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[Lounge #386]

This is the lounge. You can discuss anything you want, but you will do it kindly. The tardigrade would like its tummy tickled.

Status: Heavily Moderated; Previous thread

Comments

  1. says

    Not that I want to defend the “fuckwit DJs from 2Day FM”, but why blame them rather than the “fierce and unforgiving media assault in the UK”?

    Easy. They broke the law by recording what the nurses said without obtaining their consent, and they broke the law by posing as another person to gain private medical information. To repeat, they broke the law. And a woman is dead because of that.

  2. Beatrice says

    Giliell,

    They made a bad joke, yeah, but really, not the end of the world bad joke.

    Honestly, I don’t count pranks as jokes. More often than not, they are meant to humiliate. I don’t find that particularly funny. Or at all.

    If people weren’t all up over this freakish royal cult it would and could have remained like that. Stupid joke, don’t do it again.

    Or someone in a fragile mental state could find the humiliation too much to bear. Not because she may be feeling any particular attachment to the “freakish royal cult”, but because the prank targeting the royals made it high profile. Made her humiliation from something little to something very public.

    So, she wasn’t attacked endlessly because it was about the royals?

    Ah, but you said that she killed herself because she “failed the royals”. Very different. The public reaction was ridiculous, but that is not her fault. Being hurt by it is not her fault. She might have killed herself out of shame for failing the royals – it’s possible, but I think it is much more probable she was triggered by the humiliation.

  3. says

    Oh sure, they were fuckwits doing stupid and illegal pranks, and I don’t in any way condone them. But why would that be enough motive for suicide? The howling in the UK media is surely an important part of the picture, and I do suspect that the whole royal angle is relevant to that. If it had been some other celebrity, whether JK Rowling or David Beckham, the outrage would barely flicker in comparison.

  4. Beatrice says

    I missed this one:

    You’re suggesting that anything like that would have happened if it were even some other celebrity, let’s say somebody posing as Brad Pitt if Angelina Jolie were in hospital?

    I don’t know, possibly.
    People have a different reaction to different kinds of celebrities, but shitstorms happen related to Angelina Jolie at least as much as related to the royals. It’s ridiculous in any case.

  5. says

    beatrice

    Ah, but you said that she killed herself because she “failed the royals”. Very different. The public reaction was ridiculous, but that is not her fault. Being hurt by it is not her fault. She might have killed herself out of shame for failing the royals – it’s possible, but I think it is much more probable she was triggered by the humiliation.

    No, you’re right and I was wrong there, I never wanted to make it look like I blamed her.
    Her death is tragic, but I still think we should take a look at a culture that acts like this after a stupid prank. Looking at the radio DJs and just blaming them is a handy shortcut with quick and easy culprits that leaves the bigger problem untouched.
    I despise such pranks, there are very, very few that are funny and those are usually when the persona who is calling is the one who’s being made fun of, not the person who is called.

  6. John Morales says

    rorschach @499, not quite, but sort of.

    Earlier, Jonathan Holmes weighed in: A bit of fun that flouted the rules.

    Extract:

    But ironically, the fact that 2Day FM’s Hot 30 show is pure entertainment is what will get them off, because Code 2 applies exclusively to ‘news and current affairs programs’. That includes most of the talkback programs on the AM band; it doesn’t include the jolly japers on FM. For some bizarre reason, there is no obligation on entertainment programs to respect the privacy of those they broadcast about.

    Then there’s the Surveillance Devices Act. In New South Wales, and most other states, it’s illegal to record someone in a situation that they would expect to be private – and that emphatically includes telephone calls – and then broadcast the result without their consent. Presumably, 2Day FM believes that the law doesn’t apply to recording someone who is speaking in another jurisdiction, even if the recording is made in NSW. Whether they are right, I have no idea.

    What all this amounts to is simple enough. There are already rules and codes in place which, had they been applied as commonsense dictates they should have been, would have prevented this particular prank call from being broadcast. The crucial missing element was informed consent, by the nurses or their patient. It should have been obvious from the start that such consent would never have been forthcoming.

  7. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    Oh sure, they were fuckwits doing stupid and illegal pranks, and I don’t in any way condone them. But why would that be enough motive for suicide? – Alethea H. “Crocoduck” Kuiper-Belt

    The pranksters are claiming they didn’t expect to be put through, that it was “obvious” it was a prank, blah, blah, blah. But their conversation with Jacintha Saldanha was broadcast by the station, then picked up and rebroadcast worldwide. You don’t think the feeling that the whole world is laughing at you could be motive enough for suicide?

  8. John Morales says

    Nick, from my link above:

    What seemed simply absurd, from this distance, must have made humiliating listening for the poor ward nurse. It is not she, however, who has so tragically taken her own life. It is the nurse who put the call through to the ward.

    In the recording, we only hear Nurse Saldanha say, “Oh yes, just hold on ma’am”. So (assuming that her death was suicide, and that it was related to the hoax call – assumptions that everyone is making, but for which, so far, we have no concrete evidence) she was hardly held up to ridicule by the actual call.

  9. Beatrice says

    Giliell,

    Who was supposed to be the butt of the joke? Not the royals, but whoever took the call and, as the pranksters hoped, took them seriously. Could they have expected the nurse to commit suicide? Of course not. But they could have expected a shitstorm on the side of the public. I mean, they did it precisely because that kind of thing makes them popular /notorious, right?

    I think the two of us disagree about what the bigger problem is. For me, it’s entertainment industry that lives off of people’s humiliation, as well as the public that revels in it. The worship of royals comes second to that, for me.

    I fully agree that the UK media and public hold a huge responsibility for what happened, but I feel really uncomfortable with pranksters’ actions being dismissed as just a bad joke.

  10. ImaginesABeach says

    Well, the snowstorm that was expected to provide 3 – 6 inches of snow has dropped 11 inches of snow on us.

  11. opposablethumbs says

    Azkyroth #467

    Speaking as someone who actually has an impaired understanding of nonverbal communication, the response to having difficulty understanding someone’s signals is anxiety, frustration, and sometimes existential panic, ESPECIALLY when they are verbally and nonverbally communicating incompatible or actually opposite things, not “okay, I’ll just go ahead then.”

    Thank you, Azkyroth. It’s particularly valuable to have that from someone who genuinely knows what this is like from the inside. The MRA-type fauna wailing about “but but but mixed signals how’s a poor boy to get it right” choose not to distinguish between “find it difficult to read” and “can’t be bothered to even try and read”
    .
    cicely, thank you for the hugs. Now that I’ve stepped up my painkillers to the max. recommended dose and min. recommended intervals I feel a lot better than I did. So I’ll just continue doing that until the tooth can be nuked from orbit tomorrow. Note to self: BUY MOAR DRUGS NAO.
    .
    Portia, hope the eye is OK. And I see what you mean about the gender roles thing …

    When you’re the only woman doing an activity, it’s easy to feel horribly conspicuous. You just know that people will be watching you – and they do – and mentally categorising you as the representative of your entire sex. You’re not just another student/player/whatever, you’re the WOMAN student/player etc. I happened to spend my last years of secondary school in a previously-all-boys-school that had just gone mixed. There were only half a dozen girls that first year, and I was the only one taking sciences in that particular year. Sitting in physics class surrounded by boys, none of whom wanted to partner me for practicals because they were all too embarrassed. Knowing that if I dropped something or couldn’t get something to fit first time everyone would be noticing … Argh.

  12. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    John Morales@506,

    So, the broadcast merely showed that she was fooled by what is in retrospect an obvious prank, and as a result violated medical ethics. Nothing at all to get upset about, eh?

  13. carlie says

    If it’s a crime to reveal personal medical information (is it in the UK?), it ought to also be a criminal offense to knowingly ask for medical information you know you don’t have the right to. Sort of like how trying to hire someone else to hurt somebody for you is also a crime. It’s entrapment, right?

    Drive-by – I apologize for anyone having troubles I haven’t noticed, but I hope everyone is good or about to do better. (begone, bad tooth!) It’s finals week. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but it contains a huge list of “you haven’t done the shopping for christmas yet” smack in the middle of it. Gaaa. At least everyone in my family is used to getting their gifts in the mail sometime around new year’s.

  14. Ogvorbis:300-year-old Wood Elf says

    Hello, all. I’m on my new winter schedule which means today is Tuesday.

    Another shitty night. I’m remembering more and more details, unwanted details, about what I did to her. And I still can’t remember her name and it makes me feel like slime. Or worse.

    Anyway.

    ::gibbers in terror and hides under the desk::

    Bloody hell. That sounds beyond horrible. Mind-bendingly nightmarishly horrible.

    ‘scuse me while I gibber quietly here under the desk …

    Sorry. Next time I’ll drop a trigger warning.

    an intelligence of four

    My intelligence is FOUR?? OUTRAGEOUS!!

    No. It was an AD&D fighter with really good strength, lots of charisma, and tree stump intelligence. So it would have been “My smart four? Wrong!” And even that would have required a saving throw of four or better on a d20 because there were more than two words in a sentence. It was a very challenging character.

    ====

    Portia:

    Yikes. Glad it good. Porsche okay is good.

    Great. Now I’m channeling Blug. Aargh!

    “Can you stop a speeding bullet?”

    “Yeah. Once.”

    Pause.

    “Shuddup! It hurts like hell!”

    AJ:

    Get better fast. Lotsa rest. And yes, I do still feel sympathy even though you went out snowboarding. Get some guafinisen (sp?) for the chest congestion/cough. When I had pneumonia, my doctor told me that it is better than 90% of the prescription stuff for chest congestion and cough. And the name brand stuff lasts 12 hours.

    So it turns out I have two finals tomorrow

    All three of Boy’s finals are totally on line. Psshaw! That’s not a final. Damn kids these days. Muttermuttermuttermutter!

    Fuuuck. The smell of tripe. I think I might puke.

    [channeling my father] It builds Character!

  15. chigau (無) says

    strange gods before me ॐ rational skeptic seeking truth for friendship, possibly more #498

    How about people who refer to their pets as their children because some people find that creepy?

    That’s just weird.

  16. Matt Penfold says

    If it’s a crime to reveal personal medical information (is it in the UK?), it ought to also be a criminal offense to knowingly ask for medical information you know you don’t have the right to. Sort of like how trying to hire someone else to hurt somebody for you is also a crime. It’s entrapment, right?

    It is a crime. The Data Protection Act makes it a criminal offence to obtain, or attempt to obtain, information covered under the act (personal information). Medical records are included in the act, and since medical records are considered especially sensitive data, it is considered a greater offence than a standard breach of the act.

    Of course, the fact those who breached the act live in Australia complicates the issue.

  17. Matt Penfold says

    Also, I would have never guessed one could make Nathan Fillion look so HUGE with simple camerawork. He seemed pretty much like an average size guy in Firefly.

    Sir Ian McKellern in an interview in the Observer yesterday was saying one way they made him look tall and Martin Freeman look short in The Hobbit was to have him (McKellern) look at Freeman’s belt in the scenes they did together, and for Freeman to look at the top of McKellern’s hat.

  18. says

    Sir Ian McKellern in an interview in the Observer yesterday was saying one way they made him look tall and Martin Freeman look short in The Hobbit was to have him (McKellern) look at Freeman’s belt in the scenes they did together, and for Freeman to look at the top of McKellern’s hat.

    That makes sense.

  19. Matt Penfold says

    Although you mean McKellen. Tpyos be praised!

    Yeah, I did. Lazy of me not to check the spelling.

  20. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    AJ

    Seriously, that’s just a crappy deal. Pain just because suck it up/shitty double standards. Hope it gets better fast, anyway.

    Thanks for the understanding. I woke up this morning with an eye that was way less sore and red. Progress!

    What’s weirder than the “causing each other pain for the fun of it” is how warlike I realized it is. One of the teenagers who was playing had what looked for all the world like an Army-issue ammo-vest, complete with “side-arm” and grenades. Grenades. And apparently, there’s such a thing as a paint landmine. It creeped me the fuck out how very realistic they attempt to make it.

    Re: snowboarding. I’m quite the amateur skier, but I do love it. I tried to learn to snowboard once, but spent most of the time falling on my butt so I eventually just rented skis and put my snowboard back in the car. Last winter I did one run down one mountain in Colorado and it was glorious. I can’t wait to do it again someday. Hope your cold feels better soon. I don’t doubt that it was worth it for you : )

    Azkyroth

    So it turns out I have two finals tomorrow.

    Good luck!

    Opposablethumbs

    I feel a lot better than I did.

    Me too! I’m glad that you found a regimen that manages the pain til you can get the tooth taken care of.

    hope the eye is OK. And I see what you mean about the gender roles thing …
    When you’re the only woman doing an activity, it’s easy to feel horribly conspicuous.

    The eye is improving. You’re absolutely right about the conspicuousness. And I’m not sure if it’s because I feel like I “have something to prove” or what, but I have always gravitated towards those sorts of activities.

    Ogvorbis

    Yikes. Glad it good. Porsche okay is good.
    Great. Now I’m channeling Blug. Aargh!
    “Can you stop a speeding bullet?”
    “Yeah. Once.”
    Pause.
    “Shuddup! It hurts like hell!”

    Thanks for the laugh, Ogvorbis.

    I’m sorry you had another bad night. You are not slime. I know you probably can’t convince yourself of it right now, but you were a victim and you did not choose to hurt anyone. Take care of yourself.

    Weed Monkey

    Holy crapola! I just watched Dr Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog for the first time. Love it.

    “The hammer is my penis.”

  21. says

    Menyambal/#480

    Hee hee. Glad it suited. I survive summer, sometimes, by browsing images of luckier people than me on the rare peaks in this hemisphere that remain open on glaciers at the tops, or folk in that other one to the south… And reminding myself that actually doing that probably is neither financially responsible nor particularly necessary, as I live in a place that really does provide for that stuff, well enough, and for rather a lot of the year…

    … that said, I really do have to get out the west coast again, some season soon.

    Oh, and speaking of pictures, I haz picture.

    (That was, as you can probably tell, a little after sunrise. I kinda didn’t feel like stopping until then. This was like second to last run, when I realized, okay, borrowed time is almost up anyway… Let’s take a second, try to breathe, rest some muscles, and document.)

    Og/#515

    Thanks re guafinisen. I woke up without the cough, mirabile dictu. But if it comes back, that sounds well worth trying.

    … and I’m sorry to hear that thing’s still coming after you. I’m afraid, tho’, the limits of my capabilities to assist are probably in distraction, so, umm…

    Look! Over there! Kittens!

    … umm, there isn’t some sitewide ban on kitten pictures, is there? I can try to find cute cephalopods if that’s now the standard, too, I guess.

    (/And sweet baby FSM, but preview still makes links look awful. Let’s hope this just comes out in the wash.)

  22. says

    Portia/#526

    Glad to hear about the eye. And the whole play-acting war thing, I’m always kinda… I dunno…

    I don’t want to be a downer or nothin’, and I get it’s fun for some, and hey, I even play some first person shooters (or have… I guess it’s been some years…)

    I think the most I can say about all that stuff is: I think people need to get a bit more alert in general about unconscious conditioning, how complicated brains are, and keep in mind especially that much of what you learn, you’re not even that consciously aware you’re learning. And practicing stalking and killing a human enemy, it probably does have potential side effects in your attitude in general. No, it’s not going to make you a psycho killer on its own… But at least try to watch yourself, pay attention to what it might be doing to your reactions, how you deal with other people. And that way, especially, stuff like that requires you to classify that person out there as simply ‘enemy’ to be dispatched, and there’s this single, simple thing you do to them that will end this, and you win, so little of life is actually like that…

    Or, even, less still of it might be, if we practiced interactions like that a little less.

    … and re boarding: that tends to be the way of it. I always tell people: try to ignore the first day. That catching an edge and slamming like a hammer into the hill thing, once you get around that (again mostly one of those unconscious/reaction/muscle memory things, incidentally), it really does get a lot more fun and fast.

    … oh, also, I tell them: wear lots of padding, the first day, at least. Especially around the butt*. My sister in law wore padded hockey pants, and that’s not a bad option.

    Very cool to hear you got out again, and it was better. And that, too, is often the way of it. Especially if it’s on powder. Groomed trails are not, actually, exactly the easiest way to learn, I begin to think, but then, as an East coast type, those are mostly all I get, and all I learned on, so it’s kinda hard to know.

    (/*Oh. And a helmet always. Boarding is not skiing. The falls are very different, and potentially much nastier to that bit of you, especially. Head swinging like a hammer with maximal angular momentum thanks to the edge catching and turning the other end of your body into the pivot point. Anyway. Elmer the safety elephant signing off.)

  23. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    AJ, you’ve enunciated my discomfort with the whole paintball thing. It especially struck me that its unsettling to train young kids in that mindset (as was the case yesterday). It seems like it builds to our whole “war is always good, and noble, and honorable” culture.
     
    I’m not sure if I miscommunicated earlier, but I have never successfully snowboarded. : ) The run down the mountain was on skis. I’m not opposed to trying the board again though. There are a few small-beans ski spots near me, but there isn’t likely to be much snow here this winter. If I do take up the board again, I’ll remember the helmet.

  24. Ogvorbis: 300-year-old Woodcut says

    You are not slime.

    Good point. Slime at least floats. (Joke!)’

    I know you probably can’t convince yourself of it right now, but you were a victim and you did not choose to hurt anyone.

    Oh, I can convince myself right now, in the light of day. Lying in bed after a dream? No way! I could have said ‘no!’ I should have told anyone and everyone what was happening. I could have just walked away. And with what I know now, I would have done just that. I know that I should not view me as a eight or ten year old through today’s lenses. I am not the same person. But who I am now is the only way that I can look at the past. And I look at myself and find myself wanting at so many levels. I failed.

    Take care of yourself.

    Trying to.

    Just went for a walk with a nice Arturo Fuentes Curlyhead Maduro. Nice and relaxing.

  25. Pteryxx says

    Just went for a walk with a nice Arturo Fuentes Curlyhead Maduro. Nice and relaxing.

    Damn, that takes me back. Hope you don’t mind if I vicariously share it.

  26. says

    Portia/#530

    Oh. Got it.

    I guess I’ve actually no real position on whether people should board vs. skiing, for what it’s worth. I did used to ski, did like it, too. Boarding just seems to happen to agree with me a lot more. Fewer objects to keep track of in motion, I think, is the main thing.

  27. Ogvorbis: 300-year-old Woodcut says

    Damn, that takes me back. Hope you don’t mind if I vicariously share it.

    Not at all. Good cheap cigar. Well, not cheap, but not boutique, either.

  28. opposablethumbs says

    Oh, I didn’t mean to say I felt triggered re the tooth thing, Oggie, I should have been a bit more sensitive about the way I phrased that myself – I just meant to express vividly how much more unpleasant I thought your tooth ordeal sounded than mine! Now that I have taken Matt’s advice I actually don’t feel too bad – it’s there, but it’s under control for now and I don’t have much longer to wait.

    I know you worry about inadvertently upsetting people, and I should have remembered that. Also do please consider (maybe you already have considered) having a meatspace option AS WELL in place for dealing with the dreams and associated issues, in case you want it? ::sends long-distance internet hug with optional chocolate kittens or cephalopods of your choice::

  29. cicely (Chaotic Neutral Half-Elf Fighter/Magic-User/Cleric) says

    *hugs* for Ogvorbis. Wish I had more to offer…something useful, not simply commiserative.
    :(
    -

    Holy crapola! I just watched Dr Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog for the first time. Love it.

    It is an awesomeness. And because it is expected of me:
    Bad Horse
    Bad Horse
    Bad Horse
    Bad Horse

    He rides across the nation
    The thoroughbred of sin
    He got the application
    You just sent in

    It needs evaluation
    So let the games begin
    A heinous crime, a show of force
    A murder would be nice, of course

    Bad Horse
    Bad Horse
    Bad Horse
    He’s bad

    The Evil League of Evil
    Is watching, so beware
    The grade that you receive
    Will be your last, we swear

    So make the Bad Horse gleeful
    Or he’ll make you his mare . . .

    Get saddled up
    There’s no recourse
    It’s Hi-Ho Silver
    Signed Bad Horse

    -

  30. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    Ogvorbis

    I am not the same person. But who I am now is the only way that I can look at the past. And I look at myself and find myself wanting at so many levels. I failed.

    On a much smaller scale, I can vaguely relate to this. It’s incredibly hard to cut myself slack for stuff that was far less hurtful to other people, so I can’t imagine how hard it is for you to separate present-self from past-self with respect to this stuff, even if you were a kid under duress at the time. I hope the nightmares give you some rest soon. Glad you are getting some relaxation in

    AJ
    Funny how to some people snowboard vs. skis is like the Capulets and the Monatgues. I only own a snowboard because I won a summer camp contest that I didn’t know existed. I won by bringing the most people along to camp (four of my male cousins). They gave me a snowboard, and according to a friend who knew about snowboards, it was not a poor-quality one. I think it’s in SO’s basement…

  31. cicely (Chaotic Neutral Half-Elf Fighter/Magic-User/Cleric) says

    *frowning loudly*
    I know I didn’t bork those italics. Teething troubles, I presume.
    -

  32. Ogvorbis: 300-year-old Woodcut says

    I didn’t mean to say I felt triggered re the tooth thing, Oggie,

    Sorry. I meant the TW as a joke. An attempt at humour.

    Also do please consider (maybe you already have considered) having a meatspace option

    I do have someone I can call if things get too bad. The same psychiatrist I saw after my suicide attempt about 15 years ago.

    something useful, not simply commiserative.

    I understand. I feel the same way. But the useful part is, for me, so absolutely terrifying (I mean, telling someone what happened and how I view what happened in meatspace?) that things would have to get a lot worse before I go there.

    It’s incredibly hard to cut myself slack for stuff that was far less hurtful to other people, so I can’t imagine how hard it is for you to separate present-self from past-self with respect to this stuff, even if you were a kid under duress at the time.

    But I also see this as normal (not the duress, but cutting myself slack for the past) partly because I’m an historian. I know that historians can only view the past through the evidence available at that time and through the lense of his or her education, background, etc. so revisionism — changing the view of the past based on the standards and evidence of today — is a major part of the study of history. It doesn’t mean we view the actions of the past as if they were done today, rather we view the actions of the past and interpret them through today. Does that make sense?

  33. opposablethumbs says

    …. aaaand bother, I didn’t realise you were kidding! ‘s all good, then. (you can still keep the hug and the chocolate cephalopods (or kittens) if you want ‘em) :-)

  34. Ogvorbis: 300-year-old Woodcut says

    No more kittens. We are down to 2.5 cats and, for the foreseeable future, do plan on any more pets.

    I do sometimes come across as afraid to offend, but there is an explanation. I like this place. I do not want to screw that up. So, sorry about being so damned apologetic and cautious.

  35. Ogvorbis: 300-year-old Woodcut says

    Eh, latakia, even blended, is a little too strong for me. Turkish tobacco, like perique, is just too strong. I’ll take some black cavendish, with a little burly mixed in. I’m just a wimp.

  36. Ogvorbis: 300-year-old Woodcut says

    Never heard of Best Brown Flake.

    Actually, until I clean my pipes, I’m not going to be smoking much pipe tobacco. Not even East Farthing. But I do have some good Honduran cigars.

  37. rq says

    Also Portia I recommend sticking it out on the board one more time (especially if you have your own!), because it’s like riding a bike. Try, and try, and try, and then one time it’s suddenly all there – your body figures out what your brain has been trying to tell it all along, and then boarding becomes just so much better than skiing. Well, for me. To the point where I feel unbalanced and uncomfortable on skis. :) At least, four years ago, last time I stood on both in the Laurentians, I had a much, much better time on-board.

  38. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    Thanks, rq. The eye is getting better. I was worried it would wake up worse, but it was much better. Still rather puffy but at least I don’t have a shiner.

    If I can get anyone to go to the slopes (they are very gradual here, but they are slopes nonetheless) with me, I will give the board a try. No loss of a rental fee if I give up in sore-bottomed frustration. (Is that a point where I could literally use the term “butthurt”? ha).

  39. says

    Ok.

    BBF is English.

    There are many USaian brands I’d like to try, but this ridiculous tax system makes it prohibitively expensive to buy tobacco from outside the EU.

  40. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    The UN awarding the peace prize to the EU sits weird with me. Anyone else? It seems like “Congrats, white people. You mostly stopped killing each other. Your policies still contribute to terrible injustices around the world, but thumbs up on leaving Poland alone for a while.”

    [disclaimer]
    Geopolitics are not my specialty.
    {/disclaimer]

  41. Beatrice says

    rq,

    I loved the photos – both the nature and the estate you were on.
    That forest that your drove through looked eerie.

    Thanks for sharing!

  42. ChasCPeterson says

    The Nobel Peace Prize people jumped the shark forever with Kissinger. Nobody should take it seriously after that.

  43. rq says

    Beatrice
    It was indeed eerie. Like any moment something could fall on us. But we made it through! (And cleanup crews are pretty good in this weather – by the time we drove back (1.5 hrs?), everything lying on the road was already cleared away…. waiting for the next batch.)

  44. says

    Congrats, white people. You mostly stopped killing each other. Your policies still contribute to terrible injustices around the world, but thumbs up on leaving Poland alone for a while.

    (Lawls…)

    Well, on the one hand, that’s not such a bad summary…

    Sorta seriously, beyond this, tho’:

    In the longer view, I’d say seeing those particular peoples form a political union, however shaky and imperfect, is actually a pretty big deal. As in: against the longer history of war on that continent. That there’s lots to improve notwithstanding, that it’s hardly a panacea notwithstanding. And in the longer run, I think supranational political associations in general are a good idea.

    The way I see it is, at large scale: folk are always arguing for trade weaving together interests around the globe as a means of bringing people together, giving them common interests, making war less attractive. To some degree, I think that can work, but the trouble is if that’s the only thing around which such larger scale organization occurs, trade and narrow and possibly quite short-sighted economic interests are going to set the rules. And we can see things like international trade treaties giving nations the means to challenge each other’s environmental and labour protections. The potential danger is of a ‘race to the bottom’ dynamic prevailing, where, again, if it’s all about economic activity, all about people making money, whichever nation sells their labour force off cheapest and gives the strip miners free reign gets the investment dollars.

    Supranational entities with wider focus than economic and trade issues, then, are one obvious solution. The EU is kinda a prototype… and that it’s not perfect, well, it’d be a bit much to hope that particular bunch would get the whole thing right the first time. That they got this far, and, as mentioned, have so far mostly avoided killing each other, this is good…

    And yes, it’s a bit like attending a wedding anniversary for a couple you know are just barely speaking, and have figuring the next you’ll hear from them will be about the divorce, but anyway…

    Oh, and long run, yeah, I’ll take one world government, sure. But, mind, I’m also the antichrist. I’m supposed to be pulling for this, thing is. One of my jobs, apparently. Just so we’re clear. I guess that makes me a vested interest, here? Or a horned one? I’m not sure about the terminology.

    … oh, and rq, ditto re the photos. Very nice. I’d never heard of that place (Gaiziņkalns? My Latvian is pretty weak).

  45. strange gods before me ॐ rational skeptic seeking truth for friendship, possibly more says

    I’ve updated the killfile: http://tinyurl.com/7e6xqa2

    +++++
    BTW, does anybody still have a copy of Daniel Martin’s last update to his killfile (the one that worked back at ScienceBlogs)?

    Not the 2009 version at userscripts.org/scripts/show/4107 — obviously I can still get that one — but the updates that were pushed out from snowplow.org/martin/greasemonkey/killfile.user.js ?

    It might still be in your Firefox profile folder. If you’ve got it, could you upload it somewhere for me? I suggest zipping it and uploading to anonfiles.com if you don’t have another preference.

  46. says

    Here’s hoping this comes through: Where should I comment on formatting weirdness? For instance ‘older posts’ link doesn’t work for me, it goes to a URL to search for 404 which then gets me a post about genetics.

    And the formatting of the page is fixed width, which is really, really stupid. And wider than my browser, what gives?

  47. Ogvorbis: 300-year-old Woodcut says

    If one of the monitors is monitoring now, dpitman just took a dump on the Ham thread.

  48. Ogvorbis: 300-year-old Woodcut says

    broboxley:

    Considering that Gurkhas usually retail for $7.00 to $20.00 per cigar, that is a fucking incredible deal. And that is an excellent cigar. I’ve had the Castle Hall Double Perfecto. Strong but not too spicy, notes of cedar and kind of earthy. Good finish. Actually a little milder at the finish than at the start.

  49. chigau (無) says

    strange gods before me ॐ rational skeptic seeking truth for friendship, possibly more
    Yaaaaay
    thank you!!!

  50. rq says

    Don’t worry AJ Milne, it’s only a skiing mecca if you’re from the Netherlands and haven’t bothered with the Alps.
    And yes, Gaiziņkalns is correct. Can’t imagine why your Latvian would be shaky… :)

  51. Esteleth has eaten ALL the gingerbread! Suck it! says

    So, uh, I have been away for a bit. Busy and all that fun shit.

    Did I miss anything fun? :D

  52. cicely (Chaotic Neutral Half-Elf Fighter/Magic-User/Cleric) says

    Did I miss anything fun? :D

    A Horse ate Jadehawk. Not fun.
    -

  53. says

    Could someone explain to me how one manages to become the Chair of a sociology department, write extensively on female sexuality, and yet fail to see that “women perform FGM on other women, so it can’t be patriarchal” is a bad argument?

    This seems like a basic and huge gap in the understanding of the word “patriarchy.”

  54. Esteleth has eaten ALL the gingerbread! Suck it! says

    So I posted an update on my FB about the blanket I’m making for the DarkInfant, and a friend of mine told me that I need to knit fast and then make another one!

    *babies for everyone!!*

  55. says

    The UN awarding the peace prize to the EU sits weird with me. Anyone else? It seems like “Congrats, white people. You mostly stopped killing each other. Your policies still contribute to terrible injustices around the world, but thumbs up on leaving Poland alone for a while.”

    Well, given that Obama got it for not being McCain, that’s almost an achievement.

    The way I see it is, at large scale: folk are always arguing for trade weaving together interests around the globe as a means of bringing people together, giving them common interests, making war less attractive.

    I’d say that in that particular case we just ganged up on other people and learned that while shooting people might be a crime starving them isn’t.

    Also, I have no ambition to do the fucking dishes.

  56. Beatrice says

    Crissa,

    There’s a lot of complaints there, but I hope at least the major ones will be dealt with.

  57. Ogvorbis: 300-year-old Woodcut says

    Chigau:

    Thanks.

    Broboxley:

    My all-time favourite cigar is the Gurkha Triple Legaro. And every place I just checked shows it as sold out. Nevermind.

  58. Nepenthe says

    @Esteleth 574

    *babies for everyone!!*

    No! *bars door, lets down blinds* *thinks for a moment* *covers USB port with tape*

  59. says

    Nepenthe, I cannot tell you how reluctant I was to click on that link until I saw it was Man Boobz.

    The dwindling popularity of the MRM is a relief, assuming Google Trends means much. As loud and terrible as they are, they aren’t getting searched for much.

  60. Pteryxx says

    honestly, the internet being what it is, just about any kind of porn would likely trend higher than any form of social justice with or without airquotes.

    Joe: from what I recall, Raging Bee’s an asshole sometimes but isn’t a troll per se. /takewithsalt

  61. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    What’s this you ask? Why, only a picture of actual work, real work, not at all theoretical, fully concrete (if you’ll pardon the pun) work on a house that I may someday live in! The pic is taken from the adjacent driveway looking along the old railway line. Yup, we’re building so the old rail line runs smack through the center of the house. Ghost trains for EVERYONE!

  62. carlie says

    Dr. Horrible – now you must listen to the commentary!

    Nobody wants to be moist,
    a bunch of overactive pores,
    I struggle opening dooors…
    And I lose every tug of war.

  63. strange gods before me ॐ rational skeptic seeking truth for friendship, possibly more says

    Scratch this request:

    BTW, does anybody still have a copy of Daniel Martin’s last update to his killfile (the one that worked back at ScienceBlogs)?

    I got it now. His website was only down temporarily today.

  64. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Carlie, has anyone every done an entire commentary track in song?

    Will anybody ever do that again?

    But it was fun.

  65. says

    Nepenthe and Pteryxx: thanks for the heads-up about Raging Bee. I can deal with someone who is an ass, but not an ass who in intentionally trying to provoke.

  66. carlie says

    Janine – and it was so good! I liked those songs as much as the ones in the actual musical.

  67. Rodney Nelson says

    Ah, but nose-picking is also more popular than “men’s rights” and that’s not porn!

    Two girls one handkerchief.

  68. ImaginesABeach says

    *babies for everyone!!*
    No way in non-existent hell. Although I do like looking at pictures of DarkInfant. I swear she is almost as cute as my babies were.

  69. says

    While “fart jokes” are more popular than “men’s rights”, the overall trend of both seems to be fairly evenly matched. When “men’s rights” dipped, so did “fart jokes.” As “fart jokes” recovers, do does “men’s rights.”

    I think this is very interesting data.

  70. Josh, Exasperated SpokesGay says

    Guess what? Burned my thumb tonight and it smelled just like pork on a BBQ. I’m totally serious. It actually smelled appetizing. Creepy, but true.

  71. Ogvorbis: 300-year-old Woodcut says

    I finally found an mp3 download of Pete Seeger singing Five Fingers! I have been looking for that song for years!

    (I accidentally posted this on the Ham thread. Sorry.)

  72. Esteleth has eaten ALL the gingerbread! Suck it! says

    There is a reason human flesh is sometimes referred to as “long pork.”

    The smell of the cooking is remarkably similar.

    Scuttlebutt says that the taste is similar too.

    And that is the last I have to say about cannibalism.

  73. says

    I had the same thing happen when I burned my hand in the pizza oven. It actually melted the skin off the back of my hand (damn, was that thing hot) and it smelled…well. Rather like my pizza wasn’t vegetarian after all.

    People are made of meat.

  74. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    I have two more finals tomorrow, and I’ll have to get up stupid-early to have more than a little time to study for them, and I DON’T feel like it tonight.

    I wish I hadn’t lost the weekend to family dysfunction. :(

  75. Ogvorbis: 300-year-old Woodcut says

    Azkyroth:

    Boy is doing three online papers for his finals. And he just got called in to work a different store. 3:00pm to 7:00am. Lots of fun.

  76. Ogvorbis: 300-year-old Woodcut says

    Oh, yeah. The papers make it easier. Well, they are two 300 level and one 400 level history courses, but definitely easier than a sit down final. And getting a 16-hour shift at the store is great. Just not at the same time. The manager of the other store said he could take his computer and work on the finals in the wee hours of the morning.

  77. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    History?

    Just model it as spheres and throw in some extra terms. :P

  78. Nepenthe says

    I would rather take 4 sit down finals than write one 4 page paper. Which is why I’ve been on Pharyngula so much this weekend. Because there’s a paper to write and it’s watching me. *shudders*

  79. Ogvorbis: 300-year-old Woodcut says

    Just model it as spheres and throw in some extra terms. :P

    Pre-Revolutionary Russian History. First, imagine the Tsar as a perfectly spherical cow . . . .

    Because there’s a paper to write and it’s watching me. *shudders*

    I always loved writing history papers. Literary criticism, not so much.

  80. cicely (Chaotic Neutral Half-Elf Fighter/Magic-User/Cleric) says

    Scuttlebutt says that the taste is similar too.

    And that is the last I have to say about cannibalism.

    Additional scuttlebutt (from my doctor, this last Thursday) says that the oldest members of the last culture known to have routinely practiced cannibalism, are dying out. I remarked that if so, then kuru’s days are numbered…and he told me that I was a “well-educated woman of the world”, since he knows very few people outside of medicine-related fields, who know about kuru to bring it up in casual conversation.
    -

  81. Nepenthe says

    No, no papers, doesn’t matter the topic. Because the second I type out a sentence it’s irretrievably wrong. And then the next sentence is also wrong. And all the sentences are wrong and they’re formed into paragraphs that are wrong and the whole thing is wrong.

    Hmm… I wonder what would happen if I wrote the first draft drunk.

  82. says

    Guess what? Burned my thumb tonight and it smelled just like pork on a BBQ. I’m totally serious. It actually smelled appetizing. Creepy, but true.

    No comment. :)

    (There’s actually a Seinfeld episode about this.)

  83. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Hi all.
    I hope everything is well with everyone.
    ****
    I made the mistake of sending an email to my parents last night while I was crying and despondent. It read like I was contemplating suicide. I got a call from my parents (actually, E got a call from my father–phone’s still out) tonight. They were alarmed. They thought I was seriously contemplating suicide. My father gave me a pep talk, combined with admonishment. My mother took a different approach, revealing information about the two of them that I’d never known (related to the hard times they’ve faced and how they know *exactly* what I’m going through). I told them-specifically-that while the thought had briefly crossed my mind, I didn’t have any plan in place. I didn’t have any concept of what I would do, where I’d go, how I’d do anything. I flat out stated “I’m not planning to, nor do I want to commit suicide”.
    I’m still incredibly frustrated, and feeling like a complete failure, but I there are many things I want to do in the world (see the Eiffel Tower, visit Australia, visit the Grand Canyon, return to NYC-my birthplace, fall in love, create a lasting legacy of some sort, return to school and graduate). When I woke up today, I was still despondent, but I realized that even skirting with the thought of ending things would be a complete and utter waste of my one chance at existence. I may feel like I’m a failure, but I still have the chance to change things. I can still *be* something. I can still develop into someone important. I can still make some sort of impact on the world around me.
    I can only do all that if I’m still here.
    I really want to do all of that.
    I’m trying to train myself to think more long term, instead of focusing so intensely on the present, to the detriment of any future possibilities. I’m a work in progress.

    Sorry for dumping this here.

  84. strange gods before me ॐ rational skeptic seeking truth for friendship, possibly more says

    I’m glad you already have a list of things you want to do, Tony. That’s important.

    You reminded me of a thing I wrote a while back which I think can be helpful:

    If you’re thinking about suicide, you can brainstorm about anything that it would be nice to do before dying. Big things like traveling to another country, little things like reading a particular book — whatever might add up to a strategy of postponing suicide. Such a strategy, even completely self-consciously pursued, can work.

    Also, if you’re annoyed because you’re ideating without intent, you can make a list of distracting activities that you’ll have available when it gets hard to think about anything else. This can be useful along with non-judgmental acknowledgment of the thoughts. When you notice you’re thinking about suicide, you deliberately acknowledge it to yourself; think, subvocalize, or just say out loud, “I am thinking about suicide. That is okay. These are only thoughts. People think about suicide sometimes. Now I am going to go do one of my distractors. I might keep thinking about suicide for a while anyway. That is okay. Alright, now I am [playing Tetris].” And so on. Maybe you’ll have another intrusive thought about suicide within a couple minutes. So you just acknowledge that one too, and think/say that it’s okay.

    The point of this is to just let the thoughts be what they are. You’re not trying to force them out of your mind, thus you’re saving yourself the stress of that difficult or near-impossible task. And you’re not making them into a terrible thing that you judge yourself as bad for having. You just tell yourself they’re okay, because that’s true, they’re just thoughts, even if they are uncomfortable you will get through them; you always have before.

    Well, that’s generic advice, though I think it’s good advice. Personally, too, I think you’re a good person and the world is better with you than without you.

  85. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    SGBM:
    Thank you.
    Acknowledging that I’ve had certain thoughts was difficult in the past. I suspect that’s because of expectations from society (things you’re “supposed” to say or do). In the last few years, I’ve come to realize that there’s nothing wrong with stating *how* I feel. Denying the thoughts doesn’t strike me as helpful. How can I overcome any negative thoughts if I repress them or act as if there’s something wrong with me for having them? Given how many people approach the subject of suicide, it strikes me that there’s a stigma attached with merely *thinking* about it. Like I said, I don’t have any plan. I haven’t even tried to come up with a plan (the only time I considered suicide long enough to have some idea of what I’d do was in the wake of coming out of the closet to my parents when I was @20–for a few seconds while driving, I contemplated running into a light post). I only recently told my mother that. To her immense credit, she was horrified by that thought. Her initial reaction of “oh god, no grandchildren” was tempered when she saw how I withdrew from her and my father. She told me earlier this year that following my coming out, in an attempt to understand, she went to a few PFLAG meetings. Discovering other parents dealing with their children being gay…hearing stories of parents rejecting their children for being gay…hearing how some children committed suicide because they were rejected…stories of this nature resulted in my mother realizing that she didn’t give two shits if I was gay or straight.
    She wanted me to be alive and happy. In time she came to accept that I’m gay. I don’t know if she *likes* that I am, but she at least doesn’t have a problem with it. She doesn’t judge me.
    My father took a bit longer to come around. In all honesty, he and I had a huge falling out after I came out. We didn’t really talk for the better part of a decade. He would ask my mother and my sister how I was doing. They would relay messages back and forth between us. It was clear he was concerned with me. I talked to him about health issues (he’s a nurse). We talked about financial matters. It wasn’t until I wrote him a note several years ago (which I’ve mentioned before) detailing my feelings (from a “this is how I feel” perspective, rather than criticizing him and putting him on the defensive) that our relationship improved.
    Now my father and I can talk politics.
    We can talk religion.
    We can talk. That’s important to me.

    Even more important: my father tells me periodically that he loves me. My father was raised in that era where men didn’t talk about their feelings. I think he came to realize how important it was for his wife, daughter and son to hear that. He says it to me. I say it to him. It means the world to me.

    To hear his frustration…his anger…his desperation tonight was heartbreaking. To him, I’d just contemplated ending my life. He wasn’t having any of that.

    Neither was my mother.

    I love them both.

    In what I consider one of my darkest hours, my parents expressed love and continued support for me.
    They are wonderful people.

    Yes, I have let them both know that.

  86. Menyambal --- son of a son of a bachelor says

    Tony, I enjoy your writing and your stories, even that account. I am glad your parents communicated.

    You and strange gods reminded of something I thought of once: Everything is an alternative to suicide.

    Instead of killing oneself, one can do anything else in the world. Start walking to Guatemala. Make your mom listen to you. Fly a kite. Learn to knit.

    I realize that train of thought can lead to interesting ways to commit suicide, or to wreaking revenge on the world, which is why I need to work on it more.

    I just wanted to say that you are thinking right. Good luck. And thank you.

  87. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    Tony, you do have an impact on the world and a positive one at that. All I know about you comes from this site. The things that I’ve learned about you speak to a kind, caring person who’s committed to being good and to making the world a better place. As SG said, this world is better for you being in it, even if you never do anything on a grand scale. I’m very, very glad that you understand that in existence there is possibility, and in extinction there is none. Hang in there. And hey, if you make it to Australia I’d be pleased and honoured to put you up should you pass through my little part of it.

  88. strange gods before me ॐ rational skeptic seeking truth for friendship, possibly more says

    Given how many people approach the subject of suicide, it strikes me that there’s a stigma attached with merely *thinking* about it.

    Yeah, now that you mention it, I guess that is pretty weird.

    It’s good you can talk to your family about heavy stuff. I’m hopeful for you, Tony. And I’m glad you feel comfortable talking here with us. *hugs* if you want ‘em.

  89. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    SGBM:
    The fellowship and sense of community I’ve found here have been incredible. There were times in the past that I thought “nah, I shouldn’t share that with them”, but then I see others talk about their painful pasts (Ogvorbis and Caine spring immediately to mind) and realize that no matter what pain we are going through, this is a place with no judgment.

    Here, there be understanding.

    Here, there be empathy.

    Here, there be compassion.

    I’ve come to realize that this is one of those places that I can let my hair down (metaphorically…I have no hair) and just be me. One day I hope that IRL, there will be a place that functions in the same manner. Until such time, I’m grateful for this space.

    A safe space indeed.

  90. chigau (無) says

    I once interfered with a person who was having suicide thoughts by advising hir to not go alone.
    To take those who make you suicidal with you when you go.
    —-
    It stopped that episode (it was 20 years ago).
    It was probably not good advice.

  91. says

    Tony
    *Hugs* and USBooze. I’ll be mailing you something tomorrow, hopefully it’ll brighten your day when it gets there.
    cicely

    I remarked that if so, then kuru’s days are numbered

    It’s worth noting that Kuru only ever appeared among the Fore people of Papua New Guinea, and that the last known suffered died in 2005, Kuru may well already be extinct. It appears that it may have started as late as 1900, spreading from a single individual due to cannibalistic funerary practices. These having been abandoned, transmission stopped almost completely. (It can apparently be transmitted by infected tissue getting into the bloodstream, e.g. if a person embalming a corpse has open wounds, but that’s preventable as well.)

  92. hotshoe says

    Is anyone beside Crissa and me getting a 404 error on “older posts” link?

    Same error for the other blogs on FtB. Sad.

  93. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Dalillama:
    To be honest, just the thought that you’re sending *anything* brightens my day.

  94. Beatrice says

    Tony,

    *hugs*
    I’m glad you’re here.

    (Haven’t had my coffee yet, so no deepities from me. Besides, I have no idea how to follow your comment and some of the answers with anything that doesn’t pale in comparison)

  95. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    You know, I’m sitting here in WHATABURGER (a fast food joint in the US south) listening to a few people talk about Star Wars. Literally chatting about C3PO and R2D2 and nitty gritty details about Star Wars. It’s amusing. I’m not judging. It’s rather amusing. I do feel like *less* of a geek. If there were people talking about comic books, I’d probably chime in. Nonetheless, it’s rather entertaining eating a horrible double cheeseburger and fries and listening to people talk about geek culture.

    This guy just mentioned he read Fellowship of the Ring 15 times. Wow.

  96. rq says

    Good morning.

    Random thought: Chocolate cake. If I don’t eat the rest of it, someone else will. I better get on that, even if it is for breakfast.

    +++

    Tony
    I see I’m not the only one who entertains strange thoughts about dying from time to time.
    And I’m glad you’re here, and I’m so happy for you that you have such amazingly awesome parents.
    *does a little dance for Tony*
    Here, have some chocolate cake (made it myself).

    +++

    Had a revelation about god(s) and faith and all that other crap over the weekend. Still thinking it through. But it had a lot to do with how beautiful the trees were.

  97. rq says

    Because I read backwards: FossilFishy, good news about the house making some sort of progress! :) Hooray! (Or should I say, may the concrete disintegrate and the foundations fall down even lower! Just to not jinx it… ;) )

  98. Beatrice says

    If FossilFishy ever gets low on money, he can advertize his “ghost train” house as haunted and bring in some cash from various paranormal enthusiasts.

  99. opposablethumbs says

    Tony, I’m just another person who knows of you only what we see written here and … I call that pretty solid evidence for the conclusion that you are generous, perceptive, honest, eloquent, funny and very, very good people. Extremely glad that you’re here. And that you have made this connection with your parents.
    .
    And may I enclose these hugs: you can choose between the fwightfully polite British one and the very enthusiastic Scottish one (sober version) (or both).

  100. Beatrice says

    rq,

    Had a revelation about god(s) and faith and all that other crap over the weekend. Still thinking it through. But it had a lot to do with how beautiful the trees were.

    Since you starts off with calling it “all that crap”, I guess you won’t be telling us that you realized god must exist because beauty. *whew*
    ;)

  101. says

    HI there

    Tony
    Your parents, they’re good people. And they raised a decent human being.
    You’re struggeling but it’s not because you’re a failure, it’s because this world is a shitty place with more people than decent lives in it.
    (((hugs)))

    Speaking about suicidal thoughts, I think that they can even have a positive aspect. Suddenly you remember all the nice things there are and that will be. It’s often easy to forget about them, especially during hard times and under lots of stress. I actually have to actively think about “what was good today” in order to make myself aware of it. Thinking about suicide can mean that you’re suddenly aware that not only the bad things will be gone, but the good things, too.

    ++++

    This guy just mentioned he read Fellowship of the Ring 15 times. Wow.

    That’s only impressive if he read the rest that often, too, including the loooong parts about Frodo being tired, Sam being worried and Gollum eating fish.

    ++++
    Talking about good things:
    At least my tutor really liked my presentation last week.
    Also Mac and Cheese.

  102. rq says

    Beatrice
    Quite the opposite. :) I assure you. *whew*, indeed. (Although, to be fair, I have been known to call all kinds of things “all that crap”, without specifying good crap or bad crap.)

    [Warning: Long thoughts already abbreviated to follow.]
    Because, if there was a god (who was omnipotent, good, loving, etc., etc.), we’d have weather like that (like on the weekend) all the time. But we can’t have weather like that all the time, because some people don’t like snow, and god needs to keep everyone happy all the time, so even if he alternates snowy-paradise with tropical-bliss, he can’t keep everyone happy all of the time…
    And besides, I can make beautiful things, even if it takes me a lot of effort and time. And sometimes I’m impressed with myself, because I know exactly how difficult it was for me. But if we endow god with Special Powers, allowing him to do everything, well, then that’s cheating – he can make all the beautiful things he wants because he’s supremely talented and it’s really no effort, which (to me) detracts from the special-ness of something. I mean, he laboured (at best) 6 days. What’s so special about that? If I had Special Powers, I could do it, too, and every day would be a snowy paradise, because I think that’s beautiful. (Until I get bored…)
    When someone puts in a lot of effort and soul (so to speak) and time into creating something beautiful, it’s worth admiring. If you’re just doing magic and effortlessly poof-ing everything into being, you’re being a lazy bum, and while laziness is a trait I indulge in quite often, I don’t believe it’s something that requires worship and reverence (although I’m sure I wouldn’t mind).
    The point?
    Nature arrived at this beauty and emotionally moving scenery through rather random processes, without a single touch of a guiding finger. It was all chance, all accident, without purpose, without goals, and just look at what it did. The fact that I was there on that day, with that weather, that sun, those meteorological conditions, in order to see all those colours and snow and trees and play of shadows and light… All of that, coming together, just makes it all the more special.
    So, while I’ve been quietly harbouring feelings of non-belief for a little while already, I choose to make the argument from specialness (or something) – because a creator just ruins it all for me. It’s just so much more impressive to think that it all happened on its own, rather than had someone putting it all together piece by piece. (Like when it’s more impressive to see your children dress themselves, rather than having someone dress them (or something).)

    Anyway.

  103. carlie says

    Tony, just from what I’ve read since you came here, you’re the kind of person I’d love to live near and have as a good friend. You are a pretty great guy.

  104. Ogvorbis: 300-year-old Woodcut says

    Sorry for dumping this here.

    Tony, you have no reason to apologize. You have my sympathy and support (not real useful, but its what I can actually do). Planning, even in a very amorphous sense, for things you want to do, places you want to see, is something I do when I feel depressed. Sometimes it works.

    In what I consider one of my darkest hours, my parents expressed love and continued support for me.
    They are wonderful people.

    Yes, I have let them both know that.

    That is wonderful.

    =======

    I have the day off. Wife and I will be taking our 91-year-old neighbor to the doctor.

    =======

    I actually got through a night with no remembered dreams.

    I am worried, though. The dreams of the last few nights have included another adult male but there is no face attached. Or I can’t picture the face. If figure that my brain is working through those three years. Hopefully, my brain will start working through moving back east in 6th grade to a school with 15 times the number of students per class and a place where 80% of the kids were related to each other ’cause that’ll be so much more pleasant.

  105. Ogvorbis: 300-year-old Woodcut says

    Sorry for dumping this here.

    Tony, you have no reason to apologize. You have my sympathy and support (not real useful, but its what I can actually do). Planning, even in a very amorphous sense, for things you want to do, places you want to see, is something I do when I feel depressed. Sometimes it works.

    In what I consider one of my darkest hours, my parents expressed love and continued support for me.
    They are wonderful people.

    Yes, I have let them both know that.

    That is wonderful.

    =======

    I have the day off. Wife and I will be taking our 91-year-old neighbor to the doctor.

    =======

    I actually got through a night with no remembered dreams.

    I am worried, though. The dreams of the last few nights have included another adult male but there is no face attached. Or I can’t picture the face. If figure that my brain is working through those three years. Hopefully, my brain will start working through moving back east in 6th grade to a school with 15 times the number of students per class and a place where 80% of the kids were related to each other ’cause that’ll be so much more pleasant.

  106. Ogvorbis: 300-year-old Woodcut says

    Sorry.

    I blame the magnets.

    Or the tides.

    Something unexplainable anyway.

  107. Ogvorbis: 300-year-old Woodcut says

    North Carolina Anti-choice “Choose Life” license plates shot down as unconstitutional because no Pro-Choice alternative offered.

    Cue the ranting about those evil liberal activist judges.

    Reads article.

    The bill for the license plates passed in 2011, and the legislation also mandated that money raised from the sale of the specialty plates would go to a nonprofit that supports crisis pregnancy centers, WRAL reported.

    That right there is a wonderful reason not to have the plates. How many of those ‘crisis pregnancy centers’ are affiliated with churches? Maybe not officially, but I’d bet dollars to donuts that it is close to 100%.

    Reads comments.

    Shouldn’t have done that.

  108. rq says

    Beatrice
    It doesn’t make much sense, though. It barely does, to me (at least it does to me. *shrug* Oh well.

  109. Beatrice says

    rq,

    I’ve read the first literacy privilege post you linked and I’m now starting with the second.
    By the time I finish the third, I think I will probably be feeling very ashamed of myself.

  110. Beatrice says

    If I don’t find out whether I got a job before Christmas/New Year, I will worry myself silly.

    If I do find out and it’s negative… that will be bad.

  111. broboxley OT says

    Og that is 10 cigars for $50
    Well in my case that would be 2 cigars for $50 as the rest would be lifted

    On dreams.
    You know its going to be a long night when you push a PT boat down thru the mudbanks into running water and your contact tells you to go to an off base bar and rustle up a crew for it.

    In the bar the first ne’er do well asks “where are you going?”

    above the dolong bridge

    thats cambodia

    I know

    Because in those dreams you never make it out of the bar and people from your past always come in to argue with as to whether its a good idea or not.

    thank goodness the alarm went off before I got into a shouting match with the sister in law

  112. rq says

    Beatrice
    I know I’m feeling ashamed right now. Because I’ve always taken great pride in my grammar skills. :( It’s not that I don’t anymore, but I know I have definitely used them for evil corrective purposes. :/

    Giliell
    re: suicidal thoughts
    That’s a very different way of looking at it, thank you for a new point of view. I hadn’t thought of it that way before, mostly because when I contemplate suicide, the first thing that pops into my head is What will the Children do? and that’s a thought process way too heartbreaking to contemplate for any length of time.

  113. Ogvorbis: 300-year-old Woodcut says

    Oops. Sorry. Should have warned you.

    Not to worry. I should have known better.

    Og that is 10 cigars for $50
    Well in my case that would be 2 cigars for $50 as the rest would be lifted

    Reading fail on my part.

    Still a good deal though.

    ‘Lifted’?

    Because in those dreams you never make it out of the bar and people from your past always come in to argue with as to whether its a good idea or not.

    Not making it out of the bar is better than trying to push a PBR up a river into Cambodia. Even with an SiL. Maybe you could get her to get off the boat?

  114. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    My friend grows a custom strain of the 7 pod chile pepper. One of the hottest peppers in the world. He grows them for seed and pepper to sell but at this time of the year he cuts back the plants. He brought be a big brown grocery bag full of the last of the season peppers.

    Spent a couple hours last night prepping some of them for fermentation before turning them into hot sauce sometime next year.

    Holy motherfucking shit. I wore gloves, eye protection and a painters mask and still got lit the fuck up by the little bit of oil that became airborne when I was pureeing them. And I’m a pretty well established chile head.

    This shit is going to be thermonuclear. Still feeling it in my lungs this morning.

  115. says

    Re: literacy privilege.

    I’m glad to see this addressed. When I see someone mocked for their non-standard writing, I reflexively cringe and think of all the people I have known and love who suffer from dyslexia, who have had the education system fail them, who have been insulted all their lives and have internalized the idea that they’re stupid.

    Whenever my dyslexic niece leaves comments on my Facebook posts, I worry that someone I know to be a “grammar nazi” is going to insult her.

  116. Beatrice says

    “This kind of health education is dangerous, because parts of it destroy man.” says cardinal Bozanić about new health education in schools. As this endorsement shows, it’s pretty good health programme.

  117. dianne says

    Wife and I will be taking our 91-year-old neighbor to the doctor.

    Initially read this as “…taking our 91 year old daughter to the doctor.” Which left me wondering just how old you were.

  118. dianne says

    the loooong parts about Frodo being tired, Sam being worried and Gollum eating fish.

    Oddly, when I read the LotR the first time, I considered these to be the interesting parts and the fighting in Gondor bits as “some side characters do something unimportant to keep themselves busy”.

  119. birgerjohansson says

    Can we please Pharyngulate this rating? A couple of conservative trolls have brought down the ratings of this article because it dared to suggest people with conservative opinions may be convinced to care for conservation issues if the issues are framed appropriately.
    “Conservatives can be persuaded to care more about the environment, study finds” http://medicalxpress.com/news/2012-12-environment.html
    — — — — — — — — — — — — — —
    Research pair finds global warming matched predictions from 1990 http://phys.org/news/2012-12-pair-global.html
    — — — —
    A View of the Largest Mass Execution in U.S. History http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_vault/2012/11/29/execution_at_mankato_lithograph_provides_a_view_of_the_hanging_of_38_sioux.html?wpisrc=obinsite
    — — — — — — — — — —
    Nine Extinct or Nearly Obsolete Technologies http://blog.iacquire.com/2012/10/23/nine-extinct-or-nearly-obsolete-technologies-for-marketers-and-whats-replaced-them/
    — — — — — — — —
    Why Rivers No Longer Burn: -The Clean Water Act is one of the greatest successes in environmental law. http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2012/12/clean_water_act_40th_anniversary_the_greatest_success_in_environmental_law.html

  120. rq says

    Beatrice
    The health program must be doing something right, if it’s pissing off the church! haha… Sounds like the same sort of crap I hear here, whenever a new and revamped health education program gets brought up (because we don’t have one at all, since the old one got scrapped)… Those bishops. All about living on the edge.

    Caerie
    I’m glad I read that post, because honestly, I’d never even thought about it. I usually don’t bother people for having bad grammar/spelling because I know a lot of people who are really good at grammar but choose not to use it, and that’s their personal choice. BUT. I’d never considered why other people might not have/use proper grammar/spelling, but now I have considered it… And it makes a lot of sense not to be an ass about other people’s grammar/spelling. A lot.
    And it changes my perspective, because that’s one more area where I have huge privilege over a lot of people, and it’s good to keep that in mind, to keep it in check, and to remember that not everyone has the same opportunity (time, access, circumstances, etc.) to be literate, even if they really want to.
    (I hope that’s clear. Lately I’ve been worrying that I’m not being clear in writing. Weird.)

  121. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    broboxley:

    The context, which is explained in the article you linked, makes it pretty clear why it’s racist.

  122. carlie says

    I am worried, though. The dreams of the last few nights have included another adult male but there is no face attached. Or I can’t picture the face. If figure that my brain is working through those three years

    Your brain might be firing randomly, too. One major component to my dreams, one that’s been consistent my whole life, is that it squishes people and places together that have never actually been together. So, I might have a dream that involves my grandparents, some people I knew in college, and my third grade teacher, all set in the town I lived in when I was 28. Brains are fuckin’ weird.

  123. broboxley OT says

    Portia 663, from the article

    Williams is well known for referring to her curvaceous figure – the day before the tennis star, also in Brazil to promote the 2016 Games, had tweeted: ‘Do they make Brazilian bikinis for, um, well, me?’.

    In July she tweeted a photo of her bottom, with the accompanying words: ‘Hummm I think this onzie makes me butt look TOO big. Ugh. #BigButtproblems.’

    Now I was wondering if she was poking fun at her friend because of her shape without the context of her race? Or because others conceptualize black women as being big in breast and behind the assumption is that her characterization was of the race rather than the individual.
    Now I work in Atlanta GA with a lot of African American Ladies and they are all over the place size wise. Funny, just like the white women around here.

  124. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    You cannot will away context, broboxley. It’s there. She can’t just say “It’s not about her race, it’s about her body!” and erase the centuries of hypersexualization of black women’s bodies and the dehumanizing effects of that. Serena Williams making a comment about her body shape is not blanket permission for any white woman, friend or not, to make context -free fun of her body.
     
    I’m searching for a link to a source, but part of that context is an African woman who was literally displayed as a sideshow in early 1800s Britain, in the nude, because of her wide hips and large breasts. IIRC, they dissected her body post-mortem and kept her preserved labia on display in a jar. That is the context. That is the history. You can’t ignore it and call it good fun.

  125. carlie says

    Dammit, chigau! I was just about to post that!

    fuckin’ slow login.

    Also sadly mentioned in the Lion’s courage song in theMGM Wizard of Oz: “what makes the Hottentot so hot?”

  126. Rey Fox says

    North Carolina Anti-choice “Choose Life” license plates shot down as unconstitutional because no Pro-Choice alternative offered.

    I hope that one of the judges also remarked on how butt-ugly the plates are. I particularly like the wide-eyed cardinal in the bottom right, probably thinking “What the fuck is this shit?”

    Speaking of activist judges…

  127. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    I’ve read the first literacy privilege post you linked and I’m now starting with the second.
    By the time I finish the third, I think I will probably be feeling very ashamed of myself.

    Skimmed over it, and I’m certainly not. Then again, I spent years being assured I was “gay” and being threatened with violence on a daily basis (virtually never acted on) for reasons in which, to the extent they were explained, my being seen to read and use “big words” figured prominently…

  128. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    I’ll take another look at it, but after having been harassed (in the criminal sense) for being literate for most of my childhood, guilt-tripping about “literacy privilege” certainly seems like yet another round of “oh, by the way Azzy, the people who made your life miserable for no apparent reason are the REAL victims.”

  129. Beatrice says

    Alot, for example, makes my eye twitch, but I think it’s worth considering that not everyone has equal access to education and that it might be a bit of an asshole move to mock someone’s grammar when it’s their arguments that are making one angry.

    I have to admit that I do look down on people who write in txt speak, or whatever that’s called. And that’s probably an asshole move. Yeah, a person might be a lazy ass who can’t be fucked to write “I hate you” instead of “I h8 u”. Or maybe, as the author of the post suggests, they might be off a 14hour shift and really can’t be fucked to care about grammar and sounding smart.


    After reading #674:

    I’m not sure what to tell you. Are you equating everyone who isn’t literate and well read with your bullies? In that case, you have really misread the post. It suggests that we don’t immediately get judgmental just because someone doesn’t write well. If I remember correctly, Ing is dyslexic (or is it some other regular?) and do we mock Ing (or that other regular) when they fuck up words?

    I have a friend whose parents moved back to the country when she was starting high school. She had some trouble adjusting in school. Her Croatian teacher was an asshole, gave her bad grades and no help. My friend still writes horribly, she mangles grammar beyond recognition. She also speaks two other languages and is really smart. So yeah, I actually feel even worse now that I thought of her.

  130. Beatrice says

    Azkyroth,

    Of course, you can disagree with the article. I just don’t understand your reasons.

  131. Beatrice says

    Carlie,

    Alot was the first example that came to mind precisely because of hyperbole and a half. You people here introduced me to so many wonderful things.

  132. opposablethumbs says

    I ♥ the NHS with all my ♥

    and I love modern anaesthesia

    and I love painkillers for afters

    and I feel very positively disposed towards the dentist at the dental hospital (who was an absolute sweetheart, treated me like a human being and seems to have done an impeccably competent job – tooth out in one unbroken piece, no cutting or stitches required)
    and the person assisting her (I wasn’t absolutely clear if this was a student or a nurse) who quite happily let me crush her hand in my powerful womanly grip at a slightly fraught moment.

    It’s bizarre (but wonderful) to be fully aware of what’s going on (long roots, effort required!) but feel no pain at all (as usual, the only painful bit is getting the (first two) injections)

    I ♥ the NHS so much right now. The NHS is the most wonderful thing anyone anywhere ever came up with.

    Tooth has bitten the dust; nuked from orbit. Now all I have to do is heal up. Yay!!!!!!!

    I think I will go and wander around FTB and read things.

  133. opposablethumbs says

    Thank you, Beatrice, Mellow Monkey Caerie and Carlie!!!!!

    Nice Cups of Tea (or grog) and shoals of sparkly cephalopods all round.

  134. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    Thanks for the linky, chigau. Carlie, you get credit :)
     
    No problem, broboxley.
     
    opposablethumbs, hooray!!!