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« Do As I Say, Not As I Do | Main | Thanks to Sluggo »

May 31, 2006


Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards

* The Communicatrix has some sensible -- and, as always, saltily-phrased -- advice for gals sans boyfriends.

* Fred Reed nails much of what it's like to be a guy. I imagine guys all over the country asking their gals to read Fred's short essay: "Sorry, honey, but that's just the way it is."

* The Patriarch got me giggling by self-identifying as "a commuter," then made me laugh out loud with this brief posting.

* Game Theory is certainily clever -- but does anyone actually use it?

* Susie Bright asks a Playboy editor how he went about compiling a list of the sexiest novels ever written.

* In which we learn that surprises are not good for the health.

* Crunchy Con, meet Radical Reactionary. Rod Dreher likes Bill Kauffman's new book, "Look Homeward, America." And here's a blog that should make the Crunchy-haters happy. Rod Dreher is blogging here.

* Evo-bio-freak alert: Here's a collection of interviews with some of the field's biggees -- Trivers, Dawkins, Hrdy ... And here's a long Salon interview with E.O. Wilson.

* Photoshop and real life sometimes merge in NSFW ways.

* Mistress Matisse wants you to be a good boy.

* Somehow it doesn't come as a complete surprise to learn that Marie Osmond's daughters have been acting out a little too freely on their MySpace pages.

* Did your foxy 8th grade teacher ever send you videos like this one? Mine neither, darn it. How I wish I were still getting over that kind of trauma!

* This is certainly one of the most elaborate pranks I've ever run across.

* Dean Baker wonders why nurses are being picked on.



posted by Michael at May 31, 2006


(1) Surprises may not be good for your health, but they are very, very funny. For no particular reason except, I suppose, the athleticism, I really liked the cat jumping--it sort of represents the Platonic Ideal of a double take.

(2) Nurses are being picked on because, not being protected by all sorts of government privileges, their livelihoods are still governed by supply and demand. In short, more nurses = lower pay. Whereas with the far more privileged class of doctors, more doctors = more total spending on health care. (My favorite study showed that Florida has twice the number of doctors/per capita as Minnesota, and that the dollars spent on treatment of Medicare recipients in Florida exactly doubled the dollars spent on treatment of Medicare recipients in Minnesota, thus translating into equivalent doctor incomes. Amazing how that works, ain't it? This shouldn't be taken as criticism of individual doctors, I suppose--they didn't invent the system--but the ordinary citizen should get a clue about stuff like this.

Since the politicians have lack the nerve to do anything about doctors, well, nurses have to take it in the neck.

Posted by: Friedrich von Blowhard on May 31, 2006 5:21 PM

Lolita on the list of sexiest novels? I'll never understand people who think this novel is sexy. Don't get me wrong, I love the book and think its one of the best examples of good literature written in the last hundred years, but sexy? Obviously this guy has never read the book. I wish I had my copy of the Nabokov interview in which he said the novel is the antithesis of porn. Anyway, that Playboy editor needs to learn how to read.
Oh, and I'm not just talking about Lolita's age; there's a lot more to my dissent than that.

Posted by: martin on May 31, 2006 6:47 PM

Mistress Matisse sounds like a lot of fun. Too bad she's so far out of my price range because it would be fun to submit to her. I like this comment: "Because I may be a sadist, but that doesn’t mean I want anybody to get hurt." Heh!

Posted by: barney on May 31, 2006 7:49 PM

FvB -- That cat was pretty amazing. I wonder if he's been studying yoga. Isn't it surprising how many of the people reacted to being surprised by literally falling over? I'm surprised no skulls were cracked in the making of those videos.

Martin -- It is weird how many people consider "Lolita" sexy, isn't it? I guess some of the writing is sexy, in a deliberately-icky kind of way, and I remember the early seductions as being creepily arousing. Humbert getting Lolita to sit on his lap was pretty hot. Dirty and upsetting, sure. But "hot" in a general sense? That's weird. I wonder if people are just going along with the book's rep and not thinking about it much.

Barney -- She's got a nice spirit, doesn't she? Nice to see someone so cheerful and caring about her work.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on June 1, 2006 11:06 AM

Lolita is a book about loathing and self-loathing, and sex as rape and victimization of the weak and helpless, as well as schizophrenia. Even its "smuttiness" is arch and self-mocking. I don't think it works as porn, or was meant to, and I think you would have to have a pretty low threshold to find it arousing. Lolita is the perfect example of a book that is all done by indirection, that does not mean what it says, and is not what its protagonist -- who tells you he is psycho and a liar and a rapist -- says it is. Taking Lolita straight as a narrative is the most elementary mistake to make with the book. But of course Nabakov/Humbert want to fool and seduce you, the reader, too.

I really need to read it again. It is a depraved book and irresponsible book, since it can be read as tolerating or celebrating the perpetration of atrocities. But simply as literary art it is a masterpiece in its own way.

Posted by: Lexington Green on June 1, 2006 12:11 PM

Fred Reed - Right on. I'm a romantic, no doubt, under the guise of being a pragmatist. Lots of the gals seem to lay claim to wanting all this fairytaile froufrou but only on the condition that they've got stable jobs, boyfriends, housing, etc.

Surprises - Maybe not good for their health, but certainly good for the health of everyone watching!

Photoshop and real life - A complete misnomer, Michael! This is not Photoshop, it's Maya, goddess of the illusionary world. Maya is fickle and will not take to being degraded as mere PhotoShop hackery.
(Maybe related?:

Mistress Matisse - I find it strange and disturbing that so many people are cashing in on this "Sex Trade" blogging phenomenon. I suppose it's due to two factors, one being that I find it depressing that there are so many popular blogs in the genre, and two being that anyone with a whit of internet savvy realizes a good 3/4 of them are most likely written by men.

Posted by: . on June 1, 2006 2:44 PM

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