PM
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In addition, most people get a concealed carry permit as insurance. They don't want to run the risk that it isn't visible when they are transporting it.

huh, that's an interesting point.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 4:33 PM
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re: 411

Fencing is tremendous fun.

There's dozens of sports that are lots more fun than martial arts, where you're allowed to actually play the sport from day one rather than having to pass an arbitrary number of exams

They aren't all like that [financially and bureaucratically, I mean]. Our club, after the four week beginner's class, you start sparring. With everyone. Male or female, big or small. New or experienced. And lots of people never really bother with the exams [of which there are only a couple, and where people often go several years between them]. There's a minimum 'glove' standard for international competition but it costs a grand total of about 40 quid to reach that standard [in terms of testing fees].

That said, borderline extortion seems pretty common in the martial arts at large and I totally agree about the fun/social aspect of other sports.



Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 4:37 PM
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" But it is an interesting question: obviously, on some level the answer is that it is completely socially unacceptable to be wandering around with a six-gun on your belt, "

Well, duh. So why do these people think it's acceptable to carry it concealed? In a school or university?

To elaborate my original question, one of the obvious problems with concealed carry is that it makes it easier for a shooter to get the weapon(s) into wherever the place is unnoticed. If the motive is genuinely security, rather than Cap'n Ed style masculine insecurity bullshit, surely open carry would be more sensible.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 4:38 PM
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rather than Cap'n Ed style masculine insecurity bullshit

I think you answered your own question. It's their *right* to have a gun.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 4:40 PM
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Oops. That should have been Bob Owens style masculine insecurity bullshit.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 4:40 PM
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So why do these people think it's acceptable to carry it concealed? In a school or university?

To elaborate my original question, one of the obvious problems with concealed carry is that it makes it easier for a shooter to get the weapon(s) into wherever the place is unnoticed. If the motive is genuinely security, rather than Cap'n Ed style masculine insecurity bullshit, surely open carry would be more sensible.

In Virginia, you cannot get your concealed carry without taking a class and not having certain convictions or mental health treatment. So your concealed carry population are generally better trained.

If you are a robber, you generally do not get your concealed carry permit.

Many people do not want the attention that a gun brings. They want to be able to walk their dog at night and feel relatively safe. (ie safe from the three guys who start to follow them down the street/ safe when their car breaks down/ safe when they walk to the dark parking deck without anyone else to walk them there, etc)


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 4:45 PM
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I also get a lot of small business owners who want to be able to walk to their car at the end of the night. Not everyone can afford a private security detail or to have other people there when they close down at night or open up in the morning.

That said, the number one thing is being aware of their surroundings.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 4:48 PM
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They want to be able to walk their dog at night and feel relatively safe. (ie safe from the three guys who start to follow them down the street/ safe when their car breaks down/ safe when they walk to the dark parking deck without anyone else to walk them there, etc)

Practically speaking, I should think that if a gun makes you feel safe enough to do things you otherwise wouldn't it's probably putting you in danger, but what do I know.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 4:49 PM
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439: I can see this, although in many places it can't be high risk unless they're carrying receipts (which would be stupid). The whole "Don't walk around at night, it's dangerous" thing is blown all out of proportion in lots of places afaics. I'm sure there are some particular cases you run into where it's merely prudent.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 4:50 PM
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441 cont otoh, (on preview semi-pwnded by bitch) if you are genuinely needing a firearm to safely walk out to your car after closing your business, it really probably is false economy not to arrange a security sweep. And consider leasing somewhere else.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 4:52 PM
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Yeah, I can sympathize with the person who has to walk to their car at night from work or whatever, and yay laws that require gun training. But by and large, I think the argument that people "need" guns is stupid.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 4:52 PM
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What those guys should *really* do is invest in a good self-defense class and learn how to gouge eyes.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 4:53 PM
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They want to be able to walk their dog at night and feel relatively safe. (ie safe from the three guys who start to follow them down the street/ safe when their car breaks down/ safe when they walk to the dark parking deck without anyone else to walk them there, etc)

This sort of stuff though? Better treated with therapy than a CCW in my opinion.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 4:54 PM
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Indeed, a simple melon baller is all one really needs for self-defense.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 4:55 PM
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(in most cases, and "better" in a global sense)


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 4:55 PM
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They want to be able to walk their dog at night and feel relatively safe.

Seriously, on this one, isn't the solution to get a bigger dog? Any reasonable sized dog should mugger-proof you fairly well, no?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 4:56 PM
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Amor fati is all the training anyone really needs.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 4:57 PM
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Will, I'm talking more about the people who agitate for concealed carry in places like schools and churches.

And, B, I'm wondering why/how these laws get proposed/passed as concealed carry. Private motives are one thing, but presumably people have to publicly justify concealment at some point. In my limited experience, most proponents of concealed carry in sensitive places do so on the grounds of deterrence/retaliation, yet I've never heard anyone explain why that purpose wouldn't be better served with open carry.

It seemed (and still does seem) very odd to me. On the "freaking out" argument, a couple of points:

1) People should be freaked out by it. Guns are dangerous. I'd be even more freaked out to know that there were people with concealed handguns.

2) If there were a designated carrier(s), as some proposals have suggested, there wouldn't be any more reason to freak out than if the gun(s) were concealed.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 4:57 PM
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See, this is just stupid. Never threaten to use a weapon you won't actually use. Never carry one you won't use. That's like kindergarten for this stuff.

Sure, but guns still get used far more often to threaten than to kill, and are more useful as threatening implements than killing implements (certainly handguns).

Also, a bunch of people get really annoyed if you tell them they can't do X, which they do responsibly and enjoy, because a bunch of other idiots will hurt themselves and others doing X if allowed. Useful values of X include "take recreational drugs", "own/carry guns", "ride motorcycles", or "try to get a career in academia".


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 4:57 PM
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You don't buy a gun to shoot people; you buy a gun to threaten someone into doing what you want, be that giving you their wallet or leaving you the hell alone.

As soup said, if the gun owner thinks this, they're not being responsible. The rule of thumb is don't draw the weapon unless you're willing to fire it. You'd automatically escalate the situation. There is no threatening.

I don't have a problem with concealed carry generally; I have a problem with Walther Mitty fantasies in response to university shootings. (For one, I think the likely result is more shootings; for another, these fantasies are always proposed as in lieu of doing something that might actually work.)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 4:58 PM
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449: Yes.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 5:01 PM
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Sure, but guns still get used far more often to threaten than to kill

Right, primarily by the guy taking your wallet/car/whatever. Not so much by you talking him out of it.


452: Cala has the right of it. I have absolutely no doubt that the US culutural relationship to guns and gun laws has increased the amount of gun violence and the odds of you and I getting shot. But it's still pretty unlikely for most of us, and I really don't know how to effectively reduce it. The militarization of the police (generally a bad idea) hasn't helped either, nor the expansion of poorly payed and trained variants of same.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 5:02 PM
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further to 454a)

the guy mugging you really doesn't want to shoot you or kill you. It really makes a mess of his risk/reward trade off. You're most likely to get hurt by an inexperienced and desperate mugger (he's as scared as you are) and/or by doing something stupid.

Of course you might just run into a psycopathic whose going to kill you (gun or no gun, probably). So might we all. Living your life based around that possibility in any sense is a sign you need some help.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 5:06 PM
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Nobody "got" Todd's excellent Stride Rite joke in #78? My mom bought all my shoes there when I was a little kid because they had EEEEE sizes and I have wide feet.

My hat is off to you, sir.


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 5:06 PM
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Never threaten to use a weapon you won't actually use

Well, up to a point Dr Strangelove.

#434: That's quite interesting, but IIRC your martial arts club is a quite unusual one and attached to a university. The university thing means that it's probably got an unusually good deal on insurance (as I say, most martial arts "styles" are, economically, indemnity insurance brokerages), and the fact that there's hardly any similar clubs in Britain suggests to me that it's not being run on much of a profit-making basis. My guess is that this is atypical and I suspect that they must have negotiated non-standard terms with their insurer - martial arts insurance syndicates at Lloyd's usually mandate the no-sparring thing (and indeed, have a premium loading on allowing sparring at all). It's one of the reasons why Brazilian jujitsu is generally very expensive, the other reason being simple and rapacious greed.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 5:19 PM
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Some of the people make me most sympathetic to gun registration are most of the Second Amendment fanatics I run into. They can be, in themselves, powerful arguments for a completely disarmed citizenry. The ones I know are mostly law-abiding and usually under control, but they're also volcanoes of pent-up inarticulate free-floating rage.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 5:35 PM
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re: 457

Actually, it's not attached to a university. About half of the club members are university members [staff and students] but there's no formal connection. It's not being run on a profit making basis at all.* All of the UK clubs, afaik, are run on a broadly similar basis. Pricing for lessons works on more or less the same basic plan [flat fee for a 4 week intro course, then pay week by week with no commitment for the rest]. Insurance is about 20-30 quid a year. Grading less than 20 quid and all gradings [even the higher ones] are the same price. You pay to fight in competitions but again, it's pennies.

* some of the clubs I think are run on a profit making basis, but those clubs are multiple-art clubs which teach it as part of a 'portfolio' of things. It's quite a popular thing to round out someone's MMA 'set', I suspect. But, S/ avat /e just isn't a big enough to draw to make money on its own. It's very much a niche thing. Not hard core enough for the thai boxers, a bit too hard core for people used to no-sparring styles or styles with no head contact, and the funny suits and techniques named like ballet moves, etc.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 5:36 PM
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most proponents of concealed carry in sensitive places do so on the grounds of deterrence/retaliation, yet I've never heard anyone explain why that purpose wouldn't be better served with open carry

Because in America you run into the SECOND AMENDMENT WHICH GUARANTEES MY RIGHT OT A GUN DAMMIT. That argument, along with the financial power of the NRA, means that the question doesn't even come up. It's strictly a pro-rights vs. anti-gun argument. Kind of like how in the abortion debate, no one mentions birth control (unless they want to ban it, too, ostensibly because it supposedly causes abortions).


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 5:50 PM
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Concealed is superior to open carry in that it doesn't draw attention. That means you can simply go about your business as usual. Open carry will draw attention that might not be desirable, and it advertises the fact that you have a ~$300 easily fenced item in your possession. Open carry also invites the truly desperate to shoot first.

There's also a herd immunity-type argument to be made for concealed carry. If the mugger doesn't know who might be carrying he has an incentive to pursue less confrontational types of crime, like breaking and entering.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 5:56 PM
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the financial power of the NRA

Please. The NRA is not amazingly rich by lobbying standards; what sets it apart is that it has a large number of members who care a lot about this particular issue. They may all be ignorant rednecks, but they still vote.


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 6:01 PM
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In general, I don't see any valid self-defense argument for widespread gun ownership. There are a lot of places where people are safe where the citizens are disarmed, and there are a lot of death traps (Colombia, Afghanistan, Somalia, etc.) where gunownership is universal.

For the record, Iraqis under Saddam owned guns. The anti-tyranny argument is weak too.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 6:06 PM
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There are a lot of places where people are safe where the citizens are disarmed, and there are a lot of death traps (Colombia, Afghanistan, Somalia, etc.) where gunownership is universal.

And there are places where everyone has guns and is as safe as Switzerland. Switzerland, for example.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 6:15 PM
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Right. Or Minnesota. I'm just saying that the positive argument that guns make you safe is very weak.

Once an area has degraded to a certain point, you'd probably want a gun, but you still won't be safe.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 6:17 PM
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464: That likely indicates that whatever makes cities and countries safe isn't the presence or absence of an armed populace.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 6:22 PM
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You can't mean culcha? Surely it must be something else.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 6:25 PM
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re: 467

It could be the effect of truly gigantic quantities of money.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 6:30 PM
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It could be the effect of truly gigantic quantities of money.

So the hedgies are all going to start shooting each other, like a drug deal gone bad? Stick me with a worthless CDO!! Eat lead , sucka!!


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 6:36 PM
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Don't forget heterogeneity.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 6:37 PM
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I'm strongly in favor of gun training, but (to tie themes together), even if you're trained in how to safely use it, it's pretty easy for someone else grab the gun. They might not even have to overcome you -- just startle you enough. Not even in an altercation -- just someone who has severe and untreated mental illness, or a child who sees it right at eye level.

I mean, police officers get into plenty of situations because somebody tries to grab their gun. And some citizens who carry guns are a lot less experienced with them than police. Which is not to say police are uniformly well-trained, either.

So that's one reason that I think open carry is more dangerous than concealed carry.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 6:38 PM
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I mean, police officers get into plenty of situations because somebody tries to grab their gun.

You know how lots of people have a fear of heights that comes out as a fear that if they get too near the edge, they'll jump? I occasionally react that way to cops' guns -- it just looks as if it'd be so easy to steal them. I do recognize that this is insane.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 6:45 PM
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471: I agree, concealed is better than open carry. I think somewhere in the archives here is my story of what happened when my jacket blew open at the wrong time in the wrong place. Things can get complicated in a real hurry.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 6:50 PM
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But ever since that day, you've been reliable about remembering not to leave home without pants on.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 6:51 PM
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LB is really Chuck Norris. She always hands the gun back to the cop, after disarming him (always a him) and ejecting the cartridges. With a fetching smile, no less.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 6:52 PM
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God, I have that same reaction to nearby cops with guns. It's reassuring to know I'm not the only one.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 7:01 PM
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Are there other things you desire to touch that only strict laws or societal taboos prevent you? Cuz, that can be arranged.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 7:04 PM
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Grab and steal, TLL. As in yank. Hard. Not "touch."


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 7:06 PM
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As in yank. Hard

The Lorena Bobbit hand job.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 7:14 PM
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It's what you deserve, sexual harasser. Here we are talking about guns and you have to start leering at us.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 7:36 PM
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But ever since that day, you've been reliable about remembering not to leave home without pants on.

There are mornings now and then when I'm feeling sufficiently out of it that I find myself glancing down as I open the office door to verify that I remembered to put on pants before leaving the house.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 7:49 PM
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Fortunately, most people have a healthy respect for guns, so they generally handle them within their capabilities.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 7:54 PM
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Fortunately, most people have a healthy respect for guns, so they generally handle them within their capabilities.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 7:54 PM
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Fortunately, most people have a healthy respect for the "post" button, so they generally handle it within their capabilities.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 8:00 PM
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Fortunately, most people have a healthy respect for low-hanging fruit, so they generally handle it within their capabilities.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 8:03 PM
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I pretty much get paid to carry all the time these days, and open carry is madness.

I occasionally react that way to cops' guns -- it just looks as if it'd be so easy to steal them. .

That's why it's smart to have a duty holster with good retention devices. We use a Safariland.

http://www.safariland.com/product.aspx?pid=6365


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 8:15 PM
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I pretty much get paid to carry all the time these days

Off-duty, too? Is that common?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 8:21 PM
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He has a special submersible bathtub gun.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 8:22 PM
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with laser sighted soap attachment.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 8:38 PM
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And he cleans all his hollow points very carefully.

(Ew!)


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 8:40 PM
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Shoe Thrower Being Tortured ...firedoglake

My points above were not really about what I wanted or might approve, but about the probable response of the two interested regimes.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 9:13 PM
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I used this for about thirty years. Not much grab protection except for one's elbow. On the other hand, it's practically invisible under any sort of loose covering.

http://www.miltsparks.com/Summer_Spec.htm


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 9:15 PM
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hope Bush will protect him


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 9:16 PM
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Off-duty, too? Is that common?

Yep, off duty too. It's pretty common for cops to carry off duty. A fair number of tax dollars went into my training and equipment, and there's definitely certain situations where I would feel it was my job to step in and intervene.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 9:18 PM
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493: And interfere with the workings of a sovereign nation?


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 9:18 PM
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495 to 494, obviously.

(Thanks for the answer, gswift. I was genuinely curious, and that makes sense. Don't tase me, bro.)


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 9:26 PM
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So far, I've only been on the receiving end of the taser. It was even worse than I imagined.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 9:33 PM
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whatever, he just shouldn't allow torturing the guy
the other day i saw at night how a police officer was shouting at the young black woman, walk the other way and do not turn around, otherwise i'll arrest you
she was screaming and crying from anger but had to follow his order, i don't know what happened between them, just thought like scary thing, power to humiliate


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 9:39 PM
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Only on Unfogged could you have hundreds of comments about male/female physical differences with almost no mention of testosterone. There's real medical evidence that hormones can affect the body. It's not all made up by evil right-wing bloggers!

Right, lighter weight boxers etc. specialize in speed and accuracy, you want to wear your opponent out and pepper them with blows. This really isn't a strong tactic outside the ring.

spoken like someone who has never been hit squarely by a wiry little light-weight. That was actually the experience that led me to drop boxing. I was, like, does it really make sense to risk brain damage for some vague internal sense of machismo?


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 9:53 PM
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498: It's incredible how policing practice in the U.S. is oriented to humiliate, punish, and control, rather than solve problems.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 9:54 PM
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not only the US, i think here the police is pretty civil even, maybe the officer was acting like benevolently, not arresting the woman, but to address that way a woman looked very unpleasant


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 10:03 PM
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I may be prejudiced by watching too many episodes of Cops. But I always figure that on that show they're on their best behavior, and it's not very impressive.

On Saturday, they had their "Ho, Ho, Ho!" Christmas special. Special focus on street prostitution.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 10:11 PM
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they have open carry in georgia; someone I knew who worked at a liquor store used to wear his gun to work, a .44. it didn't really seem to freak people out too bad on the street, actually, and it's hard to doubt it lessened his chances of getting robbed in the liquor store. of course, they had a shotgun under the counter, too, so maybe it was just machismo. I think worries about someone stealing your gun are overblown. people whose reaction to having a gun pointed at their face is to calmly and quickly snatch the gun away are rarer in real life than in movies. not every random street criminal is omar.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 10:44 PM
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I used to catch the bullets in my teeth and spit them back, but now I have no teeth and I hate gumming bullets.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-15-08 10:47 PM
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Bush is the one.


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 3:59 AM
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Only on Unfogged could you have hundreds of comments about male/female physical differences with almost no mention of testosterone. There's real medical evidence that hormones can affect the body. It's not all made up by evil right-wing bloggers!

Wow, really? There's 'medical evidence' that everything we were talking about has been traced back to a simple function of differing hormone levels? Cool, I'd love some links, with an explanation of what they have to do with what the topics under discussion in this thread.

(Or, given that you don't have any and there aren't any, maybe you could calm down about mocking people for ignoring the 'medical evidence'. You really should have a clear idea of what evidence you're talking about, and in what sense it's relevant enough that it's being 'ignored', before you start poking fun.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 5:39 AM
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Be fair, LB. Your original hypothesis was "men are less fearful because by and large men are bigger"; if that's the standard, "men are less fearful because various hormones lead to more aggressive behaviors" isn't all that out there. (And the hormones get in there indirectly if we're talking about why men of the same height and weight are stronger.) Of course, none of that is determinative; how the behaviors are expressed are a function of culture, but that goes for 'men are bigger', too.)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 7:08 AM
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Actually, come to think of it you said "physical aggression", not "fearful", and you linked it to size, not hormones. And there's some evidence that excess testosterone makes animals and people more aggressive, testosterone therapy makes men and women more energetic, etc. It's not a knockdown argument, and it's not the only thing that affects human aggression, but it's not irrelevant either.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 7:14 AM
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Right. But I'm not annoyed that PGD brought up hormones himself -- it's a perfectly reasonable thing to bring up. I'm annoyed about the "Only at Unfogged" comment, which appears to me to be making an implicit claim that gender differences in aggression are well understood to be explained by "medical evidence" about hormones, and that we're all kind of ridiculous for ignoring this evidence. That's nonsense, it's not a subject that's well understood at all.

Offering your own theory, with the evidence you believe supports it? An effective and convincing means of discussing a topic. Making fun of people for ignoring your devastingly convincing evidence that you're not going to bother to put forth? Kind of annoying.

I had a similar conversation with baa once, about facing up to the scientific evidence that innate biological differences between men and women explain behavioral differences. I'll face up to whatever scientific evidence anyone likes, I'd just like to see it first.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 7:25 AM
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I had a similar conversation with baa once, about facing up to the scientific evidence that innate biological differences between men and women explain behavioral differences. I'll face up to whatever scientific evidence anyone likes, I'd just like to see it first.

Great idea. Will you hold yourself to the same standard?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 7:29 AM
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eh, that was too snarky. I regret it already.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 7:29 AM
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509: Again, the standard of evidence was one under "it's size difference because my older bigger daughter is more aggressive than my younger smaller son" was acceptable. Under that, gesturing to a fairly large body of literature on testosterone and physical aggression* isn't really out of bounds. Making fun of Unfogged on this point? Totally reasonable.

*It's more complicated than testosterone = aggression.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 7:33 AM
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My 509 crossed with your 508. And of course the evidence you're putting forth there exists, but of course what it means about gender differences in behavior is very ambiguous. Most obviously, testosterone levels in men and women are way, way different -- if I recall correctly, although I'm having trouble googling to check, the normal ranges don't overlap. Behavioral differences, on the other hand, don't show anything like that sort of total dimorphism.

This doesn't mean that hormones have absolutely nothing to do with anything. But it does mean that there's nothing inherently risible about an explanation for behavioral differences that doesn't start and end with hormonal differences.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 7:39 AM
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510: But of course I will, Will. If you catch me appealing to 'medical' or 'scientific' evidence as if it should be a conversation stopper, or as if other people in the conversation are morons for not having acknowledged the evidence beforehand, when I don't have anything specific and tightly related to the topic under discussion to point to, I'd hope you'd call me on it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 7:42 AM
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513: That's right, but we weren't initially talking about behaviors generally, but physical aggression and energy levels, two which correlate very well with higher levels of testosterone. The data are complicated -- it's not as a simple as more testosterone = more aggression, and how aggression is expressed is going to be a function of culture -- but it's a fairly well-established link.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 7:49 AM
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512: Under that, gesturing to a fairly large body of literature on testosterone and physical aggression* isn't really out of bounds.

Absolutely it isn't out of bounds. It's a perfectly reasonable thing to bring up, if that's what PGD wants to talk about.

Making fun of Unfogged on this point? Totally reasonable.

Not getting this. I really don't like seeing SCIENCE used for conversational bullying, in areas where there's not SCIENCE that solidly answers the questions being discussed. And making fun of 'Unfogged' (or really, of me, given that I was the only person making the arguments PGD addressed) for having put forth a theory of gender differences in aggression not limited to hormonal differences looks to me like a bullying move.

People do worse things than that in conversation all the time, I've probably done four ruder things in the last eighteen hours. But it's the kind of thing that will reliably make me cross.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 7:49 AM
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515: which correlate very well with higher levels of testosterone.

Not, as far as I'm familiar with, in any way that works well at all across genders. That is, there's complicated and ambiguous evidence that testosterone levels relate in some way (I think 'correlate very well' is a bit of an overstatement, but I could be wrong) to behavioral aggression within men, and within women.

There is not, as far as I know, any useful evidence at all that the widely differing normal ranges for testosterone for men and for women explain the differences in behavioral aggression between the two groups. (E.g., you can't look at a very low testosterone man, and a very high testosterone woman, both with the same blood levels of testosterone, and expect them to show the same amount of behavioral aggression in any objectively measurable way. Or any more complex version of the same sort of thing.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 7:57 AM
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PGD will have to reconsider his worldview once I share with him this little tidbit I picked up from the Internet. Who has the highest testosterone on record for any human being, male or female? Caitlin Flanagan.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 8:33 AM
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Back to the OP:

Iraq's justice system is to probe the case of the journalist who hurled his shoes at US President George W. Bush, officials said on Tuesday, as his brother said he had been beaten up by security agents.

via TPM


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 8:34 AM
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(Not so much pwned by 491, just following up.)


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 8:36 AM
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spoken like someone who has never been hit squarely by a wiry little light-weight.

Wrong, actually. Let me put it this way --- if someone is going to get one good shot at you, what weight class would you prefer he's in?

Outside the ring, you don't have rounds & refs after all. What I said should in no way be misconstrued to mean you can't get really hurt as a flyweight or whatever. But boxing really isn't the same as fighting. Which obviously isn't to say that if you're going to be hit anyway, you shouldn't prefer the person not be a boxer.


I think worries about someone stealing your gun are overblown

I've seen this happen twice, so it can't be so uncommon. You're quite right, if someone appears to be competently pointing it at your face, you aren't likely to be able to grab it. But like your comment, outside the movies though, that really isn't the way it often happens.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 8:44 AM
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I've seen this happen twice, so it can't be so uncommon.

Soup is law enforcement?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 8:46 AM
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erm further to 521b: Besides I thought the main point of all that wasn't actually that people would be likely to disarm you so much as have the drop on you, anyway.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 8:47 AM
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Right, so 500 comments in and when I'm knee-deep in a writing project is a great time to drop this observation into a thread, I think. Hilzoy:

By sheer coincidence, I'm in the middle of reading this, on the Colfax massacre and its legal aftermath. Until a couple of years ago, I really had no idea at all how horrible the reconstruction era was, and that it wasn't just a period of periodic violence against African-Americans and the odd Yankee (which would have been bad enough), but something very much like war.
I sometimes wonder how much general amnesia about Reconstruction played into policy-makers' failure to see what the aftermath of war in Iraq might be like. Certainly, if what we were taught in school was something like: a lot of people in the South did not accept the Union victory, and were willing not just to shoot or lynch the odd person, but to e.g. violently overthrow elected legislatures, terrorize whole populations, etc., to undo its effects, it might have given them pause.

I don't think it would have, frankly. But if the whole country had a general shared understanding of Reconstruction the way we do about, say, WWII, then we as citizens might have gotten more traction pushing against policymakers' contention that it was all going to be a cakewalk.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 8:48 AM
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522: no.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 8:49 AM
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You'll tell us if you write a memoir, soup, right? You sound as if you've got fascinating stories, as well as a fascinating trajectory.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 8:54 AM
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517: E.g., you can't look at a very low testosterone man, and a very high testosterone woman, both with the same blood levels of testosterone, and expect them to show the same amount of behavioral aggression in any objectively measurable way. Or any more complex version of the same sort of thing.)

Well, a very low testosterone man probably still has more testosterone than a woman.

I think it falls under "complicated but not ambiguous, but not determinative." Excess testosterone generally means more aggression (note, that's excess, not "high"); it also means higher levels of energy (a beneficial side effect of therapy, sometimes), and more ability to put on muscle. What complicates things is that the levels of testosterone aren't static, and that you can induce a spike in someone's testosterone levels by having them compete.

I took PGD to be saying that it was remarkable that testosterone wouldn't come up, not that it was remarkable that we didn't think Science! settled it.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 9:02 AM
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I think the crucial thing is probably control of the change in aggression; a great way to get in trouble is to over-react, and a lot of people who *are* looking for a fight need some drama to provoke themselves, but when the trouble actually starts it helps to hit your straps at once. Hey, I once kicked a guy in the face when I was 16, *standing up*. The *wrong* guy, but it finished the incident and I don't think I ever had any more trouble with the right guy. And at school I stuck a pair of compasses in somebody's nose.

The last time I was involved in any violence, I got my head whacked on a Victorian masonry cornice, so I had to shower huge lumps of caked blood out of my hair the next day, and my forehead slashed with a set of keys, so any advice of mine may not be much use. I was 19 at the time. (Explaining this to the Dean of German, who I accidentally encountered the next morning despite trying to dodge her, was...different.)

Aren't we faced with a special case of the sort-of standard rules for everything, though? Don't be a bastard to anyone*, maintain your situational awareness, be confident, and stay reasonably fit, and you've dealt with most of the distribution.

*the Prime Directive, remember?


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 9:03 AM
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And at school I stuck a pair of compasses in somebody's nose.

"At band camp? This one time?..."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 9:06 AM
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I took PGD to be saying that it was remarkable that testosterone wouldn't come up,

Perhaps, but I don't think it's that remarkable. There really isn't anything new there, right? Everyone knows it's a factor, everyone knows it's not determinative, and the more interesting issues are elsewhere...


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 9:06 AM
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Perhaps, but I don't think it's that remarkable. There really isn't anything new there, right? Everyone knows it's a factor, everyone knows it's not determinative, and the more interesting issues are elsewhere...

I think if someone claims that by looking at children we get a clue that perhaps the difference in aggression between men and women is all socially determined and the result of path dependence, that person doesn't necessarily "know it's a factor".


Posted by: Cryptec nid | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 9:08 AM
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531: I thought what LB was saying was that there was a lot of path dependence in her anectdata, which is really quite plausible. It would be enough work supporting the proposal that testosterone levels are first order effects in that age range of young children, let alone the overwhelming factor.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 9:14 AM
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iow, nobody said it was all socially determined, that I read.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 9:14 AM
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526: long strange trip, but mostly boring I think.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 9:15 AM
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527: Eh, if I misunderstood PGD, I still think he was being weird. 'Differing hormone levels explain everything!' is the perfectly standard conventional wisdom. I figured that went without saying, but if it needed to be said before moving on to possible alternatives, I suppose there's no harm in it.

So this is me acknowledging, that my 259 would have been improved by the inclusion of the parenthetical clause: "while most people would assume that gendered differences in behavioral aggression are explained by hormonal differences between the sexes, I think that.." Where PGD's invocation of 'evil right-wing bloggers' came in, I'm not certain.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 9:16 AM
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Eh, if I misunderstood PGD, I still think he was being weird.

I am reminded of a pro se litigant who had made some blatantly false allegations in court. At the next hearing, when faced with the evidence that he had made false allegations, he said, "I apologize to the Court, but not to Mr. [opposing lawyer], a clear child abuser of the worse order who has probably been abusing the empty calories of alcohol."


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 9:23 AM
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It's those empty calories that make the accusation particularly egregious.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 9:28 AM
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Will, you've seemed unusually aggressive towards Lizardbreath lately. Are you juicing, by any chance?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 9:29 AM
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I spend a lot of time coaching people that their acceptance of responsibility should not involve blaming the other parent.

"I realize now that I shouldn't have had sex with my wife's sister while my children played in the same room, but I only did it because my wife is such a slanket!"


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 9:32 AM
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Will, you've seemed unusually aggressive towards Lizardbreath lately. Are you juicing, by any chance?

That made me laugh out loud.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 9:33 AM
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Then, I smashed my phone against the wall.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 9:34 AM
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Isn't it true that you are a whore and a slut?


Posted by: will, an hour from now | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 9:37 AM
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so funny, i wonder what happened next, ah, yes, i recalled the father got angry and there was a big fight


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 9:41 AM
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broken arm and ribs, poor guy
i just wonder was it all worth it, if the expression of contempt will bring more hatred and deeper alienation with symbolic gestures like flags and shoe soles getting involved like avalanche
i mean the guy is brave and rightful in his anger, but one's well-being is priority for the self, i know it's a cowardly instinct, but that 'live well is the best revenge'is the best motto maybe, no?


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 9:50 AM
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Hey, didn't mean to bully anybody. Must have been the testosterone getting out of control again. Cala had the spirit of what I was trying to get at.

My observation was less driven by the scientific evidence (which certainly exists, but becomes pretty complicated when you try to map it to the behaviors of daily life...I think endocrinology might end up being as complicated as neuroscience when people really understand it) than by the memories of being a boy, which truly felt like I was flying on a powerful drug. I remember this insanely uncontrollable need to move constantly, also to bounce off things and hit them. Things like formal aggression toward other people felt socially mediated (a decision I was making), but this intense drive to express physical energy was more like a physical appetite that had to be satisfied.

The fascination with weaponry and guns at the time must have been socially mediated too, but also felt weirdly hard wired.

I looked back at my junior high school notebooks a few years ago and found all the margins, for every page of hundreds and hundreds of pages over two years of school, carefully decorated with pictures of elongated rocket ships shooting streams of bullets at plump, round flying saucers. WHAT COULD IT HAVE MEANT?


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 11:47 AM
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544 maybe it's a cynical take, but i really think there are very few things which is worth of my broken arm, my family, people whom i love and respect
if i would perceive that they are in danger i'd fight
just throwing shoes is childish or as we say 'boroonu daraa tsuv nomrox - to put on a raincoat after it rained'
and if it will bring more hatred in general and destruction to self, i'd try to avoid that by all means
for saddam hussein of saakashvili for example i think they were not sufficiently self-interested, they had all the power to lead their people to a safer, better live or they could at least avoid disasters, find some way out of danger, there is always some kind of compromise to be made, pity they did not realize that


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 11:50 AM
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are


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 11:51 AM
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f, ha, should use the firefox with spellcheck


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 11:53 AM
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I looked back at my junior high school notebooks a few years ago and found all the margins, for every page of hundreds and hundreds of pages over two years of school, carefully decorated with pictures of elongated rocket ships shooting streams of bullets at plump, round flying saucers. WHAT COULD IT HAVE MEANT?

This reminds me, the popular kids' video game "Rocket Slime" is obviously inspired by semen as well.


Posted by: Tsuv Nomrox | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 11:55 AM
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Ongorson boroonii xoinoos tsuv nomrox ( yxree aldaad xashaagaa zasax)


Posted by: Tsuv Nomrox | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 11:56 AM
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WHAT COULD IT HAVE MEANT?

That you weren't getting any in junior high?

Seriously though, I don't see how anything you've noted here counters LB's hypothesis..


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 11:57 AM
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550 great you know it better than me,
how do you know our proverbs?


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 11:58 AM
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I just googled for "Tsuv Nomrox". There was exactly one response. But with this thread now existing, there will be two!


Posted by: Tsuv Nomrox | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 12:00 PM
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Well, a very low testosterone man probably still has more testosterone than a woman.

Actually I believe this isn't true--I seem to remember reading something recently in which a group of people had their hormone levels tested (in a fairly casual and not Scientifically Rigorous way) and found to their surprise that while the average level for men was higher than the average level for women, that there were a number of individual women who had higher levels than a number of individual men.

That said, I don't have the link. And while I'm perfectly willing to believe that testosterone increases aggression, because I remember reading that too, I'm not willing to concede that little boys have a significant amount of testosterone that little girls lack. And I'm pretty sure that while the effect of hormones is significant, that gendered behavior isn't simply attributable to hormones; that a whole host of other issues, including socialization and other physical causes--like brain development, which while presumably related to hormone levels in utero isn't the same thing as "men have more testosterone"--come into play as well.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 12:03 PM
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wow, a lot of our proverbs, all translated into Korean, i'll bookmark the link and try to translate those into English
thanks


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 12:04 PM
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554: right, the two big problems with pointing the finger at testosterone here is that a) we're talking about little kids, far less differentiation and b) we also know that socialization effects etc. are huge here, so it's extremely difficult to get any sort of neutral observations.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 12:06 PM
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Seriously though, I don't see how anything you've noted here counters LB's hypothesis..

If that hypothesis is that all differences between boys and girls are completely due to path dependent effects of socialization, then it seems totally at odds with everything I know about everything. But I can't claim to know everything about anything.

If it's just that the expression of male/female differences are heavily socially dependent, then that seems very true.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 12:08 PM
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If that hypothesis is that all differences between boys and girls are completely

But it very clearly wasn't, so I don't know what you're on about.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 12:10 PM
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Read, are these Mongolian sayings? Because they are common Korean aphorisms.

The first couple translate to something like: "other people's cakes always look bigger;" "a thief who steals a needle is a thief who will steal a cow;" and "you can't even find dog shit if you need to use it for medicine."


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 12:14 PM
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The fascination with weaponry and guns at the time must have been socially mediated too, but also felt weirdly hard wired.

Sure, and my love of fancy shoes feels hard wired as well. But that's how brains work: once you learn something well, it feels hard wired. Hence professional athletes and world-class pianists.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 12:19 PM
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"a thief who steals a needle is a thief who will steal a cow;"

This is clearly nonsense. Needles are much easier to hide than cattle.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 12:20 PM
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they are common Mongolian proverbs, the poster matched perhaps some similarly sounding or meaning sayings in both languages,
what is in Mongolian are genuine Mongolian sayings


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 12:23 PM
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And for what it's worth, the answer to the implicit question in 499.1 is because mention of biologically driven gender differences inevitably leads to long drawn out arguments with certain parties refusing to give an inch on anything, so why bother?

That said, one of the high points of my birthday dinner was discovering that only source of flame to light the candles on the dinner table was my Bernz-O-Matic (the kind with the 17 oz blue can). I think that male sex hormones were a necessary although my no means sufficient contributor to this feeling. One of the low points was discovering that binocular depth perception is REALLY useful when trying to light candles in this manner.


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 12:23 PM
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I'm not denying the effects of socialization, but if we're postulating biological reasons ("men are more physically aggressive on average because they are bigger") that affect behavior, more testosterone doesn't seem like it's out of the question biologically, either.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 12:23 PM
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562: so non-literal translations perhaps? neat.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 12:24 PM
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more testosterone doesn't seem like it's out of the question biologically, either.

where did anyone say that it was?

Unless I'm badly misremembering (too lazy to grovel the whole thread again, so sorry if I'm out to lunch here) what LB was basically proposing was that initial weight/size advantage + social support/censure can set boys on a different path than girls, and that this path is in itself reinforcing of behavior (cf general fitness level). Then this path dependence over time might explain a lot of the observed differences. All of which, while hardly proven, is perfectly plausible. I don't recall LB (or anyone else) saying `see, it's got nothing to do with hormones'.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 12:30 PM
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565perhaps,
"you can't even find dog shit if you need to use it for medicine."
in Mongolian it sounds 'there are times you have to use dog shit for medicine'
the needle thief sounds in Mongolian 'nail by nail, a thief', it seems in the bracket are Korean proverbs translated into Mongolian


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 12:34 PM
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568

Okay, fine. We're all in agreement.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 12:34 PM
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huh. where's the fun in that?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 12:36 PM
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567: Are they also Mongolian aphorisms though? Because that is curious. There's one I've never heard before, which is something like, "His bellybutton is bigger than his belly." What does that mean?


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 12:36 PM
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571

Comity sucks.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 12:38 PM
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572

which one from the first line? i can't read Korean, they are not literal translations it seems


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 12:38 PM
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what is in Mongolian are, and in the brackets after that translations from Korean of the matching aphorism


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 12:40 PM
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572: "100 ymaand jaran uxana , ..ylixgyi ym ymaanii garztai..(gedesneesee xyis ni tom )"

So you think they are just aphorisms with similar uses, rather than aphorisms which are literally and figuratively similar? Disappointing!


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 12:41 PM
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i can't find anything about bellybutton


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 12:43 PM
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100 ymaand jaran uxna
means '60 bucks(male goats) for 100 female goats'
like too much effort for the task maybe


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 12:45 PM
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577

Actually, I rather like comity.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 12:46 PM
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yalixgyi ymand ymaanii garztai means
to sacrifice a goat for nothing (yalixgui yum- small wish)


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 12:47 PM
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Could just run the korean side through an internet translator, right? That ought to clear everything up.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 12:49 PM
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huh. where's the fun in that?

Fine.

Testosterone determines everything! If you measure a child's testosterone levels IN THE WOMB you will determine the ENTIRE COURSE OF HIS OR HER LIFE! Anyone who denies this HATES SCIENCE and is ignoring ESTABLISHED MEDICINAL FACT!


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 12:51 PM
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AFT's are kind of like tea leaves, then?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 12:53 PM
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AFT's are kind of like tea leaves, then?

The real reason for abortion is the pre-ordained unhappy life. Plus Hitler keeps trying to get reincarnated, but has been found, every time. So far.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 12:55 PM
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Live feed of MN State Canvassing Board working through Franken challenges. So far I've only seen unanimous decisions, which is comforting as far as the legitimacy of the outcome goes.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 12:58 PM
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Okay, fine. We're all in agreement.

Has this been scientifically proven, Cala?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 1:12 PM
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my sister and her best friend -- who ps i am in total love with to no avail -- did thai kickboxing class every week for two years to destress from their job when they worked at the same place, which was cool (also, re the best friend anyway, hottt), except after a while they were both hobbling the whole time; the instructors (there were two, they were twins) paired them bcz they had started at the same time, so all they did, week after week, was learn to kick each other very very hard and dramatically, so they were just all bruises on the legs, from each other


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 2:08 PM
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i like the there were two, they were twins
phrase, very musical
my sisters used to take wushu classes, so all they did were sitting on their wide stepped feets and holding their hands folded before them, very tiring position if to hold it long
their hands still have some small scars from the floor, they used to walk on their fists, very stupid i think why just not on the open palms, that's better injury-wise


Posted by: read. | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 2:22 PM
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-s


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 2:22 PM
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related somewhat to 585 and previous discussion of self defense training for women.

I dated for a while a woman who had competed internationally in a particularly physical fighting discipline (knees & elbows allowed, full contact). She was also six feet tall and strong, fought at around 160lbs if I recall correctly.

A former model, she'd probably been as much socially reinforced as anyone for the "look pretty and play girl games" line growing up. Her later competitive fighting was basically a rejection of this, and of the expectations of the modeling world. I suspect she also liked the cognitive dissonance these two facts instilled.

So the point is this: She had an abusive ex husband. Even after all the training and experience of the intense fighting in the ring, when he broke into her house one night she initially fell apart and let him push her around. She eventually got hold of herself, hurt him and threw him out, but her first reaction was to ball up in fear. He was not particularly big nor, or a fighter of any kind, for what it's worth.

I offer this as a commentary on how hard it is to overcome this patterns instilled since childhood, anonymously and obscured a bit as she's fairly identifiable.


Posted by: John F. Kennedy | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 2:25 PM
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I beat up and was beat up by a dude this weekend, and was sore for days. We did not have sexual intercourse, but it was still good to get into a fight, which I haven't done in a long time.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 2:30 PM
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589: Was this a fight with hard feelings behind it? Or just wrassling?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 2:36 PM
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590: It's hard to tell. I think we're both mad at each other that we haven't fucked yet, and it's crossed the line now into violence.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 2:38 PM
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591: That phenomena is both weird, and seemingly common. Occasionally it crosses the line into both, simultaneously.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 2:39 PM
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592: There was also kissing and fondling involved, but mostly violence. I think there is a girlfriend somewhere in this scenario. (Welcome to my life, in which I can be intimate friends with a guy for six months and never hear word one about the existence of a girlfriend, whom he nevertheless seems unwilling to cheat on or break up with.)


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 2:42 PM
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566 seems about right to me.

591: So if it's hard to tell, it was at least formally playfighting?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 2:44 PM
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they used to walk on their fists, very stupid i think why just not on the open palms, that's better injury-wise

It is to strengthen the wrist and the meta carpal bones.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 2:50 PM
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594.2: It was pretty rough, and not the kind of fighting during which one laughs or smiles. But it was spontaneous, not like we were yelling at each other before that. I didn't start it, so I don't know what it was about, if not confusion/anger about the nature of our relationship.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 2:50 PM
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593: Why do people do this? How do they?

"So what are you up to this weekend?"
"X is visiting"
"Oh, who is X?"
"Ummm, so I'm kind of still married and I've been meaning to tell you about X"

bizarre.

I had a friend in grad school in pretty much the same situation you describe too, except none of us had ever heard of his girlfriend until she flew in for a visit .... he'd been regularly staying up all hours with a mutual friend of ours, and she had no idea the girlfriend existed.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 2:51 PM
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Oh yeah, quoted conversation (to best of my memory) happened to a friend of mine, too.

In the latter case, nobody in the social circle including his closest friends at the school and his roommate, had ever heard of her. He'd been telling her about us at some point, though, which made for some weird conversations.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 2:57 PM
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597: I have no clue, unless it's about enjoying the tension with someone who obviously likes you and fearing that it will disappear if she knows you have a partner. But that tension can get really scary.

I think I've mentioned here before that, for two years during my MA program, I was "friends" with a guy I saw and talked to every day, with whom I would occasionally get into nasty physical fights, who brought his fiancée to my graduation party.

Fiancée: AWB, it's so amazing to finally meet you! He talks about you all the time!
AWB: ... [Desperately trying not to say, "I had no idea you existed!"]

The difference here seems to be that this dude and I are not actively mean to one another, just aggressive. Plus, we both tell our friends we're in love. I'm not sweating it, though. I'm not the one with a secret girlfriend.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 2:57 PM
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Desperately trying not to say, "I had no idea you existed!"

Exactly! That sounds like (guy above)


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 3:00 PM
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SHE LIES!


Posted by: AWB's secret girlfriend | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 3:00 PM
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My girlfriends aren't secrets! I brag about them all the time!


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 3:01 PM
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It is to strengthen the wrist and the meta carpal bones.
no, for instilling endurance into teenage girls they said
it's snowing outside, i went to gaze over at the horizon to the corridor end and Manhattan is invisible for now due to snow


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 3:02 PM
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AWB's got a point there, 601.

non-relationships are weird AWB. Then again, relationships are too!


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 3:02 PM
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non-relationships are weird AWB.

I know, and if I had better self-preservation skills I would stop it, but I'm sort of enjoying what a perverted mess this is becoming.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 3:07 PM
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598: sort of the opposite of the Canadian-girlfriend-nobody's-ever-met phenomenon.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 3:08 PM
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Why do people do this? How do they?

I think the explanation is fairly obvious.

AWB, your life is truly weird. I salute you. No way I would have the raw energy for that kind of thing.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 3:13 PM
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607: Even with all that testosterone, PGD?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 3:16 PM
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I think the explanation is fairly obvious.

No, I don't think it is. Look, cheaters are a dime a dozen. Ambiguous relationships too. But it's really hard to spend lots of time over months and months with someone and never mention anything connecting you to, say, your girlfriend/boyfriend/spouse/whatever.

This requires a level of compartmentalization that is frankly beyond most people.

For others, sure you may be able to compartmentalize enough... but why? It literally isn't gaining you anything. There is something deeply odd about this, at least the situation I described and I think the one AWB is describing.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 3:16 PM
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608: he used it up getting his ass kicked by seventh grade girls who know Judo.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 3:17 PM
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Ugh. I've been thinking about getting back on the market but shit like 597,599 and previous make me think it's not for me. People are so fucked up. Is it really that hard to show the basic respect for another human being involved in disclosing the information they might need in order to decide what sort of relationship they want to have with you? No. It really isn't.

OTOH, that kind of shit makes me think that people who insert "no games" in online profiles might actually be referring to a far more dysfunctional set of behaviors than I initially assume if AWB/soup's stories are not extreme outliers. I'd always taken it as being an indication of a desire for discussions about the kids' names to begin somewhere around the sixth to eight month of dating. Perhaps they just mean no deceitful cowards.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 3:19 PM
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609: Seems mighty odd to me.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 3:20 PM
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"no games" in online profiles might actually be referring to a far more dysfunctional set of behaviors

I JUST HATE PARCHEESI.


Posted by: AWB's secret girlfriend | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 3:28 PM
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Even with all that testosterone, PGD?

That was way back when. Now my tesosterone level has dropped and I just like to sit by the fire and smoke my pipe. This is precisely how I was led to my great scientific discoveries about the key role of tesosterone in human behavior.

No, I don't think it is.... It literally isn't gaining you anything. There is something deeply odd about this,

well, we'll agree to disagree. I actually think 599.1 explains it pretty well. There are lots of reasons why an endless state of romantic tension with another person might be desirable, or do psychological work for someone. E.g. it makes them feel wanted without really demanding certain things that actual relationships do, and it never settles down into the mundane.

Ugh. I've been thinking about getting back on the market but shit like 597,599 and previous make me think it's not for me. People are so fucked up.

I wouldn't get discouraged. In my experience the dating world pretty much gives you back what you signal you really want. One person's experience is not indicative of what another person's will be. Invisible batsignals are flying everywhere, and your invisible batsignal will call your proper partner to you.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 3:29 PM
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614: Or, at least, will call partners with issues that dovetail with yours. Dramatic people find people with dramatic issues, sulky introverts find themselves attracted to other people too shy to get near them, and so have a heck of a time getting anything started (this was my dating career), and so on. So, not guaranteed success, but probably nothing too scary.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 3:36 PM
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I just like to sit by the fire and smoke my pipe


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 3:36 PM
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There are lots of reasons why an endless state of romantic tension with another person might be desirable, or do psychological work for someone.

Sure, I see that side. I just think it's really easy enough to engineer something like what you describe without jumping through those particular hoops. So what does hiding a spouse or partner do for you? Is it just that you lack the self-control to walk this line without an outside constraint? Too afraid the other person won't play along? Seems pretty odd to me.

I totally understand why people get into non-relationships. I just don't understand this particular variant, it seems like a lot of unneeded effort at best.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 3:37 PM
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616: Okay, totally uncool hiding the URL on that one. Admittedly, that should have been all I needed to know not to click.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 3:40 PM
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Admittedly, that should have been all I needed to know not to click.

Well that and the fact it came from Apo.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 3:41 PM
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To be fair, LB, "smoke my pipe" is time-honored slang.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 3:41 PM
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True -- I was unwary.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 3:43 PM
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There are lots of reasons why an endless state of romantic tension with another person might be desirable...

Indeed, but if they way that is sustained is by lies of omission or commission, you're using the other person. It's treating them as an instrument of your pleasure rather than an end in themselves. It makes you an asshole and it makes them a loser.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 3:43 PM
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620, 621: But he's actually smoking a pipe!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 3:47 PM
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Togolosh, nothing like that ever happened to me in the dating world, as most people who are online looking for dates are pretty upfront about their relationship status. That is, they're not hiding a partner because they're looking for someone who will be cool with whatever else they've got going on. The real danger is with people you meet socially without the intention of dating from the outset. One of the things I liked about online dating was the clarity about what we were both in it for. Meeting people socially is a lot messier.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 3:48 PM
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So what does hiding a spouse or partner do for you?

I think most people will unilaterally disengage from the romantic tension game if they know you have a romantic partner. Exceptions are unhappily coupled people, and those types might offer too uncomfortable a mirror to you.

Of course I didn't mean it wasn't fucked up or odd, just that I found it readily explicable in terms of the weird geograpy of emotional needs.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 3:52 PM
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622: I've ended up being the loser before, like this summer when I dated someone for a month who seemed to be absolutely crazy about me until he stopped speaking to me, later to reveal that he had a girlfriend I didn't know about. But it doesn't mean one is always being used. I get a lot out of my friendship with this guy, besides any possible future sexual relationship, because I actually like him a great deal.

Part of the reason this has gone on so long, I think, is that I told him how awful it is to be "the other woman" when you don't know you're the other woman, but things have (as of this weekend) gotten to the point that he may feel like admitting to me that he has a girlfriend would put me in that painful position again. Still cowardly, yes, but I don't believe he's trying to hurt me, which is why he's been pretty careful until now.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 3:53 PM
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626: OK, I genuinely have no idea what kind of complicated nonlinear quantum thing is going on between you, but if you fight again knee him in the groin. It clarifies things enormously, I find.

Let us know how it works.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 4:15 PM
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627: I didn't use my knee, but the move has been introduced.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 4:16 PM
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So how much did the fight resemble the fight between Buffy and Spike in season 6?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 4:23 PM
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I think most people will unilaterally disengage from the romantic tension game if they know you have a romantic partner.

Sometimes it's like we live in a different universe.

Sure, that's true if what they are actually looking for was a romantic partner and you've been stringing them along under false pretenses. On the other hand, loads of people like to ramp up the sexual/romantic tension in playful ways with both parties understanding that it isn't going anywhere. Or rather, isn't going specific places. You can do these things all above board, you know, and in my experience it isn't difficult. That's the part that surprises me about the contortions.

That, and I'm absolutely convinced most people aren't capable of doing this level of compartmentalizing for a long time. People just generally aren't good at it. On the other hand, if the other person is willfully (if perhaps unknowingly) ignoring and avoiding the telltales, I guess that would make sense too, I guess. Unlike compartmentalizing, most people are pretty good at self deception.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 4:30 PM
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Maybe I'm misreading things, but, uh, AWB, are you okay? Someone not telling someone about his girlfriend and then being violent doesn't strike me as okay because you hit him, too. Tell me I'm being silly to be worried.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 4:31 PM
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OP: the owner of the Jamaican take-out place next door, a staunch Obama supporter, likes to talk a lot. When a friend and I went over to pick up lunch today, we got told all about "that shoe thrower": "I do not appreciate that shoe thrower. I do not appreciate that man disrespecting my president. He is still my president. I may not like the man, and I may not like his ways, but he is still my president, and I do not appreciate someone throwing shoes at him. Shoes! I do not appreciate it."


Posted by: Cecily | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 4:31 PM
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631: Yes, I'm fine; I promise. I know from not-OK, but I have a long history both of weird non-relationships and violence to compare to.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 4:34 PM
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OK. I trust you, I just read it and was mildly freaked.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 4:37 PM
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Didn't mean to freak anyone out.

One of the reasons I worry about going to new therapists is my fear of encountering ones with a sort of categorical imperative w/r/t appropriate behavior. I am a very aggressive person, and I attract aggressive people, but most of the time I have to pretend that I'm not aggressive at all because non-aggressive people don't respond well to it. That said, I've been on the receiving end of bad, scary aggression and I feel that difference keenly.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 4:41 PM
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Togolosh, nothing like that ever happened to me in the dating world... The real danger is with people you meet socially without the intention of dating from the outset

But that is also the dating world, I think.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 4:41 PM
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huh, Cala, I totally didn't read it that way but can see it now.

Glad AWB confirms she's fine with how things sit. Funny how much we can project experiences onto things like that. Reading AWB's comment felt familiar but not threatening, but there is no reason for that have to been correct interpretation, necc.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 4:43 PM
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But that is also the dating world, I think.

Can be. But you hope that people are mature/functional/whatever enough to discuss what they are actually looking for at some point, it it's heading there. In explicitly `dating' situations, some of it, at least, is already there.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 4:45 PM
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On the other hand, loads of people like to ramp up the sexual/romantic tension in playful ways with both parties understanding that it isn't going anywhere.

This is my experience, too. It's fun to flirt, and knowing there's a hard wall allows you to be a bit more relaxed, because you can't be disappointed by not getting what you know you'll never have.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 5:16 PM
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639: Yeah, I find the thing that's lost in a flirtation with someone who's clearly in a happy relationship is not the sexy flirting--you can actually go a lot further if you know where the wall is--but the aggression, and the fear of not knowing how far it will go, which is its own kind of titillation. Setting clear boundaries is one way to get out of a situation like mine without having to go all the way with it.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 5:22 PM
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640: But AWB, surely a hidden partner/spouse/whatever isn't needed for that dynamic. Not knowing where this is going is less safe, and different from what toglosh is talking about. But I don't think it requires deception, at all. Do you? I mean, I've been in situations that I think are similar to what you're describing, but we weren't sure where it was going because we weren't sure where it was going, not because there was a constraint only known to one party.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 5:28 PM
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641: I guess for me the main difference is about what I know about the relationship. I have a very close male friend who was at the same party this weekend and he and I did a lot of inappropriately sexy dancing, and we often stay at hotels together at conferences and stuff, and make flirty jokes. But it's a lot more easygoing because I know his wife. We spend holidays together and my friendship with him is something that she fully condones. We both know nothing is going to happen that would hurt his wife because we both care about her.

Whether a girlfriend is hidden or not, I feel a lot more nervous about a situation in which I'm spending a lot of flirty time with someone whose partner I don't know or don't know about, and when I don't know where the boundaries of their relationship are. In that situation, I don't feel particularly responsible for policing our relationship, even if I'm not the one to initiate anything (which I wouldn't if there was even a whiff of a partner in the air); it's his job to know and take care of his relationship's boundaries.

But that got me into trouble this spring when the guy did all the initiating, so I assumed this was something he was in a position to do, and it ended up hurting everyone. I guess I just don't see why it's my sole responsibility to police everyone else's sexual relationships for them. It didn't bother me at the time that I thought he might be seeing someone else, but it clearly bothered him.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 5:41 PM
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On the other hand, loads of people like to ramp up the sexual/romantic tension in playful ways with both parties understanding that it isn't going anywhere.

IME, people tend to overestimate how well the parties understand etc.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 6:26 PM
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OT: Boy, and to think that Dsquared's little Napoleon Adolf sounded like implausible joke:

EASTON, Pa. - The father of 3-year-old Adolf Hitler Campbell, denied a birthday cake with the child's full name on it by one New Jersey supermarket, is asking for a little tolerance. Heath Campbell and his wife, Deborah, are upset not only with the decision made by the Greenwich ShopRite, but with an outpouring of angry Internet postings in response to a local newspaper article over the weekend on their flare-up over frosting.
"I think people need to take their heads out of the cloud they've been in and start focusing on the future and not on the past," Heath Campbell said Tuesday in an interview conducted in Easton, on the other side of the Delaware River from where the family lives in Hunterdon County, N.J.
"There's a new president and he says it's time for a change; well, then it's time for a change," the 35-year-old continued. "They need to accept a name. A name's a name. The kid isn't going to grow up and do what (Hitler) did."
Deborah Campbell, 25, said she phoned in her order last week to the ShopRite. When she told the bakery department she wanted her son's name spelled out, she was told to talk to a supervisor, who denied the request.

Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 6:40 PM
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644: Apparently that kid's sister's name is "JoyceLynn Aryan Nation Campbell." These people are douchebags who have been waiting since the birth of that kid for something like this to happen. "We white-pride people are so oppressed! We can't even get birthday cakes made at the grocery store!"


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 6:45 PM
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And apparently Wal*Mart had no problem filling that request, thereby snapping up the important racist douchebag market forever.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 6:47 PM
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645: That was my reaction too. Did you see the longer article where it comes out they're both unemployed, and they live on public assistance? I'm waiting for the lawsuit.

Some of the comments the father makes are utterly hilarious in their self-contradiction.


Posted by: Lunar Rockette | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 7:01 PM
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OT!!!!: I just got an email from this kid in my class who has been emailing me billions of questions every day all semester, and then continuously ignoring any advice I take the time out to give, and then coming to my office hours to bitch about how I don't give the same advice someone in his past once did, and in this email he asks me to review a paper he wrote for a freshman class on something else to tell him whether what he wrote was what I wanted for the final paper, and whether he could do something I already told him four months ago was a stupid way of organizing a paper and after telling him I can't spend 23 hours out of every 24 responding to emails he's started hiding behind bushes on my walk back to my office late at night so he can make me read drafts of his work under a creepy streetlamp and I hate him I hate him I hate him I hate him I hate him. GAHHHHHHH!


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 7:05 PM
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649

E-mail, e-mail, stalk, e-mail.


Posted by: AWB's persistent pest | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 7:09 PM
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650

645: There are 3 kids: JoyceLynn Aryan Nation Campbell, Honszlynn Hinler Jeannie Campbell, and Adolf Hitler Campbell. Here's a photo gallery from their house. Maybe little Adolf can grow up to marry Aryan Justice.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 7:20 PM
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I had some Indian friends who named their kid Aryan, and I asked a third party if they fully understood the implications. The third party said they knew but maybe didn't get it fully. Also the third party said that Aryan is [a foreign language] for [light or morning or something like that].


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 7:22 PM
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The most awesome part is that Honszlynn Hiner is named after Himmler.

The article, of course, ends up being sad. Lalala, a couple of young people who feel really estranged, acting out in an attempt to figure out what their issues are and get some attention. The poor kids.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 7:23 PM
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JoyceLynn Aryan has only got one ball.
Honszlynn Hinler has two, but they're too small.
Adolf Hitler has something littler.
And their next child has no balls at all.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 7:24 PM
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IME, people tend to overestimate how well the parties understand etc.

Well, if you don't talk about it, yeah...


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 7:35 PM
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655

But if you talk about it, the careful ambiguity and playfulness collapses!


Posted by: Cryptec nied | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 7:36 PM
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656

654: Eh. People tend to overestimate how well they themselves understand things.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 7:39 PM
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657

Possibly the only good song ever recorded about this phenomenon

(ignore the cheesy video)


Posted by: Cryptec Nied | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 7:40 PM
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658

You sure are cryptec, Nied.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 7:42 PM
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655: There's that, too. I'm actually just bitter because I had been doing the "careful ambiguity and playfulness" thing with someone for awhile and the recent "making the boundaries explicit" conversation has spoilt it all!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 7:43 PM
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660

Sorry.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 7:43 PM
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661

657 has a good beat, but I can't really dance to it.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 7:44 PM
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662

You should never have gotten serious.


Posted by: Cryptec Nied | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 7:45 PM
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663

That jam is illin'!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 7:46 PM
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664

At first I didn't get it, but now I find it's contagious.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 7:50 PM
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665

I like the part where they thank members of the Kee lab for discussions and comments on the manuscript.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 7:52 PM
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666

Sarcasm? Disease-related puns? Actual praise?

heebie is even more cryptic than me.


Posted by: Cryptec Nied | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 7:53 PM
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667

Oh, I see. Well, you get the point anyway. Time to go.


Posted by: Cryptec Nied | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 7:54 PM
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668

Without linking to the actual song first? That's just sick.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 7:57 PM
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669

I think he's immune to your taunts, heebie.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 8:04 PM
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670

This version of the Nazi parent story has the greatest caption in the history of photojournalism: "Young Adolf Hitler Campbell will be getting a cake from Walmart this year." Well, that's sure to be the worst of his life's disappointments.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 8:13 PM
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AWB, can't you just ask the guy if he has a girlfriend?

And can't you just stab the stalker student to death? I have easy rhetorical questions for all of life's problems.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 8:15 PM
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can't you just ask the guy if he has a girlfriend?

I don't like those conversations. Up to this point, I would say it would have been inappropriate for me to ask. But I can wait. There is my dignity on the line, here.

And can't you just stab the stalker student to death?

There is my dignity on the line, here.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 8:19 PM
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But I can wait. There is my dignity on the line, here.

Someday I will develop this sort of patience. It would be nice to preserve dignity once in awhile.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 8:33 PM
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673: I usually don't have it, especially when preserving my dignity means ending a relationship before I get to see what happens, but when I know that I can, I do.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 8:38 PM
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There is my dignity on the line, here.

My understanding of this phrase in context is 180 degrees from that of 672 & 673, unless I am grossly misunderstanding something.

Perhaps it's a gendered thing. I certainly don't find it hard to maneuver the conversation to a point where the question comes up more or less naturally. Certainly not hard to arrange for it to be non-threatening to my dignity. Such as it is. Perhaps that's the disconnect.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 12-16-08 10:18 PM
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남? 떡? 커 보?다 - Xynii ym ilyy xaragdax. (oor xynii ddog ilyy tom xaragdax) what the other has always looks bigger (the cake in the other's hand looks bigger)
바늘 ?둑? 소 ?둑? ?다 - xumsalsaar xumsalsaar xulgaich ( zyynii xulgaich yxrin xulgaich bolno ..) Nail by nail, a thief (a needle thief will become a cow thief)
[b]소 잃고 외양간 고치기 -[/b] Ongorson boroonii xoinoos tsuv nomrox (yxree aldaad xashaagaa zasax) to wear a raincoat after it rained (to mend the fence after a cow's gone missing)

개 똥? 약? 쓰려면 없다 - Golson ym gold orox.. (Noxoin baas xyrtel emend xereglex yed oldoxgyi ) usefulness of what you discarded as useless (there are times when you have to use dog shit fior medicine)
열길 물 ?? 알아? 한길 사람 ?? 모른다 - xynii ereen dotroo, mogoin ereen gadna (10-n ald usnii dotroxiig medevch 1 ald xynii dotriig medexgyi) people's colour (ereen-motley-ness) is inside, snakes's colour is outside ( you can know what is 10 lbs? of water, but it's hard to know one person)

매? 먼저 맞는 게 낫다 - Zovlongiin tyrgen ni (deer) - hardship is better to be short (if execution)

제 눈? 안경 - Ooriin ym oortoo saixan... what is my own is beautiful/good for myself

똥 묻? 개가 겨 묻? 개 나무란다 - Ooriin tolgoi deerx ovsiig xaraxgyi baij xynii tolgoin deerx xylgasiig xarax. ( Baas naaldsan noxoi cyrel naaldsan noxoig zemlex) can't see grass on one's head, yet sees a hair on the other's (dog with shit on it criticizes a dog with hay stuck to him)

우물? 파? 한 우물? 파? - Ajil xiivel duustal, davs xiivel uustal (xudag uxval neg l xudag ux..) if you do something do it until the end, if you put salt in stir it until dissolved (if you dig a well, dig only one well at a time)

? 다리? ?들겨 보고 건너? -7xemjij 1 ogtol..(chuluun gyyr baisan ch togshij yzeed gatal..) measure 7 times and cut only once ( try with your cane even a stone bridge)

사공? 많으면 배가 산으로 간다 -joloodogch olon bol zavi uulruu yvna. If there are many leaders, the boat goes to the mountain

배 보다 배꼽? ?다 - 100 ymaand jaran uxana , ..ylixgyi ym ymaanii garztai..(gedesneesee xyis ni tom ) 60 bucks( male goats) to fertilize a 100 female goats (usually one is enough for breeding purposes of the herd, I guess), to sacrifice a goat for nothing (to have a bellybutton bigger than the belly)

수박 겉 핥기 - gadna ongoor ni byy dygne . ( tarvasiig gadnaas ni xarval amtiig ni medexgyi ) don't judge by the exterior (you can't know the taste of pumpkin just looking at it)

?한 마디로 천냥 밪? 갚는다 - 1 ygeer byxniig oorchilj bolno (yarixdaa bolgoomjtoi bodoj yri). ( zov onoj xelsen neg ygeer myngan langiin oroo tolox )... you can change everything by one word (you can pay a 1000 coins loan by a correctly chosen word)

과부 사정 홀아비가 안다 - xynii zovlong dergedex ni l medne . ( belvesen exneriin zovlong xadam aav ni l oilgono) only the one who is always besides can understand one's hardships (only the father-in-law gets a daughter-in-law's becoming a widow sorrow)

호랑?? 제 ? 하면 온다 - chotgoriig dursaxaar garaad irdeg ..( bariin tuxai yrivalk bar garch irne ) if you mention devil he'll appear (mention the tiger, he'll appear)

꼬리 가길면 밟힌다 - Urt xormoi xol oroono...(syyl urt bol amar gishgegdene ) the front part of the long dress gets in the way (if the tail is too long it's easier to step on it)

고? ??? 낙? 온다 - Zovlongiin etsest jargal.. after hardship there'll come happiness

둘? 먹다가 하나가 죽어? 모르겠다 - amaa oloxgyi idex ..( amttai xool ). To eat without finding one's mouth (tasty food)

부부 싸움? 칼로 물 베기 - er em 2 tsusaa gartal zodoldoj , tosoo gartal tevreldex ..(xosuudiin muudaltsaan ni xutgaar us xutgaxtai adil .) a couple fights until blood, embrace each other until oils are flowing (when a couple fights it's like cutting water with a knive)

[b]
[b][[b]b]가려운 곳? ?어 준다 - Zagtnasan gazar maajix.[/b] to scratch where it is itching

간? 기별? 안 간다 - amand ch gyi xamartch gyi..(goltsuu xoolond idxed xereglene.) nothing to the mouth and nose (to eat or smell )

간? 콩알만 해 졌다 - ynxeltsgee xagartal aix ( eleg vandyi shig jijigxen bolox ) to get that afraid that one's pericardium bursts ( one's liver shrinks like a pea)

개미 새? 한 마리 얼씬하지 않는다 -el xuli baix .(gants shorgoolj ch yzegdexgyi baix.) scarcity (can't see even one ant)

검? 머리 파뿌리가 ??? 살다 -ysen buural boltloo xamt amidrax be together until hair is white

[b].귀? 못? 박?다 [/b]-ulig boltol yrix .(chixend xadaas shig xadagdax ) to repeat until it bores (to be a screw in one's ear)
꿀먹? 벙어리 -bylx zalgisan ym shig .(yrix gesen ymaa yrij chadaxgyi baix ) to be silent as if one swallowed a tendon

눈? ?아 주다 -nydee aniad ongoroox ..medeegyi dyr esgex. Pretend that one's eyes are shut

마?? 굴?같다 -sanaanaas tsaashgyi..sanaa baivch sachii xyrexgyi baix.. have a thought, but not the means to accomplish it (to think about it, but make no efforts)

? 다리 쭉 뻗고 ?다 -sanaa amrax. (sanaa amarch 2xoloo jiigeed taaivan untax..). the thought is calmed (to sleep with feet stretched)

겉 다르고 ? 다르다 -gadna ongo, dotor bodol 2 oor baix.. discrepancy between external colour and internal thought
[/b][/b][/b]

[b] Xanz ygs -한?성어


칠전팔기 -7dordoj 8 sexex. A man goes down 7 times and revives 8 times

전화위복 -Soxorson bish zavshix . To get lucky in spite of getting blind

?열치열 -xoriig xoroor. Poison is remedied by poison

양??? -2 ymnaas 1-g songox . to choose from two evils

무위?? -Geriin bug bolox . yu ch xiixgyi gertee baix . to turn into the house spirit, devil

?편단심 -Ogt oorchlogdoxgyi xeveer baix . ( it's not a proverb, just says do not change)

오십보백보 -xeree xereeniixee xariig gaixax . a crow wonders about the darkness of another crow

다다?선 -ix baix tusam sain . more is better

시기?조 - tsagaasaa ert ..tsag ni boloogyi. To move earlier than the right time

과대?? -Ooroo ooriigoo magtax.. to praise self

?구?언 - 2 nyyrtei. (1amaar 2 ym yrix ) to have two faces ( to speak two things by one mouth)

견물?심 -ymar neg ymiig xarval avax sanaa torox. To be greedy, also seems not a saying

?수성가 -Muu amidarch baigaad saijrax. ooriin xodolmoroor sain amidrax . to live good through one's work (also not a saying, just translated words)

애지중지 -nydnii tsotsgii shig xairlax. Nandin ym . love as one's own eye

완전무결 -10-n xuruu tegsh. byx ym ni baix .togs.[/b] as perfect as ten even fingers


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 4:26 PM
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read, that's great.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 4:42 PM
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Thanks read. Folk wisdom seems to be about the same everywhere, as I can recognize the sentiment in most of those.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 4:44 PM
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You are welcome, Cala&TLL. It's a good exercise for me, hope there are not many mistakes.
I was to post it as a webpage link, but then the hangul font got corrupted, I did not know how to fix it, so it got this long, sorry.
In the brackets there are translations of the matching Korean aphorisms, I guess, though some of them don't match exactly the meaning, IMO.


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 5:15 PM
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read! so good.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 5:17 PM
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7dordoj 8 sexex. A man goes down 7 times and revives 8 times laydeez


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 5:22 PM
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goes down means gets defeated


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 5:30 PM
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evil,
too many mistakes i'm afraid


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 5:38 PM
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This is really awesome, read. I'll look through it when I have more time. Where did you get the translations from the Korean?


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 5:53 PM
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of course, but when At The Mineshaft...


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 5:53 PM
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Read, my order from eMongol (link you posted earlier this month) arrived (the shipping e-mail had not been reassuring on it getting here before X-mas, but clearly no problem). Two very nice Kazakh shoulder bags. Thanks for the pointer. Still have camel yarn coming from the other one.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 6:05 PM
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oh, great, JPS, i'm glad
we have a proverb 'the praised bride at her wedding [farts..is omitted of course]' in the case when one is kinda anxious about recommending something
Jms, i double translated from Mongolian what was translated from Korean i guess, so there could be many mistakes because of this double translation


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 6:51 PM
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Still have camel yarn coming from the other one.

This sounds like a rather alarming euphemism.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 7:03 PM
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Read, that is so cool. Thank you! I'm definitely stealing the liver shrinks to a pea image.

a crow wonders about the darkness of another crow

Can you explain in other words what this sentiment means?


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 7:05 PM
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690

pot calling kettle black?


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 7:07 PM
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a crow wonders about the darkness of another crow

The Hangul next to this says, "fifty steps; one hundred steps," which is sort of like saying, if you're going to go that far, a bit more won't matter. Or roughly like the English saying, six of one; half dozen of the other. But that doesn't seem very much like read's translation of the Mongolian, so maybe it's an imperfect aphorism match.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 7:23 PM
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blackness, i meant
pot and kettle, exactly, it's about jealousy, competition of the people in the same position i guess


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 7:24 PM
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Hmm, that's very different from what it says in Korean.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 7:25 PM
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694

My hovercraft is full of eels.


Posted by: beamish | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 7:55 PM
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The Hangul next to this says, "fifty steps; one hundred steps," which is sort of like saying, if you're going to go that far, a bit more won't matter. Or roughly like the English saying, six of one; half dozen of the other.

I think the corresponding English saying would be "In for a penny, in for a pound."

The one you quote means something different; it means that we are faced with two equal choices, so it doesn't matter which one we pick.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 7:59 PM
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In Chinese you have something like "The soldiers who ran 50 steps away point at the soldiers who ran a hundred steps away." It means running away from the enemy, and the idea is that if you mess up badly, it doesn't really help you to find someone who messed up even worse.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 8:02 PM
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698: neither of those are really going to help with modern high explosives.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 8:04 PM
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698

Well that was neat.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 8:04 PM
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697: I don't get the relevance to 698.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 8:04 PM
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700

I have a friend who named his dog Kobe.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 8:05 PM
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395: It's a bit different from the penny/pound saying (which is like the hung for a sheep as for a lamb saying, right?). The feeling of it really is that there's not much difference between fifty steps and a hundred steps. But you're right, it's not really the same as the six/half dozen saying either.

I think the lesson from this is that aphorisms don't carry all that well from language to language, after all.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 8:06 PM
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Then they can tackle a full-grown woman and her husband can wail on one with a tire iron for fifteen minutes before it dies!

Or, in other words, "in for a penny, in for a pound".


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 8:07 PM
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703

701.2: Sometimes they do.

"Every man in Budapest has two penises, his own and one that is really terrific."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 8:10 PM
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704

yeah, there are some mismatches
50 steps 100 steps, i can't recall any similar saying, if only that salt dissolved one, but that's about completing the task, not comparing efforts
there is another one, 'put either gold or water into the donkey's ear, it'll shake it off' meaning worthless efforts


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 8:11 PM
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703: Well, in the Korean version of that saying, it's in Chongju where they have the two penises. So, no, it's not the same.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 8:12 PM
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It's a bit different from the penny/pound saying (which is like the hung for a sheep as for a lamb saying, right?).

Ah yes, those two are the same.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 8:21 PM
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Some of those phrasings remind me of English As She is Spoke. Sometimes the poetry of a language just won't translate. That said, thanks for putting in the effort to do this, Read. I certainly learned something, which is always good.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 8:43 PM
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idiotism, oh, yeah, thanks, i know


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 8:50 PM
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708 - I don't intend to imply anything bad. Just sometimes translation between languages leads to strange sounding phrases. Sometimes the meaning comes across, sometimes what comes across is very strange indeed. English As She Is Spoke is my favorite example of this.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 8:57 PM
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"Idiotism" in English is "idiom". "Idiotism" might be French.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 9:01 PM
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710: The page I link to in 707 is probably using the term in a sense intended to evoke "idiot" even though "idiotism" is a synonym of "idiom." That's consistent with the most bizarre of the translations they list. I intend only to indicate that translations are difficult and prone to strange and sometimes amusing results. Hopefully I didn't inadvertently insult Read, since I do sincerely appreciate her effort and found it quite interesting.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 12-18-08 9:18 PM
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