Re: FFML

1

Yes, but I think this website is pretty funny.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 7:47 PM
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From the link in 1:

Today, I was going to have sex with my hispanic boyfriend. I wanted to turn him on, so I asked my friend how to say "fuck me" in Spanish. She claimed it was "pollo frito". I then proceeded to have sex, constantly screaming pollo frito for an hour. I later realized I was screaming "fried chicken." FML

Awesome.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 7:49 PM
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That's amazing.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 8:02 PM
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I'm skeptical.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 8:08 PM
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Who doesn't know that pollo means chicken?


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 8:20 PM
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Never mind. I'm sure I know such a person. It just seems so ubiquitous in my (Californian) life.

And I like Fail way better than Fuck My Life, but who hasn't had a FML moment?


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 8:22 PM
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Why would people know that pollo means chicken?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 8:22 PM
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Who doesn't know that pollo means chicken?

Do you live in Barcelona? Here in America most of the voting population couldn't find their own arseholes with a map and a torch, let alone grasp elementary vocab from some non-English language.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 8:23 PM
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I bet every undergrad in my school knows that pollo means chicken, but if their friend told them "pollo frito means fuck me!" they wouldn't necessarily think critically about it.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 8:25 PM
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Why would people know that pollo means chicken?

Mexican restaurants. At least that is why I know it.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 8:26 PM
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Could be some crazy, edgy slang. You know, "Oh baby, fry my chicken."


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 8:28 PM
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Mexican restaurants.

Those are restaurants? I thought they were brothels because, you know, pollo frito.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 8:28 PM
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11: Similar to the Belgian slang, "Oh baby, pomme my frites."


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 8:29 PM
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Oh baby, french my fries.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 8:30 PM
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It's possible the individual, not knowing much Spanish, was hearing it was poyofri to, or some such other parsing that didn't raise the chicken alert. Alternatively, "pollo" is Spanish slang for penis anyway, so it's possible one could know it means this and assume it's an idiomatic expression or something. Possible. Not likely, I don't think. But possible.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 8:30 PM
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In Ireland they say "Oh baby, blight my spuds".


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 8:31 PM
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I know "pad thai" means "noodles with fish sauce, crushed peanuts, and other stuff", but I don't know what "pad" means.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 8:31 PM
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pad = FML.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 8:33 PM
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With an FML feed, not only can you keep your friends up to date with the minute by minute woes of your life.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 8:34 PM
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"not only can you" s/b "you can"


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 8:35 PM
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According to Wikipedia pad means stir fried noodles.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 8:35 PM
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Today, as I worked the drive-through at Wendy's, the hottest girl from my math class pulled up to the window. As I handed her the drink, I asked her what she thought of our math test today. She screamed "how did you know i had a math test, you creep!", threw the drink at me and drove off. FML


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 8:35 PM
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In France, they yell "baste moi!"


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 8:35 PM
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Oh, wait. It's "polla" that's slang for penis. Close enough, though, I guess. In how many languages is the word for penis in a feminine form? One wonders.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 8:38 PM
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MY PENIS, SHE WANTS TO FUCK YOU!


Posted by: OPINIONATED PADRE | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 8:39 PM
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Is El Pollo Loco not a national chain? And yeah, I realized after I opened my mouth (so to speak) that not everybody has Americanized Mexican food on every corner. Heebie is very wise and right about the uncritical acceptance of foreign phrases.

And eb, that's hilarious. Just close enough!


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 8:40 PM
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A friend of my brother's was working some job in Mexico, and his Mexican co-workers took to calling him maricon and explained to him that it meant "really cool guy."


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 8:40 PM
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Today, I had to log in to my computer on a projector in front of business associates at my dad's architecture firm. I typed in my username and apparently didn't hit the tab key hard enough, so I typed my password in the username box. The entire firm now knows my password is "tits123". FML

These are pretty good.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 8:40 PM
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I too thought that El Pollo Loco was national. And then there's Super Pollo.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 8:41 PM
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Is El Pollo Loco not a national chain?

Never heard of it.

Anyway, Pizza Huts are everywhere, and nobody knows that it's German for "Pizza hat". Even though the roof is a giant red hat!


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 8:43 PM
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Also, is Becks serious with this post? You're really worried that appending the characters "FML" to the end of embarrassing stories is going to "prime" people for depression? WTF?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 8:43 PM
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Brock, the issue is that by saying "F my life", one is not just saying "This crappy thing happened to me", but saying "This crappy thing that happened to me is typical of my crappy life".


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 8:45 PM
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31: I don't think it's anything to get up in arms about, but it does seem to reinforce the slacker/apathetic response, at least, in how it is used in the movie. Since I've never witnessed anyone use it in real life beyond these funny stories, I'm having a hard time imagining it being much of an issue.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 8:46 PM
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Argh, 33 was me.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 8:46 PM
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I just missed a crucial moment to use FML for the first time. FML.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 8:46 PM
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Anyway, Pizza Huts Hüte are everywhere, and nobody knows that it's German for "Pizza hat".

What's more, I hear that's how you say "fuck me" in German.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 8:47 PM
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It just seems so ubiquitous in my (Californian) life.

Another (former) Californian here to vouch for the educational power of El Pollo Loco.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 8:48 PM
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Wikipedia: "In the United States, the El Pollo Loco chain primarily operates in the Southwest and California, with three locations in the Chicago area, four in metro Atlanta, and one in Connecticut at the Foxwoods Resort & Casino in Ledyard. El Pollo Loco opened its first restaurant in Washington state on May 5, 2008 (Cinco de Mayo) in Vancouver, Washington. On February 2, 2009, El Pollo Loco also announced the opening of its first restaurant in New Jersey. At least 15 El Pollo Loco restaurants are planned for northern and central New Jersey, and Long Island, New York."


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 8:49 PM
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32: Yes. So what?

33: There's a movie?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 8:49 PM
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In other words, there are more locations in Orange County than there are east of Arizona.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 8:49 PM
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0 to 39.2. "0" means "the post to which we are supposedly responding", right?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 8:50 PM
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How clearly I remember my first trip to El Pollo Loco. It was a dingy little place out in Miramar, a dump of a Mexican restaurant only notable for not being another 'Bertos. We arrived in the mid-morning of a hot weekend day, all of us hallucinating our brains out from the previous evening's acid. How alarmed I was by the pollo burrito I purchased. How terrifying the guacamole. How I miss it now.


Posted by: Mamie Eisenhower | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 8:51 PM
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43

El Pollo Loco advertises pretty heavily on tv in California, at least on the sports and news I was watching last year.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 8:51 PM
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44

Remember when anonymous confession sites were all the rage? Like in 2005 or so. Those sites had some depressing stuff.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 8:52 PM
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45

Here in America most of the voting population couldn't find their own arseholes with a map and a torch

To be fair, most people would use a flashlight, for safety reasons.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 8:52 PM
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Who doesn't know that pollo means chicken?

Well, I never knew until I moved to Queens, I must admit. There's a place a few blocks from us called Pollo Vivo, which is a take-out restaurant, basically, but which is also, I guess, something of a chicken slaughterhouse. If you walk by at just the right time on a Friday afternoon, you can see/hear them unloading crates of live poultry, all bound, noisily if unsuspectingly, to meet their inevitable deaths.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 8:53 PM
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The El Pollo Regio nearest our house has this fantastic painted mural on the window of speared chicken corpses dancing frantically as they try to escape the flames coming up from below.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 8:53 PM
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43: I don't believe I've ever actually eaten at El Pollo Loco. But my god, are there awful advertising campaigns burned into my brain.

Plus, it just seems like pretty much every Mexican restaurant requires you to order the "pollo" burrito (or the carne asada or whatever).


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 8:54 PM
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crates of live poultry

Indeed, pollo vivo can mean, among other things, "live chicken".


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 8:55 PM
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Remember when anonymous confession sites were all the rage? Like in 2005 or so.

I think it was more like between 1180 and 1982 give or take a decade or two.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 8:55 PM
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39.1: See, the idea is that if you view negative events as characteristic of your life, you develop a mentality of expecting your life to be crappy and feel generally depressed. If you view negative events as in stark contrast to your ordinarily happy life, the negative event remains an isolated feature that doesn't than permeate your life and you remain reasonably happy.

This is not wild craziness. From my own experiences, books, websites, and conversations with other people, my impression is that this is a pretty widely accepted psyche concept.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 8:55 PM
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If you view negative events as in stark contrast to your ordinarily happy life, the negative event remains an isolated feature that doesn't than permeate your life and you remain reasonably happy.

I swear one of the things I'm most grateful for is a total inability to remember my complaints. They seriously just don't stick.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 8:58 PM
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Probably more people know what "pollo" means than "carne" or "asada", I'll admit that.

In fact, I don't know what "asada" means. And I think "carne" means meat. It might mean beef.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 8:58 PM
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54

52: If that ever happens to me, I just RTFA.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 8:59 PM
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carne asada means roast meat.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 8:59 PM
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54: I do, too! And I'm like, "Poor Di. FHL."


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 9:00 PM
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I'm a much happier than the volume of my complaining would otherwise indicate. I follow the excretory model of complaints/worries - spout them, forget them.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 9:02 PM
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I think I had the meaning of "pollo" pretty much memorized from seeing it in the name of some restaurant in one of the islands in the middle of Shattuck just about every time I went to or through downtown Berkeley.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 9:02 PM
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51: Right, and there's also framing, and the fundamental attribution error. Reading a site like FML and chuckling over it for an evening isn't going to do a lot, but if you get into the habit of thinking of certain types of incidents as typical of your life (especially if you think they are in a way they *aren't* of others' lives) you're kind of setting yourself up to feel bad in general.

I find this is a lot easier to observe in others than in myself. The umpteenth time you hear "The bus came late -- God hates me," rather than "The bus came late -- it was raining," it does sort of hit you over the head.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 9:02 PM
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the idea is that if you view negative events as characteristic of your life

Of course, but is there any plausible reason to think that appending the characters "FML" to the end of embarrassing stories makes this more likely? It's a joke.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 9:03 PM
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I think it was more like between 1180 and 1982 give or take a decade or two.

The priests still knew who you were. Except for those special tor confessionals, but they were a hassle to use.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 9:04 PM
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I follow the excretory model of complaints/worries - spout them, forget them.

I thought this read "sprout them". "I was shitty with my friend; I told my shit; my shit did end. I was shitty with my foe; I told it not; my shit did sprout."


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 9:04 PM
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Of course, but is there any plausible reason to think that appending the characters "FML" to the end of embarrassing stories makes this more likely? It's a joke.

Yes, the physical act of typing three letters does not guarantee that you actually believe the sentiment. You've got me there. But what if you do believe the sentiment? Aha!


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 9:08 PM
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63: yes, if you believe the sentiment, then that's a problem. Does the existence of this internet meme make it more likely you'll believe the sentiment? That was the claim of the post.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 9:10 PM
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So what about when negative events are characteristic of your life, but you cope?


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 9:15 PM
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Say "la vie."


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 9:17 PM
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most people would use a flashlight, for safety reasons

You might set the map on fire, right?


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 9:17 PM
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There was a restaurant near my brother's old place in West Roxbury that had a neon sign depicting a chicken. It was one of those primitively animated deals with alternately flashing neon loops, meant in this case to represent the chicken waving with one wing. But the angle was all wrong, and it looked little like waving and a lot like masturbating, so directions to his house involved "a left after the chicken-chokin' chicken."


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 9:19 PM
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So Apo and McManlypants are out turning over cars?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 9:40 PM
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69: Hey, maybe that'll generate demand for more automobiles from Michigan. Silver lining, Spartans fans!!!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 9:45 PM
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Whoa, I had no idea that championship game was today. Isn't it normally on a weekend?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 9:47 PM
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It's been a Monday game for as long as I can remember.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 9:47 PM
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73

"Universities!" "Negroes!" "Communists!"


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 9:49 PM
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I think I had the meaning of "pollo" pretty much memorized from seeing it in the name of some restaurant in one of the islands in the middle of Shattuck just about every time I went to or through downtown Berkeley.

The funny thing is, that place is mostly a gyros shop.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 9:50 PM
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The entire firm now knows my password is "tits123". FML

I've actually heard advice on how to pick a good password that included "use an offensive word". The whole point of a password is that you're not going to share it with other people (so it's not like you're going to offend anyone), and if someone's trying to guess your password casually they're probably not going to go somewhere crude.

"tits123" still isn't that great a password, though.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 9:54 PM
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I am also not a big fan of negative phrasing like this - my peeve is "with my luck," an expression used by millions to suggest that the world is inherently, if opaquely, aligned agai at them. I just think it's insidious and dumb.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 10:10 PM
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El Pollo Loco can be tasty, depending on the location.

Does nobody remember the Pollo Del Mar Hotel from L.A. Story?

This whole oh we must think happy thoughts lest the unhappy thoughts infest us is pernicious, you goddamn utopians.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 10:14 PM
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This whole oh we must think happy thoughts lest the unhappy thoughts infest us is pernicious.

Except that with my luck they will.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 10:16 PM
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75: okay, is that a joke? I can speak from experience and tell you that the first place everybody goes is somewhere crude. I mean, come on. Where would you go?

Evidence!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 10:16 PM
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I am also not a big fan of negative phrasing

Ahem.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 10:16 PM
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I should amend 77 to agree that people who talk this way are fucking irritating ("Lo but the lord frowns upon my aching ass!"), but why not ignore them and move on?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 10:17 PM
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my peeve is "with my luck," an expression used by millions to suggest that the world is inherently, if opaquely, aligned agai at them.

Which the world probably is, let's face it. But what can sound like a selfishly personal grievance when uttered by a putatively autonomous and more or less disembodied individual, can be elevated to the status of a social/political platform, if only you have a closed-shop union behind your back...

When all else fails, "offer it up to the souls in Purgatory," like my mother always told me to do.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 10:23 PM
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80: Litotes is the Antichrist.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 10:28 PM
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FML is a very cheerful site. It's like, "this minor and entertaining mishap happened to me, and I will now share it with others so that they may laugh, FML!" A very upbeat spirit to that. It works to take the depressive sting out of fatalism.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 10:33 PM
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It's snowing here. Snowing quite a lot, actually, as luck would have it. My luck, I suppose I mean. Fuck My Life.

Nope, I don't feel any worse. But maybe that's because my sunny disposition will melt away all this snow before long.

Nope, I don't feel any better. I think sleep is a more important variable, at least as far as my mood is concerned.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 10:36 PM
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By the way, it is snowing. In April!


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 10:37 PM
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In Davis???


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 10:46 PM
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By the way, it is snowing. In April!

Budge McFarland would weep for you, Ari, if only he were still alive to shed a manly tear, God love his pure, stout heart.

Snow in April is nothing to get upset about, believe you me! I mind the time we had snowbanks six feet high into early May, and nobody even blinked an eye, let me assure you...


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 10:52 PM
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87: Cleveland. And actually, it's pretty exciting. Our older boy hasn't seen snow for years (I'm not sure he remembers the last time he was really cold). And the younger boy, who was born in CA, has never seen snow at all. A couple more inches, and we'll go sledding tomorrow! After that, though, it will all turn to snirt. FML. Nope, still nothing.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 10:55 PM
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Snirt. Snirt. Snirt.

Don't hurt my snirt or I'll rip your shirt.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 10:57 PM
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Why you want to hirt, hirt my snirt? My lovely lady snirt.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 10:59 PM
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So Apo and McManlypants are out turning over cars?

Yes, but we do that every Monday, so, you know. Whevs.

Surely to the gods everyone knows what pollo is. Christ.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 11:04 PM
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And the younger boy, who was born in CA, has never seen snow at all.

What, 'cause it's so far to Tahoe from where you live?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 11:05 PM
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No Surf in Cleveland.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 11:05 PM
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What, 'cause it's so far to Tahoe from where you live?

Ari can't afford a fancy ski vacation with his measly Privatdozent fees.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 11:07 PM
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79: Your crowd tends more towards the "professional" rather than the "casual" end of the spectrum. If I'm worried about them, single-factor authentication just ain't gonna cut it.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 11:09 PM
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I can't say why we don't go to Tahoe more often. Maybe because it's cold there in the winter? Or what neb said?


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 11:13 PM
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||

Man, The Mighty Boosh is a deeply strange show. I wish I was high.

|>


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 11:15 PM
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95, 97: I feel sure that ari's meager salary can cover gas for a day trip up to the snow. You owe it to your kid to at least go sledding.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 11:16 PM
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100

FMKobe!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 11:27 PM
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You owe it to your kid to at least go sledding.

Why do you think we're in Cleveland, you Mr. Parenting Advice?


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 11:28 PM
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102

The extraneous "you" is what makes that comment a keeper.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 11:28 PM
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103

79: I can speak from experience and tell you that the first place everybody goes is somewhere crude.

Agreed. Back when I was a teen and ignorant of the notion of password strength, one of my first ever passwords (if not the first) was an expletive.

Another password story from my fading youth: Senior year of HS, my friend Alice started to notice that Bob, a sophomore, was following her around all puppy dog-like, and inferred from this and other behaviors that he was obviously nursing a substantial crush on her. (Bob was also obviously not the sort to approach a senior girl with expectations of requital.)

Around this time, AIM was becoming mainstream among my set, and so the thing to do was to go home at night and sign on and talk to your friends via a little window. One night, while participating in this activity, I was surprised to receive a message from Bob's account, the text of which stated that it was Alice who was the real sender. Alice had, as a joke, tried to log into Bob's account with, yes, "ilovealice" as his password.

Just another poor password selection strategy that I present to you as a public service.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 11:38 PM
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I salute 103 for its use of "Alice" and "Bob". Well played, sir.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 11:41 PM
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103: And Alice grew up to be... Æleen Frisch. And now you know the rest of the story.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 11:45 PM
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The root password on unfogged's new server is "this is the password".


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 11:46 PM
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104: Have you read Rainbows End?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 11:48 PM
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65: "It's all good." Duh.

103: How did Ted and Carol feel about that?


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 11:49 PM
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107: no. Wikipedia makes it sound irritating. That's wrong?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 11:50 PM
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105: Actually, I found the events particularly funny in part because Alice was so very much not the 1337 h4XXor type. She was more of a humanities/theatre type. But I guess it is perhaps those in the humanities that best understand our deepest desires and motivations, and as such, what we are likely to choose for our passwords.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 11:52 PM
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109: Eh, there are definitely parts of it that can get a little grating (one plot point is pretty much a dead ripoff from some stuff Google was doing right around the time the book came out), but it's an entertaining read and there's some meat to the book. I have to admit that I read the entire thing before I realized that the parents were named Alice and Bob.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 11:55 PM
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110: hella interdisciplinary.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 11:55 PM
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111: singularity dorks kind of hit a nerve, but if it takes that lightly enough I could get into it.

Uh, politicalfootball needn't read this comment, I guess.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 11:56 PM
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110: "Our passwords, dear Brutus, lie not in our stars but in ourselves"?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 11:57 PM
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110: Alice was so very much not the 1337 h4XXor type.

Are you sure didn't come up with the ILOVEYOU virus?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 6-09 11:57 PM
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113: The book doesn't really touch on Singularity stuff except in a glancing kind of way. (I mean, it's Vinge, so you're never going to fully escape his idées fixes.) And the scope of the story is much much narrower than A Fire Upon the Deep or A Deepness in the Sky.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 12:01 AM
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103: The next day Eve told everyone the story, but no one could figure out how she found out.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 12:02 AM
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109: At least he recognizes the pivotal role of a certain kind of troll.

To the Internet-based cognitive tools that are changing our lives


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 12:03 AM
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Okay, the idea of a belief circle is actually pretty funny.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 12:06 AM
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Speaking of Vinge, I was deeply weirded out to discover that one of the long-standing (racist, wingnut) trolls on the ba.* newsgroups was a contributor to this.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 12:07 AM
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120: one of the more difficult transitions for me has been realizing that a lot of my hacker friends are basically crazy libertarian nutjobs. I blame my previous political awareness, I guess, but that doesn't tell (me) the whole story.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 12:12 AM
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re: 98

I don't know how much you've watched, but, imho, series 2 and 3 are quite a big step up from series 1. 1 has a couple of good episodes but the quality is patchy by comparison.

Although I think the funniest thing of theirs is the Brixton recording of their live show (The Mighty Boosh Live).


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 12:13 AM
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122: I'm still on series 1. You are making me very excited, because series 1 has moments of absolute brilliance.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 12:16 AM
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Also they have the greatest theme song of all time.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 12:16 AM
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It seems that most tech people in general are crazy libertarian nutjobs.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 12:16 AM
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125: only about half, I'd wager.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 12:17 AM
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re: 124

I think the song-writing and playing gets better and better over the three series. Some of the musical stuff in series 2 and 3 is inspired.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 12:19 AM
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121: See, the hacker/crazy libertarian nutjob thing always went hand in hand in my experience, so that doesn't surprise me terribly. It's more the racist troll part that gets me. (Man, reading back through some of his Usenet postings, I found one hypothesizing about how a massive Russian-American nuclear war could break out as a result of Y2K. Now *that* takes me back...)

Still, it can't be fun realizing that there are certain topics you simply cannot broach with your friends.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 12:19 AM
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Half is close enough to most, given the general distribution.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 12:20 AM
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127: the ape satan song was pretty good.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 12:21 AM
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128: well, no. Honestly, some are racist. I don't think I've fully gone there with them, yet. It's too depressing.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 12:22 AM
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131: Ugh, that sucks. My sympathies.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 12:23 AM
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I'm still trying to figure out my nutjob roommates, who think the bank system should FAIL FAIL FAIL, FML, LET'S GO PROTEST THE WORLD BANK!!!, but also really love Ron Paul.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 12:24 AM
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132: eh, nobody I'm really close to. And, you know, in Massachusetts, you get used to it. It's like so-and-so's crazy racist uncle, only younger!

133: I have a friend like that. God, he's funny. Have your roommates talked about this yet?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 12:25 AM
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On April 17th - beginning at midnight EST - supporters of the Campaign for Liberty and of the campaign to END THE FED will join together to trigger a first in a series of "bank runs" in hopes of overwhelming the Federal Reserve's ability to continue it's propping up of our nation's bankrupt financial system.

God, you know, I really have to appreciate the use of the possessive with the gerund, but to do that while writing "it's" for "its"… it's a damn shame is what it is.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 12:27 AM
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Have your roommates talked about this yet?

No, mostly I'm trying to get them to agree that they're always already complicit in banking, since I pay the bills and then demand payment. I keep telling them I'm the dumbest bank ever.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 12:32 AM
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109: Eh, there are definitely parts of it that can get a little grating (one plot point is pretty much a dead ripoff from some stuff Google was doing right around the time the book came out), but it's an entertaining read and there's some meat to the book. I have to admit that I read the entire thing before I realized that the parents were named Alice and Bob.

The probabilistic football described is utterly unbelievable. Football is based on discrete events. Just because sport isn't cool and techie doesn't mean you can bullshit it. (Yeah, minor, but if you claim hardness you have to actually be fucking hard. Screwing up in sports science is as bad as screwing up computer science.)


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 12:36 AM
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137: I have to admit, I've completely forgotten about the probabilistic football. Besides, "hard SF" almost uniformly isn't.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 12:38 AM
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It's a minor passage where he tries to show all the cool things you could do with VR. The game consists of football, but instead of a classical football you have a probability function. The problems become apparent pretty quickly when you imagine playing the game.

It was just sloppy.

(Also, can we get Emerson on SF fandom after history? I think it'd be a match made in heaven...)


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 12:43 AM
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To return to the chicken theme for a moment, Pollo Campero just opened in the middle of Chelsea (MA). It's been open for a week now and consistently has pedestrian lines down the block and a line of cars around the block and a 4-man police detail directing traffic. All I can say is that must be some chicken.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 5:07 AM
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negative events as in stark contrast to your ordinarily happy life

Wow, useful advice on unfogged. Thanks!


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 5:12 AM
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I had an extraordinarily pink and frilly and little pewter figurines of dragons with crystal bits and so on kind of roommate freshman year of college. (She figured out she was a lesbian halfway through the year, and ditched the hyper-femme bit.) I'd never thought of trying to guess someone's password until she came to me bitching that a mutual friend had guessed hers. To which I responded "You mean your password's 'unicorn'?" And so it was.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 5:35 AM
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dragons with crystal bits...lesbian

This finally explains why they're always using glass dildos in lesbian porn. If you don't want to fuck men, you're inexorably drawn to clear stuff.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 5:58 AM
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133: That's pretty standard for the Paul people. The Federal Reserve (and fiat currency, more generally) is their enemy #1.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 6:01 AM
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Besides, "hard SF" almost uniformly isn't.

Fact. I think you generally get closer word-to-world fit if you substitute "penis SF".


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 6:11 AM
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Watched an HBO show on glass aids. A whole hour. The women seemed to like them a lot.

All Glass Sex Toys are very easy to keep clean & sterile.

The article above is mistaken, none of what I saw was shaped like a dick. Cones, U-shaped or three-pronged, all were definitely designed for clitoral stimulation. Can't find pictures.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 6:20 AM
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I agree with the general thrust of the post. An FML worldview is self defeating. I find it helpful when in an FML situation to just power through while keeping my mind on what a cool story it'll make when it's all over. This attitude has served me quite well.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 6:20 AM
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I am engaged in a more or less continuous struggle to purge phrases like "I hate my miserable life" "I hate myself" and "fuck the world" from my internal monologue. The fact that a new phrase like those is trendy is a small setback for me.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 6:53 AM
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There's always irony or sarcasm.

It's just a beautiful world and I love U all.

Lyle Lovett entitled one of just darker albums "I Love Everybody."

Anyway, why is "Fuck My Life" or "The World is Fucked" assumed to be negative? Fucking is good, at least for the people who are the luckiest people in the world. You know the type.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 7:07 AM
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149.last: Bob channeling Lenny Bruce.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 7:20 AM
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144, 133: The currency cranks of 1880 (Greenbackers) are the orthodox of today, or almost, and the orthodox of 1880 (goldbigs) are the cranks of today. The monetarists need greenbacks to do their work, though the way they control the currency (low inflation, moderate unemployment) isn't exactly what the Greenbackers asked for.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 7:20 AM
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150: Didn't George Carlin have a bit about how "fuck you" should be a compliment.

In my head I can hear him acting out an exchange:

(angrily) "Fuck you!"

(politely) "No, no, fuck you."


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 7:24 AM
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I used to FML a lot when I was a kid, and then I was almost murdered (suicidal BF drove the car at an oncoming truck, I grabbed the wheel and ran us off the road at the last second) in college. After that, it's been a lot easier to consider all of life to be just free time, not a slow accumulation of petty humiliations. I still get frustrated and annoyed, of course, but it doesn't go into some sort of FML narrative like it used to. I know it sounds cheesy, but just about every day, I think, "Well, there's another day when I didn't get hit by a truck."

I have an aunt who has a very FML attitude, but, weirdly, only about petty things. Her life really really sucks in a lot of ways, but the stuff she gets really FML about is always, like, the spoon she wants to use isn't clean. And a friend of mine is like that, too. I hung out with her after she got back from her mom's untimely funeral, and she couldn't acknowledge it at all; she kept talking about how her life sucks because her boyfriend hadn't emptied the cat-box, etc.

Isn't FML is just an attitude of focusing on small, unavoidable annoyances as a way of casting large problems or depression into a semi-bemused isn't-that-just-my-luck narrative? Like, it's supposed to show the FMLer is showing a sense of humor, sort of, about humiliation, rather than reacting in a way that might be taken as a serious engagement with problems, which would be a form of emotional intimacy. (I'm not judging; I distinctly remember how useful it was as an attitude in situations in which I felt powerless or like I couldn't confront the people involved.)

The site, however, is kinda cute. It has taught me, however, that parents are perverts. Why are parents constantly walking in on their kids having sex? Come to think of it, my parents were always coming home suddenly, pretending to have forgotten something at the house, if I had a boyfriend there. Made for some awkward scenes.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 7:26 AM
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151: inflation really hasn't been that low under the greenback regime if you count asset inflation. Whole story of 1995-present has been about asset inflations.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 7:27 AM
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Whole story of 19951982-present has been about asset inflations.

But I got fricking terminally depressed at the econoblogs yesterday. Paul Krugman using the word "terrified" and those Eichengreen global charts and Summers corruption and I don't wanna talk about it.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 7:35 AM
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Further to 153, it's interesting that almost all the stories on the FML site are about humiliation by parents, teachers, retail customers, other people's children, and objects of unrequited desire/love, i.e. people one can't (presumably) talk directly back to. In response to most of them, I think, "I wonder what the FMLer said/did next?"


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 7:37 AM
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one of the more difficult transitions for me has been realizing that a lot of my hacker friends are basically crazy libertarian nutjobs

I was discussing this a couple of weeks ago with some friends who are fellow nerds since small times. We agreed that about half of the CLN's in our collected hobbyist and professional experience have some fairly coherent (if personally disagreeable) philosophy that values self-starters and individual effort due to their time in The Cave of the Green Glow and that the other half are the genuinely, frothingly crazy types who describe themselves as "libertarian" but are actually crypto-totalitarians who enjoy seeing people punished. We figure it probably comes from having been shat on over and over again throughout their miserable, toad-like lives. I realize the concept of the glibertarian isn't anything new to the Unfoggedtariat but I think they are a much higher percentage of the IT industry's resident self-reporting libertarians than I've seen elsewhere and I think they're more often the product of personal anguish they wish to vent on the world by actively working against others' ambitions.

An example of the latter would be the guy with whom I worked at Ma Bell who would get red-faced, shouting angry anytime anyone mentioned Social Security and who tried to explain to me once that because the 1st Amendment only mentions speech and the press* that it is illegal to protest carrying hand-made signs and so it wasn't just OK, it was good when the law cracks protester skulls or, say, shoots people at Kent State and that "they're all just a bunch of fucking hippies anyway." I've never met someone with so much poison pent up inside.

Another would be the (different) guy with whom I worked who'd spent years and years trying to design a self-contained Unix server and solar power supply that he could bury in his back yard so that he could be one of the few remaining online nodes after the coming apocalypse. He seemed to relish the idea. He was really looking forward to being the only guy on the block with a blinking cursor. (I didn't bother to ask with whom he thought he'd be communicating in a situation that required buried servers and solar power supplies.)

To make it post-relevant, I think they are best described as the "FYL" crowd.

* I realize it doesn't just cover those.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 7:51 AM
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crazy types who describe themselves as "libertarian" but are actually crypto-totalitarians

Seriously. I don't know how many times I've found myself talking to a self-described libertarian who took every conversational opportunity to say what punitive measures he'd take against private peeves if he ruled the world.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 7:56 AM
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Just like religious extremists, these people resent the fact that the government prevents them from meting out justice to others.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 8:03 AM
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That the government deprives them of the freedom to punish others, that is. It's all about freedom.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 8:06 AM
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153: I know it sounds cheesy, but just about every day, I think, "Well, there's another day when I didn't get hit by a truck."

Sure. The same idea works when you've been shot at. 'It can't be that bad.' The problem is when things are that bad the tendency is to live in far more acute dread than those blithely unaware types.

My suspicion is that anyone trapped in a negative loop is going to latch onto whatever negative phrase is at hand, whereas someone who has that rosy-eyed view might say FML as a joke.

It's a lot easier to cope with reality when you aren't actually fucked.

Paul Krugman using the word "terrified" and those Eichengreen global charts and Summers corruption and I don't wanna talk about it.

Dept. of I Never Get Any Credit: I left a comment on Krugman's post suggesting that maybe his GR curve was starting from the wrong date. Lo and behold, Eichengreen pops up with what I could sense in my gut. Yay.

max
['We way past FML territory.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 8:08 AM
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To be fair, when I've challenged these people with "but you're a libertarian!" they've all admitted that they're only libertarians because they don't rule the world. It's not like they truly believe in liberty for everyone; they just believe in protecting their own desires and interests and those of people like themselves. I guess that makes sense according to some Randian nutjob philosophy that doesn't care what happens to political minorities at all.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 8:10 AM
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Mine is: "At least my face isn't novacained up." I really hate that sensation.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 8:10 AM
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The most amusing thing about all those heroic self-starting up-by-their-own-bootstraps glibertarian ubermensch is that most of them have lived a life of relative privilege, and would crumble under a stiff breeze.

And yeah, they do often seem to harbour fairly elaborate revenge fantasies.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 8:11 AM
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FML is mostly kids it seems to me. Postsecret is maybe an older crowd.
This is better than the Cosmo quiz, IMO.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 8:13 AM
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The most amusing thing about all those heroic self-starting up-by-their-own-bootstraps glibertarian ubermensch is that most of them have lived a life of relative privilege,

I actually kind of disagree with this. Sure they have probably lived in economic privilige. But you can accumulate a lot more seriously painful experiences if you're socially ass-backwards, compared to a poor kid who is super charismatic.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 8:14 AM
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I always suspect Postsecret to be a bunch of fakers. There's just such a consistent tone of voice to the secrets and hipster-sensibility to the choice of backgrounds.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 8:18 AM
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167: well, they are MOSTLY mine, it's true. But that doesn't mean I'm FAKING it! Plus every once in a while I see one someone else must have sent in.


Posted by: Cecily | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 8:20 AM
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Heebie, you think accumulating a lot of painful social experiences makes one better prepared to deal with major adversity? I'd think the poor, charasmatic kid would be in a much better position to deal with major adversity than the priviliged socially ass-backwards one. (And that's the propensity to "crumble under a stiff breeze" that ttaM was noting.)


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 8:21 AM
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158: but I think they are a much higher percentage of the IT industry's resident self-reporting libertarians

Whole bunch of 'em in Mensa, at least online. Big on the personal superiority to the inferior thing. Also really really pissed about the darkies poor welfare queens taking their money. REALLY pissed. Same types really grooved on the idea of killing arabs after 9/11.

max
['Free to be you and me. Well, OK, free to be me... fuck you.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 8:21 AM
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164: Totally. I was thinking about a HS acquaintance (white, male, middle-class, college flunkout, felony record) who moved to NYC, has talked his way into numerous unbelievable journalism gigs that he isn't qualified for at all (love to see, say, a black woman with no college degree and a record do that), and then spends the whole time bitching about how everyone else gets better assignments than him just because they have J-school degrees from Columbia. He keeps getting fired from various NYC papers for cussing out editors who he thinks are "too privileged" to appreciate him.

Total glibertarian. Without white male privilege, he'd be totally SOL. Too busy bitching about how unfair college is to finish a college degree.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 8:22 AM
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It's a hard row for me to hoe, when thinking about libertarian/glibertarian distinctions, because I find just enough of that philosophy appealing to be appalled with myself and it's a lot easier to just shut it all away in a shoebox labeled "Unsorted Assholes." The ones with whom I am friends, though, tend to be the generally coherent libertarians who see it as the ultimate expression of their own permissive/embracing views on social issues or, in one case, they're someone who doesn't trust the government or regulations to be as generous as he, himself, is willing to be, and who does run a company that has very generous policies towards its employees, etc. It's weird. When friends of mine were active in the Libertarian Party I always felt kind of bad for them since they had to spend so much time around the people who pretend the life of the street urchin is an incubator for greatness.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 8:22 AM
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169: A lot of glibs seem to think they're "poor, charismatic" types (like my friend) when really they're unbelievably lucky and not half so disadvantaged as they see themselves to be.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 8:24 AM
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Successful writers who turn out to be libertarian assholes, based on their own experience in which people who are obviously superior rise to the top, are even more dispiriting. Really, Dave Barry/Scott Adams? You don't think your success was at least to some extent based on being in the right place at the right time, and that for the last 20 years/10 years it's been entirely the result of path dependence and branding?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 8:25 AM
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Heebie, you think accumulating a lot of painful social experiences makes one better prepared to deal with major adversity? I'd think the poor, charasmatic kid would be in a much better position to deal with major adversity than the priviliged socially ass-backwards one. (And that's the propensity to "crumble under a stiff breeze" that ttaM was noting.)

I wasn't contesting that they'll crumble under a stiff breeze. I was arguing that they haven't lived a life of relative privilige, because social IQ counts for so much. They've had a lot of painful social experiences and haven't learned from them, because of the low social IQ. FTL!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 8:29 AM
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163: Boethius, in *The Consolation of Philosophy* has a nice version of this thought. I generally run it by students this way.

Me: How were you born?

Student: Uh, what do you mean?

Me: My guess is that you were born naked and screaming.

Student: uh, yeah.

Me: Are you naked and screaming now?

Student: heh, heh. uh, he.

Me: See how much better things are!

In general, you can (almost) always say to yourself "At least I am not naked and screaming."


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 8:30 AM
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174: It's an understandable mistake -- someone like that is in a position where they did work their asses off, and they are really unusually good at what they do. They just forget that being hardworking and highly skilled are necessary for that kind of success, but nowhere near sufficient. (When I say understandable, I mean that I can see how you make the error. You do still have to be quite a bit of a jerk not to figure it out.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 8:31 AM
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- someone like that is in a position where they did work their asses off, and they are really unusually good at what they do.

I don't know that writers that make it are unusually good at what they do. Dave Barry is no better than a million great bloggers out there.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 8:33 AM
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you can (almost) always say to yourself "At least I am not naked and screaming."

"We all enter this world in the same way: naked, screaming, soaked in blood. But if you live your life right, that kind of thing doesn't have to stop there." - Dana Gould


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 8:34 AM
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178: Oh, that's not true. I haven't read him in ages, so he may have lost it, but he had a freakishly funny touch with moronic grossout jokes. Someone who can make me crack up by saying 'bat vomit' has an unusual knack for what he does.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 8:37 AM
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It's an understandable mistake -- someone like that is in a position where they did work their asses off, and they are really unusually good at what they do. They just forget that being hardworking and highly skilled are necessary for that kind of success, but nowhere near sufficient. (When I say understandable, I mean that I can see how you make the error. You do still have to be quite a bit of a jerk not to figure it out.)

My guess, based on people like this who I've known, is that not "figuring it out" has a lot to do with knowing plenty of other hard-working and talented people who've been successful, and not really knowing any unsuccessful people with both those characteristics. (Not necessarily from not knowing unsuccessful people--that's unlikely--but from personally observing a lack either of talent or of work ethic, or both, in the unsuccessful people they happen to know.)


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 8:37 AM
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Dave Barry is no better than a million great bloggers out there.

His rise to success came long before the age of blogs.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 8:39 AM
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My son was born naked with a calm, blissful expression on his face. I wish I was him right now.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 8:41 AM
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His rise to success came long before the age of blogs.

Um, duh. But my point is that his talent isn't noteworthy. It was just more of a star-system for columnists when he got lucky.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 8:43 AM
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180: He's fairly funny, you might find him funnier than I do, but there are boatloads of incredibly hilarious bloggers out there, too. Truly talented writers.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 8:44 AM
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In some counterfactual world, heebie's blog is nationally syndicated.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 8:50 AM
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And I erroneously attribute it to talent.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 8:52 AM
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My guess, based on people like this who I've known, is that not "figuring it out" has a lot to do with knowing plenty of other hard-working and talented people who've been successful, and not really knowing any unsuccessful people with both those characteristics.

A subtler version of this thought process is that even hard-working and talented people who become successful almost certainly had failure-points in their personal histories where everything could have gone off the rails, and it would have been at least plausibly their fault. If you look at unsuccessful people, and see a way to blame their lack of success on their own actions, and don't compare their failures to the equivalent bad-behavior of successful people who managed to skate through, it looks like the difference between their personal histories is deserved.

(The prose there got kind of confused. I'm thinking, for an obvious and oversimplified case, of the successful guy who smoked a lot of dope in college and occasionally casually resold some, who's looking at an unsuccessful guy with a criminal record, and thinks "If he'd just had the sense to keep his nose clean" rather than "Could have been me.")


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 8:53 AM
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188: you seem to be describing a genuine asshole, whereas I'm talking about people who seem to be legitimately confused about how the world tends to work.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 8:56 AM
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I have an inlaw-inlaw who plays the libertarian self-made man role, but who is known to have received substantial help from his father and his wife on the way up.

He also ripped off his own father-in-law, and more recently has gotten himself involved in a local cult worse than libertarianism, tending in the anarchist militia direction.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:01 AM
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I don't know of many print writers who impress me more than the bloggers I read. But I recently had the thought that there are surprisingly few very good bloggers, on the order of hundreds, perhaps. It seems like a lot if you read tens of them, but it isn't that many for such a big online population.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:03 AM
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You don't have to be an asshole to be unsympathetic to someone who broke the law and is now being punished.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:03 AM
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191: But probably half the bloggers who I consider surprisingly good have very tiny readerships, which leads me to suspect there are legion below our radar.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:06 AM
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You don't have to be an asshole to be unsympathetic to someone who broke the law and is now being punished. has completed serving the sentence.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:07 AM
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The criminal "record" is a lifelong punishment.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:08 AM
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I was arguing that they haven't lived a life of relative privilige, because social IQ counts for so much.

I think I have to disagree. Not that social IQ isn't important to one's success, but I can't say "I was a disadvantaged youth, for I was an asshole" without cracking up, so I think you're tracking something else. (Besides, my suspicion is that one gets a lot further in life being well-off and an asshole than one does being nice and genuinely hardworking with a low SES status.)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:08 AM
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195: Who are you? How bizarre, to think anyone who is convicted of a crime deserves to be treated like shit until death.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:09 AM
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192: if you yourself broke similar laws but weren't caught? Um, yes in fact you do have to be an asshole to be unsympathetic.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:10 AM
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there are legion below our radar

That'd be awesome. But how often do you stumble onto a cluster of surprisingly good blogs? I mean, sorting through the dreck is a problem, but you'd think that if you found a few interlinked good blogs, you could check their blogrolls to find the rest of their circuit. I don't have that happen a lot.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:11 AM
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Perhaps 195 means that the inconveniences caused by a criminal record remain punishment after the sentence is served.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:13 AM
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(Besides, my suspicion is that one gets a lot further in life being well-off and an asshole than one does being nice and genuinely hardworking with a low SES status.)

The asshole/nice guy split is not the same as the low social IQ/high social IQ split. Assholes can have exceedingly good reads on how to play a situation to their favor; what makes them an asshole is that their goal is to exploit the situation in their favor.

I think it's really hard to compensate for having the low social IQ where everyone around you sort of grimaces and squirms when you get going, even though you're not quite doing anything wrong.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:14 AM
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200: right, and 192 says you don't have to be an asshole to be unsympathetic to that fact. I'm not sure I understand your point?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:16 AM
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201 gets it exactly right. The idea that people who are annoying are TRYING to be annoying and would be fun to be around if they just worked harder is similar to the idea that people would be rich like me if they just worked hard like me.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:17 AM
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199: Well see, the bigger problem is that everyone except me seems to have spotty ability to identify genius. Even the geniuses have blogrolls that are frustratingly hit-or-miss. I conclude that there are not linked networks of genius, but rather diamonds in the rough scattered throughout.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:17 AM
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Ted Bundy was a real charmer, they say. No joke. The kind of sociopath who can read other people is the scariest. It's a sort of partial empathy. People with no empathy at all are less scary because they can't read people and are much less effective.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:19 AM
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189: Well, that was an oversimplified example. Take someone like me, for a better one -- I'm reasonably successful (law degree, etc.), and I am so on the basis of being talented and (at times) hard working. I'm also (at other times) incredibly lazy and a giant flake, to the point where I'm surprised I haven't managed to screw myself over more than I have. If I were lacking in self-awareness, I could attribute my own success to talent and hard work, and look at someone who had gotten derailed by lazy flakiness and think smugly about how if he just hadn't been a lazy flake, he'd be doing as well as I am.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:19 AM
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Ted Bundy was executed near my house.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:20 AM
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Ted Bundy was a real charmer, they say. No joke.

Likewise GWB.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:20 AM
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No one blames you, Heebie. Let it go.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:20 AM
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205: You betcha. The scariest people I know are sensitive, empathetic, high emotional IQ types who like hurting people. There was a partner at the last law firm I worked at who was the next thing to a Bond villain -- I didn't get a lot of direct bad treatment, because I don't react entertainingly to abuse, but watching him work the other associates over was chilling.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:21 AM
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anarchist militia

I believe you, I'm just amused by my initial visualization of this.

"OK, let's all do some drills."
"Oh yeah? Who put you in charge?"

||

VT legislature makes gay marriage legal in that state.

|>


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:24 AM
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152: 150: Didn't George Carlin have a bit about how "fuck you" should be a compliment.

I think he may have done it as well.

Given the constraints on my search terms here at el joberino, I only found this bit from the film, Lenny with Dustin Hoffman. And that may be where I heard it. But the routine goes on to, "Eff you Mom", etc.

"Fuck you." Never understood that insult, because fucking someone is actually really pleasant. If we're trying to be mean, we should say "unfuck you!"

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:24 AM
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211: You should read Orwell's Homage to Catalonia -- he was in an anarchist militia during the Spanish Civil War, and that's pretty much how it worked.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:25 AM
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Yay! It's kind of fun feeling like the dam is beginning to give way on gay marriage.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:26 AM
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214: The dental dam?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:27 AM
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For a liberal, I seem to run into an extraordinary number of people in the libertarian/militia/nativist political zone. I've been accused of imagining things, but they're all real people. It's possible that my own personal experience isn't representative.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:28 AM
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214: Yup. This would be one of those virtuous slippery slopes -- legalize it in a couple of states, and the sky doesn't fall, and all of a sudden it's much less scary.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:28 AM
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207: I dated a woman who had been babysat by Richard Ramirez (The Night Stalker). Her mom was a friend of his.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:29 AM
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206: I'm not sure where we're talkign past one another. You still seem like sort of an asshole in your hypothetical.

The people I'm talking about aren't lazy flakes. They've genuinely worked their way to success, often from disadvantaged backgrounds. And they know other people like themselves, and don't know a lot of talented, hard-working people who've simply struggled unprofitably. So they extrapolate from those experiences to reach a worldview that the world is , broadly, a meritocracy.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:29 AM
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libertarian/militia/nativist political zone

I know several self-described libertarians, but nearly all of them ended up voting for Obama.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:30 AM
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209: "Doctor, I can't help thinking about that poor man, taken to his terrible lonely death by heartless strangers without a friendly face around. And I was a mile away all that time and I did nothing to help him. It haunts me day and night."

OK, I'll quit.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:32 AM
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213: To be completely pedantic, Orwell was in the POUM (Trotskyist) militia, and was impressed by some aspects of anarchist organizing that he saw, but clearly allowed both his upper-class English background and his Trotskyist politics to color his reporting. Also, as the first chapter underscores, he didn't really get there until the first flush of revolution had been ground down into mediocrity by the demands of the Civil War. As I've said here before, if there's one thing that the Spanish Civil War proves, it's that "War Anarchism" is not a situation to be coveted. All that being said, yes, the anarchist militias were often pretty shambolic.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:32 AM
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219: Well, sure, I'd be an asshole. But even for people who've "genuinely worked their way to success", most of them have fucked up a fair amount along the way, just because everybody fucks up some, and have gotten away with it. You don't have to be an unusual asshole to forget your own unpunished fuckups, and attribute other people's failure to deserved punishment for their fuckups.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:33 AM
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I think it's really hard to compensate for having the low social IQ where everyone around you sort of grimaces and squirms when you get going, even though you're not quite doing anything wrong.

I think that's fair, but I still wouldn't describe a low social IQ as constituting a life without privilege. But I think you're right that it can be very hard for someone who doesn't have a high social IQ to learn how to network and advance themselves, and so to the extent that they've done that, it feels like an accomplishment, and to the extent that they haven't, it feels like a setback. But "life of privilege" isn't supposed to be fully relativizable to someone's perception of the world.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:33 AM
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legion below our radar

Outer Life is sporadic, really well-written, and apparently unknown.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:34 AM
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222: Whoops, but the POUM were at least mostly aligned politically with the anarchists, right?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:34 AM
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My gay friends here are from ND and Minnesota, so moving to Iowa would be thinkable for them. But most gays are enslaved by the fleshpots of New York and California. They need a Moses to lead them to Iowa and a virtuous, legal lifestyle.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:35 AM
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I know several self-described libertarians, but nearly all of them ended up voting for Obama.

Part of the problem is that "libertarian" in popular discourse has included "not willing to call myself liberal, but not a religious nutcase, so that rules out calling myself conservative."


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:37 AM
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227 is just a pantomime heresy to which Emerson can later point to emphasize the strength of his "renewed" devotion to the relationship-free life, right? Or is today the day everything turns upside-down?


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:37 AM
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223: Right, but I'm not talking about people attributing other people's failure to deserved punishment for their fuckups. (They'd think those were unfortunate exceptions to the meritocracy, unless the fuckups were really dreadful. Just as they'd regard the dreadful fuckups who succeed anyway, due to privilege or dumb luck, as exceptions.) I'm talking about attributing other people's failure to their lack of talent or work ethic.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:38 AM
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Or is today the day everything turns upside-down?

It is certainly not the day when my upper-level students mastered elementary mathematics, so.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:39 AM
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Upper-class English background: "lower upper-middle-class", per himself. Not quite upper-class, not lower-middle-class, but in a part of the upper-middle-class that realistically feared falling down the ladder a notch or two.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:40 AM
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I've long said that gays can have military service and marriage if they want it so goddamn much. Gay marriage only, and an all gay military. Cool.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:42 AM
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anarchist organizing sounds like contradictory to me, no? if you are organized what's from anarchy in there then


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:44 AM
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230: Huh. You're drawing a sharp distinction between 'fucking up' and 'lacking work ethic or being untalented', which I wouldn't. Say Goofus fucks up and gets a low grade in a class which keeps him out of a good law school; Gallant, with the same skills and work ethic does a similar amount of work in the class, but does a better job of smoothing it over with the professor, gets a better grade in that class and makes it into a better law school. Ten years down the road, Goofus is a legal temp, and Gallant is partner-track in a big firm -- the difference in histories looks like a difference in talent or work ethic, but it could just as well be a random difference in how fucking up turned out for each of them.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:45 AM
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Gay marriage only, and an all gay military.

Make marriage kinky and we will flock to it in droves.

This intersection of ideas reminds me that I am so very, very relieved that my gay college friend who's now in the military is finally back from his second tour. I am so fucking glad he is back and in one piece.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:46 AM
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226: I'd have to double-check my vast library of Spanish Civil War histories, but broadly, yeah, the POUM and the anarchists wound up working together more than they otherwise might have wanted to, due to the Stalinists' enmity towards the lot of them.

WRT the libertarian/glibertarian/bootstraps thing, my impression of where folx like that are coming from is that a lot of it is deeply rooted in unexamined white privilege. I have met some folx like that who aren't white, but one of the things you tend to notice about them is that all their friends are white, and that they're constantly being held up by those friends as an example of why white privilege doesn't matter (anymore). Most of the white ones though, have some narrative about how "I grew up in a working-class suburb, and then my dad lost his job, but I worked at a gas station through college, and then worked my way up through the corporation, so I've totally paid my dues and done this all on my own." But the significant and persistent uplift they've received from their skin color never seems to play a part in how they were able to get that first job, fit in at college, get picked in the interview for the entry-level job, etc.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:47 AM
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234: Asked and answered. Check out What is Anarchism? by Alexander Berkman. Anarchism is organization: democratic, collective, consensual organization. Capitalism is chaos.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:51 AM
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I've noticed that people who make it to a REALLY high level of success in life either A) have really enormous initial advantages (e.g. Bush the younder), or B) have moderate initial advantages (middle class) plus a tremendous level of energy and drive, much more than I do. People with a lot of energy and drive seem to fuck up as much as anyone else, if not more, but they power through it.

"The world is a meritocracy" makes some sense when it comes to comparing success levels within the broad middle class and thinking about energy and drive vs. laziness. But I don't think energy and drive are necessarily always qualities we should venerate. People with a lot of energy and drive do a lot of damage. They usually aren't any smarter than anyone else, and often they keep their motivation levels up by ignoring problems they should be paying attention to. THe world needs a few lazy negative people influencing decisionmaking too.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:51 AM
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235: that example seems extraordinarily contrived. But I've realized that, even if I were to accept it as plausible, I don't really understand the point you're trying to make. Is it that the sort of people I'm describing are mistaken about the world being a meritocracy? If so, yes, I understand that.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:52 AM
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Something about white privilege that's come up here recently: a lot of youg guys around here don't respect the police at all. Lots of rowdiness, defiance, harrassment, and resisting arrest. But very seldom does anyone get shot unless they're pointing a gun at a cop.

Minny is familiar with a recent case in MPLS where a Hmong kid was shot for no apparent reason and a gun planted near his body. It's not just race, because urban communities have more conflict and less solidarity even between white groups.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:53 AM
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THe world needs a few lazy negative people influencing decisionmaking too.

You are living your beliefs!

('Cept that that's not how I think of you. But if that presentation is how you think of yourself, then you're the change you want to see in the world!)


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:54 AM
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glad he is back and in one piece

Word. Especially since his imposing height likely made for an easy target. I dunno, though. If I were gay and of fighting age, I think I'd be ambivalent about my comrades working to take away my automatic exemption from a draft.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:54 AM
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232: The part I'm thinking about in Homage to Catalonia is where Orwell speaks disparagingly of the Spanish militia members because he has to show them basic military drill and weapons-maintenance procedures that he himself learned as part of his schooling. To me, English public school=some kind of English upper-classness. Eton is fucking Eton, even if you're there on scholarship.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:55 AM
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It occurs to me reading this thread that my libertarian hacker pals don't really fit either of the stereotypes. They're more paranoid gun enthusiasts with generally law-skirting hobbies, so it's not really so surprising they'd be attracted to political philosophies involving less government. Definitely shows a failure of empathy, but oh well.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:58 AM
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240: Well, that they're mistaken, but more how the mistake works -- you have to be kind of a jerk to think that way, but not implausibly so.

237: Most of the white ones though, have some narrative about how "I grew up in a working-class suburb, and then my dad lost his job, but I worked at a gas station through college, and then worked my way up through the corporation, so I've totally paid my dues and done this all on my own." But the significant and persistent uplift they've received from their skin color never seems to play a part in how they were able to get that first job, fit in at college, get picked in the interview for the entry-level job, etc.

Yep. My husband came from a really very poor and screwed up family, and worked at a parking garage through college, and so on and so forth. And he couldn't have gotten anywhere like he did without incredible amounts of hard work and talent. But on the other hand, the second he was in college, his background was invisible -- he was a college-educated white kid with middle-class white-kid speech patterns. Without that, he would have really been screwed.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:59 AM
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231: Grading the exams was that bad, huh?


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:05 AM
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Well, that they're mistaken, but more how the mistake works -- you have to be kind of a jerk to think that way, but not implausibly so.

I'm not sure this is right. You don't really have to be kind of a jerk, you just have to have a fairly limited exposure to smart, hard-working people who've nevertheless been screwed. And that's not really implausible. (And one catch here, that does go some way in tying together our thinking: once you've accumulated a sufficiently large body of acquaintances who conform to these categories to solidify your worldview, it becomes natural to dismiss the occasional exception as simply an "exception", rather than as evidence that might force a rethinking of your worldview.)


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:08 AM
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Grading the exams was that bad, huh?

was?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:09 AM
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241: Oh yeah. I got away with a huge amount of shit as a kid, because even though I lived in the city (in middle-middle class neighborhoods) and went to inner-city schools, I never had to worry about the cops rolling up on me and jacking me up for no reason. For instance, there were a couple of years in HS where I carried a knife to school pretty much every day. I nearly came to grief over it once, but if I'd been Black or Hmong or Native, I'm sure it wouldn't have taken more than a month or two for some officious hall monitor or school cop to start hassling me and find the knife and then I would have been expelled. None of my close friends ever got shot, or even arrested; nobody I was close to had a parent in prison, my friends who had divorced parents saw them on a regular basis and mostly their mothers were getting child support. Some of that's class too, but there really isn't any way to talk about class in this country that's not racially marked. 'Nother anecdote: A friend of mine in HS who could have been my twin brother, (big, glasses, nerdy, gothy, totally mellow and friendly) except that he is Native, was walking around the lake one afternoon, and asked a woman for the time. She grabbed some pepper-spray and shot it in his face. Never had to worry about that when I was out and about.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:09 AM
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To make it post-relevant, I think they are best described as the "FYL" crowd.

Post-relevancy is the new relevancy.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:11 AM
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248: I'm not sure this is right. You don't really have to be kind of a jerk, you just have to have a fairly limited exposure to smart, hard-working people who've nevertheless been screwed. And that's not really implausible.

Where the 'kind of a jerk' thing comes in is in looking at someone who got screwed, and taking that as decisive evidence that they weren't smart or weren't hardworking.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:14 AM
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the world is, broadly, a meritocracy.

If people got what they deserved, we'd all be dead.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:14 AM
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248: That is possible, but any person who has achieved success through hard work almost certainly has contact with other successful people that didn't have to work hard to achieve success.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:16 AM
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252: yeah, that' would be jerky, but that's, again, not what I'm talking about.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:16 AM
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246.1: There is another element that is in some sense makes successful people legitimately special. Even if there is some completely random gate that you need to go through, often by just going through that gate you pick up skills and experiences that really *do* differentiate you from others (and no one who hasn't gotten through can prove that they would have gained those skills as well).

An example would be soldiers who survive a long, grueling casualty-heavy campaign. By the end they really are the best at staying alive. And since, like any endeavor, some of the initial weeding is non-random, they have the existence proof of "failures" who are not as good as you, that you can extend to all those who did not make it, even if it was just due to where the enemy artillery shell landed. Sure, the more thoughtful will have acknowledge, "there by the grace of God go I" and acknowledge they were noobs too, but they really are *special*.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:17 AM
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If people got what they deserved, we'd all be dead.

Eventually, we'll all get what we deserve.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:17 AM
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254: that's true. But I don't think any standard worldview denies the existence of the boss's son, or the trust-fund kid, or the lucky break, etc.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:18 AM
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Eh. I'm not sure if there's anything left to say about this.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:19 AM
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259 to 255.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:20 AM
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I guess there was something left to say.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:24 AM
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A lot of successful people are incredibly competitive and totally stoked on "believing in themselves" as a motivator, so that their self-esteem, personal identity, and worldview are defined by their own success. Once they succeed, it proves that they are as good as they had claimed to be. They don't have an outside, objective view of competition; competition is everything, and success is God's reward to you for being you. People like this are not going to be thoughtful about things. (Probably if they don't succeed they join paranoid political organizations of some sort.)

Genghis Khan -- unironically, non-metaphorically, and in all literalness and seriousness -- actually did believe something like that. He had been chosen by god to place the whole world under submission to him personally. Sounds crazy, but who can argue with success?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:25 AM
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But I don't think any standard worldview denies the existence of the boss's son, or the trust-fund kid, or the lucky break, etc.

And here I do have more to say. I think the standard meritocratic worldview wildly underestimates the effect of lucky breaks and resultant path-dependence (as in Stormcrow's 256) on outcomes. I think pretty much everyone's personal history is very strongly affected by random, undeserved, interactions and events; they can come off as lucky breaks or getting screwed, but they happen to everyone.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:26 AM
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I love a good internet meme as much as the next person but I really, really hate "FML". ... My problem: whereas "Fail" expressed a similar feeling, it was associated with the action and didn't have the same fatalistic attitude.

I feel like admitting you use either of these expressions is kind of like outting yourself as a fifteen-year-old girl.


Posted by: inaccessible island rail | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:39 AM
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Being a fifteen-year-old girl is nothing to be ashamed of.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:44 AM
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What was that link again?


Posted by: John Derbyshire | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:45 AM
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256: all those who did not make it, even if it was just due to where the enemy friendly fire artillery shell landed
Fixed!

Sod the fuckin' army, killin' isn't my idea of fun


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:45 AM
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256: which is why soldiers (and other people in dangerous professions) get intensely ritualistic and obsessive - because they have to rationalise why X died and Y is still alive, since the thought that it's all random is too psychologically destructive. So you get things like the Charms fear in "Generation Kill" and the bomber crew superstitions in "The Dam Busters" and so on.

Sailors used to be like this a lot. Also fishermen.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 10:58 AM
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262: precisely. Better statement of some of the things I was getting at in 239.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 11:15 AM
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242: ha, you got it! My special contribution.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 11:16 AM
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A good one from the FML site today. And if true I think this one is a bit more of a "legit" FML.

Today, I was looking at the page of a girl I've had this big crush on for a long time. After getting a date with her and taking her horse back riding and having a picture taken of the two of us I find that she paint shopped me out of the picture before posting it. FML

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 11:17 AM
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I'm not at all superstitious, with one exception. We have a microwave which kicks out the circuit breaker about one time out of four or five, so that you have to go down into the basement to turn it back on. There's no discernable pattern; that is, while it may be more likely at some times than others (not sure) there's no time when you know you're safe.

So when I'm there half dressed and barefoot needing coffee and not wanting to go down in the basement, sometimes I pray and sometimes I curse and sometimes I threaten. I cannot maintain rational ataraxia.

The motherfucker.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 11:20 AM
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his Mexican co-workers took to calling him maricon and explained to him that it meant "really cool guy."

The consulting firm Marakon Associates is said to have had a similar problem. (The French homophone "mère aux cons" was in currency among my Parisian colleagues.)


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 11:21 AM
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272: Oh man, our last microwave did that and it was such an annoyance.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 11:23 AM
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238 is an impressively helpful and straight answer from someone who's undoubtedly used to getting that question.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 11:24 AM
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If I were gay and of fighting age, I think I'd be ambivalent about my comrades working to take away my automatic exemption from a draft.

Honestly, I am also ambivalent about this. I used to say that were there a draft I'd show up in a dress made of the Canadian flag but what I hear now is that at least one branch has decided that it just can't afford to care if people come out as long as no one around them complains. Apparently, on the ground, it's going from "don't ask, don't tell" to "don't ask, lalalalalalala!" with fingers in ears and everything, anyway.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 11:24 AM
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The thread has moved way beyond pollo frito, but the discussion reminded me that the German knock-off of Saturday Night Live has a recurring skit set in a restaurant called "Kentucky Schreit Ficken" ("Kentucky screams, 'Fuck!'")


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 11:30 AM
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272:Had that happen so much, especially eith the coffeemaker going, and because several other trips were happening like breakers going off when the air kicked on, that we went ahead and rewired the house, mostly adding a new breaker box and a couple dedicated lines. $1800.

Moving down from 1200+ to an 800 watt microwave can help, and is only a minute or two slower.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 11:39 AM
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I think pretty much everyone's personal history is very strongly affected by random, undeserved, interactions and events; they can come off as lucky breaks or getting screwed, but they happen to everyone.

Hmm. Mostly in this exchange I am agreeing with LB. But on this, I think there is also something to be said for the fact that much of where we end up is also influence by how we respond to the random, undeserved interactions and events. We can say FML and just go about expecting everything to continue in the same steaming pool of molten crap, or say "Fuck That Shit" and press on in the expectation that we are going to get out of that pool. Obviously, some people who take the FML approach get very lucky and find friends or strangers who will reach out and drag them out of the shit and some people who take the FTS approach are going to get kicked back in, repeatedly, and never make it out for all the trying in the world. But still, the attitude remains a significant factor.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 11:48 AM
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263: do you believe you are disagreeing with me? If so, I must not be expressing myself clearly. I am not trying to claim that the world is a meritocracy.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 12:05 PM
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280: I think we're in accord in what we actually believe about the world. I've understood you to say that you know people who have arrived at a meritocratic view of the world because in their limited experience, things have worked justly: all hardworking, competent people have been rewarded with appropriate levels of success. I'm (without much justification, given that you're reporting personal experience) doubting that your acquaintances are correctly assessing and reporting the justness of outcomes even among the people they know -- I think people tend to systematically overestimate the justice of the outcomes they see in their own lives.

But this is an incredibly fine point of disagreement, and one I should have pre-emptively dropped before I started.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 12:11 PM
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And 279: Absolutely true -- some people get derailed by events that wouldn't faze another person.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 12:11 PM
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But this is an incredibly fine point of disagreement, and one I should have pre-emptively dropped before I started.

Great idea, LB! And then we could shut down the blog!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 12:15 PM
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It's really hard for me not to read something-ML as something markup language. But what kind of markup language is FFML? French Fry Markup Language? Final Fantasy Markup Language?

It's a puzzle.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 12:17 PM
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281: okay, then we are disagreeing. See my "And that's not really implausible" in 248. It sounds like you do view this as implausible. Hmm. Not sure what else can be said.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 12:21 PM
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285 meet 259.

But I think you can do it! C'mon, guys!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 12:22 PM
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I mean, what, are you going to go back to work?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 12:22 PM
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But this is an incredibly fine point of disagreement.

Lawyers brag so much about their little quibbles. When LB makes partner she'll be calling her points of disagreement "excellent" and "amazing" and "fantastic" and "breathtaking".


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 12:27 PM
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I was considering for a while a quixotic attempt to reintroduce the use of 'nice' to mean 'precise'. Given that this was Generally Recognized As Persnickety back when Jane Austen wrote Mansfield Park, I decided it was doomed to failure.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 12:29 PM
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When LB makes partner

This seems a little unlikely at her current job.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 12:29 PM
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Not if I entirely revamp the very concept of government. Privatize the state, I say!


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 12:30 PM
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I mean, what, are you going to go back to work?

I honestly don't have any idea what I'm going to do.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 12:30 PM
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292: what freedom! What excitement! It's like a universe of possibility has opened up!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 12:31 PM
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The first year I lived in the DC area, we couldn't make toast and coffee if the TV was on, and it was even iffy without the TV. That house had many faults, but this one fault was the most annoying. I think fully a third of the house was wired on that one circuit.


Posted by: fedward | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 12:33 PM
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"Cute" still means "clever" or "ingenious" at times, possibly more so in Ireland.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 12:36 PM
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Maybe FFML should mean "Fist-fuck My Life"?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 12:37 PM
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293: I decided to post a comment in the other thread. Problem solved.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 12:43 PM
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FFML refers to a particular configuration of four-way sexual encounter: female-female-male-leprachaun.


Posted by: pain perdu | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 12:57 PM
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Furby-Furby-Male-Liger, if you're sassy.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 12:58 PM
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289:And I just read about Mansfield Park, well actually about whether Persuasion admits to a post-colonial reading like MP, over at the valve. I mean, what are the odds that within hours I would encouner references to the same Georgian novel unless it isn't a Georgian novel? They must be astronomical if not cosmological or even 100-1 or something.

THIS event must mean something, be a sign.

And what's more, my open books are about Turgot and Quesnay and Nemours and Law and the Mississippi System which isn't that far from the era Austen was writing about and probably could be connected to the meritocratic worldview except that the ancien regime is more complicated than usually understood and actually pretty far from any strict system of hereditary privilege and probably why France is more socially democratic country to this day than the US or UK. And isn't Mansfield Park really about the rise of the bourgeois meritocratic worldview with Austen taking a somwhat ironic, even regretful nostalgic stand?

Anyway, as I was saying about comments over at Crooked Timber, and funny how we use metaphors of physical space to reference separate blogs, there just isn't enough surrealism, style, and craziness in blog comments. With the possible exception of Unfogged, tho the fashion here of terse aphoristic wit inhibits the tossing of a well-developed word-salad.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 1:35 PM
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300: And come to think of it, I didn't mean Mansfield Park, I meant Northanger Abbey. Which just goes to show.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 1:47 PM
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289: I'm still holding out against the use of quotation marks for emphasis. At the very least, they need to say out of official communications between the college and students, as in this sentence, from promotional material I was asked to pass along to students.

LCCC is committed to developing the "whole" person, preparing each student for the future
AARGH!



Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 3:01 PM
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302: boo!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 3:04 PM
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Wow, "nice" has had an incredible range of meanings, including at one time "2. a. Of conduct, behaviour, etc.: characterized by or encouraging wantonness or lasciviousness. Obs.". This is no doubt what Lisa meant when she said that Marge could have been nicer to Principal Skinner.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 3:04 PM
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Fess up, which one of you is this?

Today, I was setting up my laptop's fingerprint scanner. It worked, but in the name of science, I decided to put my penis on it to see if it could recognize it. When I was trying to login via my penis print, my mom walked in. FML


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 3:20 PM
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Maybe FFML should mean "Fist-fuck My Life"?

Full frontal Modern Love.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 3:34 PM
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305: Okay, you got me.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 3:45 PM
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Last night's episode of Chuck is the same premise and contained many of the same beats as the spec episode that I am almost finished drafting. FML.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 3:47 PM
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244: minneapolitan on eton and class -- unless by "upper class" you mean "upper middle class", this is not exactly right -- certainly not in the 1930s and 40s

public schools (even eton) were and remain essentially middleclass rather than aristocratic institutions, and part of the machinery of state and empire rather than (directly) the machinery of capital; they were primarily founded for the middle classes, and increasingly* used by them to provide the non-aristocrats at them with the skills (and connections) society required, where the aristocracy had rank and connections by birth (and position, formerly, by ownership); the upper-end public schools did of course also school a lot of the children of the aristocracy, but the connections made by those who made them were not connections AMONG the topmost layer (who don't need schools to make them) but connections TO the topmost layer from below it

the aristocracy was losing much of its political power by the time orwell went to eton -- lloyd-george stripped the house of lords of its veto power in 1911, orwell was born in 1903 -- but it was still the "upper class" in british society when he was at eton, and he himself of course passed into a series of straight-forwardly petit bourgeois roles (policeman; novelist; journalist)

the drilling orwell was trained to -- officer-class training -- was also distinct from the role aristocrats played in the military, until at least the mid-19th century (officers drilled regiments; aristocrats owned them)

*there's a lot of centuries and changes compressed into that "increasingly" obviously -- eton was founded in 1440 as a charity school, to help poor clever boys get to college; the significant rise in 19th-century foundations of public schools was to provide an effective administrative class for the empire; but always, its value for the layers below "upper" (if this means "uppermost") were key to the institution


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 3:55 PM
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309: That makes sense, but I stand by my statement that Orwell's class bias is clearly at work in his descriptions of the Spanish Civil War and its combatants. It is probably more correct to describe Orwell as moving around in the fairly well-defined ambit of the lower-upper-middle-class, but that still put him above a significant chunk of the UK population, and an even larger chunk of the population of Republican Spain.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 4:16 PM
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I got me some Seagram's gin. Everybody got they cut but they ain't chipped in. This type of shit happens all the time. FM(G)L.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 4:17 PM
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yes, i think you're probably right about that -- though there may also have been an element of low-level britisher chauvinism* about general military competency in other nations: brits consider themselves pretty good at army stuff, doubly so in empire days; even this brit, who was semi-detached (and then some from) the standard imperial military ethos, probably had some of this perspective in his make-up


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 4:26 PM
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*in many ways he was the opposite of a typical brit chauvinist of course, but he writes about the fight that this was for him


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 4:27 PM
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The original post reminded me of a New Yorker cartoon that a colleague had on his wall some years ago. (I cannot find online. Is there an online horde of them somewhere?) A guy is talking his coat off in his house while talking to a woman. (Something like) "FMLWhat a day! The car didn't start on the first try this morning, they ran out of bean soup in the cafeteria, and now I'm having trouble taking this coat off."

Analysis of the cartoon in the context of hegemonic narratives of gender-driven power relationships left as an exercise to the reader.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 4:40 PM
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311 FTW. FML.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 4:58 PM
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314.---I don't get it.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 5:08 PM
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I posted this in the cell phone thread, but meant to comment here. I need your advice/thoughts on how badly I acted, because I feel kind of shitty. Having said that I feel shitty, a part of me feels great for "getting him," and I don't know that I like that part of me.

|| Semi Off-Topic

This past weekend I volunteered to be a patient interviewee for Part II of the American Board Of Psychiatry and Neurology Psych Exams.

I did 2 interviews; one went fine.

In the second one I was kind of a jerk. I just thought that the candidate was kind of dumb (though he was probably just really anxious). Because I didn't really think that he was competent, I felt sort of unsafe, I went into attack mode.

I also took control of the interview; the candidate's ability to direct the interview is one of the things they evaluate them on.

He seemed to be going down the wrong direction, and because his questioning was leading toward a diagnosis that's been judged harshly by the psychiatric community, I got rather angry with him.

In fact, at one point I said, "It's hard to do X when you have a hard time hiding your disdain for someone," at which point I turned away from him and looked at one of the examiners, thereby showing my total disdain.

He started in on the mental status questions. He asked me where we were, and I said, "We're in the adult outpatient clinic of famous mental hospital for rich people in town, MA which was founded in 1811 and whose grounds were designed by famous first landscape architect." He said, "What, have you got it memorized?" I happen to be a huge fan of the landscaper, and the entrance says when the place was founded. But, yeah, I was being a prick.

Then he asked me the date, and I said, "You know, I got this wrong yesterday and said that it was April 3, 2009 when it was really April 4, so let me just check my date-book" which I proceeded to do. He was clearly flustered and said, "That's cheating."

He moved on to somethign else, and I said, "Aren't you going to ask me any more mental status questions?" And he sneered, "No, you seem to be doing just fine."

I actually told him that one of the questions he asked was loaded and that I wasn't comfortable answering it. I think that got him really unglued.

So, I feel bad, because I don't like myself for acting that way, and I wish that I had shown more restraint.

The question is: how bad should I feel? I may have caused him to flunk the boards. The pass rate in psychiatry is pretty low, I'm told. He can certainly work being board eligible and not board certified, but taking the exams is very expensive. And, I think he has to wait a while before he can do it again.

|>


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 5:16 PM
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The overreaction of a few trivial "challenges" becoming something worthy of remark and complaint, as a milder version of incident x leads to an FML response. (And cartoons work best as cartoons rather than verbal descriptions of cartoons verified for the jillionth time.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 5:19 PM
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I think I've settled on "Fuckface Markup Language".


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 5:26 PM
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See, I rather like bean soup.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 5:32 PM
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317: BG, if I'm understanding right, your role wasn't to specifically test this guy, but to serve as a volunteer "patient" for him to interview. Were you being a prick? Hard to know without being there and seeing it all in context -- though from the persona you project here, I find it very, very hard to imagine you were, in fact, just an outright bitch. But pretend for a minute that you were. The fact is, this guy is going to really have patients who will be assholes from time to time. How he handles himself with a patient who is being difficult seems like a perfectly valid thing for him to be evaluated on. I don't know what it was about the guy that gave you an "unsafe" feeling, maybe something legitimately worrisome about him, maybe just some idiosyncratic chemistry between the two of you. But he's going to face that dynamic in real life and needs to demonstrate his ability to deal with it.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 5:46 PM
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321: That's sort of what I thought too, although apparently they are unusually anxious in this situation and don't perform as they normally would.

I felt "unsafe" in the sense that I didn't quite trust his clinical judgment, but it shouldn't have mattered, because 30 minutes is too short to do a truly complete interview, and it's not like he was going to be my doctor.

I saw him listening to my words and then just using them as a quick checklist without realizing that just because a word is used in a disease classification in the DSM, it doesn't mean that that's the only time people use it.

Exams are about checking off boxes, and I'm actually a pretty poor test taker myself, because I don't like doing that.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 5:54 PM
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318: The overreaction of a few trivial "challenges" becoming something worthy of remark and complaint, as a milder version of incident x leads to an FML response.

This is why I tend to think of "FML" as a joke, a form of self-mockery. Apparently some people don't use it that way. (I've actually never encountered it, as an abbreviation.)

Alternative to a form of self-mockery, as an attention-getting device. Look at me, there's just tribulation after tribulation here, please express sympathy! That'd be some of the subtext I thought Stormcrow was gesturing toward with 314.2.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 5:56 PM
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tho the fashion here of terse aphoristic wit inhibits the tossing of a well-developed word-salad.

Except for ToS.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 6:16 PM
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323.last: That add-on comment started simply as a reflection of some of the difficulty I had in writing up the visual of the comic. Clearly the "woman" was meant to be understood as the guy's wife and at the time that it was drawn it would have read very differently if it were a woman coming home, but I didn't want to concede and use "wife"; basically reasons #78-93 that describing comics with words sucks. But then it occurred to me that behind the premise of the whole "joke" was a presumption of relative privilege, some of it tied up in a set of "life services" that the reader would assume were provided by his wife.

How much more humorless can I render an unseen cartoon? None. None more humorless.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 7:09 PM
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325: I understand we're not supposed to explain humor, but I enjoy this sort of thing in any case.

[delete longish comment basically reiterating 323, but with some additional stuff about power relations]

Most of the quoted FML blurbs upthread are clearly intended to be funny; the writer does not seem to be engaged in hand-wringing. The "FML" is a conceit.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 7:31 PM
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I may have caused him to flunk the boards.

No. If he flunked, he did that all by his ownself.

You didn't set him up to fail; you gave him a set of legitimately* challenging circumstances to deal with, and he reacted to them by being:

1. Combative ("That's cheating.")
2. Potentially snide (We didn't hear his tone, but he said, "You seem to be doing just fine," which can come across as rude on paper, and you certainly report it as a sneer.)
3. Unable to manage his own emotions and his side of the interaction.

That's not professional. By those lights, he should have flunked. Maybe he did, maybe he didn't. Maybe in real life you should strive to minimize "noise" and static in your relationship with your doctor by not being unnecessarily persnickety.

But my goodness, I have dealt with hundreds and hundreds of customers and patrons in my life who were MUCH ruder than that. I certainly think my ability to respond calmly and professionally is key to being competent at my job, and I should be fired if I can't do that reliably. And in general I'm dealing with much, much lower-stakes issues than someone's mental health.

*Legitimate meaning both "It's legitimate to test him on this because he'll have to deal with it with real patients," and "It would be legitimate of you to react this way to his behavior if he WAS your real doctor."


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 7:52 PM
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If you'd punched him, that probably would have been inappropriate.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 7:53 PM
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"You know, I got this wrong yesterday and said that it was April 3, 2009 when it was really April 4, so let me just check my date-book" which I proceeded to do. He was clearly flustered and said, "That's cheating."

Maybe his real thought was that if you knew, on one day, that the day before it was the fourth, you already have enough to know what day it is.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 7:55 PM
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I misread and thought that the date in question referred back to this: I happen to be a huge fan of the landscaper, and the entrance says when the place was founded. So I was all, huh, why on earth would he expect her to know offhand the date the landscaping was done? And for that matter, why does she have this info in her datebook?

I often wander through life mildly confused at the world.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 8:05 PM
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317: You fucked him up when you didn't need to because, I presume, he presented himself in that situation. I'd do the same, but I'd feel shitty about it.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 8:06 PM
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I actually told him that one of the questions he asked was loaded and that I wasn't comfortable answering it. I think that got him really unglued.

I forgot to cite this. Good grief, for that alone he should have flunked. Doctors are supposed to be able to handle that stuff! If he can't deal with the very mild pushback of a patient telling him she feels uncomfortable about a single question, how on earth is he going to deal with an actually mistrustful patient who is psychotic?

(I'm realizing that some of my grouchiness about this guy is coming from the amount of untrained, impromptu community mental health work that I've been privy to in my life. In general, if it's something your friendly neighborhood elementary school teacher or librarian can do, then I'm perfectly comfortable holding board-certified MDs to the same standard.)


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 8:24 PM
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I forgot to say: in all the helping professions a problem arises when the job becomes credentialized and well paid, because many successful ambitious people are incapable of empathy or sympathy with losers, failures, the mentally ill, sick people, etc. It's a major issue with MDs, and one of the functions of the lower ranking personnel is to mediate between the hapless patient (and reality) and the glorious MD.

If BG helped weed out one of those, we should all buy her a trip to Cancun or something.

My sister the counselor has to be strict without being unsympathetic, and she's better able to do this with aggressive tough guys than with unhappy, complaining women, and this is partly because the women remind her too mcuh of her own former self.

In certain cases she can send guys back to jail and she has no problem with that. Maybe it's harder for her to be tough with the women, which means that she can be played easier.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 7-09 9:51 PM
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to 311: I thought everybody had they cup but they ain't chipped in. have you all heard the ween bluegrass version? so wonderful.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 8:37 AM
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