"The rarest of all commodities in this world is love." -- South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford to Maria, June 10, 2008

"The rarest of all commodities in the world … is independence" -South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford to The American Conservative, March 9, 2009

Jun 23

Your Favorite Go-To Spot For All Things Myanmar Is Back

Megan relauched Crappy Hour even thought it is kind of a hassle simply because it is less depressing than writing a fucking linkdump every morning and I was like, oh sure, I will lend my free labor as long it never gets more than four thousand pageviews and fucks with the “NEITHER BANAL *OR* FORMULIAC ENOUGH AND LEARN TO PUNCUTATE YOUR RUN ON SENTENCES MOE KTHANKSBAI” element of the commenter population who are your bosses when you work for Nick Denton and yeah so mission accomplished.

oh also: I can’t load it except on Safari so if you really care try a different browser, or actually just get off the internet and enjoy nature like Mark Sanford.

Jun 16

Crap Email from A Dude, continued. (April and Todd)

April emailed us to give a little more background, claiming that there weren’t “that many more lulz to be had from the story” of Todd, who came in his pants twice—but see what you think.

  • After double-cumming his pants, Todd went right to sleep in the wet jeans (Which, one assumes, could give you all kinds of unpleasant, STD-like problems.)
  • He had brought a condom with him, which Todd proudly told her (beforehand) that he had purchased especially for the occasion.
  • He called April the next day to let her know that he was “allergic to her”—she would need to change her perfume and soap “if they were to date seriously.”
  • April explained her story to the nurse who would test her for STDs, delaying the test by several minutes while the nurse tried to control her laughter. Todd called during the appointment and was put on the phone with the nurse: She asked if he had engaged in unprotected fellatio recently: the likeliest way to contract gonorrhea in the throat (it is possible!)
  • Receiving no response, Todd followed up with April about the Crap Email to ask why she hadn’t written back. She kindly then provided a detailed explanation.
  • Todd is 25 years old.

Jezebel commenters have raised some questions that we are unable to answer, and we would welcome your answers:

  • Why does ANYONE bother dating … it seems to frequently end like this. (PilgrimSoul)
  • What the hell does he mean by ‘creating good DNA matches’ [one of Todd’s three defined goals of sex]? (Xenophobe)
  • I like that he wrote this “for a friend” – who exactly solicited this piece of writing? (ULTRAPRISON!)

… And exposed the limits of Todd’s overextended chocolate = sex without intimacy argument:

  • When we’re in the drugstore and I ask BF if he wants candy and he says no I’m like, ok but don’t ask for some of mine later.  (bluebears)
  • Personally, I would not “work all day” for a piece of chocolate. (Penny_Esq)
  • There is a bigger issue looming: he is on track to become a lawyer? Like, an actual lawyer whose competence may determine the fate of a client? His argument is rife with fallacies: chocolate causes nausea, we only have sex to create genetic bonds, etc. If those assertions were in any way true, I’d be puking up this bag of M&Ms and homosexuality would be a myth. (audreyheartburn)

Jun 15

"As a man, I can tell you that sometimes when we want a woman to do something, we produce our best relationship-oriented products and present them to her as if they represented our current feelings toward her. But what they actually represent is how we think we might feel once we get what we want from her. Once we get what we want from her, we might feel like a slow dance, like a diamond, like a rare filet mignon. But in the beginning it’s not poetry; it’s sales."

this metaphor might make more sense if we had all the money, and you got a 10% commission, and the rest went to various counterparties of AIG

On “Self-Control” Etc.

So today’s Multiple Premature Orgasm dude is a piece of work. In the original email he bolded the headline of his little essay, presumably to differentiate it from the subhead, and I almost thought for a second he had just copied the thing from Psychology Today, but then I read it and it was pretty clear English wasn’t his first language, except that we asked and it is, so whatever.

I plan to actually start updating this blog once I finish a few assignments, because I have a rich mine of semi-precious runner-up specimens in my inbox but also because I keep reading things I want to take up with the staledating savants and noncommitoisseurs among you. Like that Vogue piece by Dexter Filkins’ ex-wife, who is acknowledged only at the very end of the acknowledgements in The Forever War, about receiving this creepy letter in Istanbul at the beginning of the war saying “we regret to inform you that your husband is fucking around” or somesuch, and naming the woman and everything even though she doesn’t name her in the piece, but we know it is not Lara Logan because it turns out she is dead so why can’t you tell us who she is again? When someone dies obviously their email is fair game, take it from Julie Metz, this lady I read about in that Times review of all those new books that are apparently too literary and “exquisitely wrought” or whatever the new “actually good” is etc. to be justifiably ghettoized as chick-lit but they are written by chicks and chicks are used to being ghettoized so who cares and in the meantime why not go ahead and take a gratuitous swipe at Curtis Sittenfeld, Janet Maslin huh?

Anyway Julie Metz checked her husband’s email only after he dropped dead, which on the one hand definitely helped her snag a mid six figures advance but on the other hand just sounds pretty wrenching, because not only is it a lot harder to get satisfyingly mad at a dead person, especially w/r/t the angry reparations hatefuck part although THAT would have been a good story if Metz had tried, but because getting mad about something that happened more than two hours ago is just so infuriatingly pointless, and yet once you realize you need to re-arrange the entire memory palace to accomodate a bunch of concubines you kind of have to do it right, by which I mean get sufficiently acquainted with their biographies and accomplishments and hair removal regimens to determine precisely which of your deficits was being compensated for by each, at which point you have at least enough material for a sequel. And that is why you should definitely just check your loved one’s email today, because he could drop dead tomorrow and you deserve to know whether it would make sense to be sad about that.

Jun 9

"He ran into financial troubles and applied for scholarship money from a wealthy Yale family, a process he found humiliating. Friends recall that he insisted on dressing like a field hand, in overalls and a hat."

If Crap Email were like fantasy sports, which it is not of course because that is for dudes but if it were, I think I know who I would pick for “Crap Email Containing The Words Inter Alia’ slot.

Jun 8

Reflections of Jess, the recipient of the very special abortion edition of “Crap Email From A Dude”

which is up right now!

i don’t hate men, but it would be really nice if someone held them accountable for anything ever. i feel like (based on a very small sample size, of course) men are just giant babies because nobody ever tells them they have to grow up and women don’t want them to grow up, they want to feel like they’re taking care of someone. this is only based on me and the people i know, though

Well. My reaction to this email was more along the lines of “and the 12 year sentence in North Korean labor prison goes to…” but Jess is one of those inexplicably optimistic 21-year-olds we read about in this week’s New York.

The younger generations’s deficit of “outrage” may undermine efforts to prevent “history from repeating itself,” according to the story. So PSA time, friends: history will probably repeat itself all over again, don’t ever say that tweegan dude with the cheekbones from college who lived on your couch but really your bed for the whole month following his housemate’s mescaline freakout only to disappear to Portland with that email that went something like "I regret that your feelings became hurt, however inadvertently" or whatever didn’t introduce you to some seriously epochal memes.

Jun 4

Weev Agrees Andrew Sullivan’s Abortion Stories Are Full Of Crap

My suspicion that Andrew Sullivan’s reader-submitted abortion stories were submitted by trolls is shared by the preeminent troll Weev! Although he thinks that one lady’s family really did want her to carry a baby to term in her Fallopian tubes:

ectopic pregnancy girl’s experience is real. her family didn’t understand the risks of ectopic pregnancy and it was in their eyes her only hope for a baby. also her shit is not written in the troll style.

the others are trolls.

I’m still somewhat skeptical only because of the whole “we were using condoms while we waited for his vasectomy to ‘kick in’” line, but I guess that is from a probability perspective no different from saying “we were using the pullout method while we waited for his vasectomy to ‘kick in.’” Although with this lady’s luck she would have gotten syphilis too.

Jun 3

Crap Emails From Pretend Babykillers

I cannot be sure of this but my impression about Andrew Sullivan is that he has not ever knocked a girl up. So he can be excused in the aftermath of the Tiller tragedy for posting “reader” emails like this:

I married late, at age 40, and my husband and I had no plans for children. As we were waiting for his vasectomy to “kick in”, using condoms, I somehow became pregnant. Ultrasound revealed that the pregnancy was ectopic. I was not well, feeling sick and in pain every day. There are extreme risks to the health of the mother in allowing an ectopic pregnancy to come to term.

I would have kept the whole issue to myself and not shared it with my family if it hadn’t have just so happened to coincide with a long-planned family reunion. I had to give a reason to not attend the reunion so I decided to share my predicament with my family. I chose to terminate at six weeks. My family heartily disagreed, saying that it was my duty to risk my life for a pregnancy I never wanted and had taken rational steps to avoid.

Uh yeah, they wanted you to carry an ectopic pregnancy to term? Because that worked at least one time in human history, and if you could pull that off at 40 with a sterile husband it would totally be to be the second coming of John the Baptist.*

Or what about

Anyway, back to the ER.  As I was registering to get my D and C [dilatation and curettage], a woman barged in the front door demanding an abortion immediately.  The attendant told her she would have to wait her turn, to which she responded that she’d already had six abortions and it was no big deal, couldn’t they just rush her case a little since she had several more appointments to keep that day.

Well now I know where I’ll be getting my next abortion. No more of this Planned Parenthood and their lame “Mani Pedi While You Wait” service, their colors are fug anyway, Scandinavia just got jealous, etc.

Oh, and at the risk of bringing further torment upon this singularly tortured soul…

This is a secret only my wife and best friend know. But there is something therapeutic about reliving this for a complete stranger…

But paternalistic ramblings/spelling errors/use of the word “hysterical” aside…

Anyways, after only a few months of seeing one another I received a hysterical call. She had taken a home pregnancy test and it was positive. I told her to come over so we could discuss things. I realize now that I took advantage of her sweetness, innocence and naivety to convince her that an abortion was our best option.

Sure, I was just out of rehab, unemployed and uneducated, but these were all temporary. I came from an affluent family who would have helped provide for the child while I got my act together. We could have chosen to bring the child into this world and found more mature and emotionally healthy parents to adopt him or her. Instead, all I could think about was the stress and awkwardness this situation would cause, and I was set on making sure my girlfriend saw it the same way. No yelling, intimidation, or threats were involved, but I was able to convince her.

We scheduled an appointment at Planned Parenthood in hopes of receiving a non-surgical abortion. We were told that by the time they could see us she would probably be too far along for this option, so I called a private clinic. The very next day we were at the clinic, where they ran some tests and gave her a number of pills to take. No counseling, no discussion of options, nothing really. The next night she came over to my place and took the pills. It was not pretty to watch; she was in pain and it got a bit messy.

"Medical" or pill abortions were only legalized a few months before this selfish lazy cad purports to have emotionally blackmailed his fragile young thing into getting one, and they are still fairly rare, especially at private clinics, which are often loathe to stockpile RU-486, which is preposterously expensive. Also they are not "messy" except inasmuch as light menstruation is messy, which it is to dudes like this, which is the point.

* And the only reason the VATICAN advises aborting ectopic pregnancies is because they have a vested interest (along with the Federal Reserve, the Rockefeller Commission and the Carlyle Group, they are all in cahoots as you know) in making sure that the Second Coming NEVER ACTUALLY HAPPENS.

Conflicts, Interest



You can’t write a review an ex-boyfriend’s novel: the ethics of serious criticism get in the way—clear conflict of interest, etc. But is this a rich, overlooked area in literary discourse?

I still think the review should never have been published. It opens the door—especially because so many people think it’s so great—for Ad Hominem attacks on every novel, movie and restaurant review. Is there anyone less objective then an ex? What do I care if the ex of a writer is conflicted about the novel? It’s a distraction and it’s irrelevant. Plus, for fuck’s sake, I wrote a parody of this. I’m like the George Orwell of Dystopian Book Review Absurdist Satire, but my prophecies have come true!

My enjoyment of the review was primarily gleefulness about the absurdity of the thing. Had she written the review and not made the fact that she shouldn’t be writing it at all the very subject of her review, then it might be time for some Orwellian dystopia speculation and general dismay concerning the problem. (In my mind, it was so obviously not meant to supplant Actual Serious Writing About Books that I thought it was okay to praise it just because I found it amusing.)

She even concludes in her review that “that’s why ex-girlfriends shouldn’t write book reviews.” But I think you’re right in a way, which is just that we shouldn’t keep calling it a review; it’s not really that. This is not totally relevant here, but I’ll add that I work for a serious literary book publishing house that depends on the existence of real book reviews.

Jun 2

Conflicts, Interest

You can’t review an ex-boyfriend’s novel: the ethics of serious criticism get in the way—clear conflict of interest, etc. But is this a rich, overlooked area in literary discourse?

I now wonder after reading Katie Crouch’s take on the novel her boyfriend was writing while they lived together (she fully discloses her connection, don’t worry). As you’d expect, she gives it a very close read. I mean, wouldn’t a scene in which a character “sniffs coke off of his pregnant girlfriend’s belly” sear indelibly into your memory too, if your then-boyfriend gave a reading of it to an audience that included both of your parents? The novel, by the way, is Occupational Hazards by Jonathan Segura.

A number of commenters on The Rumpus suggested an ongoing series by reviewers with egregious conflicts of interest. Excellent idea!

On a personal note, I loved this part that Crouch chose to pull out in her review:[Ex-boyfriend on] Relationships: “Easier…than picking up trampy young things at the bar. Which would require feigned interest in someone’s life.”

I’m not that trampy—or that young, I guess—but I met the author once at a cocktail party, and he asked if he could get me a drink—it was open bar; he was being polite—and then misread my hesitation, and felt compelled to spell it out for me: “Just to clarify, my interest in you is not carnal. I’m married.” Well, okay, I got it.