This is serious. I am surrounded by American college students, and not a single one is charged with fiery excitement over the imminent release (this is starting to sound sexual) of the movie WATCHMEN.

Not a one.

Will I be forced to wear bright blue tights and shoes, in a clear and witty tip of the aesthetic hat to Dr. Manhattan, all alone at Gaumont Parnasse*?

Because that will be sad. I will do it, but it will be sad.

*get it, because, see, it’s in “Mont-parnasse”

Conversely, and in a spectacular show of bad taste and misplaced priorities, everyone was all gung-ho to see Banlieue 13: Ultimatum, and— actually, B13U was really cool.

I hear it’s a sequel, but that doesn’t matter at all because what it’s really about is parkour, exposed male flesh, and the politics of race and class in a futuristic France. Mostly the first two things.

It is completely ridiculous, and I loved every second of it. Wanna see the trailer? Of course you do.

Also, Luc Besson wrote the screenplay. If suppose if I had just said that, you could have inferred the rest.

vive le moi


vive le moi

my mother


I know you may be lonely. Are you enjoying yourself? Have you been to the Louvre? Do you have enough money?

I love you!

Dear Kellogg’s,

You know what elephants look like, right?

Real elephant.

Real elephant.

Roughly like that. They are huge, powerful, and generally magnificent.

They are most emphatically not slender. They’re kind of known for that. Therefore, if you need your cereal mascot to be built like an action hero, with a big barrel chest and a trim waspish waist, you probably shouldn’t choose to make that mascot an elephant.

This is not a hypothetical suggestion. This is a reaction to this piece of “what the hell damn balls is this shit”:

Real elephants do not look like that, Kellogg’s people, not even the young ones. They look like this:

Baby elephant.

Baby elephant.

and they will continue to do so no matter how much you disapprove, and no matter how bad you make them feel about it.

Love, but only for the elephants,

It is not, perhaps, entirely because the whale is so excessively unctuous that landsmen seem to regard the eating of him with abhorrence; that appears to result, in some way, from the consideration before mentioned: i.e. that a man should eat a newly murdered thing of the sea, and eat it too by its own light. But no doubt the first man that ever murdered an ox was regarded as murderer; perhaps he was hung; and if he had been put on his trial by oxen, he certainly would have been; and he certainly deserved it if any murderer does. Go to the meat-market of a Saturday night and see the crowds of live bipeds staring up at the long rows of dead quadrupeds. Does not that sight take a tooth out of the cannibal’s jaw? Cannibals? who is not a cannibal? I tell you it will be more tolerable for the Fejee that salted down a lean missionary in his cellar against a coming famine; it will be more tolerable for that provident Fejee, I say, in the day of judgment, than for thee, civilized and enlightened gourmand, who nailest geese to the ground and featest on their bloated livers in they pate-de-fois-gras.

But Stubb, he eats the whale by its own light, does he? and that is adding insult to injury, is it? Look at your knife-handle, there, my civilized and enlightened gourmand dining off that roast beef, what is that handle made of?—what but the bones of the brother of the very ox you are eating? And what do you pick your teeth with, after devouring that fat goose? With a feather of the same fowl. And with what quill did the Secretary of the Society for the Suppression of Cruelty to Ganders formerly indite his circulars? It is only within the last month or two that that society passed a resolution to patronize nothing but steel pens.

Moby-Dick, or The Whale by Herman Melville

some pig

or, What the hell is wrong with the people I live with?

“All women are like that, all sluts like that.”

“Government would be more fair if some of us didn’t have to support lazy people.”

“If she didn’t want her body to be used as a sex object, she shouldn’t have become a prostitute.”

Obviously I can’t let these comments pass unchallenged. I have done so in the past — we all have. We all know how bad it feels to ride out a hateful conversation for the sake of temporary harmony. It’s not worth it.

Unfortunately, I’m a stranger in these parts. I’m the new kid. It’s not a big deal when I’m around friends and someone says, “He’s not sexist, more like anachronistic,” and I snap back, “So it’s not sexism if you’re just old?” The conversation may falter briefly, my closest friends look at me with either love or exasperated affection in their eyes, everything is fine.

This is not the case among new acquaintances. I’ve been here for only a month, and the unacceptable remarks keep piling up. The three quoted above are from the last week alone, the final two from the last 48 hours. The heavy silence that descends over a table, the discomfort that seeps out of an authority figure with a horror of stepping outside written guidelines into questions of right and wrong — these experiences are becoming more and more familiar.

As they do so, my understanding of my own personality shifts and shakes. When everyone in the room stares as if at someone wearing a dynamite vest, or when all my dinner compatriots avert their eyes, the solid foundations of my personality seem to crumble. Kind, intelligent, funny, loved? Not now, not in this room, not among these people. My closest friends are becoming accustomed to the question, “I’m not a bad person, right?”

I’m not thrilled at the prospect of having some kind of militant buzzkill reputation within my home, but the common thread of my antagonism is the insistence on universal human dignity. I am willing to stand by that.

Ultimately, I am far more afraid of an environment in which all can comfortably take hatred for granted than I am of the distaste and discomfort of my peers.

they toil not, neither do they write angry letters

Sometimes people say silly things. Breathe deeply and gaze into the blurry daffodils.

When it is ass-stupid.

John Ashbery, in New York magazine, dismissed the entire genre of male nude photography with the same sexist tautology that covertly underlies that Times piece on cultural “overexposure”: “Nude women seem to be in their natural state; men, for some reason, merely look undressed … When is a nude not a nude? When it is male.” (Substitute “blacks” and “whites” for “women” and “men” and you’ll see how offensive the statement is.)

The Male Body: A New Look at Men in Public and in Private by Susan Bordo

Ashbery and our old friend Winckelmann should talk.

In not at all stupid news, though I am biased here, Miss Prism has linked to me! As an example of an excellent blog! I don’t know how or why it came to pass that people I didn’t go to middle school with are reading this, but I say huzzah.


Here are my ten, which became twelve because if you know me you know I have a lot of love to give. I refrained from tongue-bathing the favorites I think many people know of, though if you aren’t reading I Blame the Patriarchy, Shapely Prose, and Brooklyn Tweed (for example), you’re missing out.

coloursknits: Gorgeous photos of gorgeous knitting, and the site is so beautifully designed that I swear my heartrate goes down when I look at it.

Flint Knits: If you would like to be overcome with delight, please read about the dog sweater and the monkey.

freaksexual: His posts on gender and sexuality are few and far between but epic in their scope and insight.

The Health Institute of Nutrition: Brilliant satire of the “obesity epidemic” hysteria. How brilliant? This is the tagline: “1 in 100 Girls Will Suffer Anorexia Nervosa. America, We Can Do Better.”

Hillbilly, Please: I don’t remember how I found this blog, but it never fails to cheer me.

needled: Thoughtful commentary on why we make things and what role things have in our lives anyway. If you, like me, stayed up far too late last night, you might find that intimidating, but don’t. There are also extremely pretty pictures.

pepperknit: Food and knitting and beautiful photos of life. I am falling all over myself to try her citrus basil granita.

peskyapostrophe: Politics! And occasional knitting, but mostly smart looks at political trends and events from someone with an unusual perspective (she works in reproductive rights).

Sitting in trees: Kristina is the friend of a friend, and I vote for her blog as “most likely to gain Virginia Woolf’s approval.” If VW hadn’t died before the internet was invented.

Smitten Kitchen: You knew I made the chocolate stout cake, but this past weekend I tried out the chocolate chip cookies too (verdict: delicious but way too many chips; next time I’d cut from two cups to one rather than one and a half). There are no photos of these cookies because they are in our bellies.

Sway Knits: I feel silly because some of these recommendations are just a variation on “this is pretty and makes me like life,” but is there higher praise than that? This blog is pretty, and it makes me like life.

Those Aren’t Muskets!: My favorite sketch comedy group that I sometimes get to hang out with. You may know them from the Digg sensation “Internet Party“? Yes, you should be jealous of me, because they are really funny and charming and attractive, and some of them even know my name and long story short the thought of my high school reunion doesn’t paralyze me with fear and self-loathing anymore.


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