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« Technology and the Men's Dress Shoe | Main | Copycat Car Styling »

October 27, 2007


Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

I've been sick the last few days, but a mere bleary head can't keep me from passing along a few websurfing finds.

* Who knew?

* Yuck, and double-yuck. I just had my own flu shot -- and, as usual, promptly came down with a flu.

* All those visits to the lap dancing club? They were done for the sake of science.

* Cineris enjoyed the horror flick "Cube," and thinks that many horror buffs might find it a nice, even somewhat cerebral, alternative to current torture porn.

* What you enjoy eating may well be influenced by your genes.

* Attack of the Teenage-Girl Clothes Bullies.

* Roissy is nothing if not direct. He also offers an analysis of what a woman's job should tell you about her that sounds pretty accurate to me.

* "I am not driving that car, Dad! It's the wrong color!" Spoiled-brat-ism reaches a new high.

* Excellent (and funny) dating and courting advice found on Craigslist: here and here. (Link thanks to the wonderfully NSFW Viviane.)

* Prairie Mary approves of Robert Duvall's acting in the TV Western miniseries "Broken Trail."

* MBlowhard Rewind: I raved about Duvall in "Open Range" here.

Sniffling and sneezing,


posted by Michael at October 27, 2007


Your spoiled-bratism link has got to be fake. Viral video at its best.

Posted by: James on October 27, 2007 10:37 PM

James - If so, nicely done, eh? The kid handling the camera and repeatedly insisting that he's turned it off is especially good. What a weird new world. Have you seen anything about the vid definitely saying that it's a fake?

Er, awkward to say, but a little while back I was correcting a goof in this posting and accidentally deleted a comment from someone. No idea who, as I hadn't read it yet. Apologies to whoever for the rudeness. Please don't take it personally.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on October 27, 2007 11:38 PM

Yeah, that spoiled brat video is fake. You can tell by the way the girl pauses and hesitates -- it's not genuine. Here is something real, though, from an MTV reality show on tacky nouveau riche Sweet Sixteens:

This is just another example of what English professors assure us is our Puritanical, overly buttoned-up culture.

Posted by: agnostic on October 28, 2007 1:53 AM

It was probably me whose comment got deleted, since I posted one and I don't see it here.

In anycase, I just brought up the possibility that, pace Roissy, sensitive guys might on the whole just be less interested in scoring than the neanderthals. Personally, I find the idea of seeking out an intentionally short-term relationship with a woman kind of bizarre, but I've always known I was weird.

Posted by: includedmiddle on October 28, 2007 2:30 PM


Reality television shows are so coached, I'd expect most of the reactions on anything seen on them have been prepped in advance, particularly MTV ones where the focus is on social roles instead of competition. Even the vaunted "Real World" has been slammed by former cast members and crew for this starting back in the late 90s.

Posted by: Spike Gomes on October 28, 2007 3:37 PM

A longer version of the lap dancing article is here.

What jumped out at me is that fact that men are more aroused by fertile women, and less aroused by "impregnable" women, i.e. when the women are on the Pill.

Assuming this is true, it is potentially a major factor in much of modern life. How much impact did this have on the rise of divorce rates at the same time the Pill was becoming commonly used -- two phenomena that occurred at the same time?

Posted by: Lexington Green on October 28, 2007 5:23 PM

That video was laugh-out-loud funny, even if -- no, especially if -- a hoax. "We can get it repainted!" *Snicker*

Posted by: Lester Hunt on October 28, 2007 5:25 PM

From that guide to decoding women's personals ads:

New-Age.........................Body hair in the wrong places.

Well heck, that's FAR better than no body hair where there should be some.

Posted by: Peter on October 28, 2007 6:04 PM

Lex, your question only makes sense assuming it was men who divorced those supposedly unattractive women on a Pill. I look at that differently: could it be that once women realised they have a chance to not be held hostage to their fertility, could in fact decide whether they want to have a child with this particular man, the control in marriage slipped from men's hands. Maybe it's the women who decided to get free?

Posted by: Tat on October 28, 2007 7:14 PM

"... once women realised they have a chance to not be held hostage to their fertility..."

What a dreadful thing! To be "held hostage" over producing babies! With their husbands!

Women are women because they can have babies.

I think that what we have really discovered in the past 50 years (see the spoiled brat discussion) is that too many women thought they had something better to do than have babies. In fact, they didn't. We know that now, because we have seen what wicked and lunatic things they will do if given enough free time... like form women's studies departments.

Tat, you've come up with a mind bending concept. Perhaps bees should be liberated from their dreadful enslavement to producing honey.

I know that I'm in the minority, but the aesthetic ugliness of the liberated woman makes me choke. Ugh... freed from having babies with her husband. What a demented, ugly idea!

Roissy does a great job of detailing the misery that this war against having babies and pleasing one's husband has caused. The war between women and men has always existed, but it's been cranked up quite a few notches. You've got to love Roissy's ability to describe the predator in search of prey battle that the baby-less world of the hip has produced.

I am so fortunate to have met (and married) a woman who was completely above and beyond this madness. When a woman marries, it is her duty to please her husband and have babies. Well... at least in a sane world. She should accept and perform this duty with gratitude.

And, no, Tat... this does not diminish a woman. You might study Phyllis Schafly, one of the most prolific writers and political figures of our time... who did her duty to her husband and children. She did so with pleasure.

This rebellion against God and nature... what can I say... it's evil.

Posted by: Shouting Thomas on October 28, 2007 8:28 PM

Round one to Shouting Thomas.

Posted by: Charlton Griffin on October 28, 2007 8:46 PM

I know that I'm in the minority

I don't think you are, ST.
I'm in agreement with you.

Posted by: PA on October 29, 2007 7:39 AM

Lex's theory might not convince Tat that the Pill might be contributing to divorce rates. But it seems potentially to offer an insight into modern male commitment phobia. Reluctance to commit means ultimately reluctance to engage in the merging of two lives which culminates (traditionally) in marriage and children. Take the children out of the picture, then why start the process of committment rolling in the first place? After all, sex and romance are biological tricks to get us to reproduce, aren't they? Refuse reproduction as a possibility, and watch sex and romance wither and die. At least among the fellows.

Posted by: PatrickH on October 29, 2007 10:21 AM

Withering Hots by Charlittle Broody

Posted by: ricpic on October 29, 2007 10:52 AM

May I ask you, fellows, to do me a huge favor and read what I actually wrote - instead of ascribing to me all the sins of hateful [to you] feminist movement?

Let me clarify, if that's not obvious: I'm all for marriage. I'm all for having children. I have one (unfortunately, only one - for no fault of my own) myself. And I'm also for an equal, fair playing field.

Before the arrival of Pill and other means of woman's contraception it was in the hands, so to speak, of men. (I anticipate Freidrich's favorite argument of interrupted act). Women were, and remain in certain religious families, at the mercy of their men where planning of children is concerned. Two spouses are having sex; one experience no consequences, the other has to expect to become pregnant every time it happens, with all that implies: change in her own health, change in lifestyle, change in family budget, change in her career plans - not counting possible health risks for the baby itself, if the woman gives birth, say, every 10 months. Also, do you know how many women stay in abusive marriage because they know they wouldn't be able to afford to raise their -existent - children on their own? Women are usually the responsible ones, the practical ones, besides being the ones with protective instinct; they take black-and-blues and worse so their children won't suffer. But when she's been given a tool to participate in planning of her family -she might have decided not to have children with this particular man in the first place and leave him - I think it's a better way, more humane one, more caring one for the unborn children.

I have been reading a blog of a religious orthodox woman in her early 30's, a mother of 6 (six) daughters. She adores them. Her life rotates around them. She's a model mother. And still, she wonders - what her life would be, what books (other than "coloring") she'd read, what profession she'd be able to shine in, what venue for her creativity she'd find - and how much more she'd be able to give her children, including material things, if she was not bound by religious tenets and hpermitted to control her own fertility, as other women.

Posted by: Tatyana on October 29, 2007 11:21 AM

Oh, and PatrickH, I have no problem with the statement "Pill might be contributing to divorce rates".
It's why is where I differ with Lex. His theory is that women on a pill become unattractive sexually -to their husbands and men divorce their wifes for that reason. [Btw, an interesting statment from a Catholic person - aren't spouses supposed to stay in marriage regardless of libido, lack of physical attraction, sickness, etc?]
Mine - that it might be that it is women who initiate divorced once the female contraception became available. See above.

Posted by: Tatyana on October 29, 2007 12:02 PM


I'm so tired of this litany of lies about men.

My father was a wonderful husband and father. In my little, unenlightened home town of 5,000 souls in Illinois in the mid 1950s, men were so consumed with the lives of their children that they fought over who managed the Little League team and presided over the band boosters. Fathers were more likely to be a pain in the ass with their nepotism than to be absent.

Within my family, and every other family I know, women were as likely to engage in physical and sexual abuse as men. This is the truth in the world at large as well. My closest friend was victimized by a incestuous relationship with his mother. He is gay. Have you ever noticed how many gay men have a near incestuous relationship with their mothers? In fact, we now know that lesbian relationships are among the most sexually and physically abusive.

The most successful family from my hometown is a Catholic family with 15 children. They own one of the largest corn and soybean farms in Illinois. Every one of their children graduated from college, most with professional degrees.

In Woodstock, it is far more common for women to abandon their children than for men.

This litany of lies against men has gotten very old. I'm tired of hearing it. In my experience, I've found men to be overwhelmingly honorable and dutiful.

We all wonder what our lives would be like if we had chosen some other path. It is the nature of life that when we choose one path, another path is closed to us. How is this any different for women than for men?

You are Russian, Tatyana. In my experience, Russian culture features the most bitter, angry division between men and women of any nationality, race or culture... even worse than the terrible relationship between black men and women. My reading of Russian literature tells me that it was pretty bad before the revolution. The revolution hyped up the battle exponentially.

Russia is one of the few places in the world where abortions exceed live births, where population is declining and average life span is decreasing. All the result of Marxism. Feminism is an insane derivative of Marxism. It is one of the wonders of my life that the defeat and fall of the Soviet Union did not bring about the collapse of cultural Marxism in the U.S. In fact, the idiot Marxists seem to have only intensified their dominance in academia and the arts (and even in many Protestant religions).

Posted by: Shouting Thomas on October 29, 2007 12:16 PM

It is one of the wonders of my life that the defeat and fall of the Soviet Union did not bring about the collapse of cultural Marxism in the U.S. In fact, the idiot Marxists seem to have only intensified their dominance

Indeed. This is a whole different topic here, but I picture Leftism as an undead creature that you can't kill with ordinary means.

Mencius (linked on 2BH) may be too quirky for some, but he writes interesting things about Leftism being a non-theistic branch of Christianity and the world's dominant religion.

Posted by: PA on October 29, 2007 12:34 PM

Women are women because they can have babies.

Actually no, as infertile women or post-menopausal women are still actually women, and not in fact, worthless.

freed from having babies with her husband. What a demented, ugly idea!

Stop being hysterical - most wives do not want to be perpetually pregnant. That they are grateful to the Pill, which will permit them to control when they get pregnant and how many children they have is not a bad thing. Nor is the fact that women value doing other things with their lives in addition to having kids. Unless you & your wife are the proud parents of 8+ kids I assume you agree.

Posted by: GT on October 29, 2007 2:01 PM

"...was men who divorced those supposedly unattractive women on a Pill..."

No, actually, I don't have to assume what you said.

What I had to assume was that some of the ardor went out of the physical relationship, possibly on both sides, if the Economist article is right. In that case a big part of what holds marriages together would be weakened at the same time we have a spike in divorces.

If you want to imagine everything is some kind of anti-woman rant, feel free. Just don't put words in my mouth.

Posted by: Lex on October 29, 2007 5:28 PM

Lex: Assuming this is true, it is potentially a major factor in much of modern life. How much impact did this have on the rise of divorce rates at the same time the Pill was becoming commonly used -- two phenomena that occurred at the same time?

Well, there were a lot of phenomena phenomenizing then, but I thought the lap dancer thang was really interesting. It (and your following comment) struck me as illustrations of what I think reasonably alert and mature people tend to figure out about sex somewhere along the line - that you can't "fix" it and make it all fluffy fun, no fuss, no muss, and trouble-free, but still just as sexy. (Unless one has a particularly banal emotional make-up. In which case I guess it can work out OK.) Such is life on Planet Earth. Ditching the contraceptives wouldn't make it all peachy again, either, since it never was. (That and following statements are not directed at anything in particular you've said, Lex. Jus' throwing out some thoughts.) I find a lot of anti-contraceptive ideology as creepily utopian and fluffy-bunny as the tracts of the most glassy-eyed propagandists of Sexual Revolution. Earth ain't Eden.

Posted by: Moira Breen on October 29, 2007 7:57 PM

Round 2 to Shouting Thomas.

Posted by: Charlton Griffin on October 29, 2007 8:06 PM

"Btw, an interesting statment from a Catholic person - aren't spouses supposed to stay in marriage regardless of libido, lack of physical attraction, sickness, etc?"

As a "Catholic person" I am acutely aware that original sin is a universal phenomenon -- which means that much of the time what people ought to do, or profess to believe they should do, and what they actually do, are not the same thing. I am also acutely aware that my religion makes great demands on people in terms of sexual morality, marital fidelity, and other things. In our country, where practicing a religion is voluntary, people accept these demands, or try to live up to them, because they want to do so, however imperfectly they may be able to live up to the demands of their faith.

Those considerations are neither here nor there on a question of factual observation about some biological phenomenon and its social and cultural consequences.

The many interesting questions raised by the Economist article are empirical. The article suggests there is some factor about women in oestrus which makes them measurably more sexually appealing to men, despite the absence of obvious manifestations of fertility, and if this factor is not present in women who are using the Pill. If this is true, and one study does not confirm that it is, then there are many facts which have yet to be determined which will help us to understand the mechanism and the consequences of this phenomenon.

Posted by: Lexington Green on October 29, 2007 10:44 PM

OK, I've read the Economist article you linked to again. I can't find any evidence in it to support this: What I had to assume was that some of the ardor went out of the physical relationship, [of the divorcing spouses -TE] possibly on both sides, if the Economist article is right.
Let me get it straight: lap dancers who had been menstruating received fewer tips than those who were in their fertile period. So, the researcher concluded that the first group were not giving out some sort of "come hither" signals and thus was earning less:
The average earnings per shift of women who were ovulating was $335. During menstruation (when they were infertile) that dropped to $185—about what women on the Pill made throughout the month.
This is what passes for science? Ask any woman over 16, your wife or daughter - how does she feel, physically feel during her menstruation and would she be inclined to kick her legs with the same "ardor" as a week before, cramps and all? Let me get you on a little secret: menstruation hurts. Some women pass it w/o any difficulty, some - only able to drag their feet on painkillers, and for majority it's, let's say - unpleasant.

The guy's conclusions just don't follow from his data, Lex. Yours, extrapolating lap dancers' attraction or lack of it into relations within marriage, and further, pointing it as a reason for divorces - follows even less. Maybe physical attraction is a "big part" of what holds your marriage together, but somehow I doubt very much women in general would agree with this statement on their side.

Thanks for your permission to take your comments as an anti-woman rant. It is. And I'd appreciate if you reserve your patronizing tone for someone else.

Posted by: Tat on October 29, 2007 10:59 PM

I'd have to read the guy's paper before I decided whether it had any merit. Also, if this guy has identified something real, it may or may not be significant to have consequences. I don't have a theory, I read an article and I had a question. In five years maybe we will know more about this, or you may be right and its nothing. I have no emotional stake in the outcome.

Let me get you in on a little secret, I have a mother, a sister, a wife, three daughters and numerous female friends and acquaintances. The mysteries of womanhood are deep and dark, but you are not shedding any additional light into hitherto unknown quarters. So, reserve your patronizing tone for someone else.

Posted by: Lex on October 29, 2007 11:59 PM

I think of myself as a progressive, feminist friendly, male. I've been married to the same woman for more than 35 years and have a daughter 25. They are both independent individuals and I do not expect them to be otherwise.

The Economist article is interesting and I suspect it is valid, to a point. It seems logical to presume that when a woman is fertile pheromones or other subtle signs attract more sexual interest in males. That said, I'll side with Tatyana in her critique of the overblown suppositions about the cause and effect of the Pill and divorce rates. The complexity of the time period (as Moira noted: "Well, there were a lot of phenomena phenomenizing then ...") alone would make any notion of a single or even primary causal agent for the divorce rate suspect at best.

Tatyana and I have sparred more than once on a number of topics. Her tone is, in my opinion, often a bit harsh. That said, as I read the comments here, filled with testosterone laden posturing and nostalgia for the days when men were MEN and women shut the f*#* up and got f*#*ed, I'd say she's being both cogent and reasonably polite. When the dominant tone is extolling the virtues of male dominance it is ... virtually by definition ... PATRONizing.

Now, perhaps if someone accused her of being MATRONizing ....

Posted by: Chris White on October 30, 2007 2:48 PM

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