Recently, I learned there's a skunk who inhabits my neighborhood*. He or she (I'm really no good at sexing skunks) seems to walk a regular path in the evening, and the path runs right through my front patio. So it's not uncommon that I'll open my front door and there's a skunk, ten feet away.
Naturally, I tend to slam the door shut, hoping the skunk will get scared off or just wander on. Then I mill about inside the house for a bit, maybe wash the dishes or check my email or something. Then the skunk is usually gone. Problem solved.
*College-town residential setting. City blocks with sidewalks, numbered streets. Some apartment buildings, some single-family homes.
Let's discuss Sinead's letter to Miley (which has been out for a few days, yes.) It's true: executives are making buckets of money off of Miley's sexuality and naked body, while convincing Miley that it's her idea.
The tone of the letter just seems mean somehow, though. If you embarrass the hell out of someone, you're unlikely to get them to lower their defenses and hear what you're saying. If Sinead were actually interested in getting through to Miley, she should take her out to lunch and spend twenty minutes establishing a rapport.
The whole thing makes me think that Sinead either wrote this entirely for the rest of the world's benefit, or she is a thoughtless asshole herself.
(I gather that there's been a bit of a twitter feud that's developed since the letter was published, so I doubt the rapport-building lunch will be forth-coming.)
Vodka Samm is the twitterfeed of the college student who live-tweeted her public intox arrest - I'm going to get .341 tattooed on me because its so epic - back in September.
Is college binge-drinking a co-ed crisis? This is a decently balanced take on it. This stuck out:
Women are not necessarily consuming more alcohol than they were 30 years ago, but they're getting drunker. "You talk to some of these young women," says Wilsnack, "and they say, 'Yeah, if we're going to go out Saturday night, we really know how to do this. We'll fast all day, so we'll go to the party with an empty stomach, and we'll toss down shots quickly and not mix anything with the alcohol. It's like they have taken what they know about alcohol--always have food in your stomach, always alternate your alcoholic drinks with nonalcoholic drinks, and drink slowly--and flipped it on its head."
I remember this kind of thing, though, from twenty years ago. Learn about the multiplier effect in the classroom, and apply it on the weekends. Party on, Wayne.
This author sees a lot of future alcoholics - like herself - in the college binge-drinkers, but I've seen a lot of crazy college binge-drinkers sober up and settle into domesticity, so I'm hard-pressed to say that the college binge-drinking is itself a problem.
My conclusion is actually this:
1. Go nuts with the drinking when you do not have many responsibilities.
2. Responsiblities are really poorly distributed - one student has a child and is also working 30 hours a week, alongside Vodka Samm.
3. There's no good method for evening out responsibilities besides redistributing resources better, but that's the same old conversation we always have. Party on, Wayne.
It's hard not to find Vodka Samm a little galling when you're swamped with responsibility, but she's not actually doing anything wrong, provided she's not destroying her own goals for the future. She is, however, benefiting from a culture that poorly shares responsibility. And so did I.
LW collects: Nearly incoherent, but that seems right.
Telemundo: LA CAPITAL SIN CAPITAL
Fox: A GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN? Not really -- turns out it's more of a SLIMDOWN
Le Monde: "Shutdown" : pas de délai au-delà du 17 octobre pour relever le plafond de la dette
Telegraph: US shutdown is 'like a playground argument'
Al Jazeera: An already strapped legal system braces for impact of government shutdown
Heebie: Unrelatedly, I'm thinking about getting this haircut. But I would never brush it over my face like that. Please.
Halford linked an article from Dissent, about a 'pickup artist' who writes travel guides to picking up women in various foreign countries, complaining that his tactics don't work in Denmark:
"A Danish person has no idea what it feels like to not have medical care or free access to university education," an awed Roosh reports. "They have no fear of becoming homeless or permanently jobless. The government's soothing hand will catch everyone as they fall. To an American like myself, brainwashed to believe that you need to earn things like basic health care or education by working your ass off, it was quite a shock."
Shock turns into disbelief and then rage when Roosh is rejected by heaps of "the most unfeminine and androgynous robotic women" he's ever met. "Not a feminine drop of blood courses through their veins," Roosh rants. He concludes that the typical fetching Nordic lady doesn't need a man "because the government will take care of her and her cats, whether she is successful at dating or not."
On behalf of unfeminine and androgynous robotic women everywhere, this makes social democracy sound great, doesn't it?
Generally, while dating is far in the mists of the past for me, it always seemed weird how much flirty/dating behavior looked like both parties acting out helplessness, either financial or practical, on the woman's part. Clumsy as I was at this sort of thing, I always knew the easy way to flatter a guy and ramp the flirting up a notch was to ask him to do something minor for me - get me a drink, can you reach my bag for me, something. (I still do that sort of thing if I'm trying to stroke a guy's ego for some reason). Actively doing something nice for a man just seemed to confuse them. I wonder what standard flirting looks like in the absence of that pattern. (This post constitutes me not thinking about the shutdown or the debt limit. Lalalala I can't hear you.)
Dahlia Lithwick on laws that give you three 911 calls before you're evicted:
[T]he vast majority of "nuisance properties" (319 out of a total of 503) were located in black neighborhoods and that more than one-third of the so-called nuisance citations came in domestic violence cases. But what they also learned is what happens when you interpose a landlord--who has every incentive to either evict domestic abuse victims or persuade them not to report--into a fraught domestic controversy. Perhaps predictably what you don't get is a deep understanding of domestic violence.
Anyway, the case is going to court.
Remember him? Remember how even though all the actual sentences he offered were well-formed and correct, he still somehow came across as a monstrous douche? But then you felt bad, because you were like, 'am I just down on how wussy a dude would have to be to really have his shit together as a feminist? That can't be it, right? No, that would be lame, and would mean the dude I'm fucking now isn't a feminist because he's not a giant wuss. It's the preening, right?' And then you maybe vaguely heard about how he tried to kill his ex-girlfriend that one time which heyo0! could happen to anyone. Or rather, not. His description, from his blog, but now pulled: "I walked into the little kitchen only steps from where my ex lay. I blew out the pilot lights on our gas oven and on the burners, and turned the dials on everything up to maximum. I pulled the oven away from the wall, leaving the gas line intact, positioning it so that the gas was blowing directly at the passed-out young woman on the floor." For sure a dude shouldn't reveal that he'd done that and then keep, say, blogging about feminism at Jezebel, or organizing Slutwalks and whatnot. You'd think. But then, shit got real.
He had a psychotic break or something that--let's be fair, could totally happen to anyone, like, a bunch of times! At least, to me. And to other crazy people! But his computer was still attached to the internet, was that good? Mebbe not. It was OK for me! Sort of? (Train actually wrecking). Let's see:
My expertise is British medieval church history. I had no business teaching feminism, however well I may have taught it. I then built a career as a well-known online male feminist on fraudulent pretenses. My mania let me talk a good game. But there was no there there. So with the clarity that comes from a shitload of anti-psychotics, I'm sorry I've been such a breathtakingly cocky fraud I read one book of Kimmel's and made myself an expert on men and masculinity. I read a little bit about porn, and figured out how to make it a fun circus for all... I loved the attention more and I was fucking awesome at getting it...
And WOC, yes you @amaditalks and @Blackamazon, you were right. I was awful to you because you were in the way...If you think these tweets are off, you're so wrong. AT LAST the authentic Hugo. He's here! No mask. I fucked porn stars I met through my classes. You can denounce me now. I'm out of feminism, not because I don't believe in it, but because I'm such a pisspoor example of it all. I cheated on my wife and pretended to be reformed. I wrote an article in the Atlantic condemning age-disparate relationships the same week that I was sleeping with a 23 year old and sexting a 27 year old...I loved being the most notorious bad boy male feminist out there. I cultivated that shit so hard. I wrote that facials piece for Jez write after the first set of scandals about me broke. I did it because I wanted to send a message that the critics couldn't touch me. (from earlier--Flavia Dzodan said I tried to get her fired. I didn't. But I did want Sady Doyle to shut her the fuck up.)
He's now fought the good fight to get on some kind of disability status from his community college, on the grounds that he's disabled by being seriously mentally ill. This is...not unreasonable, probably? That he is seriously mentally ill? I mean, I'm mentally ill, sure, and I get that you go through periods of more crazy and periods of less crazy. But when you do fucked-up stuff it's not an excuse that you're crazy, it's just an explanation. It's hard to put your faith in Schwyzer about the mental illness when he's been lying and shitting on the people trying to call him out on stuff for so long. It seems like garden variety asshole. Read this article on the Hairpin, which says that he googled himself all the time and stalked (online obvs) harassed women, particularly WOC, when they called him out if you find yourself feeling sympathetic, or just need a laugh. But, I think he probably has narcissistic personality disorder for real and is bipolar.
And yet being a douchecanoe isn't the same as being disabled. He's mentally ill and then, separately, a total dick. (Wait, not a total dick, because he got circumcised like last year or something. Because he became Jewish? I lost track.) His fourth wife has left him and taken the kids. I wonder whether he's going to wish he pushed this "truly crippling mental illness" thing so hard when he's negotiating for visitation rights. Should we lay odds on the new, even better reformed bad boy, come-to-Jesus moment when he converts to an MRA, old-school 180 Trotskyite to neo-conservative style?
Shall we complain about the upcoming government shutdown?
What I did not fully appreciate back in 1995 is the amount of needless fucking around with people's lives involved in a shutdown. But now I have a better sense of it. Assholes.