On No Excuses: Responding To One-Handed Reviews


Hahaha. Nope. I wasn't taking it personally. I've been examining what taking it personally looks like. And holding up a mirror to it. Because the deterioration of the hairpin has just been ugh too much lately.

Expecting reason, decency, insightful conversation, and hilarity that doesn't take it's joke from any other commentators flesh has proven too much to expect from what was once my favorite site, one I pointed out and shared with others saying, look, the internets haz hope.

Or you could actually read thoughtfully and understand points that take more time to make than a throwaway line. And formulate responses to adult conversation.

PS - Your thumbs up is from me, because that shit is funny, and makes my point exactly. So thank you.

Posted on September 5, 2014 at 8:21 pm 0

On No Excuses: Responding To One-Handed Reviews

@commanderbanana and general comment readers

Have I now drawn the fire off beetnemeis and taken it for myself? Wheeeeee! Good times at the party.

Don’t be mad at me guys. Seriously, go yell at the dude bros and the people who stole the pics in the first place. And by the way, these people are still not in the room. Your fellow sister commentarians just happen to be nearby and convenient.

It’s always more convenient to yell at those nearby. God bless the children of people frustrated in their jobs or the spouses of those who get yelled at by their own parents. Nearby people bear the brunt of ire that would be more correctly directed at the real cause.

Neither beetnemesis nor I are the real cause of the moral and media shitstorm that are these stolen pics. I for one invite us all to take our ire where it really belongs. *That’s* what taking responsibility looks like. And no one used the word "shrill"

One of life’s enduring lessons is that being genuinely curious about how someone came to their moral conclusions is not served by name calling.

When Bush Sr. deliberately mispronounced Saddam Hussein’s first name during propaganda speeches, turning it into a slur, he didn't do that because he was genuinely interested in the subtle ethical positions of Iraq’s dictator. He did it to enforce his point of view via derision. That’s called demagoguery.

If we turn the tables for a moment, I’m genuinely curious why @commanderbannana confusedly seems to believe name calling and being genuinely curious belong together. Can I query you on what appears to be some cognitive and behavioral dissonance here? Because your activities of name calling don’t match your professed stance of curiosity. These are two actions that would on their face be contradictory. How do you reconcile those two? I would like to request clarification respectfully and intelligently, in a way that leads to exploring the grounds of our ideas together, and leads to greater understanding, not alienation and exhaustion.

That’s how it’s done. Not, “Hey dookiehead, you’re the dumb problem here that exemplifies to me all the people causing this whole situation, because you’re nearby and had the misfortune to admit to something I'm now going to pillory you for since I can’t reach those who are the real root cause of this. Besides, a bunch of us are pillorying. Pillory time! Feels so good. Oh wait, I mean, uhhhhhh what’s your moral position. While I’m gonna reserve the right to continue sneeringly calling you dookiehead. No really, I wanna know ... dookiehead” *That* is the behavior that doesn’t square with professed motivation.

Continuing to play devil’s advocate here, would you like to take responsibility for the farcical outline I just made of your position (which I'm sure is more subtle that that)? Should I guilt trip you about it? Should I say, well I never, I for one don’t experience cognitive and behavioral dissonance or ever behave in a contradictory manner. So I claim the right to call you names and guilt trip you and demand you take responsibility for my version of what you did. While continuing to name call. Because snicker snicker. So c’mon, justify yourself to me.

Lowering the curtain now on Devil’s Advocate Theater, that’s about the level of what’s being going on here.

I’m still not condoning the pics being stolen. And I’m still not justifying looking at the pics. But I do refuse to conflate beetnemesis with 4chan and dude bros. And I continue to say we’re attacking the wrong people here. That our problem isn’t with hairpin commenters. Or it’s not unless our world is reeeeealllly reeeeealllly small.

And if anyone is *actually* interested in beetnemesis’ moral and ethical exploration of their position, it’s upthread. We all missed it.

Posted on September 5, 2014 at 2:45 pm 2

On No Excuses: Responding To One-Handed Reviews


Hmmmm. Maybe. Or they wen't somewhere that folks don't take an honest question personally. Or interpret it to make it say something that wasn't said.

Posted on September 5, 2014 at 1:25 pm 0

On No Excuses: Responding To One-Handed Reviews

@mabellegueule @commanderbanana
Yay, may smart commenting proceed!

It was mentioned that “beetnemesis is not taking responsibility for their actions and interpretation thereof.”

Any of us may take responsibility for our own actions, but cannot take responsibility for anyone else’s interpretations thereof.

If I take responsibility for quitting a job, that doesn’t mean I take responsibility for one friend’s interpretation that it was a terrible idea, or another friend’s interpretation that it was a brilliant move. If we all did that the world would be in a place of mixed up pain. Oh. Wait.

In fact, taking responsibility is typically internal, private, and looks very different than spreading myself thin justifying myself to one person’s interpretation or appreciating someone else’s interpretation. It probably looks something like examining my bank account ahead of time, paying my rent on time regardless of leaving my job, and securing new or better employment according to my own plan, regardless of what anyone says or thinks. Damn the torpedoes. What it doesn’t look like is taking the friend who thinks it was a bad idea out to dinner so I can justify myself to her and be needy for her approval. Exchange ‘friend’ for ‘parent’ if that makes the point any better.

@mabellegueule, you say that you understand that your actions have consequences beyond yourself and you try not to do shitty things. That’s awesome. You had very good parents. The world needs more smart people and strong commenters raised by good parents. I’m glad you feel good about your decision not to look at the pics, and able to outline your good ethical grounding for it. Does beetnemesis have ethical grounding for looking at the pics. Who knows. I don’t think they need to show up with a credential to admit to having a human nature.

It doesn’t really matter what you would or I wouldn’t do when it comes to what beetnemesis did or did not do. S/he is a separate person. And beetnemesis doesn’t have to take responsibility for your or my interpretation of their actions. We’re free to interpret as we like. Interpret away!

But when we try to pin the tail on the donkey by inserting our interpretation into the skin of the person whose behavior we’re interpreting (i.e. namecalling and other ‘obstinate harsh language’), we’re usually far off the mark of reality, and ludicrous to boot.

Rush Limbaugh used ‘obstinate harsh language’ when he called Sandra Fluke a slut for advocating access to birth control. Well that got our attention. I guess Rush was angry and offended. Then I guess it was okay. Wait, what?

Because you “try not to do shitty things” and I try not to do what feels shitty for me, doesn’t mean we get to decide what is supposed to feel shitty for beetnemesis. And thank god for that. Because that would be called guilt tripping. Is that what we aspire to? And justify?

Outside of clearly reprehensible actions like kiddy porn and rape (thanks @commanderbanana), “shitty” is relative, whether we think it should be or not. If it wasn’t, we would live in a fascist state of one sort or another. And probably not one to our personal liking.

@commanderbanana, likening beetnemesis having looked at the pics to taking a tiny snippet of any one celebrity’s dignity away is according beetnemesis a massively powerful influence on the moral order of the universe. S/he is not that powerful you guys. You know what is that powerful? Thieves. Thieving internet phone-hacking thieves who invade privacy for funsies and lols and gratification and fame.

In a four car interstate pileup caused by a drunk driver, you’re getting angry at the person who looked at the dead baby on the stretcher, and then admitted to you they looked.

You’re also conflating beetnemesis’ admission with the actions of the dude bros who are elbowing each other and pointing at the dead bodies and laughing. These are not the same thing.

Get angry with the drunk driver already. Tell the drunk driver they took away the dignity. That is where the correct direction of our judgment and scorn lies. In-fighting with each other wastes all of our time. Isn’t that the whole point of this article, that the crimes lie with the criminals and not the victims.

Half of the problem here is because the ‘drunk driver’ got away with it. We don’t know who they are or where they went, we’re just left with bodies, and we’re screaming at each other for looking at them.

And the dude bros aren’t here anyway. They can’t hear you.

Guilt tripping other people with what we would or wouldn’t do (“Oooohh, you looked, well I never!”), name calling, and harsh language do not make an intelligent discourse on women’s privacy, women’s sexuality, data theft, and media reactions to the objectification of women’s lives and bodies.

Thank god there seems to be a number of voices speaking truth about how the release of these photos is not a ‘scandal’ to be survived by these women, but a crime committed by thieves to be prosecuted by law enforcement and the courts (if that’s even possible).

Thank god we’re finally saying that the moral opprobrium rests on the thieves and not those who were stolen from. Can we stop heaping morally opprobrium on each other already. Save the opprobrium for 4chan, for the blogs where people really *are* saying things like “she’s famous what does she expect” and “the photos are good, what’s her problem.”

The hairpin was always better than this.

Posted on September 5, 2014 at 1:19 pm 1

On No Excuses: Responding To One-Handed Reviews

And also, where did all the smart, snappy, educated women who used to make up the hairpin commentariat get off to. This is not a rhetorical question. I really want to know. I've been looking for whatever hunting grounds they migrated to. If anyone knows, please tell me. Because I miss comment threads that are not this. Thank you.

Posted on September 5, 2014 at 11:31 am 1

On No Excuses: Responding To One-Handed Reviews

@commanderbanana @beetnemesis @TheGenYgirl

Wow. So beetnemesis is being honest, but we can't handle that? As if we all don't actually *know* these pics are being looked at hourly (gasp, even by people we know). No.

We tend to heap the greatest scorn and aversion on those who are most like our worst fears about ourselves or those closest to us. I wasn't upset by beetnemesis' honesty. I did get a laugh out of it. Because honesty. And because I'm not pruriently afraid of the truth being spoken out loud.

The truth is the photos are being looked at. The truth is they’re being looked at by people we know. The truth is they’re being looked at by people we don’t know. The truth is excuses are being made in the best and the worst quarters. The truth is this upsets us, this hits close to home even though none of us are JLaw, because we all likely have pics or videos, and it’s all very unsettling. And it should be. The truth is this conversation is a long time coming.

Expecting commenters and other human beings to not look at the photos at all, or if they do, to not admit it, evidences the exact hypocrisy this article is unearthing and asking us all to take a really hard look at.

A discomfiting hard look turns into name calling. Because internet. And because characteristics in others that bother us are reflections of the parts of ourselves or our culture which we deny.

Let’s all be honest. No one has to come up with some kind of press credential or moral credential or an in-the-public interest excuse to look at the photos. Can we handle that. Really.

And while it may be distasteful someone looked, even someone we tangentially know through a comment column, public name calling redounds far more on the name caller than the callee.

This whole thing is honestly funny. Beetnemesis, please call yourself pigturd from now on, please. Because that shit is hilarious.

I want to be clear that I am not condoning these pics being stolen. This article and others like it make a point that needs to be made and has been a long time coming. I’m not even condoning that people look at these photos. I’m only saying that getting flummoxed and aghast becomes someone admits to having looked entirely misses the point and helps absolutely no one.

Posted on September 5, 2014 at 11:17 am 1

On Nighttime In The Devil's Garden

"Their father told me that he had delivered them himself."

What a freak of biology. He carried human beings for months inside his body and pushed them out into the world? He should be studied in research universities across the world.

Scientists, go find this man. He personally knows what it means when he says, “you have to go through the pain to get to the beauty."

I didn't like this guy from that point forward.

Posted on September 5, 2014 at 10:49 am 0

On Excerpts From The September 2014 Vogue, Presented Without Commentary

This sort of thing is why I used to be so confused and kind of aghast that Joan Didion spent two years at Vogue, writing captions and throwaway lines. Well, when she wasn't writing 'On Self Respect'.

It still confuses me.

I reconcile my confusion with the fantasy that hers were the smartest, least smarmy, most acerbic lines in the history of Vogue.

Can you run a list of commentless lines from Vogue *written by Joan*? Please?

Is that even possible? Is there a way to vet the ones written by her back then? If there is WE NEED THIS.

Posted on September 3, 2014 at 5:12 pm 1

On Hitchhiking to the End of the World

OMG this is so wonderful. Thank you. This does not compare to Argentina, but when I was traveling Ireland alone a few years ago, I got on a late night bus from one small town to I-didn't-care-where, which then got diverted due to a massive flood, and I ended up in some other unknown town at 11:55 at night. The bus station cleared out, everyone disappeared, and I was alone at night in some rural Irish village where there were no hostels and I had nowhere to go. It was still raining cats and dogs.

Lacking any clear plan, I went to the only lit window in the compound and found the station master closing up for the night. He said if I'd waited 5 more minutes he'd have been gone. I told him what happened and he nodded and told me he'd take me some place. I told him I had hardly any money, that I'd budgeted for hostels and not hotels. He was paternalistically secretive about where we were going (not the only Irish man I met with that personality on that trip, although maybe they're just taciturn) so I was on guard. But it turned out brilliantly when he took me to a tiny family-owned hotel and knocked on the door for ten minutes until the owner woke up and took me in. They conversed so quickly I couldn’t understand what they were saying, even though it was nominally the English language.

The taciturn station master disappeared after admonishing me not to get on busses during storms and end up god knows where. The hotel owner was the kindest lady. I had a huge, soft bed, en suite, with a plush red carpet on the floor. I think I took two hot showers just because I could. Then ate a humongous Full English Breakfast the next morning, read all the framed Yates poems she had hung in the hallway, put on my pack and left again.

Thank you for reminding me of that time period. Ireland is not Argentina, or Thailand where I’ve known other girlfriends to travel alone. But my family fought and yelled for me not to travel alone. Thank God I didn't listen.

Keep up the travels! And may trail magic always find you.

Posted on May 20, 2014 at 1:51 pm 0

On Mad Men: “I Know How I Want You to See Me”

Oh god, you guys. I'm probably way late to this discovery. But did you know about the Mad Men college course, taught by our own AHP? They read primary texts from the time period, along with contemporary analysis of the show, and THE COMPLETE SYLLABUS IS ONLINE. I'll be checking a lot of books out of the library now. Fangirlgasm.



Posted on April 29, 2014 at 12:13 am 0