Thursday, August 29, 2013

T-Rex Will Even Bite It off for You

"Also, he referred to circumcision as "genital mutilation." I get that it's a very heated and multifaceted issue, but calling it genital mutilation is too close to equating it with female genital mutilation for my taste." ~TyrannosaurusBataar, commenter on

I'm gearing up toward ripping Jezebel about a dozen a new ones, in the hopes that people will see the light and stop posting their misandrist vitriol on Facebook. For right now, though, I just couldn't stop myself from bringing up this lovely example from a very moderate commenter on the site. It's offends T-rex's palate to even imply that cutting off part of a boy's sex organ might be in some sense equivalent to cutting off part of a girl's sex organ.

Well, there's no accounting for taste, I guess.

The language in this particular quotation is just priceless. "Genital mutilation" sounds like "female genital mutilation" because guess what? "Genital mutilation" is just "female genital mutilation" with the word "female" removed! In mathematics, we call this a "general case." The fun thing about general cases- they actually contain the specific case. So when T-rex's "friend" talks about baby sex organ cutting, he's actually talking about baby boys and baby girls. T-rex doesn't like this, though. Not one bit. Nope, we have to talk about the cutting of little girls while specifically excluding little boys.

This, ladies and especially gentlemen, is what people mean when they say Men's Rights Activists are "off-putting," or "concerning," or "creepy." It bothers them that MRAs want men and boys to count, too.

Gird your loins, boys, because women clearly aren't going to do it for you. And Jezebel? I'm coming for you.

Brace yourself,

S. Misanthrope

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Thank You, Mr. President

When I was a kid, I was bookish and weird. I gained friends in a painfully slow Fibonacci progression: none in kindergarten, one in first grade, one in second, two in third, three in fourth, five in fifth, and so on. The school days when my one friend was home sick were a misery; the years during which my one friend was in a different class were unbearable. On the bus ride home, the boys would chant "Cry baby, cry!" at me until I'd oblige them. When I'd arrive home, I'd then be punished for crying "like a two-year-old." I was five at the time.

Today, all these years later, I get to sit back and watch the roles reverse as I beat the crap out of Syria by proxy. Yes, my own elected Commander in Chief will deploy the most powerful armed forces in the history of the world against a tiny nation whose only crime has been bombing itself. In the immortal words of playground bullies everywhere: "Stop hitting yourself!"

Seriously, though, don't you know that's our job, Syria? If you attack some of your people- doesn't matter which ones- with chemical weapons, gosh darn it, we'll attack all y'all with much more sophisticated weapons! Killing people is a human rights violation and therefore we have to kill you people so you get that through your thick skulls. It's not just our right as the biggest kid on the playground, it's our responsibility. And if we simultaneously get to enjoy the thrill of finally being the one administering the wedgie, well, that's just icing on the cake.

Stop hitting yourself, Syria,

S. Misanthrope

Monday, August 26, 2013

For the Men in My Life

I hate this shit so much. There are a lot of men in my life about whom I care very deeply. Please, please, please don't let shit like this inform your decisions and behavior.

TL/DR: Some vagina-worshiping, newly divorced man gives us his list of 20 pieces of marriage advice he wishes he'd received.

Tips? I should say super-Herculean tasks. Not only is almost everything on this list next to impossible, it's incredibly one-sided, as if men are single-handedly responsible for a relationship that involves another person. As an Objectivist, I'm sympathetic to a lot of gendered roles in male-female romantic relationships, but give me a fucking break. A husband's entire existence does not, should not, and in fact cannot revolve around his wife's ovaries. If these tips are gender-specific, as he implies, what the hell does the woman have to do to make the relationship equal? She certainly wouldn't have a gag reflex, I can tell you that.

#1 might be my favorite, "Never stop courting." Never, ever, EVER, guys. Seriously, if you slip up for even ONE second and forget to completely drown her in affection, and take her out to dinner, and buy her stupid shit, and do all the million other fucking exhausting things you have to do when first dating someone, well then you fucking deserve to have your ass divorced, you lazy good-for-nothing jerk! How dare you think being in a long-term relationship with someone meant chilling the fuck out and just living life together.

Except according to numbers 4 and 5, that's exactly what your wife IS entitled to. Does she have bad qualities? Too bad, you don't get to ask her to change them. Does she acquire new ones? Too bad, you have to keep loving her anyway. In fact, you aren't even allowed to notice these things (#4), because we all know lying to yourself is the basis of all healthy relationships.

Also you can never get angry with her. NEVER. Not allowed (#7). It's not her fault you have "triggers." What the hell did this woman put him through that he now talks about his own emotions in the terminology usually reserved for unstable psychopaths? Um, can I at least get angry with her? Because she sounds like a bitch.

I'm still more angry at the author, though, because he's a goddamn Uncle Tom. Reading this tripe, I can't help wonder if this guy is trying to pull a Sleepless in Seattle. You know, advertising to all the ladies out there just how great of a partner he is. And it's a double-edge sword- he'll have a lot more women to choose from if they all accept his standards as the minimum requirements for husbandship. Seriously, dudes: opt out.

Speaking of which, some of my male acquaintances are making a big deal about not being able to see the misandry dripping from every word of this article. What the fuck, guys? It's like you don't even want the rights I'm fighting for you to have. Anyway, let me try to address this is a more organized (dare I say professional) way for those of you who are too swept up in the romance of it all to see clearly.

1. Never stop courting. Never stop dating. NEVER EVER take that woman for granted. When you asked her to marry you, you promised to be that man that would OWN HER HEART and to fiercely protect it. This is the most important and sacred treasure you will ever be entrusted with. SHE CHOSE YOU. Never forget that, and NEVER GET LAZY in your love.

Despite my earlier picking on #1, I can see how it wouldn't look to be that bad of a start to someone coming from a different perspective. The idea of a couple still "dating" after fifty years of marriage is cute, I guess. But the admonishments in all caps are insulting, especially considering that this is supposed to be a list of "advice I wish I would have had" prior to getting married. I'm sorry, no one ever told you not to take your wife for granted? Did you grow up on an Amish plantation or in the real world with the rest of us, the world in which there are more divorcees and single moms than married women? I remember Kermit the Frog getting this advice on The Muppet Show. I'm pretty sure you got this piece of advice at least once week since the time you could crawl. Maybe you should have used bigger text as well as all-caps so the dumb men reading this could maybe get the message this time.

2. Protect your own heart. Just as you committed to being the protector of her heart, you must guard your own with the same vigilance. Love yourself fully, love the world openly, but there is a special place in your heart where no one must enter except for your wife. Keep that space always ready to receive her and invite her in, and refuse to let anyone or anything else enter there.

And does she owe you the same thing? I mean, you do "own her heart" after all, according to #1. Yet isn't ownership typically something that one can take for granted? I think you mean something more like the at-will employee of her heart, not so much the owner. Also no one ever told you that getting married means not falling for other chicks? Huh, ok.

3. Fall in love over and over again.  You will constantly change. You’re not the same people you were when you got married, and in five years you will not be the same person you are today. Change will come, and in that you have to re-choose each other everyday. SHE DOESN’T HAVE TO STAY WITH YOU, and if you don’t take care of her heart, she may give that heart to someone else or seal you out completely, and you may never be able to get it back. Always fight to win her love just as you did when you were courting her.

Just another friendly ALL CAPS reminder that you're at best renting her heart on a month-to-month lease. Contract may be unilaterally terminated without warning at any time.

4. Always see the best in her. Focus only on what you love. What you focus on will expand. If you focus on what bugs you, all you will see is reasons to be bugged. If you focus on what you love, you can’t help but be consumed by love. Focus to the point where you can no longer see anything but love, and you know without a doubt that you are the luckiest man on earth to be have this woman as your wife.

How do you even make it to the point of proposing if you only focus on what bugs you? And what the hell is this goal of his? If you can't see anything but love, your brain is broken. Stay grounded. Love what's really there. Don't become blinded by the bad or the good. Sheesh.

5. It’s not your job to change or fix her… your job is to love her as she is with no expectation of her ever changing. And if she changes, love what she becomes, whether it’s what you wanted or not.

This starts out promising, because it's true, you shouldn't see it as your job to fix your partner. This is exactly what happens with people who date addicts. It's important to understand that the only person who can fix your partner is your partner. Except, oh wait, that's not what he's getting at at all. I don't even know what to say about this except that it's really, really dangerous. The #1 chart-topping single for men abused by women is "She didn't used to be this way." Enough misguided men stick by their abusive wives in honor of "the woman she used to be" without society now pressuring them to love the horrible metamorphosed version, too.

6. Take full accountability for your own emotions: It’s not your wife’s job to make you happy, and she CAN’T make you sad. You are responsible for finding your own happiness, and through that your joy will spill over into your relationship and your love.

What the fuck? There's just no possible way for your wife to make you sad? "Hey, honey, you didn't guard my heart fiercely enough or whatever so I fucked your dad. Are you gonna cry about it? God, will you ever take accountability for your own emotions?" Ugh, go die in a fire. Marriage is a fucking partnership with mutual accountability for finding happiness together. Both parties have to pull their goddamn weight.

7. Never blame your wife if you get frustrated or angry at her, it is only because it is triggering something inside of YOU. They are YOUR emotions, and your responsibility. When you feel those feelings take time to get present and to look within and understand what it is inside of YOU that is asking to be healed. You were attracted to this woman because she was the person best suited to trigger all of your childhood wounds in the most painful way so that you could heal them… when you heal yourself, you will no longer be triggered by her, and you will wonder why you ever were.

WHAT?! I didn't think I could get more FRUSTRATED and ANGRY with this post. I've never seen so many unwarranted assumptions about another person's psychology in my life. So the only reason husbands get mad at their wives is because they have unresolved issues from their childhood? And instead of asking their wives to stop being dumb cunts with the credit card, they're supposed to say "Thank you, ma'am, may I have another?" because the debt you're drowning in is actually allowing you to heel your wounds in the most painful way possible?!

I can't. I just can't. If the wrongness of this article doesn't smack you in the face all on it's own, there's nothing I can possibly do to salvage your reading comprehension.

I'm done.

S. Misanthrope

P.S. Under item 10: "Make it a priority everyday to make her feel like a queen." NO. No, no, no. Even an actual queen shouldn't feel like a queen every day. You know what makes a person feel like a queen? Having subjects. A HUSBAND IS NOT A SUBJECT. Stop it.

Friday, August 23, 2013

S. Joins Twitter, Gains One Follower

I'm experimenting with a new life rule: if Captain Picard can do it, so can I. That means I 1. will get engaged to someone approximately 1/3 of my own age and 2. joined Twitter. You can follow me (@SMisanthrope) or whatever. I don't care.

So far on Twitter I'm making a difference by taunting the President, mocking Drew Barrymore, griping about San Francisco (#FSF is real at last!), and posting a picture of my latte. Can you even handle the excitement? I know, it's overwhelming.

See you in the Twittersphere,

S. Misanthrope

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Sean Penn-ing It Is Annoying (Even When I Agree with You)

Oh great, yet another actor becoming political:

"Sherlock actor Benedict Cumberbatch made a splash on Sunday when he was photographed holding a sign directed at the paparazzi following him: 'Go photograph Egypt and show the world something important.' "

Photographs are almost never how important information is communicated, especially journalists' photographs. Why can't I simultaneously have pictures of cute boys and know what's going on in Egypt? Division of labor, yo. Tell you what, you write more of those little signs, and we'll have a nice photo shoot together. How do you feel about tasteful nudes with your papers, er, strategically placed? That would really get your message out there, I think. Also democracy is little more than a polished turd. I guess I shouldn't be surprised that Sherlock Holmes hasn't read his Aristotle when he doesn't even know where space is. Meh.

Oh, who am I kidding. I'd still marry him.


Monday, August 19, 2013

Is Snowden Part Eskimo?

There was a big hubbub today over the detainment of David Miranda at Heathrow airport under what I imagine is the U.K. equivalent of the Patriot Act. Read about the incident here:

I want to say a couple of things. First is that not the most perfect name to have going into an interrogation? Absolutely delightful. Second is that I don't get it.

I'm hearing people say that it's completely unreasonable to hold this guy under a terrorism law. Well, except for the part where he was on his way back from hanging out with Laura Poitras, one of the people on the receiving end of Edward Snowden's stolen government secrets. Secrets of exactly the kind that terrorists would love to get their hands on.

I don't believe that Snowden is a terrorist, but wouldn't that be a great cover if you were? "Hey guys, I just stole all this data about how the government operates. Let me share the part that makes me look good while I sell this other part to Al Qaeda." Or how about this: terrorists might steal the data from Snowden, possibly even without his knowledge. I very much doubt this one man has better security than the whole U.S. government.

You might want to believe that Snowden is a fluffy bunny fighting for your rights, and honestly I think you're probably right. But if you're the person responsible for national security and a dude over in Russia is announcing to the world that he's in possession of our most logistically important information, you wouldn't be doing your job if you didn't go after that guy with everything you've got. You can't just take the guy's word that everything he's doing is for the common good. Or even if you do take him at his word, can you trust that he will be able to keep the information out of the wrong hands?

The tie to terrorism is quite tenable, even without any "maybe Snowden hearts Osama" theories. Revealing PRISM, etc., obviously compromises our national security. If you can't get your head around that, I suggest electro-shock to get the libertarian brain-slugs dislodged from your cerebral cortex. Does that mean Snowden was wrong to reveal the information? No, not if the surveillance efforts infringe on legitimate privacy rights, which I believe they do. But it's positively silly to believe that the programs gave us no edge against terrorist groups whatsoever. That edge, however dull, is gone thanks to Snowden. And we have no idea what else he has in store for us.

So when the boyfriend of the reporter who leaked Snowden's information spends a few weeks with the filmmaker who documented the whole thing, it's also plausibly tied to terrorism.

As to whether the real motivation is to intimidate Greenwald, I think that would depend on how schedule 7 has been used historically. Only if this incident is outside the norm would I lend credit to the intimidation theory.

If this schedule 7 is anything at all like the Patriot Act, I'm happy that people are so angry, but I wish they were angry in the right direction. The real problem this incident shows is that when these types of laws function exactly as their supposed, which is what happened here, the result is unjust. The anger should be over the fact that these laws exist not that they're employed in a way you don't like today.

I'd love to hear anyone's thoughts on this. Frankly I've been surprised by the reactions on both sides.

Taking the Fifth,

S. Misanthrope

Saturday, August 17, 2013

The (Fri)end Zone

Because I have an absurdly charmed life, I’ve never had to take a dip in the cesspool that is dating in 21st century America. Consequently, from my perch far above the melee, I amuse myself by opining on the barbaric process of modern courtship. What I mean is: I tell all my single friends how they’re going about it all wrong, despite having no experience in the field whatsoever myself.

I’ve had a lot of interesting conversations specifically on the topic of the “Friend Zone,” which I’ve come to regard as the Kaiser Soze of psychological phenomena: no one’s seen it, but everyone believes they know what it is. The mechanism is fairly well known: in a male/female relationship, if the male fails to escalate the relationship toward sex quickly enough, the female will end up viewing him in a platonic light, i.e., a “just a friend.” But as to the causal factors at play, there are about as many theories as theorists.

My theory is: it’s bullshit.

Sexual attraction is typically instant and not a function of time. While women often have to put more effort into arousal than men, it is not the case that a woman needs to be told to view a man as a potential sexual partner. Unless she’s asexual or gay, she’s making that assessment from the first moment she sees him. So if at some point you make a move and she’s not interested, she either 1. was never attracted to you in the first place, or 2. was attracted to you initially but subsequently learned that you are an unsuitable partner. If the FZ exists, then, it must fall under 2.*

A woman may find a man attractive initially but will later deem him an unworthy partner due to additional information gained over time. This information may be deal-breakers for a romance but irrelevant to a friendship. This is the closest thing I can imagine to a legitimate “friend zone,” however had the relationship escalated to sex before these deal-breakers came to light, the information would still come out eventually, likely ending the relationship entirely (romantic and platonic). I think this is why a lot of women feel the FZ complaint is about men seeing sex as the purpose of a male-female relationship, like the Friend Zone is a sand trap on the way to the End Zone of sex, to mix my sports metaphors a bit. The FZ talk can sound like it’s about slipping your dick in before the fact that you are a dick slips out.

Football is a game in which hyper-masculine alpha males alternate between protectively carrying and brutally kicking a stitched-up vagina made from the skin of a pig. The Patriarchy of it just makes me sick.
Of course this is unfair to most guys, because what they’re actually hoping is that the girl will get carried away by the romance and overlook the Spider-man nightlight or weird toenail or whatever. If you can prove you’re a good lover before she learns about your Halo addiction, she’ll put up with your capture-the-flag marathons instead of giving you the “let’s be friends” speech before the romance even gets started. The thing is, if this strategy can work, then the deal-breakers were never actually deal-breakers, and the issue is not the existence of a “friend zone” but a lack of self-understanding among the dating population.

Ok, so here we’ve identified the closest thing I can imagine to a real FZ, that is, women have established false deal-breakers that can be overcome by initiating the romance prior to revealing the existence of these false deal-breakers, at which point the momentum of the relationship will cause the woman to dismiss the false deal-breakers when they are at last revealed. This is the sort of “Give me a chance to show you how great it will be to date me even though I’m poor/nerdy/short/different than your usual type,” model common in media.

Personally, if I were trying to win a girl back, my strategy wouldn't involve reminding her of the time I cried after sex.
I’m inclined to invalidate even this narrow zone as the infamous “Friend Zone,” however, because it depends on a significant failure of self-understanding and value-prioritization. While it’s true undoubtedly that the general dating population is not great with the “know thyself,” it’s 1. equally true of men as women, yet men have no “friend zone,” 2. this systemic failure at self-understanding manifests in many more ways, and causes much bigger problems, than the supposed FZ, and 3. failing to understand your own values so much that you completely turn off attraction that previously existed, to me, suggests such a massive failure of introspective and extrospective ability that you should be excluded from consideration as a romantic partner anyway, because you’re a hot mess.

Which brings me to my ultimate opinion about the Friend Zone, Game, the Rules, and basically anything anyone says about dating strategy: you can’t make a sow’s ear into a silk purse. That is, all of these strategies are designed to succeed with (read: manipulate) the average single person. But the average single person sucks. He’s irrational. She’s capricious. He’s insecure. She’s dumb. He’s incompatible with long-term happiness, in a relationship or outside of one. Any “trick” you employ consequently will achieve only a short-term goal, whether you’re a pickup artist plotting a one-night-stand or a Rules Girl laying a marriage trap.

If you’re a rational, honest person looking for mutual happiness in a long-term relationship, you don’t need a strategy to avoid the Friend Zone; you need a strategy to avoid people who have Friend Zones.

There’s also the question of what people mean in practice when they bitch about the FZ. There’s the Jenna Marbles version:

TL/DW: You need to lower your expectations and go after girls who are actually interested in you. You ended up in the FZ, because you were rejected. Escalating earlier would not have changed that.

There’s the GirlWritesWhat version:

TL/DW: Women take advantage of men’s sexual interest (and the favors and gifts that come with it) and avoid reciprocating if possible. The FZ is what happens when the woman realizes she can get all the benefits of your courtship without the “cost” of putting out (emotionally or physically).

Then there’s this bizarre thing:

"I, Barney Stinson, a womanizer played by a gay man, approve this message."
TS/DR (Too Stupid/Didn’t Read): Referring to the perennial complaint that women say they want a nice guy but date jerks.

Each of these responses applies to a different type of man/woman pairing. Jenna is talking about that super awkward and embarrassing spectacle of a 5 going after a 10, probably because he watched too many movies where “it’s the beauty on the inside that counts.” Yeah, no it doesn’t, dude. Also beauty is correlated with intelligence and money, so, yeah, most of the time the person who wants beauty not to count is 1. going after someone beautiful while he is saying this and 2. not bringing anything else to the table to replace beauty. The way women tend to exaggerate their flaws, men exaggerate their strengths, even when they don’t have any. 

GirlWritesWhat is talking about a narrower context where the woman is legitimately unavailable, and the man is laying groundwork for future possibilities. Look, guys: all women know what’s up. You’re not being subtle. Unfortunately, some women (a lot of them?) will use this to their advantage. The man in GWW’s story is a hero to me, actually, because a lot of guys wouldn’t have had the courage to call that bitch out. Good for him.

Fake-NPH, for some reason, points to the contradictory message we supposedly hear constantly from women as to the kind of men they want. Here again we have the “know thyself” problem in the dating pool. We tend to say we want what we think we should want rather than what we actually want, and many times the more primitive parts of our brains just won’t let us get sexually excited over the skinny dork with glasses. Women take a lot of shit for this, but guess what? For every woman who dates a handsome jerk there’s the “nice guy” salivating at her heels, claiming to want a woman who isn’t superficial.

So everyone in the dating pool sucks, and dating sucks, and it has nothing to do with this so-called “Friend Zone.”

Thus far I’ve given men about as much crap as women, but I should mention that I do not envy men their position in this at all. The contradictory messages men receive from women are just insane. Treat her like a lady, but respect her independence. Sweep her off her feet, but don’t be aggressive. Admire her appearance, but don’t objectify her. Accept promiscuity as sexual liberation, but don’t push for sex, ask permission before each escalation, and be prepared for the consequences if she gets knocked up or regrets her decision and cries rape.

Anywho, I’m glad I’m not dating, and I’m sorry for those of you who are. Maybe people will get better soon and start understanding themselves better, leading to flawless algorithms. Or, better yet, maybe polygamy will be legalized and we can all marry James Marsden.

Now there's a guy who'll never see the inside of a Friend Zone.

If only,

S. Misanthrope

*Of course sometimes friends turn into lovers, but in that case there’s clearly no friend zone at issue.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Poor Wiener

I can't believe I'm about to say this, but I feel sorry for Anthony Wiener.

No I haven't lost my mind. I haven't changed my mind about politicians or philanderers. I haven't even really changed my mind about Wiener, but I have rediscovered the meaning of "it takes two to tango."

And oh boy, check out Mr. Wiener's dance partner.

I'm not sure I can stomach going through her entire, um, "guidebook" again, but let's see if we can't hit some key points. Pink italics are quotations from Ms. Leathers; hopefully that makes them more palatable so we can all get through this without vomiting.

"I know a lot of people judge me..., but I don't think it is their right to judge. We all have what we want to do in life and what our own personal standards are."

Ok, well, what I want to do in life is judge you. So. Hard.

"Why does having a sexting affair with a married man...make someone a "bad person"? Give me a break. I'm not a war criminal. I'm a human being who has made certain choices, some of which involve my sexuality."

Why does being a war criminal make someone a "bad person"? I'm not an adulteress. I'm a human being who has made certain choices, some of which involve mass murder. Right. As we'll see shortly, proving that Ms. Leathers is a "bad person" takes very little effort, even if we allow her the Kit-Kat defense on the adultery issue.

"For me, Anthony Weiner was a weird science experiment."

 Note how this is a totally not weird way to talk about a person with whom you were romantically involved. Nope, nothing sociopathic to see here, folks.

"Anthony says he hasn't been cheating on Huma for six months. Wrong. He last contacted me as recently as April 12. Straight up lies."

Why does lying make someone a "bad person"? Give Wiener a break. He's not a war criminal. He's a human being who has made certain choices, some of which involve his, well, wiener.

"We were like a little obsessed with each other. I do feel disloyal to him now, but I don't think I owe him anything."

I don't think I owe him anything.

I don't think I owe him anything.

Again, this is a super normal way to view a lover, guys. Completely sane.

"As far as Huma and his son, those are not my choices... I don't believe there is some "sister's code." ... Otherwise, infidelity wouldn't exist. All is fair in love and war. I'm not the one who is married. I'm obviously responsible for everything I've done, but I'm not running for mayor of New York City."

Translation: I can't think of a way to put Huma and the kid at fault, so instead I'll wash my hands of responsibility by blaming Wiener first and then other women who cheat. Then I'll throw out a tired platitude that no one really believes, after which I'll realize probably no one will buy that and go back to deflecting everything onto Wiener. I proudly own my choices, of course, but it would be totally wrong of you to judge me for them or to hold me accountable in any way.

P.S. You fucking worked for him, you little shit.

"...pretend like you're thinking about them 24/7... They want to be coddled like a baby. Basically, pretend like you're dating the middle school version of yourself. Like the prepubescent horny teenage girl with all these emotions. Lovey dovey bullshit, basically. Little stuff like "I'm thinking about you" or "I miss you.""

Holy shit, if that isn't the most heartless dismissal of another human being's emotional needs I've ever seen. That is, until I read the rest of this "guide." P.S. didn't she just say they were mutually obsessed? But now it's all pretend? Huh.

"#2: Be a little coy...
Dangr33: did you let a boy take off your party dress? (h/t elvis costello)
Sydney: Nope. I was a good girl."

"#3: Be prepared to make the first move, play on his ego and resist being sexual when he wants to be sexual."

See above. Also, shouldn't these be three separate steps?

"#4...torture him by playing hard to get"

HEALTHY people who shouldn't be judged ALWAYS advocate torture in their relationships. THIS IS ALL TOTALLY NORMAL, PEOPLE!

Okay, get ready, because my favorite paragraph is coming up.

"Yes, Anthony is married with a child. So you have to be comfortable that some people are going to brand you as an evil home wrecker. Don't read the negative comments or tweets. You just kind of have to own it and be honest and keep your head up no matter what people think of you."

Be honest.

Be honest.

Also, I cannot credit the possibility that Ms. Leathers ever declines to read something about herself. Moving on. Here's where my heart starts to break a little on Wiener's behalf.

"Also, for the record, I didn't ask for any dick pictures. He brought it up first. And then I acted uninterested and then he acted shy and it was this thing that was a drug for a while. He even told me that he was nervous. And then he sent it and said, "If this gets out anywhere, I will know that you did it." How sexy is that? That's a total turn on. He actually labeled the first one "For Syd." How sweet. The other one was called "Hangin'."

Even when he asked me to delete them, I would keep it just in case. Like a security blanket. I said that I did, but I didn't. He could easily say I was stalking him."

Don't forget to be honest, kids! Seriously, though, this is too cruel. She worms her way into the guy's pants only to laugh right in his fucking face, along with the entire goddamn world. Can you imagine if a dude did this with some girl's, I don't know, vag shots or something? He would likely go to jail. I mean, look at how this guy, a clear victim of abuse, was treated for exposing his abuser. The double-standard would make me sick if I weren't already at my maximum capacity for nausea.

From this point on, she seems to be getting off on sharing the intimate and FUCKING PRIVATE details of her relationship with Wiener (her apparent "fetish" is way more fucked up than his), and I'm not going to give her another venue for that. I'll leave that to the bullshit feminist rags. In fact, I feel like I owe Wiener an apology for reading these dirty details that are none of my business, particularly since I'm not a constituent. So thanks, S. Leathers, for putting me in debt to political slime.

It's all downhill from here, folks. I don't even know what to do with #8 (get a sugar-daddy with whom you don't have sex). I take it this is her showing off how marketable she is. Oh, honey. This entire article is splattered with your ugly orange mug, not to mention your sociopathic drivel. No one looking at this is going to come away envious of that mess.

"And don't be too proud for selfies."

She's clearly taken her own advice here. Lucky us. I suddenly feel compelled to PayPal her $600. Haha, yeah right.

"I am so vague in everything that I say. Everything is really short and to the point."

Whew, we made it! So to summarize: on the other side of every slimy, cheating man, is a far slimier, sociopathic borderline/narcissistic woman. Every. Fucking. Time. Ms. Leathers is not the sad exception; she is the norm. She's the modern "liberated" woman feminists have always dreamed of, and she currently occupies prime real estate on their pedestal. If only she had castrated the guy literally instead of merely emotionally and politically; then she'd be a real hero of womanhood.

Hm, somehow I got to the end of this without saying "cunt," so...CUNT!

To sisterhood,

S. Misanthrope

Monday, August 12, 2013

Movie Review: "Elysium" Has an "S" Sound...

Is Hollywood even trying anymore?

Did the 2007-08 writers’ strike ever actually end? Is it actually ongoing, and have all the movies since then been written by the same kid who wrote Fast Five? Because that’s the best theory I have to explain the barrage of lame coming out of Hollywood these days: that all the writers, human and manatee alike, have gone Galt, except the scab Joss Whedon, who’s playing the part of Dagny Taggart. When he gives up, it will mean the lights of all the Macbooks in Hollywood have gone out.

Don't let your retina display go out, megapixel by irreplaceable megapixel.
Anyway, so here we have Elysium, a film hell-bent on showing everyone who thinks sci-fi is a vapid genre driven by flashy special effects with a smattering of heavy-handed moralizing thrown in at the end that they are absolutely right. The film offers absolutely nothing beyond what can be gleaned from the posters: poor good, rich bad, explosions BOOM! It’s basically a nonsensical rant against gated communities set to the worst music possible.

Elysium employs every cliché, audience-insulting trick and trope in the book. The pathos is palpable and pathetic. The bad guys aren’t just bad, they’re monstrous. Jodie Foster, Queen Bitch of Elysium, is so evil she has to change clothes like Batman as part of her transition from welcoming committee (bitchy white suit) to destroyer of illegal immigrants (bitchy pewter suit). Her muscle on Earth is not a mere mercenary but a complete psychopath with “numerous human rights violations” including rape and torture, and he sucks at his job almost as much as he sucks at doing an Australian accent (but not as much as Larry the Action Guy sucks at everything). And let’s not forget Mr. Corporate Man who actually says to an Earth citizen “Don’t breathe on me.” Wow, yeah, that’s rich people to a T.

Just your typical rich dude.
On the other side of the rich/poor coin, we have an endless stream of sweet, adorable, brown people who just want a better life for themselves. And when that isn’t enough, they trot out the ultimate moral trump card: sweet, adorable, brown children (hola, Pepe). Not persuaded yet? How about sweet, adorable, brown, sick kids? How about this little Mexican girl with crutches on all four limbs a la Tiny Tim? How about the hero’s childhood friend’s nine-year-old daughter who has fucking leukemia and who tells Matt Damon a sappy story about a meerkat and a hippo while she wraps a bandage around his fucking cyborg arm? Are you crying yet? ARE YOU?

I can’t decide if these are dishonest tactics or an attempt to show the logical extreme of private property in order to illustrate that it’s “unfair.” I think if you wanted to illustrate the cruel extremities of capitalism, you would go with something like private ownership of whales or a private market for organ harvesting (both of which would be awesome, by the way). Or at least you’d show some kind of a causal link between living on a private space station and being an asshole.

Smile when you say that.
Part of the reason why I can’t figure this out is that the film doesn’t even live up to its own claims. There’s supposed to be huge disparity between the quality of life on Earth versus on Elysium due to overpopulation on Earth. Well, the horrors of overpopulation shown on Earth are frankly ridiculous. Everything is dirty, yes, but as far as can be seen, that’s the fault of a damn lazy population. There’s nothing ostensibly forcing things to be dirty. There’s no shortage of food. Everyone we see, even single male ex-criminals struggling to make it on the straight-and-narrow, gets his own house with clean running water and plenty to eat. If you’re injured, you go to the apparently free hospital and receive treatment within a few hours. You work in a factory that, aside from one idiotic foreman, looks entirely up to OSHA standards. You basically have a normal fucking life.

The only disparity that isn’t purely superficial is in the availability of medical treatment for extreme cases like cancer and having your face blown off by a grenade. So the tiny fraction of the population that’s suffering from terminal illness won’t be cured, unless they’re also part of the tiny fraction of the population that lives on Elysium. But they will receive treatment that keeps them as functional as possible short of being cured for free. So basically the dirt poor of this film live better than middle class Americans do now. Oh, the injustice! It’s just too much to bear!

Pictured: Poverty.
This is simply the whitest, first-world-problemsiest vision of poverty I have ever witnessed on the silver screen.

While the filmmakers use the medical issue as a cover, what they’re really saying visually and otherwise with this film is that it’s really unfair for some people to have nice lawns when others don’t, regardless of how those nice lawns came into being. I mean, think about it: the rich people didn’t take over some island paradise. They fucking built that space station. Everything on Elysium is something created by people, not staked out on or extracted from Earth. The poor, sick or not, have exactly zero claim to the resources of Elysium. And even if they do, how are the resources of a single space station going to support the entire population of a supposedly overpopulated planet? Well, that’s conveniently exactly when the credits roll, so we’ll never know.

Until next time,

S. Misanthrope

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Eat Pray Love: One Woman's Quest to Exploit Unhappy Women (and to Destroy a Man to Do It)

A story got back to me about one of my dear readers (heya, Josh!). Apparently Josh is currently trapped in a horrible place where people are nice to you all the time, colloquially referred to as “the South.” Words cannot express my condolences, Josh. But luckily I’m here to provide Josh with his requisite daily dose of much-needed mean-spiritedness and acerbity. So here we go:

The story about Josh brought up the book Eat, Pray, Love. I don’t really feel like explaining how, so just accept this as Truth. Something Josh and I have in common, beyond thinking that I’m amazing, is that we’ve both felt perfectly comfortable mocking EPL without knowing anything about it beyond the title and the fact that Julia Roberts used it as an excuse to torture movie audiences everywhere once more before returning to the sewers beneath a small Maine town for another 27 years. That’s really all the data you need to order to conclude that EPL is the most Oprah Book Clubby book ever, and that is the absolute worst insult one can throw at a book, below even a Facebook “Like” from Stephenie Meyer or being in the top 20 best-sellers on Kindle.

"I'm sorry, were you going to rip this bodice, or should I?"

I’d heard from a couple of sources that EPL is in fact exactly as bad as I’d imagined, so today, when it came up, I thought it might be fun to check out the Wikipedia summary. If it’s as bad as I imagine, that should be quite entertaining, at the least. Plus I’d then get bragging rights for every prediction that hit the mark. Win, win.

Well, it turned out EPL has a very sparse Wikipedia page, despite its supposed popularity, probably because the people who read EPL are exactly the kind of people who don’t contribute to the growing body of knowledge of mankind. They’re also probably the kind of people who think I should say “peoplekind” instead of “mankind.” You know what I’m saying: I’m saying they’re probably fucking coffee-shop feminists. Well, guess what? From now on, I’m going to say “peniskind,” how’s that, you mindless drones? Suck on that.

Anyway, I get at least one point for oracular prowess: my first comment upon reading the article was “Oh god, it starts with yoga. Of course.” Yes, shockingly the modern woman’s spiritual journey begins and ends in extraordinarily overpriced Lululemon yoga pants that a stripper would likely consider too blatantly man-pleasing. She (Elizabeth Gilbert) is all like “Omg yoga pants vacations,” and some “medicine man” is like “Omg a vacuous white woman!” and somberly he foretells to her of her eventual return to study at his side.

"Do these pants make my ass look spiritual?"
Ok, enough of calling Gilbert stupid. I want to focus instead on the fact that she’s clearly a massive bitch.

So, Gilbert was "unhappy in her marriage," which probably had a little to do with her name being “Gilbert” and a lot to do with her being an overgrown child. We know how unhappy she was because she would “sleep on the bathroom floor.” Personally, that sounds more like alcoholism than unhappiness to me, but moving on. Gilbert had all the trappings of success, which are, apparently, “a husband, a house, and a successful career as a writer.” First of all, I want to point out the invalidity of including the word “success” in your definition of “success.” Second of all, can we please stop pretending that this is anyone’s definition of success? Seriously, this is not the Jane Austen universe. Anyway, so Gilbert finds no satisfaction in her so-called success and ends up divorced and at a crossroads.

Mr. Gilbert may have been at a crossroads, too, but no one's going to read a book about it.
All of that we more or less inferred from the movie poster of Julia “It” Roberts sitting on a bench wearing a scarf and eating ice cream like a five-year-old. But did you know that our heroic divorcee was, wait for it, 32? Thirty-two. 30 + 2? THIRTY-TWO?!?! Oh yeah, milk that midlife crisis money for all it’s worth, baby. I don’t know which is more upsetting, that the self-appointed heroine of divorced middle-aged women everywhere was actually closer in age to the second wives of the corresponding divorced middle-aged men, or that Julia “Seriously what is wrong with her face” Roberts had the gall to play a 32-year-old.

If the age thing weren’t bad enough, guess how this spring chicken  ended up on the marital chopping block? Surprise: she didn’t! The bitch actually unilaterally divorced her husband with no cause whatsoever. This after, what, six years of marriage? Ten at the absolute most? Wow, what a trouper. She really tried her best to make that marriage work. Huzzah, no-fault divorce law! Her husband contested the divorce while she flitted off to India to get fitted for yoga pants, but the absurdly female-friendly legal system got everything sorted out to Gilbert’s benefit by the time she returned to begin her glamorous new life as an early-thirties divorcee.

And what’s the first act of any glamorous early-thirties divorcee? Why, to secure a book deal to capitalize on the sad, pathetic fantasies of late-forties divorcees, of course! Seriously, her whole trip “around the world” (read: to three places) was paid for in advance by her publisher.

This is bullshit.

Memoirs are always shit. This is known. But how it is even legal to call something a “memoir” if you planned the whole damn thing in advance? Tiger Mom didn’t secure funding for her book deal before she started torturing her kids. You’re supposed to torture your kids just because, and then write a book about it!  You’re supposed to, you know, “risk it all” by wandering around the world for a year before someone pays you to. Otherwise it’s not a goddamn risk, is it? It’s a fucking vacation that you’re somewhat legally obligated to write about afterward.

What a fucking poser.

Basically what we have here is that Elizabeth Gilbert is to Carrier Bradshaw what Carrie Bradshaw is to actual women: someone whose income-to-work and glamor-to-life ratios are so far off the charts they’re orbiting Saturn right now. Fuck, even Carrie couldn’t convince her publisher to pay for her to flounce about Europe for a year and had to take an actual risk (unemployment) when moving to Paris. Sex and the City has more realism than this woman’s actual life!

Pictured: Something much closer to reality.
Are we seriously celebrating this bitch?

Wikipedia offers almost zero details of what Gilbert actually did on her trip. She apparently spent four months eating in Italy, three months “finding her Spirituality” in India (yes, “Spirituality” is fucking capitalized, I shit you not) and I guess like a week or two hooking up with a Brazilian businessman in Indonesia. Of course the expressed purpose of the Indonesian leg of this bold voyage of self-discovery was to find a “balance” between eating and praying. I can only imagine that means she went to consult a physician about the appropriate calorie intake for her new sedentary, sorry, I mean “meditative” lifestyle. But instead she just happened to meet Mr. Love and boom, a best-selling book title was born.

This “love” part is supposed to be brave, by the way, because she “wasn’t looking for love.” What kind of bravery do you need to fall for a Brazilian business man? Brazilian = hot, everyone knows this. And he’s a businessman, not an artist or a surfer or whatever. Dude makes bank. She doesn’t even have to sacrifice material comforts to love him.
I didn't even have to qualify "Brazilian man" to get this result.
Here is from the description of the plot of the film: "Gilbert steps out of her comfort zone, risking everything to change her life." Look, you dumb cunt, 1. Italy is not outside anyone’s “comfort zone,” 2. women risk nothing by initiating a divorce in our current legal system, 3. a paid vacation funded by your employer and, let’s face it, probably your alimony, is not, I repeat NOT a risk, and 4. I can’t imagine India was outside your comfort zone either since you just told us about how you’d already been there.

Let me just take a second to go over this “Eat” part of the equation, too. Aside from the obvious ridiculousness of taking a third-world problem of starvation and turning it into a second-world problem of obesity and wrap that up into a first-world problem of anorexia and all that shit, did you really say to yourself “Gee, you know what would be revolutionary? Writing a book about how good the food in Italy is.” Again, Wiki tells us: "She discovers the true pleasures of nourishment in Italy." I mean, I realize Italian food is amazeballs, but I'm pretty sure the pleasures of food are all around us all the time in the western world. That's kind of the problem.

Pictured: Julia Roberts sitting on that bench after four months of gelato.
If you want to experience the true pleasures of food, or for that matter of prayer or sex, go on a tour in Iraq. I guarantee you you will come back very satisfied with your house and your career and the man who was dumb enough to meld his destiny with yours. Oh, wait a minute. I just realized something. These things that disappointed you and led to your big “Around the World in Eight Menstrual Cycles” adventure: the house, the husband, the career. You only really abandoned one of those, didn’t you? I mean, you still live under a roof, presumably, and this whole shebang was made possible by that darned, unsatisfying, successful career as a writer, wasn’t it? So what you really didn’t like was simply your husband.

Fuck you, you horrid cunt.


S. Misanthrope

P.S. My therapist says I need to say one nice thing each day, so here goes: At least she didn’t have kids with the poor sod.

P.P.S. By the way, the full title is even more pretentious: Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia. And yes, she fucking capitalizes the preposition. Again: you dumb bitch.

P. P.P.S. I may check out the parody Drink, Play, Fuck (One Man's Search for Anything Across Ireland, Vegas and Thailand.

P.P.P.P.S. This is way, way worse than I'd ever envisioned.