Back to previous post: Sweetness and Light

Go to Making Light's front page.

Forward to next post: Prescription for the Democrats

Subscribe (via RSS) to this post's comment thread. (What does this mean? Here's a quick introduction.)

November 19, 2005

The story’s in the NYPost
Posted by Teresa at 07:00 PM *

See the earlier story.

Since this is being reported in the New York Post, it’s got one of their characteristically impenetrable and ungrammatical headlines: BOUNCER SLAY TWIST. Here’s the story, with annotations:

November 19, 2005 — A murdered strip-club bouncer found shot dead inside his Brooklyn apartment was killed by someone he knew, law-enforcement sources said yesterday.

I knew that already. His door wasn’t locked, there was no sign of a struggle, and he was sitting on his sofa watching TV.

Irving Matos, 42, who worked at Sunset Park’s “Sweet Cherry,” …

The Sweet Cherry is a sleazy waterfront strip club. It’s not the only one in that area. Remember hearing about the cleanup of Times Square? Sleaze never gets “cleaned up”, if by that you mean it goes away permanently. Sleaze just relocates. One of the places it went is Third Avenue in Brooklyn, underneath the Gowanus Parkway (I-278), and some of the waterfront blocks near the 39th Street exit, which is the only exit from the Gowanus along that stretch.

What does this area have in common with Times Square? Simple: it’s easy to travel there from outlying areas. This is the second time I’ve lived relatively close to a Designated Crime Area—you know, one of those places even half-wits know to go to in pursuit of their particular vice. That’s what red light districts are for: to keep sin bounded in a particular area so the customers know where to find it.

The last time I lived near a DCA, we were on Fairview Avenue near 190th and Broadway, at the far northern end of Manhattan. The crack epidemic was in full swing, and the bleeping New York Times was printing stories about how the 180th Street neighborhood was the place to go for drugs. We groaned in despair when we saw that. Sure enough, next thing you know there’s all these jerks from the New Jersey suburbs driving in over the George Washington Bridge, looking to score.

Let ‘em buy drugs in their own neighborhoods, sez I.

Anyway, I digress. More on the Sweet Cherry in a bit.

…was discovered murdered about 11 p.m. Wednesday, slumped over a couch with his TV on inside his basement apartment on 31st Street.

Please don’t come looking. There’s nothing to see. 31st street is lined on both sides with nearly indistinguishable row houses full of irritable Brooklynites.

The club’s owner went to the apartment after Matos failed to show up for work for seven days, police said.

I think I met him, if he was the big genial gray-haired guy who was hanging around out on the sidewalk late Wednesday night. He told me he’d come to check on Matos after he’d missed work, so it could very well be.

Initially, police believed Matos had died of natural causes. An investigation launched by the Medical Examiner’s Office revealed that Matos had been shot in the top of the head and that the bullet that killed him lodged in his tongue, the sources said.

How I found out it was murder: One of the detectives asked me whether I’d heard anything that sounded like someone playing with a cap gun. I looked at him for a moment in polite disbelief, then said, “You mean, someone popping off with a .22.”

He ducked his head and mumbled that yes, that was what he’d meant. “We recovered a fragment,” he said—that’d be the bullet lodged in the tongue—then added, “We still haven’t ruled out suicide.”

“Surely you’d be able to tell if it was suicide,” I said. People who shoot themselves in the head don’t usually tidy up afterward.

He mumbled something more about how sometimes friends or family come by, don’t want to admit what’s happened, and take the gun away with them. I tried to imagine that, but couldn’t. Irvin Matos lived alone, and seldom had visitors. I’m supposed to believe in friends or family who made an unaccustomed visit to his place, found the body, cared enough about appearances to tamper with the evidence in a violent death, but didn’t bother to make an anonymous phone call to let the authorities know that the guy was sitting there decomposing? And who went off leaving the door unsecured?

I know there are reasons for the police to try to be discreet about their investigations, so I did my best to keep a straight face. Mostly I felt sorry for the officer. It must be hard to avoid giving people the idea that someone shot the deceased when you’re having to ask them whether they heard something that sounded like a cap gun.

I told him everything I knew. There wasn’t much of it, and none of it was terribly interesting. Near as I can tell, I was in Madison, WI when Irving Matos died. When he was alive, he and I mostly talked about our gardens. He grew up here, so he told me as much as he could remember about the old lady who gardened in what’s now my back yard. That’s all. I’m just the next-door neighbor. It’s a quiet block.

The victim’s door appeared to be broken—but authorities suspect that occurred prior to the murder, sources said. Matos’ home appeared to be neat and tidy and there was no immediate indication that he had any debts connected to drugs or gambling.

I don’t know what they found, but the police did ask me whether Matos ever talked about “all those guns he owned.” They said he “worked in security.” I can’t tell whether he’s he same Irving Matos mentioned here and here in 1999. I don’t necessarily assume he is. There could be two different people named Irving Matos who could both be described as “working in security.”

More about Sweet Cherry: First, I was amused to see it used as the standard of comparison when a reviewer wanted to indicate that another club was less trashy than it might be.

Perhaps more to the point, earlier this year the club was the focus of a six-month-long sting operation that netted multiple arrests:

Brooklyn, May 3, 2005 – Brooklyn District Attorney Charles J. Hynes today announced the arrest of five people on charges of selling marijuana, cocaine, and ecstasy out of the Sweet Cherry Topless Entertainment Bar in Sunset Park.

“The bar is the subject of disturbing allegations concerning drug sales, prostitution and underage strippers. It is a blight on the neighborhood,” said District Attorney Hynes.

Sweet Cherry, at 202 42nd Street, came to the attention of the DA’s Office in October 2004, when its owner, Gabriel Bertonazzi, 44, was arrested for allegedly raping a 16 year-old girl who applied for a job as a topless dancer. His rape case is pending in Brooklyn Supreme Court. He was subsequently also charged in the rape of a second dancer. It is alleged that he forced dancers to have sex with him, to be hired.

The DA’s Office has received numerous complaints from the community about illicit activity at Sweet Cherry and the sex industry along the western perimeter of Sunset Park, in general.

Following Bertonazzi’s arrest for Rape in the First Degree, Rape in the Third Degree, Assault in the Second Degree, and Endangering the Welfare of a Child, the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office initiated a six-month investigation into the club’s operations. Detective Investigators purchased cocaine, marijuana, and ecstasy from five Sweet Cherry managers and dancers. Bertonazzi, out on bail for the rape case, allegedly sold cocaine and marijuana to undercover agents on two occasions.

Yesterday, Detective Investigators from the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office arrested all five suspects and executed a search warrant on Sweet Cherry, where they recovered financial records for the club. Prosecutors will inspect the books for evidence of tax evasion and money laundering from the drug sales.

Finally, there turns out to be a bloggy connection to the Sweet Cherry bust. It was reported by one Karol in a fairly lame right-wing weblog called Alarming News. Apparently a group of “conservative girls”, one of whom may or may not have been said Karol, went slumming at Sweet Cherry three weeks before it got busted.

Her strikingly stupid buddy Jessica was also along on the excursion, and wrote about it disingenuously in her own weblog. She framed the whole thing as “Question: How do you know you and your three nearest and dearest girlfriends just walked into a shady strip club in Sunset Park, Brooklyn?” She gives several answers, mentioning thrilling depravities like the bullet holes in the windows, tee hee. A more truthful answer would be that if you’re down in that neighborhood at night, you know damned well what kind of establishment it is before you ever walk in.

What is it about Republicans and tacky sex? They can’t all be into sleaze, can they?

Addenda: Today (29 November 2005) I broke the links to Karol and Jessica’s websites, after it was suggested that the reason they keep trolling the comment thread is to increase their traffic. If you want the links, look at the source code.

Here’s Lin Daniel’s take on their presence in the conversation:

I’ve read all your posts And I’ve just missed the point.
Does anyone notice
My nose out of joint?

I’ve read all your posts And I haven’t a clue,
So I’ll make accusations
That just don’t fit you.

I’ve read all your posts And I’ve come back for more.
Let’s make this thread longer
With misquotes galore.

We’ve read all your posts
Let’s throw in the towel.
We’ll make this thread shorter
And remove all your vowels.

Comments on The story's in the NYPost:
#1 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2005, 07:15 PM:

Let's hope this doesn't get "ripped off the headlines" to wind up as the plot of one the Law & Order series - probably Special Victims Unit, what with the sex club and the trashy Republican girls. Let's not forget that the victim's neighbors are SF editors who run a web site where the word 'dinosaur' often pops up in conjunction with 'you-know-what'.

Instead of Johnny Depp & Meryl Streep, it'll probably be Steve Buscemi & Jessica Walter playing your parts.

#2 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2005, 07:33 PM:

I don't like this idea! I don't WANNA get fed into a woodchipper!

#3 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2005, 07:34 PM:

Serge beat me to it . . . I was thinking "CSI: NY," but SVU fits too.

#4 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2005, 07:38 PM:

That's a Fargo reference, isn't it, Patrick?

#5 ::: Karol ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2005, 07:56 PM:

Grow up. Or, move back to whatever hole you came from. I'm from Brooklyn, not far from Sunset Park, and I have friends who work in the Sweet Cherry neighborhood which is how we ended up there that night. I thought liberals were the not uptight side of the aisle? My bad.

#6 ::: Karol ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2005, 08:00 PM:

I love that you two wannabees are performing at Pussycat Lounge. What is it about liberals and hypocrisy? They can't just all be judgemental assholes who don't practice what they preach, can they?

#7 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2005, 08:12 PM:

Karol, do you actually disagree with what Teresa quoted from you and Jessica?

Only one of them is performing at the Pussycat Lounge.

#8 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2005, 08:30 PM:

Karol: You weren't slumming, then? Duly noted.

#9 ::: Maggie Brinkley ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2005, 08:38 PM:


My first reaction was, 'How awful for you both!' This makes a horrible event even worse. I can't begin to imagine how dreadful this is for you.

#10 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2005, 09:20 PM:

Thanks, Maggie, and thanks to everyone else who's been so kind. It's all been pretty creepy. Of course, it could have been much worse. I could have been the one who found him. I could have known him better. And I could have known something (anything!) significant about the circumstances surrounding his death -- which, I'm devoutly glad to say, I don't.

#11 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2005, 09:29 PM:

*says a quiet prayer for the deceased, and for anyone still in the way of the harm*

#12 ::: j h woodyatt ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2005, 10:34 PM:

Teresa writes: You weren't slumming, then? Duly noted.

Be careful about the pronoun tense when you write that down. We don't know whether Karol's friends were slumming.

#13 ::: Rich Boye ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2005, 10:36 PM:

Actually, Teresa, your neighbor's demise and subsequent, um, repose was reported earlier in the week in the Daily News. It was a smallish article, which I happened to note after having read your post, and noted that the two fact patterns alligned very closely. It didn't mention the strip joint, or the man's name, but it did mention Sunset Park and the fact that he was undiscovered for a while.


I think it might have been Thursday's paper.

#14 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2005, 10:38 PM:

BOUNCER SLAY TWIST has me wondering if there's some new dance craze going around. I can just picture hordes of club kids bouncing and twisting around, with intermittant dropping to the floor for a rest, before bouncing up again.

It's very strange reading about your home in the news - we had a fire down the street, and saw it on the news at the same time as seeing it out the window.

#15 ::: Karol ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2005, 10:42 PM:

Karol: You weren't slumming, then? Duly noted.

So, you are a hypocrite? Duly noted.

#16 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2005, 10:46 PM:

Excuse me for asking, Karol, but where's the hypocrisy?

If you say you weren't slumming, I have to believe you.

#17 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2005, 10:49 PM:

As do I.

Now, where does this hypocrisy supposedly come in?

#18 ::: Cassie Krahe ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2005, 11:09 PM:

Just wondering-- they think he was shot because they found a bullet fragment in his tongue? Might there not be a slightly more obvious hole?

#19 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2005, 12:09 AM:

Karol seems to be one of those people who confuses being indirect with being clever. Notice how she can't just come right out and say whatever it is she wants to say, but has to tart it up with cheap and incompetent irony.

#20 ::: Manon ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2005, 12:32 AM:

I was going to say... parroting TNH's remarks back to her shows reading comprehension and all, but it's not so much with the witty.

#21 ::: Miz ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2005, 12:37 AM:

I have to agree with Karol here, despite finding her politics repulsive. You made fun of these women for going to a strip club because it's sleazy but are yourself performing in a strip club. Is that because your strip club is in a "Good" area and the one they went to is in a "Bad" area? Seems hypocritical to me too. And the mention of them at all in this post seems unwarranted. What do they have to do with the story?

#22 ::: Cassie ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2005, 09:46 AM:

I think it's more that their reaction to the strip club was of surprise and astonishment, coupled with a giggle and a list of ways to tell it's a substandard place-- when they could probably tell its character based on a glance. She never said it was sleazy for them to be there, only commented on the fact that they had somehow missed every single sign that it was not a reputable club until it came time to joke about the misadventure.
This is my interpretation, of course.

#23 ::: Margaret Organ-Kean ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2005, 10:25 AM:

What I'm curious about is why this thread shows up on my laptop but not on my desktop downstairs. (Incidentally, Jim's thread on diabetes does and that was a new thread for the downstairs machine - and I did clear the cache & reload the page.)

Are the different floors in my house occupying different realities? (Anyone who's heard us discuss the previous owner's notions of home repair might think so.)

Are my computers checking into different internets?

Is one of my computers a neo-con Republican? (They're both Macs, but I suppose that doesn't mean anything.)

It's very odd.

#24 ::: Lis Carey ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2005, 10:33 AM:

I love that you two wannabees are performing at Pussycat Lounge. What is it about liberals and hypocrisy? They can't just all be judgemental assholes who don't practice what they preach, can they?

Karol, I know this will come as shocking news to you, but:

1. Musicians generally perform where they get gigs.

2. It's not generally liberals who spend all their time lecturing other people about Family Values or Sex Bad Sleazy Dirty. Liberals, in fact, generally maintain that other people's activities are their own business, as long as it's all voluntary and no one is getting hurt.

So, no, there's no hypocrisy in liberals being in a strip club, or in liberals snickering at that sight of a gang of "conservative girls" wanting to eat their cake and have it too--have the thrill of going to such an obviously sleazy place in a sleazy neighborhood, and still pat themselves on the back for being too good for that kind of place. Well, no, you're not too good for that kind of place. If by chance you didn't know when you set out, you knew well before you got there that it wasn't the kind place you were going to be telling Mummy and Daddy about over breakfast.

#25 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2005, 10:40 AM:

Margaret, have you tried selecting the 'refresh' item under the 'view' pull-down menu?

#26 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2005, 10:43 AM:

Now, Lis, your response assumes that you-know-what is interested in a debate where assumptions are reasonably discussed.

#27 ::: Lis Carey ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2005, 10:46 AM:

Serge, I realize it's unlikely, but who knows? Maybe the horse will sing.

#28 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2005, 10:59 AM:

Yes, Lis, and pigs will fly. The equivalent expression in French translates as 'when chicken acquire teeth', but I think the comparison to avian-porcine hybrids is so much more adequate.

#29 ::: Lin Daniel ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2005, 11:06 AM:

(Anyone who's heard us discuss the previous owner's notions of home repair might think so.)

Ah, you've been hit by a handy-jerk, too, eh?

The guy who did the work on our house did well-crafted, meticulously built shit. As in "why the shit did he do it that way?" The house has two main electrical lines, one on the left side of the house, one on the right. It was apparent that our handy-jerk rewired the house at some point, with a new fuse box and everything to include 220 for the a/c, ... and left the house wired with two main sides, one on the left... *sigh*

I haven't heard your stories, but you have my sympathy.

#30 ::: Simstim ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2005, 11:20 AM:

If people are looking for film references here, I was reminded more of "Manhattan Murder Mystery" than of "Fargo".

#31 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2005, 11:45 AM:

The trouble with the word "sleazy" is that it trails in all sorts of distasteful connotations. including a slatternly environment and a general exploitative dishonesty in dealings with the customers, as well as the air of sexual thingummy one associates with a strip joint.

Looking at the earlier events, the place looks outright criminal, a hive of scum and villainy, and an owner named "Gabriel Bertonazzi" would likely provoke helpless editorial giggling if seen in a work of fiction. It sounds the sort of place that an undercover Lensman would enter

    knowing
he would be slugged by a blackjack as he walked through the door.

Luckily, no Police Forces in the US have yet taken to using duodecaplyatomate, and trained Rigellian Cateagles are in short supply.

Anyway, sleazy isn't really the word.

Can we refer to is as a Zwilnik den?

#32 ::: Margaret Organ-Kean ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2005, 11:49 AM:

Serge, thank you, but I did reload/refresh the page. I have a couple of websites I maintain, so it was about the first thing that occured to me. If that doesn't work, clearing the cache & reloading the page does.

More on topic, I'm very sorry to hear that this happened, and I hope that nothing further comes of it.

#33 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2005, 12:09 PM:

No offense taken, I hope, Margaret?

#34 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2005, 12:12 PM:

If this plot isn't going to be Fargo-inspired, but along the lines of Woody Allen AND 'Doc' Smith, maybe somebody should tell Harve Presnell that we don't need him to play the part of Tom Doherty.

#35 ::: Jason ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2005, 12:28 PM:

You had a decent post going until the final couple of paragraphs. "Srikingly stupid?" Gimme a break. Shortsighted name-calling may have a place in grade school, but the adult world looks down upon such bush league tactics.

#36 ::: Randall P. ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2005, 01:22 PM:

Haha...Jason wrote "bush league". George Bush! Get it? That IS a "Bush League" tactic. haha. Man, that's funny. So, so very funny.

Have you noticed that there's always a strange stench lurking around when certain people come around to "defend" themselves? Kind of like the stench in Teresa's basement.

#37 ::: j h woodyatt ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2005, 01:24 PM:

Folks, I don't think it's fair to call Karol a hypocrite just yet.

I think it's clear from her comments here that she wasn't slumming. She's obviously the sort of conservatarian with little patience for the sex-negative and drug-paranoid types who show up at places like JusticeSunday.com, for example.

The telling thing, it seems to me, is that, of all the myriad strip club venues in the great city of New York, she would choose to visit one with such a poor record of labor-management relations. Perfectly consistent with the conservative ethical system, when you think about it.

As a good leftist, I always "look for the union label" when I choose a strip club to visit. If it's not SEIU, then it doesn't get my money. So, it's helpful to know, for the next time I visit New York, that Sweet Cherry is 1) not a union shop, and 2) frequented by annoying conservative bloggers. I'll definitely avoid the place.

#38 ::: Will Entrekin ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2005, 01:56 PM:

Okay, I may be confused, and on several different counts. It's been known to happen in the past, so can I attempt to clear some things up for myself, really quick?

Teresa: You're not performing at the strip club, correct? Patrick's band is performing at the strip club? Are you in Patrick's band, as well (well. Not that it's "Patrick's band," as in he's the creative force behind it, but more in the sense that I simply associated the music with Patrick, that's all)?

Karol: are you from Brooklyn, or from Russia?

I thought the point of the end of the post was to note the connotation's in which the Sweet Cherry's been mentioned in the blog world. And I think the key word in that part of Teresa's post is "disingenuous." In each post by Karol and Jessica, the experience is spoken of with the "hee hee" tone, and the second-to-final sentence is what nails it. Jessica's blog posits the question: "How do you know you and your three nearest and dearest girlfriends just walked into a shady strip club in Sunset Park, Brooklyn?"
The answer, of course, is none of the ones proposed; the answer is that you don't know you just walked into the shady strip club. The answer is you know you're *going* to a shady strip club, and you know so *well* ahead of time. I'm quite nearly certain it didn't "Seem like such a nice place... until you noticed the bullet holes in the door." I'm also nearly certain that Jessica knew she was in a shady place long before she was asked if she and her friends were making a documentary. The tone of the post smacks of the "slumming" vibe: slumming, in this sense, used to mean deliberately visiting a "shady" venue not for the purpose of having a good time but rather to experience, vicariously, the shadiness. Then waking up the following morning in your own bed, going to work at your political pr gig, and blogging about the experience. (I also read some of the seeking of hipster credibility in the posts)

Not to mention, in Jessica's blog, there's a post about a bachelorette party. "Can someone tell me why a bunch of girls would think a good way to spend an evening is to shell out a hundred bucks for vomit-inducing food and dancing transvestites?"
Dancing transvestites sound like far more fun than bullet-holes. But that may be just me.

Jason: if you follow the links to the blogs, especially Jessica's, I think you'll see what Teresa means. I don't think "strikingly stupid" is a "bush league tactic." Although, "vapid" might have been a better adjective, or maybe "vacuous," or even a third or fourth v-word.

#39 ::: Neil Rest ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2005, 02:04 PM:

What is it about Republicans and tacky sex? They can’t all be into sleaze, can they?

(wearily remounts soap box) One of the fundamental, perhaps the most fundamental, motivations of the "Right" is sexual hysteria. Look at their "issues": abortion is evil because it interferers with God's punishment for sex; homosexuals are evil altogether, and probably have more fun sex lives than we do; sex education (the surest, cheapest way to cut abortion rates) is evil because it's about sex; etc., etc.

It's about punitiveness and control. Sex is about being out of control. There is no more evil than interfering with the punishments for sex.

Wilhelm Reich used the term "emotional plague", and while he didn't have much in the way of constructive suggestions*, I really like the term.
* (Toward the beginning of the Bush II Administration, I re-read Mass Psychology of Fascism hoping for practical advice. It sharpened my understanding, but wasn't much use tactically.)

#40 ::: SeanH ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2005, 02:12 PM:

Sayeth Will Entrekin:

Dancing transvestites sound like far more fun than bullet-holes. But that may be just me.

Same here. I've never been shot at, but I've known some very sexy transvestites.

#41 ::: j h woodyatt ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2005, 02:20 PM:

Dancing transvestites firing guns. Now there's an idea even more brilliant than Snakes On A Plane.

#42 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2005, 02:41 PM:

Randal... I kept wondering if the 'bush' league comment was an accident. Or a freudian slip. There would indeed be a certain irony to busheviks decrying the use of insults against their opponents. Remember the 1992 Presidential Race when the other side would refer to Bill & Al as Bozo & Ozone?

By the way, Bozo the Clown was quite offended at the Republicans using his name as an insult, partly, it's true, because Bozo was a Democrat. I think I read that in a column of the late Herb Caen in the San Francisco Chronicle.

#43 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2005, 02:48 PM:

" One of the fundamental, perhaps the most fundamental, motivations of the "Right" is sexual hysteria."

middle eastern peoples are evil because they control the mysterious and erotic falafel.

#44 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2005, 02:55 PM:

About Jason's post: what's the matter with Kansas. Indeed.

#45 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2005, 03:34 PM:

Will, of course I'm not performing at the Pussycat Lounge. I'm not performing at all. Patrick plays guitar in a rock band, and they've got a gig in the upstairs half of that establishment: a major venue for minor bands.

Miz isn't a careful reader. I didn't make fun of Karol or Jessica for going to a strip club. I have no problem with that. What I found distasteful about Jessica's writeup was its disingenuousness and its prurient tone.

I acknowledge that "vapid" or "vacuous" would have been better word choices.

I was particularly moved by "E)You feel somewhat violated after leaving the place." Wrong. Violated is what happened to the club's underage dancers. If you and your buds decide to have a little transgressive fun by going sightseeing at a waterfront dive that has bullet holes in the windows, and afterward you walk out with your wallet plus howevermuch virtue you had going in, you may feel unclean or grossed out, but you can hardly lay claim to violation.

j h woodyatt, I like the idea of dancing transsexuals with guns. It would bring a much-needed infusion of vril to the standard gun control debates.

#46 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2005, 04:26 PM:

I'm just guessing that the transsexuals with guns are dancin' the Bouncer Slay Twist.

(Rataplan, rataplan, rataplan, plan, plan.)


#47 ::: Robert L ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2005, 04:37 PM:

I have to say I didn't find Karol's post "prurient" in tone, and even if I had, if one can't take a prurient tone writing about a strip club, just when can one?

If she feels "violated," it's probably because there is a very thin fourth wall at such places. I might not feel that way, having actually worked very, very briefly in a strip club, but I can understand easily enough how someone would.

#48 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2005, 06:56 PM:

I went and read Jessica's blog.

Is she really a "political consultant"? I can't fit the label with what I read in the blog. Have I mistaken a third-party advert for self-description? Or is it the latest label for a very junior worker in a politician's office?

There's nothing wrong with the giggly girlie-girl stuff, but it does clash with the label.

#49 ::: j h woodyatt ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2005, 08:59 PM:

Surprisingly, my puny dictionary doesn't have the word vril. The Wikipedia entry gives an excellent explanation, but dammit— that is an extremely cool word. It really ought to be in my dictionary. I have something new to complain about this weekend.

#50 ::: Bruce Adelsohn ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2005, 09:06 PM:

j h woodhyatt said Dancing transvestites firing guns. Now there's an idea even more brilliant than Snakes On A Plane.

Actually, Dancing Transvestites Firing Guns sounds like a great band name, to me :-)

#51 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2005, 09:49 PM:

I wanna see pole dancing trannies with gun holsters....

I don't think they have them at Missie B's. (our local drag q
queen perfomance venue..._

#52 ::: Will Entrekin ::: (view all by) ::: November 20, 2005, 10:15 PM:

Teresa: yes, I knew Patrick played in a rock band, and had seen that Whisperado was playing at the Pussycat Lounge, but I had just wanted to confirm that you hadn't taken up accompanying the band. I figured it was possible you had, in your spare time, taken up the pan flute. Or maybe the zither.

#53 ::: Jessica ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 01:15 AM:

Wow, how old are we? Only an overemotional, angry, thick-skulled feminist like yourself would bring politics into the equation where it is completely unwarranted.

By the way, I've played guitar and violin in bands for the last five years here in New York and I know all too well how many venues there are to choose from, especially for a baby band starting out. I'd recommend getting your own hobby instead of promoting your husband's band at a venue where you'll be just one floor above topless dancers being 'violated'. Oh, but you'll be having a blast dancing and schmoozing with the crowd, won't you? Of course you will!

Here's a bit of advice. Maybe once you stop trying so hard people will start to like you.

#54 ::: Jonathan Shaw ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 01:27 AM:

As ever, I'm on the edge of my seat to see when dsmvwllng kicks in.

#55 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 01:41 AM:

Heads up for Jessica:

Being a topless dancer doesn't automatically mean you've been/are being violated.

The specific reference was to the Sweet Cherry, where dancers were allegedly required to have sex with the boss in order to get a job. You may have noticed he's been indicted for rape. Would you tend to agree that those particular women might have been violated?

#56 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 02:20 AM:

Dancing Transvestites Firing Guns as a band name? Maybe. I'm waiting for Cross-Dressing Cowboys with Live Ammunition, which is a particularly tasty phrase Will Shetterly gave me a couple of years back.

#57 ::: Margaret Organ-Kean ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 02:38 AM:

I'm coming to the conclusion that the problem with the current version of the Republican party is that there's not an adult in it.

After reading our current visitors' blogs with their attendant twittering about sex, and considering the adolescent mind set that most of that party has regarding the topic, I think it's a reasonable conclusion.

When you add in the juvenile bullying (of entire countries, even), the insistance on dividing the world into us and them, the total lack of interest in how their actions will affect their future -

it reminds me of nothing so much as the least attractive bits of high school.

#58 ::: j h woodyatt ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 03:01 AM:

Okay, I'm now thinking "strikingly stupid" was a pretty good call.

#59 ::: j h woodyatt ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 03:12 AM:

Oh, and on a related note, here is good place to start learning about the Lusty Lady chapter of SEIU Local 790 in San Francisco, the first union shop for exotic dancers.

#60 ::: Doug ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 03:23 AM:

Jessica doesn't seem a likely candidate for disemvowelling: her vocabulary's big enough to avoid the grosser sorts of insults. I'm waiting to see if she will demonstrate knowledge of the first rule of getting out of holes.

Admittedly, it's not as entertaining as the bigger Republican meltdowns further down the east coast, but it's a nice little sideshow. Anybody have some more popcorn?

#61 ::: kayjay ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 03:27 AM:

Near as I can tell, I was in Madison, WI

You were? Cool. Hope it was at least mildly fun.

#62 ::: Bryan ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 03:53 AM:

the first rule of getting out of holes is to head for china.

#63 ::: Bruce Adelsohn ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 04:41 AM:

*offers Margaret the missing "junior" from her last sentence.*

#64 ::: Niall McAuley ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 06:12 AM:

The Wikipedia entry on Vril notes that Bovril is a portmanteau name composed of Bovine and Vril, but calls it an "English drink".

Bovril can indeed be made into a hot, beefy drink by adding boiling water, but it is sold as a black goo in a jar not unlike Marmite or Vegemite (apart from being the exact opposite on the Vegetarian scale), and it can be spread on bread before adding cheese and toasting for a tasty snack.

On the subject of toasting things, I have an American recipe book which makes frequent use of the verb to broil. From context and my Oxford dictionary, this appears to mean the same thing as the English to grill. Yes? No?

#65 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 06:24 AM:

In the US, "broiling" is cooking with high radiant heat, so yes, grilling is a form of broiling. The heat can come from either direction; the broiler in my gas stove is in a drawer below the oven, so the food will be directly under the flames. And the last stop on my toaster oven's temp dial is "broil."

So now I'm curious: is "London broil" -- broiled strips of flank steak -- not in fact English, whether from London or Milton Keynes? (I wouldn't be at all surprised if it weren't.)

#66 ::: Niall McAuley ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 06:40 AM:

I've never heard of London Broil, but according to beefusa.org:

- London Broil took its name from London, England, but originated in the US

and if you can't trust a casual Google, what can you trust?

#67 ::: jane ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 06:57 AM:

I began reading this thinking that Jessica and Karol were both friends of TNH having fun with her. But after reading Jessica's last post, I understand. Neither one of them have a clue about who TNH and PNH are, probably think they are clueless 20 year olds with a blog. I giggle at the idea of T dancing on a pole at the Pussycat or somehow needing support from her husband's band.

They simply googled their own names and found themselves here.

The adjectives I would use are clueless and useless.

Jane

#68 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 07:57 AM:

I simply have to chuckle at the use of "feminist" as an insult. What an odd mindset.

#69 ::: Feòrag ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 08:33 AM:

Niall: If you look at a jar of Bovril now, you'll see that it's completely vegetarian. I think it even has Vegetarian Society approval.

#70 ::: Tina ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 08:37 AM:

I figured it was possible you had, in your spare time, taken up the pan flute.

Teresa has spare time?

#71 ::: Bruce Arthurs ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 08:44 AM:

"Only an overemotional, angry, thick-skulled..."

*koff*projection*koff*

#72 ::: Dan Guy ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 08:49 AM:

Doesn't even require googling yourself in this age of trackbacks. (They don't sound like the sort who would know how to check their referrer log manually.)

#73 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 08:53 AM:

Nothing like hearing someone who has benefitted so much from feminism using that word as an insult... Lots of those in the GOP.

Linking the current tenor of this thread to its original subject of the crime next door... How about having some of the site's members dress up like old-style mobsters then having them visit annoying Republicans. I'd be nervous if John M. Ford/Hugo Weaving and James MacDonald/Tom Connolly showed up at my place and said:

"Ma Teresa wants us to take you for a ride."

#74 ::: Niall McAuley ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 09:25 AM:

Feòrag, I'm shocked!

I only hope poor old Chris Bonington doesn't find out.

#75 ::: Will Entrekin ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 09:30 AM:

"I simply have to chuckle at the use of "feminist" as an insult. What an odd mindset."

I don't think it's anything new, especially from Republicans. Rush Limbaugh morphed the word into "feminazi" to convey his own feelings toward feminism back as early as 1993.

#76 ::: Petitedov ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 09:49 AM:

It's incredible to me that after reading a handful of posts people seem to *know* all about Jessica and their "conservative" friends. Because you know describing the place as a off-color and unusual in your daily life screams of "over indulgent manhantanite lifestyle". Just for clarification all that Karol or Jessica were trying to communicate that they had a good time in a place where people, such as yourself, might not associate evil, sex-hating, feminist-hating (cause you know strip clubs are great place to assert your feminism, except for sleazy ones like Sweet Cherry, because unlike the SF ones they aren't unionized) conservatives. Seriously i can't believe people spent time thinking whether Karol, Jessica, and co. knew if it was a seedy bar before going. To dissect Jessica's post in such extremes, which by the way was written that way as a rhetorical device to make the post amusing and fun, only speaks to your insecurities and deluded opinions of self-righteous.

Lis, you know you're right i never did get around telling my mommy and daddy about the experience. But you know if i was a liberal i would feel all safe and warm telling my parents about it. Sigh... if only i didn't have to hide my deviant sexual desires from my parents the world would be a better place.

Margaret Organ-Kean,
When you write "When you add in the juvenile bullying (of entire countries, even), the insistance on dividing the world into us and them, the total lack of interest in how their actions will affect their future" you realize this is an instance of the pot calling the kettle black, right?

#77 ::: Jsn ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 10:10 AM:

Ww, ths sms lk qt th ntllctl bnch. S mch s, n fct, tht 'm sr w'll sn b sbjctd t dscssn f th tr mnng f 's.' Scrw th ppcrn, smn gt m cgr.

#78 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 10:11 AM:

Robert: Yes, I know you worked at a strip club. You told me about it once.

I didn't find Karol's post prurient. I was talking about Jessica's. Also, the prurience I perceived there wasn't about the sex, but rather about what a wicked low dive it was. Homo sum; nihil humanum mihi alienum puto, wherefore I am not a modern Republican.

Dave Bell, given the tone of her most recent comment, I have trouble believing she's a political consultant in any conventional sense of the term. Perhaps there's something else she's good at?

Niall, what Mike said. In currant US usage, the distinction between grilling and broiling is whether the food makes contact with the heating element. If it does, it's grilling.

#79 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 10:21 AM:

Do you suppose all their friends are going to come in and completely miss the point? This is like watching them play "let's grab hold of the wrong end of the stick" as a party game.

#80 ::: Richard Anderson ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 10:25 AM:

What's with all this talk about grilling? We're now into the braising season....

#81 ::: Michael ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 10:27 AM:

I like the idea of dancing transsexuals with guns. It would bring a much-needed infusion of vril to the standard gun control debates.--TNH

Then you might like Killer Transvestite (realaudio) by Feo Y Loco. I used to run sound for them. I think they'd've loved to be booked above a strip club.

#82 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 10:39 AM:

[points at Petitedov] Look, argument with no evidence!

But you know if i was a liberal i would feel all safe and warm telling my parents about it.

*sigh* As fuzzy-headed liberals go, I'm pretty fuzzy, but I sure wouldn't tell my mom about going to a strip club, sleazy or otherwise--she doesn't ask about my sex life, and I don't ask about hers, and we're both quite happy that way. But that's rather not the point; the point is that I wouldn't make self-congradulatory blog posts about how I was slumming, either.

There's more I could say on this subject, but--and I realize this is a failure of my character--I just can't justify spending my time on trying to educate someone who refuses to think...

#83 ::: Charlie Stross ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 10:40 AM:

I'd just like to thank everyone upstream of this posting for contriving to make this thread a much more attractive time sink than the galley I'm currently supposed to be proofreading.

Obligatory killer transvestite content: anyone else read Killer in Drag by Ed Wood (yes, that Ed Wood)?

#84 ::: Yrn ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 10:43 AM:

Wll, 'm nthr cnsrvtv frnd f hrs, nd t fnd yr h-s-clvr "sd" jst chldsh nd ptty. Wht's th pnt? Tht t's fnny tht Rpblcns g t sdy rs nd fnd sdy bhvr thr? W lv n bg wrld - r crtn rs nly th prvnnc f lbrls? Bllsht. Y ssm tht, jst bcs thy'r Rpblcns, y knw crtn thngs bt thm. Jst bcs smn fvrs lwr txs nd n ggrssv frgn plcy dsn't mn nythng mr bt wh thy r thrws. Tht's th fndmntl msndrstndng lbrls hv bt cnsrvtvs, tht thy'r ll ptght nd cltrlly cllss - slly csd by nt ctlly knwng ny n rl lf, by th wy.

h, nd wht's "mssng th pnt"? Thnkng tht ths ws jst n ttck n sxl hypcrsy? f s, plnty f yr wn cmmntrs sm t hv mssd th pnt t. Fl fr t scld thm wy.

#85 ::: Bryan ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 10:45 AM:

Hey, you remember that night that Tex and Juggy showed up at the strip club and got all wild and shit. I should totally tell that story in this thread. I bet Jessica would appreciate it.

Those two are so... declasse

#86 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 10:48 AM:

I guess I was right, Lis, about their not being interested in an actual debate. And when they can't come up with a valid argument, they bring up Bill Clinton's sins. Which reminds me of Field of Dreams's scene where Amy Madigan's character has a run-in with the local book-burner. The latter, when faced with a logical argument, can only make an irrelevent reference to her hubby being a weirdo who hears voices in his corn field. To which Madigan responds:

"Now there's an intelligent answer."

#87 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 11:02 AM:

Those two are so... declasse

Add clueless. I read Jessica's 'trip to CA' post. She seems to think a few days in Palo Alto at someone's (large, very expensive) house and a few days in Big Sur have qualified her to speak about How Wonderful California Is. Not. Jessica, please stay in NYC and make those of us who live in CA happy.

#88 ::: Seth Gordon ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 11:02 AM:

If I ever write an SF novel with dinosaurs, sodomy, and transvestites with guns, I know just the place to get it published....

#89 ::: cgeye ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 11:04 AM:

No, *this* reminds me of nothing so much as the least attractive bits of high school:

"Here's a bit of advice. Maybe once you stop trying so hard people will start to like you."

Sweetie, honey, this one topic probably has more comments than one of your gals' blogs -- that is, if you Republican Ladies Who Slum actually allow comments to take place. (I'd sample one of those sites myself, but, you know, *cooties*?)

Who ever in the Wide Wide World of Sports wanted you to like this blog? Which person posting here is so desperate for your approval that he or she must change her posting behavior, right now, so as to keep his or her cache with your posse of kool kidz?

In terms of your tone and content, the temptation to say exactly what I feel would earn me instant dsmvwllmnt, and I'd rather spend a night in the company of drunken, neocon, faux-hipster slatterns than risk that, thank you very much.

Yes, I know, someone's done a better job of demolition, above....

#90 ::: Yrn ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 11:16 AM:

Srg: n ctl dbt n wht? Th nly pnn bng dvncd hr s "ths grls r stpd, nd w r smrt".

cgy: Tht's splld "ccht".

#91 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 11:22 AM:

Actually, having sampled both Karol's and Jessica's blogs, they sound like giggling high-school students. You know, the ones who spent most of their time in front of the mirror fixing their hair and their makeup, and ignoring everyone else.

Girls, if you can say that you didn't know what you were getting into when you walked into a place with a sign reading 'topless entertainment', you are truly clueless. It's right up there with 'gentlemen's club' and 'sports bar' for translation as 'the only females inside will be employees'.

#92 ::: Will Entrekin ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 11:24 AM:

Yaron: You say "I'm another conservative friend of hers,"-- with whom are you friends? The two previous posts to yours belong to Cassie, and then to Teresa. I want to guess your Cassie's friend, but I'm unclear.

And concerning your most recent post, the opinion isn't actually "these girls are stupid, and we are smart." The opinion actually put forth has been stated rather clearly several times, and I'd clarify it again, but you'll probably just ignore it, like you did the other instances.

#93 ::: Keith Kisser ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 11:26 AM:

For people who do not like either liberal blogs or sleezy dives, these girls sure spend an awful lot of time in both places.

#94 ::: Vicki ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 11:29 AM:

If I went to a topless club, I might or might not tell my mother about it.

But if I wasn't going to, I wouldn't post about it in my blog.

I realize that not everyone's mother reads their blogs or online journals, though mine does. But if there's something you don't want your mother--or your boss, or your ex-husband, or any other person--to know, don't post it to the Internet. They might find it, whether by looking for your name, or by accident, or because someone who knows you both offhandedly says "Did you know your daughter went to a strip club last week?"

#95 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 11:29 AM:

No, Yaron. It's all about each side's attitude toward sex and how your side has been using ours to depict as a bunch of degenerates who can't be left alone in a room with the neightbor's dog. Say what you will, as with the hokeypokey, that's what it's all about.

#96 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 11:33 AM:

Oh, and, yes, Yaron, I did write "neightbor's dog" while I meant it to be "neighbor's dog". That's called a typo. You do know the concept?

#97 ::: Yrn ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 11:35 AM:

Srg: f tht's wht y thnk th sbjct s, thn ccrdng t Trs y'r cmpltly mssng th pnt.

Wll: frnds wth Jssc. 'm ls frnds wth Krl.

n n "ctl dbt" prsnl ttcks r frbddn. Hr tht's... ll nyn's dng.

#98 ::: r ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 11:39 AM:

s sl, whr thr s dbt ftrng lbrls nd cnsrvtvs, lbrls knck thmslvs t t rg thr wn stpdty. Yt nthr mdl rght hr. t's bvs frm yr bnxs lttl pst tht y wr trllng fr hts nd bt f rcgntn. Prhps mmmy nd dddy nvr tld y tht ngtv ttntn s rrly th wy t g. Bt hts ff t y; grl-wh-prfts-frm-tplss-dncrs-sh-pts-nd-rls-t-Jssc-fr-vwng s dspt yr nhrnt stpdty, vn y cn s yr hbby's lttl bnd wll mst lkly prft frm t's bnfcl ggrphy.

Sms y knw hw t mnplt vry ngl, h? S lk lbrl.

#99 ::: Niall McAuley ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 11:44 AM:

I fail to see how my comments in re Bovril can be construed as personal attacks on Karol or Jessica.

#100 ::: Lisa Spangenberg ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 11:45 AM:

Ari

You wrote:

As usual, where there is a debate featuring liberals and conservatives, liberals knock themselves out to argue their own stupidity. Yet another model right here. It's obvious from your obnoxious little post that you were trolling for hits and a bit of recognition.

Uh, Ari? Do you have any idea how much traffic a link FROM MakingLight generates? Trust me, Teresa and Patrick don't need any traffic.

#101 ::: James ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 11:46 AM:

Ari:

I don't think you realize how little TNH has to troll for hits or recognition.

Or who PNH or TNH are in the first place. Or what they actually do in their day jobs.

A little research before posting can make all the difference between sounding clueless or informed.

#102 ::: Will Entrekin ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 11:51 AM:

"It's obvious from your obnoxious little post that you were trolling for hits and a bit of recognition."

Actually, Ari, that's not at all obvious, not to mention blindingly, stunningly wrong. Toward the end of August/beginning of September, MSNBC mentioned Making Light as a resource for survivors and victims of Hurricane Katrina. So Making Light obviously -already- has its share of hits and "a bit of recognition." Just because you've never encountered it before doesn't mean it wasn't already there.

#103 ::: Laura Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 11:52 AM:

Larry: I simply have to chuckle at the use of "feminist" as an insult. What an odd mindset.

Will: I don't think it's anything new, especially from Republicans.

No, it's nothing new. I was surprised that Larry found it novel enough to chuckle at.

As for the cockroaches scuttling around upthread: "clueless" doesn't even begin to cover it. Super-mega-giga-clueless, maybe.

#104 ::: Xopher (Christopher Hatton) ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 11:56 AM:

Here's a bit of advice. Maybe once you stop trying so hard people will start to like you.

Haha, wht lsrs.

Ditto Ari's entry just above..."trolling for hits and bits of recognition." ROFL, these people have no idea who they're even addressing! Clues, clues here! $0.25!

#105 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 11:57 AM:

I missed the point, Yaron? Oh no! How can I live with myself.

This is going round and round and I have better things to do with my life than responding to people who aren't listening. Better things, like trying to avoid a collision with someone who cuts my off very close when changing lanes and who then cuts me off when I change lanes again, all this because I have a Kerry/Edwards bumper sticker.

Ta-ta...

#106 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 12:00 PM:

Charlie: Yes, I have; my daughter snagged a copy at the local used book shop a couple years ago, and I read hers. Every wannabe-hip parent dreads and rejoices in the day when they find out that their kids have become cooler than themselves.

#107 ::: d ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 12:14 PM:

i know, i know, more fun to play with the guests. but look:

the mysterious and erotic falafel

FUNNY!

#108 ::: Yrn ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 12:16 PM:

Srg: n th cntrry, ppr t b th nly n wh's lstnng t y.

Lr: m "cckrch"? Fr wht, dfndng my frnds frm hrtfl nslts by ppl wh dn't knw thm?

By th wy, wll nyn ctlly rspnd t my rgmnts? dbt t.

#109 ::: Alison ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 12:17 PM:

I don't know how many here went to fairly conservative east coast top-25 universities in the last ten years (or spent time in the halls of Congress lately), but if you had, you would have encountered many Karols and many Jessicas. I'm afraid it's a bit of an epidemic. They tend to be bright, well-educated, beautiful, charming and have figured out that men in certain circles find such bright, educated, beautiful and charming women threatening. So they espouse the viewpoints of the monied, conservative white men who hold the reins of power, knowing that this (and perhaps flashing a tanned, toned leg) will get them in the proverbial door. It's a whole generation of Ann Coulters.

The sorts of conservatives that Karol, Jessica and Yaron are definitely aren't culturally clueless or uptight. They just find it personally advantageous to appear so, when it is convenient. For those keeping score, that's the hypocritical part. They can dress provocatively, yet object to sex ed being taught in school; they can call TNH a feminist in a mocking tone, yet take full advantage of the cultural changes people of her political stripe and her generation have wrought; object to high taxes when "Gluttony is so in this year" (priceless). Having their cake and eating it too; enjoying the thrill yet looking down their noses, just as other commenters have said, not only in strip clubs, but in life.

#110 ::: KristianB ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 12:25 PM:

"By the way, will anyone actually respond to my arguments? I doubt it."

Um, I don't think you've actually made any arguments, Yaron. The nearest thing I could find was something like "All you liberals make ridiculous generalizations about your political opponents. This is something all liberals do."

#111 ::: Laura Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 12:30 PM:

Yaron: you and your friends are cockroaches because you have infested this thread and left nasty little footprints all over it. Furthermore, although you were able to figure out that you were being insulted, you clearly do not understand the exact nature of the insults directed at you.

That's where the clueless part comes in.

Can anybody tell me if cockroaches are known for their intelligence? Because then I would have to apologize to the species.

#112 ::: Yrn ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 12:54 PM:

KrstnB: myb y shld chck bck wth lsn, wh ctlly dd rspnd t sm f my rgmnts. Nt tht gr wth ny f t, mnd y, bt thr y hv t.

Lr: ths thrd ws nsty frm th vry bgnnng. nd... thr s n "xct ntr" t ths nslts. t's thrd-grd-lvl fr-fr-ll, f y hdn't ntcd.

#113 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 12:58 PM:

I wasn't fishing for these guys, but if I had been, I'd've tossed them back in after I measured them.

I hate to counsel mercy when y'all are having so much fun, but I'm starting to wonder whether it's possible that these kids are literally unable to follow the conversation. Judging from their descriptions of what they think is being said, they're all low-resolution readers.

A predictable thing is about to happen to one of them.

#114 ::: Paul ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 01:02 PM:

Ari: girl-who-profits-from-topless-dancers-she-pities-and-rails-at-Jessica-for-viewing

You see that dot over there? That's the point you're missing.

For some reason the comments have taken on a very definite "us and them" feel between 'liberals' and 'conservatives'. The problem is that those labels are so vague as to be meaningless. Plus, as the cookie says, all generalisations are false.

Karol/Jessica/Ari/etc. - nobody here particularly knows you, what you like/dislike, what you're like off-line, etc. Please remember that you know just as little about the people here.

#115 ::: Sandy ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 01:04 PM:

I saw a pretty girl once in the middle of a crowd/mosh pit(Pietasters show- ska, not punk) doing a sort of early-Madonna bop.

The amazing thing was, people were slamming into each other all around her and, successfully, avoiding her. Her expectations overruled Brownian motion.

Going to a place where people shoot guns, expecting to not get shot, and actually not getting shot is like that, only more so.

Me, I don't go to places with bullet holes in the windows. It's dangerous.

[I would like to thank 24fightingchickens.com for this insight. The specific article has been taken down, in hopes of publication. ]

#116 ::: Luthe ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 01:05 PM:

A predictable thing is about to happen to one of them.

They will be sodomized by a dinosaur?

#117 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 01:07 PM:

Alison, I think you'll find some of the same types in the British political world, mostly with job titles like "researcher".

Anyway, "political consultants" are ten a penny. If anyone wants some seriously fit totty, they should try "Trouble Consultants".

#118 ::: Luthe ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 01:13 PM:

I think you'll find some of the same types in the British political world, mostly with job titles like "researcher".

If this is true, I weep for the noble art of doing research, for it is truly one of the last bastions of non-partisanship.

Facts don't lie. People do. People can make the facts look like they lie, but in the end, facts are facts, and nothing can change them.

*scurries off to continue working with the Census data she is using for her grant writing*

#119 ::: Laura Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 01:19 PM:

this thread was nasty from the very beginning.

It is true that when I read the fifth post, my first thought was "Wow, that was fast."

#120 ::: Randall P. ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 01:23 PM:

I can't believe Ari Fleischer is REALLY posting on this blog! You've hit the big time, Teresa and Patrick! Next thing you know, Scott McClellen will be here to defend himself. Then, it'll be George Bush Jr., himself.

#121 ::: Laura Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 01:27 PM:

Teresa: now that you've gotten out the red pen, I'd like to point out that it was very rude of me to call them cockroaches.

I almost regret it. Well, I regret the lapse of etiquette, not the possible accuracy of the term.

#122 ::: Will Entrekin ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 01:36 PM:

Thanks, everyone, for helping clear my confusion.

Yaron: "What's the point? That it's funny that Republicans go to seedy areas and find seedy behavior there?" This is an example of your fundamental missing of the actual point. This statement is most assuredly not the point. The point is that "these two girls went to areas they -knew- were 'seedy' and then blogged under the pretense (meaning, to pretend) that they were -surprised- to find 'seedy' behavior." I read the further comment about Republicans and sleazy sex as alluding to a previous post on Making Light, which discussed the phenomenon of conservative, mostly Republican authors, including but not limited to Scooter Libby and Bill O'Reilly, writing fiction which contains scenes of a salacious and lascivious nature when they are the ones (remember: -not limited to-) who most argue against sexual education. Who preach "family values" and "upright morals" but seek out entertainment at places they know are 'seedy' (the quotes in this sentence do not refer to statements from the bloggers).

I've mostly refrained from using big words for you. 'Salacious' and 'lascivious' mean having to do with lust and sex, mostly, with some negative connotation added. 'Connotation' an idea associated with a word.

(I note the above because I hope not to be misunderstood, and sometimes we say things we aren't explicit or clear about, which can reveal our beliefs. For example, you might find it interesting that, when you say "aggressive foreign policy," I understand you to mean "bombing the heck out of other countries without any real reason, which makes the rest of the world hate us.")

#123 ::: Lucy Kemnitzer ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 01:38 PM:

Tangent alert.

I know we started out being all about the dread horror of a neighbor possibly murdered, but Clifton said:
Every wannabe-hip parent dreads and rejoices in the day when they find out that their kids have become cooler than themselves.

And I just want to say something about that. Because I remember when my dad started asking me things about some aspects of popular culture (but he's still cooler than me). And I remember when I started getting stuff from my kids.

No dread for me, I was just thrilled. It was just like the first time my first-born showed me what he was doing in math and it was beyond what I had ever done. It's the same with the music and stuff. My second-born's the one who tosses me novels sometimes.

My kids are cooler than me, smarter than me, more competent than me, cuter than me (that part's not hard), and it's just really a great thing.

#124 ::: JC ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 01:45 PM:

I don't think this is a characteristic specific to either conservatives or liberals, but the thing that I find puzzling about comments made by the so-called conservatives in this thread is that they all seem rather generic. One could transplant them into another argument where liberals and conservatives are squaring off and they could fit just as well.

It's worth noting that Yaron has mentioned that he disagrees with Alison, but has yet to explain exactly what is so disagreeable about what she wrote. An explanation of why he disagrees would show that he does understand the point being made as well as show in what way it is invalid. However, that would require him to write something which fits specifically within the context of this discussion rather than some sort of generic statement (or templatized statement) which fits equally well anywhere. The latter is all that I've seen from him so far.

I'm in the process of learning how to play bridge and I find it extremely helpful when after we've played a hand, we all show our hands and the more experienced players break down what has just happened and what alternative plays I might have made instead. Perhaps something like that would be useful here to help Yaron and who else may drive-by make specific, credible arguments worth responding to in the name of maintaining civil discourse.

Lest we forget, of course, Teresa's article is not actually about those who have chosen to come here and fight. It's about a guy who was murdered in her apartment building. That she makes reference to a blogger who (based on a brief reading of referred links) was either callously disingenuous about the types of places she visits or was so genuinely clueless that she honestly did not know the type of place until it was too late is incidental. (It does, however, give some insight to the place where the guy who got murdered worked.)

Teresa and Patrick, I wish you guys the best in dealing with what must be a really creepy situation

#125 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 01:48 PM:

Make that "a predictable thing is about to happen to two of them."

I don't think I need to explain why the poster formerly known as Ari lost his vowels. Jsn (who was disemvowelled earlier) was within bounds the first time he posted, but the second time around, his remarks consisted of weary old insults (bad) that had nothing to do with the conversation (very bad). Yrn only strayed into abusive language a few times, but either he's arguing without reading the argument -- a disemvowellable offense -- or he literally can't parse what's being said here, and for the good of his soul and ours ought not be encouraged to continue.

#126 ::: Lydy Nickerson ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 02:10 PM:

j.h. woodyatt writes

Be careful about the pronoun tense when you write that down. We don't know whether Karol's friends were slumming.

Prounouns don't have tense. They have number. Teresa can't "be careful" because the language isn't built for it.

#127 ::: Scott H ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 02:14 PM:

I've no doubt that the recently disemvowelled are currently complaining about how liberals don't want to engage in debate of the issues. Inasmuch as I'm a liberal and I don't want to engage in discussion of the issues with people like you, there's some truth to that.

Yaron, Karol, Jessica, Ari: Here's my personal reason why, in case you're legitimately confused:

In order to conduct a rational debate of issues, it would be necessary to hold out hopes that, somewhere deep down inside, you and yours are essentially good human beings with a core of decency that can be spoken to. I live in the deep south of the U.S.A and I've spent the last 15 years listening to persons of your political persuasion reinforce one another's worldviews and I no longer hold out such hope.

By voluntarily associating yourself with the monsters that currently run this country, you have placed yourself outside the boundaries of civilized interaction. Your enthusiastic embrace of the unconscionable, the unethical, and the atrocious is de facto proof that there is no good in you to reach. I'll confess to some mild curiosity as to whether it's your mind or your spirit that is the root of your pathology, but I'd have to interact with you to figure it out and I'm honestly not that interested. In the same spirit that I set traps for vermin in my garage rather than attempt to negotiate with them, I decided several years ago that I'm done wasting my time playing word games with the likes of you.

Applause to TNH for cleaning house.

#128 ::: Yaron ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 02:16 PM:

JC:

It's worth noting that Yaron has mentioned that he disagrees with Alison, but has yet to explain exactly what is so disagreeable about what she wrote. An explanation of why he disagrees would show that he does understand the point being made as well as show in what way it is invalid. However, that would require him to write something which fits specifically within the context of this discussion rather than some sort of generic statement (or templatized statement) which fits equally well anywhere. The latter is all that I've seen from him so far.

Maybe you should ask the administrator of this site, who hacks the comments of people she disagrees with. Talk about lack of interest in an actual debate.

Doesn't anyone here feel the least bit uneasy about this stunning breach of etiquette?

#129 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 02:19 PM:

Maybe you should ask the administrator of this site, who hacks the comments of people she disagrees with.

Don't read well, do you? Disemvowelling is for being rude to others without cause. You should google 'disemvowel' sometime.

#130 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 02:25 PM:

Thanks, JC. It continues to be creepy. Yesterday I got to tell Simon, the next-door tenant who actually found Mr. Matos, that he'd been murdered. It was inadvertent. I thought he knew. Simon just froze, staring, for several seconds.

"I'm sorry," I said. "That was obviously a shock."

"Not any more than everything else has been," he said.

He told us -- we were standing outside, waiting for our ride -- that on Wednesday night he'd come out of his apartment to find the club owner standing out front, sniffing around the door to the basement apartment. "I think he may be dead," he said.

Simon volunteered to go in and look -- at a guess, because he's a tenant in the same building, and the club owner was a stranger. He came out again, fast, and didn't notice the entry wound. I expect I'd have done exactly the same thing, and possibly thrown up into the bargain.

Another upper-floor tenant in their building was also in on our conversation. He said (approximately) that the circumstances indicated an individual, explicable cause for this murder, not a general rise in violent crime in our neighborhood.

We all agreed that people can get killed anywhere.

(If either of those neighbors show up here and read this, please forgive me if I mixed up your names or jumbled your quotes. I wasn't taking notes at the time.)

#131 ::: Yaron ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 02:27 PM:

Disemvowelling is for being rude to others without cause

But I wasn't rude to anyone, which you could see for yourself if my comments weren't hacked.

I don't know why I'm still here, I must be a masochist.

#132 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 02:30 PM:

'someone he knew' - being shot in the top of the head makes it sound to me like someone he knew and trusted: I don't let strangers do that, and most of the people I work with wouldn't be allowed that close, never mind that I've known some of them for several years.

#133 ::: JC ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 02:31 PM:

Of course, it goes without saying that the surest way for Yaron to signal interest in rational discourse would be to attempt some. In responding to my previous message by attacking Teresa's rather effective method of maintaining rational and civil discourse instead, I have to conclude that I've been wrong about Yaron and he is, in fact, more interested in attacking to attempt score points than in advancing rational discussion.

(Long time readers of this site recognize that she disemvowel messages which are rude without cause, not messages with which she disagrees.)

Oh well. That's a shame.

#134 ::: Fran ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 02:32 PM:

You know, I enjoyed this much more in the original video. These two and their hollaback boys and girls? Not so much.

Teresa and Patrick, you have my sympathies on the grisly discovery and aftershock. My usual addition to hot chocolate is either Amaretto or a shot of peppermint extract.

#135 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 02:36 PM:

a typo is evidence of the universe conspiring to destroy all goodness when it happens to me, disemvowelling is evidence of a beautiful design affecting reality when it happens to Yaron.

#136 ::: Fritz ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 02:38 PM:

"I don't know why I'm still here"

In this you are definitely not alone.

#137 ::: Richard Anderson ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 02:41 PM:

C'mon, Scott, H, give these kids a break. They're young, certainly, and full of the hubris -- and ignorance -- of youth, but to claim there's nothing good in 'em goes (IMHO) a tad too far in demonization.

#138 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 02:49 PM:

Hi, Yaron. Not only am I a fan of actual debate, but formal debate -- the kind with teams and judges and declared topics -- is what I used to do for fun. When you can correctly identify the arguments being made in this thread, and make an argument of your own that engages with them, you may then be said to be engaging in debate. You're welcome to do so, but thus far you haven't managed it.

The "stunning breach of etiquette" was yours. You came stomping in here, yelling at people but not listening to them. That's bad manners. Debates have two sides, and engagement between. Yelling is just yelling. It was rudeness that lost you your vowels, not whatever virtues you imagine your arguments possessed.

Richard Anderson: You're right. There is of necessity some good in all things.

#139 ::: Lydy Nickerson ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 02:49 PM:

Petitedove wrote:

Just for clarification all that Karol or Jessica were trying to communicate that they had a good time in a place where people, such as yourself, might not associate evil, sex-hating, feminist-hating (cause you know strip clubs are great place to assert your feminism, except for sleazy ones like Sweet Cherry, because unlike the SF ones they aren't unionized) conservatives.

I honestly cannot make it through this sentence without getting lost, right about "might not associate evil, sex-hating, ..." The paranthetical comment about SF clubs being unionized leaves me especially confused. I can't even catch the gist of what you're on about, by that point.

Can you come again, more slowly? And you don't have to assume that I'm sex-worker negative. I worked in a massage parlor for a year, and am pretty comfortable with strip clubs, etc. That's not my hang-up.

#140 ::: cd ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 02:53 PM:

Lydy: I think what's referred to is the fact that there's at least one strip club in San Francisco where the workers are organized. (See j h woodyatt's link.)

#141 ::: Yaron ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 02:56 PM:

You came stomping in here, yelling at people but not listening to them.

One example please, because I really don't know what you're talking about.

#142 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 02:59 PM:

Oh, bravo, cd. To advance to the semifinal round, can you explain how petitedove's sentence is meant to function in the general conversation?

#143 ::: Carrie ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 03:00 PM:

A complete tangent, but like Lydy I was confused. This forum is run by science fiction editors and writers, frequented by science fiction writers, fans, etc., so in that context, when I saw "SF" I automatically thought "science fiction."

I'm thinking, "science fiction strip club?"

Never mind...I'm slow sometimes...

#144 ::: j h woodyatt ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 03:00 PM:

On the marginally related subject of the weird mentality of using feminist as an insult (c.f. "tacky sex" and "sleaze"), I'm reminded of Echidne Of The Snake's recent post titled Feminists To The Rescue.

When you're a conservative, apparently, there's never a feminist around when you need one. "It's a bit like calling a plumber," she said. I understand conservatives like to believe that civilized people have hired help to handle the dirty work, but really— I think they might be taking it to extremes here.

#145 ::: cd ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 03:04 PM:

Teresa: to quote the name of a popular blog, "sadly, no". Or possibly as a generic potshot.

#146 ::: jennie ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 03:08 PM:

I went to bed last night before commenting that, at least where I live, one would have to be really dense not to know that one was entering a strip-joint before one had entered it.

I have never entered a strip joint. I could identify several that I pass regularly, were I planning an evening out, and wanting to either visit one or avoid it.

Clear signs:

- The pictures of mostly nekkid, well endowed women all over the outside.
- The signs that say things like "Girls GIRLS GIRLS!!!" and "Table Dancing!!!!!"
- The lack of windows through which passers-by can peer in.*
- A serious looking bouncer**
- The name of the place may have sexual connotations, (i.e., Sweet Cherry, which sounds like the name a whore might use, and is probably a euphemism for nipples). It's conceivable that a sundae shop or a bakeshop might be called "Sweet Cherry," but if the establishment also has dark windows, a bouncer, and possibly a poster or graphic depicting breasts, it's a good bet that sundaes aren't on the menu (or maybe they are...) This isn't a reliable indicator—of the three or four such establishments that I can call to mind, none have really connotative names: Jilly's, Fillmore's, The Brass Rail (I suppose that one might be connotative?), and Remington (again, that's pretty obvious, I guess.) But all of these establishments have signage that makes the nature of the establishments quite obvious.

So I just can't see being all "Oops! I've entered a dodgy strip club! Little ole' me and my innocent eyes! I wonder if I'll emerge alive?" I think the conservative ladies really would have to be either quite dense, or deliberately disengenuous. And if you're going to play ditzy, you really have no call getting upset or indignant when people call you on it.

Also, if you deliberately enter such a place, you can't complain if you see and hear things that make you feel smutty, any more than you can complain that watching a skinflick makes you feel violated. Really. You signed on to see what you saw when you walked through the door. Violated is when you're taken out of seeing what you signed on to see, into doing or being done to, without your consent. So if you go into a club and someone gropes you, yeah, that's violated. If you invite a friend over for tea, and they pop a DVD into your DVD player and it shows a bunch of people nekkid and writhing and doing things you generally consider unspeakable, that's probably a violation too. But if you see nekkid people and hear sex at a sleazy club, that's just the establishment fulfilling the terms of its advertisement, isn't it?

This is totally unlike money laundering operations, which one can enter unawares (an acquaintance once tried to order a slice of pizza at a money laundering pizzeria, and was completely bemused when they didn't have any pizza, and made him feel most unwelcome).

So I'm curious...in other cities, are strip joints less obvious? I think I remember noticing one or two such establishments in London. I can't say where one would find them in Boston, and until recently I'd have had to ask where to find one in NYC.

*O.k., this alone doesn't necessarily mean that the place is a strip joint, or even dodgy, but it's one hint. The pictures and the signage are much clearer signs.
** Ditto. (Or is that ibid?)

#147 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 03:10 PM:

Parsing (very carefully) petitdove's sentence, I guess we're not supposed to associate conservatives with strip joints? (Not that I have any problem with that association, as none of the strip joints that I've passed seems to have an obvious political affiliation.) On the other hand, 'strip club' and 'sleazy' have obvious associations, and even a twenty-something ingenue should be aware of them.

#148 ::: Cassie ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 03:12 PM:

This may be something of a tangent, but I remember hearing some time ago about someone who'd be dead about a year and who was discovered... through bureaucracy, I think, something about a condemned building or maybe the mailman not being able to cram any more mail through the door. Stories like this that don't involve people I like are blurred after a year or so.

I hope you and your neighbors recover from this. I can't imagine the debate has helped, though it may have distracted you a bit.

#149 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 03:17 PM:

So I'm curious...in other cities, are strip joints less obvious?

Not necessarily. But the ones I've seen in LA are generally free of windows, dark or otherwise. They may or may not say explicitly that they're a strip club. But windowless, yes, and frequently with a sign outside saying 'Girls!' (Some even buy billboard space: public advertising, yes.) One I go by on my commute has a sports bar in the back part of the building. Most of them seem to have the parking area discreetly tucked in back of the building.

#150 ::: Lydy Nickerson ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 03:25 PM:

As long as I'm on the topic of being baffled, can anyone make out anything sensible out of this Example of Jessica's Quick Wit? The response doesn't even seem to be on topic.

#151 ::: Keith Kisser ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 03:28 PM:

While not having had the displeasure to experience what Teresa and Patrick have with this particular neighbor, I can sympathize with the general environment.

Up until a few months ago, my wife and I lived in a seedy apartment building (that is currently undergoing yuppification) in what is still considered a high crime neighborhood (we had are car broken into, as did just about everyone else within five blocks). During our five years living there, we had several neighbors evicted for criminal behavior. If any of them died as a result, the management was very savvy about the cleanup. As the management was a bunch of crack fiends and louts, I suspect that no such thing happened. But it very well could have and everyone living there knew it and suspected that it would, any day now.

I'll never forget the night we came out to find our next-door neighbor standing on the street with his belongings strewn about him. He walked up, shook our hands and said, "I'll be seeing you guys, I'm off to spend 90 days in County!"

It's unfortunate that your neighbor couldn't have said the same thing to you, as absurdity is generally preferable to horror.

#152 ::: Yaron ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 03:34 PM:

jennie: as Teresa basically made clear in the original post, they all knew it was a strip club. That's why they went there.

You really should listen to Teresa more carefully. You know what happens to commenters who don't listen to her.

#153 ::: Scott H ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 03:35 PM:

Richard Anderson wrote:

"C'mon, Scott, H, give these kids a break. They're young, certainly, and full of the hubris -- and ignorance -- of youth, but to claim there's nothing good in 'em goes (IMHO) a tad too far in demonization."

Yeah, you're right. If the board had an "edit" function I'd change it from "no good in you to reach" to "not enough good in you to reach." For all I know they're kind to puppies or something.

But I stick by the basic argument. Life's too @#$ing short to waste time with these jerks.

#154 ::: Laura Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 03:41 PM:

they had a good time in a place where people, such as yourself, might not associate evil, sex-hating, feminist-hating . . . conservatives.

I replaced "associate" with "expect to find" and got something that parsed, kind of. (Especially after removing the parenthetical expression, which does not help at all.)

It's also possible that she meant to say "in a place which people, such as yourself, might not associate with . . . conservatives" and forgot what she was trying to say in the middle of her sentence. That happens a lot.

#155 ::: mayakda ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 03:43 PM:

The name of the place may have sexual connotations, (i.e., Sweet Cherry, which sounds like the name a whore might use, and is probably a euphemism for nipples).

Afaik, "cherry" is an old euphemism for (an intact) hymen.

#156 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 03:48 PM:

Yaron, getting into an argument doesn't mean you're automatically entitled to win it. Having an opinion doesn't mean you've made a cogent argument. Having an opinion and getting into an argument doesn't mean that anyone else is obliged to be impressed with the results. And if you have so little awareness of your own tone that you can't imagine what I could be referring to, I honestly can't help you.

Does this mean we think you're being kinda dumb? Well, yeah. It does. Sorry about that. Them's the breaks.

By the way, you misunderstood Jennie's piece, too.

#157 ::: Sandy ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 03:51 PM:

To me, the major point of the blog entry isn't "liberals vs. conservatives" or other label wars.

It's "how dumb to you have to be to drink in a place with fresh bulletholes?"

Simple question.

#158 ::: Magenta Griffith ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 03:52 PM:

jennie,

Now I have the idea in my head of a strip club/ice cream parlor. But then, chocolate syrup turns me on.

Teresa and Patrick, belated but heartfelt sympathy for what must be a very trying time.

#159 ::: Richard Anderson ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 03:55 PM:

Another point is that a blog is like a room with many, many windows, and strangers peering in. Be aware of what you type.

#160 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 04:01 PM:

PJ,

I think petitdove's sentence means we should associate conservatives with strip clubs, or rather, not dissassociate them with such places. I don't know that it conveys the author's true intention.

I tried to diagram that sentence, but ran out of paper and the willpower to interpolate missed words. I'd like to offer a bounty of a hand-bound book to the poster of a correct diagram as agreed by the consensus of the community.

I also think we are being rather hard on these children, for whom "conservative" is clearly a clique name rather than a political philosophy. I'd save the true opprobrium for those who commit capital intellectual crimes, chew'd, swallow'd and digested, such as teaching them that one can be for both lower taxes and an aggressive foreign policy. (Hint, Yaron: how do you pay for the army?)

#161 ::: jennie ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 04:15 PM:

Magenta:

Now I have the idea in my head of a strip club/ice cream parlor. But then, chocolate syrup turns me on.

I can think of a few people who would find the idea rather a turn on. Would the establishment also feature roller-skating servers?

And how do the gun-toting, dancing transvestites fit in?

Oh, and Yaron?

Teresa's very phonemes are as letters written in green fire across a dark sky to me. I may not always agree with what they say, but they generally get my attention. In this case, happens I quite agree with Teresa's assessment.

I have never feared to post my own take on things on Making Light. But then, I was raised to maintain a civil tongue and a respectful attitude in public discourse.

#162 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 04:24 PM:

Sandy said:

To me, the major point of the blog entry isn't "liberals vs. conservatives" or other label wars.

It's "how dumb to you have to be to drink in a place with fresh bulletholes?"

Simple question.

Maybe they believed old Bill when he said it was mice.

#163 ::: Lucy Kemnitzer ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 04:25 PM:

But I wasn't rude to anyone, which you could see for yourself if my comments weren't hacked

I'm surprised nobody took this up. Disemvowelling actually leaves the comments readable by anybody who wishes to go to the effort. I often do read disemvowelled comments when I weant to follow a conversation (because a turn usually takes place about the time of the disemvolling).

The point of disemvowelling is not to remove hateful comments. They're blunted a little by making the readers exert themselves to read them, and the disapproval of the moderator is registered, but the remarks are still there.

So, Yaron's first post looks, in part, like this:

Wll, 'm nthr cnsrvtv frnd f hrs, nd t fnd yr h-s-clvr "sd" jst chldsh nd ptty. Wht's th pnt? Tht t's fnny tht Rpblcns g t sdy rs nd fnd sdy bhvr thr? W lv n bg wrld - r crtn rs nly th prvnnc f lbrls? Bllsht. Y ssm tht, jst bcs thy'r Rpblcns, y knw crtn thngs bt thm. Jst bcs smn fvrs lwr txs nd n ggrssv frgn plcy dsn't mn nythng mr bt wh thy r thrws. Tht's th fndmntl msndrstndng lbrls hv bt cnsrvtvs, tht thy'r ll ptght nd cltrlly cllss - slly csd by nt ctlly knwng ny n rl lf, by th wy.

h, nd wht's "mssng th pnt"? Thnkng tht ths ws jst n ttck n sxl hypcrsy? f s, plnty f yr wn cmmntrs sm t hv mssd th pnt t. Fl fr t scld thm wy.

I can read that.

Look, here's something I disemvowelled on my own, so you can practice:

cn't blv tht lttl rch grls hv mngd t tk ll th ttntn wy frm ctl prl nd sffrng, gn

wow, it takes up so much less space that way!

#164 ::: Sandy ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 04:31 PM:

"I have never feared to post my own take on things on Making Light. But then, I was raised to maintain a civil tongue and a respectful attitude in public discourse."

I was not, that I recall, specifically raised with either. I was, however, raised to not argue something I couldn't defend. Seems to work OK.

(Also, I once again have "Bikini Women with Machine Guns" stuck in my head. And it's not even a very good song.)

#165 ::: Yaron ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 04:32 PM:

I was raised to maintain a civil tongue and a respectful attitude in public discourse.

I respect you for that, and I honestly wish that I could always follow that model (though I do try). It would also be nice if the proprietress of this blog, who wrote the original post calling a friend of mine "strikingly stupid", would follow it too.

abi - there's obviously scads of non-military spending that can be cut. There's also a good amount of waste in military spending that can be cut without much negative impact, but that's a story for another day.

#166 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 04:33 PM:

I think petitdove's sentence means we should associate conservatives with strip clubs, or rather, not dissassociate them with such places. I don't know that it conveys the author's true intention.

Probably not. I'd like to say things about their writing skills, but the difficulty seems to be reading comprehension instead.

I'm under the impression that the whole trip to the strip club was something like 'I dare you to do it'. What I'd like to know is, was it really three weeks before the criminal-investigation story hit the papers, or was it after - because I can see these kids doing as 'dare you to visit this strip joint that just got busted'. Certainly Jessica's blogpost about it was at least three weeks after the criminal-investigation story, in her own words. But the date of the trip hasn't been mentioned....

#167 ::: ace ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 04:35 PM:

I'm just curious about the cutting "slumming" slam.

How does one NOT slum at a strip-bar, exactly?

Strip bars aren't exactly the Algonquin Round Table. Or even a nice table at Chi-Chi's.

I don't think I've ever been in a strip bar and thought to myself, "Ah yes, this is precisely where I want to be at this moment. Let me savor the ambiance, chiefly consisting of a floor of ominous stickiness and 'Paradise City' blaring louder than I ever bothered to blare it when I was 12. I'm so inspired by the rather unfortunate amount of meaty scarring underneath Heather Autumn's hyperinflated breasts."

#168 ::: jennie ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 04:40 PM:

mayakda:

You're correct! I got out the Compact OED (it really isn't a party until someone's pulled out a dictionary), and there, under definition 5 ("fig a. applied to the lips, etc.") is definition 5 c. "Virginity, esp. in phr. to lose one's cherry; similarly, to take etc. a cherry. Also, the hymen; also a virgin.

Then there are also all the usages that refer simply to something red (blood, cheeks, lips.) Nothing about breasts or nipples at all.

#169 ::: Lucy Kemnitzer ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 04:49 PM:

Ace: slumming isn't going to a seedy place. Slumming taking your superior attitude and your certainty that the world is your Disneyland in with you. It's looking at the people who work there as performing monkeys putting on a show for you. It's being cushioned by your privilege. It's thinking that if the place is raided, surely you will be passed over because you're not one of those people. It's running a narration in your head where you are the normal observer, and those guys are the freaks.

You can do it almost everywhere. I've seen people do it on an ordinary residential street in a city, going into a corner restaurant or working man's bar as if it were the Exotic And Dangerous Gangsta Exhibit at a Los Vegas theme hotel. I've seen people do it at a flea market in an ordinary rural town. Or at the weekly get-together of a community, where they danced and sang and gave each other presents (a pow-wow). I saw people doing it at my college, thanks to a former Governor and President calling it a cross between a hippie pad and a bordello.

Here's a clue about how not to go slumming when you enter a place: shed your privilege and your pretensions to superiority. If they play music that isn't to your taste, maybe it's because they hear something in it that you don't, so listen. If they're presenting an image you find disturbing, maybe you're not looking at it right. If you can't get out of your own skull while you're there, maybe you belong somewhere else.

#170 ::: T Chem ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 04:51 PM:

jennie:
"In other cities, are strip joints less obvious?" reminds me of a classic story from my in-laws' oeuvre, which is heavily dependent upon knowing that in the old days of Times Square, "Bookstore" was code, but not for "Place to Find Dostoyevsky". A young woman and voracious reader visiting New York for the first time was never the same.

But for the most part, yeah, if you want to attract customers, the customers have to be able to find you. And entendre-filled signage helps.

#171 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 04:54 PM:

Lucy: Good one! I confess to being baffled by "prl," though. I keep trying to make it "pearl."

Yaron: "Scads of non-military spending"? Such as, no doubt, prenatal care for poor women, or Pell grants for smart children of unemployed parents? I would really like to know what you consider unessential government services.

#172 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 04:59 PM:

And entendre-filled signage helps.

Also code words like 'Adult' and 'Pleasure'. I go past a store where the overhead sign has a picture strongly reminding me of the label of 'Zig Zags' and the name 'Little Pleasures' (at the hours I'm usually passing, it's closed, so that's all I see). On the occasions that it's open when I go by, they seem to specialize in 'adult toys'. If a place has a sign for 'Adult Entertainment', assume strippers at the very least.

#173 ::: Paul ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 05:00 PM:

TexAnne: beware of jumping to conclusions. It's polite to at least let him give you something to disagree with. ;-)

#174 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 05:01 PM:

T Chem:

in the old days of Times Square, "Bookstore" was code, but not for "Place to Find Dostoyevsky".

There's a bookshop of that particular old school across the road from my office. We long ago observed that the innocent enter normally and exit swiftly, while the guilty enter swiftly and exit normally.

The only clues to its true nature are that the covers of the books in the fully enclosed window display are faded almost beyond legibility, and that the posters that cover the door are not removed when the events they announce have passed.

#175 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 05:03 PM:

TexAnne: I read it as "peril"

#176 ::: c ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 05:12 PM:

'm srry, Lcy Kmmtzr. hdn't rlzd tht ws spkng wth smn wh's rlly "dwn" wth th sdy prts f twn, lk y.

>c: slmmng sn't gng t sdy plc. Slmmng tkng yr sprr tttd nd yr crtnty tht th wrld s yr Dsnylnd n wth y.

ddn't rlz t ll tht's wht thy'd dn. thght thy wr mrly dscrbng smwht ntrstng nght t. Th sdnss ws prt f wht md t ntrstng.

ddn't rlz tht ll lbrls sch s yrslf r mmdtly ssd "T Cl Fr Schl" Crtfcts mkng thm mmdtly bls bt frsh bllt-hls n th wlls.

>t's lkng t th ppl wh wrk thr s prfrmng mnkys pttng n shw fr y.

ndd! 'm sr mst strp-br ptrns vw th dncng nkd lds nt "prfrmng" nr "pttng n shw" fr thm, bt rthr s "xprssng thmslvs," prhps wrkng t nvl wy t splt tms thrgh th vhcl f rtc dnc.

> t's bng cshnd by yr prvlg.

Ys, ndd, ll Rpblcns nd cnsrvtvs r xtrmly rch. W ll hv trst fnds nd ychts nd Mrnng Btx njctns nd ccsnlly w rrng Mst Dngrs Gm hmn-hnts wth bdctd hbs.

W'r ll tht fckn' rch, bby. Hlf f th cntry r BLLNRS.

> t's thnkng tht f th plc s rdd, srly y wll b pssd vr bcs y'r nt n f ths ppl.

m, nt bng n wnr, mply, tc., why wld y nt b pssd vr? Ths ssms t's n llgl clb (Mm t Lcy: vn n Grg Stn Bsh's mrKKK, strp brs r gnrlly lgl), bt f t wr llgl, why wld thy bst th ptrns, xctly? Fr nt dmndng t s th Lcns t prt Nghtclb n th wll? r chckng wth th cty dprtmnt f cmmrc t mk sr t's vld?

By! Y sr d hv hgh pnn f yrslf. spr n dy t b s cl s y r b n sch sldrty wth sx-wrkrs nd llgl strp-br wnrs.

>t's rnnng nrrtn n yr hd whr y r th nrml bsrvr, nd ths gys r th frks.

plc wth bllt-hls s knd frky, Lcy.

h, wt: Tht's rght. Y'r frm "th hd." Mst lkly th vry dngrs Grmmrcy Prk hd, whr wrng wht ftr Lbr Dy cn gt y whckd, y.

>Hr's cl bt hw nt t g slmmng whn y ntr plc: shd yr prvlg nd yr prtnsns t sprrty.

Hr's cl rght bck: Try tht t yrslf. Thr s nt sngl wrd f yr slf-srvng rnt dsgnd t cnvy ny thr thght thn "'m bttr thn y r."

>f thy ply msc tht sn't t yr tst, myb t's bcs thy hr smthng n t tht y dn't, s lstn. f thy'r prsntng n mg y fnd dstrbng, myb y'r nt lkng t t rght. f y cn't gt t f yr wn skll whl y'r thr, myb y blng smwhr ls.

Ys, lstn t th msc f th rnbws, nd vry mrnng b sr t hg drm.

Grw th hll p, Lcy. Stp pntfctng t ppl wh thnk y'r n dt.

#177 ::: Xopher (Christopher Hatton) ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 05:13 PM:

Here's an edit of Petitdove's sentence:

Just for clarification: all that Karol or Jessica were trying to communicate was that they had a good time in a place that people such as yourselves might not associate with evil, sex-hating, feminist-hating (cause you know strip clubs are great place to assert your feminism, except for sleazy ones like Sweet Cherry, because unlike the SF ones they aren't unionized) conservatives.
In other words:
Karol and Jessica were trying to communicate X.
X == They had a good time in a certain type of place.
It was the type of place a certain kind of person would not associate with a certain other kind of person.
The first kind of person is people like most of us here.
The other kind of person is "evil, sex-hating, feminist-hating conservatives."
To make the syntax more confusing, she puts in a long parenthetical snide remark. A lot of people don't realize this basic fact: if people can't even parse your sentence, they can't be insulted by it.

Yaron: Let go of the metaargument about Teresa's disemvowelment policy. It's her blog, and she'll disemvowel or delete any post that merits it, in her sole judgement. Not the public square; different rules apply. And I would defend your right to do the same in your blog.

If you go on to what you actually have to say about it -- for example, why you think it was inappropriate for Teresa to make the remarks she did about your friends -- and take a civil tone, you will be astonished by how civilly we engage you here.

I would point out to you two things, however: one, you're talking to someone who just found out that her neighbor was murdered with a single gunshot to the head; two, that he worked at the place (with bullet holes in it) that your friends went to for a lark.

I would also like to say that 'stupid' is one of the things we adults say when kids risk getting killed (or otherwise harmed) and are clueless that they have even done so. It's not always right for us to do that (and indeed Teresa has already said so).

Stop being sullen (e.g. "she's hacking my posts") and enter the discussion. You'll be surprised how well it works here.


#178 ::: Xopher (Christopher Hatton) ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 05:17 PM:

I think Ace is about to experience the predictable too.

c: g pss p rp.

#179 ::: c ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 05:21 PM:

h, dr, n! Dn't tk th vwls t f my pst. ws rlly cntng n th bg tm xpsr frm ths st t pt c f Spds HQ >n th mp, bby!

Chllng f dssnt fvr-- >Ctch t!

#180 ::: Alison ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 05:25 PM:

Wow, I hadn't realized that Lucy was pontificating. I thought she was giving a very well-considered and well-written definition of what people mean when they use the term "slumming". Her list of the features of slumming work as well with a gospel church as a strip club if the people attending the festivities have an I-am-above-this-but-isn't-this-fun-in-a-seedy (or campy or post-hip) sort-of-way attitude without attempting to have an understanding for what the real participants in a place are deriving from the experience.

By the way, Lucy, slumming works with people in addition to places--dating a cowboy because he might be fun to show off to your friends, for example--if you want to add to your very cogent definition. The word is used in this context in Dirty Dancing.

#181 ::: TChem ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 05:31 PM:

Xopher, I think going through this thread has finally honed my disemvowelling-translating skills because I didn't even have to make three passes of reading that (1: "which words can I figure out?" 2: "Which words start with vowel, which I can now figure out from the context of #1?" 3: "What all-vowel words got removed, with the context of 1 and 2?") before I started laughing.

#182 ::: c ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 05:31 PM:

rpt: Hw s pssbl t NT slm t strp br?

D y prdly rfr t th lcl T& jnt s "my scnd ffc" r "my sprt-rfrshng ttt grdn"?

D y rlly mgn tht th strpprs thr dn't thnk thy t r "slmmng"? D y thnk tht mny strpprs dn't spr t b smthng mr thn wmn wh tk ff thr clths t b pwd t by drnkn mn?

cld gt nt whl "Hw dr y prsm ths wmn hv n grtr sprtns, y, y, y LTST SXST!" jg, bt ths whl dbt s bsrd.

S, nc gn: Wh dsn't slm t strp br? Wh cnsdrs gng t, r wrkng t, strp br t b n lvtng ndvr?

Y gys r rlly gd t sptng crp n ndgnnt "Hw dr y!" tns >wtht blvng dmn wrd f t yrslvs.

'm hppy 'm cnsrvtv, nd cn jst sy wht ctlly blv.

#183 ::: Yrn ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 05:32 PM:

Xphr: y hv n nblvbl dbl stndrd. Ppl n yr sd hv lrdy sd fr wrs thngs bt m thn 'v sd bt nyn (nt tht 'v sd >nythng bd bt nyn prsnlly, nw tht thnk bt t). Yt, wldn't y knw, 'm th n wh gts th lctr n cvlty.

s fr s th ctl sbjct, thnk y t msndrstnd th rgnl pst. dn't thnk Trs sd th wrd "stpd" bcs thy pt thmslvs t rsk. f s, hw mch stpdr wld Trs's nghbr b fr ctlly >wrkng t ths stblshmnt? cn't mgn tht ws th ntnt.

Txnn: t kp t nn-cntrvrsl, lt m sy frm sbsds nd gvrnmnt prk lk th "brdg t nwhr".

#184 ::: jennie ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 05:33 PM:

Ace,

I had originally taken your question about slumming seriously. Here's my original answer:

"Slumming" is when you go someplace that you regard as being beneath you. So if I habitually dine at Le Sélect Bistro and think that this makes me A Certain Type of Very Select Person, and I deign to eat at Ghandi's Roti Counter one day, I may be slumming.

If I habitually eat roti from Ghandi's and think nothing of it, other than "These are soooo good!" and similar thoughts, then I'm not going to think overmuch of going to Albert's West Indian roti down the street.

If I habitually visit establishments like the Sweet Cherry, (maybe I'm a regular patron, maybe I'm a union organizer, maybe I'm a connoisseur of sleaze, maybe they serve a really good martini) I'm probably not slumming when I go there. It's just my usual hangout. If I don't, and think that it's the sort of place that People Like Me don't usually go (which, from the sounds of it, it is. I'm more a Ghandi's Roti kind of girl), then when I visit the Sweet Cherry, I may well be slumming.

Lucy's take on the term differed from mine, in that she placed greater weight on the notion of what People Like Me don't do—for her slumming is more a matter of how one sees oneself in relation to the place one is visiting. So, according to her definition, when I visited the Paradiso with the migrant labourers whom I was working, every Saturday night, and danced with them and hung out with them, because they were my friends and my co-workers on the farm I was working, even though I don't frequent the Paradiso regularly, I may not have been slumming because I figured the Paradiso, where the migrant labourers danced on Saturday night, was where I belonged at that time.

Having read your response, I'm rather annoyed that I wasted all that time on a thoughful answer. It seems now like you were simply asking the rhetorical question in order to make the point (which I deem incorrect) that one can't go to a place like the Sweet Cherry and not be slumming.

Dude, it's not slumming if you don't think you're too good for it. And if you think you're too good for it, why are you there, anyway?

Nobody said anything about your economic means.

Nobody was discussing you in particular.

And as a semi-regular contributor here, if I had to choose an idiot based on your contribution and on Lucy's, I know who would get my vote.

#185 ::: Will Entrekin ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 05:36 PM:

Firstly, I realized, Teresa and Patrick, I didn't offer my condolences that you went through all this. I mean, the discovery of your recently deceased neighbor. Not the current thread.

Ace: "A place with bullet-holes is kinda freaky, Lucy." Your mileage, Ace, apparently varies greatly from mine. Bullet-holes are extremely, utterly freaky. In fact, when I see bullet-holes in windows, or doors, I avoid those windows and doors. And I quickly avoid them, too. There is, in fact, nothing about a bullet-hole that makes me think, hey, this is the kind of place I want to be in; if anything, it makes me realize it is a place I want to be very far away from.
Which is where the word "disingenuous" comes in.

But like I said, your mileage may vary greatly from mine. You may have had terrific times in place riddled with bullet-holes, or bullet-holes might just make for an "interesting" night out that makes you feel slightly sleazy, and slightly violated, but not enough of either to keep you from giggling about it in a post.

I'm sure my mileage varies. I'm still the guy who prefers dancing transvestites.

#186 ::: c ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 05:36 PM:

>Hr lst f th ftrs f slmmng wrk s wll wth gspl chrch s strp clb f th ppl ttndng th fstvts hv n -m-bv-ths-bt-sn't-ths-fn-n--sdy (r cmpy r pst-hp) srt-f-wy tttd wtht ttmptng t hv n ndrstndng fr wht th rl prtcpnts n plc r drvng frm th xprnc.

nd tht's wht y d, spps? Y g t strp br nd mk t yr gl t "ndrstnd" wht th "rl prtcpnts" r "drvng frm th xprnc"?

Hypthtclly, lt's sy g t clb whr thy hv gy sckng ff dnky. nd lt's sy t's nt prly hypthtcl. m t ndrstnd 'm nt gng thr fr th pr lrd ttltn nd strngnss f t, bt t ttmpt t dvn wht phlsphcl stsfctn yr s gttng frm hs blwjb?

Srsly-- s tht wht y'r tllng m?

s tht hw y wtch prn? " wndr: s Jnn Jmsn nsrts tht cbbg nt hr sshl, wht knd f prsnl vldtn s sh skng t btn?"

Mn, y mst b ht nd hlf t dt

#187 ::: c ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 05:41 PM:

Jnn,

Thnk y, bt ddn't sk wht "slmmng" ws. Yr dfntns r qt vld.

m skng, rptdly: HW S PSSBL T >NT SLM T STRP CLB?

N n sms t nswr tht, vr. Bcs thnk t's jst s ldcrs. Y cnnt clm wth strght fc tht ppl g t strp clbs fr th ry phlsphcl dbts t b hd thr. Thy g bcs thy'r drnk nd rndy nd wnt sm swty tts shvd n thr fc.

Pls, smn, lbrt n ll ths "nn-slmmng" strp br xprncs y'v hd.

#188 ::: c ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 05:44 PM:

ccrdng t Lcy nd hr frnd, n n shld g t strp br nlss thy'r gng wth tprcrdr nd lgl pd t tk nts n th >xprnc s vwd thrgh th ys f strppr.

gn: Y'r wrtng thngs tht r ptntly bsrd, vn t yrslvs, n rdr t prv yr sprrty. nlk >thr strp br ptrns wh r thr t gt chp thrll frm shvng dllr bll nt thng-strng, y gys r ll thr s vngng ngls f Sccnmc nqlty t rlly "ndrstnd" nd "cnnct wth" th sx-wrkrs.

Pls.

#189 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 05:47 PM:

Ace,

And that's what you do, I suppose? You go to a strip bar and make it your goal to "understand" what the "real participants" are "deriving from the experience"?

No, you go to to the strip club/gospel chior/quilting bee because you are interested in what will go there. At that point, you are not slumming.

The girls in question would not have been slumming if they had been going to drink the drinks, chat to the patrons, or see the dancers. They weren't. They were going to watch themselves drink the drinks, chat to the patrons, and see the dancers. It's like Kundera's definition of kitsch - the last layer of self-observation determines the definition.

#190 ::: KristianB ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 05:48 PM:

Hi there. I'm a truck driver, I'm not very well-educated, but I like my job, and I got good friends. I like to go to the local tittybar every once in a while with some friends, relax with a beer and enjoy the show. It's not the museum of modern art, but it's my kinda place. They know me there and they're nice when I come in.
This is not slumming.

Now, the above is not actually true for me, Ace, but are you saying that it is inconceivable that it could possibly be true for anyone?

#191 ::: Will Entrekin ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 05:49 PM:

Sorry for the post-after-a-post, but I have to address this: "how is possible [sic] to NOT slum at a strip bar"?
It's really easy, Ace. I'll give you an example, in fact. Strip clubs have been in my frame of reference for several years now, not because I frequent them but rather because I've been associated with people who have worked in them. My best friends play in an original band in the Philly area; the bassist of the band used to be a bouncer at a strip club, where he met his soon-to-be-wife. On several different occasions, my friends and I have taken our whole, mixed band of people to this club. One night (which was also, coincidentally, a blind date I'd been set up on), my friends went to the club for an after-gig party. The girl I'd been set up with came along with us, and we had several dates thereafter (I point this out so there aren't any "I wouldn't go on a second date with a guy who brought me to a strip club, either").

The girls who dance at this club are pretty much our friends. On their off nights, they've come out to my buddies' gigs. I don't paint them as the 'virtuous stripper' type: they're just people. Just like you and me and everyone else. Some of them are paying their way through school, some are supporting kids, some have drug problems. Usually, the only thing they have in common with each other is that, several nights a week, they get paid to dance around without any clothes on in a dimly lit bar.

So it's very possible to NOT slum in a strip bar. It's possible to NOT slum anywhere.

#192 ::: Richard Anderson ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 05:49 PM:

ace, surely you know that there are myriad reasons why people patronize strip clubs. Some of these reasons revolve around an interest in T&A, some of them revolve around boredom, and some of them revolve around self-loathing and self-delusion. ("Hey, if I flash enough cash, mebbe I can score with one of these chicks!") Few of these motives embody the sense of irony that, to me at least, seems intrinsic to the act of "slumming."

#193 ::: c ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 05:50 PM:

Nxt tm rdr Blmn' nn t tbck Stkhs, 'll b sr t sk myslf: "Bt hw ds Pggy My Srvr fl bt dlvrng m ths pptzr? Wht ds sh blv sh's cmmnctng by sggstng g wth th Bnzr Stk-Fst? Wht dpr sgnfcnc cn b bhnd hr cryptc rmrk, ''ll pt shrp n th brb fr y'?"

Prplxng qstns. dmt hv nt bn vgrs ngh n skng thm.

ddn't rlz tht rstrnts nd strp-brs wr prmrly ntndd s sclgcl ntr-wlks.

#194 ::: protected static ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 05:50 PM:

ace:
"I am asking, repeatedly: HOW IS POSSIBLE TO NOT SLUM AT A STRIP CLUB?

No one seems to answer that, ever."

Bzzt. I'm sorry, that's incorrect. It has been answered: If you're a regular patron of a particular strip club, you aren't slumming when you go there. If you're someone who regularly enjoys going to strip clubs, you aren't slumming if you visit one.

#195 ::: Alison ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 05:51 PM:

So, once again: Who doesn't slum at a strip bar? Who considers going to, or working at, a strip bar to be an elevating endeavor?

Plenty of people. I had a friend in college who worked as a stripper to pay her way through our very expensive private school. Not only was she not slumming because she valued the bar as a place where she could earn enough money to feed herself and pay her tuition, she habitually came home with stories of political leaders from both sides of the aisle lunching in her establishment. They weren't slumming either. They were having lunch to the accompaniment of pretty, dancing, naked girls. They weren't being smug or snide or arrogant. They placed value on naked girls who were willing to dance for them and then gave them money to express that appreciation.

If your sole experience of strip clubs is bachelor parties, you probably think all attendance is slumming, but for someone who regularly goes or works there, it's just their personal hangout. Girls who don't get something out of stripping, either in the form of money or attention or both, don't strip very long. I don't know any strippers who do it for the ironic, so-they-can-giggle-about-it-later reason.

Again, just because you can't see the value doesn't mean there isn't one. They might be mercencary, self-serving, morally reprehensible or disgusting values in your opinion, but that doesn't mean that the experience isn't in some way "elevating".

#196 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 05:54 PM:

Yaron: OK, I agree with you about the "bridge to nowhere." Now what have you, as a loyal Republican, done about it? Have you told your congressperson that this bridge (sponsored, may I add, by a Republican) is a colossal waste of money? Or do you believe that the GWBer and his cronies can do no wrong?

#197 ::: jennie ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 05:54 PM:

Ace

I am asking, repeatedly: HOW IS POSSIBLE TO NOT SLUM AT A STRIP CLUB?

I thought I had answered that. Let me try, one more time:

It is possible to not slum at a strip club if one feels, that the strip club is a normal place to be and/or that one belongs there.

If you're asking how it's possible not to feel that one doesn't belong there (or, how it's possible for one to feel that one does belong there), then the answers get a bit more hypothetical and complex. In my earlier post, I offered a few reasons that someone might feel they belonged in a strip club. For a couple more reasons, we may suppose that someone engaged in the club's illegal activities might feel that they belonged there, and be unfazed by the bullet holes. If one had been raised around dodgy establishments, one might feel that it wasn't slumming to visit one.

I'm sorry if you still don't understand. I don't think I can make it any more clear.

#198 ::: c ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 05:56 PM:

S, n rdr t nt "slm" t strp br, hv t ttnd n rglrly?

f jst g thr nc yr r s, thn 'm "slmmng" nd bd prsn wh lks dwn n ll th sx wrkrs?

BTW, y gys cn prtty p th lf f strppr ll y lk, nd 'm sr fr sm t rlly s smthng thy njy, bt 'm bttng fr mst t s jb thy hv tkn t f ncssty, nt t f sm dp sprtn t gt nkd fr drnkn mn, nd s, fr thm s wll, t s "slmmng."

Sm wnt t b thr. Mst wld rthr nt b thr, f thy cld fnd wrk tht pd thm nrly s mch.

#199 ::: Merideth ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 05:57 PM:

(slowly emerging from lurkdom)

O.K. -- Please, everyone bear in mind that this is just the random neurons firing in my brain, and I am not saying anything about anyone who has participated in this discussion or who might have been mentioned or who even heard about this discussion during that thing with the guy in the place.

But -- all this discussion of slumming put me in mind of this.

(http://www.somethingpositive.net/sp05302005.shtml in case my rusty HTML skills foil the link above)

That is all, please return to your regularly scheduled argument.

#200 ::: c ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 05:59 PM:

Jnn,

pprct yr ffrts, bt th nly thng clr t m s tht mny ppl hr pt vry hgh prmm n bng "Mr Dwn Thn Th," nd r dtrmnd t prtnd tht vstng strp br >shld b n ct f ltrstc vldtn f th strppr.

t's nt, nd 'm brd. grw wry f scl wrk mjrs tryng t nstrct m n hw vry hp thy r nd hw vry nhp m fr flng t s hw hp thy r.

#201 ::: LeeAnn ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 06:02 PM:

The issue of "slumming" has gotten way out of hand. It really boils down to class. People with true class are never "slumming", regardless of their surroundings. People who would say they were "slumming" somewhere are likely to have been called "posers" by others present.

#202 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 06:04 PM:

I think Ace has failed his reading comprehension roll. Let be.

#203 ::: Paul ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 06:05 PM:

ace: you seem to have a different definition of slumming than most of the people here (and the one I usually use). Could you explain your definition for us, please? Otherwise this isn't a discussion, it's just posts going back and forth and getting nowhere.

#204 ::: TChem ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 06:07 PM:

The question: "How is it possible to not slum at a strip club?"

Lucy says: "Slumming taking your superior attitude and your certainty that the world is your Disneyland in with you."

Alison says:"people attending the festivities have an I-am-above-this-but-isn't-this-fun-in-a-seedy (or campy or post-hip) sort-of-way attitude."

Jennie says: "Dude, it's not slumming if you don't think you're too good for it."

The question has been answered three times. No discussion of non-unionized worker welfare, no notepads. The opposite has been implied by everyone answering the question--if you're having fun and feel comfortable, you're not slumming (that'd be #4).

However, the underlying assumption in the question seems to be that such a place is beneath EVERYONE, therefore, every person there is slumming. At every breast-loving rung of the socioeconomic ladder, that's untrue. But if you're noticing the bulletholes on the far wall and not the dancing ladies or the alcohol, you're probably not just there to unwind on a Friday night.

#205 ::: jennie ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 06:08 PM:

ace, if you're that bored, why don't you read a good book or something?

Surely, there's no need for you to increase your tedium level by hanging around with us "social work majors."

#206 ::: Alison ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 06:12 PM:

Ace: What I'm saying is that not all values are of the "airy philsophical debates" variety. Do you go to a baseball game for "airy philisophical debates"? If you don't, is going to a baseball game then slumming? I don't think so.

But then, if you normally attend polo matches and then you go to a baseball game to laugh while all the silly little boys in their silly little white hats run around in circles, is that slumming? Yeah, I think it probably is.

By the way, you need a firmer grasp of logic if you're going to try to produce an argument here that people will respect. You can't argue that strip bars aren't "sociological nature walks" and then turn around and try to argue that they should have "airy philosophical discourse" in order to have value. No one here is trying to argue that a stripper doin' her thang with a pole is modern art (although, um, hi, actually some of them really are pretty talented).

We're saying that for someone who isn't interested in art or philosophy or "airy discourse" (or even for some people who are, like the politicians I mentioned above), it's just a hangout (albeit with tits), like your local sports bar or martini lounge or wherever it is that you like to discuss whatever you like to discuss with your friends and therefore definitely not slumming.

#207 ::: Niall McAuley ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 06:15 PM:

ace, have you ever read a piece by someone sneering at some event or group and thought "Hey, I like the sound of the people there more than I like this snotty writer"?

You, me, the Sweet Cherry: fill in the blanks.

#208 ::: Lucy Kemnitzer ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 06:15 PM:

Ace said:

According to Lucy and her friend, no one should go to a strip bar unless they're going with a taperecorder and legal pad to take notes on the experience as viewed through the eyes of a stripper.

Again: You're writing things that are patently absurd

1. Although I have nothing against jeanie, I don't know her and therefore don't count her as a friend, exactly.
2. I most specifically did not say go there with a tape recorder and legal pad. The alternatives aren't "privilege tourist laughing at the natives"(Slumming) or "anthropologist." (the latter can overlap with the former) Nor do you have to be one of the locals. It's possible to be a visitor who is not slumming, anthropologizing, or joining. Just a visitor. Belonging to a marginal culture as I do, I spend a lot of my time in that category: just a visitor.

So, ace, you're sort of doing that thing -- you know that thing where a person makes things up, and says that the other person says them, and then laughs at the person for saying them?

I don't have much patience for it.

Oh, I just noticed: what does this kind of argument have in common with the original question"how does one NOT slum in a strip bar?" -- respect. The lack of it, that is.

#209 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 06:16 PM:

I grow weary of social work majors trying to instruct me on how very hip they are and how very unhip I am for failing to see how hip they are.

I didn't see anyone doing this. I did see someone using the name Ace who has repeatedly failed to understand what was being said, and seems proud of not understanding. It isn't a liberal/conservative thing, Ace, it's an intelligent-and-thinking/not-intelligent-not-thinking thing. I know which side I think you're on.

When we got out from work to the burrito place two blocks over in 'Little Mexico' for lunch, it isn't slumming, because we do it fairly often and we like the food. If you did it, Ace, it would probably be slumming, because I think you'd be going with the idea of 'Here I am eating with all the illegal immigrants'.

#210 ::: Lucy Kemnitzer ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 06:17 PM:

Jennie, sorry I misspelled your name!

#211 ::: Lucy Kemnitzer ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 06:19 PM:

P J, I don't think "often" is a part of the criteria. I think it's all about respect. And not the sort of fakey, star-worship respect one gives to trash-talking celebrities either.

#212 ::: jennie ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 06:20 PM:

Lucy,
That's o.k. you can still be my not-exactly-a-friend ;).

#213 ::: Alison ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 06:26 PM:

Lucy: Very good point. Slumming=lack of respect. It's not the only way to have a lack of respect, but it's certainly one of them. And you got at the logical issue I was having too--taking two extremes and disregarding a middle ground.

I "meet" the most intelligent people here. Teresa and Patrick are so nice to let us come play.

#214 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 06:26 PM:

Lucy,

I'd stand by my "watching yourself" definition - the difference between someone going to the burrito place to eat the food and going there to watch himself eat with the Funny Talkin' People.

Though that's a form of disrespect, focusing more on yourself that on what is going on around you.

#215 ::: Chris Clarke ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 06:35 PM:

I respect you for that [civility], and I honestly wish that I could always follow that model (though I do try). It would also be nice if the proprietress of this blog, who wrote the original post calling a friend of mine "strikingly stupid", would follow it too.

Is incivility like libel, in that truth is a defense?

#216 ::: Richard Anderson ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 06:44 PM:

Although to (perhaps) give ace his due -- if, irrespective of motive, you visit a place that you believe is sordid, aren't you in essence "slumming"? (In the original sense of the word.) And haven't most of us been raised to believe titty bars and such are in fact sordid establishments? Viewed from this perspective, ace might have a point.

#217 ::: c ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 06:46 PM:

Lt m gt ths strght: Yr brstrmfhrr, y knw, th chck wh rns ths vry bd blg, clls ths "tcky sx" nd "slz," bt th rst f y rg t's wrng t g t strp br wtht shwng "rspct"?

Frst f ll, nn f th ppl n qstn sd thy wr slmmng. Tht ws yr glss n t. ( sd thy'r slmmng, bcs thnk tht strp-brs r nhrntly slmmng plcs, fr rsns 'v splld t.)

Y gys jst cn't cncv f why wmn wld fl t ws nchrctrstc nd strng t nd p t sdy strp-br. Wll, hr's n bnk f th cl bt: BCS THY'R WMN, nd ls, nt lsbns. ( hv n d f lsbns g t strp brs; mgn thy d t sm xtnt, bt nt nrly n th nmbrs mn d.)

S, bsd n thr "Rpblcn" grls fndng strp-br t b strng plc t wnd p t lt t th nght, y ll gt t spt ff rghtsly bt thr "slz" nd "tcky sx" r, th ltrntv, lck f "rspct."

t sms strng-- y gys cn't gr n th rgmnt tht gts y thr, bt y'r ll qt sr f th cnclsn: thy wr wrng nd y r mch, mch clr nd mr "ccptng" thn thy r.

t's ls msng tht y kp nvtng ppl t "jn th dscssn" bfr dltng th vwls n thr psts. f nly w wld ll jn th dscssn by grng wth y, w cld hv trly nfrmd dbt wth th prdtrmnd cnclsn tht y'r rght.

vrybdy wns. Yyyyyy.

#218 ::: Paul ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 06:56 PM:

ace: if it's such a strange place for them to end up, why did they go there? Or is that a question we're not allowed to ask?

I mean, was it a dare? Were they ver', ver' drunk? Was it raining, and they just happened to be walking along there at the time? Were they stoned, and there was a big Hershey bar in the window? Did one of them suddenly go "I know, let's go and ogle some women!"?

I dunno. You come along, you ask lots of questions, then you don't listen to the answer and instead set up various strawmen to reply to. You're rapidly approaching the point where there's no real point in talking to you, because you just don't listen.

Please, prove me wrong. Actually make a reply which engages in discussion rather than making snide remarks.

#219 ::: Niall McAuley ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 06:56 PM:

Chris, when I read Jessica's blog? With all its superfluous commas? I hear the author's voice? And it sounds like a series of questions? But they aren't really questions? They're just, like, clauses?

#220 ::: cgeye ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 06:58 PM:

Oooh! He reached the Godwin's Law Radius in under a day! Yippee!

And folks, I think Ace has gone meta. I think he thinks he's slumming by posting here.

Shh. Be vewy qwiet. He's a postmoddun perfowmance awwtist...

#221 ::: j h woodyatt ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 06:59 PM:

ace writes: I appreciate your efforts, but the only thing clear to me is that many people here put a very high premium on being "More Down Than Thou," and are determined to pretend that visiting a strip bar should be an act of altruistic validation of the stripper.

It's generally possible to put the people you find in a slum into one of two categories: 1) the people who live there; and 2) the people who are just passing through. (Exceptions to general rules are generally to be expected.)

People whose lifestyle involves regular patronage of [or working in, around or for] strip clubs should probably not be said to be "slumming" when they're enjoying the services of a place like Sweet Cherry. This would, presumably include Teresa's deceased neighbor— hallowed be his name— who apparently supplemented his income (or perhaps made all of it) as an employee there.

People whose lifestyle involves posting snarkily disingenuous comments on the web about visiting strip clubs in "designated crime areas" and belatedly discovering very late in the experience how charming the environmental ambience failed to be— those people might fairly be said to be slumming. Unless, of course, it turns out that one or more of them do this on a regular basis and the one posting the snarky comment is just an idiot.

When people wander into the comments forum of a fairly literate weblog and start waving the rhetorical equivalent of their naughty bits around in an apparent invitation to have a length and girth measuring contest, it shouldn't be surprising when the phrase "strikingly stupid" comes to mind.

Does any of this help answer your questions, ace?

#222 ::: Carlos ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 07:01 PM:

"'Eunoia', which means 'beautiful thinking', is the shortest English word to contain all five vowels."

Anoia or eunoia? ace ekes near to a-vowel (or a-uouuel, as they say in Veii). Lose? Loose? Looooooooose? It is all the same to Tee En Aich. I eye ace & wait. Ha-ha!

#223 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 07:05 PM:

cgeye:

First post: 04:35 pm
Godwin Event Horizon: 06:46

Just missed the two-hour mark. Might type faster if he missed the vowels out himself and saved Our Hostess the trouble.

#224 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 07:21 PM:

If I hadn't already invented disemvowelling, I'd have done it for Ace.

#225 ::: j h woodyatt ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 07:23 PM:

For the record, and as a tip for those readers visiting San Francisco from out of town: the Lusty Lady is the establishment I mentioned above where the dancers are all members of SEIU Local 790. (Interestingly, it's just the dancers, and not the janitorial and security crews, who are organized. Something about that amuses me, but I can't put my finger on it.)

The Lusty Lady is not located in a "designated crime area" at all. It's at Kearney and Broadway, a block away from City Lights Books in North Beach.

Anyone can go there and not be slumming— well, anyone except maybe somebody who mustn't appear in public without a bodyguard.

#226 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 07:24 PM:

In DC, there are some very high class strip clubs near Capitol Hill. I've seen pictures of the outside on TV, no signs or naked girls, it could be an office from the outside. The WashPost occasionally has articles about them.

I wonder if they'd read their posts better if they were ROT-13d.

#227 ::: j h woodyatt ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 07:27 PM:

And I should apologize to Teresa for contributing to the wingnut troll effect in this thread. I was weak. Please, forgive me. I'll go back to writing my horrible novel now.

#228 ::: Lucy Kemnitzer ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 07:53 PM:

Ace, let's get some things straight. The reason us guys can't agree on an argument is that we're not"us guys," and there isn't one argument. We're just a bunch of people who are not all necessarily connected in any way except this conversation, though there are some very close friends among the people here -- it's not a clique. It's a corner bar, only the "corner" is a corner of the world, not a corner of a small neighborhood. So when there's this discussion of what's slumming and not-slumming, there's no single argument that a unified group is trying to defend against a unified enemy. There's a conversation, and we're saying things and listening.

Ad hominem -- as in your calling me and a poorly-identified batch of other people "sociology majors" as a way to discount our observations -- doesn't work when you don't know anything about the people you're talking to. When you look at the conversation and decide we all must be alike, it leads to serious mistakes in characterization.

I don't know a lot about a lot of the people who join in the conversation, but I know some things about some of them. As for myself: I wasn't a sociology major thirty years ago when I was an undergraduate. Nowadays, I'm an underemployed lumpen intelligentsia. It's pretty hard to slum from where I am.

#229 ::: Xopher (Christopher Hatton) ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 08:13 PM:

I really like "lumpen intelligentsia." I'm gonna use that.

As for Ace and Yaron, it's just too tedious for words. Where's a Billy Goat Gruff when you need one?

#230 ::: Jonathan Shaw ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 08:37 PM:

Lucy has pretty much beaten me to it, but it might help to know, Ace, that one of the things that tends to lead to loss of vowels here is a line of argument that goes, "All you people/liberals/sff fans/MakingLight commenters believe/think/say".

Teresa has retracted the word "stupid". The reference to your friends came at the end of a post about a neighbour of hers who was murdered, and the disparagement of their tone was coloured by the horror of that death. The "tacky sex" mention was a reference to an earlier post. I don't actually know any of the commenters here, though I have read a book or two by one or two of them: my impression is that to label them all as "liberals" is a touch inaccurate.

#231 ::: Anticorium ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 09:04 PM:

Too tedious for words? On the contrary, Xopher! I found it utterly hilarious that a bunch of kids think they can bully Patrick and Teresa into submission with advanced trolling technology the likes of which no mere mortal has ever seen.

I can only envy this rainbow-scented world of theirs where Usenet never happened.

#232 ::: Jsn ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 09:04 PM:

>Hh...Jsn wrt "bsh lg". Grg Bsh Gt t? Tht S "Bsh Lg" tctc. hh. Mn, tht's fnny. S, s vry fnny.

>Hv y ntcd tht thr's lwys strng stnch lrkng rnd whn crtn ppl cm rnd t "dfnd" thmslvs? Knd f lk th stnch n Trs's bsmnt.

My scnd cmmnt smply fllwd n prsdntl hh wth nthr. dn't mnd th clvr vwl rmvl tctc. Hwvr, thnk th vdnc shws tht Rndll's rspns dsrvs ts wn wp dwn wth th mst 'vwlltt.'

Srsly nw, 'm nt hr t dbt pltcs r scl stndngs. knw tht 'm n vl, prm-slmmng cnsrvtv nd tht mny f th rglrs n ths blg vw th wrld qt dffntly thn myslf. Gd. Mr pwr t y.

jst wsh mr ppl cld mk thr rgmnts nd bsrvtns wtht th blgtry snd rmrks nd/r bslss nm-cllng.

ctlly fnd ths pst ntrstng nd nfrmtv ntl th lst fw prgrphs. pn fnshng sd prgrphs, my mprssn f th pst s whl, nd ts thr, tk n sr flvr.

n smmry, 'll ffr n bt f dvc--Mtllc. Blck lbm. Trck . Gv t lstn.

#233 ::: Cassie ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 09:18 PM:

Moist vowelette! It made me laugh. Most of the things on here are interesting and informative, and my impression has been that they're equally likely to lose patience with anyone.
Did anyone save the higgledy-piggledy on disemvowelment? I'll have to look.

#234 ::: Anticorium ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 09:31 PM:

They say disemvowelling is this year's rot13.

(Oh, and since I missed the earlier thread: Teresa, you have my sympathies. I had to go through similar but much tamer things earlier this year and wouldn't even wish my weak gruel on anybody.)

#235 ::: Jonathan Shaw ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 09:36 PM:

One set of higgledy piggledies is here

#236 ::: Laura Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 09:39 PM:

Wow. I have never seen the like. My impression of trolls is that they are usually more vicious than clueless. Maybe these ones think they're being vicious, when really they're just being incoherent.

The original impetus is understandable - "This blog post is making fun of me and my friends!" But really.

It's like watching cute little sharks or pit bulls, before they've grown teeth. But they're trying so hard to mangle and disembowel their target. So hard.

#237 ::: Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 09:40 PM:

It is a sorrowful thing, when someone who undertakes to imagine the world with an absolute hierarchy of values knows not what they do.

It's not an ideal situation when they do wot of what they do, either, but at least then the axioms have the potential of accessibility.

The idea that 'stupid' might be a situational condition of conduct, and not a moral judgment, was not brought into the world at low cost. No small sorrow to see it so blithely surrendered.

#238 ::: JonathanMoeller ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 10:09 PM:

"Ned Flanders, I mock your value system. You also appear foolish in the eyes of others. Past instances in which I professed to like you were fraudulent. I engaged in intercourse with your spouse or significant other."

Now THAT'S a flamewar post!


#239 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 10:42 PM:

The Lusty Lady is not located in a "designated crime area" at all. It's at Kearney and Broadway, a block away from City Lights Books in North Beach.

Given the size of the city, and the fact that the DCAs have moved several times over the years - North Beach I think was an early DCA. And the unionization does seem to be a bit hit-or-miss.

#240 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2005, 10:52 PM:

Slumming, as an activity of some sort: some of the people with whom I commute tried a new bus route a few weeks back. They described the buses as having 'undesirables' on them. I think they missed a few important points, thus making it slumming: the monthly pass for the train runs into three figures, where the bus pass is two; the trains run about every 45 minutes, where the bus runs ever 10; the train has five stops, to the bus route's dozen or so. I noticed they didn't complain about the subway, which has the same ticket prices as the bus, and is actually more likely to have 'undesirables', since the ticketing is honor-system and the checking is random; the bus requires the fare up front every time.

I'm glad I can afford to take the train, but riding the bus isn't unthinkable.

#241 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 12:04 AM:

Jeez louise, I have a long intense work day and miss all the fun.

Clearly these kids have more time than sense (psst, hey, kid, over here, I've got a white courtesy clue phone for you.... really cheap(opens big overcoat to reveal a selection)). The fact that they won't shut up is problematic.

Goddess I'm tired. I have four Big Projects that, because of people being late with stuff getting me, have turned into a Really Large Pile. And it's a kind of pile that one can only work so on and you have to quit because you'll start making mistakes.)

and looking at the higgledy piggledy's led to nearly uncontrollable laughter though I've read them before. Good for Jordin!

I still feel badly for you all, Teresa and Patrick. More hugs across the eways, and thoughts of peace and good will.

#242 ::: Margaret Organ-Kean ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 12:18 AM:

Serge - No harm, no foul. I'd much rather, when trouble- shooting, have someone remind me of the obvious - I've been know to miss it. I only responded in hopes that perhaps someone had some idea of what was going on.

Bruce A. - Thank you for the junior - I must admit, I should have used it. But I was trying to be kind.

Petitdov - I supose you could argue that I'm the pot calling the kettle black based on the theory that I divided people into Republicans and everyone else, and used some unflattering terms to describe the current incarnation of the Republican party.

And you are, if one wants to be completely precise, correct.

Indeed, I am wrong because there are self-identified, elected Republicans who I consider adults and who I respect, such as Senator John McCaine and Sam Reed, Secretary of State for Washington.

Unfortunately, they, by most accounts stand on the fringes of the party and the center is occupied by the juvenile, thoughtless, vicious antics of George W. Bush Jr., Dennis Hastert, Tom DeLay and their ilk.

I personally will be surprised if Sam Reed doesn't face a serious and Republican-backed challenger the next time he's up for re-election - because he had the audacity to rule fairly on challenges made in the recent Washington gubernatorial race, rather than rule only in favor of the Republicans.

You'd think if you wanted to present yourself as a party of moral and mature people, you would be proud to have a office holder who did the right thing rather than the expedient thing, wouldn't you? I am. You'd think that would be what you wanted in a candidate, wouldn't you? I would. But it appears that the Washington State Republicans can't quite grasp that. The people in charge of the party would rather have an office holder who remembered only that he was part of the clique - the in-crowd and behaved accordingly.

And if you want to know why the current crop of so-called Republicans running things make me so mad, it's because they won't stand by the principles of the party. They are fiscally irresponsible, they are military adventurers, and they believe whole-heartedly in government intervention in the most intimate parts of our daily lives. I used to be able to say that I was a Republican and while I didn't agree on everything with all Republicans, I at least didn't feel ashamed to say it.

For the last ten years or so, I've been ashamed to say I am a Republican, and for the last five years, I won't say it. That's why I'm angry.

#243 ::: Xopher (Christopher Hatton) ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 01:16 AM:

Margaret, what I've been saying is "The GOP has become a stinking midden where true conservatives suffocate in the effluvia of right-wing ideologues."

#244 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 01:26 AM:

Teresa, I understand why you disemvowel. But it makes me cranky when you do it, because I do try to read the posts, and it makes my eyes ache.

Some late night thoughts about slumming. Slumming involves condescending to the people who live or work in the place you are visiting. Slumming implies contempt, ridicule, and just plain attitude. Slumming carries with it more than a hint of privilege. When you go to a place knowing that no one who lives there will ever mistake you for a resident, that's slumming.

I hope you and Patrick are sleeping better.


#245 ::: Anarch ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 01:33 AM:

A potpourri of responses:

Richard Anderson: What's with all this talk about grilling? We're now into the braising season....

Speaking of which, I absolutely love this recipe of Tyler Florence's. Braised artichokes with pork sausage, lemon and sage? That's pretty much all you need right there in one pan.

Alison: I don't know how many here went to fairly conservative east coast top-25 universities in the last ten years (or spent time in the halls of Congress lately), but if you had, you would have encountered many Karols and many Jessicas.

Reading through the disemvowellment, yeah, I'd say you've pretty much got it pegged. Not speaking directly to the interlocutors (interlopers?) here, but of that type in general: what drove me insane was the combination of a classist component and a hypocritical component, but it's primarily the former that I found so vile. The basic thesis, whether explicit or no, is that there are Rules and these Rules apply to everyone except those Privileged enough to be in the right college/club/social stratum/whatever. Hence it's OK for them to, e.g., dress provocatively and have dirty filthy sex because the prohibition on sex only applies to Others. It's even ok for their friends to do that, so it's not your garden-variety Victorian hypocrisy that calls for ostracization of those who dare act publicly, it's pretty much straight up classism.

The hypocritical component, in my experience, was twofold. First, there's the rhetoric: the repeated invocations of, e.g., "no sex before marriage" by people who were merrily screwing their brains out when clearly what they meant was "no sex before marriage for you". For those who are Privileged, knock yourself out... with one caveat, which is the second component: acknowledgements of those deeds within the ranks of the Privileged is perfectly acceptable and indeed is often encouraged. Acknowledgements of those deeds to the Others -- in college, that tended to be people from the wrong social strata; in politics, the media is often the proxy -- is completely forbidden. It's sort of a variant on "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas" or to certain Asian notions of "face"; as long as the knowledge of these acts stays within the correct confines you're in the clear, but woe betide you if it becomes truly public.

I should note a few other things as well, in a spectacularly grab-baggy fashion: while the female version of the species tended to be more open about this classist/hypocritical world-view IME, I'd guess that the actual practioners of it were pretty much at gender parity. [For some reason the menfolk were more... subtle (?!) in both their declarations and abrogations.] There's also an age-related component too: certain licentious activities are completely acceptable in a certain age-group (e.g. up to 25?) and then unacceptable thereafter, provided again you're in the ranks of the Privileged. A number of my female acquaintances not only espoused those Rules but then actually abided by them themselves, for which they had my admiration (if not actually support), so thankfully not everyone was tainted by this. And finally, I have no problem with people gallivanting off in tight clothing and having dirty filthy sex (or whichever act is the bane of their rhetorical existence) in the abstract, just in the ostensible denial of those acts to the Others while reserving them to the Privileged.

Finally, to TNH and PNH: My condolences to the family of the deceased, and to you as well for the trauma you're doubtless processing. I'd planned on swinging by the Concourse that weekend in the hopes of catching a few talks -- I live a few blocks away -- but duty called; now, I'm just regretting that I didn't have the opportunity to buy you a few drinks in preparation for your return.

#246 ::: Anarch ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 01:36 AM:

Lizzy L: When you go to a place knowing that no one who lives there will ever mistake you for a resident, that's slumming.

I disagree with this formulation, as do I think a number of commenters upthread. You can be a visitor, an interloper, a gawky out-of-place tourist-type (*raises hand*) without slumming. I think your previous formulations were bang on, though: it's a question of whether you're there to participate in the experience, or to be contemptuously amused by those who are.

#247 ::: Eric Sadoyama ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 02:54 AM:

Regarding slumming, I'm reminded of a cover that William Shatner and Joe Jackson recently did of the song Common People.

#248 ::: Bryan ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 04:00 AM:

"Regarding slumming, I'm reminded of a cover that William Shatner and Joe Jackson recently did of the song Common People."

well I could see being reminded of the song Common People as it is a song about slumming. But why are you reminded of that cover in particular - surely you don't think that William Shatner and Joe Jackson were slumming by performing that song?

#249 ::: Eric Sadoyama ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 05:06 AM:

Bryan: no, nothing as complex as that. I just know their cover and I don't know the original.

#250 ::: Paul ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 06:06 AM:

The original was by Pulp. I'd recommend you pick up the album Different Class (if you can find it - not sure where in the world you are). It has some good tracks on it. :)

#251 ::: Carlos ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 06:40 AM:

What I've found most amusing about this thread is that the Kool Kids who have shown up here are more poorly socialized than the fen, who, um, after extended contact online frankly often make me want to scrub myself raw with pumice soap.

#252 ::: Simstim ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 06:45 AM:

Eric: it's worth getting the Pulp album, not just because it's very good (I'm not a lyrical person, but Jarvis Cocker is one of only two lyricists whom I rate, Sondheim is the other), but also because of the infamous Cocker vs. Michael Jackson incident at the Brit awards a few years back.

#253 ::: Niall McAuley ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 08:23 AM:

Coincidentally, Mark Lamarr made reference to the Cocker/Jackson incident last night on Never Mind the Buzzcocks[1], something like: "Jarvis invaded the stage during the performance, and as a protest shook his skinny white arse at Jackson. Jarvis didn't win a Brit award, but the Queen awarded him a medal for bravery."

[1] a BBC comedy TV show loosely in the format of a 2-team music quiz.

#254 ::: Chad Orzel ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 08:33 AM:

Regarding slumming, I'm reminded of a cover that William Shatner and Joe Jackson recently did of the song Common People.

Which is, like all kitsch covers, inferior to the original song by Pulp in just about every way possible.

There's a connection to be made between the Shatner cover of "Common People" and Anarch's comment about class and transgression, but I really need to go to work.

#255 ::: Jo Walton ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 08:59 AM:

Yaron: totally off topic, I love your name. Is it a male name, usually, or a female name? Where does it come from?

T: continued sympathies on the whole neighbour thing.

Jennie: Our local stripclubs are also very obvious, and have names like Chateau de Sexe and Super Sexe (except that it's written with one huge neon S, shared between the words, so it looks like a filename, Super.exe) and Cabaret des Amazons. Cabaret des Amazons has a huge pink billboard outside with a picture of a dominatrix.

#256 ::: Tucker ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 09:09 AM:

Xopher:
Margaret, what I've been saying is "The GOP has become a stinking midden where true conservatives suffocate in the effluvia of right-wing ideologues."

As Hunter Thompson might say,"There is also a negative side."

Lizzy L:
Teresa, I understand why you disemvowel. But it makes me cranky when you do it, because I do try to read the posts, and it makes my eyes ache.

After trying to decipher a few of them, I gave up and trusted the judgement of the disemvoweller. This way I can skip over the abusive posts, but still catch the snarky responses.

#257 ::: Aconite ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 09:35 AM:

This was mentioned upstream, but it's worth repeating: Ladies and gentlemen, if you come to a blog where the post in question is about the murder of someone's neighbor, and all you take from it is a sense of indignation at how someone mentioned [i]you[/i] tangentally, your value system is seriously fucked up.

Teresa, Patrick, I'm so sorry for all of you in the building, especially your most unfortunate neighbor.

#258 ::: Melissa Singer ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 10:05 AM:

Just wanted to add this to the "reasons why people go to strip clubs" sub-thread:

My father, several decades back, was a high-level executive in the electronics industry. In those days, management--and especially management in companies based in Japan--was dominated by white males. As part of my father's job, he had to entertain other executives, sales reps., industry press, etc.

It was not uncommon to entertain by taking a group of men to a strip club or the Playboy club or a similar place. It was, to an extent, considered a normal part of doing business.

It's my understanding that strip clubs are still used for this purpose as well as all the others people have mentioned (plus the cliche bachelor party).

I've never been to a strip club but when it was still relatively new/uncommon, I went to several Chippendales shows (male strippers, in case you don't know). I even took my mother once. The atmosphere was, at the time, rather different than a traditional strip club. Not sure it still is . . . .

#259 ::: Kate Nepveu ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 10:23 AM:

There's a "gentleman's club" that advertises on billboards around here and is located on a main road in an Albany NY suburb. We drive by it occasionally, and yes, it's very obvious what it is.

(At least one. Their usual billboard recently switched to a different woman and a different name; I don't know if this is a name change or a different place.)

(They open at 11 am, I believe, and I have often been curious just what it's like there at 11am on a weekday. I don't think I have the iron-clad self-possession necessary to find out for myself, however.)

#260 ::: Richard Anderson ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 11:23 AM:

Anarch, thanks for the tip on Tyler Florence's braised-artichokes recipe. Looks like a winner; I'll give it a shot. The types of braises I gravitate toward are those that sit in the oven for two to five hours, filling the house with wonderful aromas and warmth. Here's a combo braise/roast recipe back atcha. It apparently comes from Nigella Watson, and was reprinted in the local paper a handful of years ago. I paraphrase:

Heat the oven to 300 degrees F. Rinse chicken thighs from your basic supermarket 8-pack, dry 'em, and stick 'em in an appropriately sized roasting pan. Slice a lemon into eighths and add to the pan, and add as well a separated head of garlic (cloves unpeeled) and a small handful of fresh thyme. Pour in enough olive oil to coat everything, and then indeed coat everything by mixing it around with your hands. Make sure the chicken is skin-side up, then pour in about a cup or so of white wine (if using a smallish roasting pan) and grind black pepper to taste over the works. Seal the pan tightly with foil, stick in the oven for two hours, then crank the temp up to 400 degrees, remove the foil, and bake for another 30 to 45 minutes -- until the chicken skin has browned and the lemon and garlic have become a bit scorched and caramelized. Take the pan from the oven, sprinkle with more fresh thyme, and serve. Man oh man, talk about simple to make and tasty. And when you walk into the oven-warmed and scented house after, say, spending an hour shoveling snow from the driveway...well hey, words fail me....

I have to say I really enjoyed the Shatner/Jackson cover of "Common People" when I first heard it a year or so ago. Shatner's phrasing and insouciance serve as a perfect foil to Jackson's palpable anger, and this anger -- almost as if Jackson was channeling his younger self from "Squeezing Out Sparks" -- is what saves and indeed elevates an otherwise irony-laden novelty. I'm not familiar with the Pulp original, but'll check it out....

#261 ::: Josh Jasper ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 11:25 AM:

I find myself wondering what the disemvowelling stats look like overall on making light. I'm betting this thread is in at least the top ten for most disemvowelled posts ever.

I can't say that I've ever thought of a strip club as 'slumming'. But then, being a fuzzy-headed granola ex-californain liberal, naked people don't mean the same thing to me that they do to hip young republican snots who think age references and 'feminist' are worthwhile insults.

#262 ::: Vicki ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 11:36 AM:

I have a LiveJournal acquaintance who dances in what she calls a "titty bar"--that is, topless but no nudity. It's not work I could do.

No, not because of the nudity. Not even primarily because of the commoner-than-they-should-be customers who can't understand that she's a topless dancer, not a prostitute.

Because she has to do it in seven-inch heels.

But if I lived closer to her, I'd go in sometime, to see her and the other women dance (which, yes, I would expect to enjoy--that I can see breasts in the mirror anytime doesn't mean I don't enjoy seeing other women's, in appropriate circumstances), say hello to her, and be a decent customer, meaning I'd tip the dancers, not grope them. I'd do that partly because it sounds like fun, and partly because I've gotten to know her online.

#263 ::: Lenora Rose ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 11:55 AM:

I'd been trying to formulate a sane post in response to all of this. i'd almost got one, then
Aconite Said:

This was mentioned upstream, but it's worth repeating: Ladies and gentlemen, if you come to a blog where the post in question is about the murder of someone's neighbor, and all you take from it is a sense of indignation at how someone mentioned [i]you[/i] tangentally, your value system is seriously fucked up.

Teresa, Patrick, I'm so sorry for all of you in the building, especially your most unfortunate neighbor.

And I can't think of a thing worth adding besides "hear! Hear!"

#264 ::: Scott H ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 12:02 PM:

Margaret Organ-Kean wrote:

Serge - No harm, no foul. I'd much rather, when trouble- shooting, have someone remind me of the obvious - I've been know to miss it. I only responded in hopes that perhaps someone had some idea of what was going on.

Actually, cached page on the browser was my 1st thought as well. My 2nd thought is: are you using a proxy server?

I'm not being patronizing here, just trying to save time: in case you don't already know how to tell, you can look under Tools menu, Internet options, Connections tab, LAN Settings button.

If the "Proxy" box is checked, the problem may be that the page is getting cached on the server that's sitting between you and the nielsenhayden.com server.

#265 ::: Janet Croft ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 12:20 PM:

I've been thinking about this thread, and I'm wondering if this misunderstanding of the idea of "slumming" is an example of a failure of generosity of imagination, a phrase I came across repeatedly in a recent biography of Shakespeare --or, as Scrooge's nephew phrased it in "A Christmas Carol," a failure to "think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys". For some of the folks who have joined our conversation, going to a strip bar WOULD be slumming, no question -- but they can't seem to imagine a situation where for another person it might not be slumming. They don't seem to believe in that Latin tag which has recently been quoted here -- I am a man, therefore nothing human is alien to me.

#266 ::: Jeremy Preacher ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 12:23 PM:

Jo Walton - My uncle's name is Yaron. It's the Hebrew form of Jerome, I believe. Inexplicably, he spells it "Yarom" for formal occasions. No idea whether this applies to the above poster or not.

#267 ::: Nancy C ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 01:58 PM:

The Pulp album is available on iTunes.

#268 ::: Adam Lipkin ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 02:31 PM:

Sure enough, next thing you know there’s all these jerks from the New Jersey suburbs driving in over the George Washington Bridge, looking to score.

Let ‘em buy drugs in their own neighborhoods, sez I.

Damned Bridge and Tunnel People!

#269 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 02:54 PM:

A failure of generosity of imagination. A failure to "think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys." Janet Croft, that's it exactly.

I also liked Anarch's analysis of the modern right wing's real sexual mores. It sorts out a lot of behavior I've observed. For instance, almost all the Republican leaders who went after Clinton had personal lives and financial histories that wouldn't have stood up to that kind of scrutiny for ten minutes, yet they pretended to be shocked and affronted.

Ever noticed how the minute they've labeled someone a liberal, rightwingers think they're entitled to say "hypocrite" as well? Projection, much?

#270 ::: Sandy ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 02:58 PM:

We'll stop buying drugs in your neighborhoods if you'll stop buying Ikea in ours.

Love,

New Jersey.

#271 ::: Laura Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 03:20 PM:

they pretended to be shocked and affronted

Is it possible that they're genuinely shocked and affronted? I'm thinking of certain rabidly anti-gay politicians who turned out to be engaging in homosex themselves. It seems likely to me that they really do think homosexuality is wrong. They "just can't help themselves."

#272 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 03:22 PM:

Laura, if that's true, wouldn't they think they should receive the same punishment for it they feel is appropriate for others?

#273 ::: Yaron ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 03:34 PM:

I don't know why I bother, but I'm checking in here again. My masochism knows no bounds.

So I so now that, in addition to all our other faults, conservatives don't see liberals as full human beings. This coming from a blogger who felt the need to pad out a post about her recently-deceased neighbor with an unrelated attack on Republicans. And hacks the comments of just about every conservative who shows up to try to argue their side. And has apparently not a single good thing to say about her fellow human beings, conservatives.

Hey Teresa, I'm good friends with liberals; I've dated some; I work with them every day. So do the other conservatives who've written in on this post, at least the ones I know. All your attacks on conservatives have the air of abstraction to them. I'm curious to know, do you actually know any conservatives in real life? Who's the alienated one here?

#274 ::: Lucy Kemnitzer ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 03:38 PM:

That shovcked and affronted thing: many years ago I taught at an elementary school where the big thing was the teachers were all over the kids about swearing. It carried these huge penalties and the teachers allowed as how shocked they were every time they caught the kids using this word and that words and that amazingly crude phrase over there. But -- walk into the teacher's break room -- and, yes, the air was blue, and not with cigarette smoke. (I don't know what the smokers did because there actually wasn't a legal place for them anywhere on campus: maybe that's why they were so foulmouthed in the break room and so punitive on the playground, now I think of it -- oh, I don't want to seem like I'm against no-smoking rules, I'm not: but there should be a sheltered place for the addicts to get their fix, because they really are pretty much at least temporarily stuck)

#275 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 03:49 PM:

And furthermore, Sandy, the only thing in that part of Elizabeth, New Jersey, prior to IKEA coming in, was a huge shipping container storage yard. Nobody lived there. IKEA didn't drive out some beloved old mom-and-pop furniture and Swedish meatball store. And they're right off the freeway, so they aren't running their traffic flow through some village's streets.

So where's the skin off anyone's nose? You drive through Staten Island -- which you'll note is still NYC -- cross the Goethals or Bayonne Bridge, and get off at 13A, which is the next stop north on the NJ Turnpike. Lo, there's IKEA. You do your shopping and head home. A mile or two down the road you're back in NYC, having touched no more of the sacred soil of New Jersey than the faint layer of blowing dust that accumulates in the IKEA parking lot.

#276 ::: Richard Anderson ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 04:04 PM:

The Pulp album is available on iTunes.

So it is, and I've just listened to iTune's allowable 30 seconds of the Pulp's "Common People." Based on this (perhaps unfair) snippet, I prefer the Shatner/Jackson version -- it's faster, interestingly varied in tone, and easier to dance to. ("I'll give it a nine, Dick.") And in relistening to the cover, I have to correct my comment upthread. Jackson is less angry than plaintive and even despairing, while Shatner moves through the song from insouciance to anger.

The lyrics of both versions pretty much nail the attitude behind slumming.


#277 ::: Phil Palmer ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 04:12 PM:

Hmm. t sms t m strp br cld b sn thr s trnsctnl spc whr th strppr slls hr bdy fr vwng, r s trnsgrssv spc tht ppl g t s n scp frm cnvntnl mrs - th dm-mndn, Tls Ltrc nd ll tht, f y lk. n th trnsgrssv mdl, th strppr s th lmnl bng dfnng th spc nd grntng dmssn t nw mrs. ccrdng hr ths rl grnts hr pwr. n trnsctnl mdl sh s xpltd b ll th Stgltzn mrkt mchnsms f nfrmtnl symmtry. S, n sm sns th trnsgrssv xprnc s bttr, bt tht s th n mst clsly dscrbd s slmmng. mrl ncnsstncy hr? Boo.

#278 ::: lzbth ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 04:20 PM:

'm sr th wnr f ths blg wll nvr b bjctfd.

Gnrll, stpprs rn't ft, gl nd 40smthng.

www.wghtwtchrs.cm lk nt t.

#279 ::: Xopher (Christopher Hatton) ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 04:21 PM:

Wow, that was quick. I refreshed the screen to find that post already disemvowelled. Except for the Boo.

#280 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 04:22 PM:

The trolls are not going away quickly.

#281 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 04:22 PM:

Yes, Yaron. We understand that you feel sorry for yourself.

Do I know any conservatives? I was raised conservative. I worked on more than one Goldwater campaign. My father was big into Republican politics. I am, heaven help me, a former state secretary of YAF. I've never asked, but I suspect that the majority of my relatives are conservatives. If you woke me in the middle of the night and asked me to state my political affiliation, I'm not sure I wouldn't say "conservative."

Got any other cheap and easy assumptions you need to get rid of?

#282 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 04:25 PM:

Tcha! Like I'd lightly disemvowel Phil Palmer. He posted his own pre-disemvowelled message.

#283 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 04:26 PM:

Teresa, if I had ever had any thoughts in my mind such as Elizabeth just expressed (and I'm not about to have such, since I fit that description), I'd stop and remember the target in the picture of you with the Tommy gun. (Good shooting, BTW.)

#284 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 04:39 PM:

I find it amusing how inherently contradictory Elizabeth's statement is...what does she think "objectify" means if not to treat as an object? For instance, to judge by appearances?

But then, this is an educated, enfranchised and employed woman whose social group uses "feminist" as an insult.

#285 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 04:40 PM:

nd Phl Plmr's cmmnt rcks.

#286 ::: Yaron ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 04:44 PM:

How interesting. Well, as a little experiment, maybe you should ask your relatives about their political affiliations, just so you know which ones, y'know, consider you subhuman.

Got any other cheap and easy assumptions you need to get rid of?

Just that you're childish and petty... I think that's it.

#287 ::: Laura Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 04:56 PM:

TNH said:

Laura, if that's true, wouldn't they think they should receive the same punishment for it they feel is appropriate for others?

I don't know. Maybe the only real sin is getting caught? Or maybe it's another case of "the punishment doesn't apply to people of my class."

I'm trying to imagine how they think, and failing miserably.

#288 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 04:56 PM:

Well, as a little experiment, maybe you should ask your relatives about their political affiliations, just so you know which ones, y'know, consider you subhuman.

Yaron, my family runs from pretty far left (Green) to pretty far right (evangelical GOP). We don't do that sort of thing, because it comes back and bites. We like to be able to speak to each other at least occasionally.

#289 ::: Melissa Singer ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 04:59 PM:

Oh, yes, let's talk about weight.

Ad hominem attacks are so _elevated_, aren't they?

You know, I feel sorry for people who think only thin people are sexy. They miss out on so much fun.

#290 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 05:13 PM:

Oh, god. Until Melissa pointed it out to me, I hadn't even tracked on that remark of Elizabeth's. I'm now sitting at my desk in my office, laughing, while Claire Eddy and Melissa Singer lean over my shoulder and make sport of Elizabeth's post.

Oops. We're laughing too hard. The Manager of Science Fiction has just stuck his head in to tell us that we're audible clear out in the elevator lobby, and could we please keep it down?

I'm sorry I couldn't type fast enough to take down everything Claire and Melissa said. On the other hand, it would only have shocked the menfolk if I had.

#291 ::: jennie ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 05:15 PM:

Ooooh! Please? Please? I wanna read some of what you guys said! Please tell us! The menfolk will survive! It'll be good for them—character building!

Please?

#292 ::: Bizzarro Yaron ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 05:26 PM:

Can we start again? I came in here on the offensive because you had insulted two friends of mine. You called one of them strikingly stupid, described the other's blog as "a fairly lame right-wing blog," and went on to make a connection between Republicans and tacky sex. I didn't pay too much attention to the context in which you said those things, but I think you'd agree I might be forgiven for that. I assumed that I was entering a conversation where Republican-bashing was the order of the day, and took my cue from that, so set about Liberal-bashing.

I apologise for doing this at a time when you're reeling from the death of a neighbor, and for taking every comment made about slumming etc to refer to Republicans and/or conservatives in general and me and my friends in particular. Please make allowances for my youth.

I am beginning to realise that when you folks go on about the definition of "slumming" you may have moved on to an interest in the meaning of words for their own sake, and may have lost interest, at least for the moment, in me and my friends.

You know, I went back and had a look at some of your earlier posts (as a way of breaking out of my masochistic fascination with this thread). There's some interesting stuff here.

#293 ::: Xopher (Christopher Hatton) ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 05:26 PM:

I promise not to be shocked. If I am, I promise not to complain of it!

#294 ::: Xopher (Christopher Hatton) ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 05:28 PM:

*sigh* Wouldn't it be nice if our universe's Yaron could take that point of view. Alas.

#295 ::: TNH is still processing this revelation ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 05:36 PM:

Gad, I'm overweight! I hadn't noticed! I'm also four months shy of turning 50, walk with a cane, have been disabled for decades, and am now developing some kind of degenerative joint thing. Also, my hair's going white.

Elizabeth, now, is a sockpuppet on its first outing, and was posted using a fake e-mail address. If anyone can perform further divinations on its IP address, 146.203.130.11, let us know what you find.

#296 ::: Kathy Li ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 05:36 PM:

"Subhuman" and "Weight Watchers" are the best these guys can lob TNH's way? Hell, don't they know she was excommunicated by the Mormon Church and that there's a very high standard of hilarity to be reached to score as an actual TNH Persecution™?

#297 ::: Lenora Rose ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 05:41 PM:

I've twigged to something.

Whenever someone tries to explain slumming as "considering yourself better than those around you, and treating them like they're monkeys on display just for your amusement", someone jumps in with a point about how, "of course, nobody ever treats strippers that way."

I'm amazed nobody else has pointed this one out: We're not talking about the slummers treating the strippers that way. We're talking about the slummer treating the *other patrons* that way. "You're here for T&A. We're here to be superior to you because you watch T&A."

As for Yaron?

Don't whine about insults then call someone childish. You're just proving your opponents the more right about you. I've also looked back through your posts (Vowelled and otherwise), and yes, you've been using that word from the start. Then saying you haven't been rude.

#298 ::: protected static ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 05:54 PM:

IP 146.203.130.11 is the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine. They may use fixed IP addresses, but I find that unlikely... An in-depth scan of that IP address might reveal more details, but could (rightly) be viewed as hostile behavior by the IT folks at Mt. Sinai.

#299 ::: Kathy Li ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 05:55 PM:

Teresa, 146.203.130.11 when entered into a WHOIS at dnsstuff.com popped back with:

OrgName: Mount Sinai School of Medicine
OrgID: MSSM
Address: One Gustave L. Levy Place
Address: Mailstop 1102
City: New York
StateProv: NY
PostalCode: 10029-6574

#300 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 05:58 PM:

146.203.130.11, the IP from which "Elizabeth" posted, is part of a range of IP addresses owned by the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City.

#301 ::: protected static ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 05:58 PM:

Yaron - the comment threads here are some of the best around, and if you're at all into science fiction, you're in a Good Place here.

And yeah - this place loves words and wordplay, so an in-depth examination of the word slumming might have taken place regardless... It's just that kind of place.

#302 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 05:59 PM:

Wow, three simultaneous posts.

#303 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 06:03 PM:

Off to the subway. More anon.

#304 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 06:07 PM:

146.203.130.11 is posting from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

Such a witty fellow this would-be doctor is. How compassionate. How wise.

=============

So who are these Republicans?

Just because someone favors lower taxes and an aggressive foreign policy doesn't mean anything more about who they are....

A more accurate way of putting that, Republican, would be "Just because someone favors strip mining the US Treasury while flushing America's international reputation doesn't mean anything more about who they are...." But who are these Republicans?

They're the few, those who think they're one of the few, and those who hope to someday be one of the few. Presumably our would-be doctor is one who hopes someday to be one of the few.

Bad news for you, Republican. You won't be. The few, the real ones, won't invite you to their parties. They won't share their power with you. They'll use you, laugh at you, and discard you without a second thought.

Listen, Republican: You may claim to be a conservative. You aren't. There isn't a real conservative in a carload of Republicans.

Sleep well, Republican. In the morning the dream will end.

#305 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 06:13 PM:

Another note, Republican:

You keep using the word "hacking" to describe Teresa's disemvoweling your posts.

Your posts haven't been hacked. They've been disemvoweled. That isn't a bug -- it's a feature of this site. Teresa sells tee-shirts advertising it.

Buy one, Republican. You can afford it. You can boast to all your little Republican friends how you were disemvoweled. I'm sure you'll tell them it was for your dangerous ideas.

Republican.

#306 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 06:31 PM:

Yaron, the only reason we're still talking about you guys is because you keep posting.

#307 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 06:43 PM:

I cam across a site with some photograp[hs of Japanese Race Queens, their version of the promotional model-girls see at auto shows and race tracks. What struck me was thay they varied in body shape far more than I'd expect of the UK and USA. Some of them might even be called cuddly.

#308 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 06:46 PM:

the promotional model-girls see at auto shows and race tracks

Ah, booth-babes! (They appear also at places like E3 and Comdex; at least one person I know gauges the product quality by the number of babes: the more babes, the lower the quality.)

#309 ::: Paul ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 06:55 PM:

PJ: similar, but I don't think the Japanese view the race queens in quite the same way. We need a Japanese speaker to be accurate on that, though.

I must admit, the first time I read Elizabeth's comment I just went "...whu?" and went over it. I didn't actually realise it was supposed to be an insult. She really needs to practice, whoever she is.

#310 ::: JennR ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 07:10 PM:

"Elizabeth": poor girl. "She" so desperately wants to be objectified that "she" can't see why other people wouldn't want it.

And isn't it a sad commentary on something or other that "she" feels that a fat 40 yo can't be objectified. (Hint: maybe we've got better things to do than hang around being objectified. I'd think it would be awfully boring, myself.)

#311 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 07:19 PM:

Paul wrote:

I don't think the Japanese view the race queens in quite the same way. We need a Japanese speaker to be accurate on that, though.

Got url?

#312 ::: windypoint ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 07:21 PM:

Am I slumming it when I go to conservative blogs to laugh at their intellectual and ethical poverty?

#313 ::: LauraJMixon ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 07:24 PM:

Guys, Yaron does seem to be attempting to change the frame of his own comments and take a less confrontational tone, as folks have been asking him to do, and to gain a better understanding of the blog. I give him credit for that.

#314 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 07:24 PM:

Windypoint: Do you mean conservative, or Republican?

You're definitely slumming when you go to Republican blogs.

#315 ::: LauraJMixon ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 07:24 PM:

But "Elizabeth" -- sheesh.

#316 ::: Niall McAuley ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 07:51 PM:

Laura, be careful not to mistake Bizarro Yaron's comment for one of Yaron's: one of these posters is from Bizarro World while the other is only pretending to be.

#317 ::: LauraJMixon ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 08:11 PM:

Heh. You're right. Oh, well. It was a nice thought.

#318 ::: LauraJMixon ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 08:31 PM:

"No flies on you."

"What does that mean? Why does everyone keep saying that??"

#319 ::: Yaron ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 08:47 PM:

Couple random notes:

James - you keep using "Republican" as if it's a hurtful word. I don't know if you realize this, but that's the party that tends to win national elections these days. Anyway I'm not a Republican, so that was a waste of a whole bunch of words. Also, "disemvowellment" is a form of hacking. I don't care what you call it, it's a violation of etiquette and there's a reason why the other 99% of blogs/message boards don't do it.

Also I never mentioned slumming. You're thinking of other people.

Also, in general, there seems to be a lack of self-awareness here across the board - people on your ideological side can and do say whatever nasty things they want and no one notices, while people on the other side have to adhere to strict rules of civility. I mean, do whatever you want, but don't imagine that one side here is above the fray.

#320 ::: Steven desJardins ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 08:55 PM:

Yaron, why do you assume that windypoint and James were talking about you? Believe it or not, people can (and do) say things that have nothing to do with you without it being "a waste of a whole bunch of words".

#321 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 09:07 PM:

You're wrong, again, republican. Disemvowelment isn't hacking -- it's a form of enforcing etiquette. It's here, and it's spreading. Get used to it. You and the other republicans will be seeing more and more of it, everywhere you take your republican shots.

Go tell your republicanisms to someone who's republican enough to fall for them.

#322 ::: Bruce Arthurs ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 09:18 PM:

What next? "Your mother dresses you funny."?

I've occasionally mused on the idea of the Marital Status Fairy dropping in on the postal station where I work, waving her wand around, and turning everyone there single.

If that were the case... well, there are some pretty attractive women working there, that I wouldn't mind chasing after a bit.

But the woman there I'd most likely pursue with an eye towards a permanent relationship carries about sixty pounds of excess weight, is plain-featured, and taller than most of the men there.

But I worked next to her at another station for nearly a year, and I found her to be smart, funny, and... now pay close attention, "Elizabeth"... nice.

#323 ::: Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 09:20 PM:

Considering that one side of the fray is led by a bunch of torturers, murders -- a mild word for starting an aggressive war for monetary profit -- and slavers, also cheats, liars, and those callously indifferent to the common weal or the general condition of mankind, staying above the fray would itself be less than laudable conduct.

Sometimes it isn't everybody's fault, but it is everybody's mess, and by their mop-buckets shall ye know them.

#324 ::: j h woodyatt ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 09:29 PM:

Yaron writes: Also, "disemvowellment" is a form of hacking.

No, it's a form of editing. You should be grateful Teresa isn't charging you money for the service.

p.s. Disemvowelment has only one ell.

#325 ::: jhlipton ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 09:35 PM:

BTW, you guys can pretty up the life of a _______ all you like, and I'm sure for some it really is something they enjoy, but I'm betting for most it is a job they have taken out of necessity, ... and so, for them as well, it is "slumming."

Replace the "_______" with "waiter", "bartender", "chicken plucker" etc. A person may take a job with an eye toward something better in the future, without thinking that s/he is "above this'.

#326 ::: jhlipton ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 09:41 PM:

Sorry for the double post.

Am I slumming it when I go to conservative blogs to laugh at their intellectual and ethical poverty?

Yep! You're going to somewhere you don't "hang out" with a superior "I'm not one of them" attitude. That fits most of the definitions of "slumming" above. (I'm glad I'm not one of them, but I try to stay away from the truly idiotic blogs.)

#327 ::: kate ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 09:50 PM:

I consider disemvoweling to be simply a novel way of enforcing online etiquette. (I liked Usenet, too, where no one enforced anything whatsoever, but I had killfiles on Usenet.) Yaron, why's it make you so angry?

(I mean, I assume you're not one of the folks who contends there should be no limits at all on any kind of speech online? Even in private forums?)

Also, I don't entirely understand why you're continuing to post so antagonistically. Could you explain?

Teresa, Patrick (though it seems mostly Teresa was upset, but I could be wrong)-- sucky experience. Sorry.

#328 ::: Lin Daniel ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 10:06 PM:

Yaron: Also I never mentioned slumming. You're thinking of other people.

You are correct. C and Jsn talked about slmmng

#329 ::: j h woodyatt ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2005, 11:40 PM:

jhlipton writes: Replace the "_______" with...

"Torturer."

#330 ::: Lenora Rose ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 12:24 AM:

James

Thre first snarky republican bit was fine, since it was obviously directed at the Sock-Puppet, but I think the one where you hit Yaron directly might have been a slip.

He's a troll, don't get me wrong, and yes, he's (Or she's, whatever) dead wrong about disemvowellment, but he's also the wrong troll.

Although anyone who thinks that republican is something to be proud of because they steal elections hasn't been reading the news with any better comprehension than he has the rest of this blog.

Yaron, have you read the Bizarro Yaron? Consider - it made a lot more sense than you do.

When, if at all, are you going to respond to the point that this whole thing was started as part of the traumatic experience of finding a neighbour not only dead but murdered -- probably for working at a place your friends found a lark to visit and curl their lips at, unaware they were also flirting with death?

#331 ::: PiscusFiche ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 01:09 AM:

James - you keep using "Republican" as if it's a hurtful word

Yaron: Is that any different than people using liberal or Democrat as a perjorative?

Speaking of which, I was raised a Reagan Republican in the heart of Utah, was a Young Republican and a College Republican, and alas, would have probably voted for Bush the first time round if I hadn't somehow not got my absentee ballot whilst I was living in Canada. The first time somebody called me a "liberal" I think I blanched and twitched and spasmed and frothed, and then politely dissented with the person thus naming me. And ran smack into the wall of someone else's preconceived notions about what it meant to be conservative. To be fair, I've run into this on either end of the political spectrum, but by and large, I have to say my more extreme examples tended to hail from the right.

(At some point I seemed to have crossed an invisible line, and my still-fairly-conservative family all tend to regard me as having been possessed by aliens, and maybe if they pray enough, their Republican-voting daughter will be restored to them or at least go to church, where she will be told to vote Republican. Utah politics encompass a situation which I can only describe as like being born into a family where everybody cheers for a particular rugby team, and only that rugby team, on the sole pretense that the rugby team in question maintains that it looks out for their interests. It eventually becomes obvious that A) that rugby team is really terrible at rugby B) sometimes cheats C) treats other rugby teams with little respect and D) really doesn't care about winning the game for its loyal fans, but just throwing it to keep the bookies happy. And yet, everybody cheers for said team anyway, and reviles those who pick a team more to their personal taste, beliefs, and moral values.)

BTW, as another Elizabeth, that post by "Elizabeth" makes me twitch. Every time I see another person chastizing "Elizabeth", the little homunculi in my head curl up into a little ball and whimper, We didn't do it, we didn't do it, my precious."

#332 ::: PiscusFiche ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 01:28 AM:

Also, "disemvowellment" is a form of hacking. I don't care what you call it, it's a violation of etiquette and there's a reason why the other 99% of blogs/message boards don't do it.

A violation of etiquette? Who died and made you Quentin Crisp? (Hint: The answer is not Quentin Crisp, whose immortal memory I may have accidently maligned by referencing him here.)

As with homes and countries, rules on message boards and the etiquette by which the board is rule are both determined by the ruling inhabitants. One thing that may be considered rude in one man's house is a point of politeness in another. "When in Rome..."

As for the silly assertion that 99 percent of blogs and boards don't behave thusly, I would answer: No, many of them behave much worse. Disemvowelling does not mean that the content of your original post has been changed to reflect something it doesn't mean, nor has it been removed outright and totally censored. You keep missing the point there, it seems. All Teresa has done is make it so that I can skip that post easily if I want to. It's a visual cue, and it's also a form of social incentive: If you don't want your posts disemvowelled, don't engage in ad hominem attacks, hasty generalisations, put forth arguments which put words into the mouths of others or make faulty assumptions. Any of these seems to be a much ruder offense than disemvowelling.

#333 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 02:28 AM:

I'm out of patience with this numbskull. Anyone else want to take a hand at trying to get Yaron to understand that (1.) he doesn't dictate local etiquette; (2.) he's in a weblog that has a long-established and well-known code of conduct; (3.) he can look it up; and (4.) the fact that he's neither listened to previous explanations, nor looked at the recommended resources, is one of the reasons people keep telling him he's being rude?

Alternately, you could try explaining to him why it is that we don't have a high opinion of the current Republican party. Graydon's made a start on that one.

If someone else doesn't get to it first, I'm probably good for the explanation about how putting your writing online, and encouraging traffic to come to your site and read it, makes you susceptible to being reviewed; also, how we aren't obliged to have a good opinion of the prose and/or the ideational content in his friends' weblogs; also, why responding furiously to one's reviews is almost universally referred to as the A.B.M., or Author's Bad Mistake.

To bed now. I have a half-day at work tomorrow, and seven guests (five of whom will be staying here) coming for Thanksgiving dinner.

#334 ::: Bryan ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 03:04 AM:

"Am I slumming it when I go to conservative blogs to laugh at their intellectual and ethical poverty?"

virtual slumming. I wonder about that.

#335 ::: Lucy Kemnitzer ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 03:37 AM:

Well, I wasn't too successful at getting across what slumming is (no, I'm not counting the choir members). But I'll try to address some of the ideas Teresa was asking for help with.

Back there a ways I said the comments section of this blog is like a corner bar but that was wrong. It's more like Teresa and Patrick's home was on a corner with a lot of foot traffic, and their own backyard was open to view from both streets of the intersection. And they built a nice patio, with comfy benches and oh, I don't know, maybe a barbecue and definitely some nice fragrant flowering vines growing over what's left of the fence after they put in arbors with wide open arches all along the fence. So people wander in all hours of the day and night, because it's well-lit and comfy and the honeysuckle smells nice. And there's almost always somebody to talk to. But even though Patrick and Teresa go about their lives and they're only out there on the patio part of the time, and even though all these diverse people come and go all the time, it's still Patrick and Teresa's house.

Got that part? It's their house. They make the rules, which in this case is: be reasonably civil and listen to each other. That's pretty much it for #1.

And so after a while there are people who are used to coming here and they've been talking to each other for a while and gosh there's a wide variety of people here some of whom it would be awfully hard to have sitting at the same barbecue if they hadn't agreed on a few things to begin with, most of which they seemed to have worked out in the course of conversation. But there's been a few hairy scenes and Teresa's worked out this system of taking some of the edge off the worst of it in a way that's humorous and also allows the person to go on talking and calls attention to the breaches of ettiquette that bring it on. It's like making the rudest guy at the party wear a dunce hat, only less so, with extra added logic puzzles to amuse the audience. That's #2.

Somebody else do #3. I'm lazy.

I'm not going to explain #4 because that would be stupid. "I'm explaining to you that the rude thing you did was to not listen to the explanation of how the rude thing you did was to not listen to the explanation of what's rude and what we do about it around here." I can't bring myself to write that.

I'm going to bed now too. I had two days to clean the house and I did nothing whatever toward that goal and now I have no days to clean the house and three thanksgiving dinners to participate in, in three cities. And work tomorrow.

#336 ::: j h woodyatt ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 04:39 AM:

Teresa Nielsen Hayden writes: Anyone else want to take a hand at trying to get Yaron to understand...

Now you've done it— you've invited me into the house. (I work on a principle similar to the popular one for vampires.)

Yaron writes: Also, in general, there seems to be a lack of self-awareness here across the board -

Across the board? Oh sweet Jeebus, do we ever love sweeping generalizations like that one.

Yaron continues: ...people on your ideological side can and do say whatever nasty things they want and no one notices, ...

Yes. Yes, we can. We do. We revel in it. And no one notices. Hell, do you realize what I'm saying and doing right now while I crack off this flame? I could tell you stories that would uncurl the cilia on your wigglers. And, of course, you don't notice. No one notices. That's the beauty. I'm a write-only device, baby!

Yaron continues: ...while people on the other side have to adhere to strict rules of civility.

This document specifies a neoconservatarian Best Current Practices for the neoconservatarian Community, and requests discussion and suggestions for improvements. Distribution of this memo is unlimited.

In many standards track documents several words are used to signify the requirements in the specification. These words are often capitalized. This document defines these words as they should be interpreted in neoconservatarian documents. Authors who follow these guidelines should incorporate this phrase near the beginning of their document:

The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT", "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this document are to be interpreted as described in RFC 666-9753bcp27BZ/6.

Note that the force of these words is modified by the requirement level of the document in which they are used.

Yaron concludes: I mean, do whatever you want, but don't imagine that one side here is above the fray.

Above the fray? The fray?

Child... you do realize that many of us here sharpen our own knives. You think this is a melee? Think again.

Take a look around. Have you noticed the number of players here who post without using cheap, throwaway pseudonyms? These are our real names. Do not make the mistake of thinking you can say and do whatever you want here and nobody will notice or care.

Google reads star from all and journals everything to an infinite persistent data store. Our great great grandchildren will be able to grep for our names and see what we wrote when we were young, dumb and full of lemon meringue.

Have you spent the last twenty years posting hundreds of thousands of words under your complete real name where every robot on the web can index it sixty thousand ways to Sunday? Near as I can tell— no, you haven't. But you still have the gall, the unmitigated nerve, the naked box canyons, to walk in here with your pistol and stamen fully displayed in front of an undifferentiated nickname and try to tell us that we are the ones that lack self-awareness.

Forgive us for laughing at you, but what else can we do?

#337 ::: Bryan ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 05:18 AM:

tragedy is my great-grandchild googling my name and finding I once mispelled terpischorean, comedy is Yaron's greatgrandchild googling his name and finding this thread.

#338 ::: JdB ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 06:34 AM:

I haven't really read much of this comment thread, as I'm on Internet cafe time, but I thought I'd share my thoughts. I lived for a year in the sort of netherworld between Park Slope & Sunset Park, on 4th Ave. I like walking around, so I often walked around 3rd Avenue, where in addition to the "24-hour video stores" there was a really good fruit & vegetable store, and a huge post office with a tiny, tiny customer area and no good stamps. I could never tell if that big scary building with the chainlink nets projecting out from the second floor (to stop people climbing up? or to catch people jumping down?) was a jail or not. Anyway, I never felt the least bit scared or threatened there, which is probably proof of my naivete. And I once stepped into one of the porn shops, just to see, and I feel like I might've written such a post about it as Jessica did about the strip club--I mean, I knew it was sleazy, obviously, but how sleazy I did not really realize until I saw for myself.
This is not an apologia for slumming, which I've always felt was disgusting. (It amazes me how some people can afford a nicer place but live in a terrifying hellhole to be "hip", or to freak their parents out, or whatever it is.) Just offering myself as an example of how completely stupid people can be. Did 3rd Ave really only get that way after the "cleanup" of Times Square?

#339 ::: Yaron ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 09:05 AM:

Lenora: the magnitude of the two things (people you don't know going to a strip bar, murder) is so different that they shouldn't have been conflated in the first place. They were, so by responding to only one I'm forced to ignore the other; just like most people here have.

#340 ::: AliceB ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 09:39 AM:

Yaron, I have to de-lurk for a second here.

"The magnitude of the two things (people you don't know going to a strip bar, murder) is so different that they shouldn't have been conflated in the first place."

Don't you get it? That's why people answering (and lurking) think you are behaving in a ridiculous way. Teresa and Patrick went/are going through a great deal of major yuckiness, and Theresa has used this forum to express some of it. So she made a snide comment, at the very end of two posts, about some of your friends. Give it a break. Deal with the issue that the posts are really about, and think a little about snide behaviour to people who have to deal with grief.

Re-lurking now.

#341 ::: Xopher (Christopher Hatton) ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 09:49 AM:

Yaron, you STILL don't get it. They were called stupid for going to the strip bar in the way they did because of the murder.

Those who ignore context inevitably get things massively wrong. What does the sentence "Brutus is an honorable man" mean? By itself it means that Brutus behaves honorably. But in the context of Marc Antony's famous speech from Julius Caesar, it means quite the opposite.

Give it some thought.

#342 ::: Richard Anderson ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 10:20 AM:

As a relatively new and still infrequent visitor to this blog, I'll just say that, at times, Republican-bashing here seems to go a bit over the top. And maybe that's appropriate, given the policies and programs of those in power, and given the actions being taken overseas in the name of the American people. However, I live in a small town best characterised politically as "purple" rather than "red" or "blue," and I'm acquainted with intelligent people of good will who happen belong to the GOP. Being people of good will, they're susceptible to persuasion -- in essence, they'll consider and even support moderately liberal ideas and ideals. (Much like centrist Dems might consider and support some planks of the Republican platform.) Seems to me the next presidential election may hinge in part on the ability of Democrats to converse with, and convert, those (perhaps many) Republicans susceptible to conversion. These conversions, though, will be much more difficult to attain if we approach them without empathy and civility.

#343 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 10:31 AM:

Yaron said: people on your ideological side can and do say whatever nasty things they want and no one notices, while people on the other side have to adhere to strict rules of civility.

Mmmm, of course. Like, say Ann Coulter does? You know, like when she says on national TV that "unlike a liberal" she has ethics? Or when she publishes books called Treason and How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Have To).

Or perhaps you mean the strict rules adhered to by the people with the bumper sitckers reading "Annoy a liberal--work hard and be happy". (Me, I want one that says "Annoy a conservative--be kind and think clearly". But that would be, you know, rude, so I don't have one.)

Or the strict rules of the people who bomb clinics that provide women's health services, even when those clinics don't perform abortions, those rules?

No, I know--you must mean the strict rules where it's fine for the President to lie in order to start a war of aggression.

I could go on, but I don't really feel like taking on the karma of being that angry right now, so I'll stop.

#344 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 10:38 AM:

There may, possibly, be some people of good will who still belong to the party of corruption, incompetence, and cronyism. Out of habit, perhaps, or out of apathy. Or, possibly, because Fox News is just that effective.

But as to the case at hand: Yes, it appears that Jessica is indeed strikingly republican. And it seems that her little friends are all strikingly republican as well.

#345 ::: Yaron ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 10:39 AM:

Carrie - I meant on this blog.

#346 ::: Sandy ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 10:48 AM:

Was I the only one for whom "trnsctnl" took a number of tries to decipher ? "Interscotional" should be a word. Or perhaps intrascotional.

As far as the pestilence of wicked bridge-and-tunnel New Yorkers, creeping back from their shopping trips with our fair New Jersey dust ensconced in their villainous lungs-those very lungs with which you castigate we suburbanites upon our occasional evening visits to your metropolis. . .

. . . I'm totally unable to finish that sentence without anticlimax. This is really embarassing.

#347 ::: Aconite ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 10:49 AM:

Yaron, you conveniently missed the posts where long-time posters here told other long-time posters here that they were over the top with certain statements. That may be because you assume we're thinking and acting as a unit with one goal--to attack you and your friends--instead of seeing that we are, in fact, a multitude of individuals with different viewpoints.

#348 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 11:03 AM:

yaron: I recommend you look at some of the other threads, to get a better feel for this patio. Try 'Listening to Habaneros' and 'Folksongs Are Your Friends' for a start.

Then, if you still think we're all a bunch of [censored] liberals, you may leave quietly.

#349 ::: Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 11:17 AM:

Richard --

I'd say that it is impossible to belong to this Republican party and be a person of good will. Can't be done.

Lies, murder, and torture do not fit under 'good will'. Fiscal profligacy could, possibly, in the general case, fit under 'good will' if it included a large side of clueless good intentions, but this particular fiscal profligacy won't fit under 'good will' at all, because it's one hundred percent pure-quill corruption.

You'd have more luck getting a blue whale into a bivy sack.

And the next presidental election, like the last two, will be decided by whomever it is who controls the unmonitored, unverified, criminal-penalties-for-evaluating, electronic voting machines. Even if some talking head has to get up on CNN and explain why the exit polls were forty percent in error, or -- much more likely -- why there were no exit polls this time.

#350 ::: Lin Daniel ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 11:24 AM:

walk in here with your pistol and stamen fully displayed in front of an undifferentiated nickname

Dear ghods, I love this place. Truly. Theresa, Patrick, thank you for allowing us to play in your sandbox, and thanks to all for the wonderful constructions built therein. I try not to read Making Light around other people, as trying to explaing the howling laughter at certain word pictures is sometimes impossible. JH, thank you. The above will be cherished, and re-used at an appropriate moment.

#351 ::: Jessica ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 11:25 AM:

Oh Xopher, the murder was a recent event. I attended the strip club many months ago. There is zero correlation to those of you that are still trying to hang onto a relation. And if you honestly think being conservative has nothing to do with the attack, you and your fellow idealogues should crawl out of that hole.

I think it's hysterical that the irony of my post was lost on most of you, the fact that we were women entering this establishment. We were women out to have a good time without having to pay an exorbitant fee.

So Teresa, now that there was a murder in your building are you planning on moving out?

#352 ::: Sandy ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 11:43 AM:

"I think it's hysterical that the irony of my post was lost on most of you, the fact that we were women entering this establishment. We were women out to have a good time without having to pay an exorbitant fee. "

We didn't agree with your point. That doesn't mean we missed it.

#353 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 11:44 AM:

We were women out to have a good time without having to pay an exorbitant fee.

I can do this without going to a topless bar and talking later about how sleazy it was. There are bars that don't have exorbitant cover charges and don't involve 'sleaze'. You probably have at least one decent bar in your neighborhood. You could try a tapas bar, too. Have you tried birdwatching (look: pingpong balls! butterbutts!)?

See my recommendation to Yaron a little way upthread. You might enjoy something less threatening to your self-image.

#354 ::: Sandy ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 11:45 AM:

Sorry for the "we" statement, above. I speak only for myself.

#355 ::: Lin Daniel ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 11:49 AM:

I'd say that it is impossible to belong to this Republican party and be a person of good will. Can't be done.

I'd say that it is impossible to be a vocal Republican and be a person of good will. I know a number of people of good will who also happen to be Republican, some in public office. They have slowly grown silent over the last few years. Since evil florishes when good people stand silent, I hope the faint beginnings of discontent I am hearing continue to grow.

#356 ::: claire ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 11:51 AM:

OK, I promised myself I would be good.

I lied.

So I had a dream the other night, induced by this thread. I am in a seedy old strip club. Cue up the “boom, chakka, boom” music. Out comes Ms. Teresa in a full PhD graduation robe. She walks up to the blackboard at the back of the stage and begins to make notations. She suddenly whirls and stalks to the front of the stage and says, “I KNOW you haven’t studied!” She then picks out guys and asks them questions for which they do not have the answers and brazenly walks up to one poor schnoock, pushes her glasses up her nose and purrs, “I bet you don’t even know what a dipthong is.” At that point a guy in the audience jumps up with a $100 bill in his hand and yells, “Disemvowel me Baby, I can take it!”

At which point I woke up giggling.

Words are wonderful things. And unlike people they don’t grow flabbly or get wrinkly if you leave them out in the rain (well if you want to quibble about that messy form of putting them in those book container things, go ahead and be my guest).

As some of my friends may or may not attest I am neither fat nor thin. But I will cop to being over 40. Hell, I’ll even go so far to say that I’m creeping ever so closer to the other end of the decade, so there. But just recently having had a brain scare I have always and continue to cherish that organ very much. And while certain body parts are a little creaky I’m not dead yet and the rest I leave up to the collective imagination of the universe and you can all mind your peas and parsnips.

The truth is, if we are lucky we survive to get old and wrinkly and some of us even figure out that it is our brains that help make us the sexiest critters on the planet.

Before I get off the soapbox, can I remind folks of the origins of this post and that our friends just went through a slight rehearshal of an episode of The Sopranos. A little slack here maybe?

--claire

#357 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 11:56 AM:

Not all Republicans are conservative or Bushies:
Pete McCloskey, 78, considers a quixotic quest
Ex-congressman may challenge Pombo in primary

Founding congressman of Earth Day, ran against Nixon for president in 1972, Marine (Korea: Navy Cross, two Purple Hearts, and a Silver Star), and a guy I could (and did) vote for. And I don't agree with that party's views.

#358 ::: Aconite ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 11:58 AM:

Jessica: I think it's hysterical that the irony of my post was lost on most of you, the fact that we were women entering this establishment.

No, it's not that we missed the irony. It's that we didn't consider the act as radical and hip as you seem to. Firstly, women going to a strip club may be unusual and risque in your circles, but is quite tame and cliched to many here. We're not shocked. Why, some of us worked long and hard to secure your right to walk into a strip club, newbie. Secondly, it was perfectly obvious that the establishment in question was in the kind of neighborhood that no one but an idiot would consider safe. You chose to go into what was obviously an unsafe environment for a bit of fun. That was frankly stupid, and if you don't see that, I despair of you.

#359 ::: Richard Anderson ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 12:05 PM:

Graydon, the admittedly anecdote-based reality that I see -- and've heard through discussions with local GOPers -- is that a perhaps quite sizable percentage of Republicans is uncomfortable with the actions of the Bush White House. Bush's abysmal poll numbers also reflect this impression in that the only way they could be so low is through Republican disenchantment. If the key to the next election is to have these disenchanted Republicans vote Democrat, then they should to be treated with respect. If, however, the key to the next election is instead for the Dems to appeal merely to its traditional base and ignore crossover voters, then hey, keep blasting all Republicans, moderates and extremists alike, with both barrels. My opinion is that the former approach, not the latter, is most pragmatic and likeliest to lead to success. The downside, as some might view it, is the potential alienation of the left wing of the party. Assuming the majority of American voters are centrists, then this alienation is (IMHO) no big deal. If my assumption is wrong, then it's potentially tragic. Through thoughtful discussion and debate, the best approach may be revealed....

#360 ::: Yaron ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 12:07 PM:

Aconite - if you think it was idiotic to go there because it was a dangerous location, then you, too, appear to be slandering the deceased. I wonder who else agrees with this statement?

#361 ::: Michelle K ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 12:15 PM:

I think it's hysterical that the irony of my post was lost on most of you, the fact that we were women entering this establishment.

Why is that supposed to be ironic? Is it that women are not supposed to enter strip clubs except as dancers and waitresses? Or is it just that *nice* women aren't supposed to enter strip clubs?

#362 ::: Lenora Rose ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 12:22 PM:

Okay Jim, I retract that. Insult Yaron as much as you like (Not like you'd ever ask or need my permission, but if you do it now, I won't disapprove). "He"'s just lost the last shred of restraint I feel for how to deal with him. His sense of clue is lower than that of the proverbial Pointy-Haired-Boss.


Jessica: You don't think you were in danger at the exact moment you went? Then where did the bullet holes already existing come from?

There's no magic moment between the first bullets and this latest one where you were magically sheltered from this place. There's no magical protection provided by the fact that you were innocent and harmless. In fact, the fact that you don't belong in a place like that makes you more of a target. since nobody would know where to look for you if you disappeared. You could have been raped or killed just for going in and giggling.

Thus, your actions were stupid. To talk about them as if it was a light flirtation with the lower echelons, and not a serious endangerment of your life, is incredibly STUPID.

(I do not say *you* are stupid. You may well be smart most of the time. There is a difference between a person who is stupid all the time, and a person who does one, or two, stupid things. In fact, we all do stupid things. This doesn't mean we're exempt from having that action called stupid.)

#363 ::: Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 12:26 PM:

Richard --

It doesn't matter how anyone votes in the next Presidential election. The votes are not being counted.

Worrying about how people would vote in some other universe where the votes are counted is pretty silly.

Bush's poll numbers right now are very bad among Democrats and Independents; they're still quite strong among those who identify as Republican, well over 60% approval.

Some of that might be due to an effective propaganda operation, but I think most of it is due to a combination of the brutality associated with dissent within the Republican Party, habits of loyalty, people possessing sufficiently loathesome personal views that they do approve of torturing "those people", looting the treasury, and so forth, and a certain lack of the moral will to admit error.

#364 ::: jennie ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 12:29 PM:

Quoth Richard: If the key to the next election is to have these disenchanted Republicans vote Democrat, then they should to be treated with respect.

Respectfully, I'm afraid I disagree. Maybe they should be treated politely. But I'm afraid I have a difficult time treating with respect people who completely ignored the information in front of their faces, who ignored GWB's record as governor of Texas, who swallowed, hook, line, and sinker the outright lies about WMD, when the lies were presented with "evidence" that fail to suspend the disbeliev of your average reader of mystery novels, who ignored the incredible costs of the current war, and who voted the current group of thugs and theocrats (to borrow a phrase from Graydon) into positions of power twice.

I'm glad these people are coming to notice that the emperor is nekkid as a Sweet Cherry stripper. I'm sorry for them that their illusions are being shattered. I won't hector or harangue them more than I have just done. But I can't respect that kind of culpable ignorance, and that abdication of the responsibilities of a citizen in a democracy.

I'll refrain from name calling. But part of being a grownup is accepting responsibility for one's errors. The U.S. is currently in the hands of some truly vile people and some truly incompetent people. Those people didn't just get to be in charge on their own. And the people who voted for them had access to the information that they were thugs and theocrats (to borrow a phrase from Graydon). I'll have a lot more respect for people who admit that this mess is of their making, and who do their research before voting, but I can't really respect the culpable ignorance that they displayed.

#365 ::: Lenora Rose ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 12:31 PM:

Okay, apparantly Yaron, not Jessica, needs to read the bit I cut fromt he last comment.

Yaron, The people who go there all the time, work there, deal there, or just drink and watch the ggirls, *know* how to handle themselves in an establishment like that. They know the risks. They can walk the walk and talk the talk, because they belong. it's not slandering the dead to say he worked in a really low place, it's fact. It also implies that HE has the above survival techniques down, and he knew what he was doing.

Which only proves it's not a sure protection even for those who belong, who have a pretty good chance of getting by in a place like that.

So if someone who knows the territory and fits in can be murdered, how is someone like Jessica who goes in without any survival skills whatsoever supposed to be remotely safe?

#366 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 12:34 PM:

Teresa, before the thread gets too far off track, your neighbor sounds like he would have been interesting to talk with. I'm sorry this happened to him, and you.

#367 ::: j h woodyatt ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 12:38 PM:

Lin writes: Dear ghods, I love this place.

Hmmm. Now might be a good time to mention that I wrote 'pistol' where I should have written 'pistil' and didn't catch it before I clicked the (POST) button. Sorry about that.

#368 ::: Aconite ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 12:40 PM:

Yaron: Aconite - if you think it was idiotic to go there because it was a dangerous location, then you, too, appear to be slandering the deceased.

I strongly recommend you learn exactly what "slander" means. You're on a board full of writers. Definitions matter.

Do I think it is stupid to work in an establishment where people get shot at? If you have a choice about it, yes. Similar reasoning means I think my family members in the military and law enforcement are nuts, but I don't consider them stupid because they don't do it for a fun night out. Do you get that? That your going to such a place was stupid because you chose to do it for fun? Somehow, I don't think that's sinking in.

#369 ::: Barry Ragin ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 12:48 PM:

Richard - at the risk of detouring this thread away from it's more entertaining aspects, let me respond to your thesis about reaching out to so-called centrist Republicans.

For the past X years (X is an arbitrary number. For me, it's 11; corresponding with Newt Gingrich's Contract with America. Others may say it's 25, going back to Reagan's campaign against Carter. whatever.) Democrats have been debating issues, Republicans have been assassinating characters. When Republicans try to debate issues, the results are the Social Security Bamboozlepalooza (Josh Marshall's wonderful coinage) which collapsed in a heap of dung and straw and which must never be mentioned again if you are a good Republican. Republicans know this, which is why they attack exaggerated personality traits. This methodology reached its peak (or nadir, if you prefer) during the 2004 Republican convention with the Purple Heart bandages and related Swift Boat attacks on John Kerry.

The unfortunate aspect of this kind of politics is that it wins elections. It wins elections because the people practicing it appear stronger to the electorate than the party ignoring it.

Democrats need first and foremost to stand up and fight back, the way they did when Jean Schmidt attempted to smear John Murtha. At some point, the playing field will then be levelled, and we'll elect a government on the issues. But we're not there yet.

In Ohio, for example, if Democrats don't run against the corruption of Ney, Noe, and Taft, they don't deserve to win elections next year, regardless of whether more Ohioans agree with Democratic positions on Social Security, health care, balancing the budget, etc.

#370 ::: Scott H ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 12:52 PM:

Richard wrote:

"My opinion is that the former approach, not the latter, is most pragmatic and likeliest to lead to success. The downside, as some might view it, is the potential alienation of the left wing of the party."

Hi Richard. I see your point, but I am afraid that I must respectfully disagree. Here's why:

I completely agree that the next election will be won by courting the moderate voters. However, I would tend to disagree that quiet, reasoned discourse is the best method of courtship. I would argue that hysterical slogan-shouting has been proven time and again to be a more effective tactic.

In particular, I feel that the success of the Republican party in the last several elections was due largely to their superior ability to center the debate on some carefully selected emotionally charged issues. The average voter doesn't give a shit about corporate tax policy, but if you show them a picture of two guys kissing they go berserk.

My thinking is that the current administration has presented us with a golden opportunity to sling a little mud of our own. Regardless of how you feel about, say, the Alaskan wildlife refuge, most people are going to recoil in horror when presented with an image of a guy being drowned in a bucket of his own urine.

I would respectfully suggest that success might best be achieved by focusing the debate upon the administrations unswerving support of policies that are inherently indefensible.

It's less intuitively obvious, but I would also argue that a certain amount of hyperbole in such discussions adds a useful element of theatricality.

Allow me to illustrate:

#371 ::: Scott H ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 12:53 PM:

Yeah, Graydon, I completely agree.

You're either against torture and imprisonment without trial or you're a bad person. There is no grey area.

There's been a certain amount of hand-wringing about the current lack of civility in American debate, both here particularly and in the world. I think what we need is less civility, not more. Dignifying the ongoing crimes of the administration by engaging in debate with the supporters of the crimes is a direct slap in the face to their victims.

Jessica, Yaron, Lin: I don't care at all about your positions on strip clubs, slumming, gay marriage, abortion or the national debt.

This administration has turned the U.S. into a place where torture and imprisonment without trial are OK. To whatever degree you support the filth responsible for such crimes, you are yourself filth. If that's not self-evident then no amount of wordplay is ever going to cure you.

#372 ::: Scott H ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 01:01 PM:

Or I could have just said "Barry: ditto." and achieved much the same effect. Sorry, dude, didn't see your post in time.

#373 ::: Today Wendy ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 01:09 PM:

Actually jh, I really loved the extra level of bizarre mental imagery resulting from using 'pistol' instead of 'pistil'. Flower with a gun. Heh.

#374 ::: coln roald ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 01:15 PM:

Lenora writes: Thus, your actions were stupid. To talk about them as if it was a light flirtation with the lower echelons, and not a serious endangerment of your life, is incredibly STUPID.

This seems a bit hysterical to me. You're not Jessica's mother, you weren't along with them, and as far as I can tell you've never *actually* been to Sweet Cherry. Jessica's been fairly civil in this thread considering the amount of abuse that's been dumped on her blog. You may think her actions or writings are in poor taste; that may be, but it's surely her right to judge her own risk-taking.

In fact, in most places the naive outsider is at much less risk than the people who actually belong. The Fortune-Favoured Fool is an archetype for a reason: the outsider has no debts, no conflicted loyalties, no old grudges or betrayals, poses no particular threat to anyone's turf, and the locals don't really know if it's safe to mess with her. In fact, if she has a political patron with power, it's probably considerably less safe to mess with her than with Teresa's unfortunate neighbour; disappearances of privileged white women are generally investigated much more thoroughly than those of middle-aged unmarried titty-bar bouncers.

(I blithely assume Jessica is white. I don't actually know *that*, either.)

You assert Jessica has no survival skills. And she'll never get any if she never leaves the bubble of safety, whether she does it the way you'd like or not.

#375 ::: Lin Daniel ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 01:18 PM:

Scott H:Jessica, Yaron, Lin: I don't care

Uh, what did I write that caused you to put me in with Jessica and Yaron? If so, I want to retract and/or rephrase it.

#376 ::: j h woodyatt ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 01:21 PM:

Yaron writes: if you think it was idiotic to go there because it was a dangerous location, then you, too, appear to be slandering the deceased. I wonder who else agrees with this statement?

Hmmm. I suppose it's possible the deceased might have been paying Sweet Cherry for the privilege of doing security work there— stranger things have happened in big cities— but I'm inclined to assume the more likely opposite flow of dollars in exchange for services rendered and risks assumed.

Though, like Aconite, I'll say I was underimpressed with Jessica's attempt at irony and just note for the record that if she thinks it's "hysterical" that most of us don't find her comments as pithy as she thinks they were, then she's got one damaged sense of humor.

Now if Jessica wants to roll down to Sweet Cherry and take a job there, then maybe your comparison will be a fair one. Oh wait. Maybe, Jessica's "not cut out for that kind of work," or she's getting a better rate for marketing her dignity in a skirt and heels in some Republican PR operation. (Doubtful, in either case.)

I think I can see the point you're trying to make with your recurring visits, but it's not coming across very clearly. You're really peeved about the "Republicans and tacky sex" comment our host made, aren't you?

"They can't all be into sleaze, can they?" she asked.

And here you are— one has to wonder— dating [?] a Republican. What would that make you? One wonders. (There was a previous thread here where we all had a great time deconstructing Scooter Libby's bad sex scenes in his novel. You might look for that, because a little context might help.)

Would you like to talk about the underlying issue? The weird mentality that Republicans and other conservatarians have with sex and morality? Or are you just planning to swing wildly at anybody who still hasn't come around to agreeing with you that Jessica is the dog's bollix and one hot piece of sheet music?

#377 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 01:21 PM:

Coming, as I do, from a nation in which the entire ranks of the Opposition in the Senate were described, by a Prime Minister in a Parliamentary debate, as "swill", "scumbags", and "in and out of the cat's arse", I cannot help but think that too much is made of respectful demeanour and polite discourse.

I am reminded - stop me if you've heard this one - of a debate in which the following exchange took place:

Hon Member: I am a member from the country. I have always been a country member, I will always be a country member.

Interjection: Yeah, mate, we remember.

Perhaps it's just a cultural thing?

#378 ::: Scott H ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 01:21 PM:

Lin: Whoops--sorry about that. A clear mistake. My sincere apologies.

#379 ::: Aconite ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 01:22 PM:

coln roald: In fact, in most places the naive outsider is at much less risk than the people who actually belong.

In such situations, the term usualy applied to the naive outsider is "mark."

#380 ::: j h woodyatt ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 01:26 PM:

"Flower with a gun. Heh."

Yeah, well— sometimes you hit the target when you're aiming with your eyes closed.

#381 ::: Lin Daniel ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 01:28 PM:

Scott H: Accepted, thanks. I was afraid there for a minute I'd gotten too obtuse. (Which would be really odd in this forum.)

jh: I actually read it as pistil the first time. Altho both variations are equally delightful.

#382 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 01:30 PM:

Jessica, Yaron, Lin: I don't care at all about your positions on strip clubs, slumming, gay marriage, abortion or the national debt.

This administration has turned the U.S. into a place where torture and imprisonment without trial are OK. To whatever degree you support the filth responsible for such crimes, you are yourself filth. If that's not self-evident then no amount of wordplay is ever going to cure you.

Calm down, please. Are these people all Bushies? How can you tell? Are we supposed to agree with you, just because you think we should? (BTW - I know Lin. She isn't a conservative, and she knows how to use a gun. I wouldn't want to argue with her. Think a much safer version of our hostess.)

#383 ::: Lois Fundis ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 01:30 PM:

Yaron, the deceased was the bouncer there. It was his job to go there, and to make it a less dangerous place. In his case it seems that the danger followed him home, which is why it's so appalling to his neighbors, such as Patrick and Teresa.

Assuming that you don't work there (i.e., not the new bouncer), it's optional for you. If you want to go somewhere dangerous -- with bullet holes in the windows, for Pete's sake -- for fun, for "thrills" or whatever, and assuming you're an adult, that's up to you. But the rest of us are free to think such a choice is less than wise, and to express such opinions, even at the risk of our hostess disemvoweling us.

(I will admit that maybe not all places with bullet holes are dangerous. I have a bullet hole in my bedroom window. The family who lived here before me had a kid with a BB gun. I've never got around to having the window fixed or changed.)

#384 ::: Richard Anderson ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 01:33 PM:

Graydon, if the next Democratic presidential candidate can attract 40 percent of the Republican vote, then my guesstimate is that we'll retake the White House. Assuming it's not stolen by Diebold.

Jennie, point taken: perhaps I confused "respect" with "polite." But frankly, I can see how otherwise intelligent, moderate Republicans might've believed the neocon's domino theory that posits a democratic Iraq will lead to a flourishing of democracy elsewhere in the region. (It's similar to the tack some liberals took against the Kirkpatrick Doctrine back in the '80s, arguing that the federal gov't should use its instruments of power to knock down authoritarian regimes rather than prop 'em up.) I can also understand the reluctance some might have of changing a commander-in-chief while a war is in progress. And through this understanding, I can discuss -- politely, with those who're willing to engage in discussion -- the problems that've derived from these beliefs. Where I live, and in other small towns across the country, that's going to be far more effective than calling someone an idiot.

And Scott H, maybe you're right (at any rate, I like your argument -- after all, smear and spin clearly proved productive for Rove and gang). Perhaps the wisest strategy would be to use a two-pronged approach: hyperbole at the national level, polite (and even respectful?) discussion at the local level.

#385 ::: Lin Daniel ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 01:35 PM:

Lois, it's not "bullet hole" that's the problem. It's when they come in plurals.

Altho I have a friend with bullet holes, plural, in his closet. (Closet?) Yup, he's got this huge walk-in closet that's half clothes and half gun locker. He periodically test fires in the closet because it can't be heard from outside.

I lust after that closet. My friend says he's not sure if it's from the sheer size or from the guns in it. I can't decide either.

#386 ::: Sandy ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 01:51 PM:

So, since the eyewitnesses are reading this:

Did the bulletholes in question look recent?

#387 ::: Renee ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 01:56 PM:

Fear me. I have an opinion.

BTW, 'ignorant' in this post is synonymous with 'unknowing'. Just to be clear on that subject.

I've been watching the back-and-forthing going on in this thread, and I gather the timeline of events is thus:

Jessica goes to a strip bar.
Jessica posts joking description of her visit.
Theresa's neighbor is murdered downstairs.
Theresa finds Jessica's post.

Important facts to remember: the neighbor worked at the bar Jessica visited. Said bar has bullet holes in the windows. The neighbor was shot.

I'm going to ignore all the 'Us vs. Them' politicking (tho' I'm tempted not to.) I don't think it really has much to do with the neighbor, Jessica, or Theresa. The fact that Jessica and Theresa fall on opposite sides of the liberal/conservative line is incidental (and inflammatory) but ultimately irrelevant.

I take Jessica's original post as a joke. It isn't well-written and it is in bad taste, and it displays an appalling ignorance of the area, the type of bar, and the particular bar, but other than that, it's the sort of thing I would expect an inexperienced girl of good upbringing to write as a joke. It's shallow, but within the limited confines of her own social circle, likely very amusing (in part for its very shallowness.)

Enter Theresa, still in shock from the neighbor's death. She knows much more about the area and the bar in question, and to her, the post is far more ignorant than it is amusing. But then, she's older and more experienced than Jessica, and likely doesn't have a taste for shallow humor, to boot. And let us not forget that the neighbor was shot--and there's no telling that the bullets that made the holes in the windows didn't do so after or before passing through a real, live human being.

Theresa cares about real, live human beings. Judging from the post about the neighbor, she cares about dead ones, too. Jessica's post came across as written by someone who was behaving *at best* in a vapid and/or vacuous way (Theresa's own words, which she acknowledges would have been more accurate than the 'strikingly stupid' phrase she actually did use.) I'll leave it as an exercise for the student what worse case scenarios might apply.

Theresa may very well have over-reacted to Jessica's post; Jessica and her horde of defenders certainly have over-reacted to her reaction. Several of the local Making Light denizens have over-reacted in Theresa's defense, but on a lesser scale than the Jessica horde, in my not-at-all humble opinion.

My sympathies regarding the situation with your neighbor, Theresa (and you too, Patrick.) I've never been in that position and I hope I never will be, and I hope this is your only experience with it, too.

I'm going to go lurk again. You can stop fearing me now.

#388 ::: Scott H ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 01:58 PM:

PJ wrote,

Calm down, please. Are these people all Bushies? How can you tell? Are we supposed to agree with you, just because you think we should? (BTW - I know Lin. She isn't a conservative, and she knows how to use a gun. I wouldn't want to argue with her. Think a much safer version of our hostess.)

I was kidding, mostly--apologies for the confusion. The post right above it was an argument that hysterical slogan-shouting, not reasoned discourse, wins elections. The one you objected to was an illustration of the hysterical slogan shouting, prefaced with "Allow me to illustrate:" (it seemed cute at the time).

The bit with Lin was a screw-up—I was casting about for someone to demonize and I mistakenly saw her name. I’m guessing that either something above or something just below was objectionable and I misread the author, but I can’t find the particular example. I already apologized to Lin.

Things like this are why I don’t get to decide who lives and who dies.

#389 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 02:06 PM:

Things like this are why I don’t get to decide who lives and who dies.

That I understand quite well, being one who does it every so often. (And, since I do QC for a living, I see it too. If I could pass everything without having to have the mistakes fixed, I'd be less stressed. Life ain't like that, however.) You're safe.

#390 ::: Vito Excalibur ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 02:08 PM:

Richard: I can't see that the Democratic party is wooing any voters by becoming Republicans Lite. In fact what seems to happen is that people stop voting altogether as they see less & less of a difference between the two parties.

#391 ::: colin roald ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 02:09 PM:

Aconite writes: In such situations, the term usualy applied to the naive outsider is "mark."

Oh, sure. But a bit of picturesque fraud between friends is more of a "learning experience" and less of a "serious endangerment of your life".

I'm pretty sure Jessica and friends could afford whatever they were overcharged for drinks.

#392 ::: Lenora Rose ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 02:18 PM:

You assert Jessica has no survival skills. And she'll never get any if she never leaves the bubble of safety

Wrong. I did not assert that. I assert that Jessica does not have the survival skill necessary to be in a strip club in a bad neighbourhood that is known for serious drug dealing, and dancers who've been raped or coerced into having sex to keep their job.

(I expect she has many of the survival skills she will need for her life, and is fully capable of developing others she needs as circumstances change. But frankly, these are not she survival skills I expect she'll ever need.)

There are chances and risks and things outside the bubble of safety its always worthwhile to pursue. I feel this isn't one of them.

I don't consider it within my rights to tell her not to go, or not to take chances. Particualrly since some chances I would ecnourage her to take.

It is within my rights to call stupid action when I see stupid action.

#393 ::: j h woodyatt ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 02:35 PM:

Renee writes: "Theresa may very well have over-reacted to Jessica's post"

Teresa probably made the mistake of reading more of Jessica's blog than just that one post. It's possible she saw the one (on the same page as the other links) praising Paris Hilton for her fashion tribute to Lauren Bacall. That one made me want to claw my own eyes out with a rusty hand rake.

Reading this one might not help after that. I gotta say, for somebody with that kind of résumé to wander in here and try to use the word "feminist" as an insult, that's breathtaking.

Her kind of stooopid doesn't just grow in the wild. It has to be lovingly and carefully cultivated by professionals.

p.s. No more posts from me this weekend. I'll be away from the Internet for a few days.

#394 ::: Richard Anderson ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 03:30 PM:

Lenora, strip clubs and other adult establishments typically need to rely upon trade from outside of their immediate neighborhood to remain in business. Whatever the shady aspects of their management, they're usually (note qualifier) safe places to visit. Unlike, say, an insular neighborhood bar, or unlike, presumably, the walk to and from the girls' parked car, if that's how they arrived. That these girls chose to visit a strip club is odd. However, it's not inherently stupid. I'll bet a lot of us have visited dicey urban neighborhoods, at night, to check out a band or a restaurant or an art event. Karol, in her first post above, indicates she was at least somewhat familiar with the area. The naivity of Jessica and pals comes in not realizing that blogs can and likely will be read by unsympathetic strangers.

#395 ::: Jessica ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 03:39 PM:

Teresa, you haven't answered my question.

Even if I did see bullet holes upon entering the club, which I did not, (and which everyone automatically assumed), just for the sake of argument, how many people smoke here? Did you know that smoking can kill you? How 'stupid' can you be?

#396 ::: Marna ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 03:46 PM:

Argh, Teresa, Patrick, that's dire.

Being in the near vicinity of something like that and being unable to do anything, really, to make it better, is to pile crazymaking on top of sadness.

There may be something to be said for the relative safety of the naive (I'm not, I don't think, remotely naive when in places I know, but all travellers are so to some degree).

I have been spectacularly, utterly lost in some of the dirtier urban sections of this continent, including a section of Brooklyn I was later informed was Not At All Safe, and all that's ever happened is that random concerned people walk up to me and offer directions back to somewhere safe.

Possibly I just have golden horseshoes up my butt...

#397 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 03:52 PM:

Even if I did see bullet holes upon entering the club, which I did not, (and which everyone automatically assumed), just for the sake of argument, how many people smoke here? Did you know that smoking can kill you? How 'stupid' can you be?

Answers:
A)There are bullet holes in the window.

Your irony isn't coming through in your writing. Maybe you need to take a second look at your writing style.

You might also want to read what you've written, so you don't contradict yourself. Some of us antiques have memories longer than five minutes.

#398 ::: Barry Ragin ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 04:04 PM:

Her kind of stooopid doesn't just grow in the wild. It has to be lovingly and carefully cultivated by professionals.

Whatever else you may think of this thread and its participants, the fact that it generated this sentence, in any context, is cause for a celebration of its existence.

#399 ::: Sandy ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 04:06 PM:

As far as smoking is concerned: We're aware.

Thank you for your irrelevant, poorly formed comparisons.

#400 ::: Jessica ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 04:24 PM:

PJ can you read? Did I say when I saw them? Or even if I saw them? I said they were there. In fact someone told me after we left.

The amount of hostility I find here makes me certain you all have miserable lives.

#401 ::: colin roald ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 04:35 PM:

PJ: It is possible for reasonable people to miss details on first glance that they notice later when they take time to look around. That doesn't make her contradictory, maybe just unobservant. Lots of people are unobservant.

But being a white-collar professional woman and yet using "feminist" as a putdown -- now that takes some cognitive dissonance.

#402 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 04:36 PM:

Did I say when I saw them? Or even if I saw them? I said they were there. In fact someone told me after we left.

Again: you need to check your writing style. It is implied in your blogpost that you saw the bullet holes at the time you were there. If that wasn't what you saw, you should have made it clear that the bullet holes were hearsay. We're judging you based on what you're writing, not what you're thinking. (Fuzzy writing is frequently a sign of fuzzy thinking.)

#403 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 04:39 PM:

Colin: sorry, cross-posts. But her blog doesn't say that she was told about them without seeing them herself. She implies they were there and visible when she was having her little adventure.

#404 ::: Jessica ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 04:42 PM:

Feminist is not a putdown. Overemotional, angry, thick-skulled feminist is. But you hear what you want to hear don't you?

And the pretentiousness of all of the 'writers' makes me want to vomit.

#405 ::: Lin Daniel ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 04:48 PM:

It is possible for reasonable people to miss details on first glance that they notice later when they take time to look around.

Except Jessica now claims she never saw them herself.

It is a not uncommon word game by lawyers, salesmen, and others trying to persuade you, to give you a verifiable item, a second verifiable item and then a third item that is not verifiable, but because of the close proximity to two (or more) verifiable items, becomes "verified" to the listener/reader. Hence, we all assumed that Jessica herself had seen the bullet holes. When this word game backfires by having the unverified item verified in the negative, it calls into question the verifiability of the first group of items. In other words, did Jessica experience any part of the visit to the strip joing or was she simply told about the entire event?

#406 ::: Laura Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 04:51 PM:

This is just to say that I also enjoyed jh woodyatt's serendipitous "pistol and stamen" creation. It matched the rest of the post perfectly.

#407 ::: Will Entrekin ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 04:51 PM:

Jessica: "And all the pretentiousness of all the 'writers' makes me want to vomit."

I believe the word you're looking for is "pretension." It derives from the same root as the word "pretend," and generally is taken to mean a "false or hypocritical profession" (I just ran it through Google to confirm). For example, noting one didn't know one had walked into a shady strip club in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, until one saw bullet holes in the window, or was asked if one was making a documentary, or felt violated after leaving the place.

#408 ::: KristianB ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 04:54 PM:

"Feminist is not a putdown. Overemotional, angry, thick-skulled feminist is."

Interesting statement. How about, "stupid, savage, illiterate black guy"? That doesn't at all imply that the speaker thinks poorly of black people then?

#409 ::: Jen B. ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 04:58 PM:

Jessica:

PJ can you read?

The amount of hostility I find here makes me certain you all have miserable lives.

And the pretentiousness of all of the 'writers' makes me want to vomit.

Long time lurker, first time poster. I am speaking for myself here but there may be heads nodding in agreement. The amount of hostility you’ve brought is actually bringing a little extra entertainment to my happy life.

And while a few here believe there is no hope for you, you actually remind me of myself in my Usenet days: so I know there is a chance that you will take a step back, reassess everything that’s been said, and perhaps gain some wisdom out of this whole thing.

#410 ::: Lin Daniel ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 05:01 PM:

Overemotional, angry, thick-skulled

is a problem no matter what noun is placed at the end. And if the noun is used in such a way as to imply all those adjectives come with it every time it's used, it's hard not to think the writer believes those adjectives are part of the definition of the noun.

#411 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 05:06 PM:

Other than telling Teresa [and Patrick, who, although not commenting much about this is no doubt as distressed] again how sorry I am they're going through this, I haven't got much to add, which is why this keyboard has rested, until now.

However, I keep getting the impression that what Jessica et al. seem to want from us here is validation. There's something about the tone, which seems to combine self-justification with defensiveness.
Therefore, although I realize I have no right to speak for anyone else here, I shall assume the role of Official Validator:
Yes, we've done dumb things ourselves. Yes, we've come to realize that they were dumb things. We have done dumb things that were also risky. We are glad that we have lived to tell the tale. We realize that it possible for otherwise smart people to do dumb things, some of which may be risky. We sometimes suspect that in talking or writing about things we have done, we may not come off as well in the ears and eyes of our audience as we'd like. Sometimes people we've encountered have failed to recognize our good qualities because they were so struck by our shortcomings. We have also found out that sometimes, when we thought we were clever and witty and amusing, other people have looked upon us and thought "Not only juvenile, but not clever, and none too amusing." Many of us have discovered that, no matter how wonderful and special our families told us we were, that there were people who weren't impressed. For the most part, we found this embarrassing, and hoped for reassurance that we weren't worthless dolts, and for the most part, we've survived to find ourselves useful and that some people like us.

There. You've been validated.

Now scram, because when Teresa takes a break from getting ready for houseguests and fixing dinner, I want to know what her menu is, and if there are any new recipes she's going to share with us. I suspect most of us would find that more interesting than watching you all come to terms with the fact that life is not fair, and that not everyone you meet will believe you're as cool and clever as you'd like to think.

#412 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 05:08 PM:

'"Feminist is not a putdown. Overemotional, angry, thick-skulled feminist is."

Interesting statement. How about, "stupid, savage, illiterate black guy"? That doesn't at all imply that the speaker thinks poorly of black people then?'
it is generally understood that ending a negative list with a word that is considered to be nonnegatively valued implies that the word is also considered to be negative. Thus, while using the phrase black guy does not imply racism, the negative list you showed above would.

However if one has a list of highly positive words ending with a negative the question is raised whether the list is satirical or whether the negative is actually valued by the listmaker. for example for Dick Cheney a Republican might say call him a Brilliant, wealthy, patriotic, torturer and thereby confuse the rest of us as to what was actually being communicated.

#413 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 05:10 PM:

all of the 'writers'

Jessica, we're not all writers, or even 'writers'. However, I think I may safely say that most of the people on Teresa's vine-decked terrace are readers.

#414 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 05:12 PM:

Brilliant, wealthy, patriotic, torturer

Bryan: Yes, that 'brilliant' certainly does confuse the issue. I think I would have settled for just 'bright'.

#415 ::: Petitedov ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 05:38 PM:

Dear Jessica,
Just reminding you that this is not worth your time (or Yaron's). People here confuse age with wisdom and being a liberal with incomprehensible virtue. They don't see the hypocrisy of disavowelling (by the way i'm trembling as i type this) or the fact they keep contradicting their own arguments. They argue for hours on the meaning of the word "slumming" and then switch the argument to safety and our apparent stupidity. Because you see Jessica you are as transparent as they come - you are a stupid conservative middle class gal who is tricked by "white men thinking." PLEASE SEE THE ERRORS OF YOUR WAY BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE! Seriously this "intellectual" masturbation is not worth your time or mine.

#416 ::: Chad Orzel ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 05:50 PM:

Renee writes:
Theresa may very well have over-reacted to Jessica's post; Jessica and her horde of defenders certainly have over-reacted to her reaction. Several of the local Making Light denizens have over-reacted in Theresa's defense, but on a lesser scale than the Jessica horde, in my not-at-all humble opinion.

I agree.
Jessica et al. are coming off somewhat worse, but nobody involved in this whole sorry spectacle is exactly covering themselves in glory.

#417 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 05:54 PM:

Petitedov:
confuse age with wisdom and being a liberal with incomprehensible virtue

'Experience' is what usually comes with age. 'Wisdom' comes from experience; you'll get there in a few years. 'Virtue' is not usually incomprehensible, although it may be indescribable, and it certainly isn't limited to people of your political persuasion. (However, I certainly am not going to apply it to some members of our current government.)

As for contradicting our own arguments: you seem to think we're monolithic in our views. Look at the archives sometime and see what else we talk about when twenty-something trolls aren't amusing us.

#418 ::: colin roald ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 05:57 PM:

Petitedov writes: "they keep contradicting their own arguments."

There are, in fact, several people writing here, who don't all have the same opinions.

#419 ::: Lin Daniel ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 06:03 PM:

There are, in fact, several people writing here, who don't all have the same opinions.

Could this possibly mean Jessica, petitedov, Yaron and others hang out with people who all have the same opinions on things? That having a group hang out together who have different opinions is not part of their experience? How truly appalling.

#420 ::: colin roald ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 06:24 PM:

No need to jump to the worst conclusion. It's not the easiest time to recognize variations in opinion when a roomful of strangers seems to be attacking you out of the blue.

#421 ::: Niall McAuley ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 06:52 PM:

Petitedov writes:
Seriously this "intellectual" masturbation is not worth your time or mine.

Eppur si scrive.

#422 ::: Madeline F ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 07:35 PM:

It's true that there has been far too much use from the regulars of the words "child", "kid", etc as putdowns. I really loved James D. Macdonald's "Republican" posts... Able demonstration of "don't use my group signifier as an insult".

I've known many people who can't legally drink who are wiser and smarter than many old farts. I don't cotton to dismissing everything someone has to say by tagging them with an insulting stereotype.

I even sort of like Yaron. He can punctuate! God, that's rare. He sometimes responds to points made against him. Lately he's not been getting hugely flamey in the face of provocation. In the story of this thread I have in my head, he's fighting a rear guard action against a force he realizes is overwhelming, in defense of friends he realizes are fools.

#423 ::: sara ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 07:57 PM:

After 400+ posts, I might add a kind of meta-comment.

Sarah Silverman does a highly yet invisibly framed shtick of a privileged, totally insensitive, utterly unconscious to the point of autism,

playing the stereotypical Jewish American Princess, with an emphasis on self-absorption, moral superiority based on the freakish genetic gift of beauty, amused intolerance for, ick, the many lesser others, and the quiet bravado that only really white, straight teeth can give. It's like her mantra is, "I'm cute, it's allowed."

[Snip]

Always at the center is the uncontaminated self, a creature of rapacious hunger for its own pleasures and utterly convinced of its own centrality. The devastating events of Sept. 11, for example, "happened the same exact day that I found out that the soy chai latte was, like, 900 calories. I had been drinking them every day. You hear soy, you think healthy. And it's a lie."

Stephen Hunter, "What won't 'Jesus' say?" WP 11.18.05, C4. Behind the wall, but link to excerpt

I can't say whether Jessica is attempting this level of unreliability, of irony, but her angry self-defense in these comments suggests not. The comedian does not get angry when her funny but reprehensible persona is criticized by others in the real world.

The phrase "the uncontaminated self" is interesting. It's originally Zen Buddhist, but Hunter seems to be using it in an ironic sense, more like the concept of "clearing the space" that Klaus Theweleit remarks in the Freikorps (German anti-Communist Nazi precursors). The Freikorper clears the space by mowing down Communist strikers; the Nazis cleared their national space of Jews.

Privileged people clear their personal space of poor people, minorities, and those who don't wear suits or display the required degree of light-hearted snarkiness. This space-clearing enables slumming, in which the slummers assume that their selves will not be contaminated by the sleaze they dip into. The Bush advocates and perpetrators of torture think that they will not be contaminated by the filth of the practice.

Teresa reacts as she does because her life, and Patrick's, have just been contaminated by death, in the most literal fashion, as a previous post showed.

If you think that Hunter's being anti-Semitic, take it up with him, not me; the uncontaminated self pathology can appear in anyone who is privileged: in the British of the Empire, for instance (I was reading Davis's Late Victorian Holocausts).

#424 ::: Jen B. ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 09:21 PM:

sara: sorry to nitpick your post, but could you explain (or retract) the phrase "utterly unconscious to the point of autism"? It may, unintentionally, offend persons on the spectrum.

::makes a mental note to say something happy somewhere on the site now she's decided to join the posting::

#425 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 10:45 PM:

Jen B: Without having seen or heard Sarah Silverman, I have the impression it probably should be more like 'self-absorbed to the point of near-autism'. As in, not noticing, and perhaps not really able to notice, the world around oneself. 'Everyone who's important is just like me, so I can ignore everyone who isn't just like me' or something similar. The kind of people who can sit with feet on the train seat, carryon on the adjoining seat(s) and completely ignore the announcement that it's against the train's rules to sit with your feet on the seat and your carryons on seat(s), to give one example I see fairly frequently.

#426 ::: Sarah T. ::: (view all by) ::: November 23, 2005, 11:52 PM:

Two moderately tangential remarks in response to long-ago posts in this thread:

On hefty forty-somethings as sex objects: two words: Mae West.

On zaftig Japanese car babes: I don't think the actual url ever appeared, and though I read Japanese I know little of cars. I'd guess, though, that there may be an explanation along the lines of a theory I once heard about Japanese female pop singers, who are more often cute or pretty than stunningly beautiful. Supposedly this is because a girl-next-door look is preferred, on the grounds that it makes the star more approachable as a romantic fantasy object (or, as the case may be, identification figure) for the fans.

#427 ::: jennie ::: (view all by) ::: November 24, 2005, 12:49 AM:

nobody involved in this whole sorry spectacle is exactly covering themselves in glory

I think I take issue with this. Yeah, a whole number of people's noses are out of joint, and hackles are raised. However, numerous commenters have tried mightily to inject notes of concord into the dissonance. And some of the rhetoric has been at its usual level, and some of the silliness has displayed moments of glory.

I give you Will Entrekin et al's dancing trannies with guns. I give you the mysterious and erotic falafel (can't remember whose it was, but the image is great). I give you Teresa's introduction of the word vril to the discourse, and the etymology of Bovril. I give you the thougtful, if emotionally charged, discussion of what might constitute slumming, and Lucy's lovely analogy for Making Light. And I learned that "cherry" is old slang for hymen.

Which is not to say that the depths haven't been pretty low. But this is still Making Light, and there's still pleasant company around these tables.

#428 ::: jennie ::: (view all by) ::: November 24, 2005, 01:24 AM:

And to counteract the disgusting Pollyannaishness of my last comment here's something that's struck me throughout this thread:

Every so often, usually when I'm talking with my mom, I get the feeling that we're both using the same words, but speaking entirely different languages. I've been noticing that happening here, rather a lot, in this thread. It seems that Jessica, Karol, and their mates use certain words in ways that differ from those in which others use them. I'm not talking the usual conservative/liberal thing here, I don't think. It's been striking

The ones I've collected are

slumming
hypocrite
etiquette
irony
violated

Possible other candidates include

hack
feminist
stupid

When I hang out with speakers of different dialects of English, we often spend a lot of time establishing what certain words mean--what's a "kip," is "toilet" a commode or a room or something you do when you're putting on make up, do I live down the laneway or through the alley sort of thing. But we've been unable to do that here, and I'm finding the level of mutual incomprehension fascinating, in a sad way.

#429 ::: Scott H ::: (view all by) ::: November 24, 2005, 01:47 AM:

Petitedov wrote:

Dear Jessica,
Just reminding you that this is not worth your time (or Yaron's). People here confuse age with wisdom and being a liberal with incomprehensible virtue. They don't see the hypocrisy of disavowelling (by the way i'm trembling as i type this) or the fact they keep contradicting their own arguments. They argue for hours on the meaning of the word "slumming" and then switch the argument to safety and our apparent stupidity. Because you see Jessica you are as transparent as they come - you are a stupid conservative middle class gal who is tricked by "white men thinking." PLEASE SEE THE ERRORS OF YOUR WAY BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE! Seriously this "intellectual" masturbation is not worth your time or mine.

I think it's interesting that Petitedov chose to overlook the more direct criticisms and take exception to a slander of her intellect which, as far as I can tell, didn't actually occur.

This strikes me as an instance of the principle that people tend to assign to others the motives which they themselves possess. For example, I've noticed that guys who habitually cheat on their girlfriends tend to be insanely jealous, assuming that the S.O. in question is sleeping with anyone who looks at them for more than a second or two.

Petitedov, honey, when people around here use big scary words or punctuate properly it's not because they're pretentious jerks engaging in intellectual masturbation. It's just sort of assumed that most everyone reading the posts "knows" what the "big" words "mean."

#430 ::: Bryan ::: (view all by) ::: November 24, 2005, 05:35 AM:

"Yes, that 'brilliant' certainly does confuse the issue. I think I would have settled for just 'bright'.
"

Uh, Are you a Republican? Because 'a Republican might say call him' was a pretty important qualifier in 'Brilliant' (of course the 'say' should have been dropped or punctuated properly in that line, so I can understand a misunderstanding. )

As for me I sure as hell wouldn't call him bright either.

#431 ::: JdB ::: (view all by) ::: November 24, 2005, 05:38 AM:

I'm with Colin Roald. How many of you have actually been to Sweet Cherry, or the 3rd avenue area in general? Leonora Rose, you say it was "a strip club in a bad neighbourhood that is known for serious drug dealing, and dancers who've been raped or coerced into having sex to keep their job." But that wasn't "known" until three weeks later. Right? Someone who worked there got murdered, possibly as a result of working there. But that didn't happen until long after they went. So how could they know? It's obvious that it's not a nice neighborhood, but not necessarily obvious that it's a deadly one. Some people make it sound like Afghanistan or something, but it's just a neighborhood in Brooklyn. Like I said, I was probably stupid to go wandering there alone late at night, but I really don't think (even now, knowing someone who worked there was killed) it's necessarily deadly. There are plenty of people with families who live in that area, and in fact, Sunset Park proper is one of the nicest places I've been in NYC.

It's really weird to see someone branded as capital-letters stupid just for visiting a place where you used to live. If you've actually been there, like Teresa, and hold this opinion, then that's fine. But if you're just imagining some 70s-movie-New-York hellpit, then I think it's a little silly to criticize so strongly--on this point only, of course. In other words, I agree that they were slumming and that slumming is gross. But I don't agree that they were insanely reckless to do so.

Maybe you've all been there, and I don't know what I'm talking about. Wouldn't be the first time.

#432 ::: Bruce Arthurs ::: (view all by) ::: November 24, 2005, 05:39 AM:

(by the way i'm trembling as i type this)


If that's true, may I gently suggest that you are overreacting to an alarming degree?

#433 ::: Bryan ::: (view all by) ::: November 24, 2005, 05:41 AM:

'Seriously this "intellectual" masturbation is not worth your time or mine.'

Let's hear it for good old-fashioned stupid masturbation!

#434 ::: Paul ::: (view all by) ::: November 24, 2005, 06:07 AM:

Oops, forgot all about the race queens. I don't have an URL handy (and I'm not about to go looking at work), but Google usually knows everything.

Petitedove: They don't see the hypocrisy of disavowelling (by the way i'm trembling as i type this) or the fact they keep contradicting their own arguments.

If you're really trembling, you're taking a discussion on a weblog way too seriously.

As for "the hypocrisy" of disemvowelling... Karol/Jessica/Yaron/yourself etc. keep calling people hypocrites, for some reason. To quote the Princess Bride, "I do not think this word means what you think it means".

#435 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: November 24, 2005, 07:51 AM:

For another take on why people might blog, see the current little story in Ozy and Millie, starting here.

For some reason, Ozy and Millie seem frighteningly recognisable...

#436 ::: Lyons ::: (view all by) ::: November 24, 2005, 08:06 AM:

I came late to this discussion. I kept meaning to finish reading all the posts before I replied, but they kept getting ahead of me. It may not matter at this point, but I'd really like to try to explain, as politely as I can.

So this is for Karol, or Jennifer, or Yaron, or Ace, or any of you who are still here. This is a bit long, I'm sorry.

There has be a lot of talk about slumming. I don't think it is slumming itself that is the problem... most of us have gone slumming at some point in our lives. Mostly it's just kind of smug and maybe a tad impolite.

What I think caught the attention of TNH here was slumming in such a terrible place. I want to answer an earlier question asked by Ace, and then pose the question that others in the thread may have been asking. I know it was my question.

How can you go to a strip club without slumming? You might go to a reputable one. You're in New York, go to Scores. Now I don't have an intimate knowledge of strip clubs, but I was once in a class with a guy who was a bouncer at Scores, and the place seems pretty legit. The girls are paid really well, and many of them are college students or models trying to break in. You can go there, appreciate the sexy dancing, and maybe wonder if you would dance on stage if it meant the difference between Yale and community college. You can giggle at the thought that most of these men could never actually date women this hot, and instead pay them hundreds of dollars for permission to oggle. You could also slum, and make fun of the dancers for dancing and the guys for throwing away thousands of dollars. I admit that the slumming would probably be more fun, because thinking about the social and cultural mores behind the modern american sex industry is not really a "party night" activity. I'm not made of stone here. Your choice, no harm either way. Going to scores or working at scores probably doesn't hurt anyone (barring some hideous dark secret I've never heard of).

Now the real question here, for me at least, is this: How can you enjoy slumming at a place as awful as Sweet Cherry? I can imagine heading out there with the attempt to slum "Hey guys, let's see what the absolute worst strip club in NYC is like!" But once inside I don't know if I would be capable of maintaining the aloof-ness that allows you to slum. Bullet holes and possibly underage and underpaid dancers working in an unsafe environment would kill my "party buzz" pretty quickly. I think I would leave feeling deep relief that I had made it out of a place which it was a poor decision to enter. I would also very likely wonder what economic or psychological forces could make a girl work in a place like that. I would consider writing a letter to the mayor or my congressperson asking for better health and safety checks for strip clubs. I realize this is not fun. But some times the badness is just so close that you have to give up your fun and admit you may have gone into a place that hurts people, and make a hurried exit. Maybe forget about it, never speak of it again. All those reactions are understandable. But I can't imagine having fun there, or speaking about it lightly after.

In most cases slumming is fun if impolite. In a place where so much horror and suffering takes place, where lives are very likely ruined (and possibly ended) it seems sort of incomprehensible. It is not your fault that lives are ruined there. It is not your fault that gun violence happens there. Maybe the girls who visited were already very drunk when they made it there, and none of this occured to them. I would myself find it hard not to let the despair get to me, not to feel compassion or fear.

We cannot fix every problem in the world, but we can try not to enjoy ironically another human's real-life despair. I have been very drunk only a few times in my life, and I know that alcohol affects others differently. It just makes me depressed, but it could be that those blog girls get that dreamy, problemness alcoholic state that allows them seperate themselves from the problems of the world. If so I can't begrudge them that. I'd like to think that Jennifer was very drunk when she went in and remained very drunk the whole time, and that her delight at the danger and exploitation was due to the disconnected state that drunkenness brings.

If any of you are still here I would really like to see a reasoned response to this post. I am not calling you bad people, but it is hard for me to understand how a young woman could enjoy a place like that.

#437 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: November 24, 2005, 08:41 AM:

As a European, living in a country with more than two political parties, and a legislature where there are more than two political parties with enough legislative votes to be significant, I have to every so often remind myself that the US system is different, and the two labels of Republican and Democratic apply to vast coalitions of interests which, once every four years, define themselves by their support for a Presidential Candidate.

What I wonder is whether there is now a central organisation, largely unrecognised, in each party, which feels that it doesn't have to listen to the subordinate interests. Have these central committees changed from servant to master, without gaining the feedback mechanisms that allow the broad mass of supporters to limit their actions?

Were I a Republican supporter in the USA, would the party I voted for be a party I actually agreed with, or is the current controlling faction hiding its true nature from the masses?

And is the organisation of the Democratic Party any better?

#438 ::: Lyons ::: (view all by) ::: November 24, 2005, 09:08 AM:

Done reading now, a bit ashamed of the first post. Serves me right.

Mistake one: I replaced Jessica's name with "Jennifer" in the last post. Excuse me, I had just gotten off of a 9 hour night shift, and this thread has gotten me a bit riled.

I've finsihed the second half of the thread, so I have a few comments to add, partly to apologize for rashness and partly to clarify some points. Sorry for posting without reading everything first, I just had to get those damn ideas out. My initial post was based largely on the description of the club TNH presents in her post combined with Jess's blog post. I have very very serious issues with any trivialization of violence against women, and upon first read Jessica's original blog post seemd to do just that.

My image of Sweet Cherry is based on TNH's original post, complete with news reports and investigation details. I don't know how much of this is proven or immediately obvious. I also don't blame the unfortunate neighbor for working there. If you take a job in a place like that it could be to try to prevent the girls from coming to more harm, etc. Maybe it was the best job he could get. Sometimes you don't have a choice.

But what gets me is Jessica's apparently glee in linking to a story about sexual abuse. Maybe I cannot read the tone properly, but I am reading a subversive pleasure in the idea that you've been to an awful place. Maybe she didn't know how awful the place was when she entered, but she sure seemed to know on that 5/04/2005 blog post in which she links to an article about a police investigation of forced sex acts.

This isn't about liberal or conservative. I believe that if any of my conservative friends were to realize they patronized a place where things that bad happend they wouldn't be likely to blog about it cheerfully. They might blog about it to decry the sex industry, or to insist on harsher punishments for drug dealing, they might even claim that it stems from too much sex ed in schools, but I doubt they would have that OMG, top ten list, aint it cool? tone.

And that's where some of the outrage and sarcasm may come from. It's where my outrage, sarcasm, and hasty, slightly insane first post comes from.

Man, if that post was disemvoweled or deleted it would be a kind of relief.

#439 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: November 24, 2005, 09:53 AM:

Lyons: it was a very thoughtful post, as in full of thinking. Don't be ashamed; we should have said some of those things too.

#440 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: November 24, 2005, 09:59 AM:

I've long thought of this place as a pre-Revolution Parisian salon, but "vine-covered terrace" is much better.

Yaron, I'm sorry I left our discussion. Traveling and family have sort of gotten in the way. By now, of course, I've lost my train of thought. I would like to say that you remind me of myself in my early twenties, as well as certain young adults with whom I have daily contact: sheltered, but with hearts in the right place. I'm sure that's coming across as patronizing, but I really don't mean it to be. I think that if we'd "met" in other circumstances, we would have gotten along nicely.

#441 ::: Randolph Fritz ::: (view all by) ::: November 24, 2005, 10:08 AM:

"What I wonder is whether there is now a central organisation, largely unrecognised, in each party, which feels that it doesn't have to listen to the subordinate interests."

Coalition, not organization. In the Republicans, yes. This is an unusual state for a US political party. In the Democrats, multiple coalitions, none in charge, which is why the Democrats don't do much. Multiple coalitions, usually in deadlock, is the typical state of US national politics; it's why we tend to act like, as George Kennan observed, a prehistoric monster which says "Ow!" ten minutes after its tail has been crushed. The unified coalition which now controls the Republicans at the national level is a collection of reactionary groups, with the nastier sort of corruption and pro-wealthy groups funding the mess. At the state level, typically, the dominance belongs to large "rural" property owners, except in very urban states. ("Rural" in the west includes extractive resource industries, which are nationally subsidized.)

#442 ::: Jen B. ::: (view all by) ::: November 24, 2005, 10:42 AM:

PJ Evans:

Forgive me, I assumed from the italics that the phrase originated with Sara rather than Sarah. I still take exception to the phrase however, as it seems to speak of/reinforce a somewhat ignorant view of autistics. Most are quite well aware of the world round them, thank you. It's just experienced and therefor reacted to differently. Which I suppose is also the case with the "Princess" stereotype she's using in her comedy. I think it was the word "unconscious" that leapt out and pushed my buttons.

Off to turkey now. Happy turkey day to all (and just a generally happy day to non turkey day celebrators).

#443 ::: Lenora Rose ::: (view all by) ::: November 24, 2005, 01:51 PM:

JdB - I used to live in a pretty crummy neighbourhood, and I've had to cut my way home at 2:00AM through several blocks of it. I worked in it on both my last and my current jobs. I still walk home through the middle of the worst of it.(A lot of it is residential area, nice house next to beaten down wrecks inhabited by broke but decent people next to crackhouses.) You can call that stupid, too, if you like. To me, the difference is that I *know* the area, and I'd like to think I can tell a harmless resident from potential trouble. I refuse to let worry about what might happen stop me from walking outside and seeing the kids at play, or visiting a friend, or curl up in terror at the bus stop.
(I also don't walk into the seediest bars.)

Now, apparantly I managed to miss the bit where it was indicated Karol knew the neighbourhood somewhat (That's what I get for reading Jessica's but not Karol's). That helps make the case for their actions being not-all-stupid, even going into the club in the first place.

But I'm with Lyons. He (She?) has articulated why I think this activity by these girls is stupid better than I did. Not because they went in in the first place, but because once they'd seen, they still had that cheerful tone. Sure, they felt a little unclean, but they didn't feel for the people there, and they were sure of their untouchableness. None of it was related to them.

I don't believe in fortune-favoured fools. Nobody's untouchable. If the worst that has happened to me is that my bike was stolen, I blame that on keeping my eyes open, being friendly without condescension or fear, and on not being a fool when I go out.

#444 ::: jhlipton ::: (view all by) ::: November 25, 2005, 03:39 AM:

The amount of hostility I find here makes me certain you all have miserable lives.
Riiiight. As decribed (I, alas, was not present) the games of Mafia and ¿Alien? (AKA The Thing AKA Who Goes There) were depressing, woe-filled hours of misery.

And the pretentiousness of all of the 'writers' makes me want to vomit.
This is too hysterical. Not knowing that several professional authors contribute regularly to this blog is, perhaps (barely), exusable. Not knowing the profession of our hosts is not.

I don't believe in fortune-favoured fools. Nobody's untouchable. If the worst that has happened to me is that my bike was stolen, I blame that on keeping my eyes open, being friendly without condescension or fear, and on not being a fool when I go out.
I've gone to many a strip club (not to mention after-hours clubs). I've been the only white guy in the place. And I've been welcome back, even though I'm pretty cheap compared to some, because I treat everyone there with respect. (For a totally different perspective, Z-Bone's has comments from customers and dancers that provide an interesting (to me, anyway) view into the clubs.)

#445 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: November 26, 2005, 03:20 AM:

"I don't believe in fortune-favoured fools."

I had heard a lot of people were saying Bush was a liar, but hadn't really believed it until now.

#446 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: November 26, 2005, 02:16 PM:

Dancing Transvestites Firing Guns as a band name? Maybe. I'm waiting for Cross-Dressing Cowboys with Live Ammunition, which is a particularly tasty phrase Will Shetterly gave me a couple of years back.

Paging Dr. Forrester? Dr Clayton Forrester? This sounds like an Experiment waiting to happen...

in the old days of Times Square, "Bookstore" was code, but not for "Place to Find Dostoyevsky".

There's a bookshop of that particular old school across the road from my office. We long ago observed that the innocent enter normally and exit swiftly, while the guilty enter swiftly and exit normally.

I used to work in downtown Bellevue, WA. The bank that I cashed my paychecks at was about half a block from Bellevue's only porn/sex shop. (All the residents of Washington State have just popped up like Prairie Dogs--"Not Bellevue! It's not possible!" Bellevue is what Stepford wants to be when it grows up.) Anyway, I was walking down the street to the bank when I saw a guy with an armful of videotapes, dark glasses, and a seeing-eye dog go in the store.

Of course I followed him in. Are you crazy? It's not often you get to see a live-action Monty Python sketch take place...

I arrived about twenty seconds after he did and got to listen to him spend the next ten minutes raising holy whacking hell with the guy behind the counter over the sound quality of the videotapes for rental. Hands down, it's the most fun I've ever had in Bellevue while wearing clothing.

#447 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: November 26, 2005, 03:18 PM:

I know I'm showing up late to the party, but since our host and hostess are unusually patient people and the rest of the guests try very hard to live up to their standards I guess it's up to me to answer two recent posts appropriately.

Jessica: I know all these comments regarding your original weblog posts and comments about you and your friends here have been stressful to you. Clearly you've suffered through a torrent of abuse that's not been endured since the death of Little Nell. I just need to point out two small points that may wipe away that tear on your cheek and leave your face with that sunny smile we're all used to.

The amount of hostility I find here makes me certain you all have miserable lives.

Sweetie, dearest: my family was worth more than yours will ever contemplate, I read better books than you do, I associate with people who are smarter and quicker than you'll ever be, my wife is a better artist than anyone you'll know, I've seen more and better films than you'll ever consider, and I eat at any restaurant I want to without sweating the cost. I probably have better sex too--at least I have better conversation before and after, and I'll bet I have a lot more fun during.

And the pretentiousness of all of the 'writers' makes me want to vomit.

Good thing that nobody's forcing you to read any of the books or articles written or edited by the folks here--assuming an average reading speed you'd be chundering for days.

I do admit to a certain amount of curiosity, however: how do you ever manage to schedule time to come to this weblog and slag the people posting here? I thought that public relations consultants had to work like dogs in the runup for offyear elections...

Sorry Teresa, Patrick. Let me know what level of penance I'll need to do--or how many oranges to peel.

#448 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: November 26, 2005, 03:45 PM:

Bruce E. Durocher II wrote:

I arrived about twenty seconds after he did and got to listen to him spend the next ten minutes raising holy whacking hell with the guy behind the counter over the sound quality of the videotapes for rental.

Somehow I'm thinking "But darling - I only read Playboy for the -ahticles-".

#449 ::: Christopher Davis ::: (view all by) ::: November 26, 2005, 04:33 PM:

Bruce, xeger: shades of the sight gag (or, perhaps, lack-of-sight gag) in the movie Sneakers, where David Strathairn's blind character is reading a Braille magazine; he closes it, and we see that it's Playboy.

It's on the Utah State Library for the Blind's magazine list, along with Boy's Life, Catholic Review, Martha Stewart Living, the LDS Church's magazine New Era, Rolling Stone, and Seventeen.

#450 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: November 26, 2005, 05:45 PM:

Bruce, that comment is one reason I love this blog! ROTFLMAO, then sharing with my family....

#451 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 26, 2005, 07:20 PM:

It was our best Thanksgiving dinner ever. All glory to concelebrant cooks Jim Macdonald and Claire Eddy, to Patrick NH and Lydy Nickerson of the cleanup crew, and all the rest of our patient, helpful, cheerful, and hungry guests. Wish that virtual backyard were real so you could all drop by.

Penance, Bruce Durocher? Patrick spotted your comment first, and read it aloud to us with considerable relish. He's now going back and catching up on the rest of this thread. At random intervals, strange noises erupt from his office. I think he just found j h woodyatt's big post.

I've finally figured out what our visiting trollbits remind me of: that wonderful five-page cartoon PiscusFiche linked to from the comment thread of my Mary Sue post. The first three pages are the pertinent part.

Yesterday we had three houseguests. Today we only have one. Tomorrow, we have five.

This is an outstanding thread.

#452 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 26, 2005, 07:31 PM:

Small factual note. Jessica writes:

So Teresa, now that there was a murder in your building are you planning on moving out?

To the best of our knowledge, there's never been a murder in our building. Why do some people have so much trouble with the concept of adjacent row houses?

#453 ::: Margaret Organ-Kean ::: (view all by) ::: November 26, 2005, 08:36 PM:

Why do some people have so much trouble with the concept of adjacent row houses?

Well, for some of us, it's not something we see often. I remember seeing my first row houses. I thought them very odd. I think I was in my late thirties before I was invited inside one.

Nowhere near the shock of my first deciduous forest though. Until I was eighteen, despite pictures and intellectual knowledge of the difference, all of my forests of the imagination were fir and pine with alder and vine maple undergrowth.

I think this made more of a difference with Lord of the Rings than anywhere else. Even now, Mirkwood is still dark pines, the Anduin looks like the Columbia, and I suspect that Mount Doom (as played by Mt. Rainier in my head) is much larger than it should be.



#454 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: November 26, 2005, 08:49 PM:

Penance, Bruce Durocher? Patrick spotted your comment first, and read it aloud to us with considerable relish.

Oh, good--I was worried since the first draft made Margaret say "Do you really want to be disenvoweled for something so trivial?" I thought it over and decided she was right: if I get disenvoweled I want it to be because I did something crass in proper Miles Vorkosigan fashion--with high explosives and lots of innocent bystanders.

#455 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 26, 2005, 09:14 PM:

Patrick, the concept they find most difficult is that there's more to reading than simple word recognition. Their readings are low-res, and full of errors. They don't seem to be aware of this.

A derived set (preliminary, approximate) of their operating rules:

1. You're not allowed to notice that they're inept readers and mediocre writers (except for Yaron, who may not be a gifted reader but at least writes passable prose).

2. Anyone who's not in their set, or who annoys them or disagrees with them, can be labeled a liberal, whether or not that person's actual politics are anything of the sort.

3. They don't have to pay attention. They don't have to check their facts. They don't have to answer questions. They don't have to acknowledge refutations.

(If they were my students, I'd be deeply disappointed in them.)

4. Anyone who's been labeled a liberal can be insulted, slandered, misrepresented, or ignored at will. They owe that person no civility, and don't have to take notice of anyone else's protestations on that person's behalf.

5. They can throw the standard shopworn right-wing accusations at designated liberals, whether or not those DLs have actually made any of the (generally caricatured) arguments they're supposedly refuting.

6. Gross generalizations about "all liberals" or "all you liberals" are always in season, and may not be refuted, no matter how peabrained those assertions are.

7. They're sure that any negative reactions to their online activities are prompted by partisan politics, rather than being a reaction to them personally.

(Longtime readers of Making Light will recognize belief #7 as as a common characteristic of posters who wind up getting disemvowelled.)

8. No matter how blatant their rudeness and arrogance, no matter how much tolerance and engaged response they're given, they never waver in their conviction that they're being dreadfully mistreated.

You know what's weird about this? It has almost nothing to do with real politics. In return for identifying themselves as right-wingers, these guys get to talk no end of us-and-them codswallop, munch their constantly renewed supply of roast salted puffed extruded talking point product, and congratulate themselves on having won all their arguments. They haven't, of course, but that's not the point. They want their Disneyfied experience of feeling superior, feeling like they've won, and they'll give their support to anyone who'll provide it.

Privilege: you can pick your politics on the basis of the egostrokes it gives you, secure in the knowledge that your interests will be taken care of whether or not you do anything to secure them.

Slight digression: For years now, I've been saying that Rush Limbaugh gives his fans two bennies. One is the somatic rush of cheap unearned indignation aimed at some designated target. The other is the unwritten rule of his show, which is that Rush Limbaugh Always Wins. He cheats like crazy, of course, but what his listeners hear is that Rush Wins. In their hearts, they hope that if they adopt his views, they too may win an argument someday.

#456 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: November 26, 2005, 09:44 PM:

Teresa that last comment is excellent. The only thing I'd add is that Rush "how many vicodin can I do?" Limbaugh doesn't deserve the privilege he is awarded. He himself a while ago let people know he's an actor and jerks chains because he knows/wants to cause controversy and get attention. Maybe nowadays he won't point back to that statement, but there you go.

Once I heard that statement I figured he was ignorable (which is easy because I hate him so much I would not listen if paid....) and I dismissed him to my rubbish bin of people who are so self-inflated with their pretend political imporantance that they want all the attention they feel they deserve. which is bupkis in this case.

#457 ::: candle ::: (view all by) ::: November 28, 2005, 05:00 PM:

I'm way too late to make any contribution to this post, I know, but I just wanted to add to Teresa's list of operating principles:

9. A depressing inability to take the hints given to them by the likes of Bizarro Yaron (by far the kindest post here, I think) and recognise that, even if they think their points are justified, they are making them badly and in the wrong place. Respect isn't about refusing to call people names (and in fact it can be compatible with it); it's about understanding and sympathising with the people you encounter. That doesn't always mean agreeing with them, but it sure means deciding whether you really *have* to make this argument now.

(It may also cover things like starting to post to a thread which has over 400 posts already - sorry about that.)

#458 ::: Bizzarro Yaron ::: (view all by) ::: November 28, 2005, 05:56 PM:

Why, thank you, candle

#459 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: November 28, 2005, 06:36 PM:

Karol's post about this whole thing refers to our host and hostess as 'a fat musician couple'. She doesn't seem to have read the thread well enough to understand it.

#460 ::: S. Dawson ::: (view all by) ::: November 28, 2005, 09:55 PM:

To add to the litany:

If you're a time-traveller from the future riding the subway and looking around smugly, you might be slumming.

#461 ::: Karol ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2005, 02:29 AM:

She doesn't seem to have read the thread well enough to understand it.

Actually, I haven't read it at all since my last post here but was reminded of it by a commenter on my site. Wow do you guys ever need lives. Wow.

Here's my favorite part of all this: Theresa fumes with hate for us not because we went to a strip club, obviously, but because I described us as 'conservatives' in my original post and, as the knee jerks, she knows that she must vigilantly despise us. What's funny is that there were 4 of us girls there that night, and none of us had ever voted Republican in a presidential election before. Neither have most, and probably all, of our friends who are in here defending us. 2004 showed that the left is populated by straight up sickos who are further imbalanced by their gigantic egos. This post has been the most perfect showcase of that. I like to think that every Theresa makes at least 2 Republicans in her lifetime.

The ugliest thing is how you insist we were slumming. Why? Because these people are beneath us (or more importantly, beneath you)? Because they don't have degrees or make a lot of money? You're filthy. And, again, a perfect example of liberalism. I'm from South Brooklyn (and to the commenter above who couldn't comprehend how I can be both Russian and from Brooklyn, I was born in Russia and, like many of the Sweet Cherry women, I'm an immigrant to this incredible country and that amazing city). Every few years, assholes like you and your equally deranged hubby move in for cheap rents. They scoff and turn up their noses at everyone and everything ('why, those women are strippers' 'and not strippers who make a lot of money either like the acceptable strippers at Scores or The Pussycat Lounge!' 'And I do believe the patrons there have never even been to, dare I say it, college'), then move somewhere hipper, confident they have had the authentic NY rough neighborhood experience. Maybe we'll invite some of the Sweet Cherry girls over to your husband's gig. Then you could tell them to their faces that we'd only hang around them to slum and feel superior, like you do when you're around them.

Our posts from that night reflected a good time because that's what we had, same as we have on most nights whether we're among the rich or the poor. That's just something a dumb snob like you will never understand.

#462 ::: Lyons Peters ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2005, 03:03 AM:

Karol, this latest post displays that you still haven't read the thread, or the various definitions of slumming, or my earlier post, which specifically addressed several of these issues. I tried to comment regarding "slumming" and what I thought to be one of the more general sources of disapproval. Please do a find for my name, you should be able to find my two very closely adjacent earlier posts.

Essentially what I took issue with was the gleeful and joyous way that you pointed out you had been to a location where young women are routinely victimized. I would not personally find this a subject of fun. Perhaps I am reading the tone incorrectly in your original post, but the phrase "There may or may not have been a group of conservative girls randomly in there not three weeks ago." sounds coy, and the title phrase "It seemed like such a nice place...despite the bulletholes in the door" seems to trivialize both the danger you were in and the horror of what has happened to the girls who worked there.

Jessica's post seems even more gleeful about the fact, with the sly "lettered list" format.

This is not about liberal or conservative. It is about compassion, something that I believe conservatives are equally capable of and something they routinely lay claim to. I'm just shocked that you would find it thrilling to have been in such a horrible place, rather than being relieved you had made it out unharmed, or angry that the people whose entertainment you enjoyed heartily were being taken advantage of behind the scenes.

#463 ::: Aconite ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2005, 08:01 AM:

Karol: What's funny is that there were 4 of us girls there that night, and none of us had ever voted Republican in a presidential election before. Neither have most, and probably all, of our friends who are in here defending us.

The way you phrase that makes me fairly certain that's only because you weren't eligible enough to vote during previous elections, not because you had any intention of ever voting otherwise.

You're making a lot of rude and illogical assumptions about the people here, and further, you're not bothering to read what they actually say because you're so busy projecting. I grew up in the kinds of neighborhoods you go to for fun. I can assure you that none of us who lived or worked there did so by choice. Had the ladies who worked at the equivalent of Sweet Cherry had the chance to work instead at the equivalent of Scores, they'd have jumped at the chance. Safer conditions, better pay--you think these things don't matter to strippers?

Try understanding this, Karol: If clubs that treat their workers better get more business, they can afford to hire more workers. If we stop patronizing clubs that treat their workers like shit, and instead go to the ones that treat them like human beings, we just may affect the lives of a few people in a positive way. That kind of thing matters to me. I would hope it mattered to you, too.

#464 ::: Lin Daniel ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2005, 10:28 AM:

I've read all your posts
And I've just missed the point.
Does anyone notice
My nose out of joint?

I've read all your posts
And I haven't a clue,
So I'll make accusations
That just don't fit you.

I've read all your posts
And I've come back for more.
Let's make this thread longer
With misquotes galore.

We've read all your posts
Let's throw in the towel.
We'll make this thread shorter
And remove all your vowels.

#465 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2005, 10:38 AM:

Nope, Aconite. Not a chance that it mattered to Little Miss Republican.

She can't be bothered to read; she can't be bothered to think. How else can she justify her petty life?

#466 ::: Sandy ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2005, 10:53 AM:

"Wow do you guys ever need lives. Wow."

Is this shorthand for "Why won't you give up and let me pretend I won?"

#467 ::: Niall McAuley ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2005, 10:59 AM:

A Surface Reading:

Comments skip and splash;
she sees only the ripples
in her reflection.

#468 ::: NelC ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2005, 12:28 PM:

I've come to this one late, so perhaps I should just let it lie. But reading the thread I've just swerved from a cruel delight at the vacuousness of these girls to outright horror.

Because these people are beneath us...

That's the sentiment that revolts me. Maybe I can summon up some liberal sympathy for the poor girl: having read but not comprehended, she will probably never understand what's so vile about this remark. She might learn not to say such things in public, I suppose.

#469 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2005, 01:11 PM:

"Because these people are beneath us..." this may in fact be a sentiment but if you notice she is evidently phrasing it as a question, asking why people assumed that they were slumming.

It's good to pay attention to what they say, especially if we're going to point out that they don't pay attention to what we say.

#470 ::: Will Entrekin ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2005, 01:56 PM:

Karol: I was the poster who "couldn't comprehend" your being from Brooklyn and Russia, and you're right, I was probably being disingenuous in the way I presented that, especially as I understood it to mean you were born in Russia and then emigrated, with your parents, to New York while you were still young. But the way you first stated it, and then presented your roots on your website, it seemed you were just choosing whichever was most convenient for your thought, i.e., look, I'm from Brooklyn, that gives me cred, I know what I'm talking about here.

Secondly, I do have to clear something else up, and this is genuine confusion because of the way you wrote it: "Because these people are beneath us...?" I can't discern whether you believe that we think you were slumming because you were hanging out with people who were beneath you or that we think you were slumming because you were hanging out with people -we believe- were beneath you.
If the latter, while I speak for no one else, I certainly didn't believe the people with whom you hung out were beneath you.

And "dumb snob"? I'd argue that only a "dumb snob" would discern between good times "whether we're among the rich or the poor." Someone who isn't a "dumb snob" would be too busy enjoying good times to consider the class status, race, religion, or any other descriptor of the company with whom they were having the good times in question. Once you start having good times, the people with whom you're having them with become, simly, friends, a noun which doesn't need descriptors.

#471 ::: Aconite ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2005, 02:20 PM:

Sandy: I suspect Karol and her friends are used to blogs with an audience of 10-20 people, and can't conceive of a blog with an audience of a few thousand, or of threads with a few hundred posters. Very likely they think the same 10-20 people have written all the posts in this thread, since it's obvious they haven't bothered to learn anything whatsoever about this blog, this thread, or the people on it.

James D. Macdonald: Cynic that I am, I did not say, "I hope it matters to you."

#472 ::: Sandy ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2005, 02:47 PM:

"because these people are beneath us"- I think this is an awkward phrasing and does not say what Karol means.

I can't resist the quadruple-nesting:

I think
they think
we think
they think
that the strippers are beneath them.

It really needs C-style curlybraces and indents, but I can't seem to do that with the limited HTML here.

Let me just attempt to rephrase: I read Karol's response as indignant: paraphrased, 'You think we found these people to be beneath us? You're filthy! '

#473 ::: Will Entrekin ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2005, 03:02 PM:

Sandy: yes, I tried to avoid the "they think we think they think we did" sort of phrasing but found it unavoidable in attempting to clarify what was being said. Sorry for the awkward nesting.
I read Karol's post the same way, but just want to be sure I'm reading it correctly.

Aconite: actually, according to Karol's blog's beseeching of advertisers, it spiked to an 55,000 visits in November (which I read to be the beginning. I'd been about to joke that I bet half of its recent audience was Making Light readers, and I don't think that's true). Whether those 55,000 visits were unique readers or far fewer individuals visiting multiple times, I don't know.

#474 ::: Aconite ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2005, 03:48 PM:

Will Entrekin: If I understand you correctly, you're saying that Karol, advertising for advertisers, claimed her blog had 55,000 hits in November. Do I have that right?

#475 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2005, 03:51 PM:

At least one source I've seen says that "hit" counters don't count unique visitors, and that you can get a lot of hits per page per visit, because of the rather odd way that "hit" counters work. So yes, she could have gotten 55,000 hits, but only had 10,000 visitors (or even fewer).

#476 ::: Will Entrekin ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2005, 04:04 PM:

"If I understand you correctly, you're saying that Karol, advertising for advertisers, claimed her blog had 55,000 hits in November. Do I have that right?"

Aconite: I think so, yes, though, admittedly, I may be reading it wrong. On the Alarming News blog, on November 28th, there's a post with a graphic that shows 2005 thus far, on the x-axis. And it looks like November climbed to 55,000 visits (October had 35,000).
The comments that correspond to the post mention both Making Light and Instalanche, but I'm only familiar with the former.

You can see it yourself, by clicking on Karol's name, here within this thread.

#477 ::: Aconite ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2005, 04:07 PM:

P J Evans: At least one source I've seen says that "hit" counters don't count unique visitors, and that you can get a lot of hits per page per visit, because of the rather odd way that "hit" counters work.

Yes. My SO and one friend once drove a mutual friend's hit counter over 30,000 in an afternoon* by refreshing the page.

*as part of the setup to a practical joke

#478 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2005, 04:09 PM:

Oh, look, it's Karol again, come back to once again fail to explain how it was that she thought it was appropriate to call me a hypocrite. That was over a week ago. We asked her politely.

Possible explanations for Karol:

1. She hasn't bothered to read the thread.

2. She needs to work on her reading comprehension.

3. Bad manners.

4. Vanity.

5. Some, several, or all of the above.

There are times when I really miss Usenet's rough but effective techniques for socializing new users.

Among the many, many things Karol missed was the part where I said that I wasn't fishing for these guys, but if I had been, I'd have thrown them back into the water after I measured them. They're too small to keep.

I just feel embarrassed for Karol when she says I "fume with hate" for her, or that I "vigilantly despise" her on a knee-jerk basis. (Projection, much? She's the one doing the fuming; and if her reactions to all us supposed "liberals" weren't knee-jerk, they might make more sense.) I think it's clear that in her imagination, she looms large in my universe. Unfortunately, the strongest emotions she arouses in me are mild irritation and a temporary sense of interest.

I know we should endeavor to respect our fellow human beings, even the whiny ones who sound like they're still in high school. On that basis, I will continue to strive to respect Karol. But the nastier she gets, the more she bores me.

Here's my real problem: It wouldn't be proper for me to have a full-scale argument with Karol, or Jessica, or Petitedov. They're not up to scratch. And if for some reason I absolutely had to argue with them, I'd have to start by straightening out and reconstructing the arguments they've already made, just for clarity's sake. In Petitedov's case, the arguments are so incoherent that I'd first have to interview her to find out what she meant, and then reconstruct them.

Since all three have repeatedly failed to understand the posts here, I would next have to explain the whole thread to them, so that I could show them how their arguments don't connect with anything that's actually been said.

A great deal of work, yes? But that's just clearing the ground. All that preparation would merely bring us to a point where Karol and/or Jessica and/or Petitedov would be capable of formulating a valid, engaged response. And if they did so, I would then be able to argue with them.

Of course, they'd probably just get it wrong again, so I'd have to go through the whole rigamarole one more time. But why should I bother? For that matter, why should I go through it the first time? What's the point? Karol and her girlfriends have been peevish, arrogant, and dislikable since they got here. I'd add "juvenile" to that list if I weren't sure that some of ML's better-behaved and more interesting readers aren't younger than they are.

Maximum virtuous effort on my part would get me nothing more than a pointless, shallow, ignorant, bad-tempered, ill-written, ill-conducted argument: much heat, no light. Life is far too short.

And finally: Thank you, Lin Daniel, for upholding the highest standards of ML's comment threads.

#479 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2005, 04:09 PM:

Actually, being mentioned in Making Light is worth thousands of hits.

I'm certain that what brought our little friends running was the question "Where are all these new visitors coming from?"

#480 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2005, 04:15 PM:

True, though I say it myself. We sometimes get the proprietors of small websites we've linked to popping up in the comment threads, trying to figure out where their sudden uprush of traffic is coming from.

(Smacks forehead.)

You don't suppose that's the real reason Karol & Co. are keeping this thread alive?

#481 ::: AliceB ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2005, 04:28 PM:

Well their behavior is distinctly trollish: as soon as the discussion flags, they come in and say something else that's either offensive or ridiculous, creating a rush of response.

Maybe they need a diet.

Best,
Alice

#482 ::: Aconite ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2005, 04:31 PM:

Teresa, if traffic from ML means that the kind of outfits that would advertise on a blog like Karol's do so, thinking they're reaching 55,000 potential customers thereby...well, that brings a little warm fuzzy to my heart.

#483 ::: jennie ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2005, 04:40 PM:

You don't suppose that's the real reason Karol & Co. are keeping this thread alive?

I rather doubt it. They haven't shown that much awareness of cause and effect or of Internet mores or of the readership or the dynamic here, yet.

I'm guessing that they came out of curiosity, in the first place and stayed out of indignation (nobody likes being called stupid). I'm guessing that they keep coming back because they're looking for someone to say "Yes, you're right. We were wrong. We just didn't understand you."

I don't think it's going to be me.


#484 ::: Laura Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2005, 04:43 PM:

2004 showed that the left is populated by straight up sickos who are further imbalanced by their gigantic egos.

I really wonder what that's about. Although, if she thinks that Making Light is populated by straight-up sickos with huge egos, then there is at least a certain consistency.

I also find it fascinating that every time somebody says to one of them, "You're missing the point. You don't get it," they seem to think that's just a generic insult, a figure of speech, with absolutely no basis in fact. They don't ever appear to pause for a second and ask themselves, "Is it possible that I'm not getting it?"

#485 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2005, 04:45 PM:

Excuse me while I break those links ...

#486 ::: Lin Daniel ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2005, 04:50 PM:

And finally: Thank you, Lin Daniel, for upholding the highest standards of ML's comment threads.

I'm touched and honored, Teresa. Thank you.

You all have sparked my creativity. I've been waking up with damned doggerel verse running thru my head. Not, fortunately, at 2am.

#487 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2005, 04:56 PM:

Lin, take a look at the main post.

#488 ::: Lin Daniel ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2005, 05:02 PM:

[maudlin moment]Oh, *sniffle* oh oh *sniffle* thank you[/maudlin]

The thought ran thru my head of incouraging the incorrigible, but then I remember we all are.

Isn't it fun?


#489 ::: Lucy Kemnitzer ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2005, 05:21 PM:

PH:At least one source I've seen says that "hit" counters don't count unique visitors, and that you can get a lot of hits per page per visit, because of the rather odd way that "hit" counters work. So yes, she could have gotten 55,000 hits, but only had 10,000 visitors (or even fewer).

I can't believe this wasn't straightened out by someone back East before I saw it hours later. Some hit counters count every hit: some count unique visitors. I have mine set to unique visitors, which at the time I thought was a more interesting number, but it leaves me not knowing how many people are touching in, being bored, and leaving never to return, and how many go back.

You can get more sophisticated ones, I suppose, that will tell you how many come back every time there's a new chapter or something.

Messing deliberately with somebody's hit counter sounds a little mean.

#490 ::: Sandy ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2005, 05:29 PM:

My rule, which I obey insufficiently, is "if you're going to be mean you better be REALLY funny."

#491 ::: Lisa Spangenberg ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2005, 05:37 PM:

A "hit" is counted every time something on the page gets loaded.

So the text=1
background image = 1
decorative image =1
ad image = 1

So one visitor loading the page once can generate 4 hits, easy, and most blog pages generate more than that. What you really want are unique visitors. Plus, for real revenue, the ads need to be placed on a site with lots of content.

TNH/PNH generate lots of traffic; a link from TNH to my site easily was generating over 800 extra visitors a day. I'd have to go look for the specifics. But yeah, you'd notice pretty quickly.

Oh, and the problem? With Karol? And Jessica? And cohort? Omigod.

TNH nailed it from the start; they're stupid. Really. Read the blogs. Stupid, selfish and vain.

#492 ::: j h woodyatt ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2005, 05:38 PM:

Once again...

Karol writes: What's funny is that [...] 2004 showed that the left is populated by straight up sickos who are further imbalanced by their gigantic egos. This post has been the most perfect showcase of that.

Hmmm. You didn't realize this until 2004? Girlfriend, where the fsck have you been?

Over here "on the left" we've been straight up sickos for at least the better part of the last century, since John Muir made it acceptable to be a tree-hugging dirt-worshipper in polite company.

Oh wait, hold on— maybe we've been straight up sickos ever since Thomas Paine got away clean after admitting in public, "My mind is my own church."

Damn. Wait, I may be able to find even earlier evidence of straight up sicko nature on the left. Do you have even the slightest idea how deranged some of those republicans were, whose seats were on the left, in those legislative assemblies during the French Revolution? OMG. And the egos! You wouldn't believe.

No. Apparently, this post is the perfect showcase of the general level of unhingedness one finds among adherents of left-wing politics. [snigger].

Karol continues: The ugliest thing is how you insist we were slumming. Why? [...] You're filthy. And, again, a perfect example of liberalism. I'm from South Brooklyn [...]. Every few years, assholes like you and your equally deranged hubby move in for cheap rents. They scoff and turn up their noses at everyone and everything [...], then move somewhere hipper, confident they have had the authentic NY rough neighborhood experience. Maybe we'll invite some of the Sweet Cherry girls over to your husband's gig. Then you could tell them to their faces that we'd only hang around them to slum and feel superior, like you do when you're around them.

Apparently, we're supposed to take this diatribe as evidence that you can take the conservatarian girl out of South Brooklyn, but you can't get the South Brooklyn out of the conservatarian girl. Not that I was overly worried about settling any arguments over that controversy, but thanks for clarifying your position. You never know when information like that can be exchanged for valuable prizes.

Karol concludes: Our posts from that night reflected a good time because that's what we had, same as we have on most nights whether we're among the rich or the poor. That's just something a dumb snob like you will never understand.

So, you weren't slumming then? Duly noted.

This is the song that never ends It just goes on and on my friends. Some people started singing it, not knowing what it was And they'll continue singing it forever just because...

Oh look! Roasted chicken! Yum.

#493 ::: j h woodyatt ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2005, 05:56 PM:

In the event volunteers are called for defending against another poorly managed tactical syntax operation, I promise not to quote such large portions of other comments without first disemvowelling the excerpts myself.

Sorry about that.

#494 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2005, 07:21 PM:

I still read RASFF.

Nobody is missing much. There are too many people indulging in political debate with their ears firmly plugged.

I was going to write at some length about the poisoning of political debate, and the way in which so many questions have one side's choice of answers turned into unquestionable axioms.

We're bogged down in a mass of pseudo-axioms. The axiom of the necessity of torture closes off all the counter arguments: it wouldn't be necessary if it didn't work, so you can't claim it doesn't work.

#495 ::: NelC ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2005, 07:32 PM:

Well, bryan, I honestly can't tell if Karol meant the phrase as written, or if it should have a "you think that" tacked on after the "Because", not from the post alone. I can't read what isn't there.

Certainly the rest of the comment doesn't come across as any less squamous. Hurling gratuitous insults at our gracious hosts doesn't make me feel inclined to give her the benefit of the doubt in the matter.

#496 ::: Paul ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2005, 08:16 PM:

Lisa - it should be the case that a single page load (including all elements) only increments the hit counter by one, if the hit counter is written correctly.

If your counter increments by 4 or more for each page load, I would suggest taking it back as faulty. :-)

#497 ::: Lisa Spangenberg ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2005, 08:56 PM:

Paul

I'm describing behavior I've tested and documented from a variety of Javascript based stat collectors, particularly the free ones, or limited use free ones. Products like Urchin aren't that dumb, but a lot of the stats scripts are. Frankly, talking about "hits" is mostly useless anyway; what you really want are numbers of unique visitors, number of pages/length of time on site, and number of repeat visitors in a given time frame.

#498 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2005, 09:56 PM:

There are no flawless methods for counting hits. We've used various tracking methods, some simultaneously, and they all give different results. Same goes for methods that reckon inbound links. Still, you can take an average, and by that arrive at a rough sense of your relative magnitude.

#499 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2005, 10:07 PM:

Okay, who wants to post the five hundredth comment?

#500 ::: Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2005, 10:11 PM:

Does the five hundredth comment have the Buddha nature?

#501 ::: Lisa Spangenberg ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2005, 10:18 PM:

So who else is going to hear Whisperado?

It looks like I'll be on a brief consulting gig to Tribeca and might be able to blackma . . brib . . . persuade my colleagues to go on a field trip to umm, check the local Wi-Fi. Or something. . . And since my hometown lacks anything with a liquor license, or sidewalks, or public performances of rock music, said excursion is absolutely not slumming.

#502 ::: j h woodyatt ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2005, 11:18 PM:

Can't Help Myself writes: I would post under my real name but...

We understand.

If you were to sign your real name (or even use a pseudonym that you've invested with any history), then you might eventually meet someone who remembered reading your nonsense about hit counts and integrity, and decided you were a monster raving bozo. The embarrassment would be crushing, wouldn't it? You would either have to live down your words, or construct a new persona. Why bother?

Much better to post with a fresh disposable pseudonym— that will command so much more respect here.

#503 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2005, 11:25 PM:

"Can't Help Myself" has now had her post deleted twice.

#504 ::: jennie ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2005, 11:30 PM:

Teresa, is it rude of me to ask when your surname sprouted a final "t"? Other than at 9:56 p.m. tonight? And is there any significance to it?

It's not that it's not a perfectly becoming final "t," but it does give me pause when I see your name in the comments.

#505 ::: Lisa Spangenberg ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2005, 11:51 PM:

Syntax, punctuation and word choice; better than an IP number, hands down.

#506 ::: Teresa Nielsen Haydent ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2005, 12:37 AM:

You got it, Lisa. Sending the comment through an anonymizer just means I can't tell where it was mailed from. It doesn't mean I can't tell who wrote it.

Jennie, "Haydent" was a typo committed last spring. My browser has dutifully remembered it; and since it isn't visible in the entry box, I occasionally select it when I have to re-enter my name.

#507 ::: jennie ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2005, 12:45 AM:

Teresa, I figured it was some computer-memory thing. When it started to appear on this thread with some frequency, my poor, tired, copy-editor's brain started wondering whether this was a style decision based on some rationale I hadn't cottoned on to.

But no, it's a capricious browser. I'm relieved.

Time to put the poor, tired copy-editor's brain to sleep, I think. Right now it couldn't tell the difference between a comma and a coma. It knows it should fall into one and put the other around non-restrictive appositives.

#508 ::: Christopher Davis ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2005, 01:15 AM:

Karol writes: And, as we know from the not-at-all-hypocritical Nielsen Haydens, some strip clubs (and, obviously, strippers) are far superiors to others.

Are you asserting that there are, in fact, no qualitative differences at all between strip clubs? That would make them unique; every type of business I know of has some variance in quality. Even tightly-controlled chain operations like fast food restaurants have "better" or "worse" instances, including some that are far superior to others in the same chain, even when under the same ownership.

(This is almost certainly true no matter what your quality metric is; from clean bathrooms to workers' rights, there's always some gradation.)

#509 ::: Teresa Nielsen Haydent ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2005, 01:19 AM:

Five deletions now. Not a fast learner.

#510 ::: Teresa Nielsen Haydent ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2005, 01:21 AM:

Christopher, everyone, apologies. I'm shutting down comments in this thread.

Choose:
Smaller type (our default)
Larger type
Even larger type, with serifs

Dire legal notice
Making Light copyright 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 by Patrick & Teresa Nielsen Hayden. All rights reserved.