Archive for Table for One

In the spirit of the season

The Oklahoma state whatever-it-is seems to be causing a dustup in South Carolina:

Implied Consent dishtowel

It pictures a sprig of festive mistletoe with the tagline “Implied consent.” Many people on Twitter and Facebook, where a picture of the dish towel has been widely shared, say it makes light of a serious societal problem and promotes rape culture. Others wrote it off as a simple joke, misinterpreted by political correctness.

It all started when College of Charleston student Caroline Connell, 21, noticed the dish towel on display at C’est La Vie on Market Street on Saturday. She snapped a picture of it and posted it online.

“literally WHO signed off on this???,” Connell wrote on Facebook. “why is this the first thing you see when you walk in c’est la vie on market st.???? wildly inappropriate.”

As always, the marketplace came up with the definitive answer:

Connell told The Post and Courier she went back to C’est La Vie on Monday and spoke to the store manager. She said she attempted to explain why some customers would be offended by the towel. She said he told her it was already sold out.

If you’d like to scare the dickens out of a coed, the towel comes from Jake Witzel Wooden Monograms in Fort Worth, Texas.

(Via someone I should have kissed at the time, but didn’t.)


Activists just want to be loved

Gagdad Bob is reading Extravagant Expectations: New Ways to Find Romantic Love in America by Paul Hollander, and he reprints an improbable-sounding personal ad:

These women are so perfect, one wonders why they have to resort to advertising their qualities. There are dozens to choose from — they’re everywhere! — so I’ll just pick one at random:

“Blonde, slender, tall, willowy DWF. Very attractive with graceful lightness of heart, refined intelligence, smiling eyes. PhD/academic. Optimistic, elegant, physically sensual, aesthetically attuned. Lovely profile, long legs. Considered great package: head, heart, spirit. Puts people at ease.” Etc.

I’ll bite. What’s the catch?


“Progressive worldview, passionate about social justice.”

I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t exactly put me at ease, if you know what I mean.

Seriously, I hope she (1) exists and (2) finds someone with a compatible worldview. Were I looking — God knows I have no reason to look — I’d probably look elsewhere.

I just wish there’d been a photo.

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Looking out for Number Three

There are alpha males, and there are beta males, and the two are generally fairly easily distinguishable from one another.

SF writer/philosopher Vox Day offers a definition for gamma males:

The introspective, the unusual, the unattractive, and all too often the bitter. Gammas are often intelligent, usually unsuccessful with women, and not uncommonly all but invisible to them, the gamma alternates between placing women on pedestals and hating the entire sex. This mostly depends upon whether an attractive woman happened to notice his existence or not that day. Too introspective for their own good, gammas are the men who obsess over individual women for extended periods of time and supply the ranks of stalkers, psycho-jealous ex-boyfriends, and the authors of excruciatingly romantic rhyming doggerel. In the unlikely event they are at the party, they are probably in the corner muttering darkly about the behavior of everyone else there … sometimes to themselves. Gammas tend to have have a worship/hate relationship with women, the current direction of which is directly tied to their present situation. However, they are sexual rejects, not social rejects.

I suppose I escape this definition by dint of never actually “hating the entire sex.”

But a lot of that hits just a hair too close to home.

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Deep, dark coincidence

I mean, who would have ever thought so?

Elsevier will sell you this paper for $35.95, or about a buck and a quarter per howler.

(Via Michelle Catlin.)

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I suppose this was inevitable

It’s still, however, a bit disquieting:

But maybe that’s just me and my aversion to things hanging out of one’s nose.

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Damsels bring distress

To the likes of me, anyway:

Just five minutes alone with an attractive female raise the levels of cortisol, the body’s stress hormone, according to a study from the University of Valencia.

The effects are heightened in men who believe that the woman in question is “out of their league.”

Cortisol is produced by the body under physical or psychological stress and has been linked to heart disease.

Hmmm. How did they check this?

Researchers tested 84 male students by asking each one to sit in a room and solve a Sudoku puzzle. Two strangers, one male and one female, were also in the room.

When the female stranger left the room and the two men remained sitting together, the volunteer’s stress levels did not rise. However, when the volunteer was left alone with the female stranger, his cortisol levels rose.

I know where I’m going to fall on this scale.

(Via Glenn Reynolds.)

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Scared off

From early 2003, I deal with one of Barbara Dafoe Whitehead’s assertions about guys:

BDW: Several women mentioned that at times in their life they felt that their intelligence or intellectual achievement seemed to work against them in their romantic relationships with men, but most women felt that there were some men “out there” who would be attracted to smart women. The problem was finding them.

CGH: The inference, as I see it: all else being equal, we guys would prefer to be the brains of the operation. This is certainly true of some of us; historically, I have often been drawn to women of greater intelligence than mine, but there’s always that nagging thought in the back of my mind: “If she’s that smart, what in the world would she want with the likes of me?” The author does in fact touch upon this phenomenon; asked if some men felt they “were being spurned because they aren’t impressive enough,” she replied:

BDW: [S]ome men did, yes, but they tended not to be four-year college graduates. They were guys who were not quite so well-educated and felt that many women looked down on them.

CGH: I think there’s more to it than that — I don’t think I’d be any more desirable (or, more precisely, any less undesirable) with a sheaf of postgraduate degrees — but frankly, what would a plumber have to say to an art historian? Or, for that matter, what would an art historian have to say to a plumber?

Have things improved in the intervening decade and a third? Not a chance:

A recent study from the Warsaw School of Economics, located in Poland, suggests that men are intimidated by clever women.

Yeah, that’s right: Study findings suggest that after a woman reaches a certain level of “clever” or “smart” behavior, there is no longer a positive correlation on how attractive her potential partner finds her.

The guy from Psychology Today explains this thing in terms of the methodology used:

[The] most interesting result was that there is a clear point at which men stop valuing a woman’s increasing intelligence. We have seen that, when it comes to women’s preferences, more is better: a man is more likely to be chosen if he is more attractive and more intelligent. As far as women’s preferences are concerned, the sky’s the limit. Women may be happy to trade intelligence off against attractiveness, but they will always be more likely to choose a man who is that little bit more attractive or intelligent. Not so when it comes to men choosing women.

To illustrate this, let’s track the chances of one woman being chosen by a man at a speed-dating event. This woman scores a 6 out of 10 for attractiveness: about average. Now, if her intelligence rating is a lowly 2 out of 10, she has only a 20 percent chance of being chosen. Let’s imagine that her intelligence increases 2 points, to 4 out of 10: now she has a 30 percent shot. Boost her intelligence by another 2 points, to 6 out of 10, and she now has a 40 percent shot. But a further 2 intelligence points have virtually no effect: she is still at 40 percent. And maxing out her intelligence to 10 out of 10 reduces her odds of being chosen, back down to 30 percent!

To sum up, our hypothetical woman with a 6 out of 10 score for attractiveness will do best with men at a speed-dating event if she scores around a 7 for intelligence: if she is any less or any more intelligent than this, men will be less interested in her.

I would argue that a 7 for intelligence is no slouch, and that average appearance is more like 5 than 6. Still, I know enough women smarter than 7 — they’re smarter than I am, and I figure myself to be about a 7 on this scale — to be properly intimidated.

By the way, this isn’t only true of women who are of average physical attractiveness. The same pattern holds true for very attractive and unattractive women. At every level of attractiveness, the optimum level of intelligence is somewhere around 7 out of 10. For very attractive women, the optimum intelligence level is slightly higher; for unattractive women, the optimum intelligence level is slightly lower. But it’s always the case that a woman with a brain the size of a planet will be less appealing to men than a woman who is equally attractive, but less intelligent.

My interest in this realm, of course, is purely theoretical, as I expect women, irrespective of intelligence, to give me the cold shoulder.

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She carries her own weight

I doubt the authenticity of this clip, but not its wisdom:

Some people like dump trucks.

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Rejection 101

Noah, it seems, fantasizes about Zoë. Zoë, we may be certain, is Not Interested:

Noah, dear lad, I feel for you. Believe me, I do.

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That empty feeling

There is, I suppose, something to be said for knowing that I won’t leave some poor woman a widow; but I don’t think I’m the one to say it.

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The women who upheld the standard

David Warren knew some of them:

I wrote once an essay on “The Modern Spinster” — a class to which I added women who had (by war and accident) long outlived their husbands. Born, typically, before the turn of the last century; widowed perhaps in the Great War; some had survived into the 1980s. They were impressive figures of pedagogical authority. We had, even here in the once admirable Province of Ontario, women I would rank with empress-dowagers of China. They were irreplaceable pillars of a society that I have watched disintegrate, over the decades since. Not one of them was a feminist, or could be interpreted as one by any fanciful act of the imagination. Each was instead not an ism but fully a Woman, without mistake or compromise.

There are two converging strings, which I shall try to knot together here. First, that their power can be neither appreciated nor understood, in a society that has so far degenerated that sex (not imposed grammatical “gender”) is dissolved in an androgynous slurry. Second, that there can be no such thing as an independent woman, who exchanges her position for that of a little man. For it was the function of such women not to seek “equality” with these strangely unnatural, mole-like creatures we see today — whining, whimpering, whinging and wimping off to their “safe spaces” whenever reality approaches. Rather, from a station of absolute moral superiority, that Modern Spinster would corner and intimidate; leaving them a choice between personal resuscitation, and complete psychic annihilation.

“Be a man, or get away from my nostrils,” is what e.g. a certain Edith Carson, of blessed memory, could communicate by no more than a slight inflection of her sensitive nose. She and her like were, and with God’s grace will again be (after the collapse of progressive disorder), bestowers of the White Feather. They were guarantors, not only that women will be women, with their privileges defended and intact; but too, that men will not dare to let their women down.

“Equality,” while we weren’t looking, got redefined as “interchangeability” by individuals of the female persuasion who failed to grasp the concept, reinforced by several of those “strangely unnatural, mole-like creatures” who pass themselves off as feminist in the vain hope that it will win them an occasional ejaculation. This is something else in dire need of correction.

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Tuned out

Brief summation of last week’s meme:

… this coming from one of those execrable “PUA” sites (PUA = pick-up-artist, which means “a guy not actually looking for a relationship but seeking a bit of fun and maybe a good-looking woman to impress his friends with”) about talking to women with headphones. And my slightly-sad response was that there have been plenty of times I wasn’t wearing headphones and would actually have welcomed someone talking to me (well, maybe not a pick-up artist, but I’m not the type of woman they would be interested in anyway) and no one does.

Given my own distinctly non-PUA approach to the matter, I think I’d just bring along a set of headphones — I have a spare — and see if I can direct the conversation this way:

Me: “Here, put these on.”

She: “Why?”

Me: “I’m afraid I might want to talk to you. Trust me, it’s better this way.”

I have, of course, no reason to think this would actually work. But it does fit my modus operandi almost perfectly.

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Lethal hickey

This is decidedly dispiriting:

A teenage boy has died after getting a love bite from his girlfriend.

Julio Macias Gonzalez, 17, began convulsing at the dinner table with his family in Mexico City after spending time with his 24-year-old lover, The Sun reports.

It is thought the woman gave him a hickey earlier that evening which caused a blood clot that travelled to the teen’s brain, triggering a stroke.

Paramedics were called to the scene but Julio could not be saved.

I expect this will show up in the appendices to all those Thou Shalt Not books that nobody actually buys.

(Via Interested-Participant.)


Past my shelf date

This sounds entirely too familiar:

[A]lmost without exception every man over 50 in this country appears to have the same basic approach:

Hi, blah blah you’re very pretty blah blah … (hugely passive-aggressive discussion of everything his ex-wife did to him)

It’s just proof positive that the 85/15 situation that one encounters in one’s college and young adult years, where 15% of the guys are sleeping with 85% of the girls, just never ends. The world is full of lonely old men. They send photos of themselves that look like nightmares an eight-year-girl might have about her creepy uncle; taken from below, triple chins in evidence, crazed look in the eyes, backlit. They talk about their feelings a lot. Whatever characteristics once distinguished them from the bland mashed-potato mass of humanity have long since disappeared or been rendered vestigial. They are jealous, petty, needy. Many of them have hydraulic-pressure issues that only resolve briefly, in the occasional sunny morning. One wonders why they continue living.

At least I don’t send photos of myself, a lesson I learned half a century ago after sending a photo of myself to a cheerful Canadian girl from whom I never heard another word.

I do, however, talk about my feelings a lot, which can’t be a good thing.

One is also reminded that human society evolved to its 1950s (or whatever) apex for particular and specific reasons. You’re supposed to be happily married when you’re old. Or, failing that, just married. There’s not much dignity in old-person dating. Not much joy, either. Even the sorrows are diminished — and that’s a shame, because sorrow in a relationship is the engine that has powered many a creative effort since time immemorial. Still, one question remains, put to you by a man who is staring down the rifled barrel of forty-five himself. What is better: to fade away into harmless grey sexless irrelevance, or to be tormented until death by a mind, an attitude, a spirit that is essentially and defiantly teenaged? Do you want to come home to old age with your shield, or on it?

I’m fading, though the torment occasionally breaks through. (The spirit pretends to be willing, though the flesh checked out years ago.)

Our 45-year-old correspondent, however, has some distinct advantages:

Even when I wasn’t really single, I was able to fill my dance card and as five minutes looking on this site will demonstrate, I’m a hideous fucking chud who weighs an eighth of a ton, has the speaking voice of a ten year old girl, and is fundamentally incapable of being pleasant to anybody.

We should all be so fortunate.

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The world, the flesh, and the asshat

They met on Tinder; they had a wonderful time together. And then he sent her this the next day:

Thanks for a wonderful evening last night. I really enjoyed your company and actually adore you. You’re cheeky and funny and just the sort of girl I would love to go out with if only my body and mind would let me. But I fear it won’t.

I’m not going to bull***t you … I f***ing adore you Michelle and I think you’re the prettiest looking girl I’ve ever met. But my mind gets turned on by someone slimmer.

Shallow? It’s not meant to be. It’s the same reaction you get when you read a great author or see an amazing image, or listen to a piece of music you love, it has that instant reaction in you that makes you crave more.

So whilst I am hugely turned on by your mind, your face, your personality (and God … I really, really am), I can’t say the same about your figure. So I can sit there and flirt and have the most incredibly fun evening, but I have this awful feeling that when we got undressed my body would let me down. I don’t want that to happen baby.

Shallow. I mean, we’re talking bas-relief here.

I did appreciate this bit from her return volley:

What truly concerns me, the real reason I’m responding so publicly, is the fact that you have a 13-year-old daughter. A talented illustrator, who collects Manga comics and wants to visit Japan as soon as possible.

I want you to encourage your daughter to love, enjoy, and care for her body. It belongs to her and only her. Praise her intellect, and her creativity. Push her to push herself and to be fearless. Give her the tools to develop a bomb-proof sense of self-esteem so that if (I’ll be kind, I’ll say “if”) the time comes that a small, unhappy man attempts to corrode it, she can respond as I do now.

She shoots, she scores.

Oh, there are pictures at the link. She’s not at all a tub of lard.

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Unwanted advances

Every time I think I’m the least-successful guy on the planet, dating-wise, I hear tell of someone like this:

Walt The Pituitary-Enhanced Uber-Creep: You’re a very attractive woman.

me: Uh … thanks. Your total is $6.69.

WTPEUC: I mean it. *to the waiting line* Ain’t she the best thing you’ve seen all day?

me: Stop that. $6.69.

WTPEUC: You need a man like me telling you that ever day, you hear me?

me: I don’t want to be told anything, I just want $6.69.

WTPEUC: I bet you go out with a whole lot of men, doan you?

me: I’m married. Very very married. Unavailable. Is this cash or debit?

WTPEUC: Food stamp, ‘course.

me: Yeah. Okay.

WTPEUC: I’m coming back. You wait and see. I cain’t see that face only once.

me: Holy shit.

Next Guy In Line: What the hell?

me: Commerce is a dangerous world.

And to prove she was right, he did come back. Sheesh.

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And the goods are still odd

Robert Stacy McCain explains why OKCupid is simply no place for the self-respecting female:

According to OKCupid, a majority of their users are liberal. This makes sense, because it is so unlikely that anyone who actually knows a liberal would want to date one. The kind of guys who vote Democrat are such dangerous creeps that women who know them in real life avoid them, and so these weirdos end up on OKCupid. Research indicates a male-female ratio of 3-to-1 on OKCupid, and women users say that 80% of the men on OKCupid are “below average” in looks. Of course, these men are also below average in intelligence, because in real life the male-female ratio is 1-to-1, so an average guy actually lowers his chances of success by dating online, where the odds are always against him. This is why there are no decent guys on OKCupid. If a guy was decent, he’d already have a girlfriend or, at least, he’d be sufficiently optimistic about finding a girlfriend in a real-life face-to-face encounter that he wouldn’t bother with OKCupid. Because the available pool of men in online dating is such a notorious swamp of inferior quality, only women who are truly desperate for companionship would sign up for OKCupid.

Disclosure: I had an OKCupid account for several years, but let it lapse.

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Because everything is on the Internet

Darnisha asks:

Yahoo Answers screenshot: Is Nathan cooksey in merced can cheating on darnisha Richardson?

I’m not sure which is worse: that she asked this in the first place, or that she asked it in Cars & Transportation/Maintenance & Repairs.


Females being selective and all

You probably don’t want to try this at home:

On your next date, you might not want to try vomiting bioluminescent mucus, but for male crustaceans called ostracods it works like a charm. The female ostracods like it, say some researchers.

Makes for some semi-compelling video, too, even from Other Species:

“When you’re there watching this display it’s spectacular. You can have up to nine species all in the same area displaying at similar times. I don’t know how the females do it, but they’re really good at figuring out who is their correct male,” explained Emily Ellis. She and Todd Oakley are scientists at the University of California, Santa Barbara who study ostracods in the Caribbean.

A giant squid was not available for comment.

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Wayward-wiener relief

Bonus points for starting with the verb “screw”:

Screw going to the doctor for your bedroom performance problems. You can fix them yourself WITHOUT worrying about expensive costs or side effects.

Don’t believe me?

All it takes is concocting 3,000 year old drink recipe that consists of:

1. 6 herbs
2. 2 fruits
3. 1 amino acid

Whip it up. Put it in a cup. Drink it down. And watch your woman’s sexually frustrated frown turn upside down.

Best of all, this drink only costs 30 cents to make. But I guess you want to know the specifics, huh?

Well, no, not really.

Extra spam words with the package:

/Medvedev/ folgende /eid /earlier /profile /hike /thank /please /stations/ wave /morning, reset /format /Turner/ core /date /customer/ jullie /dirty /hist /Va /virtual /gloire /quits /soumises /musique /argot /659 station /sweater /sorten /regulation /priest /Schumacher /orde responsibility /aan /welle /outside /everyone /driven /3 /HILFE /idbzymo /unfiltered hitchhikes /zxyxhjg /315-1952 /pesa /unhopedly /xkawgiygzs /ductive /hastening trinken /attendance /300-3314 /Candido /restaurant /vuwdn /weighs /dll /spread /in FILETIME /Food /3D /completed /1BC31C80 /signing /Thanks /PLEASE /buys /bens cameronian /1em /01C2DDA1 /2 /version /subscription /buckmast /matamoros /that’s Visit /cfm /elevation /is /example Howells /JENNIFER /led /Thank /second /general /lyngbyeae /multiplies /disastrous PermSize /desto /al /OK /XX /3D3D128m /Iran /regular /beenBelleville /axhwjvf ozyys /scroll /parliamentarians /other /James /Courts /verdriet /separately /Moz collector /filth /P’North /ghzyrr /EMAIL

Followed by several hundred more. This might be explainable, but not by me.


They won’t care if the coffee sucks

Sometimes you just shake your head and wonder “What’s next?”

A firm in Geneva plans to open a café where customers can enjoy oral sex while they sip their morning coffee. Not everyone is happy with the idea.

The idea for the sex café has been brewing for several months, Bradley Charvet of the Geneva firm Facegirl told Geneva’s Le Matin newspaper recently.

Modelled on similar establishments in Thailand, the proposed Geneva café would add a new dimension to the sex trade in the city of the Protestant reformer Calvin.

Put simply, the business model would see men ordering a coffee and using an iPad to select a prostitute they want to perform oral sex on them. They would then sit at the bar.

“In five or ten minutes, it’s all over,” Charvet explained to Le Matin.


[insert “Bangkok” joke here]

Base price is 60 Swiss francs (about €55). Charvet’s probably right about that time frame, so there should be a steady, um, stream of customers.

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Sex and the ethnicity

Can’t get the babe you want? Let them build one for you:

I am a Hispanic guy but some people think I look Asian or at least part Asian. I am attracted to Latinas and white women but it seems that these women prefer other races of men. White women only date black men when dating interracially and the beautiful Latinas I like prefer white men. I feel like I would be swimming against the current trying to get these women to like me and honestly I don’t want to have to put in 3 times the effort as men of other races to get the women I like. Sex robots should become mainstream in the next decade and the technology for them seems to be improving. I am thinking that I should just stay single forever and get a sex robot. I can customize this sex robot to have the skin color and hair color I want. They could make it look like a beautiful light skinned Latina or white woman. I am tired of being racially inferior and not being able to get the women I like because of this.

Most guys who aren’t getting any usually find some excuse, and this guy’s excuse is, um, being “racially inferior.” I don’t think so. And while he bewails the “current,” he’s trapped in an undercurrent of sexism: it’s okay for him to have his preferences, but apparently not okay for the women to have what he imagines are theirs.

Furthermore, I have to wonder how he calculated “3 times the effort.” If he got turned down twice, he succeeded once, n’est-ce pas?

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And that’s just how they roll

I’ve never aspired to the life of an autojourno. Driving lots of cars might be a whole lot of fun, but that’s the part you hear about: all the little ancillary duties, I suspect, would turn things into work in a great big hurry.

That said, I get to envy Neal Pollack in the July Road & Track, partly because he gets some seat time in a Rolls-Royce Dawn, the new drophead (don’t call it a mere “convertible”) that costs only three and a half times as much as my house, but mostly because of the occupant of the Dawn’s second seat:

My drive companion for the day was a Spanish lifestyle journalist who is also an architect and a former ballerina. Done up in a headscarf and glamorous La Dolce Vita glasses, she sat beside me luxuriantly.

This sort of description, regardless of its level of accuracy, invariably drags my heart over to the nearest abandoned mineshaft, haunted by the ghost of Rick Springfield.

I’m allowing Jack Baruth 48 hours to tell me just how full of it I am.

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Clearly misaddressed

In a spamlet received last night, “Carley” (not her real name) asks if I have any interest in a “sexy depraved pussycat.”

More deprived than depraved, I am, but that’s another matter. Anyway:

Hi stallion, this is your girl. I am Lakisha.

I want you to bonk me as a little bitch. I bleed juice with desire to feel such sex!

Don’t forget that I’m waiting with impatience for a depraved man on this site.

Again: more deprived than depraved, “Lakisha” (not your real name).

The only really amusing aspect of this item, really, was the domain name used, or feigned, by the sender: Due to a most lamentable dearth of dubious sites — only one link offered, and it wasn’t even obscured — this thing failed to break 2.5 on Spam Score, where 5 is my normal threshold and 25-30 is entirely too common. To borrow a phrase, this thing doesn’t even leak juice, let alone bleed it.


Life along these lines

I know them well, and not just because I did even better on the math portion of the SAT than the verbal portion:

(I did, however, resist the effort to reply “Cosine.”)


Lost in trans-lation

Just what are they telling us in this TV listing?

I knew the birth rate in the EU was declining, but I had no idea it might be due to something like this.

(Via Will Truman.)

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Or perhaps somewhere in between

Robert Stacy McCain offers several bits of advice to young women who might be frightened by various feminist manifestos, of which this is the last:

Get yourself a husband — Preferably one who lives in someplace like Alabama or Oklahoma. The comparatively low cost of living in rural America makes it possible to do very old-fashioned things like getting married, having children and driving pickup trucks. Also, in rural America, a woman can keep a firearm handy so she doesn’t have to worry about “sexual violence EVERY SINGLE DAY.” (Scarlett O’Hara: “I can shoot straight, if I don’t have to shoot far.”)

I know a pretty fair number of women — or, perhaps, a number of pretty, fair women — who can wield a gun with more grace and/or accuracy than I can.

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Literary inversion

Now here’s a pitch I’m surprised I hadn’t seen before:


  • Classic literature is filled with memorable male protagonists
  • These works of art contribute to patriarchal gender norms
  • Everyone grows up reading about worlds where men have the knowledge, adventure, power, and personal struggle

It doesn’t have to be that way!

“Call me Trishna,” begins their Melville rewrite. And rewriting is what they do: they take an old classic (and, of course, public-domain) novel with a male protagonist and flip the genders throughout. I spent a few bucks on their inversion of H. G. Wells’ The Invisible Woman, so to speak, and while there was an occasional failure of whatever search-and-replace scheme they were using, it’s still a very good story, and it’s not really any less believable with Grisella instead of Griffin. I would expect this to be the case with others in their ongoing series, though I expect the main audience to be the hardcore feminist for whom everything on earth is the fault of those tall guys with the dangly bits. Consider this an amusing side theater in the Gender Wars, and feel free to give the stories a try if you’re curious. (Frankly, I’m keen to see A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Woman, probably not by Joyce James, due out this summer.)

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Everdeen possibilities

Reportedly, Jennifer Lawrence is having trouble getting dates, and Francis W. Porretto suggests some reasons why:

Quite a lot of “regular” men would never dare to approach a major star like Jennifer Lawrence. Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of the men in her “peer group” — i.e., other celebrities — are users and untrustworthy philandering assholes with vacuum for brains. Fame can do that to you.

Still to be determined: whether showbiz makes assholes of people, or if assholes are somehow drawn to showbiz.

A good man will have a career of his own. How many such would be willing to abandon their careers for a shot at the affections of a celebrity? Celebrities are notoriously flighty, which is part of the reason most celebrity romances are brief and go down in flames. That’s what made Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward so noteworthy.

See also Swift, T.: “So it’s gonna be forever / Or it’s gonna go down in flames.”

Then there’s the admittedly atypical example of Carl Dean, who runs an asphalt-paving operation in Nashville; he’s been married to Dolly Parton since May 1966. Then again, Dolly was still a long way from superstardom in May 1966. Maybe that’s the trick for the J-Laws out there: fall in love before you get your Entertainment Weekly cover.

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Not wasting the pretty

The fictional “Carol Van Meter-McDougal” comes up with something with the ring of truth, or so it seems to me anyway:

[F]or generations, men objectified women by assessing value to them based on their physical appearance. During more patriarchal times, guys were the ones who determined which women were pretty. But since the feminist movement finally gave women the right to objectify ourselves according to our own standards, there are now two kinds of pretty: guy-pretty and girl-pretty.

Guy-pretty women are the kind of women whom men want to be with, and are therefore women who bear traits that men find exemplary in women, traits that are generally associated with sexuality — pouty lips, a curvy figure, and a general “come hither” look, or at least a look that doesn’t scream “I smell like cats.”

Girl-pretty women, on the other hand, are the kind of women that other women want to be like, and are therefore women bearing traits that we ladies find exemplary in ourselves, traits like a fit but not surgically enhanced body, eyes that say “confident but not arrogant,” and a general aura of “flirty but not skanky.”

On this latter scale, Jennifer Aniston is ne plus ultra, though, speaking in my capacity as a guy, I find that she doesn’t do a thing for me. (Okay, make that “she doesn’t do many things for me.”)

I concede, however, that I wouldn’t know a come-hither look if it were telegraphed, closed-captioned, and explained in Braille.

(Title from “Don’t Waste the Pretty” by Allison Iraheta. Not sure which of the two types of pretty she might be.)

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