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Is There a Way to Talk about Design that is Not Completely Obnoxious?

[ 61 ] March 29, 2015 |

Erik’s post below got me thinking–again–about this question: Is it possible to discuss architecture and interior design without it being Olympic-level obnoxious? Is there a way to talk about design that does not make it sound as if authors are performing the most obscene sex acts in service of the extraordinarily privileged?

I love looking at interior design magazines, but it’s gotten the point where I have to remind myself–FORCEFULLY–not to read the accompanying text, because it tends to make me want to jab forks into my eyes.

I always thought it would be neat to have a magazine that showed an interior, then gave readers three options for recreating the look: one on a “just graduated college” budget (in other words, frankly, on the cheap), one on a middle to upper-middle class budget, and one that’s more in the “sky’s the limit” range. I’d love to read an interiors magazine that gave even a curt nod to the idea that not everyone who likes design is obscenely wealthy.

Seriously, what’s the answer here?

The Gunman

[ 140 ] March 25, 2015 |

Did you ever want to see a roided-up Sean Penn star in a male wish-fulfillment fantasy where he makes Javier Bardem look like a  dumb Spanish pansy? Well then “The Gunman” is for you.

“Gunman” is about a former Special Ops (because of of course) guy who has a past providing security for humanitarian compounds in The Congo, and–oh yeah–assassinating the country’s Minister of Mining. He tries to atone for his past misdeeds by returning to his old haunts and digging wells for the locals. He also has time to surf and lift weights for about four hours a day, apparently. His super-manly existence is upended when he’s attacked by men looking to get a Proof of Kill. The rest of “The Gunman” is about his surprisingly uninteresting attempts to find out exactly who’s targeting him.

The gunman is a badass. Buff and self-assured and able to get himself out of a jam in almost supero-esque ways. He also has a European Girlfriend TM. (European Girlfriend TM* has a French accent but speaks and understands English perfectly. European Girlfriend is effortlessly lovely, with soulful brown eyes, charmingly-crooked teeth, beautiful skin and perfectly-tousled chin-length brown hair. European Girlfriend maintains her artifice-free loveliness merely by walking to patisseries and bathing in artisanal olive oil.)  And she’s anxious to hop on his junk despite being married to Javier Bardem and being repeatedly ditched by the gunman (for her safety, of course).

Speaking of Javier Bardem, I went to the film thinking he’d be in it a lot more. He made the movie for me– I love watching the man act. His reactions to losing European Girlfriend to Gunman over and over are the best, most emotionally-wrought parts of the film. Otherwise, I’d say “The Gunman” is merely a passable way to spend two hours.


*Sometimes European Girlfriend has slightly longer hair…and a Spanish accent.

Revenge is a Dish Best…Well…Not Served. Because It Sounds Gross and Inedible.

[ 87 ] March 23, 2015 |

“That Woman”– bspencer Folks, you can’t tame this woman; she was raised on raw misogynist chicken.


Marcotte has a hilarious post up at Pandagon about MGTOW cuisine. I’ve always been a Marcotte fan, but this is truly must-read. Are you a TL;DR kinda person? Well, in short, men are thwarting feminism by cooking horrible-sounding meals for themselves. In response I have decided to renounce feminism and cook disgusting food for neckbearded manbabies. Sorry, folks. I held out for as long as I could but this “logic abuse” and chicken breast abuse finally convinced me of the error of my ways. It was nice thinking of women as fully human with you manginas but I wanna be on the winning team. The winning team that eats salmonella-infused chicken.

Share your own MGTOW-inspired recipes in the comments if you wish.

Megan McArdle Wants You to Come Up with Recipes for Her and Her Rich Friends

[ 131 ] March 19, 2015 |

*Sigh.* Today I learned middle class and poor people don’t care about their waistlines.

“Longtime readers, of course, have heard me talk about this appliance before: the Thermomix. It’s a food processor/blender that also has a heating element and a scale. Sounds crazy, I know, like one of those weird things you see advertised on television: “It’s a car buffer, and it’s also a Doberman Pinscher!” But in fact, it’s amazing. It consolidates multiple kitchen jobs into a single countertop appliance, saving space, and it also renders a lot of tedious kitchen tasks as easy as pressing a few buttons, from caramelizing onions to making bechamel. I’ve had one for a few years now, and if I was only allowed to have one kitchen electric, it’s the one I would pick. How else would I whip up genoise on a weeknight or make bacon-onion jam to top our burgers with?”

I dunno–try not being a lazy piece of crap? Take time away from admonishing the poors about their wanton ways? There are ways, Megan, there is time.

Couple of notes on QVC (She’s right in that the shopping networks would be the ideal place to hawk these gadgets): 1.) Their buying power is so large they could probably afford to sell them at a significant discount. I can easily see them lopping a good 4oo dollars off the price. 2.) They do installment payment options, making even big-ticket items doable for middle class folks.

I think, though, at precisely the time middle class/upper middle class folks like me began buying Thermomixes would be precisely the time McMegan would lose interest in them. She likes the price point they’re at now…their price tag is their appeal for her.

Rule 35 Links

[ 34 ] March 18, 2015 |

Oh, hai, readers. Here are some links for your Wednesday afternoon…

Ladies, They’re on to Us

[ 95 ] March 18, 2015 |


“As ridiculous as my statement is going to sound…” No, doooooooo go on, young futurist.

The Dangerous Expectations We Have of Novelty Women

[ 142 ] March 17, 2015 |

Reading this piece by Maddy Meyers felt revelatory to me because it addressed something that I think desperately needed to be addressed: the idea that sometimes women are average/mediocre…bad at things. And that’s ok.

I’ll be honest with you: I get hives thinking about women who break into career fields and pastimes that were previously (at least thought of as) solidly male territory. The reason I get hives is because when you are the only or one of a few women who are entering this new territory, you immediately cease to be a woman and become all women, everywhere. You cease to be a person, you become a gender. You become representative of all women and how all women will perform.


Let’s be honest: not every woman who picks up a guitar will play like Orianthi. Not every woman who drums will drum like Salin Gas. Not every woman who breaks into a STEM field will be a genius. And not every woman who picks up a console will be a KICKASS GAMER GRRRL. But women have to have permission to be mediocre and even to suck. Because if we don’t allow that, that–in and of itself–becomes a woman’s biggest barrier to breaking barriers.


Just a note: Before anyone pushes his glasses up his nose and huffs and puffs about how Orianthi and Gas are not “such and such,” please remember I’m not claiming to be an expert on playing guitar or drums. I’m holding them up as examples of kickass women who have earned some praise and respect. (For good reason, in my humble opinion.)

Sunday Art Whine

[ 45 ] March 15, 2015 |

The problem with doing art in dribs and drabs is that by the time you actually finish the piece you may fall out of love with it. I started this with that new love/hot and bothered feeling…but because I have so little time to really sit down and focus on a project I find that–increasingly–I’ve just lost interest by the time the piece is wrapping up.

“Some Day”

I think this piece is cute, I guess, but really I kinda just feel like *fart noise* about it now. Maybe in time I’ll fall back in love.

Bad Country Music (Please Do Not Let Loomis See this Post)

[ 103 ] March 14, 2015 |


Oh, hai, everybody! How’d you like some wingnut country this fine March weekend?

The sad thing is I think this guy actually has some talent, and he’s wasting it on this smarm.

In other news, this happened…

Saturday Creature Feature Links

[ 25 ] March 13, 2015 |
    • A new species of anomalocaridid has been discovered-it’s 480 million years old and 7-feet-long!
    • Would I link to a story simply so I’d have an excuse to post the “Mad Pooper” song from “Bob’s Burgers?” Yes No.
  • It’s not often I laugh out loud at something. It’s rarer still that I’ll nearly scare neighbors with my most obnoxious witch’s cackle…but this story about the –“it must be satire”– fanfiction “My Immortal” (a completely random Harry Potter/vampire mashup) had me laughing maniacally.
  • I’m finally–yes, really, this time–bidding adieu to the cancer on my life that is Gamergate. With this:
  • “If I don’t get pants, nobody gets pants” by Theamat

Alcohol Doesn’t “Fuel” Racism

[ 97 ] March 12, 2015 |


Parker Rice of OKU apologized for his racist chants. An excerpt:

“I know everyone wants to know why or how this happened. I admit it likely was fueled by alcohol consumed at the house before the bus trip, but that’s not an excuse.”

Right, it’s not. Alcohol doesn’t fuel racism. That’s why you’ll never hear someone say “Oh man, I was so wasted last night I threw up on my date and started hating the Jews.” Alcohol does not cause racism, it only reveals it.

Anita Sarkeesian: “What I Couldn’t Say”

[ 24 ] March 10, 2015 |

Anita Sarkeesian discusses what it’s like to be under constant scrutiny, what it’s like to be harassed, and how women respond to harassment. It’s moving without being maudlin…yet still inspires so much haaaaaaate.

UPDATE: The original video appears to have been removed by the user. I’m replacing it with this video (link supplied by The Temporary Name. Thank you, Temporary!). advocatethis says she comes in at 26:00.

Thanks to SophiaNOTLoren for the transcript:

So, it looks like “Ideas At The House” has all of the individual speakers from this panel — the one with Anita Sarkeesian is here if it makes a difference for updating the post.

(It’s been ages since I commented on anything at LGM, I vaguely recall seeing a post about commenting policy changing… has it really been so long?!)

Anyway, here’s a transcript I typed up. Hope it’s useful to someone else out there.

What I couldn’t say is “Fuck you!” ~laughter and applause~ To the thousands of men who turned their misogyny into a game; a game in which gendered slurs, death and rape threats are used to try and take down the big bad villain — which in this case, is me.

My life is not a game. I have been harassed and threatened every day for going on three years, with no end in sight, and all because I dared to question the self-evident, obvious sexism running rampant in the games industry. Nothing about my experience is a game.

What I couldn’t say is “I’m angry.” When people who know what I go through on a daily basis meet me in person, they often act with some surprise, saying things like, “I don’t understand how you aren’t more angry!” Because I’m just being me, I’m usually kinda charming and nice to people… but I respond saying that I am angry; in fact, I’m furious! I’m angry that we live in a society where online harassment is tolerated, accepted, and excused; where web services and law enforcement are not taking responsibility for the abuse women suffer every day online. I’m angry that I’m expected to accept online harassment as the price of being a woman with an opinion.

What I couldn’t say was anything funny. Most of my friends would describe me as a little bit snarky, and pretty sarcastic, and you can occasionally glimpse this part of my personality in earlier criticism videos, but I almost never make jokes any more on YouTube. Even though humor can be humanizing, and I like using it, I don’t do it because viewers often interpret humor and sarcasm as ignorance, especially if those viewers are male, and the ones making the jokes happen to be female.

You would not believe how often jokes are taken as “proof” that I don’t know what I’m talking about, or that I’m not a “real gamer,” even when those jokes rely on a deep knowledge of the source material. So as a result, I intentionally leave that more humorous side of my personality out of my current video presentations. I rarely feel comfortable speaking spontaneously in public spaces, I’m intentional and careful about the media interviews I do, I decline most invitations to be on podcasts or web shows, I carefully consider the wording of every tweet to make sure it is clear, and can’t be misconstrued.

Over the last several years, I’ve become hyper-vigilant. My life, my words, and my actions are placed under a magnifying glass. Every day I see my words scrutinized, twisted, and distorted by thousands of men, hellbound on destroying and silencing me.

What I couldn’t say is, “I’m a human being.” I don’t get to publicly express sadness, or rage, or exhaustion, or anxiety, or depression; I can’t say that sometimes the harassment really gets to me — or conversely, that the harassment has become so normal that sometimes I don’t feel anything at all. The death threats come through on my social media, and it’s just become a routine: screencap, forward to the FBI, block, and move on.

I don’t get to express feelings of fear, or how tiring it is to be constantly vigilant of my physical and digital surroundings. How I don’t go to certain events because I don’t feel safe, or how I sit in the more secluded areas of coffee shops and restaurants so the least amount of people can recognize me, and see me. I don’t show how embarrassed I am when I have to ask the person who recognized me in my local grocery store to please not mention the location where they met me.

Somehow we’ve fooled ourselves into thinking that by expressing human emotions, it somehow means that the harassers have “won.” This false belief is largely because in our society, women are not allowed to express feelings without being characterized as “hysterical,” “erratic,” “bitchy,” “highly emotional,” or “overly sensitive.” Our expressions of insecurity, doubt, anger, or sadness are all policed, and often used against us. But by denying ourselves the space to feel and to share those feelings, we’re just perpetuating this notion that we should all suffer alone. That we should all just toughen up, and grow thicker skin — which we shouldn’t have to do!

What I couldn’t say is, “I don’t even want to be saying any of this!” Largely because I still fear that expressing human emotion publicly will make me seem insecure. The truth is that women who persevere and retain some measure of their humanity are not expressing weakness; they’re demonstrating courage. In all the different, messy, honest ways that we respond to harassment, we actually demonstrate how much we all still have in the face of such cruelty and injustice.

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