Monthly Archives: November 2011

Missing the Point Award

Sometimes you will be reading an article that seems pretty innocuous and that you’re vaguely interested in and then just as you get to the last paragraph of the article you will suddenly say out loud, “wait, what did that say?”

This article is a good example of that:

WITHOUT FINESSE, MAKING FUN OF A WOMAN’S SELF-HATRED CAN LOOK LIKE [sic] A LOT LIKE MISOGYNY???

There are so many things wrong with that paragraph, and I’m not even including the extra “like” that’s in there!! (Good proofreading, btw.) So much mess in two short sentences!

FIRST: Teenagers “all but ask” to be hated!? Yikes! I feel badly for your kids! Very few people want to be hated, and I’m guessing that insecure teenagers actually DO NOT want to be hated! Especially by their own parents!

THEN: This writer honestly thinks that a show can BACKFIRE by hating the MOTHERS of the show? Have you SEEN TV before? Because there seem to be a LOT of shows where the Dad is the cool, fun one, and the Mom is the buzz-kill shrew! And I’m pretty sure those shows are popular!

AND THEN: There’s this whole “women’s self-hatred” thing that’s casually tossed in there! Like, is this just a thing that we acknowledge and accept as a society? That women hate themselves, and everyone knows it, but oh well? I actually can’t think of any TV moms that seem to hate themselves (even the buzz-kill shrews)! AND I WATCH THE WALKING DEAD! Also there is this implication that a woman hating herself would generally have nothing to do with misogyny at all! That is false! Guess what? When you live in a society that constantly reinforces the message that women are, to put it broadly, not as good as men, that is a misogynist message and it is very likely at the root of most women’s self-hatred!

In conclusion, this paragraph wins this award! It can be shared with Mary Beth Williams! CONGRATS!!! (Not really. BOOOOO.)

 

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Filed under general ranting, metaphorical US suburbia

The secret ingredient is terrible industry practices

Is it just me, or is this article, “In This Town, Turkey Picks Up Bill for Dinner,” a HUUUUUUUUUUUUGE fuck you to everyone who is about to eat turkey this Thanksgiving weekend in the US? It is a super critical article about almost everything to do with the turkey industry, from being unable to make a living as a turkey farmer to how terrible it to work in a turkey-processing plant. I am VERY surprised that the New York Times ran this article on Thanksgiving Day. It’s basically akin to treason in the US to be critical of where your meat is coming from, but to be critical of TURKEY on THANKSGIVING DAY must be like terrorism or something. Watch out Kim Severson! You will probably be waterboarded soon. I would’ve called this article “Why You Shouldn’t Eat Turkey, Dummy” but I guess that’s why I don’t work at the NYT.

ENHANCE!

1) What it says:

What it means: Turkeys are fucking disgusting and can somehow arrive at the plant bruised or missing limbs. No explanation necessary as to how, since any conversation that starts with “do you know where your meat comes from?” is met with cries of “I don’t want to know!” i.e., everyone knows that the meat industry is terrible but very few people give a fuck because they want to eat their bruised, legless turkey.

2) What it says:

What it means: The amount and type of preparation that goes into getting each turkey ready, i.e., STUFFING BODY PARTS INTO A CAVITY, is horrific and most people who eat turkey would never consider doing it themselves because it is gross. It is also hard for the workers, who hate the pace that they must maintain in order to give these dummies their dispatched turkeys.

3) What it says:

What it means: Also, the some of the workers enjoy torturing animals. NYT hopes you enjoy eating animals that have been tortured, great job! Oh, and the workers aren’t paid fairly, big surprise.

4) What it says:

What it means: We’re a terrible company we all know it and to doubly prove it we’re going to prey on people’s sympathy by saying that torturing animals and not paying workers fairly for terrible work is worth it for all those starving families who EAT TURKEY EVERY DAY????? WHAT!? Go back to PR school, Alice Johnson! Your terrible explanation doesn’t make sense. Oh, and also, even if someone wants to get into turkey farming, they shouldn’t bother because you can’t make a living doing it.

5) What it says:

What it means: WHOOPS Butterball is a terrible employer so please stop supporting them and buying their turkeys! They make it impossible for turkey farmers to make a profit and they like it that way.

6) What it says:

What it means: (THIS IS THE CONCLUDING LINE OF THE ARTICLE!! THAT IS AMAZING!!) Even the people who work at the factory hate turkey.

Good article, NYT! This time I genuinely mean that! Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Enjoy your tortured turkey that was prepared with absolute hate.

 

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Deconstructing an exchange with an adult who writes for Salon, a “progressive” online magazine

This is a twitter conversation that I unfortunately had earlier today:

WHAT IS THIS??

Okay, I know I could just ignore this, but it’s really bothering me and I think it’s a good example of the I Should Be Able To Say What I Want Without Being Challenged And Fuck You For Challenging Me sentiment that usually emanates from your average racist/sexist/homophobic bully.

Seriously, WHAT DOES HER RESPONSE MEAN? Is it supposed to be another “joke”? And why is her response about me, personally, rather than about my issue with her statement? Here is a lesson in arguing: when someone starts focusing on you instead of the argument, you have generally won. In this case, MBW is saying, “I’m defensive and I don’t know how to respond to this, so instead I will do something like accuse you of not knowing any sex workers [great accusation, very relevant and accurate] or any comedians [ditto] thereby implying that you don’t know what you’re talking about with regards to sex workers AND implying that you’re totally humourless because you didn’t laugh at my joke/took it too seriously/was too sensitive!” Yiiiiikes. That is a bad response. And it manages to hit almost every bad argument that you’ve ever heard, all the way down.

Here is where I get, admittedly, super nitpicky with parsing out her very short response (I also provide related arguments we have all heard before and dismissed because they are terrible and meaningless, unfortunately for MBW, oh well though):

1. According to her, I don’t know any sex workers or comedians so I am not allowed to point out that it’s ridiculous to assume that all sex workers had terrible, loveless childhoods. (See also, Common Silencing Techniques — Accusing a Person of Not Knowing Enough and Therefore Being Too [pick your contextually demeaning adjective] to Properly Contribute).

2. She DOES know A LOT of the sex workers, so she IS allowed to state stereotypical, sweeping “facts” about their collective childhood! I’m sure all of her sex worker friends really love it when she does that. (See also, I’m Not Racist, My Best Friend is Black So I Can Say These Things).

3. Because I think her joke is terrible, I don’t know any comedians (this is a weird argument) (See also, You are a Humourless Feminist).

4. She is just making a joke! Why am I taking this so seriously! (See also, Why are Women so Sensitive; You are a Humourless Feminist; This Joke Exists in a Vacuum with No Cultural Baggage Whatsoever Because Sex Workers Aren’t One of the Most Acceptably Marginalized Groups That Exist).

It is baffling to me as to why a quasi-public figure would (a) post something like this and think it’s funny, especially as an employee of a somewhat progressive online magazine, and (b) be so very bad at being asked to think about what she has just written. I mean, she writes for Salon, for fuck’s sake! I didn’t even expect a response! I’m sure she’s dealing with worse responses! Lest we forget, up until recently, Salon had one of THE WOOOOORST commentariat of any major online magazine. She MUST be used to much worse criticism (I don’t even think this is really criticism?) than mine. What a weird, confusing exchange.

Relatedly, I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE when people assume things about me that are just off-the-wall wrong. Allow me to just sit here and bask in my smugness for a minute more. Feels gooood.

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You have a reason to riot, but this is not it

From “Paterno Is Finished At Penn State, and President Is Out”:

WHAT!!! Is this FOR REAL??! IS THIS REAL LIFE!? Of all of the facts in this case, THIS is why you choose to riot? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?? Seriously. Look at your life, look at your choices.

WHAT??? You’re CRYING about this?! What the fuck is going on at Penn State? Get it the fuck together, Kathryn! Save those tears and feelings of devastation for when you hear the details of child rape that at least partly occurred because your BFF coach did absolutely NOTHING to stop a KNOWN PEDOPHILE from continually raping little kids!! Save up ALL those tears, because it sounds like you will DEFINITELY need them!

This whole thing is such a disgusting clusterfuck, it’s unbelievable. Seriously, is Penn State in the US or ON ANOTHER PLANET??

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A tale of two dudes: “It was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness” edition

From the New York Times, today, in Paul Krugman’s editorial titled “Oligarchy, American Style”:

[As an aside, as Glenn Greenwald has discussed in some recent interviews, it’s pretty amazing that major journalists are using words like “oligarchy” and “banana republic” to describe the US now.]

So, basically, paying a lot of money for a university education will probably allow you have, at best, crippling debt, a low-paying job with extremely limited wage increases, and terrible health care. That is one of the BEST CASE scenarios, and it is based on actual quantifiable facts.

 

On the other end of the spectrum, Michael Bloomberg, also in the New York Times:

Ha ha, yeah dummies! Why don’t you just create your own jobs! That’s what everyone else had to do and you definitely have all of the money and resources to do that. So get going, you lazy crumbums!

One of these guys gets it. The other one seems to be willfully missing the point. How embarrassing for him! But when he later realizes his faux pas, he can dry his tears with money, so.

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You know how sensitive women are about their height

From the New York Times:

Are you kidding me? That’s the best he could come up with? Her HEIGHT? Sure great reason nothing suspicious there. You know crazy the ladies get when you point out their height! That is definitely something that happens, so this is definitely a plausible story about why a woman might suddenly leave her job over some comments about height. Glad we cleared that up!

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