Re: Barack needs to wear more garish sweaters.

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Earlier Black Family


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 8:11 AM
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1: Take it to Standpipe's blog, pal.

Or don't you read post titles?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 8:12 AM
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Well, it's policies that will have the biggest impact; all the articles on the tots and Michelle Obama's dresses in the world won't overcome the effects of the prison-industrial complex. It's cool that there's a black First Family and all, but they won't collectively make any more difference by their mere existence and representation than Obama does alone.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 8:14 AM
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(In fact they're set to collectively function as an excuse for pretending racism no longer exist in much the same way that Barack alone does.)


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 8:15 AM
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I suspect any visual impact will be easily funneled into the "one of the good ones" category, at least for people who are already adults. (For kids to grow up with the idea that Presidents come in all colors is more hopeful.) Beyond that, I'm not confident that the President and first family tend to be trend-setters in that way; they tend to stay out of the public eye.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 8:25 AM
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I'm not confident that the President and first family tend to be trend-setters in that way

I dunno. I've been seeing a lot more ties recently, on men and women (and not just me!). And lots of women in Michelle-like dresses. (Apparently J Crew and White House/Black Market have been consistently sold out of the outfits Michelle wears.) That is, I don't think we should count on them to change everything about race relations in America. What we can expect, however, is that it will be slightly more acceptable to be a well-dressed, but not prissy, masculine man who has a smart, capable, strong female partner, and that it might also be more acceptable to be a fashionable, but grounded, reasonable, and educated woman.

These aren't huge changes. But the first couple for the past eight years has basically been a pattern for sitcoms. Dumb frat-boy swaggering loser husband, grimace-smiling patient non-idiotic-but-silent wife. These things do filter down to us a bit.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 8:40 AM
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The sitcom pattern predates the Bushes. First Ladies get to be fashion trend setters for a certain set, certainly. The conservative line from a couple months back that Obama will make young black men pull up their pants is silly.

I'm really wary of the idea, too, from the article, that the Obamas being a functional family is going to be a surprise to black Americans, or more of a role model than people they know in their life.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 8:50 AM
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4: Cosby did that, too.

In some ways, these things are retrospective. Obama's accomplishment says something about how far we've come, but doesn't really do much to further advance anything. As DS says, it's policy that will move things (or not) now.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 9:00 AM
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By a bizarre coincidence, my supervisor - who is from Kenya - is wearing a garish sweater today.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 9:00 AM
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2: Bob doesn't even see post titles.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 9:07 AM
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It's cool that there's a black First Family and all, but they won't collectively make any more difference by their mere existence and representation than Obama does alone.

I disagree. I think that changing the statistics of who is represented in the photo spreads do shift the range of mental images that people hold in their head.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 9:25 AM
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I think that changing the statistics of who is represented in the photo spreads do shift the range of mental images that people hold in their head.

Agreed.


Posted by: Barbar | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 9:40 AM
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7: Is it white opinion or black opinion that's supposed to change? I'm guessing the linked article was thinking white.


Posted by: Klug | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 9:54 AM
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Let's not misundersstimate the impact of having an educatdled, fully functional President.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 10:03 AM
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I don't even own an opinion.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 10:03 AM
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||

The sidebar ad "Looking for an Aupair?" on the site linked in the post is a little ... odd.

|>


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 10:06 AM
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(Apparently J Crew and White House/Black Market have been consistently sold out of the outfits Michelle wears.)

That'll all change once someone knocks some sense into Michelle and she starts wearing clothes that are more our sort, dear.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 10:13 AM
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17: Jesus, somebody should punch that woman in the nose.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 10:16 AM
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Now now.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 10:17 AM
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17: OMG, that's terrible. The Obamas are elite snobs! I mean, mallrats! I mean, reverse-snob mallrats!


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 10:18 AM
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From 17.---it's a cheap enough store for, say, those on grad student budgets to shop in from time to time

Uh...


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 10:19 AM
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What was that whole bit about the children's jacket from the Gap that she was so superior for coveting? Was that mention only to be able to point out that she often shops for children's sizes because she is so dainty? I am beginning really to hate this woman.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 10:21 AM
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Was that mention only to be able to point out that she often shops for children's sizes because she is so dainty?

I really doubt it.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 10:23 AM
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From 17.---it's a cheap enough store for, say, those on grad student budgets to shop in from time to time

Uh...

Well, as a data point, I do shop there on occasion (super sale time) as a grad student on a budget. But yeah. She's a bit out of touch.


Posted by: DL | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 10:23 AM
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Why do so many UofC-alum bloggers make me want to dissociate myself from the place?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 10:23 AM
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Frankly, she had me at "Francophile Zionist".


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 10:23 AM
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What was that whole bit about the children's jacket from the Gap that she was so superior for coveting? Was that mention only to be able to point out that she often shops for children's sizes because she is so dainty?

Have you ever heard a woman point out with pride that she is "finally too big" for any size she used to wear?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 10:26 AM
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Also, I don't think wearing a children's XXL makes you dainty. I am a woman's L and own a few items of children's clothes. I think what it makes you is short.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 10:27 AM
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All the hits to my blog seem to be coming from someone wanting to punch me in the nose. Thank you, Ben W-lfs-n, for once again writing nasty stuff about me on the internet.

Jackmormon might want to look into better-funded grad programs if he/she finds J.Crew so out-of-reach. (That GAP jacket is fabulous, but I am, as I note in the post, not dainty enough to stuff myself into it.)


Posted by: Phoebe | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 10:28 AM
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I think 28 is correct. Although women's sizes are largely a sealed book to me (one of my cousins once described herself as, IIRC, a "large medium junior petite"), I know "children's" means "short".


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 10:29 AM
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When it's a woman saying loudly and publicly that's SO GLAD she's no longer a size zero because it was SO IMPOSSIBLE to find off-the-rack clothes in a size zero and that being a size two was so ducky and she's embracing her curves and being mature and isn't it wonderful that we can love bodies, ourselves even when we're no longer wearing children's clothes but are a size two? Oh, you're a size fourteen? How disgusting.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 10:30 AM
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But not me, right, essear?

I assumed that the grad student-J. Crew claim is to be redeemed with reference to big sales. But it's still a completely weird thing to say.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 10:30 AM
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I think that changing the statistics of who is represented in the photo spreads do shift the range of mental images that people hold in their head.

Eh, I still say that the big change has already taken place. Voters never would have put this family in that picture if they weren't ready for it.

Meanwhile, the Obama election has resulted in an upsurge in self-contradiction by blog commenters.

Mine is no little mind. No hobgoblins there.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 10:31 AM
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31 to 27.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 10:31 AM
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Thank you, Ben W-lfs-n, for once again writing nasty stuff about me on the internet.

I don't think anything I wrote is particularly nasty.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 10:33 AM
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Anyway, 31 is not necessarily the only way to read that comment, but it's certainly a possible way.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 10:33 AM
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I fail to see how paying for overpriced crap is the mark of a good graduate program.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 10:33 AM
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someone wanting to punch me in the nose

I didn't mean that literally, Phoebe, though I will apologize for the tenor. But really, it depresses you that a couple of grade school kids aren't being dressed up to your society page standards? Did you expect a more sympathetic response?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 10:34 AM
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11: I disagree with your disagreement with my disagreement. Or rather I think Cala's 5 puts it a bit better than I did; they will be / already are an axiomatic example of Good Black People, and images and representations of them will be put to most of the same uses as those of Good Black People before them, only moreso. It will reinforce and extend the same dynamic that used to be owned by, say, Bill Cosby and Felicia Rashad.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 10:34 AM
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37: Cala obviously knows nothing about elite graduate programs.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 10:36 AM
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Voters never would have put this family in that picture if they weren't ready for it they hadn't just endured eight years of the worst moron ever to occupy the Oval Office.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 10:36 AM
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40: I have heard that whether the stipend is sufficient to buy overpriced crap is one of the key criteria.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 10:38 AM
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"a couple of grade school kids"

Yes. On the Most Important Day Ever, for them, for Americans, for the world. It's clear from the post that I'm not suggesting this as an everyday look for children.

My point about the GAP jacket was a partial taking-back of my original comment, putting the price of children's clothes into perspective.

As for what size I am, the point, clear from the post, is that I am short. Not "dainty."


Posted by: Phoebe | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 10:41 AM
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32: No, ben, your striving toward incomprehensible erudition and pedantry reflect all that is best in the U of C.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 10:41 AM
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The kids were dressed appropriately. Who the fuck cares whether the label was suitably snotty?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 10:42 AM
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43: You misspelled "EVARRRR!!!1!!", shorty.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 10:43 AM
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J CREW?

YOU'RE KIDDING, RIGHT?


Posted by: OPINIONATED FASHIONISTA^W GRAD STUDENT | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 10:43 AM
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45: Phoebe does, Cala. Duh.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 10:44 AM
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Who the fuck cares whether the label was suitably snotty?

This question has already been answered, right? I'll just file this in my "Things I Will Never Understand" drawer beside BitchPhD's horror at people who don't wear formal attire to the opera.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 10:46 AM
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though I will apologize for the tenor.

Hey, is that some kind of slam at fat guys with high voices?


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 10:47 AM
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What Cala said in 45. As usual in these cases, the relevant test is how someone like Phoebe would judge if shown a photo of the outfits and told they were by some favored designer.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 10:47 AM
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Yes. On the Most Important Day Ever

On "the most important day ever", surely it's much bigger a win for them to have shown they aren't so shallow as to label check what the kids are wearing?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 10:47 AM
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50: When I comment in my natural basso profundo, I'm much more polite.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 10:49 AM
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"I think that changing the statistics of who is represented in the photo spreads do shift the range of mental images that people hold in their head."

Eh, I still say that the big change has already taken place. Voters never would have put this family in that picture if they weren't ready for it.

True, voters voiced their readiness -- but would that same readiness have been there if Bush hadn't been a colossal disaster and Palin/McCain a comedy of errors? Obama's primary win could be read as showing voters weren't ready for a woman in charge rather than that they were ready for an African American in charge.

Personally, I think Obama does and will continue to make a difference as a symbol. Rory keeps pointing out actors in commercials that look like the Obama's. The one that comes to mine is some insurance thing with a dad and little girl "like Barack and Sasha." (Rory rationalized that Obama makes people feel safe so it was a good image for selling insurance.) The dude is cool. Really cool. The whole family is. Like heebie said, that shifts the automatic images in people's heads for what really cool and competent looks like.

Are there any African-American commenters here? I'd be really curious to hear how this all feels from that perspective.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 10:49 AM
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Phoebe, get over yourself. The girls are children. They are not dress-up dolls, and there is not a goddamn thing wrong with putting children in off-the-rack clothes.. They looked fucking adorable--as you yourself admit--which is the most that any reasonable non-vulgar person could possibly care about. (I mean really: how declasse to inquire as to the label stitched into the lining of one's jacket!)


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 10:50 AM
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I get to use "shorty" as a general term for females because of how down with the gente I am.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 10:50 AM
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41: Well, yeah, but he won a primary too - and that primary included at least one seemingly credible white guy.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 10:50 AM
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51 is right, did a better job of what I meant in 52.

Labels are nearly always irrelevant, even if results aren't. If there was some substantial complaint about the kids being poorly dressed for the occasion based on how they looked, that might be something. Based on where it was bought is inane.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 10:50 AM
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any comment about what someone else is wearing is obnoxious
Ghandi


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 10:50 AM
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49, see 55. I have assuredly NEVER said that people need to wear a particular LABEL.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 10:51 AM
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Waiting to board, we are now inviting "1st class, Executive Platinum, Executive, Advantage Gold and Priority Access members" to get on the plane. Somewhere Veblen is laughing his ass off.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 10:52 AM
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B, I recognize you're making an entirely different argument, but it's still just as bewildering to me as Phoebe's.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 10:54 AM
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Waiting to board, we are now inviting "1st class, Executive Platinum, Executive, Advantage Gold and Priority Access members" to get on the plane.

Eventually everyone but Hans Moleman will get to board the plane "first".


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 10:54 AM
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the move struck me as over-the-top tasteful.

This is the line that convinced me that Phoebe's post was coming from a fashion perspective (which I am wholly unqualified to understand or evaluate), rather than a political one. On a political or sociological level, it's remarkably tone-deaf to say such a thing. To me the political consideration here is the absolute requirement that above all the Obamas be tasteful.

Goodness knows they've been excoriated for presuming above their station in one way or another for months now, not to mention the trashing that Sarah Palin got over her too-upscale clothes. I think they were walking a terribly thin line of how to project the image of the girls being conscious of the occasion and properly respectful, yet not be accused of being wasteful or profligate (code for "uppity," let's not forget) in the inevitable media scrutiny afterwards.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 10:54 AM
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profligate (code for "uppity," let's not forget

Exactly right. The word "bling" would have been flying if they were too expensively dressed.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 10:56 AM
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post was coming from a fashion perspective

Yeah, this doesn't make sense.

Surely from a fashion perspective, it never matters where something came from, it only matters how it works or doesn't.

From a "society" perspective, people worry about were things come from. Which tells you pretty much all you need to know about that perspective.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 10:57 AM
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The word "bling" would have been flying if they were too expensively dressed.

Just you wait until they get braces.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 10:58 AM
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I'm just feeling like a fashion-blind clod here -- I thought they looked very appropriately formal: it wouldn't have occured to me that there was an available register of more formal clothes for children. But I'm not sure if there's a criticism of the outfits themselves intended at all.

Seriously, I get critiquing how the outfits looked: dressing at an appropriate level of formality is a matter of respect. Critiquing where they were purchased confuses me completely (like most of the other people in this thread).


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:00 AM
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Just you wait until they get braces.

You mean "grills".


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:01 AM
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We should not blame the Israelis for what the Francophile Zionists are saying.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:02 AM
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Thank you for making that explicit, M/tchell.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:02 AM
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68: What's so confusing about someone being shallow and vapid?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:02 AM
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excuse me, Gandhi, i used our spelling it seems
coz we also have that name which came from sankrit i believe


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:02 AM
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I'm just feeling like a fashion-blind clod here

Yeah, but you wear see-through dresses to formal occasions.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:02 AM
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74: Once! And I didn't know it was seethrough when I borrowed it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:04 AM
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Gonerill, that's really great. "Everyone who isn't on stand-by, get on the plane as part of our Rainbow Unicorns club."


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:04 AM
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Once!

That reminds me of a joke.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:05 AM
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77: The one with "I built bridges over all the streams in this county, but does anyone call me Joe the Bridge Builder?"


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:06 AM
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78: Yep.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:07 AM
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I get critiquing how the outfits looked: dressing at an appropriate level of formality is a matter of respect. Critiquing where they were purchased confuses me completely

I know it is a mistake for me even to attempt this, so I'll flail wildly in the correct direction and hope someone who actually understands fashion comes along to correct me.

The point, as I understand it, is that while some of us sort clothes in to vague categories of "clean," "seems formal enough," "bright colors," etc., others read a much deeper and more nuanced set of signals, which scream as loudly to them as a misplaced comma does to the copyeditors among us.

Years ago I cut a label off of a pair of jeans, only to be disparagingly told by a friend that "EVERYONE will still know they are Levi's from the ____". I can't even remember what it was -- a button, a stitching pattern, the pockets, whatever. Point being, I thought I was making them quite anonymous and in fact they were trumpeting the same old status-stymbol message as ever.

So I'm fully prepared to believe that the Obama girls' clothes were sending messages to people who can read fashion in a way that I can't. I just think that those people were not the most important audience -- the world of political considerations, sociological messages, and media scrutiny was far more salient, and AFAICT they hit all of those notes just perfectly. Hard to do.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:07 AM
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"Everyone who isn't on stand-by, get on the plane as part of our Rainbow Unicorns club."

As someone who recently tried to fly standby and failed, I can confirm that the Rainbow Unicorns club includes ticketed passengers who get to the gate 20 minutes after the plane was supposed to leave.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:09 AM
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More formal for children is black or white, velvet---evening clothes. For daytime dress-up clothes, I really do think the Obama children got it right. I also liked the way the colors of the outfits looked nice together.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:09 AM
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It's cool that there's a black First Family and all, but they won't collectively make any more difference by their mere existence and representation than Obama does alone.

Totally disagree and support the original post. My white students (raised after the Cosby Show and A Different World left primetime) have no concept whatsoever that a black middle class exists, or that there is a way of being black that does not involve being ghetto. The Obamas, and the friends they bring to the white house, will change that. Obama can be assigned as an exception. But when Sasha and Malia are playing in the Rose Garden in cornrows, it's going to be pretty tough for people to insist that cornrows are all about being thuggish. And so forth.


Posted by: dance | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:17 AM
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others read a much deeper and more nuanced set of signals, which scream as loudly to them as a misplaced comma does to the copyeditors among us.

The thing is, though, once you're dogwhistling on that level, you're really only communicating with the serious-fashion audience. About whom there's no reason why anyone should give a damn, more than about ice-dancing fans.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:18 AM
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Or rather I think Cala's 5 puts it a bit better than I did; they will be / already are an axiomatic example of Good Black People, and images and representations of them will be put to most of the same uses as those of Good Black People before them, only moreso.

Where are these representations? All I can think of are fake-commercials for Dove Bounty Soap or something.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:20 AM
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So I'm fully prepared to believe that the Obama girls' clothes were sending messages to people who can read fashion in a way that I can't.

I think the message is "we can look good without spending five hundred dollars a dress for our children, who are not here to provide fashion writers with column fodder anyway."

But I'm not a native speaker, so I may be missing something.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:20 AM
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And then you still have to make the further judgment that what they were communicating was contempt for a big day.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:21 AM
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But when Sasha and Malia are playing in the Rose Garden in cornrows, it's going to be pretty tough for people to insist that cornrows are all about being thuggish.

I have actually been pre-emptively cringing about whether people will be horrible to them; particularly about Malia, who's older and very tall, so she's going to look teenagery in just a couple of years. I hope no one gets shitty the way Limbaugh and McCain and so on were about Chelsea; I swear if I hear anyone say a rotten thing about those girls I'll want to deck them.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:21 AM
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NOBODY BUT NOBODY AT THE INAUGURATION WAS WEARING ENOUGH SPANGLES!


Posted by: OPINIONATED ICE-DANCING FAN | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:21 AM
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My white students (raised after the Cosby Show and A Different World left primetime) have no concept whatsoever that a black middle class exists, or that there is a way of being black that does not involve being ghetto.

Holy moly. Do you live somewhere without a negligible black population? Because around here, there isn't any way you could maintain that misconception.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:22 AM
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"without" should be "with"


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:22 AM
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84 is correct. More to the point, people who judge others by the price of their clothes, regardless of the social occasion, are horrible people.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:23 AM
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Do you live somewhere without a negligible black population?

That's a lot of the US, Apo. The northeast has a large black population, but there's an awful lot of residential segregation; plenty of places where white kids could have very few black people they're personally familar with. And once you get out of the south and off the coasts (counting the Great Lakes as coasts), the same thing, but more so.

Whatever gets said about race relations in the south, it really does seem to be much more integrated than the rest of the country.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:25 AM
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85: I'm thinking things like Cosby (hasn't stopped conservative dorks my age from thinking that there is no black middle class), actors, political figures like Rice, Thomas, Powell, professors, etc., doesn't stop the dominant discourse from assuming "black" means "single mother, ghett-o, no father, drugs."


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:26 AM
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Holy moly. Do you live somewhere without a negligible black population? Because around here, there isn't any way you could maintain that misconception.

What, do you think there aren't any places without a black population?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:26 AM
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61, 63 -- You have no idea of the blood, sweat and tears that went into that Executive Platinum membership. Forgive us business travelers isolated from our families in crappy airports the token reward for our toils.

Snobbery about labels, as opposed to look, is the mark of someone who knows nothing about fashion, as I've learned from watching Project Runway.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:27 AM
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Further to 83 and 90, I think it's hard to overstate the level to which many white people who live in large Northeastern (and Midwestern?) cities overwhelmingly experience images of black people as poor, poor, poor and violent, regardless of the occasional personal counter-examples they may have. It just saturates the culture, in a way that shocks me all over again every time I get confronted by it.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:27 AM
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who's older and very tall, so she's going to look teenagery in just a couple of years

She'll turn 13 in a couple of years, so it's only fitting, I suppose. However, I suspect Sasha and Malia are going to be very pretty all the way through their adolescence. They both appear to have lucked out on which features they got from each parent.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:28 AM
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Do you live somewhere without a negligible black population?

It's not so much negligible as whether the neighborhoods are integrated, and whether there's a marked socioeconomic status difference.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:29 AM
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98: Yeah, I'm not expecting the same shit Chelsea got as being ugly, given that they both seem to be very pretty. But no matter what they look like, there's a lot of horrible stuff people can say.

Belle Waring just linked to some right wing blogger being filthy about Michelle Obama's appearance, and I'm really hoping that vitriol doesn't get directed at the kids.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:31 AM
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I get critiquing how the outfits looked: dressing at an appropriate level of formality is a matter of respect. Critiquing where they were purchased confuses me completely

The label does matter to some extent -- I think it's great that M.O. wears a lot of small, up-and-coming American designers, and I think it's great that, for example, Isabel Toledo, who I love, is finally getting some publicity.

But criticizing the O.s because they dressed their children in beautiful, well made, age-appropriate and formality-appropriate clothing which is not super expensive is stupid.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:32 AM
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"people who judge others by the price of their clothes, regardless of the social occasion, are horrible people."

This thread has gotten out-of-hand. Hanna Rosin thought J.Crew was too fancy. I responded, saying that if anything, it was the opposite, given the extraordinary importance of the day... then, upon reconsideration, well before this thread, updated my post to say actually J.Crew *is* pretty fancy as far as kids' clothes are concerned. From this, a bunch of people who know me by one (misinterpreted) blog post alone have decided that I am a label-conscious dimwit preoccupied by the price of people's clothes. Have I gotten this straight? Ugh.


Posted by: Phoebe | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:33 AM
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93, 95: Yeah, I know that when I take the time to stop to think about it. I just tend to use my day-to-day experiences as broadly typical, which is of course a mistake. The city I live in was one of the biggest American centers of black wealth through much of the 1900s, so the A-A middle class here is also much older and well-established than in other places.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:35 AM
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From this spread of photos the cornrow seems to suit their faces and ages. Frankly, I'm rooting for all of them to grow Angela Davis afros, but I do recognize that my opinion is at best irrelevant to their choices.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:35 AM
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bunch of people who know me by one (misinterpreted) blog post alone have decided that I am a label-conscious dimwit preoccupied by the price of people's clothes.

Phoebe, you didn't much help yourself when you told Jackmormon to look into "better-funded grad programs if he/she finds J.Crew so out-of-reach."


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:35 AM
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My completely irrelevent hope is that their tall mom won't let them get away with tall-girl slouching. Stand up for every inch of your height, sweetie!

(Although sometimes I think I see the remnants of it in Ms. Obama's posture, and wish she would rotate her shoulders back.

Now I'm confronting an utterly new problem. My usual preference is to refer to people by their highest honorific, and I don't know whether First Lady is an honorific and what priority it takes over other honorifics. Must look that up.)


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:37 AM
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Phoebe, I think the conversation has moved beyond the topic of Phoebe.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:37 AM
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90: yes, I live somewhere with very few black people (and thanks to 93 for what I would have said). But not really few enough to justify "Obama must not really be black because he doesn't sound ghetto" which is what my students told me. Incidentally, it took a few of them working together to get this across to me, and we were having a fairly open discussion about race, so it wasn't a single outlier and there was plenty of opportunity to challenge it.

Cala@94: Good point. But I do think the black first family (and America's inability to stop talking about their race) will create a bigger discourse to challenge the dominant black=ghetto. For instance, we're creeping ever so slightly toward "exotic black names doesn't equal ghetto".

88: I'm crossing my fingers for Malia, but she lucked out with an easier age and better bone structure than Chelsea, and I think the confidence the family exudes will help.


Posted by: dance | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:37 AM
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a bunch of people who know me by one (misinterpreted) blog post alone

You're right; that's unfair. What are you wearing?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:37 AM
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a bunch of people who know me by one (misinterpreted) blog post alone

Sing it, sister!


Posted by: Washingtonienne | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:39 AM
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I just saw a Miss Manners on exactly this, but can't remember. I think she's Ms. or Mrs., whichever she uses, Obama -- First Lady isn't an honorific, it's more of a description. This is a republic, remember.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:39 AM
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Talk to Joe the Bridge Builder, Phoebe.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:39 AM
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Are little black girls supposed to wear purple?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:41 AM
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87: And then you still have to make the further judgment that what they were communicating was contempt for a big day.

This. Which is a permutation of the belief that the proper way to show respect for an occasion is to spend big in the form of high status label.

It's worth noting that Phoebe objects to the "high WASP" connotations of J. Crew -- and there may be a point there, in line with the thought (which I don't necessarily endorse) that the Obamas are a nice middle-class African-American family insofar as they act white.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:41 AM
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+s
have no concept whatsoever that a black middle class exists
i don't understand why people need to have this kind of concepts, why they can't assume there can be anything in the world, they have very poor imagination i guess
the post saying out loud that people will see the black normal family of Obamas and it will 'widen one's perception about normalcy' sounds racist imo
unintentionally of course, but still
but i'm not black i shouldn't take offense on somebody else's behalf when, like, racist jokes are made out of camaraderie as people elsewhere said
though i think that's the worst kind of it, like, you are offended harder from someone you expect it least


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:41 AM
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The city I live in was one of the biggest American centers of black wealth through much of the 1900s, so the A-A middle class here is also much older and well-established than in other places.

Many African American owned businesses lost a lot of ground after desegregation. Not exactly sure how to reconcile that.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:41 AM
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First Lady isn't an honorific, it's more of a description

That was exactly my doubt! I love finding out that I was on the right track.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:41 AM
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"Aren't"


Damn.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:42 AM
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From this, a bunch of people who know me by one (misinterpreted) blog post alone have decided that I am a label-conscious dimwit preoccupied by the price of people's clothes. Have I gotten this straight?

Actually, what did it for me was the insinuation that if JM didn't find J. Crew to be inexpensive gradwear, she wasn't at a good enough graduate institution.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:42 AM
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J. Crew is not "high WASP." J. Press is.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:42 AM
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"exotic black names doesn't equal ghetto"

Heebie-geebie's babydaddy (I will now sing that to myself all day) will testify that sometimes it doesn't even equal black.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:43 AM
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Or by invoking K-Mart with a sniff and fussing over "cheap"ness. It really is all about how much she spent on the jackets, given that you revise your opinion once you realize that J.Crew actually *is* fairly expensive for children's clothing.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:43 AM
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+the


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:44 AM
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20:17: OMG, that's terrible. The Obamas are elite snobs! I mean, mallrats! I mean, reverse-snob mallrats!

Commoners! Those people! In the White House! Acting like they're elitists! At least Bush is royalty! You can tell. He picks his nose on national TV!

B, I recognize you're making an entirely different argument, but it's still just as bewildering to me as Phoebe's.

B was arguing that one should dress apropriately for the occasion; no clown suits to a funeral. It throws everything off. I agree, more or less, for what it's worth. That said (B is going to kill me), Phoebe's argument is exactly the same argument, taken to OCDish levels of ridiculous.

yet not be accused of being wasteful or profligate (code for "uppity," let's not forget)

64: Palin's schtick is 'ME ME ME!', all the time, 24-7. People hate that. Unless they've been swayed by Palin's emphatic embrace of the political philosophy 'Look at these tits!' The bit about the clothes sorta highlights the whole crookedness aspect.

What I came in here to say, before I read the thread was:
||
Walked past TV which was on HNN, and they were doing the presser for Christine Gillibrand. Gave her history. BING. THERE'S your first woman president. Gonna have to wait a bit tho. Sorry.
|>

max
['Cat, pigeons, etc.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:45 AM
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if JM didn't find J. Crew to be inexpensive gradwear, she wasn't at a good enough graduate institution.

Oh well, that was just funny.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:46 AM
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120: Yeah, J. Crew is a fairly new (thirty years or less) fairly but not insanely expensive clothing company with a conservative esthetic. That doesn't make them 'High WASP' -- they've got no history, and no WASP-insider appeal (like Lilly Pulitzer, for example) although I can see them appealing primarily to people who wanted to dress vaguely WASPy.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:47 AM
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My completely irrelevent hope is that their tall mom won't let them get away with tall-girl slouching. Stand up for every inch of your height, sweetie!

I got to admit that as a sloucher myself I hope for a slouchy first daughter.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:47 AM
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J. Crew is not "high WASP." J. Press is.

SHH. Next you'll spill the beans about me!


Posted by: Ralph Lauren | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:47 AM
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My completely irrelevent hope is that their tall mom won't let them get away with tall-girlperson slouching.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:47 AM
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114: in line with the thought ... that the Obamas are a nice middle-class African-American family insofar as they act white.

And my point is that there are many moments where they don't act white, yet still project "nice middle-classness". I wanna see the afros too.

115: the post saying out loud that people will see the black normal family of Obamas and it will 'widen one's perception about normalcy' sounds racist imo

Only if you think that it is racist to acknowledge race exists. A lot of people agree with you.


Posted by: dance | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:48 AM
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Everyone deserves representation.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:48 AM
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You do have to ask her exactly how JM did choose her grad school. I'm sure that Cleveland State has an excellent program, but they're famous for being stingy with the grants.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:48 AM
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Jews are WASPs now, right? Along with Chinese and Japanese after the second generation?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:50 AM
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Heebie-geebie's babydaddy (I will now sing that to myself all day) will testify that sometimes it doesn't even equal black.

Really? What is he, Baha'i?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:50 AM
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ChristineKirsten Gillibrand.

I am embarrassed to say that I'd never heard of her before she was tapped as Senator, and still don't know a thing about her.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:51 AM
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On the black middle class issue, most places outside the South have either a negligible black population (in which case media images will dominate) or a concentrated black population (more or less "ghetto") that is not middle class plus a middle class population that is scattered. AFAIK, it is very rare for there to be enclaves of wealthy blacks, which is what it would take to counteract the impression made by mostly black, relatively poor neighborhoods. The fact that, in at least some cities, middle class blacks end up living in neighbs adjacent to the poor black neighbs doesn't help the impression - most Pittsburghers don't know that a big chunk of the Hill District (a notoriously "inner city" neighb) is solidly middle class, complete with ranch houses and swimming pools. There are - and always have been - nicer parts of Harlem, but I suspect that most outer borough types, let alone suburbanites, have no clue of this. So you get this very skewed impression that "they all live in X" and "X is ghetto."

Cala, I'm curious: did you, in the South Hills, understand that Plum and Penn Hills are largely* black middle class? Near as I can tell, this is not a commonplace fact, but I don't see how it could be a secret.

* I don't know the %, and it's not majority, but it's way more than most suburban communities


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:51 AM
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I seem to recall Gillibrand being one of the Republican-style Democrats who were recruited in 2006 by Rahm Emanuel in order to vastly expand the "Blue Dog" coalition. Let's see...yes, definitely more right-wing than HRC.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:53 AM
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100: Is this what you're thinking of, LB?


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:54 AM
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I sort clothes into two categories: designed by Hussein Chalayan and not. When the day arrives that America gets the constitutional robotocracy that it deserves, Hussein will be de rigueur.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:54 AM
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I didn't know there were large black middle-class communities in the Hill District or Plum or Penn Hills.

I went to Plum once. The place we went was a country-redneck bar which seemed to be near a lot of other country-redneck bars.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:55 AM
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LA has tons of enclaves of middle class/upper middle class blacks. I live in one! And a few enclaves of very wealthy blacks; Baldwin Hills, Ladera Heights, etc. That said (and a data point that's similar to J. Roth's view of Pittsburgh) even the wealthiest black neighborhoods in LA are completely off most white people's radar screen.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:55 AM
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that the Obamas are a nice middle-class African-American family insofar as they act white.

I understand what you are saying, Pars, but don't know how to disentangle it from what dance is describing above as her students' perception that the only way to be genuinely "black" is to be "ghetto." It seems to me, what's really being said is that the Obamas are a nice middle class family because they act consistent with middle-class norms which we somewhat unconsciously read as "white" norms.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:56 AM
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Jews are WASPs now, right? Along with Chinese and Japanese after the second generation?

Really old boy, I don't care who your friends are just don't bring them by the club.


Posted by: Chet Saltonstall IV | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:57 AM
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I had the passing thought about the afros as well, but I think it (still) takes a lot of guts to wear your hair that way in this society. So.

FWIW, Lowery's inaugural benediction was *fantastic* for incorporating black cultural references; I was grinning my face off.

The J. Crew/WASPy thing is still bothering me: maybe it's just the conservative aesthetic, as LB puts it. Hey, though, it's probably just that's it's not my own thing, clothing that's calculated to offend as few people as possible. For political purposes, it's presumably just what's called for.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:58 AM
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Were they supposed to wear FUBU?


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:59 AM
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One thing that probably also colors my perception on this is that poor, middle-class, and rich neighborhoods are sprinkled together all willy-nilly here, which is apparently not the norm in most places. When my former brothers-in-law came down to visit (from Columbus and Detroit), I remember them being amazed at some sudden transitions when driving through Durham and asking, "Don't you people have zoning laws down here?"


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 12:00 PM
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I'm seeing a lot of afros around NY these days -- not the 70's looking perfectly round thing, but a softer look. I like them on women, and on some men. But I think they're getting mainstream again. (Everyone else probably knew this several years ago -- I generally notice fashion trends only as they die.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 12:01 PM
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132.--Cleveland State has been nothing but sweetness and light to me.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 12:02 PM
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Were they supposed to wear FUBU?

OMG, only if they were like stuck in 1995.

[/high school]


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 12:03 PM
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"Don't you people have zoning laws down here?"

I had that reaction canvassing around Pittsburgh; the area I was in was weirdly (to me) economically integrated. Nice big old well-kept houses right down the street from collapsing shacks. I approve of the integration, but it looks bizarre to me: what I expect is rich area/natural barrier/poor area.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 12:03 PM
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136: Wasn't on the radar at all. But my dad would have thought of Shadyside as a bad area. (There are bars on some of the windows!) My grandparents lived in East Allegheny. Family holidays were fun!

But that aside, I suspect my impression in Lilyville was common; the suburbs were very, very white. What you saw on the news was X is ghetto and X is crime.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 12:04 PM
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138: Yup, that's it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 12:06 PM
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As anyone good Conservative will tell you, the reason Obama's family projects an image of normalcy is that he is not really "our first black President." He is our first only half-white, white President.


Posted by: Byron the Bulb | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 12:07 PM
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153 s/b "any good"


Posted by: Byron the Bulb | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 12:09 PM
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After growing up in the suburbs of L.A., in an area that was '50's ranch houses or later, I was surprised to find out that places could have older beautiful houses and still be poor. I thought, like, if you had a Victorian you must be super wealthy to own such a rare historic house. Then I moved to an old, very run-down part of Sac and found out that beautiful old housing stock did not automatically mean wealth.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 12:12 PM
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Then I moved to an old, very run-down part of Sac and found out that beautiful old housing stock did not automatically mean wealth.

This is particularly true if the beautiful old housing stock is on the smaller side by todays standards.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 12:14 PM
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156: I'm like that about acreage. My inlaws live on a very large piece of land in upstate NY -- it's not particularly good for much of anything (this bits that aren't steep hillsides are all squishy.) And they're stony broke. I have the hardest time believing that it's possible to own multiple acres of land and still be hard up for money -- I know it's true, but to a city girl, it doesn't make sense.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 12:15 PM
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142: It seems to me, what's really being said is that the Obamas are a nice middle class family because they act consistent with middle-class norms which we somewhat unconsciously read as "white" norms.

Right.

Regarding being "genuinely" black, the CNN article linked from the original post's link quotes someone as admiring Barack Obama for having 'decided' to marry a "true sister," someone visibly black. It's difficult, as a white person, to say one damn thing about how infuriating it has to be to be ensconced in a society in which one is, on the one hand, encouraged to be white, while on the other hand, looked at askance for anything approximating that.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 12:18 PM
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157: A friend of mine once moved to a small town (euphamistically) far enough north (i.e. talking Alaska/NWT here, not Montana) where they still couldn't be bothered making lots smaller than a quarter section (about 150 acres, iirc) . This was in the 80s and I think his house cost him about 15 or 20 grand on that quarter. Not that the land was good for much, I think.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 12:21 PM
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Heebie-geebie's babydaddy (I will now sing that to myself all day) will testify that sometimes it doesn't even equal black.

Hah! I just realized what h-g's b-d's name is! There is no anonymity on the internet.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 12:22 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 12:22 PM
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After growing up in the suburbs of L.A., in an area that was '50's ranch houses or later, I was surprised to find out that places could have older beautiful houses and still be poor. I thought, like, if you had a Victorian you must be super wealthy to own such a rare historic house. Then I moved to an old, very run-down part of Sac and found out that beautiful old housing stock did not automatically mean wealth.

I would guess that the only poor people in Pittsburgh who live in buildings that are less than 80 years old are people who live in the townhouses built recently for the purposes of Section 8 housing.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 12:30 PM
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156 -- It never ceases to amaze me, the level of un-buyable craftsmanship in old homes in bad neighborhoods that have been abandoned by the rich. There is a 1905 house not far from me that has a full ballroom with incredible inlaid wood floors, which was being used as a crackhouse until two years ago; another that still is in total disrepair has a domed room with a fantastic art nouveau ceiling. Rich people will spend millions to create crappy reconstructions of these things in fancier neighborhoods before they think about spending 1/2 as much to rehabilitate the originals.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 12:31 PM
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before they think about spending 1/2 as much to rehabilitate the originals.

I thought the theory was that it would cost more to rehab the originals. I've no idea if this is true, but I assumed it was, and have wrung my hands at the pity of it.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 12:36 PM
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beautiful old housing stock did not automatically mean wealth

Much of St Louis is heartbreaking this way. There are beautiful art deco commercial buildings with black glass tiled facades fringing downtown (beat to hell). The glass matched what I worked with in the glass shop, so fragments off the street blew out into a beautiful purple.

Better now, but the glass is gone. St Louis is pretty segregated N-S; my University was in a mixed neighborhood, like the one I grew up in. Bosnian is now a distinct ethnic identity there, I think; it'll be interesting to see how it fades into cracker. How observant are the Iraqis in Detroit, by and large?


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 12:36 PM
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163 -- In general, it's more expensive to rehab something nice than to create a modern imitation from scratch, but factoring in house prices, it'smore expensive to buy a crappy home in a wealthy neighborhood and then construct a new fancy ballroom than it is to buy a run-down home in a worse neighborhood and rehab it.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 12:39 PM
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163: That and the materials rotting away.

I may have mentioned this before here. Yonks ago I was working a bit of demolition and we were taking apart old warehouse/dockyards buildings. The foundations had 4'x4' and larger beams, some of them 200' long, all taken out of old growth forest that was nearby at the time, now gone. After 100+ years of sitting there, mills were lining up to buy the beams, being better & bigger than anything coming out of the forest these days, even after you trimmed the exterior inch or two for damage. Paid for the whole operation easily, everything else we pulled out was gravy.

You literally cannot buy some of this stuff anymore, but when they were built it was common. Some of the old housing stock is much the same, floor joists etc. well surpassing modern spec (of course, some of it isn't, either).


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 12:40 PM
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I thought the theory was that it would cost more to rehab the originals.

This is true, but a) you've got to factor in land prices too, and b) many of the reconstructions are still crappier, and probably won't last as long.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 12:43 PM
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Also, only the original houses have that delicious lead paint.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 12:44 PM
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Much of St Louis is heartbreaking this way.

It's a sad city that way. I walked a fair percentage of the downtown area a few years back (without a camera, sadly). There was some great buildings in pretty rough shape.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 12:44 PM
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An acquaintance of mine is restoring an old Victorian. In his fetish for authenticity he is using period tools to do it. I don't really know him enough to ask for tours, but when I walk by his house I see slow but perceptible progress. I wonder if finishing is one of his goals.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 12:44 PM
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and probably won't last as long.

and when I said that, I meant counting from today. Not total lifetime, which may not be remotely comparable. The cheaper spec'd new stuff really isn't going to last at all.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 12:45 PM
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What soup said. Houses in my neighborhood were mostly built 1905-1915, and the framing lumber would be finish lumber today. When I burned the paint off one entire exterior wall, the siding turned out to be nearly perfect old fir, with a single knothole maybe a quarter-inch across.

New construction can approximate the look of these old places, but to match the workmanship and materials (e.g., lath and plaster rather than drywall), would be far, far more expensive than renovation.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 12:50 PM
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I thought the theory was that it would cost more to rehab the originals. I've no idea if this is true, but I assumed it was, and have wrung my hands at the pity of it.

You can't reproduce the good, old stuff for less $$, but you can approximate it for less. Frex, wood paneling in old houses is usually old growth hardwood with minimal joints, because it was coming from 16', dead-straight, properly dried lumber. To build that way, new, is like $500/SF, whereas renovating a (truly ramshackle) old house that already has that stuff is going to be more like $250/SF. But you can build new, with painted MDF paneling, for $180/SF.

The other issue is that, unless the neighb is so bad that no sane person would buy*, the existing house costs enough to start to throw the numbers off, especially if you're getting into a really top-notch rehab (ie, the goal at the end is no cracks in the plaster, no creaking floors, no sagging in the porch, all-new wiring, etc.). Maybe the rehab costs exactly as much as the not-as-nice-but-still-nice new house, but you also have to pay for the original house.

Note that, if you can do the work yourself, and you're not in a hurry to get done, rehab costs are a tiny fraction of this. We're mostly done with this house, and cash out of pocket has been maybe $40k on an original investment of $60k, for a 3000 SF house. There's maybe $20-30k left to go. You certainly couldn't match this house, at any quality level, for $130k, but I've got a couple thousand hours of sweat equity into it as well.

* Like, active crack houses on either side of the target property


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 12:53 PM
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but you can approximate it for less.

for some value of "approximate", which is sometimes pretty good, sometimes "you're kidding, right?"


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 12:55 PM
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Well, excuse me for being pwned for my comprehensiveness.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 12:55 PM
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165: Exactly.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 12:56 PM
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176: happens a lot 'round here.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 12:56 PM
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You would not believe the intrusion into what should be a private decision one gets when trying to rehab an historic house. Remuddling is not to be encouraged, but the local Historical Society gets plan review, esp. wrt color.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 12:58 PM
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We had our 150 year old barn taken down. I hated to see it go, but I couldn't justify spending $30,000 to put a new roof on it. There were a lot of nice beams in there, and some less nice siding. The guys who took it down gave us $800. They said they were planning on selling the wood to people who made furniture.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 12:58 PM
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Jesus Christ is Pittsburgh cheap.

I was thinking of LA, which is (mostly) built up already and has expensive lot prices -- buying an existing lot or tear-down 70s ranch house in a fancy white neighborhood and fixing it up is usually going to cost you way more than rehabbing an older house.

$130k in LA? Or $260k? Even after the market collapse, that's the purchase price of the run down shack between the two crackhouses with the good wood stripped out already.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 1:00 PM
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172: Exactly. If I can indulge in a final hand-wring: disposable society! aargh, no joke.

On a lighter note: isn't being given permission to demolish (disassemble) things great? Those of us with any latent anger can be pleased to wield a hammer, axe or sledgehammer.

The artist, and artisanal, communities I know put some attention into older buildings, for to reap their materials.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 1:00 PM
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You would not believe the intrusion into what should be a private decision one gets when trying to rehab an historic house.

Erm, isn't that the point of having such a designation? I mean, argue for or against the existence, but it doesn't make much sens e to have it without the ability to constrain changes.

People voluntarily sign up for shit like that all the time with covenants anyway (at least on exteriors).

I don't have a lot of sympathy for whinging about it. Perhaps if there is a situation where you can have the designation forced on you withoug recourse (is there?)


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 1:01 PM
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OK, now I'm all nostalgic for my old barn. Just look at those delicious beams.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 1:02 PM
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Like, active crack houses on either side of the target property

I still mourn the house that I couldn't buy when I was looking. Had a front house and a back house on a sunny quarter acre and was sooo cute. But my parents weren't willing to give me the down payment for that house just because there were seven boarded up houses on the block and it was directly across the street from a crackhouse.

I begged and said I'd get a German Shepard or do anything, but they got all sensitive and tetchy about it. I swear.

Ten years later, every one of the houses on that block is looking good.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 1:03 PM
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older buildings, for to reap their materials

Many ancient buildings have been scavenged for the stone, before we had ideas like history. The old city wall is just in the way, and I need a new milking shed.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 1:04 PM
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Perhaps if there is a situation where you can have the designation forced on you withoug recourse (is there?)

Yep. There is a resources survey first. Not every Victorian or Craftsman bungalow needs preservation.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 1:07 PM
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182: Working in demolition is just about the best job I can think of if you're in a really pissy mood. 8 hours with a 5ft demo bar and nobody to bug you.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 1:07 PM
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Maybe if the guys on the front porch across the street hadn't hit us up for money when we came to tour the house...


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 1:07 PM
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149 made me laugh out loud.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 1:07 PM
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Anyone who has used TurboTax to fill out their New York State taxes knows that there are about 20 exemptions and deductions for anyone interested in owning or rehabbing an historic barn.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 1:08 PM
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174: Note that, if you can do the work yourself, and you're not in a hurry to get done, rehab costs are a tiny fraction of this. We're mostly done with this house

A friend has been in the process of doing this for years now -- depressing how long it's taking, how his house is perpetually semi-unfit for guests (please to use the basement bathroom, the upstairs bathroom has its floor ripped out), and so on. Some day.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 1:09 PM
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We don't do (most of the work) ourselves, but having the rehab always be "mostly done" is kinda a feature of having an older home. I like it.

This thread is making me want to move to Pittsburgh. I already like the Steelers. There have to be some jobs there, right?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 1:12 PM
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though I will apologize for the tenor.

Hey, is that some kind of slam at fat guys with high voices?

We're not all fat, TYVM.


Posted by: fedward | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 1:14 PM
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the post saying out loud that people will see the black normal family of Obamas and it will 'widen one's perception about normalcy' sounds racist imo
unintentionally of course, but still

I didn't literally mean it would widen my perception about normalcy. I meant that the US is full of people with racist perceptions, and it would hopefully widen their perception.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 1:14 PM
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I have the hardest time believing that it's possible to own multiple acres of land and still be hard up for money -- I know it's true, but to a city girl, it doesn't make sense.

North Dakota is rich in space. That's what I noticed when I was on the East Coast, not much space anywhere. If it were possible to magically pump a few hundred worthless ND acres into NYC, someone could become an instant multi-billionaire at the cost of a few hundred thousand.

In DC I notice millions of tons of fake classic cement government buildings. Some enormous building would turn out to be a minor branch of the interior dept. I came to understand that the American space is firmly and unshakably occupied, and unlikely ever to be transfrmed by any finite political movement.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 1:21 PM
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LAnd! Land is the only thing that matters! Tara! Tara! LAND! Land! Tara! Land is the only thing that matters!


Posted by: Mr. O'Hara | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 1:24 PM
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A square mile of prime ND land would cost about half a million. What would that be in Manhattan?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 1:28 PM
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1. Buy a square mile of prime ND land
2. Move it to Manhattan
3. Profit!


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 1:29 PM
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"Some settling during shipping may occur."


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 1:32 PM
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You would not believe the intrusion into what should be a private decisionfinancial and stabilization benefits one gets when trying to rehab an historic house.

Historic districts have higher property values, value retention, and home ownership rates than comparable un-designated districts. "Private" decisions - things that happen within the house - are not the purview of any public agency except when public moneys are involved and/or the building is a National Historic Landmark (of which there are a mere handful in private hands). Decisions about the public face of the house are, indeed, the purview of the public agency, but most districts do not review paint colors (although some certainly do).


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 1:33 PM
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This thread is making me want to move to Pittsburgh. I already like the Steelers. There have to be some jobs there, right?

Yes. Also, the Pgh commercial real estate market was just determined to be the strongest in the country.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 1:37 PM
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1. Buy a square mile of prime ND land
2. Move it to Manhattan
3. Profit!

This should be easy.

Just agree to take in some NYC garbage, and then bring your land back to NYC on the garbage barge's return voyage.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 1:38 PM
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There have to be some jobs there, right?

It's not too bad. (And JRoth, hearing about your house always makes me happy.)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 1:41 PM
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Hey JRoth I don't suppose you would have pictures of your house somewhere do you? I have been meaning to start rehabbing my house, this year for reals, and like all the ideas I can get.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 1:44 PM
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Also, Pittsburgh has the people-bounce-back phenomenon. I joke that the region's primary export is children, but what often happens is that the kids move back when they have kids.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 1:45 PM
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When are you moving back then?

In Model UN we once came up with a parody of a CIA World Factbook entry. Part of our country's listing was
PRINCIPAL EXPORTS: Bread, sliced meat, lettuce
PRINCIPAL IMPORTS: Unsliced meat, sandwiches


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 1:47 PM
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Last time the Plains were sent to Manhattan nobody profited.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 1:50 PM
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It's an attractive city. I used to think I was just an NYC chauvinist, but I can't think of a walkable city I've been to that I haven't liked. I was surprised by how pretty Cincinnati was when I visited.

I think I just like cities.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 1:51 PM
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Decisions about the public face of the house are, indeed, the purview of the public agency, but most districts do not review paint colors (although some certainly do).

They do that on Beacon Hill. You have to keep your shutters just right. My Dad is the biggest proponent of historic preservation, and he found some of the stuff silly.

My grandfather, who was not an architect but an archivist, was involved with some historic preservation in the 60's, and he was at pains to show that it could be done inexpensively in a smaller town and without making it a high-end neighborhood a la Georgetown.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 1:57 PM
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I BRING MY NORTH DAKOTA LAND WITH ME EVERYWHERE.


Posted by: OPINIONATED NORTH DAKOTAN NOSFERATU | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 2:06 PM
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ALLCAPS are deprecated!


Posted by: OPINIONATED TYPOGRAPHER | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 2:07 PM
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Come to think of it, the title of the original post is unclear. "Barack needs to wear more garish sweaters." Specifically, what is "more" modifying? Is HG trying to say "Barack needs to wear garish sweaters more frequently," or is she trying to say "Barack needs to wear sweaters that are more garish than what he usually wears," or what?


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 2:15 PM
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I think I just like cities.

I was watching Sesame Street with the kids last night, and the theme for the episode was the laundromat. Going to the laundromat, folding laundry, etc. I realized that one of the best bits of multi-cultural exposure kids get from Sesame Street is simply a sense of urban living. Yes, its nice to know that some Muppets speak Spanish. But also, most people take their dirty clothes to a separate building where a bunch of people all wash clothes.

Of course, everything about Sesame Street screams New York to an adult. But to little suburban kids like mine, it is just a taste of Big City Anywhere.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 2:15 PM
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213: I think it means he needs to wear like 6 garish sweaters at once. Take that, Jimmy Carter.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 2:16 PM
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213: I meant that Barack's garishness needs to be more better. And sweaters.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 2:17 PM
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A lot of restorers of historic buildings get tax breaks and subsidies, so you take the biter with the sweet.

A lot of cute European towns have strict laws about what what your house can look like, sometimes going back centuries. Laws like that would be resisted and overthrown in the US, but a lot of people like to live in places like that, and to visit them.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 2:18 PM
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the building is a National Historic Landmark (of which there are a mere handful in private hands)

Been there, done that. We got Landmark status for one of our old packinghouses, and restored the property (Sec. of Interior's guidelines, natch). Then leased the newly rehabbed property to The Old Spaghetti Factory. If it weren't for the tax credits, the building would have been hit by lightning, or some other "unforeseen" insured tragedy.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 2:18 PM
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196: That's what I noticed when I was on the East Coast, not much space anywhere.

It seems a trite observation. But if you've ever had the opportunity to travel somewhat slowly (by train or car, with stops along the way) back and forth across these United States, the space differential really registers, sometimes in a visceral way.

The east coast actually smells bad -- trapped air, in part. And of course is way crowded. Some of this is topographical: more closely-piled hills and valleys. Things are vertical, scrunched up. It registers quite graphically.

No doubt some of the differing political sensibilities of Americans -- coastal enclaves vs. midlanders -- derive from disparate experiences of the value and availability of land. Coastal types may tend to be more "Danger, danger! Decreasing resources!" while others may be less alarmed.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 2:19 PM
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More purple, Obamas! Don't let the side down!


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 2:19 PM
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exposure kids get from Sesame Street is simply a sense of urban living. Yes, its nice to know that some Muppets speak Spanish.

I was so excited to learn that they have Sesame Street in Canada (and not just from American stations). Only instead of speaking some Spanish they speak, reasonably enough, French. The best bit is that there's a flying beaver.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 2:20 PM
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Wkipedia now tells me that in 1996 Sesame Park ceased to be a re-edited version of Sesame Street, so my information is dated.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 2:21 PM
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The east coast actually smells bad -- trapped air, in part.

Hey!

NYC smells kind of bad, I'll give you that. But not the whole east coast, come on.

I do find myself sniffing the air whenever I leave the city: "Wow, it smells all complicated out here, and hardly any of the smells are offensive!" But after awhile in the city, you don't notice it at all.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 2:22 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 2:22 PM
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So what is an acre of Manhattan worth? $800 in ND. Manhattan is ~15,000 acres, so that would be ~$12,000,000 for Manhattan.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 2:27 PM
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225: I've got some pretty beads I'll trade you for it, John.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 2:29 PM
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225. Built or raw land? Residential or commercial or industrial zoning? Makes a difference.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 2:32 PM
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I think it means he needs to wear like 6 garish sweaters at once. Take that, Jimmy Carter.

"Our only source of heat in the White House is passive solar. I encourage all Americans to turn off their furnaces."

A lot of restorers of historic buildings get tax breaks and subsidies, so you take the biter with the sweet.

One of my brothers, who has a degree in historic preservation, is in the business of evaluating properties and consulting owners on the breaks they can get. A lot of great places get saved that way. (John, are you familiar with the Wonder Ballroom on NE Russell? Beautiful renovation thanks to just that.)


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 2:36 PM
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Just average out the whole island.

I'm thinking of leveling it and building a theme park.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 2:36 PM
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Is that the old World's Fair building in St. Johns? One of the few acoustically-not-awful music venues in Portland, though inconveniently located.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 2:38 PM
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Our only source of heat in the White House is passive solar.
You'd be well advised to paint it black, then.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 2:38 PM
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Someone call a Manhattan realtor and get a ballpark figure for me, OK? I'll cut you in on my profits if this goes through.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 2:39 PM
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I see a whitehouse and I want to paint it black.


Posted by: M/ck J/gger | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 2:39 PM
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223: NYC smells kind of bad, I'll give you that. But not the whole east coast, come on.

No, really, it does. I drove back across the southwest, from the four corners area, across Texas across, eventually, to Tennessee, and up from there through Virginia, and you could really smell it as you approached. It was like a wall.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 2:42 PM
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||

Imagine you teach women's studies at the undergraduate level, and you discover that a former student--a women's studies major--is selling her virginity for 3.8 Million dollars, and citing your course as an inspiration.

Do you

A. Lean back proudly in your chair and say "that's my girl"

B. Re-evaluate your teaching methods to see where you went wrong.

C. Figure out how to cash in on your personal connection.

Please take into account that the young woman, in describing what she learned in your course, seems to be confused about who pays a dowry to whom.

|>


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 2:44 PM
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it smelled like a wall? the east coast smells like bricks. concrete, maybe. stone?


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 2:46 PM
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230: No, it's the one in near NE a couple of blocks off MLKJ. Conveniently located, acoustically not bad.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 2:46 PM
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Please take into account that the young woman, in describing what she learned in your course, seems to be confused about who pays a dowry to whom.

This seems to rule out option A. I would try to figure out some kind of compromise of B and C.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 2:47 PM
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235: C is the obvious choice.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 2:47 PM
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The best bit is that there's a flying beaver.

Checking, and... yes, UrbanDictionary has a "flying beaver" entry, but it really wasn't worth the time it took to check.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 2:48 PM
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"Well the answer is "D", all of the above."


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 2:48 PM
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eventually, to Tennessee, and up from there through Virginia, and you could really smell it as you approached. It was like a wall.

Did you go through the Smokey Mountains? That's where all the sulfur dioxide from Midwestern coal plants piles up. I'm told its quite foul.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 2:48 PM
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Is she selling her virginity ironically for non-ironic millions? Is she willing to bargain? I think she's pegged it high.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 2:50 PM
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High in the sense of "4000 acres of prime ND wheat land".


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 2:52 PM
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243: It's an auction. Apparently someone bid that.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 2:52 PM
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184: Spike, I've just had a chance to look at the pictures of those old beams, the 150-year-old barn, and it's sad you had to give that up.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 2:56 PM
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235: Really I would go for

E) try not to think about it.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 2:58 PM
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In addition to that digital underground song, "c is the heavenly option" is another good song with multiple choice questions.

http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/h/heavenly/c_is_the_heavenly_option.html

The lyrics make for bad relationship advice though.


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 2:58 PM
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OK, so this wasn't Rob's own personal virgin student.

Or was it?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 3:00 PM
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If you've got that kind of scratch to blow on banging a virgin, the smart thing to do is to offer $100k in an advertisement likely to be read by women who are virgins. Someone will take you up on it. Plus, if she turns out to be a lousy lay (and who isn't on the first go-round) you can try 37 more times before exhausting your virgin-banging budget. Simple probability suggests at least one of the 38 will be almost as good a lay as a woman with a few notches on her belt.

Really the only advantage of screwing a virgin is that they don't know what to expect, so if your performance is crap she won't realize it.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 3:02 PM
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246: Thanks for feeling my pain, parsimon. I'm just glad the wood is still being used, somewhere.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 3:03 PM
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250: You've clearly given this too much thought.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 3:04 PM
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236: It smelled like pollution, sweetheart. Like smog. I wish this weren't true, but there it was.

No, I don't think it was the Smokey Mountains, though the point is taken.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 3:04 PM
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250: You've clearly given this too much thought.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 3:04 PM
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I'm told there are also way of obtaining 72 virgins at once.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 3:05 PM
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249: I advice all my students to lose their virginity before they leave college, while the pickings are still good.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 3:05 PM
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256: As in "Who knows when you'll have the chance to sleep with me after you leave here?"?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 3:07 PM
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I don't have a lot of sympathy for whinging about it. Perhaps if there is a situation where you can have the designation forced on you withoug recourse (is there?)

Occasionally it can seem rather arbitrary and unfair. I knew a guy who had bought a condo in Boston's South End that came with a roofdeck. He decided to replace it, because it was falling apart, but once he'd pulled down the old deck the historical commission or whatever they're called wouldn't let him put up a new one. This made a significant difference in the resale value of the condo. I was scraping up the rent for a shared apartment at the time so I didn't exactly weep for him, but I see how annoying it would be. Still, all this took place quite early in the boom years, so he probably tripled his purchase price anyway.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 3:12 PM
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250 is weirdly crude.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 3:14 PM
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259 - is that deprecated?


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 3:17 PM
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To me, the East Coast smells like rotting stuff.

The West smells like car exhaust, dust, sagebrushy desert smells, and/or citrus blossoms, depending on location and time of day.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 3:18 PM
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you could really smell it as you approached. It was like a wall.

You approached the East Coast one time on one particular road, and from that you conclude what the entire East Coast smells like? Wow.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 3:20 PM
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260: I don't know. I find it startling and off-putting, but I don't speak for the mass.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 3:22 PM
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The thing about 250 is that it is pretending to be ignorant of something that at least our entrepreneurial young woman picked up in college: virginity has huge social value beyond allowing men to cover up a lack of sexual prowess and further that "idealized virginity is just a tool to keep women in their place."


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 3:23 PM
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To me, the East Coast smells like rotting stuff.

Actually, that was a component as well. True! A function of having come up through Tennessee, maybe, which is a rich region.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 3:25 PM
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link for the quote in 264.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 3:25 PM
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Africa smells like wood smoke.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 3:25 PM
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I love the smell of the East Coast in the morning. It smells like . . . victory.


Posted by: Kilgore | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 3:28 PM
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||

As far as I'm concerned, the whole damn election was worth it for this: Obama Signs Order Reversing Global Gag Rule.

|>


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 3:28 PM
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But that's not all . . . we'll throw in a backbone, too!

Obama to GOP: 'I Won'

Challenged by one Republican senator over the contents of the package, the new president, according to participants, replied: "I won."
The statement was prompted by Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl of Arizona , who challenged the president and the Democratic leaders over the balance between the package's spending and tax cuts, bringing up the traditional Republican notion that a tax credit for people who do not earn enough to pay income taxes is not a tax cut but a government check.
Obama noted that such workers pay Social Security and Medicare taxes, property taxes and sales taxes. The issue was widely debated during the presidential campaign, when Sen. John McCain, the Republican nominee, challenged Obama's tax plan as "welfare."

Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 3:31 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 3:32 PM
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264 - not pretending to be ignorant, just outright rejecting. I have no problem whatsoever with this auction. What baffles me is the behavior of the person who apparently has 3.8 million to blow and yet is not smart enough to realize that there are millions of women who share my rejection of virginity fetishism, some of whom are likely virgins and would be willing to part with their virginity for substantially less than 3.8 million dollars. I could name three off the top of my head from my college days, and they were all at least as pretty as the pictures I've seen of Natalie Dylan. Younger, too, which plays into another common fetish.

I wouldn't be surprised if this turned out to be a hoax of some sort, either by Ms. Dylan or by the bidder.

263 - sorry, didn't mean to discomfit.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 3:34 PM
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I wouldn't be surprised if this turned out to be a hoax of some sort, either by Ms. Dylan or by the bidder.

Likewise. I would guess most likely by Dylan, and in service of something either to be described as an art piece or a political action.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 3:37 PM
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I could name three off the top of my head

But please don't, okay? Thank you.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 3:39 PM
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Whoops, I should have clicked through -- it's explicitly part of her thesis. I still doubt the bid, in that I doubt it will result in a transaction.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 3:40 PM
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Togolosh is a straight up pimp.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 3:41 PM
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If she auctioned off seconds, thirds, and so on she could draw valid supply and demand curves.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 3:45 PM
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270: Very encouraging. If Obama's bipartisanship is a sly, "give them enough rope to hang themselves" game, I'm all for it, especially if it means he plans to make the Republican leadership irrelevant by splitting off individual Republicans here and there.

The Republican majority was held together by pork barrel and graft, which is why Bush ended up not even trying to control spending. If Obama Pelosi and Reid play their money cards right, they can have Republicans compteing to be the filibuster-breaking vote.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 3:49 PM
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It's explicitly part of her thesis

Spin out a few not-too-implausible hypotheticals (e.g. he reneges on the bid, or his check bounces, or it emerges that she wasn't really a virgin), and you've got yourself some good questions for a law school Contracts exam.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 3:50 PM
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The Saudis have developed a science of virginity-verification. If the guy can afford $3 million, he can afford to fly in a top virginity-verification tech.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 3:53 PM
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West coast smells vary. Visiting home one spring as the plane descended through about eighteen thousand feet and the valley smelled so strongly of clover and sweet sweet grass hay.


Posted by: Tj | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 3:54 PM
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An interior valley in the pnw.


Posted by: Tj | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 3:55 PM
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Is the contract-deflowering legal?


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 4:00 PM
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280 - There's even hymen restoration surgery available, which complicates things enormously.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 4:00 PM
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The virginity-verification techs are engaged in an endless war with the hymen-reconstruction techs, of course. Ain't it always like that?

During my bicycle tours this summer new-mown hay and occasional wildflowers were the pleasant smells. Cow manure, silage, turkey manure, nasty ditch water, and road kill were the bad smells. Nasty smells were more common, but the predominant smell was a neutral fresh air smell.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 4:00 PM
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283: Wait, first corporations are people who can marry, and now you can deflower a contract?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 4:01 PM
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I should have clicked the link in 266; she's doing it all under the auspices of a Nevada brothel.

Her mother must be having a fit.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 4:02 PM
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The virginity-verification techs

This reminds me of something I read about army doctors, decades ago, trying to sort gay recruits from straight by testing their gag reflexes.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 4:03 PM
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Back to Barack, it seems that the typical Republican congressperson in either house is someone so addicted to thinking in slogans that they're not able to figure out that they lost the election. A lot of finance people were like that too; they were laying down ultimatums about what the bailout would have to be like in order for them to consent to accepting it.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 4:05 PM
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288 is freaking hilarious.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 4:05 PM
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[Now that I am not running around like a chicken sans head.]

133: Jews are WASPs now, right? Along with Chinese and Japanese after the second generation?

Oy. New York has always been a big money center, and it has always been criticized for being a big money center. ('Eastern bankers' etc.) WASPy people used to be the big money (and still are), but as they get replaced by other groups (Jews), the other groups start acting like WASPs because they have incentives to do so. Incentives like having shitloads of money. That sort of thing makes people snooty and upper-crusty. Of course, if you criticize big money people now, the complaints about anti-semitism start. I continue to be baffled by people who think stereotypes are wrong who also seem to think there is something innately upper-crusty about WASPs.

135: ChristineKirsten Gillibrand.

I did misspell it, didn't I? I knew it was Kirsten before that, but I'd swear they said Christine on the TV, which planted that spelling in my head.

I am embarrassed to say that I'd never heard of her before she was tapped as Senator, and still don't know a thing about her.

I don't either. I have no clue about her except what I have just heard. Nonetheless, the flashbulb went off: 'AHA! There you are. It's you! I was wonderin' when you were gonna show up.' And there she is.

max
['Speakin' of whichness, when does your political career commerce?']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 4:06 PM
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I'm trying to imagine a virgin corporation right now.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 4:06 PM
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288: testing their gag reflexes.

Um, how? "Oh, boy, this one's definitely gay. We're going to need a moment here..."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 4:06 PM
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Tongue depressor?


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 4:08 PM
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285: There's something quite invigorating about a truly horrible smell if it doesn't last very long. Sort of a smelling salts effect.

288 is hysterical.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 4:09 PM
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283: In Nevada, I don't see why it wouldn't be, but I don't know the details. But if she can hook legally, whether she's a virgin and what she's charging is neither here nor there. Elsewhere, it wouldn't be an enforceable contract (meretricious!), and she's probably violating the criminal law against prostitution in most states.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 4:13 PM
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265: Actually, that was a component as well. True! A function of having come up through Tennessee, maybe, which is a rich region.

I dunno about that, but I do know that driving here from St. Louis we hit that fucking wall of clouds right around the Indiana/Illinois state line, heading for Indianapolis. We were just driving past some nice corn fields, and lots of sun shine, and then suddenly the interstate went bad, there were dead tires everywhere and it was overcast. And it stayed that way.

I am not normally afflicted by claustrophobia but I get it bad here. I gotta keep the shades closed so I can pretend there's an outside, instead of whatever the hell that dank mess is that's actually out there.

max
['Yeesh.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 4:14 PM
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270. A basket of fruit from the GOP.

"How can you spend hundreds of millions of dollars on contraceptives?" Boehner asked. "How does that stimulate the economy?"

Boehner said congressional Republicans are also concerned about the size of the package.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 4:14 PM
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I'm trying to imagine a virgin corporation right now.

Too late!


Posted by: Richard Branson | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 4:17 PM
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"How can you spend hundreds of millions of dollars on contraceptives?" Boehner asked. "How does that stimulate the economy?"

What, he thinks they're usually free?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 4:17 PM
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Re 291, I recently learned that about 1/3 of our local chapter of the DAR are Jewish, either through intermarriage of a parent or because they are women who married a Jewish man and converted.

True WASPs (I'm only one by marriage) are charming, but are now a very rare and hidden species, in a state of terminal decline.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 4:18 PM
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Boehner also said, "Did you guys know you've been mispronouncing my name for years?"


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 4:18 PM
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We have a true WASP blogging here, but she hasn't been around much lately.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 4:19 PM
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I think my co-blogger (not Anand) also qualifies, but she slums with me anyway.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 4:22 PM
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BZZZZZZZ


Posted by: OPINIONATED WASP | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 4:25 PM
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I didn't have to turn in my WASP card went I went west, but there is now a weird stain on it.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 4:26 PM
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My grandmother Emerson was a true WASP back to the Mayflower. My grandfather Emerson's father likewise. But the rest were German and Dutch.

I figured out that I have something like 2-4000 ancestors in various places as of the Mayflower, so it all gets pretty silly.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 4:30 PM
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I figured out that I have something like 2-4000 ancestors in various places as of the Mayflower, so it all gets pretty silly.

Not if you're a Hapsburg. Probably not for most people -- you don't want to underestimate the amount of inbreeding in small pre-industrial towns.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 4:33 PM
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I figured out that I have something like 2-4000 ancestors in various places as of the Mayflower, so it all gets pretty silly.

Silly, granted. But the rest doesn't follow. I don't think there were that many on the Mayflower.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 4:34 PM
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Toss in enough alcoholism, mental illness, suicide, and a culture that makes the appearance of effortless success almost as important as success itself (which means that a lot of people just skip the success and go straight to the effortless) and your culture can go into terminal decline, too.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 4:35 PM
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I would be a WASP, except I think Unitarians got kicked out of Protestantism.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 4:36 PM
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The most hardcore WASPs came over on the Arabella.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 4:37 PM
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a culture that makes the appearance of effortless success almost as important as success itself

Poppy Bush was too ambitious. It showed.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 4:37 PM
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My grandmother on the non-LDS side was a serious WASP. She had to run away from home to marry my grandad. They had been engaged for five years, so I have no idea why they eloped in January and nearly froze to death.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 4:40 PM
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No, the Adamses were Unitarians. WASP is ethnic, not theological.

Early Unitarians could be real jerks. The weenies of today are something quite different.

"WASP" originally must have referred to the very rich powerful old-money people who controlled certain areas of finance ca. 1850-1950 when immigrants were challenging them. There always have been lots of poor to mediocre trash WASPS. I wonder whether any important field is still WASP controlled any more -- maybe the State Department.

Technically the Roosevelts and Rockefellers weren't WASPS.

Nowadays WASP must just mean white protestant, and I'm not sure how dominant they/we are anywhere either.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 4:43 PM
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Trash WASPS: frex my sainted Aunt Elizabeth and her dad in their wicked house.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 4:44 PM
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I used to know a Habsburg. He has the jaw and the bad health. His aunt remembered the palace in Dalmatia and hated Tito.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 4:46 PM
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so it all gets pretty silly

There's a funny essay by, um, Peter Schneider maybe? about all the people who can trace their ancestry back to Charlemagne.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 4:46 PM
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There's a guy in Britain named Giray who's the last heir either of the Ottomans or the Crimean Tatars or both. He's very funny.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 4:48 PM
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Yeah, I take the term to mean the weird American subculture created by robber barons (really, their kids) who tried to create a fake American aristocracy with particular mores, from about 1890-1965, and who used to control finance and some aspects of law in NY, Philadelphia, Boston, NY, and to a lesser extend in some other cities.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 4:50 PM
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Two different guys.

Ottoman:
http://englisheclectic.blogspot.com/2006/07/last-ottoman.html

Can't find the Tatar named Giray.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 4:51 PM
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Here he is!:

http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Giray

Both live in NYC.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 4:52 PM
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the weird American subculture created by robber barons

Oh! I thought you meant the DAR types and whatever you call those who descend from the first five or so boatloads of poor schmucks. The people from whom I would claim DAR status instead ran away to Canada, so...


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 4:56 PM
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Well, there's the robber-baron subculture, but in that subculture, didn't you get status from having a DAR pedigree? So, not totally separate.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 4:58 PM
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People who actually care about whether they trace back to the Mayflower, such as myself, tend to be undistinguished, with maybe a nativist streak. If your family hasn't done anything since 1620.....


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 4:59 PM
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True WASPs (I'm only one by marriage) are charming

Well. An old boyfriend of mine was insanely WASPy. At first hanging with his parents starting on the gin at noon was entertaining. But by 6 or 7 the drunken recriminations would begin . . .

I almost fell over a few years ago reading an article about a fancy chef in the NYer. His first job was at the insanely WASPy beachclub to which my friend's family belongs. The writer, describing what a waste it was for this person to cook there, wrote something like, "The members there, by the time they sit down to eat, would not know consommé from College Inn." This is true.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 5:00 PM
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These things get pretty complicated -- there was kind of a merger between Robber Baron wealth status and fake-aristocrat tracing yourself back to the dawn of the country status (whether Puritan or Knickerbocker). If you could both be a millionaire and trace yourself back to a prominent early family (e.g., Vanderbilts, Morgans) you were particularly lucky; if not, you could trade one off against the other for maximum social standing.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 5:04 PM
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Others, such as the Singer sewing machine man, just sent their daughters to Europe to marry gay, decadent, impoverished European nobiles.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 5:18 PM
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I can trace back to Charlemagne. So can my wife. I'm pretty sure just about everyone of European extraction is descended from him somehow.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 5:22 PM
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I thought everybody in Europe was descended from Kublai Khan.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 5:25 PM
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326 that is an hilarious line


Posted by: Tj | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 5:26 PM
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330. Possible, but Charlemagne's DNA had a 400 year head start on Kahn's.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 5:29 PM
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My lineage dates all the way back to Mitochondrial Eve.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 5:36 PM
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just sent their daughters to Europe to marry gay, decadent, impoverished European nobiles.

So their grandsons could became socially-mobile nobiles?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 5:39 PM
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333: Boy, what a slut she must have been, eh?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 5:40 PM
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My grandmother Emerson was a true WASP back to the Mayflower.

And my grandmother was descended from the Mayflower and in the register and she was also rich, but she wasn't a true WASP, ethnically-speaking, since there was the 'Uncle George [who] had that long, straight black Mohawk hair' and so on. (And I know I have to be related to Alameda through her, if you go back 12-14 generations.) My other three grandparents were not WASPy at all, last I checked; too poor, too much 'one drop of blood'.

I suppose I should take WASP to mean 'the bad kind of rich people'.

max
['Oy.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 5:46 PM
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||
Good god, this is an awesome coat.
|>


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 5:53 PM
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Uh, number 34. I hate how difficult slideshows are to link.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 5:54 PM
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I don't think purity of blood is at all important for WASPishness as long as the children of the inmarrying people adopted WASP culture. Inmarring women, anyway.

A lot of the founding families of South Africa were mixed at the beginning.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 5:59 PM
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Don't know about that men's "Waffen SS Panzer Commander " coat in the next slide, though.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 6:00 PM
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Hey JRoth I don't suppose you would have pictures of your house somewhere do you?

Here and here. The former set is from my wife's Flickr, and thus includes rather more in terms of decorating, but there's plenty to see. The second album is out of date, but probably shows a bit more of the overall house, esp. before shots.

Warning: highly indiscrete!

PS - Just heard the thunder of fireworks from the Steelers Pep Rally at Heinz Field. Woo!


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 6:04 PM
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Hey Emerson, Anne-Marie Slaughter has just become director for policy planning in the state department.


Posted by: Tiny Hermaphrodite | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 6:07 PM
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341 -- I love your house. Some incredible woodwork in there.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 6:09 PM
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I see a struggle between Slaughter and Power for control of foreign policy.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 6:14 PM
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If you really want to wallow in the robber baron brand of WASPishness at its height, read these NYTimes articles on the "Bradley-Martin Ball" from 1893. (eb first linked to it some time ago and there was some discussion of it on this "Ogged/sportscoat/French Laundry turned Blume/Tweety Society Ball" thread.)

A member of the Martin side of the Bradley-Martins, Frederick Townsend Martin, was the author of The Passing of the Idle Rich and once said: "We are rich. We own America. We got it, God knows how, but we intend to keep it."

A daughter was married off to British nobility: " The 4th Earl of Craven (whom Cornelia Martin had married at 16), died in 1921 when he fell off his yacht in the middle of the night off of Cowes, Isle of Wight. In the police description of Lord Craven it was stated that his family crest was tatooed on his breast. "

This descendant might have been the last true WASP.

Esmond Bradley Martin died in 2002; his NY Times obituary said "He had an astonishing mind, alive with dynamism and originality that knew no horizons." An alumnus of Princeton, he was, among other things, a brilliant chess player, a discerning philatelist, a well-known orchid cultivator, a collector of fine watches, books, and English antique furniture, a talented amateur tennis player who once bested Pancho Gonzales, a world fly-fishing record holder for Atlantic salmon and excelled in his financial affairs,


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 6:16 PM
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Which came first, the Slaughter or the Power?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 6:17 PM
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JE, you should check out JM's slideshow. It looks like Chanel decided to hit up the book on Red Army uniforms (in good socialist realist form), crossed it with some 1960's stuff, and then fed it through an Altai stream.

34 is pretty cool, except for that thing on her head. The jacket in 63 is pretty cool (please to ignore the thing on her head).

max
['It's springtime for Stalin and Petrograd...']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 6:18 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 6:19 PM
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341: Gorgeous!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 6:19 PM
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No power without slaughter, no slaughter without power.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 6:21 PM
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339: as long as the children of the inmarrying people adopted WASP culture

I was about to ask for a rough definition of this, but I take it the blockquote in 345 provides it? (I know this as "preppy" by the way.)


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 6:25 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 6:26 PM
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340: Wow, wtf?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 6:28 PM
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353: It's a copy of the Soviet greatcoat. (Note large collar lapels and flaps for the bars on the shoulders.) It's just that the Soviet greatcoat and German greatcoat have near-identical patterns.

max
['The Swedes too.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 6:32 PM
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341/49: Is that astrakhan?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 6:41 PM
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Yeah, 347 pretty much has it right on that line. I kind of have to shrug over these fashion declarations.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 6:44 PM
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as long as the children of the inmarrying people adopted WASP culture

Emerson's a real stickler for that sort of thing.

(And the answer to 235 is B).


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 6:45 PM
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Is that astrakhan?

The coat looks to be, but I don't know about JRoth's house. And Max, I love the things on their heads. You know that they're only decorative pizazz for the runway show, right?


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 6:56 PM
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I also love the coats in 22 and 50.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 7:01 PM
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Most excellent house, JRoth; the staircase is especially magnificent. I'll be putting up photos of mine when I've finished working on it, which should be around the end of the second Gillibrand administration.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 7:01 PM
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Even Fenians can be assimilated into WASP culture. But not all of them.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 7:10 PM
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Yeah, I know, but it's.... a lot of the head ornaments are straight out of Kashmir and that area, and they really went for the overkill on that.

#40, BTW, is, I am pretty sure an adaption of the summer service uniform (fourth from left), for female enlisted.

The alleged panzerfuhrer (#35) is a straight ripoff of Winter #5 of the naval enlisted personel. And #36 is the winter field uniform of the naval infantry on the same page. (Repop of German army greatcoat for comparison.)

max
['Isn't it easy being a fashion designer?']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 7:18 PM
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358: Ha! JRoth lives like a Pasha in his astrakhan pleasuredome!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 7:24 PM
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Yes, so what's up with the ripping off of the Russian military apparel on the Paris runway in 2009? Especially when it's so cute? I mean, I'm sure it doesn't mean anything, but one feels the need to inquire.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 7:26 PM
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An ex of mine used to work for Gaut/er, and he said that military coats just had fucking fabulous design.

I've always liked the Russian Ice Princess look for winter. It comes around fairly often because really, how many ways can you bundle up luxuriously for the freezing cold? I especially like what Karl is doing with those leather stocking/boots/pants, whatever they are.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 7:52 PM
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Not that I'm advocating that the Obama family wear anything remotely approaching this, ever, just in case some passer-by reads the original post and gets the wrong idea. Chanel Haute Couture is pure fantasy garb.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 7:54 PM
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367

Couldn't we go back to the virginity auction?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 8:05 PM
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"While much has been written about the historic nature of having a black President, there has been less attention to the impact having a fully functional, highly educated, loving, black family in the news all the time for the next four years."

Yeah, it'll be great until this guy shows up.


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 8:06 PM
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Ar virginities fungible?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 8:40 PM
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No.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 8:42 PM
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Damn. So I'm just stuck with the bunch of them?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 8:47 PM
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Maybe you can bundle them and sell them at a go.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 8:49 PM
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83: My white students (raised after the Cosby Show and A Different World left primetime) have no concept whatsoever that a black middle class exists, or that there is a way of being black that does not involve being ghetto.

Yet I'm willing to bet they've heard of, or seen on a semi-regular basis, at least two or three of: Oprah Winfrey, Montel Williams, Morgan Freeman, Quincy Jones, James Earl Jones, Lawrence Fishburne, Will Smith, Halle Berry, Don Cheadle, Queen Latifah, Delroy Lindo, Thandie Newton... et cetera. It's not as though the post-Cosby world saw every prosperous, respectable black public figure yield the field to Snoop Dogg, Tupac and Biggie. If they've actually managed to preserve a pristine "black means ghetto" mindset through all of that, don't count on stories about the fashion choices of the Obamas to manage it.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 9:03 PM
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367, 369: You're free to bid at any time, John. But caveat emptor, eh?: you pays your money, you takes your chances.

(Actually, I'm potentially so profoundly appalled by this virginity-auction exercise that I simply refuse to take it seriously. A young woman majors in women's studies [a dubious major in the first place, I've always thought, but that's because I still sort of care about women's history, from which perspective the ahistorical 'history of the patriarchy' of women's studies seems riddled with inaccuracies and just looks downright cheesey], and the end result of her studies is to conclude that since women are inevitably chattel, it would be feministly empowerful to eliminate the middleman in the transaction and serve as both pimp and prostitute in the sale of her own flesh? Well, two cheers for the non-alienation of her labour, I guess.)


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 9:05 PM
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374.2: That seems roughly the right assessment, leaving aside the 'women's studies, dubious major' part.

The woman is an idiot, or asshole, take your pick.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 9:11 PM
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372: cheaper by the dozen.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 9:13 PM
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Maybe you can bundle them and sell them at a go.

Someone more familiar with financial instruments and more clever than I am could probably make a brilliant joke of this.

The woman is an idiot, or asshole, take your pick.

You don't necessarily have to choose between the two.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 9:19 PM
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372: I'd be happy to take the bottom tranche of Emerson's virginity bundle. Laydeez.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 9:20 PM
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If I were Jesus, I'd have said "someone more familiar with financial instruments or more clever than I am".


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 9:21 PM
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It's a prank, and not even a good one. I could come up with better, and I'm not a prankster. Lame.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 9:21 PM
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Yeah, I bet you would togolosh.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 9:21 PM
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The really crazy thing, as I've noticed elsewhere, is that it's a total scam. Ask the buyer the day after the transaction is supposedly completed, and he'll have to admit that he is not in possession of her virginity. You can't transfer something like that.

"He that filches from me my virginity / Robs me of that which not enriches him", as the Bard once said.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 9:25 PM
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379: I was thinking that my hypothetical brilliant witticism required both greater familiarity with derivatives and a more clever mind. Not a high bar, but neither would do in itself.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 9:29 PM
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Virginity is like druthers.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 9:30 PM
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You all realize that women sell their bodies all the time, and it's met with complacency. Apparently this woman's gambit is worse because ... it's fetching such a high price? Because people are taken in? So .. it's performance art?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 9:32 PM
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385: Her gambit is more public, more explicit in connecting her financial condition with her decision to sell sex, more shocking in the specificity of the fetish it caters to, and thus many times more embarrassing in the way it exposes the hypocrisies underlying the increasingly run-of-the-mill practice of exploiting co-ed sexuality.

Must be shitty to be in a position where something like that sounds like a good idea, but whether or not she's trying to make a case for better public education funding in the States, she's certainly doing a good job of it.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 9:44 PM
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369: My ex-roommate and I liked to say that whenever you take someone's virginity, you give it to the next person you sleep with the first time you sleep with them, and so in this manner, virginities travel the globe. I like to think about where my virginity is now, and what it's doing there.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 9:51 PM
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An old boyfriend of mine was insanely WASPy. At first hanging with his parents starting on the gin at noon was entertaining. But by 6 or 7 the drunken recriminations would begin . . .

But this is so cool. It's great material for a play.

I don't see why anyone should care about this woman's virginity auction stunt anyway. It's fake, but if it were real I'd be happy for anyone who managed to sell off their virginity for $3.6 million. I mean, that would totally be worth it, no?


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 9:51 PM
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I waver between being mildly amused at thinking about what her take-away from her major ended up being and trying to come up with a tasteless joke.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 9:54 PM
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I'd be happy to take the bottom tranche of Emerson's virginity bundle.

Nobody wants to admit it, but eventually there's going to have to be a virginity cramdown.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 9:54 PM
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where my virginity is now, and what it's doing there

By now? At the health clinic getting a prescription for antibiotics, probably.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 9:57 PM
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Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 9:57 PM
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391: Considering the person I lost my virginity to, I certainly hope this happened a long, long time ago.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 10:01 PM
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DS, I'm glad you're here.

PGD is a blank.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 10:04 PM
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We need a cap-and-trade system for virginity. There's too much of it floating around.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 10:07 PM
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You all realize that women sell their bodies all the time, and it's met with complacency.

Yes, this I do realize. My problem is when same-old same-old sexploitation of women is presented as some sort of feminist breakthrough or something. And precisely because America has such a long, not to say noble, history of puritanical repudiation of the flesh, there's an unfortunate tendency here to see anything "pro-sex" as "pro-woman" at the same time, which is just utterly b.s., I think.

Look, I really don't care if people want to run naked through the city streets and then f*** like rabid squirrels under the shade of the elms or what have you have. Whatever, baby, I just don't really care. Until people try to make a virtue out of necessity, I guess, and try to tell me that this is some sort of 'feminist' intervention or somethhing. At which point, I'll admit, I am inclined to get a little bit shirty.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 10:12 PM
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Mary Catherine gets it right.

Emerson's congressman takes the lead in lobbying for milch-cow retirement


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 10:13 PM
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The real prudes are the ones who refuse to sell themselves.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 10:14 PM
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341: Thanks. I especially like before and afters. One of these days I am going to do all that work I have planned.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 10:15 PM
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MC, I am actually a little bit shirty about this woman's maneuver as well. She's an idiot, and obnoxious to boot.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 10:17 PM
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BUT ISN'T IT SO TELLING THAT IT TAKES AN OBNOXIOUS IDIOT TO REVEAL THE TRUTH ABOUT PATRIARCHY? I MEAN, THINK ABOUT IT. WHAT IS SHE DOING THAT'S SO WRONG? LET'S TALK ABOUT IT AT LENGTH. SHE ISN'T TRYING TO GET PUBLICITY, WE CAN TELL THAT.


Posted by: OPINIONATED GRANDMA | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 10:20 PM
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387: It's in Bali, drinking a Mai Tai. Mine saw it there, passing through on the way to Oslo.

The whole things about losing your virginity is absurd. First off, you don't lose it, you give it away, ideally. There's a horrible Scottish woman who has mine, unless Bear's theory is correct, in which case there's probably a horrible Scottish woman who has mine.

Be cautioned. When a horrible Scottish woman invites you to drink cider with her, she doesn't mean apple juice. She means to ply you with a vaguely apple-flavored beverage containing approximately 80% alcohol. And then she will take from you the most precious thing a person has. Your pants.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 10:22 PM
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I really like Opinionated Grandma. A lot.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 10:29 PM
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341: I'm not sure if I hate you or love you for a having house that looks like that

Are the colors in the pics photoshopped somehow? Colors don't look this dramatic to me in real life. But I suppose that has nothing to do with how the picture is processed.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 10:35 PM
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403: Oh yeah, me too.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 10:35 PM
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I waver between being mildly amused at thinking about what her take-away from her major ended up being and trying to come up with a tasteless joke.

I believe the take away from her major wound up being a tasteless joke. In fact that's what I originally read this comment as saying, because I skipped the part where you wavered.

Actually, I would not be upset if one of my students only got a tasteless joke out of my class. I'd still feel like I was adding some minimal value to the world.

Ok, I should go to bed.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 10:46 PM
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G'Night Rob.


Posted by: Tiny Hermaphrodite | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:07 PM
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Hey look! Phoebe describes this thread as "like tons of Peteys let loose". How charming.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:12 PM
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408 -- So you find that charming, do you, you trust fund scumbag? As charming as the total abandonment of the Democratic Party as a home for working people by Obama? Or I guess that you don't care if people have healthcare or not. Whose charming now?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:42 PM
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We totally need to get Phoebe to sell her virginity to Petey. Or should it be the other way around?

max
['And then we can sell them designer label red army gear!']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 01-23-09 11:55 PM
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Whose [sic] charming now?

I would go out tonight, but I haven't got a stitch to wear.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 12:03 AM
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I wouldn't be surprised if this turned out to be a hoax of some sort, either by Ms. Dylan or by the bidder.

I listened to a local radio interview with her; she mentioned that 1) she gets to pick whichever bid she prefers, not necessarily the highest bidder and 2) if she gets enough publicity/cash/book deal, she will not necessarily go through with the whole Bunny Ranch part.


Posted by: Klug | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 12:32 AM
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I like AWB's idea of transferable virginities. But what happens to the virginities you have when you die? Presumably they are lost. What are the oldest virginities still in circulaiton?


Posted by: Lambent Cactus | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 12:33 AM
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But what happens to the virginities you have when you die? Presumably they are lost. What are the oldest virginities still in circulaiton?

I had not thought of these fascinating questions, and think science should explore them!


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 12:37 AM
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I'll bet that Isaac Newton's virginity is still bouncing around out there.


Posted by: Klug | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 12:38 AM
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Geez, I go away from a while and you guys are all mean to some random idiot.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 12:38 AM
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Also I like the six degrees of fucking virgin Kevin Bacon game.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 12:39 AM
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You might have to increase it a couple degrees, Sifu.

On the theory that virginity bounces around indefinitely, this means that a large number of people are probably carrying around with them huge numbers of virginities of countless of their forebears.

When you sleep with the person you lost your virginity too (and they still have it) do you get it back?


Posted by: paranoid android | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 1:07 AM
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All of this talk about selling virginity and no talk of derivatives or junk bonds??


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 4:32 AM
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junk bonds

Wow. That is a glaring omission.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 5:17 AM
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"fourth earl of craven" in 1921 = new money! can't you people count? the line was only created in 1801

(ok actually it was created from the remnants of an earlier line that went back to 1664, but even then the first viscount craven was the soldier son -- presumably fighting on the royalist side -- of a lord mayor of london from 1610...) (mayflower = 1620)

most english nobility post-dates the english revolution; a lot of it post-dates the american revolution: emerson's bloodlne is practically merovingian compared to the uk's middleclass merchant aristocracy

it's like the wars of the roses never happened!


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 5:36 AM
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happy new year unfogged btw


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 5:39 AM
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I have always been dedicated to maintaining the ancient traditions of the Evil House of Emerson.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 6:24 AM
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409 is excellent.

I assume that 404's "colors don't look this dramatic in real life" isn't supposed to link to a picture of the hole in my dining room ceiling (which is a filthy shade of dove gray).

But to answer the question, photoshopping on house pics is minimal - just color correction*. Hell, AB didn't even know about adjusting the Levels until a couple weeks ago, so she mostly worked with color temp and Brightness/Contrast. But she's a great photographer, and this house gets great light, and we use bold colors throughout.

And thanks for all the kind words, y'all. The woodwork on the stairs has been untouched by us - we were pretty much ready to buy the house as soon as we saw it. We told our realtor we'd make an offer before we even reached the 3rd floor. Some rooms required no more than a coat of paint, others have been near-gut rehabs.

Oh, and a funny Iris story: a few weeks ago I was doing some painting, and Iris said that she wanted to paint over the woodwork (!). We of course said no, but she noted that she would someday inherit the house, and proceeded to describe all the painting of woodwork she would do. The best was when she ran her fingers over a little Modern end table and said, "Daddy, is this wood? I'm going to paint it purple after you die." She's a real sentimentalist.

* IOW, the standard that I advocated for photojournalism


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 7:32 AM
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201: The DAR? Come on, that's so declasse. The Colonial Dames are where it's at. Somebody was trying to get me to go to some events at one of their houses (she's been doing stuff with her mom), and I briefly thought of getting the paperwork to join, but it's way too much money. I thought it might be kind of a hoot, since my grandfather, the archivist, was named an honorary member at some point.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 7:48 AM
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Rather, Halford in 301.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 7:49 AM
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Phoebe Maltz thinks we're haters and we didn't even really get started. Nobody said anything about feeding her to feral hogs, for example. Some people are very thin-skinned.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 7:53 AM
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Actually, it was supposed to link to the picture of the hole in your ceiling. The purple and green highlights on the light fixture stand out against the gray ceiling and the brown woodwork.

Also the shiny twisty metal in the light seems to stand out against the background. It just seems elevated.

The ubiquity of digital photos has really screwed with my perception of light and color.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 7:56 AM
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re 428

The ubiquity of digital photos has really screwed with my perception of light and color.

Yeah, but I'll bet the ubiquity of Velvia and neutral grad filters had screwed with your perception of landscapes before that.

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


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 7:59 AM
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Phoebe Maltz thinks we're haters and we didn't even really get started.

I was in a pretty cranky mood, though, I'll admit that.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 8:01 AM
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429: Sure. Really, I just wanted to say that I don't understand light and color, even though I see light and color more or less constantly.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 8:05 AM
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re: 431

Yeah. I've written seminar papers on the philosophy of colour perception, am responsible for the colour management workflow of a photographic studio [I train photographers in it], am somewhat obsessive about photographic technique ... and yet I'm exactly the same. I have no clue either, most of the time.

I do know that I find the look of a lot of colour photography these days almost ... aesthetically offensive. But I suspect our perceptions are 'broken'. We've all been trained to expect saturation.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 8:14 AM
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With all due respect, JM, your hater skillz are poorly developed.

And you know, you as much as confessed to being a sweathog wearing size 14, and I inadvertently revealed that you study at Cleveland State.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 8:18 AM
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Famous natural scenes can be disappointing IRL.

At the same time, the way photography flattens things makes you appreciate 3D perception when you can, for example, look into a network of branches and see intricate 3D patterns.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 8:21 AM
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434--Those of us without good binocular vision or depth perception don't really get to benefit from the whole 3D pattern business.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 8:23 AM
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I prefer to think of myself as Junoesque, Emerson.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 8:29 AM
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Famous natural scenes can be disappointing IRL.

Yes, definitely. And the converse is often true, also. Sometimes it can be hard to capture the experience of being somewhere without resorting to a fair bit of artifice. Our eyes/brain don't perceive the world in the way that photographic media do.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 8:30 AM
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428: Interesting. The purple and green are actually explained by a purple and green piece of stained glass that sits in front of the light-flooded window in that room. But the rest of the windows are clear, hence fairly true color rendition of the rest.

Anyway.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 8:36 AM
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434: When I go out in nature I look for the multi-sensory, changing experience. On a day hiking you are going to get one photo-quality pure visual static view. But you have a continuous opportunity for more complex experiences that there simply isn't the technology to capture.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 8:38 AM
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An ex of mine used to work for Gaut/er, and he said that military coats just had fucking fabulous design.

For a long time, probably the best thing that I wore was a 1945 US Marines greatcoat that I got for $20 at the Great Hadley Fleamarket*. I was in HS, and mostly wore, well, what I mostly wear now - jeans or cargos with t-shirts and a button-down overshirt - but that coat really worked. A few years back the lining was so shredded that I had to give it up - plus AB didn't think it looked "professional," after ~15 winters of regular wear. But obviously I still miss it.

* Title is approximate


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 8:40 AM
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re: 439

Yeah. Last summer we spent a week on the Gower Peninsula, and there were some just stunning views. But the photographs of the same locations just completely failed to capture it -- not just in the sense of failing to capture the other sensory modalities, but in the sense that the human eye is both extremely wide-angle and extremely-telephoto and has extremely narrow depth-of-field and huge depth-of-field, all at the same time and at once. Something that _looks_ amazing may photograph like .. meh.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 8:46 AM
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in a state of terminal decline

True enough. He not busy being born, &tc, &tc.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 8:47 AM
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425: Ha! The above-mentioned friend's mother is way into the Colonial Dames. Did you know they have a house -- yes, it is a stand-alone Georgian sort of affair that would look much more at home in KR's PDBS -- on . . . like 58th St.? Nope . . . 61st St. All the way east, in the shadow of the 59th St. Bridge. Ah, here it is.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 8:49 AM
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443: Mind-boggling.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 8:57 AM
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Hey look! Phoebe describes this thread as "like tons of Peteys let loose". How charming.

Her reaction was a lot like bog-standard McArdle. "Hey, I didn't say that! OK, I said it but you're misinterpreting me. Stop being mean! I thought I was the only one allowed to make nasty remarks! When other people behave as I do they are small-minded and stupid and uncivil." etc.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 9:08 AM
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Something that _looks_ amazing may photograph like .. meh.

Absolutely. And vice versa.

Photographs don't capture what you see, after all. But it's easy to confuse yourself about that.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 9:20 AM
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If we're going by what's on sale, I'm going to decide that Vera Wang dresses, Ralph Lauren slacks, and Frye boots are grad student apparel.

J. Crew is still overpriced crap.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 9:26 AM
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without the glasses i see everything like impressionistically, just take the glasses and voila! a masterpiece
maybe the impressionists were near-sighted people and it contributed to their art


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 9:26 AM
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re: 446

Yeah, I've been looking at a lot of 1920s and early 30s photography at the moment. There are lots of great examples of the mundane being transformed into the extraordinary almost through force of sheer will [aka fantastic compositional nous, etc].

Kertesz's photograph of the fork, some of Rodchenko's photographs of architecture, Moholy-Nagy's photograms, etc.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 9:30 AM
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Further re: 449

It's depressing. Looking at the best stuff from the 20s and 30s [in all of the visual arts] just leads one to think that everything now sucks ...


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 9:32 AM
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Continuing the Pittsburgh side of this thread, how much would renting an apartment/room cost there, on average? I might be moving there in the fall for about a year.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 9:36 AM
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Continuing the Pittsburgh side of this thread, how much would renting an apartment/room cost there, on average? I might be moving there in the fall for about a year.

$500-600 for a studio apt including heat and water but not electricity, when I was looking last year. Only slightly more for an actual "one-bedroom".

In out-of-the-way neighborhoods, or in the noisy area right near the Pitt campus, it'll be cheaper.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 9:41 AM
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eb, you're so peripatetic.

||

I just saw an ad for the most hideous hair tool ever. I don't know how they can stay in business, because the results look terrible.

Warning: video launches when you go to the website.

|>


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 9:55 AM
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$500-600 for a studio apt including heat and water but not electricity, when I was looking last year.

That's WAY cheaper than san francisco!

Who, in all the world, would have thunk it?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 9:58 AM
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I thought, based on the name, that the product linked in 453 would enhance the aroma of one's armpits.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 9:59 AM
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i meant, it could be interesting to see photos taken blurry like the impressionist paintings, instead of the ones always striving of the most accuracy and focus, never mind colors, but maybe people do that somewhere too
the washing mashine in our basement got broken, it ate my coins yesterday, i'm going to wash my clothes by hand like Gandhi did, good exercise, will use less water, better for the clothes, no need to go somewhere in the cold far to the coin laundry, win-win-win-win
i 've seen JRoth's house pictures and thought how nice, you did a lot of good in your previous life must be, thphu-thphu and knock-knock, white envy


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 10:00 AM
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My sister is paying around $500 (might be closer to $400, come to think of it.) for half of a two-bedroom house-apartment somewhere near Pitt.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 10:02 AM
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eb, you're so peripatetic.

At some point I will be qualified for a stable-ish career.

Anyway, that's significantly cheaper than the other places I could be going. I have to figure out how financial aid works (which is the bigger factor in deciding where I go); I confess that I don't understand the student loan system.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 10:09 AM
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re: 456

There was a 'pictorialist' movement in photography, at the end of the 19th century and first two decades of the 20th.

They often used deliberately unfocused images to create impressionistic visual effects.

http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/images/hb/hb_33.43.39.jpg

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:ThePondMoonlight.jpg


Some of the images are quite beautiful. [both of the above by Steichen]

Tying it back to Pittsburgh:

http://tfaoi.com/aa/6aa/6aa329.htm

Pictorialism IN Pittsburgh.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 10:12 AM
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i looked at the pictures plus without the glasses and it's exactly what i meant
thanks, shall always ask and will learn something new


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 10:17 AM
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Read, there's a book called "Vanished Kingdoms" by Cabot which is photographs taken on a trip to Mongolia, Tibet, and China about 1920. It can be bought on Amazon for about $10.

The photographs are also impressionistic, because they were hand-colored on glass slides. The colored photos dosn't try to imitate the colors you see. It's really art on a photo base rather than just photography.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 10:37 AM
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At the Amazon link you can click "look inside this book" and then click "excerpt" and arrow through the experts and you'll see good examples of what I mean.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 10:42 AM
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re: 461

There's a whole swathe of archaic photo-techniques that involve those sorts of transformations. Hand-colouring is one, but there also gum bichromates, cyanotypes, bromoils, among many others.

Ironically, one of the results of digital photography has been a revival of all of these old, gnarly, labour intensive processes.

http://www.alternativephotography.com/articles/all_new_articles.html


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 10:43 AM
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thanks, i wanted to go to see the exhibition of the Wulsin photos two yrs ago maybe, missed it so sorry, i can have the book, great
blurry
found this great set


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 10:44 AM
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I think that we should be talking more about arbitraging virginities. Some areas where virginities are in high demand might have a low supply, so you could make a good living just by shuttling them around.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 10:56 AM
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459:The picture "Pittsburghesque" from the third link is shot looking southwest from the old Penn Station adjacent to the current Amtrak station (beautiful place, now condos I believe, but inscribed with the name "Pittsburg" from a time when the feds were trying to force all "'burghs" to drop their "h"s). Tall building in the background is the Gulf Tower (top modeled after the "original" mausoleum and housed the famous weather beacon).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 11:06 AM
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419: Doesn't work. You only transmit the virginity the first time you sleep with someone, so they keep it in trust until they sleep with someone new. You can't pass it back and forth.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 11:11 AM
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453 is disturbing, and seems to imply that all ladies wish they appeared to have a large tumor sprouting out of the crown of their head. Some of the hairdos look kind of Winehouse-ish. Has that filtered back down to the masses?

I also hate to think about those "poolside" girls with their Bumpits. What would that look like if it got wet?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 11:26 AM
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Is it possible for someone to have no one's virginity? I'm tempted to think not. The question is, is it possible for someone to wind up with a virginity and end up with none?

Clearly, each person starts with his or her own virginity.

Should a virgin A sleep with a virgin B, the virginities are swapped.

Since we are assuming that, as things start out, everyone has someone's virginity, the next step is to assume that a virgin A sleeps with a non-virgin B. In this case B has A's virginity and A has whosever virginity B was keeping in trust.

Next, suppose two non-virgins sleep together. Again, the virginities they keep in trust are simply swapped.

There may be some complicated accounting when simultaneous acts of coition are engaged in by more than two parties, but I think we can rest secure in the knowledge that everyone is a virgin exactly once over.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 11:27 AM
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virginities of something not physical, perception, knowledge, thought are may be interesting to think about, my thought of the impressionist photos f.e lost its pristine quality after having learnt about pictorialism
just the physical thing is so trivial, it's just some membrane, what's so fascinating about it, it's not different from the ear membrane for example, except you can't hear if you damage it
the girl who can sell it for the millions is maybe very entrepreneural, though how one can tolerate that much public interest, that much fuss about one's body part is very difficult to understand, she must be someone very that, desensitized, maybe she experienced some kind of trauma before, maybe she wants to raise money to help someone else, i did not read the link so i don't know
the fool who would buy it better find something better to do with his money though, unless he wants to enable her some noble impulse or what, give it to some research, feed starving children, but some people are kinda just born stupid in some areas of their thinking, i for example can't remember numbers even like a few seconds if to not write it down, Phoebe can't see people without evaluating prices of what they wear first, so that's just how things are and better to not spoil my mood thinking about all that perhaps


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 11:31 AM
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maybe,
about transfer of virginities i can't think that abstract/absurdly i guess


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 11:32 AM
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If we structure virginities like mortgage securities, then each investor only buys a slice of a bundle of virginities. The likelihood that any single virginity will not last (in market-speak, popped) is quite high, but given a sufficiently broad cross section, the risk that one will be left holding completely worthless virginities is quite small. At most your risk is first or second base.

Different ratings for virgins, "technical virgin",etc., should make this a wonderfully stable market.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 11:35 AM
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See, it's like the Hairy Ball Theorem.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 11:39 AM
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I had not thought through the issue raised by 469. I wonder whose virginity is currently in my charge?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 11:44 AM
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In this case B has A's virginity and A has whosever virginity B was keeping in trust.

This seems to me the unrealistic step. At this point, you're not tracking virginity so much as Button, Button, Who's Got The Button? Clearly, virginities can be stockpiled and saved in one's attic for one's posterity to find, a whole crusty yellowed pile tied with a dusty ribbon.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 11:55 AM
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476

But free from STDs!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 11:55 AM
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You only transmit the virginity the first time you sleep with someone, so they keep it in trust until they sleep with someone new.

So, you're saying that if you want it back, you have to work through a middleman?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 11:56 AM
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478

You know the song "Love is like a magic penny"? (Hold it tight, and you won't have any. Lend it spend it, and you'll have so many, they'll roll all over the floor....so love is something if you give it away, you'll end up having more.)

Is love a euphemism for STDs here?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 11:57 AM
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479

478: You gave me something for nothing.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 12:29 PM
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The Bumpit is presumably what used to be called a rat, so, actually an improved name there. Also, there must be some connection to Edith Wharton's lower-class heroines and thence to her upper-class ones and thence to the detailed history of robber barons purchasing the WASP mantle by purchasing WASP virginities.

On virginity extinguishment: this seems (very) loosely analagous to figuring out how long patronyms survive, which is approached with ?Markov chains?. That seems right: anyone holding a name/virginity has some probability of fathering a legitimate child/mating with a new partner before dying.

Tedious details: if you sleep with non-virgin A, and then virgin B, and then A again, does A get the virginity you got from B?


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 12:35 PM
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Actually, I just realized the flaw in 469. Its reasoning contradicts the dictum laid down earlier, that one cannot get one's own virginity back by sleeping with the person who took it (or, presumably, anyone else who has it). So, really, the situation is potentially quite complicated.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 12:38 PM
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that one cannot get one's own virginity back by sleeping with the person who took it (or, presumably, anyone else who has it

I agree with Di that you could get it back through a middleman or -woman.

A loses virginity to B.
B gives it to C.
C gives it to D.
D gives it back to A. Hello old friend!

Thus are born-again virgins accidentally made.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 12:42 PM
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482: Accidentally? I'm plotting this very moment how to hook up C and D.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 12:47 PM
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If your first sex happens within an ongoing relationship, you may never know if you're a virgin or not at the end of the relationship.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 12:48 PM
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That seems capricious and arbitrary. What's special about A->B->C->D->A as opposed to A->B->A?

Actually, I see what's special: what we need is not a swap per act of coition, but a swap at the initial act of coition in any string of acts with a particular partner. Though that still allows A to get it back from B, we just have to assume that A sleeps with B, and then there's a B->C->D->E->B chain (at the end of which B has A's virginity again), and then A sleeps with B again.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 12:48 PM
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486

I'm plotting this very moment how to hook up C and D.

Listen Honey I need you to sleep with this other women so you can make me a virgin again.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 12:49 PM
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444 -- What's really mind-boggling is that there are different Colonial Dame organizations. The one noted in 443 seems different from this one">http://www.nscda.org/museums/newyork.htm">one. Which is different again from this.

There's a long list of such organizations. I sure members of each have an opinion about its status in relation to the others. What is the deal with the Order of the Acorn, though?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 12:51 PM
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483: To get C to cheat on B? Devious, Di.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 12:51 PM
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Dammit!
http://www.nscda.org/museums.newyork.htm
http://www.colonialdames17c.net/


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 12:53 PM
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The song in 479 is delightful.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 12:57 PM
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491

At my Brownie Swapmeet I exchanged little dolls our troop had made from yarn for friendship pins and lanyards and the like. The Unfogged Brownie Swapmeet sounds like a whole 'nother kettle of fish.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 1:01 PM
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i recalled the French movie when one cuts her with a knife, pianist or something, i remember my kinda disgust and feeling sorry that i had to see that and thinking ah, the French, the cockroach in the coffee, should expect anything from their imagination


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 1:06 PM
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I think that movie really depicts the pathologies of the Austrians. The Austrians are trying to tell you it's the French who act this way, but we won't be fooled.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 1:08 PM
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I am inclined to assume that renewing a string of coital acts with a previous partner does not involve a virginity-exchange.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 1:10 PM
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495

So there's not such thing as a virginity default swap.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 1:12 PM
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t


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 1:13 PM
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497

478-479: I Got It From Agnes.


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 1:16 PM
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I think it's worth noting that there a multiple virginities corresponding to different sex acts. Penis/vagina virginity, oral, anal, intercrural, etcetera.

I also hold that true exchange of virginity requires orgasm on the part of the donor.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 1:16 PM
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whoever, i mean the membrane is the membrane, so one they described took her own, the extreme case, and if to think of it as experience and knowledge, than the loss of innocence can't be undone, the end.
unless alzheimer will do that of course


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 1:21 PM
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500

e


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 1:23 PM
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My own society of descendants of colonial-era capital criminals might be the most exclusive of all. (It would have to include collateral descendants, of course.) Several of the capital criminals didn't have last names, and many probably did not live long enough to have children. Aunt Elizabeth's first child may have survived, but she disappeared from history.

I imagine that the society of the colonial witch families would be too proud to admit descendants of common criminals.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 1:28 PM
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Alzheimers: the return to innocence. Makes it seem less awful.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 1:31 PM
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yeah, 's


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 1:33 PM
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To get C to cheat on B? Devious, Di.

I'd be doing C a big favor, to be sure. But perhaps that's more effort than the re-acquisition of my virginity would be worth. Is there a Kelly Blue Book for this sort of thing?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 2:20 PM
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I might be eligible to join your society, Emerson. I have an ancestor who was recalled to Holland to stand trial for Heresy (a capital offense). His ship sank en route and he drowned, so the matter was never resolved on way or the other. The question is therefore whether possible capital criminals might qualify. I suspect that the individual in question would have been convicted as he was in possession of valuable property that would have been forfeit, and the crown was quite hard up at the time.

Perhaps and adjunct membership of some sort might be in order.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 3:04 PM
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You are the second member. I'm sure that government forces sank his ship in order to cover up their own crimes.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 3:23 PM
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"Colonial Reprobates"?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 3:25 PM
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Some of the hairdos look kind of Winehouse-ish. Has that filtered back down to the masses?

The pressure is coming from multiple directions--Winehouse, Palin, oh wait, I can't think of a third person so maybe it's not a trend after all.

I also hate to think about those "poolside" girls with their Bumpits. What would that look like if it got wet?

The instructions tell you to use lots of firm-hold hairspray with your Bumpit, so I'm guessing that when things get splashy the girls move to the chaises at the other end of the pool.

Bumpit! Poolside!* Countryside! Upper East Side!

*Please note that In the Pool is not on the list.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 3:39 PM
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509

I also hold that true exchange of virginity requires orgasm on the part of the donor.

That would cause some of the assumptions of 469 to break down.

If A and B are virgins and have sex and A has an Orgasm but B doesn't then B has both their own virginity as well as A's virginity.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 3:50 PM
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508: And Maria Menounos. Who, I don't know who she's supposed to be but she's apparently famous enough to have an extremely long commercial complete with a brief tutorial on how to achieve the Menounos Look. That ad must've cost them a lot of virginities.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 3:52 PM
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511

So then when B has sex with C, how do we know if B has given up B's or A's virginity?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 3:53 PM
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512

B has both their own virginity as well as A's virginity

That's the market opportunity right there.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 3:54 PM
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513

I don't think orgasm/no-orgasm is a good binary for virginity exchange.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 3:54 PM
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511: This is exactly why we're in the midst of the worst Virginity Crisis in a century.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 3:54 PM
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||

I like Brad DeLong's use of a William Gibson quotation as post title.

|>


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 3:57 PM
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The frigid accumulate tremendous stocks.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 3:58 PM
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The frigid accumulate tremendous stocks.

I believe the currently preferred term is "anorgasmic."


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 4:03 PM
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513 - I am strongly pro-orgasm, which may color my thinking. I have no problem with the idea of virginity accumulation in non-orgasmic persons. They ought to at least get something if they aren't getting off.

I'm willing to concede on this point if I can get support for the multiple virginities concept.

Alternatively we could strip away layers of patriarchal bullshit by assigning virginity swapping solely to orgasms, without regard to penetration of any kind. The first person to give you an orgasm, regardless of the means, is the one to whom your virginity cleaves.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 4:05 PM
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The first person to give you an orgasm, regardless of the means, is the one to whom your virginity cleaves.

Unfortunately, this would put a lot of virginities in the hands of cartoon characters.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 4:10 PM
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GIVE YOU an orgasm? TALK ABOUT PATRIARCHY! LAND SAKES, MY CHILD! FEMINISTS TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR OWN ORGASMS, IGNORING WHOEVER ELSE HAPPENS TO BE IN THE ROOM.

GRANNY


Posted by: OPINIONATED GRANDMA | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 4:10 PM
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The first person to give you an orgasm

How narrowly are we defining the giving of an orgasm? If a still image of, say, Cindy Crawford is involved in the attainment of your first orgasm, does that count as her giving you an orgasm? Would CC then have your virginity?


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 4:11 PM
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522

Or, as 520 suggests, we all will always own our virginities. Can't give 'em away, can't sell 'em.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 4:12 PM
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507 - Colonial Reprobates is good.

Back in the day, when I was a regular on the Usenet group alt.atheism, there was an evangelical christian who wrote an excruciatingly pretentious series of posts entitled "My First Epistle to the Reprobates" and so on. Ever since I have had a great fondness for the word "reprobate."


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 4:12 PM
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519 - I mean physically, like with hands, tongue, elbow, etc.

Also, CARTOON CHARACTERS? What the fuck is wrong with people?! Please tell me you are kidding. Please.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 4:15 PM
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525

He: Why don't you ever tell me when you have orgasms?
She: Because you're never there.

I'll be here all week, try the veal.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 4:17 PM
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elbow

Those athiests are some pointy, prickly people.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 4:19 PM
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527

Every man and woman is born with nine virginities, only one of which is affected by the first act of sexual congress.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 4:21 PM
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528

524.2: Also, CARTOON CHARACTERS?

A short explanation.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 4:22 PM
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How many rat orgasms virginities does it take to make one carp orgasm?

max
['Just askin'.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 4:31 PM
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530

That depends on the carp.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 4:33 PM
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531

A petition to legalise marriages between humans and cartoon characters has attracted more than 1000 signatures.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 4:33 PM
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532
Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 5:26 PM
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533

Just me 'n' ToS here I guess.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 6:22 PM
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534

My God, a kryptonite bomb hit Unfoggetopia.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 6:55 PM
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523 I just love the word espistle.


Posted by: Lambent Cactus | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 6:58 PM
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Don't worry, JE, I'm here to keep you company. Want to help me write a cross-examination outline for my examination on Monday of a bankruptcy trustee who is being unfair to my clients? I'll be here all night.


Posted by: Idealist | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 6:59 PM
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537

||
Update: I was wrong about Chris Connor being largely a boring and lugubrious singer.
|>


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 7:01 PM
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I survived the bombing, John. You wanna talk about real estate?

Today our landlord told us that he's kicking us out. He wants the apartment for his sister. So now we really do have to move.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 7:05 PM
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If you choose to become intemperate, Idealist, I might be helpful.

MC, how disastrous is this? Can you stay in the neighborhood? Back to the land of irresistible bears?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 7:09 PM
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If you choose to become intemperate, Idealist, I might be helpful.

Thanks for the offer. In this particular matter, I am famously intemperate. I think I embarass my co-counsel, who is an experienced (and very good) bankruptcy lawyer because, not being a regular visitor to the bankruptcy court, I display no interest in making nice to the judge or the other lawyers. So, I'm mostly on a slash and burn mission on Monday.


Posted by: Idealist | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 7:15 PM
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539: Oh, it's not disastrous, just a bit worrisome. He's given us 5 months' notice, so we really can't complain on that score. And he's only raised our rent by a tiny amount each year, when he could have raised it to market rates. We've had (by NYC standards) a fantastic deal, and it was bound to come to an end. We're looking to buy, but in this neighbourhood there's not much except multi-family dwellings (which would mean we'd have to rent out part of the house, and I'm not prepared to be an owner-landlord). So we're looking in Brooklyn.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 7:19 PM
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542

Brooklynis super hip, MC. Like you! You'll love it.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 7:22 PM
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542: So you're saying I should move to New Jersey?

NYC brokers taken aback by the coldblooded bidding practices of a bold new breed of predatory buyers. God, I wish I could turn predatory like that. This whole business truly intimidates me.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 7:37 PM
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544

This is a good time to be a buyer. Have no mercy, MC. Forget the milk of human kindness. Buy mercilessly from a roundhead.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 7:40 PM
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545

bundle of virginities

As a great man once said: what is necessary is to rectify names. Please note, therefore, that it is a solecism, even in a financial context, to refer to this as anything other than a 'bouquet of virginities'.


Posted by: Amit | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 7:46 PM
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546

What's a tranche of a bouquet called?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 7:57 PM
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547

Hey look! Phoebe describes this thread as "like tons of Peteys let loose". How charming.

Seeing Petey's comments on the thread:

(But I wasn't participating since I've never had a desire to be an Unfogged commenter, semi-interesting folks though they are.)

Reminded me that one of the few times I remember Petey commenting here was about clothing.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 7:58 PM
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548

The whole virginity-swapping calculus totally ignored the existence of threesomes (and, sheesh, orgies). You people are all that square?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 8:09 PM
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549

548: In that case, all the swapping happens very fast. At least IME, one is unlikely to simultaneously having intercourse with everyone at precisely the same moment. Maybe I am square.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 8:13 PM
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550

549: there are just so many orifices, all admitting of so many...

anyhoo.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 8:14 PM
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551

A threesome is just three couples. Also, we know how Blume feels about these things and didn't want to put you on the spot.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 8:14 PM
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552

There's always that nanosecond of difference. Otherwise, the hierarchies would all be confounded and the virginity economy would freeze up.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 8:16 PM
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553

Also, we know how Blume feels about these things

Really?!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 8:16 PM
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550: Yes, I get that, but usually those orifices are not penetrated, for the first time, at exactly the same instant.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 8:17 PM
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555

The whole virginity-swapping calculus totally ignored the existence of threesomes (and, sheesh, orgies). You people are all that square?

<cheap joke>If you notice, the one person trying to systematize the theory was Ben W-lfs-n.</cheap joke>

Alternately, you could keep the logic simple by saying that sexual encounters with involving more than two people simultaneously don't involve any transfers of virginity (and, really, that can't be any worse than the loopholes currently claimed to avoid transferring virginity).


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 8:20 PM
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556

Dozens, maybe hundreds of people know.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 8:20 PM
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557

555: what transfers loopholes administer, while private, are unquestionably to be considered in our present circumstances.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 8:22 PM
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558

When there are three tranches, they're individually known as Heaven, Man and Earth (Ikebana or 'Japanese' convention) or Thrillers, Fillers, and Spillers (Fine Gardening Magazine convention). The correct term for virginity tranches in general is a matter of some debate.

But this is an important question, John. A very important question. One that requires further research. My grant proposal's coming through, so I should have an answer any year now...


Posted by: Amit | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 8:25 PM
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559

"admit"! Fuck. Not "administer". Damn it. I was this close to not fucking up a joke.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 8:25 PM
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560

The whole virginity-swapping calculus totally ignored the existence of threesomes (and, sheesh, orgies)

Actually, I acknowledged this in 469.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 8:25 PM
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what transfers loopholes administer, while private, are unquestionably to be considered in our present circumstances.

??? Answering what I think is your question -- I was talking about people who chose to have oral/anal sex to "preserver their virginity."

See also the Dan Savage column about how he has been diligently preserving his boyfriends virginity.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 8:26 PM
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562

469 = 3*10**2 + (3+10)**2, isn't that interesting?

No.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 8:26 PM
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563

Someone needs to hurry up and state the calculus in terms of group theory. We need some real rigor here, people! I'll accept a rack or quandle, but I'd prefer a Moufang loop or semiheap.


Posted by: paranoid android | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 8:26 PM
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564

Once virginity develops resistance to vancomycin it races through the population with lightning speed. Not a pretty sight, I tell you.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 8:26 PM
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565

I bet you'd accept a rack.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 8:27 PM
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566

563: group theory is clearly insufficiently abstract. Without category theory, we'll never know how virginity is even best described.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 8:28 PM
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567

My understanding is that with virginity tranches, it's wiser to be a seller than a buyer.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 8:28 PM
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568

but I think we can rest secure in the knowledge that everyone is a virgin exactly once over.

560: your subtle dig at our 42nd president is noticed, but not relevant. Once DVDA is admitted to the calculus everything breaks down.

Cantor would have seen this.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 8:30 PM
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569

Good luck, MC. I have great sympathy for people ejected from rentals. My Sophomore year of undergrad I was ejected from my rented house twice. First time it turned out that the guy we'd rented from was not the actual owner of the house, the place having been seized by the city due to the previous inhabitants running a marijuana grow-op in the basement. The fact that the front door still showed massive damage from the Narc Squad battering ram should've been a clue, but we were young and stupid. The secret hidden room off the basement full of syringes and needles ought to have been another warning sign. Best part is that we found out when a Realtor hired by the city to show the place came in with a nice young couple looking to buy a property priced to sell. Scared the shit out of them when a bunch of naked hippies greeted them with a "what the fuck do you want?"


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 8:31 PM
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570

515: Great quote. (I earn a quarter off each of those, though. )

549: Like benzene rings. Benzene promise rings.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 8:32 PM
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571

Apparently coffee protects against cirrhosis, diabetes, and dementia. Jesus Christ, am I lucky!


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 8:38 PM
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572

Virginity is so not a functor.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 8:38 PM
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573

And goddamn Parkinson's and gallstones too. I can't believe this shit.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 8:39 PM
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572: and yet were there a functor which operated on virginity? Oh, the christian types would be so pleased.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 8:40 PM
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575

The simultaneity issue is a canard. If you're doing it with multiple people, everyone gets an equal share. This issue becomes even simpler if you accept the orgasm criterion, in which case simultaneity is even rarer.

Virginity is like the rational numbers: infinitely divisible. If you hang with swingers your virginity may end up divided among hundreds, perhaps thousands, of individuals.

For those willing to probe the further edges of transferable virginity theory, I offer the quantum mechanical approach: Virginity is transferred in a probabilistic fashion such that the probability of any given copulator possessing the totality of any other individual's virginity is based on a path integral over all possible copulatory chains connecting the virgin and the individual under consideration. Laydeez.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 8:46 PM
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576

Simultaneous in which reference frame? Are you sure the events are spacelike separated?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 8:47 PM
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577

More specifically, simultaneity is a canard à l'orange. Mmmmmmm.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 8:50 PM
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578

The irrational and imaginary virginities blow togo's rationalistic theory all to hell.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 8:52 PM
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579

The best ones are the transcendental virginities.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 8:52 PM
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580

Mutton stock, white wine, sliced fennel, instant japanese noodles, and pecorino romano is not half bad.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 8:57 PM
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581

The best ones are the transcendental virginities.

Almost all of them are transcendental, essear. It's just difficult to prove that particular ones are....


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 9:08 PM
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Mutton stock, white wine, sliced fennel, instant japanese noodles, and pecorino romano is not half bad.

Sorry ben, you've lost all credibility in the area


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 9:11 PM
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583

||

You are all still talking about virginity. I've had bad news that my mother died last night. I need to go to bed now. Peace to everyone. Seriously.

|>


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 9:16 PM
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584

I tried a lot of different fetas while working in the Co-op cheese department, and found that, while many fetas are nasty, a very well-made feta is creamy, mild, and infinitely delicious. A lot of that has to do with the maker of the feta, but it must also be treated properly by the person who divides it up and packages it, rinsing it well and handling it gently.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 9:16 PM
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585

583: sorry, parsi. Hang in there.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 9:19 PM
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And carry on. I didn't know how to say that but thought I should since I have some friends here.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 9:19 PM
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Given AWB and W-lfs-n's original formulation, it appears that for any sexually isolated population of at least 4 individuals, it is possible to end up with no virgins yet have everyone end up with their own virginity. It doesn't work for 3, but by construction it does for 4,5,6 & 7 and therefor for all n>7. Was thinking there might be a Hairy Ball equivalent for odd n, but it works.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 9:22 PM
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588

Wow, preview to keep from looking like an ass. Sorry pars, and sorry to hear that.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 9:23 PM
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589

Oh, Parsimon, my God. I'm so sorry for your loss. Thinking of you.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 9:23 PM
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590

My sympathies, parsi.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 9:24 PM
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591

Sorry to hear that, parsimon.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 9:25 PM
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576: Yes, spacelike separation. If you ever engage in superluminal fucking we can talk about refinements to the theory.

Even if you're not willing to accept the quantum theory of virginity transfer, I believe that the plural virginities theory is robust.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 9:25 PM
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593

I'm so sorry, parsimon.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 9:28 PM
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594

my condolences, Parsimon
um mani badmi khum
'prednaznachennoe rasstavanie obeshaet vstrechu vperedi'


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 9:29 PM
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parsimon, very saddened to hear of your loss.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 9:30 PM
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596

Oh shit, parsimon. I'm so sorry. I hope that the next few weeks feature a lot of gentle understanding, and minimal bullshit.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 9:32 PM
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597

584 is correct.

The existence of nasty fetas, particularly in a country that has been known to do all sorts of bizarre things to cheese, can be taken as expected.

It says nothing about the possibilities.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 9:33 PM
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583: When my dad died I found great comfort in reflecting on the things that I learned from him and those positive elements of my character that are unconsciously derived from him. I don't know if that will help you, but I hope so.

As with 588 I wish I'd previewed 592.

Don't know anything at all about your mom, Parsi, but her daughter is a decent person and I don't think that's unrelated to who she was.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 9:35 PM
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If you ever engage in superluminal fucking we can talk

... laydeez.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 9:35 PM
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I hope that the next few weeks feature a lot of gentle understanding, and minimal bullshit.

This is insightful. It's like to be a trying time whatever the circumstances, but piling on extra nonsense to deal with is horrible.

I wish you the best possible in this, parsi.



Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 9:41 PM
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Thanks everyone. See you when I'm back.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 9:44 PM
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Parsimon -- I'm sorry. Thank you for posting here; I don't know how much sympathy helps right now, but you have mine.


I also just realized that, for heterosexuals, you have even odds of having a virginity from a person of either sex.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 9:46 PM
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I'm sorry for your loss, parsimon.


Posted by: Amit | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 9:59 PM
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604

My condolences, parsimon.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 10:01 PM
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605

So sorry to hear that, parsimon. I hope your friends are close by and the family's able to pull together.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 10:11 PM
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606

I'm so sorry, parsimon. You have my condolences.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 10:14 PM
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607

Wow. That sucks. I am sorry, Parsimon.

max
['Take it easy on yourself.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 10:19 PM
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608

Adding mine to the list, parsimon.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 10:28 PM
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609

You have my sympathy, parsimon.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 10:31 PM
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610

Condolences, parsimon. I'm so sorry.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 10:46 PM
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I'm sorry parsimon. Condolences to you and yours.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 10:47 PM
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Condolences for your loss, parsimon.


Posted by: Idealist | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 11:06 PM
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My condolences, Parsimon. Don't forget to take care of yourself while you take care of others.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 11:31 PM
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614

My condolences, parsi.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 01-24-09 11:37 PM
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615

My sympathies, Parsimon. From things you've written here, she was a remarkable woman.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-25-09 3:24 AM
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616

Sorry to hear that, parsi


Posted by: MLS | Link to this comment | 01-25-09 3:30 AM
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617

Sympathies, Parsimon. It's a bugger.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 01-25-09 4:51 AM
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618

My condolences, Parsimon. I'm sorry for your loss.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 01-25-09 5:59 AM
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619

Very sorry for your loss, Parsimon.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 01-25-09 6:24 AM
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620

My condolences, Parsimon.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 01-25-09 6:43 AM
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621

I'm sorry for your loss, Parsimon.


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 01-25-09 7:05 AM
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My condolences, parsimon.


Posted by: Tiny Hermaphrodite | Link to this comment | 01-25-09 7:25 AM
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Very sorry, parsimon. If you need to make a trip up north and need help with anything New Englandy, please let us know.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 01-25-09 7:29 AM
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624

I'm so sorry Parsimon.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01-25-09 8:21 AM
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625

Oh no, Parsimon. I'm really sorry to hear that.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-25-09 8:35 AM
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626

I'm so sorry. Take care of yourself.


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 01-25-09 11:18 AM
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627

My sympathy, parsimon.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 01-25-09 11:28 AM
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I'm sorry for your loss, Parsimon.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-25-09 11:54 AM
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629

I'm sorry too for your loss, parsimon. Take care.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 01-26-09 6:17 AM
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630

All best love for you and your family, Parsi.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 01-26-09 7:33 AM
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631

I'm late to the thread, but wow, sorry parsimon. That must be rough.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 01-26-09 11:24 AM
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Also late - sorry to hear of your loss, parsimon. I hope you and your family are OK.


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 01-27-09 5:59 AM
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