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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Twitter Blocking

Has blocking people on twitter become the modern equivalent of "shunning?"

Some of the manosphereans and neo-reactionaries are upset because they are finding themselves literally shut out of feminist and liberal conversations. Cuz censorship! Freeze peach!

What kind of activism will they be able to do if they are no longer allowed to intrude on or "re-tweet" their "enemies"? How will they fight the Blue Pill now? There are even "feminist blockbots" out there that will automatically block social undesirables them.

"I don't get it," one little shitbot tweets plaintively, if a bit disingenuously. "I don't block anyone." Indeed not, since provoking people young women via his smartphone is his raison d'etre.

At least I don't have to worry about it: I've never twittered, and never will. I don't even have a smartphone (to the endless derisive amusement of my students). As far as I am concerned, people already have far too many ways to communicate with me, and I already have far too many ways to get myself in trouble. La Strega + twitter account + 2 martinis = hella trouble.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Nobody Knows

Nobody knows, nobody can know, what goes on between couples. Curious onlookers, we may wonder what keeps them together, or what drives them apart, or whether they are truly as happy as they purport to be, or which party loves more, but we cannot know anything more than what they choose to reveal in their actions and words. Often the people involved don't know themselves! I've read that, while fifteen percent of married Americans admit to having "cheated" on their partners, the majority of these "adulterers" maintain their marriages are "happy." And not even swans, who are said to mate for life, are entirely monogamous. 

Of course, some people can only screw up their courage to leave an unhappy relationship by hopping, like anxious frogs, onto the next lily pad. And some people engineer spectacularly hurtful breakups because they enjoy creating drama, or they need to force the other person to leave them. And sometimes they just can't help falling in love with someone else, or they're in the process of becoming someone different than the person who once swore, in all sincerity, to be loving and true 'til death dost them part.

Shit happens.

I've been cheated on more than once, and nothing is more wretched. I've howled at the moon and torn my hair over the unfairness of it. Years later, I could start to acknowledge the role I had played in these dysfunctional relationships, and it was both humbling and healing. And now, many years later, I am mostly grateful, because the breakups that ensued pushed me on down the path of my own personal journey. And I must say, I am happy where I've wound up, so I guess it was all worth it...

When it comes to matters of the heart (or loins) I can only say this:

The older I get, the less judgmental I can be. Life is complicated and messy, and nobody knows what goes on behind closed doors.  [cue Charlie Rich]


Friday, August 22, 2014

Zoe Quinn aka Chelsea Van Valkenburg

UPDATE: I came back to this blog after a few days off the internet, and was surprised to see the number of comments. Zoe Quinn is, to me, a complete "non-story" except insofar as yet another young woman being the target of online harassment. I'll admit I am not into games, and I'm in no position to judge whether or not she wrote a good one, but that is the only question anyone should care about. It's absurd to care a fig whether, or with whom, Ms. Quinn cheated on her boyfriend. Substitute the name "Tyler" for "Zoe," and imagine Zoe were the angry ex who had thrown up a website for the purpose of humiliating him. You can be sure "Zoe" would still be the target of angry, jealous little shitbots like Matt Forney. 
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So apparently Matt Forney's latest "doxing" victim is Zoe Quinn, a talented young female game designer who had the misfortune of having a vindictive ex. And so it goes...

Thursday, August 21, 2014

36 Things Wrong With American Women (Once More With Feeling)


My favorite line? "They are obsessed with cupcakes. An American woman gets satisfaction from eating tiny baked goods." (That's cuz the smaller they are, the more she can eat!)

I'm wrapping up the end of the quarter and looking forward to a few weeks off, so I decided to check in on how Roosh is doing in his campaign to garner 50,000 Youtube subscribers.

So how many of these things are wrong with you, My Gentle Readers? Because I hate to admit it, but Roosh has pretty much identified my worst flaws: I'm certainly fat and sarcastic despite knowing full well it is a major masculine turnoff. I'll even cop to wearing flip flops in public (though not at work). I believe "a house is not a home" without a couple of feathered or furry critters mucking about (fortunately my mate agrees). That I am hopelessly "addicted to brain dead entertainment" and going on and on about the trivia of my life is painfully self-evident by this blog.

On the other hand: I do know how to cook. Foodie pretensions? Not really. Even a pencil eraser would be delicious to me if it were sauteed in enough butter and garlic. I never say "filthy things in bed" unless I stub my toe on the bed post. And I've never claimed that I was doing anything "for the first time" unless, of course, I was.

Roosh is recycling one of his "greatest hits" as he ventures into the brave new world of "vlogging," and there's nothing new here for any of his faithful fans. Believe it or not, this is an abbreviated version of Roosh's original post "42 Things Wrong With American Women."  

So far, reviews are mixed, with even fervent fans remarking on Roosh's "wooden" delivery. However, one commenter, The Fuzz, wants more-more-more

ONLY 36? Im looking forward to this being an ongoing series. Brilliant nonetheless, should be going viral. Just extend this to Canadian girls, especially Torontonians.

And Australian. And German. And French. And -- oh the hell with it, we know that women are all the same. Because globalization. And also their nature.

See also: "42 Things Wrong With American Men"

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Giving Away My Age

I'm trying, but old habits die hard.

Trolling For A Living?

I once had a boyfriend I felt pretty serious about, but was frustrated with because he never had enough time for me. Part of the problem was that when he wasn't working, he was tied up with his mysterious friend, "Steve." They often spent their weekends engaging in various male-bonding activities (i.e., drinking copious amounts of beer and smoking prodigious quantities of pot), yet in the two years we were together, I was never introduced to "Steve." 

There was a fairly elaborate back-story with "Steve," and I remember many of the details. He had a sick mother whose house he shared, kept a high-strung miniature Doberman Pinscher my boyfriend detested, and worked sporadically as a painter (and therefore required my boyfriend's assistance moving furniture at odd times). Although "Steve" was a depressed, rather needy friend who required an awful lot of TLC, what could my boyfriend do? They'd been best friends since high school; they were "brothers from another mother."

You can see where this is going, can't you.

I'm not the jealous type, being so narcissistic oblivious that it rarely occurs to me someone would want to be unfaithful to me, but it finally became apparent that my erstwhile bf was a two-timer.

But I had to know for sure.

So I set up a sting operation wherein I invented a fictional character of my own; we'll call her "Delilah." Of course "Delilah" was tailored to my boyfriend's specifications and had all the attributes I lacked: She was a sultry brunette with just enough avoirdupois who was considering breast reduction surgery because her 36GG "girls" were a physical burden, not to mention a distraction, in her quest for Mr. Right. She was looking for a sensitive long-haired poet-type to take her to art films and alt-rock venues. And let's see, what else..? Oh yeah, she loved to cook.

I cast my bait and waited. Within 24 hours, I reeled him in. And then I played him a bit, just for sport, and when I'd had my "fun," I cut the line.

And that was the end of that!

Years later, I deigned to re-friend my ex (platonically) because I have a nature that is, paradoxically, both vengeful and forgiving. (And also, I needed someone to accompany me to indie movies and alt rock venues.) One night, we were sharing drinks when he began to reminisce about this incredible woman he'd once met named Delilah. They'd never met in person, their correspondence having been mysteriously and abruptly terminated -- but he still longed for her, still wondered what if...?

Emboldened by my second martini, I bit the bullet and confessed my hoax, prepared to endure his righteous wrath over my deception. But my ex wasn't angry at all. He wasn't angry because he didn't believe me.

And flash-forward ten years later, he still talks about Delilah, and I still remind him she was my creative "product" (a figment, to be sure, of both our imaginations) -- and he still doesn't believe me.

I confess all this to explain why I have a serious fondness for those pranksters who troll the manosphere sites. Or maybe I just want to believe that some of these guys are trolls. The Internet allows all kinds of virtual realities to flourish. And I've had enough exposure to the "manosphere" that I'd like to see what I could pull off. 

If I was able to "play" a truck driver with an eighth grade education IRL, I'll bet I could play a gun-totin', bible-thumpin' casserole-bakin' red hot mama with a pit bull stashed in her apartment and a secret vocation to... wait, I don't want to give it all away yet! Suffice to say that only true Christian gentlemen would be allowed to comment on my website -- y'know, the kind who know how to treat a lady!

Well, someone has to fill the void that Sunshine Mary left. The Manosphere needs the crazy ladies. Just remember: It's all about sex! And who knows, maybe I could become so successful that I could retire to, say, Mexico, and surround myself with dancing cabana boys, just like Ava Gardner in Night of the Iguana.

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And maybe Richard Burton would stop by now and then.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

No Dogs (Or Cats) Allowed?

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Am I discriminating against crazy cat ladies?

My partner and I rarely argue. (The dynamic between us is more along the lines that I kvetch, and she jollies me out of my ill temper.) I joke that there's no point in arguing because she's always right, and she placidly agrees -- in fact, she has a bumper sticker to that effect -- but it's no joke really: She usually is. I may have the "book-larnin," but she's got the practical "School of Life" smarts. So when we do disagree, I have learned to consider her point of view very carefully (and then proceed to do whatever-the-hell I want).

And right now we are arguing about cats and dogs. Not the relative merits of the two species, of course, since we both love all kinds of animals, including bunnies, burros, pygmy goats, and geckos, but whether or not to allow prospective tenants of my rental property to keep pets.

Although my partner is imploring me to put a "no pets" clause into the lease, I am loathe to deny anyone a companion animal (nor deny any animal the chance of a good home). OK, she says, but at least specify "no cats." She has a point: Cats are said to be more destructive than dogs when it comes to carpets. But what about neutered cats? I know my readers, no doubt being veritable cat hoarders themselves, will have something to say about this, so do weigh in and educate me. I've never kept a cat myself.

Before I had a dog, I had my parrot, but I quickly learned not to let her out of her cage unsupervised: In less than five minutes, she took a four inch square chunk out of the cutting board. That was twenty years ago. Do you think the landlord has noticed by now?

Of course, children are potentially more destructive than either cats or dogs. I can't very well turn away renters because they have children, can I? And boyfriends or husbands who take their anger out by punching the drywall are more common than you might think. One guy recently told me about a model tenant whose boyfriend set fire to the building in a fit of pique. Well, I guess that's what insurance is for, and I can't very well confine my market to childless celibates!

I'm a newbie landlord, and full of doubts. I certainly don't trust my own judgment when it comes to assessing a stranger's character. I could write a tragicomedy about my disastrous history of sketchy room-mates.

I have a lot more experience as a renter than as an owner, and although I never intentionally damaged my landlord's property, I wreaked more than my fair share of havoc. Now all those episodes are coming back to haunt me:

There was the time I decided to dye a dress crimson in the bathtub. No amount of Bon Ami and elbow grease could restore that tub to its former pristine porcelain glory. For the remainder of my lease, my bathroom resembled a murder scene.

Then there was the time I was living in a poorly insulated shotgun flat in Milwaukee. When the temperatures plunged to forty below, I had the bright idea of sealing up the doors and windows with duct tape. By spring, that duct tape was, well, a permanent fixture.

I cracked a number of glass refrigerator shelves by placing hot pans on them, and replacing those shelves -- if replacements could be found -- isn't trivial. I also scorched a beautiful butcher block the same way. I once shattered a bidet by dropping a bottle of Clinique astringent in it. One Easter I was dying eggs in my living room and knocked over a big bowl of green dye and vinegar onto the brand new, cream-colored wall-to-wall carpet. I worked on that stain every day for a month: It would disappear, only to later resurface, again and again, like some ominous message from beyond the grave in a horror movie. And I even managed to set fire to the wall of my massage studio in a freak candle accident (I was able to smother the flames by whipping the sheet off my startled client, a clear violation of Washington State "draping" regulations).

Other than that, I was "the perfect tenant." Well, at least, I usually managed to pay my rent on time.

I've decided to get a property manager to vet prospective tenants. I haven't a clue how to run a credit history, criminal background check, or draw up a proper lease. It's well worth paying a professional for these services, at least initially.

As for the "no pet" clause? For now, I'll go with "One small dog allowed; no cats or ferrets please," and hope David Futrelle won't hold it against me. 

Meanwhile, I leave you with this video making the Facebook rounds. I have already watched it three times today, and I'll probably watch it three more times tonight, because it makes me so dog-gone happy. Dogs just wanna have fun!