2018/05/24

of things unknown (but longed for still)

I made a new layout! Sort of! I bought a background at CreativeMarket & stuck a rabbit on it in PS — but Blogger destroyed its children's-book majesty by reducing its resolution, and now it looks like a bunch of wavy blobs on a fuzzy dark blue background. Obviously Blogger is trying to make me give up my love affair with the elderly LJ-style old-timey c. 2008 layouts and choose one of the new ones. YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE TO TRY HARDER THAN THAT, BLOGGER.

Actually, no it isn't. I'll pick one of the new ones later. I tried them a few months ago & thought they were fine, but also felt they encouraged a surfeit of image posts. Maybe I can make something work for my hectic "once every eighteen months" posting schedule.

I was going to write about Jordan Peterson, last night. Does anybody need me to write about Jordan Peterson? Everybody's writing about Jordan Peterson. He's a brainless prick who makes millions of dollars every year off other, even more brainless pricks. Peterson hates transpeople. He seems suspiciously jealous of housewives. His primary contributions to the Principles of Western Thought are: 1.) women are best served by being receptacles for men's penises and feelings, and 2.) (white) men built the world and deserve to be the exclusive beneficiaries of its wealth & wonders. I think those are very odd concepts to carry into the marketplace: "Hey, gals, queers, and brown people, why not participate in your own oppression? Things would go so much more smoothly that way! Everyone would be so much happier! Especially straight white men, who of course are the only group that in congregation amount to "everybody.'" Then again, I don't make $100K a month in donations from butthurt social media trolls who yearn for the state of holy matrimony so they can have someone to officially oppress, so maybe no one should listen to me.

The thing that really bothers me about Jordan Peterson — aside from the fact that he lives at the top of the slipperiest slope in the Whole Universe, at the bottom of which lies Death — is that he doesn't seem to have any command of the material he's claimed authority over, and nobody cares. He's like the Dan Brown of mythography. He's much, much worse than Dan Brown, actually, who attempted to embody the sacred blood of the Living Lord in the person of a female cryptographer. That's not nothing. That's letting your little light shine, is what that is. I apologize to Dan Brown (although the attempt to use the female body as the unsullied seat of holiness is neither a feminist nor a novel practice; but I appreciate the effort). Peterson despises "postmodernism," and blames it for unlawfully shaking the monkeytree of white male privilege — but postmodernist deconstruction is the only lens through which his viciously absurd characterizations of world myth could actually work. "Superordinate" mythological artifacts, bro? Where the fuck did they come from?

Peterson thinks "chaos" is female, and that order & hierarchy are male. What the fuck does that even mean? When he refers to some property or group of properties as "chaos," does it mean "that abundance of formless biological constituents from which life emerges, in the womb and in the wild"? Or does he mean "feminists holding signs and shouting at me"? I think that distinction could be important. I also have a problem understanding how men can qualify as agents of order when Peterson also believes they have to be coaxed out of committing violence by having legal access to women's slimy untrustworthy vaginas at all times. Despite their innate competence and command of order, apparently, men are not fully in control of their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. They are, you might say, not as fully human as women, whose natural impulse is to tame our innate chaos and become silent supportive infant-fondling agreeable housewives. Now, I’m no professor, but even in its deformed native context that shit looks like it’s exactly ass-backwards.

It’s magical thinking of the most objectionably fanfictional order to suggest that any group of people embody chaos as a function of biology, of course, but if we’ve absolutely got to do it, the only choice for the job is men. Women’s bodies operate like clockwork. We are attuned to the moon and the tides. When we’re healthy, we work as well as a calendar — a decaying and artificial construct men devised to count the days we mark naturally with our bodies. Our wombs are advanced ecosystems that are so stable they can (and do) grow people. Men, on the other hand, are an ad hoc arrangement of hormones and impulses; there's no male birth control available because male bodies don't operate in regular, predictable cycles. Men are agents of violence and destruction. Men are incapable of avoiding physical harm even when they want to; their protuberant genitalia damage vaginas even during consensual sex. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Jordan Peterson.

I'm in my feelings, a little. I don't actually think men are innately chaotic, of course. I don't think women are sacred microcosms of the planet. I don't think men and women are even fundamentally (or practically) different, to be honest. I do think that if enough men insist on making women their enemies, we will have no choice but to destroy them. 😘

Here are some other people who have written about Jordan Peterson, professionally and humorously:
& here are a couple of Crooked Timber posts (one of which links to Beauchamp's Vox article, and maybe also to Bowles's piece in the NYT, I can't remember). Crooked Timber is great, actually. Lots of straight white men there. Probably hardly any of them are even rapists.


2018/03/17

sláinte


Does this terrible old-man joke ever get less funny? (No.)
The quality of the Shamrock Shake has fallen off considerably, lo these many years.
My aunt passed away early this morning.
The cat is still fine.

Pictured article.
Tomorrow, more.

2018/03/12

cats are nice

My cat is fine; she freaked the fuck out at the vet's office and had to be sedated, but her surgery went well and she got to come home later that afternoon (as promised). She lost 24 of her 30 teeth, and so far the only consequence is that her tongue sticks out when she's asleep. She still eats enough food for nine much larger cats, and bites me in the middle of the night with her three remaining canines so she can sleep in the mathematical center of my pillow. She only had the resorptive lesions, also. No sign of stomatitis, which sounds less scary but can potentially be a much bigger deal.

They sent my aunt home to die. Her cancer is inoperable. The oncologists tried to perform a surgery that would've allowed them to start chemotherapy, but the surgery failed and there were complications. When she woke up after the second surgery attempt she formally refused further treatment, and is now at home with her husband and grandkids and various shifts of hospice nurses. My aunt herself was a nurse for nearly 40 years, and she knows what time it is. It's a dismal and heart-breaking situation comprehensively, but she's an 83-year-old woman and OG feminist who spent her life doing more or less whatever she wanted. There are worse things than dying at the end of a performance like that, I suppose. She doesn't really remember who I am anymore, and I suspect that talking on the phone with a random weeping woman distresses her (& she always believed that female hysteria in any form was letting down the side, anyway). I'm not going to tax her with my grief anymore. I just hope she'll be allowed to pass away in her sleep, like a good soldier or a bad cowboy.

There's nothing to be done about it one way or the other (except cry, of course).
Thank you in advance for the kind words I'm sure you'd say to me if I'd turned the comments on, but I'm still short a computer and wouldn't be able to respond to you until the weekend.

My aunt would wish me neither to be idle nor to despair in the moment or aftermath of her timely demise, so once I get my digital shit together I'll go back to complaining about books and you can go back to indulgently pretending you care.

Until then, then.

2018/03/04

i thank whatever gods may be

So, as is typical —
  • The prelude: On Wednesday afternoon, my iMac finally ran down the curtain and joined the choir invisible. I would say, It caught on fire!, but that would be melodramatic of me. What actually happened was that it got so hot that steam came out its vents, and it made sizzling noises and then wouldn't turn on anymore. I knew it was on its way out, so I did buy a new computer (this one + a surprisingly half-decent budget UHD monitor that I'll replace with something fancy at a later date, see below) — but it'll be a few days before it's technically usable for anything (I'm installing Linux, shifting files, etc). Right now I'm on my mom's newer iMac. Thanks, Mom.
  • Act One: On Thursday I found out that my aunt, who is the last remaining member of my extended biological white family who isn't overtly villainous, is dying of pancreatic cancer. She will likely pass in the next few months. Reportedly, she finds this outcome preferable to dying slowly of Alzheimer's, which is what was happening before.
  • Act Two: On Friday morning, I discovered that my cat has stomatitis and/or resorptive lesions in her teeth, and has likely been suffering discomfort/outright pain for months or years as a result. She will have to have some or all of her teeth pulled; she gets a full assessment, as well as the dental surgery, this Wednesday. They've told me I get to bring her home later the same day, and that feline dentistry has become a much-practiced art here in the year of our lord 2018.
  • Epilogue: This doesn't really rank up there with the other stuff, but — my Netflix account got hacked by some enterprising Colombian people on Friday, too. In one actual 24-hour day, they'd upgraded my payment package and installed profiles for like nine people. Netflix helped me get the account back in just a couple of minutes, but shit. Did they think I wouldn't notice? I watch Netflix ten hours a day on the weekend. What a bunch of idiots.
Posting will be even lighter than usual, for the next couple of weeks. For reasons.

ETA: I got my new computer working! Using Windows 10. Which is horrible and pushy and ugly. It isn't as awful as I remember it being back in my office-lady days, though. Also I'm worried that my monitor is a little too nice, because everything is so fucking tiny & sharp. And hot.

2018/02/01

call when you want, but there's no one home (moron redux)

Aaaaand... did you see this incredibly dumb thing Dave Chappelle said a couple of days ago?

Jesus Christ, what a dumbass. How, exactly, does Dave Chappelle know the precise length of time Abby Schachner stayed on the phone with the large orange pervert? Was it a conference call? Is he judging her by the length of time he stays on the phone with unprosecuted masturbating sex-offenders? Perhaps, during the incident, Schachner thought the big orange comedian — with whom she believed she might be working, like, professionally — had just gotten into the house after a nice long normal relaxing workout, and hung up as soon as she discerned the tell-tale fapping noise of fingers on foreskin amidst all the gasping and wheezing? And how, in any case, is this a question of personal responsibility on the part of the victim? Who the fuck is this idiot, Paul Ryan? How does Dave Chappelle manage, with such resolution, to avoid drawing a line between "a woman, as an eternally-potential victim of sexual assault, has a responsibility to mitigate her exposure to predators" and "a black American, as an historically-persecuted minority, has a responsibility to mitigate their resemblance to the sort of person a police officer might feel compelled to murder"? I feel as though it might be just a simple failure of empathy: "racist law enforcement officials" is an oppressive group to which Dave Chappelle decisively does not belong, but "diseased male assholes who regard women as fuckholes with whom they are perpetually at war" is a label that might fit a little more comfortably.

Women are criticized for believing that all men are potential rapists, and then also criticized for not accepting the hard, obvious fact that all men are potential rapists. We're evil, hysterical basilisks until the exact moment we are required to become innately defenseless weaklings so their alibis will stand up in court. Get fucked, Dave Chappelle.

P.S. — I wonder if Chappelle has ever met Andrew Sullivan? Sully has some very interesting made-up ideas about hormones that he might find very compelling.

P.P.S — I don't expect comedians to be inoffensive, of course. Nor to I expect comedians, or indeed humans of any variety, to agree with all my political positions. I do expect adults of all professions to be able to prosecute a complete thought, though. I also generally prefer that a professional comedian at least make visible efforts in the direction of regurgitating actual jokes when on stage. If I wanted to be pointlessly offended, I would patronize an "offendian."