when the status quo frustrates.

Saturday cat blogging

Saturday, March 31st, 2007

I know I’m a day late, but I might as well introduce the family.


Question for the hivemind

Friday, March 30th, 2007

I got a sewing machine for Christmas and tried to teach myself to sew, but clearly I could use some help. Is it worth it to give Joann Fabrics $75 for a begining to sew course, or would a DVD from the library work just as well? Recommendations, anyone?

What they don’t tell you is that after a while his or her ‘perfectness’ will really start to get on your nerves

Friday, March 30th, 2007

MSN could have saved some servers space had they just written one article entitled “You will never get what you need from the opposite sex so you might as well buy a masterbatory aid and call it a night” but then there’s only half as much space for ads, so they broke it up into his and her ‘perfect ____friend’ companion articles.

Lucky us.

From the man, a 5-clause contract designed to spell out exactly what makes the ‘perfect girlfriend.’ She’s not a pushy bitch, so obviously the ‘perfect boyfriend‘ article is written as a wishlist, not a demand-filled legally binding contract.

And yet, according to Maxim’s Jon Wilde (*snort*), I’m supposed to find something about this ‘startling.’

Why rely on a legal document to fix the end of a relationship when I can use one to create the ideal relationship? So here it is; my contract for the perfect girlfriend. Laugh at it if you will, ladies, but you are about to get some startling insights onto the male mind.

Turns out the male mind wants exactly what beer commercials tell him he wants, which is great for the ladies because it means you don’t even have to finish Intro to Psych in order to have that be-penised status symbol all figured out. This will free up your time to focus on making yourself sexy enough that, should he accidentally glance at you, he won’t leave you.

Clause 1: Dates
B. The Man will not be expected to plan every date. He will be chivalrous, but he will not be the cruise director of the relationship.

C. If The Lady would like to attend an event that she knows The Man will despise, she is advised to do so with other people…However, should she deem a night at the ballet, opera, or foreign movie house to be a necessity within the scope of the relationship, she should make plans [herself]

Tit for tat – for every ballet you force him to attend, he gets one sporting event. This keeps the yin and yang forces of the universe in check and prevents Earth from spiraling into the sun. For those of you saying, “But he’s the one always dragging us to see subtitled films at the independent movie house, and I love pig roasts,” maybe you should get back into the stereotypes in which you belong. Your deviance makes baby Jesus cry.

Clause 2: Dialogue
B. If The Lady wants something or wants to know something, she will ask. There will be no hints or guessing games.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. My own boyfriend is not into playing head games either, but I find that when directly asked for something, he is like my parent’s dog: well meaning and responsive as long as you are looking directly at him, but kind of absent minded and thoughtless when left to his own devices. But when I’m in an inexplicable funk that he can’t tie to any specific reason, he leaps into action and suddenly no task is too trivial if it will make me happy again. But please, no mind games, because we are so not the kind of couple that does that.

Clause 5: Love
A. Should the two parties remain together long enough to reach Relationship Level: Serious, The Man understands that he will, at some point, be called upon to vocally express his appreciation of The Lady in the strongest method possible. When the time comes, the following rules shall govern the use of Those Three Words Which Shall Not Yet Be Spoken.

Ladies, if you really want a guy to say “I love you,” just wait. They’ll crack. I promise. If you have to, start seeing someone else on the side. Perhaps someone who didn’t make you sign an assinine behavioral contract?

So the perfect girlfriend has been defined by super stud as one that basically knows she’s not going to get a lot of touchy-feely shit. This is unfortunate, as apparantly the perfect boyfriend is defined as the type of guy who is not afraid to do a lot of touchy-feely shit.

The perfect boyfriend…
…shows us affection in tender ways (Frequency: minimum 4x a week)

Whoa, whoa…what does he get out of it? Your appreciation? Eff that.

…comes out with our friends and plays the role of token adorable guy…For most women, our friends are our family and a big part of our lives, so we want our boyfriend to fit right in and make a great impression while he does it. What’s the fun of having the perfect guy if no one in the room goes home just a teeny bit jealous?

Lucky for you, Jon’s airtight contract only gives him the leverage to extort a trip to a strip club or something equally crappy in exchange for regular dog and pony shows.

…thinks it’s adorable when we’re our all-alone-selves in front of him. (Frequency: Always). It’s rare to find a man who finds it charming that you wear decade-old T-shirts to bed, can eat a whole Domino’s pizza by yourself, and spend Saturdays watching Laguna Beach marathons.

Laguna Beach? Freak.

Do I just have a shockingly unrealistic sample set of ex-es, because I have not once encountered a guy who gave a flying fuck about what I wore to bed. Almost all have considered lacy shit to be frivolous, and my #1 bedwear-related comment is “why are you wearing anything at all?”

It’s possible that Amy Spencer, driven batty with lonliness, is dating a cardboard cut-out of Jude Law and uses Cosmo advice articles as the basis for their fantasy conversations. Then maybe this list makes sense. But it doesn’t give her the right to unleash this pathology on the rest of us.

At any rate, it’s clear that we are diverging into different species with different needs and habits. We can try to fight it and lead miserable lives shackled to someone with whom we have nothing in common, or we can say fuck it, give up entirely and start burning our subscriptions of Maxim and Cosmo for warmth. Because baby, you’re the only one who really loves me.

When she comes, she leaves a lot more than a quarter under your pillow

Friday, March 30th, 2007

It’s probably no surprise that this absurd yarn was spun by the idle hands of some frat boys who have no other witnesses to back up their claims:

Police have been unable to locate a woman who entered the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity house without permission on Thursday and began to masturbate on a couch.

While fraternity members were eating in the dining room, a woman entered the house’s living room, took off her clothes and started masturbating, said LSA junior Dan Nye, the president of the Washtenaw Avenue fraternity.

Gee, I’m shocked the police havent been able to locate her. Only Santa and Nessie rival the legendary Frat House Masturbonymph in evidential evasiveness.

Don’t believe it was the Masturbonymph? Then explain the woman’s mysterious entrance:

No one saw the woman enter the house or knew how she got in. Nye said she could have entered through the front door, which was left propped open while it was being repaired.

It’s well-known that whenever a normal vagina comes within 50 feet of any frat house, a silent alarm sounds and boys line up to hit on and/or creatively seduce it. Only a supernatural vagina like the Frat House Masturbonymph’s could escape detection and make it all the way to the couch.

Alas, there are some holes in the boys’ story, meaning it might be a fabricated sighting of the FHM:

Fraternity members asked the woman to leave the house, but she refused and continued masturbating for about half an hour, Nye said.

Yeah, that’s pretty unlikely. In fact, you show me a frat house anywhere in the country that would kick any naked masturbating woman to the curb and I’ll show you icicles fresh from hell.

Their story only falls apart from there:

She walked out of the front door wearing only a thigh-length black coat after a fraternity member called the police, Nye said. When police arrived minutes later, the woman had already left.

If someone comes into your house and starts rubbing one out and you honestly don’t want them to be there, it usually doesn’t take you 30 minutes to decide to call the police. If you doubt this, I encourage you to walk into any establishment other than your own home and start masturbating. You’ll either have the police on you in 5 minutes or you’ll have the welcome mat rolled out (along with the video cameras). It certainly won’t take the occupants a half hour to decide which path to take; seeing someone masturbate in the flesh usually causes a person to have a strong and immediate reaction, one way or the other.

Finally, we have this last bit of nonsense:

Fraternity members said they will throw out two couches in the living room because of the incident, Nye said.

Please. If this had actually happened, they’d be sniffing those couches for weeks.*

*Disclaimer: The humor in this piece is predicated on stereotyping frat guys as precisely the kinds of dudes who run around claiming that they wish these kinds of things happened to them. That’s why I find this story so unbelievable; it sounds much more like a stereotypical frat guy’s dream than something they’d call the police over. If you’re offended by me stereotyping guys who willingly opt into sexist institutions like frats this way, I understand, but you’re probably at the wrong website.

Wal-Mart’s shadow government comparable to America’s but at a fraction of the cost

Thursday, March 29th, 2007

Ohhhh. Creepy.

Wal-Mart, renowned to outsiders for its elbows-out business tactics, is known internally for its bare-knuckled no-expense-spared investigations of employees who break its ironclad ethics rules.

Over the last five years, Wal-Mart has assembled a team of former officials from the C.I.A., F.B.I. and Justice Department…

The investigators — whose résumés evoke Langley, Va., more than Bentonville, Ark. — serve as a rapid-response team that aggressively polices the nation’s largest private employer, enforcing Wal-Mart’s modest by-the-books culture among its army of 1.8 million employees.

If you are a mid-level or higher WalMart exec and they even think you’re crossing them, they’ll fuck you up.

After Ms. Roehm sued Wal-Mart for wrongful termination, the company disclosed the results of the investigation last week in a detailed and at times salacious countersuit. Investigators obtained records that they said showed the two married executives had engaged in a sexual affair, accepted free meals from an advertising agency vying to win Wal-Mart’s business and begun negotiating a deal to leave Wal-Mart to work for that agency….

The Wal-Mart investigation was striking in its scope. Lawyers for Wal-Mart subpoenaed Mr. Womack’s wife, Shelley, compelling her to give sworn testimony about how she discovered a sexual relationship between her husband and Ms. Roehm. They prompted her to turn over dozens of embarrassing e-mail messages that her husband had sent to Ms. Roehm from a private account.

The same people responsible for making WalMart seem more competent and compassionate than FEMA after Katrina are using their years of experience at the highest levels of the FBI & CIA to crack down on embezzlement, intra-employee fornication, and maybe even dissent:

Mr. Lynn, in an interview and in a wrongful-termination lawsuit filed against Wal-Mart, claims he was singled out because he openly criticized the working conditions in the Central American factories he inspected.

“Wal-Mart is the ultimate Big Brother in corporate America,” Mr. Lynn said. He disputes Wal-Mart’s claim that it investigates every employee the same way. “They are very opportunistic,” he said. “If it is someone they want to get rid of, they will go all out. If it’s somebody whose career they want to save, they won’t.”

It’s not time to get concerned yet. When they start organizing a WalMart army, then maybe we should be worried.

Appeasing anti-abortion activists won’t reduce abortion; it won’t even shut them up: Poland edition

Thursday, March 29th, 2007

In between the two extremes of “No abortions, ever!” and “Abortion on demand without apology” are the great masses of people who find the idea of abortion icky but aren’t quite comfortable with an outright ban. These people usually find a rung of the “exceptions for rape and/or incest and/or fetal deformities and/or the life and/or health of the mother” ladder to hang out on, where whenever the uncomfortable topic comes up, they can list all of their generous exceptions and feel progressive.

There are many reasons why this isn’t really good enough. The major historical reason, however, is that when you grant a group of uninterested people power over if a woman “deserves” an abortion, they are most assuredly going to abuse this power. You can not have a right to something contingent on whether or not your doctor is going to be an asshole that day.

For those who may think that I am being needlessly strident or shrill, may I direct your gaze towards Poland, where, if you’ve been paying attention, you’ve heard that the European Court of Human Rights recently heard the case of Alicja Tysiac. Tysiac won a purely symbolic amount of non-money ($33,000) in damages against Poland, where she was denied an abortion by several doctors even though they all agreed that if she came to term, she’d likely go blind. So she came to term, and it wasn’t as bad as she feared. She can see things that are almost 5ft away, and may not go blind until later!

So Poland has one more precious baby, whose two siblings will probably never let it forget that it is the reason Mommy is blind. It’s not really the baby’s fault – eggs don’t check with the rest of the body before they get fertilized to make sure everything is up to the stress of gestating and delivery. But try telling that to a child who used to have a healthy mom and now has a newly disabled mom.

It’d be a different story if Tysiac had chosen the risk of blindess on her own. But she very clearly felt that the conseqences of being blind would be too great for her and her family, and she was specifically denied the right to make that decision.

So what do we have here? A great hypothetical abortion candidate. A woman who is by all reasonable measure “worthy” of an abortion: A mother in grave, clearly defined danger stemming directly from the pregnancy. Who gets denied by all the doctors who know better than she or want to cover their ass or just don’t like her, and now she’s basically blind.

And is this good enough? NoooooOOOO! Because she was theoretically entitled to an abortion and denied, she was able to make a big screaming deal of it on an international stage. Clearly, something must be done about that!

The 3,000 people joining the rally said it should not even be offered when the pregnancy threatens the mother’s life.
The protest was organised by the extreme-right wing League of Polish Families in the wake of the decision to award Alicja Tysiac 25,000 euros ($33,000; £16,000).

The League and Catholic groups in the predominantly Roman Catholic country are calling for the government to fight the court’s decision.

That’s right: one of the most conservative, Catholic countries in the world has an “extreme-right wing” family values organization which came out swinging when they heard that someone, somewhere, had not taken their punishment from God quietly enough.

About 200 legal abortions are perfomed every year in Poland. An older story about a Dutch abortion boat that hangs out in Poland estimates that illegal abortions clock in at 200,000 each year.

There are two lessons to be learned from these stories:

1. The anti-abortion crowed will never be satisfied. Never, never, never. Don’t give them a fucking inch, because if you do, it might be you or your wife, sister, or daughter that pays for it. Look at Tysiac’s glasses. She may have won in court, but it hardly matters; the real damage is already done.

2. No amount of making abortion illegal makes abortion go away. People who are really interested in saving women and zygotes alike have to start with that assumption if they’re going to achieve anything other than punishing women for being women.

Coming soon: the boyfriend boxer

Tuesday, March 27th, 2007

Um, OK.

Why are they called “trouser” and not “trousers”? And isn’t the whole point of wearing your boyfriend’s clothes that he’s worn them? Is the Gap just admitting that they make better pants for men than for women?

At least they cost the same as the men’s, I guess.

What’s lucky for Edwards should be lucky for Bush, right?

Tuesday, March 27th, 2007

The White House was the beneficiary of a brilliant stroke of luck today:

Tony Snow, the press secretary to President Bush, has suffered a recurrence of the colon cancer he battled two years ago, and the disease has spread, reaching the liver, White House officials said Tuesday.

Hooray! How fantastic for the Bush administration that Tony Snow’s been diagnosed with what will likely be terminal cancer!

This couldn’t have come at a better time. Bush’s numbers are in the toilet, but now they can capitalize on the disease to paint a sympathetic picture of the administration. In fact, they didn’t waste any time:

Mr. Bush made an official announcement in the Rose Garden.

“His attitude is, one, that he is not going to let this whip him, and he’s upbeat,” the president said. “My attitude is, is that we need to pray for him and for his family.”

Kudos to Mr. Bush for striking the perfect balance of strength and sympathy. Without Snow being sentenced to death, he’d never have been granted such a fabulous opportunity to exhibit those qualities.

Another excellent benefit of acquiring cancer is that everyone turns your flaws into compliments:

With his flippant style and his artful ability to dodge questions, Mr. Snow is generally considered to have helped strengthen the White House press operation.

It used to be considered a negative when our elected officials would use their minions to treat the media with disrespect and/or refuse to answer any questions with a hint of honesty. But now that Tony hit the cancer lottery, he’s a saint, and the administration gets to bask in his holy glow.

If I didn’t know better, I’d say the administration irradiated Snow in the hopes that the disease would return and they’d reap all these awesome rewards…

Oh, I’m sorry, is this an offensive way to talk about Tony Snow’s disease? Does this seem callous and unreasonable?


That is all.

Women: bad for themselves, bad for men.

Monday, March 26th, 2007

Much has been made over the delightful discovery that feminism is bad for your health. Thank God someone figured that out, because if we don’t change our ways quickly we could end up being some kind of third world hellhole, just like Sweden:

Photo by surstubben
Photo by larinalou

Yes, yes, the horror.

However, we can not let this one clear danger distract us from all the other dangers. For example, did you know that not only does feminism hurt men, but so does sleeping in the same bed as those succubi that they married?

When men spend the night with a bed mate their sleep is disturbed, whether they make love or not, and this impairs their mental ability the next day.

The lack of sleep also increases a man’s stress hormone levels.

According to the New Scientist study, women who share a bed fare better because they sleep more deeply.

But there is a way for men to save themselves. By being macho, macho men.

“This masculine identity often associated with men in the armed forces and other high-risk occupations may actually encourage and quicken a man’s recovery from serious injuries,” the study stated.
It is the first research to draw correlations between masculinity and recovery from injury, challenging previous studies indicating that stalwart manliness could encourage dangerous activities — and discourage men from seeking help.

Traditional-to-the-point-of-comical gender generalizations…good for everyone!

We have just one chance to keep Edwards’ cancer from being the moment that defines the end of any pretense to dignity in American politics

Monday, March 26th, 2007

Katie Couric, of all people, has called open season on questioning how Elizabeth’s cancer will affect Edwards’ campaign. Now that the topic has been broached, it will soon be time for the right wing noise machine too see which one of their top shit-stirrers can display the least possible amount of human decency on the subject. If the puppeteers are at all wise, the talking points memos that these people get their cues from should be screaming, ‘leave the topic alone!’ After all, there probably isn’t a person in the country whose life hasn’t been affected by cancer in some way and couldn’t sympathise with Elizabeth and John.

But in case they are not wise and Ann and Rush and friends are permitted to spew out some bile, I’d like to point out as a nice counterpoint Barbara Ehrenreich’s “Catty About Cancer

Strangely, it’s not Coulter, but girl-next-door Katie Couric who’s hinted, in a 60 Minutes interview with Elizabeth Edwards, that the couple might be “capitalizing” on the disease. Can’t you just see them cackling over the bone scans, eagerly calculating what the results would do for them in the polls? Convening their children for the good news that, although Daddy’s been almost eclipsed by Obama, Mommy has a potentially fatal disease?

Couric also told John Edwards that some people might judge him “callous” for campaigning through what might be his wife’s last months. Is Couric forgetting that she was working as a $7 million a year NBC anchor while her own husband was dying of colon cancer? And just in case we do get a Gingrich candidacy: Recall that he had his first wife served with divorce papers while she was in the hospital with cancer. In contrast, campaigning with your spouse, for as much time as she will be able to spend on the trail, seems downright romantic.
As for Elizabeth Edwards, all I know is this: When I was being subjected to chemotherapy six years ago, the one thing that kept me going was work…So I say to Elizabeth, if I may call her that: Get out there, girl, and campaign like hell!

Read the whole thing.

And for anyone who harbors cynical thoughts about the Edwards’ decision to continue campaigning throughout her illness, could you please, please, please for the love of all that is good think really hard before opening your mouth? I’m not saying that we can’t ask the hard questions, it’s just John’s response to Couric has really presented us all, as a nation, with the opportunity to finally handle a sensitive issue with some class. Let’s all rise to that.

If you think the name is odd, wait ’till you see the t-shirts they had printed up.

Monday, March 26th, 2007

WalMart is handing out bonuses for “Associate Celebration Day.” Ok, cool.

But could someone explain why this sounded good in their collective corporate heads?

Store associates and assistant managers with 20 or more years of service will get an extra week of pay under the new Servant Leadership bonus plan.

Emphasis mine. Please tell me there is some detail that I’m missing. Something that would reassure me that yes, WalMart executives can just do one nice thing for their wage slaves without being backhanded about it.

At least they get better every time they try to reward the proles. Maybe by this time next year they’ll come up with a reward system and completely forget to add the part that causes us to all pause and reflect on what clueless wankers they are.

**Edited to add: In the comments, Auguste points out the detail that I missed. It was not as reassuring as I had hoped for. In fact, if the orgins of the name are the same as those he quotes, then I retract any part of this post that makes it sound like maybe I thought WalMart was finally doing something right. What fuckers.

Armchair Rebelutionaries

Sunday, March 25th, 2007

Lisa KS sums up my reaction to the Christian Masturbator Uprising of 2007.

I’m actually really getting into the idea here that I’m making a bunch of buttwipes suffer agonies by my mere presence in their line of sight. This is totally awesome. How often does a bunch of really dipsh*t guys advertise so blatantly how you can drive them all mad without the slightest effort on your part and without them having the teeniest ability to do a damn thing about it?

The problem with this attitude, I am aware, is that this is exactly the reaction they expect you to have, because they already know that you exist solely to make them miserable, and that you know exactly what you’re doing and are enjoying it. Frankly, I’d be afraid to piss off anyone who’s not sure he wouldn’t rape his sister if he saw her bend over to pick something up.* If he decided I was abusing my privilege of not being raped and proceeded to deprive me of it, there are a lot of people who wouldn’t exactly blame him.

Unfortunately for the brave soldiers, they live in a world where most people either have gotten laid or will get laid at some point, and do not wish to identify with pathetic losers who frantically try to stop thinking about their sisters while they touch themselves. If they could get up the courage to actually rape a girl (not a blood relative), they’d get a lot more sympathy from the general public. Once people figure out that you’re serious about not wanting to waste another erection, they start to fear you, and then they try to comfort themselves by deciding that maybe what you did made sense, so you’re not so scary after all. After all, what the hell was that slut doing wearing such a short skirt anyway? What did she expect?

Obviously, since these guys are only using their typing hand to share their sexual fantasies with each other, we can safely laugh at them. Like all fundamentalist wingnuts, they became obsolete when people figured out that you can sometimes get a girl to sleep with you by talking to her and that this Darwin guy seemed to know what he was talking about. It’s only when they stop whining and actually do something about their grievances with the world that they get any instinctive empathy from us. Not anything we’re proud of, but I guess they have to take what they can get.

*Go look for the damn quote yourself. I’m not touching that thing again.