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« Hot Buttons by the Dozen | Main | Dream Cars Like Jets »

June 15, 2007


Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

* One generation's nightmare becomes another generation's desirable address, I guess: Ilkka confesses that he has always wanted to live in the city portrayed in the movie "Blade Runner." I find huge glassy skyscrapers horrifying myself -- who would want to live or work in one, let alone walk around the base of one? But Ilkka finds the building boom that's happening in Dubai thrilling.

* The lesbian Hot List differs in some interesting ways from the typical het-male hot list.

* Here's a delicious Tory Atlas of the World. (Link thanks to Andrew Sullivan.)

* Phearless philosopher Lester Hunt considers the case of a new movie on the theme of sexual relations between humans and horses. Lester contributes my candidate for the Best Sentence of the Week: "The anus was his, not the stallion's."

* Laurie Churchman surveys the history of "boat graphics." (PDF alert. Link thanks to Michael Bierut.)

* Use this well-done interactive map to find out how many illegal immigrants live in your state. (Link thanks to GNXP.)

* If you can bear to revisit the event, this computer-graphic analysis of what happened when that jet hit the WTC tower makes the impact very vivid. (Link thanks to Charlton Griffin.)

* Is your favorite soft drink harming your DNA?

*Cowtown Pattie expresses a feeling many of us experience regularly these days: Damn! Why didn't I bring my digicam?

* Architect Philip Bess makes his bow at Right Reason. Nice line: "I think both individual liberty and communal belonging are great and essential human goods, and often in tension."

* Roissy's "Quick and Dirty Dating Guide to Foreign Girls" is certainly a fun, if very rude, read. It sounds like Estonian girls have a lot to recommend them. Roissy also links to a hilarious column by Fred Reed -- or did Shouting Thomas ghost that one for him?

* Shouting Thomas writes that he has learned from -- and taken heart from -- the work of men's movement guru Warren Farrell.

* 2B Rewind: Let Michael Blowhard introduce you to the underknown philosopher Stephen Toulmin.



posted by Michael at June 15, 2007


These days you're more likely to see a Russian oligarch than a Tory Lord living it up in Chelsea.

Posted by: omar on June 15, 2007 4:08 PM

I am curious, are any of the Top 10 Hottest Women as voted by AfterEllen actually lesbian? I am not talking about women who have played Lesbians or like to kiss other girls, I am talking Lesbian.

Not that they have to be, just curious.

Posted by: Ian Lewis on June 15, 2007 5:02 PM

The Fred Reed column on PO'd American women is hilarious? I'd call it harrowing. And mostly true.

Posted by: ricpic on June 15, 2007 6:47 PM

I was a bit surprised by two things about the AfterEllen list: that Jodie Foster and Drew Barrymore weren't asterisked as bisexual or lesbian; much more I liked the women on their list than the Maxim blandoids! I wonder if I may be a lesbian...

As for the Susan Reimer/man-hating/termagant type of woman, my impression is that that particular mentality seems to be associated with boomer and immediately post-boomer women (women who came of age in the seventies), and doesn't seem to be anywhere near as common among the young'uns Michael often writes about here. As far as I'm concerned, that whole generation of women is a lost cause, the first "feminist" generation, the ones who got to try out every useless warmed-over sixties radical cr*pola idea that fouled the air during that Dark Age. And having grown up with that mass of nonsense, it's too late for them to let it go. Now they're too old to be players in the courtship game, and there's no reason for men to listen to their whining any more.

Serves them right.

Posted by: PatrickH on June 15, 2007 8:26 PM

RE: Lesbian Hotlist
The list seems pretty much like a list men would come up with, except that a lot of the women on it are significantly older. I remember Dostoevsky remarking somewhere in Crime and Punishment, that youth was even more attractive than beauty, and, for heterosexual men, that may be true. Lesbians, however, don't seem to mind if their fantasy partners are a bit older.

RE: Guide to Foreign Girls
A lot Ukrainian girls, even the very pretty ones, seem to have a quite distinctive, stocky build. (I'm from Alberta, so I should know.) Not that that that is necessarily unattractive, but it may not be to all tastes. Also, as Roissy says, it can slip pretty easily into babushka territory. Not a lot of tall, slender body types like, say, in girls of German, Czech, or even Polish ancestry. Take a look at a popular Russian Brides website like, and you'll see what I mean.

Posted by: Thursday on June 15, 2007 8:51 PM

"A lot Ukrainian girls, even the very pretty ones, seem to have a quite distinctive, stocky build."

I don't agree with this statement, Ukranians women are like Russians, literally in the case of east ukraine, and a blend of east & west in the western parts. 'stocky' presumably means broad shouldered or fat, which they are not. I also believe 'babushkanism' affects german girls far more than east european ones, ever hear of the saurkraut?.

Of course any Russian brides website would suffer from severe selection bias, whatever way. Czech's are vastly overrated, most of whom have strong german admixture. Poles are underrated.

Posted by: cuchulkhan on June 15, 2007 9:18 PM

Those articles and this comment thread are absolutely vile. What the hell is wrong with all of you?

Posted by: BP on June 15, 2007 11:39 PM

If you go who???... she's on "The L-Word", a ridiculous stereotype-pimping "drama". But that I actually get; fantasy is significant for all of us. What I don't quite get is how the (serindipitously female) drag queens Jolie and Hayek get so high on the lesbian list. Yuck.

(Oh, yeah, maybe "Frida". It sucked, and she sucked, but I guess lesbians would eat it up.)

Tina Fey? Really? I like her comedy too, but really?

The age point is right, of course. Another important difference between the lists is that the lesbians reliably pretend to find substantial talent where it's clearly lacking. Men, at least when it comes to our magazines, are more honest about our superficial standards.

Posted by: J. Goard on June 16, 2007 2:07 AM

I've had a lot of contact with women from Eastern Europe. Tact prevents me from commenting on the sexual peccadilloes for each nationality, but I'll just say that differences between nationalities don't seem as notable as difference between individuals. I've met Americans who seem curiously conservative and intolerant; I've met Eastern Europes who are as free spirited as any. It's fun to talk about stereotypes, but it's probably unhelpful in the long run.

Yeah, that Fred Reed column is out there.

Posted by: Robert Nagle on June 16, 2007 5:19 AM

Thanks for the plug, Michael, although I don't know if I want to be thought of as just as cranky as Fred Reed. Much as I love his writing about American women...

I think that I can speak with some authority about the Eastern Europe type. My first serious girlfriend (so long ago) was a Ukranian Jew. Back in my youth, I thought that this was about as exotic as you could get. She was slender and gorgeous at age 19, but I could see from looking at her mother that we were headed toward babushka territory.

Men friends tell me to be very careful about getting involved with the mail order Russian and Ukranian women. Their reputation is that they feign the old fashioned values only long enough to get to the U.S., and that they then become the worst of feminist harridans.

No surprise here, but I'd recommend a southeast Asian or Pacific islander girl, if what you want is an old fashioned woman who will stand by her man, make a good living and put a good meal on the table. These girls will live up to what they promise and be very happy doing it. And the cheerful outlook on love and sexuality is just the cure for a man born to the gloom and doom of northern European culture.

BP, yes we're "vile" and very happy in our piggery.

Posted by: Shouting Thomas on June 16, 2007 9:24 AM

There's strong correlation between IQ and sexual adventurism when it comes to girls in my exp.

Posted by: omar on June 16, 2007 9:40 AM

"As for the Susan Reimer/man-hating/termagant type of woman, my impression is that that particular mentality seems to be associated with boomer and immediately post-boomer women (women who came of age in the seventies), and doesn't seem to be anywhere near as common among the young'uns"

Fellas, has it not occurred to any of you posting on this thread that perhaps women like this are an effect, as it were, rather than a cause?

If you like to play the love 'em and leave 'em game, as Roissy appears to do, you've got to expect to leave behind a few embittered women. (And I could say a thing or two here about embittered men, but I'll save it.) Has he ever wondered about how the women he handles in this fashion turn out as they get older?

Casual relationships are a recipe for bitterness in both sexes. In this respect they are actually worse than the one-night stand, where everyone knows what to expect. Feminism has nothing to do with it - except that a lot of women who have been through the mill become feminists as they get older. Yes, it's true that they often don't consider the implications of their own behaviour when they do this. But again, I'd say that's true for both sexes. I don't notice a lot of male self-criticism in Roissy's posts, or here...

Posted by: alias clio on June 16, 2007 10:20 AM

Thanks for the plug, phellas!

Posted by: Lester Hunt on June 16, 2007 11:12 AM

Tina Fey - definitely, and I'm a hetero guy. Hilarious, cute, produces great work, and obviously very sharp, what's not to like? As far as Jolie & Hayek go - these two have been fixtures on male-targeted Maxim-type lists forever.

So yeah, it appears that except for age, and maybe more allowance for quirkier actresses, not much different than what guys would come up with. Although despite the fact that they're in their forties, I wouldn't say no to Hayek, Michelle Pfeiffer, Halle Berry, Mariska Hargitay, etc. Most girls in their 20's will never look as good as these great beauties do in their 40s.

Posted by: Alan on June 16, 2007 12:14 PM

Check out this other post from Roissy's blog (he of the dating guide to foreign girls):

Read the whole list if you have the stomach for it, and see exactly what a dark place the casual / "game" / scoring mentality of relationships and women will lead you to.

Posted by: mq on June 16, 2007 3:19 PM

Shouting Thomas -- women who head out for the unknown as a mail order brides, be they from Russia, Ukraine, or elsewhere, make a self-selecting sample, no? I am an Eastern-European-born American, and I've dated or been friends with, Polish, Russian, Croatian, Lithuanian, etc etc women. I met my wife when she came to the States as an E.E. aupair. To me EE women are as unexotic as American women are, simply because I've lived among one or the other type my whole life.

My sense is that while harridians, gold digers, arrogants, psycho chicks, as well as sweethearts, lovelies, charmers, and romantics can be found in every nation, "the attitude" hasn't affected an average EE woman in the way that it has US or W. European women.

By the way, I've know three American guys who have married the sometimes overidealized Asian women. All three of them -- normal, nice successful american guys -- were f***ed by these gals, big time, and not in a good way. One of those cases involved a cruelty so bad that it would make a good movie. One of those women was Korean and two were Philippinas.

Posted by: PA on June 16, 2007 4:11 PM

Michael - OT, I just came across this article which reminded me of a discussion you had not long ago about French vs. American child-rearing cultures. (I must say that, having being raised in the "adults are adults and children are children" ethos, I have much more sympathy with the French than the indulgent Anglo-Saxon approach. Though I would no more kick a child than I would allow him to attend or interrupt an adult dinner party.)

Posted by: Moira Breen on June 16, 2007 4:15 PM

"- prostitutes and sluts undercut the only source of women’s power"

I didn't much like the tone of Roissy's comments in this post, which had a gloating note to me, but I can't deny the truth of many (not all) of them as social observation.

I was, however, especially annoyed by the one I cite here, above. It's both nasty and false. Most of the source of women's power in history has been married motherhood. Prostitutes and sluts could never, in Western society (and some others), "undercut" this, because their children by the men they seduced, or were seduced by, were not eligible to inherit.

That, incidentally, is the reason why 19th century feminists (Susan B. Anthony et al) were so hostile both to the practise of contraception (and abortion), and to the legalization of prostitution and relaxed divorce laws. These innovations, they argued, really would undercut the power of married women. I'm not sure they weren't right, up to a point. The relaxation of social prohibitions against divorce, which accelerated after WWII and which predated "no fault divorce," made jobs for women a practical necessity.

Posted by: alias clio on June 16, 2007 5:18 PM

About Burj Dubaj: a few weeks ago I went to the reception of presentation of it construction in the Skyscraper museum, by Turner (They manage construction).

The exhibition is still going on, and highly recommended to visit.

It's an incredible building, only SOM could pull it off, and unfortunately, only in crazy Dubaj. The construction guys amazed me.

Posted by: Tat on June 17, 2007 9:51 AM

Prostitutes and sluts undercut the only source of women’s power.

I'd only quibble with the "only." Each woman control sexual access to a female bodies, which men desperately want. This is a huge source of female power. When others are giving this access away for free or making fewer demands for it, this does seriously undermine female power over men. Frankly, I don't envy the sexual choices young women have to make today. Give in too soon and you may end up getting your heart broken, but don't give in soon enough and you may get passed over in favour of rivals granting "easier access". There are no hard and fast rules like in the old days, so you have to weigh all the different factors individually with each man. Doesn't sound like much fun to me.

BETTER: Prostitutes and sluts undercut a major source of women’s power.

Posted by: Thursday on June 17, 2007 12:55 PM

Yes, Thursday, I agree, but you make it clear that you speak of the present day. Roissy sounds as if he's uttering general maxims for all time.

Back when marriage had a greater social importance, and was more or less indissoluble for ordinary people, prostitutes and sluts didn't undercut the power of married women, for the reasons I cited in my earlier comment.

Posted by: alias clio on June 17, 2007 1:23 PM

Mail-order brides get much more attention in the blogosphere than they really deserve. Read enough blogs and you'll think that most people vote for the Libertarian Party, homeschool their children, and have no cultural interests other than sci-fi and fantasy. And marry MOB's.
In reality, of course, things are quite different; Losertarian Party candidates are lucky to get 2% of the vote in most elections, homeschooling is mainly restricted to religion freaks and associated weirdos, and sci-fi/fantasy is a relatively small niche market. And as best can be determined, MOB's account for something like one-third of one percent of all marriages.

Posted by: Peter on June 17, 2007 1:36 PM

Peter: "Read enough blogs and you'll think that most people vote for the Libertarian Party, homeschool their children, and have no cultural interests other than sci-fi and fantasy."

I've been laughing over this line since you posted it.

Posted by: Brian on June 17, 2007 11:54 PM

Prairie Mary wrote this comment but was unable to post it, so I'm putting it here ...

Toulmin came over the horizon for me just after for Winifred -- he came to U of Chicago about.. 1980? I was having a hard time at the Div School because I couldn't THINK the way they wanted me to. So I went on over to the Seminary Co-op Bookstore looking for some guidance and fell into the history of science alcove. Didn't ever want to come out. Read all the Toulmin books they had and that was enough help for me to pass courses -- very practical.

The Div School was death on phenomenology at that time because they
thought it emptied God and left only the husk of creation. My defense
against that was Suzanne Langer -- she was NOT "all the rage" where I
was, but I dearly loved her. "Feeling and Form" (along with Mimesis,
which Richard Stern put us onto) has been the foundation for much of my
thinking ever since. These principles certainly work for liturgy and
writing narrative.

But now the challenge is to integrate the GNXP sort of stuff: the
genetics and the ability to "see" the brain operate on both the
internal and external worlds. Where do I find "A Glorious Accident?"
I really need it! Gotta have it!

Toulmin said one of his key experiences as a child was lying in bed
with flu or something and realizing that his bedroom curtains looked
more red with one eye than they did with the other. If his two eyes
didn't agree, how could two people agree? When I say "red," do I mean
what you call "red"? I had the same puzzling experience but it
certainly didn't take me so far.

Prairie Mary

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on June 18, 2007 10:30 AM

Looking over Roissy's blog ... Though it's kind of entertaining, I feel like I'm waiting for a sales pitch. All of these self-professed "game" experts that've been cropping up lately remind me of self-help gurus and get-rich-quick real-estate hucksters -- I don't know exactly how this business model is supposed to work but I'm sure there's an angle.

Posted by: Cineris on June 18, 2007 4:50 PM

alias clio:
Has he ever wondered about how the women he handles in this fashion turn out as they get older?

all's fair in love and loneliness.

I feel like I'm waiting for a sales pitch.

i only sell myself to the girls.

Posted by: roissy on June 19, 2007 11:24 PM

I was a bit surprised by two things about the AfterEllen list: that Jodie Foster and Drew Barrymore weren't asterisked as bisexual or lesbian; much more I liked the women on their list than the Maxim blandoids! I wonder if I may be a lesbian...

Hmmm...I've noticed I have an unfortunate tendency myself to fall for women who then turn out to be playing for the other team. Maybe it's that combination of masculine and feminine attributes....

BTW, has anyone noticed a correlation between IQ and bisexuality?

Posted by: SFG on June 20, 2007 3:55 PM

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