Tuesday, May 22, 2007


I just related Dream 3 to one of my workmates over the coffee bar, and she said "Oh, yeah, I forgot to tell you, your mother did ring and ask us that. We told her she was right."

I'm going home.

Mr Sandman: Not As Benign As You Think

Today you, probably, would be presented with necessity to look at a situation in other way. Most likely, it wouldn't be pleasant for you.

Yeah, that's about right.

After a series of anxiety dreams Sunday night, most of which involved Variations on a Theme of Getting Fired, I was hoping for a more psychologically peaceful sleep last night.

No such luck.

The night kicked off with a dream involving public nudity and humiliation (both mine), from which I was awakened by one of my cats, who required that I get out of my nice warm bed and pad downstairs in near-zero temperatures to let it out.

After drifting back off to sleep, I was told by my boss in no uncertain terms that the upcoming Team Bonding Day would cost $500 per person, and was compulsory. 'We've kept the cost down so that no-one had an excuse not to go', he explained.

Moving on, I chatted to my mother for a while about needing a formal dress for the mid-year ball, and remarked that she didn't seem very interested in helping me choose one.

'Sorry, darling', she said, 'but I don't think it'll make much difference. I just don't think you're very pretty.' Naturally, I was hurt, and said as much.

'Well, I don't know what your problem is', she said, 'it's not an insult. I mean, you're clean and presentable and everything. You're just not that attractive. I asked some of your friends if they thought so, and they all agreed with me'.

Somehow, it being a dream and all, the character of my mother morphed into my husband, and I spent the last few minutes of the dream stomping around all 'Fine, then, if you don't want to be seen with me, if I'm not pretty enough, I'll just walk over here on my own'. And, people, I woke up absolutely furious with the poor man. Like, not wanting to look him in the eye or speak to him furious.

Naturally, I sobered up (which is what waking up after a hard night's sleep feels like to me, is that a bad sign?) and realised I couldn't possibly hold a grudge against him for something that happened in a dream.

My mother, on the other hand, better stay away from me for a while.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

At least I didn't imply that all he needed was a good fisking.

About ten years ago, I dropped acid with a very close friend, and we went out to our local Goth club for the evening. An evening I still remember as being, possibly, the most amusing acid trip I've ever experienced.

It wasn't particularly visual: I never really got much in the way of exciting visual hallucinations. It was more that every single person there that we talked to seemed to be parodying their own personalities, so exquisitely themselves they seemed. Everything Natasha said was so Natasha, every gesture of Lou's was quintessential Lou, the way that Pat left halfway through a conversation was, well, you know how Pat is.

I imagine that the people we observed that night wouldn't see it that way. And that, in defending themselves - no, you can't see straight through me, I'm more complex than that, stop reducing me to a caricature - we would have merely felt our point was proved. The more they defended themselves against the charge of being themselves, the more perfectly they played their parts.

Like this.

Ace, for those of you who haven't had the dubious pleasure of encountering him, is this guy who…

Well, let's go through the article. I can't think of a simpler way to describe him.

He links to a woman who, at first glance, seems to be trying the classic trick of playing the anti-feminist card - presumably she labours under the belief that by proving her own hatred of women, men will like her despite her being, you know, a woman. Which works for Ace, at least to the extent that he can point to her as a Real Woman and contrast her with the Straw Feminist, who is wearing the mask of his current obsession, Amanda Marcotte.

Unlike Ms. Marcotte, this woman has actual, empirical, real-world experience in the bedroom. She speaks about more than airy, untested theory.

Ace knows this, of course, because since he himself wouldn't bed* the terrifying Ms Marcotte, it must follow that neither would any other man, and that therefore she must be unbedded. Ms Forksplit, by comparison, a charming name if ever I read one, seems to be saying what Ace wants to hear, and therefore she must be, like, getting laid all the time.

She does allow that she likes to know a man has some feminist training, though, so she knows that when he's calling her a dirty filthy whore who needs to be punished he's really doing a dirty-talk fantasy thing, not really, you know, expressing his genuine belief that she's a dirty filth whore who needs to be punished.

But apart from Mysterious Drifters usually played by Don Johnson or Mickey Rourke who come into a small town during the swelter of the summer in order to rob banks, shake up the quiet rhythms of small-town life, and (ambiguously) rape women, how many real dudes actually think of women this way?

Well, none, obviously. I mean, the very idea of it. Men, thinking that women need to be punished via ("ambiguous") rape? Heavens forfend!

Except the AutoAdmit boys, who consider that rape threats (including posting identifying information including home addresses) against high ranking female law students are protected speech, and/or just a joke. Except the assholes who sent Kathy Sierra into hiding by posting rape threats. And the assholes who caused Melissa McEwan to quit her job with John Edwards by coming to her house at night and threatening her. And the men who stoned a teenage girl ** to death in front of a crowd betraying sexual excitement. And the men who think it's okay to threaten rape against politically unpopular right-wing women in order to punish them for their policies.

All of those cases, all of them, are examples of women stepping outside the boundaries set for them by men. And how do men choose to punish them?

And don't think it's escaped my attention that the men he chooses as examples of this oh-so-evil attitude are the 'Mysterious Drifters' idolised by teenage boys everywhere. The hell?

Masterfully ignoring what Ms Forksplit is actually saying, which is that dirty talk is hotter from a guy who is half reluctant to do it, from whose tongue the words are transgressive rather than a statement of his real beliefs, who gets the same illicit thrill from whispering filth as his partner, Ace goes on to miss the point some more.

Can any guys (or lesbians) conjure anything more depressing that having sex with a wholesale subscriber to strong-form feminist theory like Amanda Marcotte? Is anyone else's idea of dirty-talk Baby, I am going to empower you all night long... ?

I could half forgive Ace for his puerile misogyny if he was actually funny. But come on. For a start, this paragraph smells more like sour grapes then a pub at chucking out time. Secondly, he missed a classic chance to make a 'hot, sticky, white Holy Spirit' joke.

And thirdly, Ace himself has provided the answer.

What's more miserable than sleeping with a feminist man? Sleeping with a guy who considers female genitalia to be the equivalent of bacon and playdoh.

And then there's his closing line. His punchline, the joke to which the entire post has been building up:

Really, politics has no place in light conversation and/or light bondage and discipline.

Dude, if that's the best your tongue and your hands can come up with, no wonder you don't get laid. Seriously.

*Although I strongly suspect that his bedroom walls are covered in photos of her, such is the breath and depth of his little obsession.

**The link is to a post at which the YouTube video is linked. I'm not linking to the video itself, because it makes me cry.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Neglecting One's Blog: Thankfully Still Only Sin #548

I would make a terrible nun. On a quick reckoning-up, I think I commit all seven deadly sins on a daily, or near-daily basis. Every now and then I get a wave of latent guilt (although, having been brought up about as atheist as they come, I've got nothin' on the lapsed-Catholic husband in this respect) and vow to myself that I'll do something about it. Donate money to the homeless instead of Jigsaw, eschew avocadoes (only a green vegetable in the most technical sense) in favour of celery, pretend to care more about a man's politics than his pectorals. You know the drill.

The thing about that, though, is that I have pretty much zero willpower. I mean, it's fortunate for everyone that I prefer reading books and gardening to snorting cocaine and molesting small children, because if it were the other way round I'd be hanging round playgrounds with a pocket full of hard candy and a face full of nose candy. What can I tell you, I'm just not good at self-deprivation.

And this, of course, is why every now and then I say something like 'I'm going on a diet' and then it's never referenced again. Basically what that translates to is 'I'm going on a diet, just as long as there aren't any avocados in the house, or slabs of gooey Brie, or very large glasses of Chardonnay…oh, fuck it, what are the odds of that, pass the bottle'.

So yesterday I confronted a problem. I have a formal ball to go to in just over a month, one at which the majority of female attendees will be younger, slimmer and better dressed than I. Not to mention richer, but don't get me started on that. This, after all, is a work environment in which if one's shoes (and by shoes, I mean heels, because we are young sexy lawyers, you know) do not tone with one's designer shirt, one is letting the side down.

And then there's me, who considers the jacket with only one button missing as "the good jacket", who has been known to wear a pair of trousers with the ankle hem down for two days before getting it fixed, and who considers one haircut every four months as "frequent grooming". I ain't gonna to be the belle of the ball, is what I'm saying here.

However, resigning myself to a lack of lustful eyes is one thing. Standing out as the frump of the evening is quite another. And so, yet again, I am announcing my intentions to go on a diet.

Obviously, you're about to point out, this hasn't worked so well in the past. And this is true. But this time, I have come up with a plan so cunning that one might be justified in naming it A Cunning Plan.

Overcome Gluttony by using the other Sins to my advantage.

So I've already made a start. I've enlisted the help of a friend at work to compare eating and exercising notes with, since such an arrangement is likely to enable my random competitive streak (Pride). I'm perusing glossy magazines full of sylphs in expensive gowns (Envy, obviously). I'm promising myself rewards in the form of clothes if I succeed (Greed, which I always think is interestingly differentiated from Gluttony). As for Lust, well, sex is exercise, right?

I still have to overcome Sloth, of course, and I'm not entirely sure how Wrath plays into it. But I'll keep you posted.