Aug 25 2013

Beware the naval gassing

It’s deadly, it comes from the sea, it smells of fish and diesel oil -


Out of nowhere, apropos de bottes, context-free, random, Dadaist.

Jokes about farting on submarines always welcome.




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  1. 1
    John-Henry Beck

    But…for us landlocked folks, navy ships *are* rather cool to look at…

  2. 2
    Ophelia Benson

    Well, like Sarah Palin & Russia, I can see them from my house, and by god the smell is terrible.

  3. 3
    Aratina Cage

    Is Mayhew pulling a Colbert on us or something? A living work of art: the satire of the slimes?

  4. 4
    Subtract Hominem, a product of Nauseam

    So that’s what’s causing those deeeeeeeep rifts: naval gassing! It all makes perfect sense now!

  5. 5

    Aha! It wasn’t SONAR that killed the dolphins after all, it was you naval gassing FTBullies!

  6. 6

    FTBullies naval gassing caused climate change or Rebecca Watson or something…something…terrible. Won’t anyone think of the poor menz…I mean polar bears?!

  7. 7

    Naval gassing is prohibited by the Gyn/evil Convention.

    The other cons don’t have a firm anti-gassing policy in place yet.

  8. 8
    Al Dente

    Obviously Mayhew meant navel gassing. Although if she has a hole in her bellybutton which emits gass then she needs to see a surgeon (possibly even a naval surgeon) immediately.

  9. 9

    I gotta wonder: if she thinks SkepChick and A+ know nothing about social justice, then who does? Could she demonstrate this via a blog post, or link to a good discussion via a Tweet?

    Or will she just continue to stir up shit and drama?

  10. 10
    Ophelia Benson

    I will resign my commission!

  11. 11

    I gotta wonder: if she thinks SkepChick and A+ know nothing about social justice, then who does? Could she demonstrate this via a blog post, or link to a good discussion via a Tweet?


  12. 12

    Whatta maroon

  13. 13

    The only way to improve on that would have been being referred to as a bunch of “loosers”, since naval gassing is not a passive act.

  14. 14

    Didn’t she say she was done with the Skepchicks and was gonna ignore them?

  15. 15

    Your blogs suck! And are totally unimportant! Which is why I am obsessed with them!

  16. 16

    Am I showing my age by posting this?

  17. 17
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    I was in the Marines, and we had a couple of Navy guys in the barracks with us. I don’t seem to recall anything unique about their farting, so I don’t know where Mayhew is getting her information from.

  18. 18

    I can’t even form a rear admiral or poop deck joke because I can’t stop laughing about the farting on submarines xD

  19. 19

    Naval Gassing: Deeper than whale shit

  20. 20
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Is anyone going to take the moniker “Naval Gassing”?

  21. 21

    Hey, that reminds me! Though Ophelia isn’t called out by name in that Tweet, Sara just helpfully reminded me that I haven’t given to the “You Hate, Ophelia Profits!” fund in quite a while. I just fixed that, though, this donation on behalf of Sara E. Mayhew, human detritus. Way to go, Sara! I’m sure Ophelia appreciates it.

  22. 22

    I’m disappointed to learn that Mayhew’s a comics artist. You’d think someone dedicated to the arts would be a bit smarter, a bit less petty. But I guess you’d be wrong.

  23. 23

    I had some navel gassing here but I washed it out with alcohol and everything is fine.

  24. 24
    Funny Diva

    Goodbye Enemy Janine @20:

    Am I too late?

  25. 25

    @Pteryxx – August 25, 2013 at 11:28 am (UTC -7)

    Wow. So I guess in Mayhew’s mind, the only way to be a “real” activist is to be a warmonger.

  26. 26
    Ophelia Benson

    Hahaha Jane Austen made jokes about rear admirals, or rather she had that naughty Mary Crawford make them and that tedious Fanny Price disapprove of them.

  27. 27
    UnknownEric the Apostate

    You know this totally explains the smell in Annapolis…

  28. 28
    Ophelia Benson

    And thanks Tony!

    And thank you, Sara.

  29. 29
    Ronja Addams-Moring

    @Pteryxx / 11

    Oh FFS! That is the third or fourth resurrection of “Dear Muslima” that I’ve seen during the last two weeks or so. Are we supposed to believe that she has never heard about the fallacy of relative privation? *facepalm*

  30. 30
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Funny Diva, naval gassing looser; looks good on ya!

  31. 31

    She’s an interesting mélange of mean and dumb. Well, not that interesting, actually.

  32. 32
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    I don’t insult people I respect.


  33. 33
    Ophelia Benson

    I know, isn’t that just great? The summit of moral sensitivity.

  34. 34

    I’m still grappling with Surlyramics being silly trinkets while manga is high art (and this from someone who likes comics and don’t wear trinkets). It guess it’s a TED-thing.

  35. 35
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    And that she used sales of her Surlyramics to send women to TAM in years past. But it makes for a better story that she is out to destroy the scene.

  36. 36
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Ripping off Japanese culture is TED-worthy? Mayhew is apparently the Hugo Schwyzer/Tim Wise of the Manga scene.

  37. 37
    PZ Myers

    And now she’s lashing out at Surly Amy.

    @artfulscientist @SurlyAmy Must be grade school because that’s when kids stop painting on ceramic ornaments with glitter and bejewels.

    She’s a comic book artist. She has no ground to stand on when dismissing others’ art for it’s presumed ‘childishness’.

  38. 38
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    PZ, you are envious because you are incapable of “naval gassing”.

    Wait a second! Did I just insult a person I have respect for?

  39. 39

    Bleah, this gave me horrible images of the Navy using nerve gas.


    Naval gassing is no laughing matter.

    The tweet you just made fun of, however, is a laughing matter.

  40. 40
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Ok. Fess up.
    Who peed in Mayhew’s cereal?
    She rants against FtB bc ‘reasons’.
    Still waiting on those reasons.

  41. 41

    hmm, that comparison between rebecca watson and that other person is very poorly constructed. it lists random stuff about the one person, but doesn’t really say what the good women’s rights activism DOES.

    then it just asserts that rebecca watson is a whiner about “non-issues”. it doesn’t say why pointing out those issues is not good feminism, how they are not issues, or anything really. not as educational as it claims to be.

  42. 42
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    And now she’s lashing out at Surly Amy.

    She’s really petty and frankly yes, childish.

  43. 43
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    Don’t forget that her punctuation is also pretty bad. I guess they don’t teach you comma use in TED fellow self-promotion school.

  44. 44
    Ophelia Benson

    She did it on her PHONE. It’s totally unfair to criticize because PHONE. Shut up it was her PHONE.

  45. 45
    Jacob Schmidt

    Is it just me or do most of Mahew’s criticisms boil down to artistic elitism?

  46. 46
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Funny, my phone actually shows whatever I’m typing AND it allows me to correct whatever I’ve written…

  47. 47
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    What a whiny, repulsive little creep she is. And she’s not even very good at that.

  48. 48
    R Johnston

    Jacob Schmidt @45:

    Is it just me or do most of Mahew’s criticisms boil down to artistic elitism?

    More like artistic jealousy as revealed by a quick google image search for some of Mayhew’s manga artwork. Unless my google-fu fails me Mayhew does very paint-by-the-numbers, bland, uninspired work, roughly as good as the things random people post to internet message boards as examples of their own amateur manga work. Her sales numbers on amazon.com run alongside the rest of the self-published crowd whose work is only bought reluctantly by close friends.

  49. 49

    Behold the serious, TED Fellow worthy tweet by Sara Mayhew, who is talking about Surley Amy:

    says middle aged failed attempt at being an artist

    What the fuck is her problem?

  50. 50

    Her problem is that all these uppity wimminz need to shut up. Just think of her as the Uncle Ruckus of feminism.

  51. 51
    R Johnston

    Jackie @50:

    Nah. Sara Mayhew’s primary problem with Surly Amy is that Amy is actually a successful artist, one who’s able to run her own business and turn a decent profit, supporting herself on her artwork, while Sara’s manga sales are so low she can’t afford to have books printed up to offer for sale. Sara desperately wants to be a professional artist rather than a mere hobbyist, and she’s just not good enough. Sara hates all uppity women, but the special degree of animosity she holds for Surly Amy is rooted in a more basic jealousy.

  52. 52
    Brian E

    Whilst naval gassing is a problem, it’s naval degassing we all must fear.

  53. 53

    @ yazikus, that was my thought exactly. Is she drunk tweeting? This looks a lot like drunk tweeting.

  54. 54

    Hey I was already annoyed by SM before it was cool, back when she was interviewed on the SGU…

  55. 55

    Naval gassing taken to the next level


    Bum boats!

  56. 56

    R. Johnston,
    Maybe. I’m not familiar with Sara’s art. I do know that my fine art professors got onto students who had, as one prof put it,”Hulks and shit” in their sketchbooks. They were adamant that comic art was dreck and not to be seen in their classes. You don’t even want to know about the ear beating you got if they caught you drawing cats! (Yeah, that was me.)
    I disagree. I don’t think art should be so snooty or easily categorized, but I can say that Sara has no room to criticize. What she does is considered on par with what you find on cereal boxes and just below greeting cards by alot of “serious artists”.

  57. 57
    Anthony K

    Is it just me or do most of Mahew’s criticisms boil down to artistic elitism?

    That and her bizarre pride in being born at a later date than others.

    I believe the skeptical response to that is to giver a head pat, a juice box, and then put her down for her nap.

  58. 58
    Al Dente

    Sorbus @55

    Bum boats were small boats which peddled provisions and, er, services to ships anchored in a harbor. Back in the bad old days, when ships were made of wood and men were made of steel, sailors were not allowed to leave their ships in harbor for fear they’d desert. So bumboats would bring out stuff to sell to the sailors.

    /historical pedant

  59. 59

    She’s only on Level 3 of the BlockBot, yet she is one of the few who persistently spams conference hashtags. The only others polluting #skepchickcon were Level 1. I think someone deserves an upgrade.

  60. 60
    Al Dente

    kaboobie @59

    But she’s a TED speaker. What will Tim Farley think of your suggestion?

  61. 61


    I think it’s pretty clear that the artist had other ‘bum boats’ in mind… Quite fitting, as Southampton has often been described as a shit-hole.

  62. 62
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    I don’t know from art, but Surly Amy has been selling enough product for years to help fund dozens of people going to TAM on top of making a living at it. Anyone who would mock that really deserves the title “dumbest person on Twitter.”

  63. 63
    Jacob Schmidt

    That and her bizarre pride in being born at a later date than others.

    Heh. Of only that were true. I’d be one pf the most respected around here.

  64. 64
    Ophelia Benson

    Damn right, Joe.

  65. 65

    I just read her Twitter feed. W.t.f? OK I am seriously juvenile. I am 40 and I will never, ever grow up. I read fantasy books and play video games and I probably will until I die. One of my best friends is 21 year old kid. I swear like a sailor (ha ha, I mean navally).

    But her tweets are beyond even my advanced ability to handle childish crap. And her insults are just… wtf level stupid. Even the ones she managed not to fuck up. And from a fucking comic artist? The mind boggles.

    Who let her give a Ted talk, anyway? Whoever it was, I seriously hope they are re-evaluating their career path. Otherwise I’m asking that idiot to let me give a TED talk.

  66. 66
    Jacob Schmidt

    Who let her give a Ted talk, anyway? Whoever it was, I seriously hope they are re-evaluating their career path. Otherwise I’m asking that idiot to let me give a TED talk.

    Honestly? They probably would. The bar for TED isn’t that high.

  67. 67
    Allan Frost

    I learned from Das Boot that naval gassing was necessary to get rid of pubic lice. I don’t think that was the metaphor she was attempting to make.

  68. 68

    Honestly? They probably would. The bar for TED isn’t that high.

    I’m sending them my manifesto first thing in the morning!

    I composed it in a series of tweets from my iPhone.

  69. 69
    Aratina Cage

    Slight correction:

    She’s only on Level 3 of the BlockBot

    Was Level 3 ( https://twitter.com/aratina/statuses/303051343063560193 )

    Is Level 2, these days. ;) Was downgraded somewhere along the way after her umpteenth tweet about how horrible FTSkepchickAB+ is.

  70. 70
    G Pierce (Was ~G~)

    #67 Well FTB is trying to rid atheism of its embarrassing problem of itchy misogyny, racism and bullying. Metaphor works for me!

  71. 71
    Funny Diva

    Al Dente @58

    Do you ever get called Buttercup, dear little Buttercup? [/G&S nerd]

  72. 72

    Of all the aspects of this that don’t involve actual threats, Sara is the one that irritates the most just because she is so unrelentingly …. petty and mean. Surely her twitter followers who don’t have strong feelings either way are just bored of it?

  73. 73
    R Johnston

    Al Dente @60:

    But she’s a TED speaker. What will Tim Farley think of your suggestion?

    Well, She is listed as a 2009 TED fellow on the org web page, but there’s no indication of any TED talk that I find anywhere; no video, no transcript, not even description. There’s not a description of anything she did for TED, much less any talk she might have given. There’s only a short autobiographical video in which she talks some about what she hopes to accomplish, no indication of any actual accomplishment. If she gave any sort of a TED talk it was the least notable one ever.

  74. 74

    Pteryxx @11:

    Aaaahh, that makes sense. In Mayhew’s world, you’re only defending women’s rights if you criticize religion for being harsh on women, and argue against genital cutting.

    So, if we agree with Mayhew’s logic, Rebecca Watson is a women’s rights activist.

  75. 75
    R Johnston


    If we agree with Mayhew’s logic

    Then, having removed our common sense and according to the principle of explosion, up is down, blue is yellow, the Flintstones is a documentary, and I can have both tea and no tea in my inventory at the same time.

  76. 76
    bad Jim

    There’s an old joke about a navel destroyer being a hula hoop with a nail through it.

  77. 77
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    I guess I’m in a minority saying I actually like(d) her work?

    What gets me, though, is that Amy did so fucking much for Sarah. Sarah did have a spike in sales a long while back because, in return for fucking MODELING Surlyramics, Amy promoted her work. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you… Sarah may very well have had enough money at one time to actually publish books n’ shit, and it would been thanks to Amy.

    What the fuck happened?

    And no, I don’t think whatever happened actually had anything to do with Amy. Amy is still, as she has always been, epically awesome. I want to know what the fuck happened with Sarah.

  78. 78

    Beware the ad hydroeffluvium fallacy, Sara. It barely makes a point of hurt personal feelings, let alone anything subtlety profound. Occam’s razor points to projection and there’s a pill you can take before a swim that fixes that, just sayin’.

  79. 79

    @ Nate, I thought her work was ok. Not great, but really only because I’m not a huge fan of that style. But it certainly doesn’t look bad to me.

    But if you draw cartoons and then shit on other people’s artwork as unsophisticated (as if that were a bad thing), then you are a fucking asshole. And fart jokes might get made at your expense.

  80. 80
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    Oh, I’m not arguing against that, leni. I agree 100%, there. I was just saying that I actually liked her work.

  81. 81
    AJ Milne

    Ya know, I find it both a bit scary and a bit impressive how quickly the umbilicus hygiene jokes got mined out, here.

    (I had one, too, I swear… but then hadda board a train… Got back on 3G, and it’s like, sorry, dude. Bit’s done. Move along. Curse you all!)

  82. 82

    That’s cool, Nate. Don’t feel bad about that. As a person who loves art, loves that people do it even when their work isn’t my thing, and generally dislikes assholes, it would bum me out if people insulted her work the way she insulted Amy’s work.

    She earned a few fart jokes, but her art is innocent :) At least visually, I have no idea about the actual content. I’m guessing if it came from her brain it’s as full of shit as she is, but who knows. Pablo Picasso was, after all, an asshole of epic proportion and I still like many of his paintings.

  83. 83
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    More like artistic jealousy …

    Well, I’ll admit to that. But in the “I seriously wished I was that good you rock” kind of jealous.
    It’s the same way I’m jealous of Caine.
    BUt yeah, artistic snobbery. And it is something you most often get from people who draw towards people who craft, especially if that crafting is in an area that is traditionally female like sewing, needlework, embroidery, making jewelry, knitting…

  84. 84
    Bjarte Foshaug

    And of course as a True Skeptic™ SM isn’t constricted by things like evidence or factual accuracy. That’s why she’s free to pull factual claims (“Rebecca has never raised funds herself for TAM“, “Dr. Buzzo’s” own account of the “upskirt photo” incident was definitely true, etc.) out of the same bodily orifice that produces the naval gassing.

  85. 85

    I’m not accusing Sara Mayhew of insincerity. To my knowledge, she believes every ugly, spiteful, untruthful thing she says. I do however, think that her unrelenting petty attacks against Amy Davis-Roth, a woman who, over the years has raised tens of thousands of dollars for the JREF, are the reason that Sara has a guaranteed speaking gig at The Amazing Meeting. At TAM 2012, DJ Grothe personally endorsed at least some of the harassment that drove Amy out of the conference. TAM 2012 was also the one where at least two women were assaulted, and the one in which, perhaps coincidentally, the anti-harassment policy was unpublished. I think that DJ’s contempt for Amy and for those of us who support “so-called far-left feminists” leads him to personally reward those who attack his “enemies,” no matter how untruthful, hypocritical, or malicious. In contrast, Dr. Pamela Gay, who merely mentioned harassment at conventions in her TAM talk, probably wasn’t invited to TAM 2013, and for all I know may even be blacklisted. (I don’t know if Dr. Gay turned them down, but I know she wasn’t a speaker at TAM 2013.) I am certain that if Phil Plait were still JREF president, Sara might still be attacking Amy (if indeed her attacks are sincere), but that those attacks wouldn’t guarantee her spot at the TAM lectern.

    I wonder how 85-year-old James Randi feels about Sara’s latest insult of Amy’s age? I wonder what Randi feels about his legacy of his foundation’s endorsement of this disgraceful behavior?

  86. 86

    “She’s really petty and frankly yes, childish.”

    That’s telling it like it is.

    I just love B&W :-)

  87. 87
    Ophelia Benson

    Kelly @ 85 – I’m pretty sure Pamela Gay said publicly that she wasn’t invited to TAM2013. I think she said it on Twitter.

  88. 88

    Out of nowhere, apropos de bottes, context-free, random, Dadaist.

    As we say it in Swedish: speaking of boats.
    And I wonder if that escatological eruption couldn’t be labeled Doodooist?

  89. 89
    CaitieCat, getaway driver

    Maybe she meant “naval gaussing”, and removed the U because she’d heard that words with Us in them were British spellings?

    Although I’m not sure what naval gaussing is, there is such a thing as naval degaussing, so I assume it could be done the other way.

  90. 90

    Now you guys made me look! Yep, that’s some seriously bland, average art right there.

  91. 91
    Jacob Schmidt

    Gonna have to side with NateHavens on this one. Her art is pretty good, at least from where I’m sitting.

  92. 92

    Ya know, I find it both a bit scary and a bit impressive how quickly the umbilicus hygiene jokes got mined out, here.

    And yet nobody mentioned:

    “She was only the admiral’s daughter but her naval base was full of discharged seamen.”

  93. 93
    R Johnston

    Re: SM’s art:

    competent lining of characters; characters are kept pretty simple, without great detail; background and other non-character details are sorely lacking; and the color palette, when used, is pretty bland. There’s not a lot of creativity or attention to detail there, though there is, as far as I can tell, basic technical competence. And while a quick search isn’t pulling up a lot of dialogue, I have a tough time imagining SM’s dialogue to be anything better than insipid drivel as per all her other writing and speaking.

    I feel pretty confident in my evaluation of SM as being insanely jealous of Surly Amy, both in terms of success and talent.

  94. 94
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Who cares about SM’s art?
    Seriously, that’s really unimportant for the topic (unless she draws comics which involve naval gassing). Those tweets would be petty and mean just from everybody, whether they cannot draw a recognizable house (i.e. me) or whether they are actual artists with big expositions.

    But it’s true that her own arrogance make this all the more funny

  95. 95

    I feel pretty confident in my evaluation of SM as being insanely jealous of Surly Amy, both in terms of success and talent.

    I sorta doubt that. I think it’s more about snobbery and hubris. Success jealousy maybe, but I don’t think the anime snob in Sara gives even two tiny shits about crafts.

    No, I think she’s probably just a snob.

    I’ve been resisting the urge say it, but fuck it. I know a person who is a pretty well established illustrator for graphic novels. If you read graphic novels, play games or watch horror movies you’ve probably encountered his work, You know what he does? Goes to cons and is nice to people. Encourages younger artists. Offers help and critique. Goes to cons and sits for hours signing books until his hand hurts.

    You know what he doesn’t do? Shit on people whose art he doesn’t like. In public. For petty reasons. While expecting it to help his career.

    He could, but he doesn’t. Because he isn’t a stupid asshole.

  96. 96
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    Sorry, Gilliel. You’re absolutely right, of course.

    That I like Sarah’s work doesn’t change the fact that she’s obviously a petty, snobbish, possibly jealous blowhard.

  97. 97
    Jacob Schmidt

    Seriously, that’s really unimportant for the topic (unless she draws comics which involve naval gassing).

    Being half way decent at drawing is likely her basis for such snobbery. It also reeks a little of hypocrisy for people to say “You suck at art” to condemn her fir saying “you suck at art.”

    As fer her shithead behaviour, well, that’s all on her, art or no art.

  98. 98
    Marcus Ranum

    what naval gaussing is

    US Naval Research Labs have been experimenting for decades in developing electromagnetic cannon (“gauss guns” or “rail guns”) perhaps that’s what she meant.

    I sometimes get incoherent like that when I post, but usually it’s because I’ve had most of a bottle of wine, or I’m whiffing nitrous oxide, or something. It’s possible to reach high degrees of incomprehensibility when you’re tripping; I suggest staying away from twitter in those circumstances. Speaking from personal experience.

  99. 99

    @ Marcus Ranum: Links or it didn’t happen.

    Er, I mean, I’m hoping that what you tweeted was outright hilarious. :D

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