December 11, 2008

What we lie about when we lie about reading.

"The men polled said they would be most impressed by women who read news websites, Shakespeare or song lyrics. Women said men should have read Nelson Mandela's biography or Shakespeare."

Since everyone seems to revere or fake-revere Shakespeare, why not hew to the Shakespearean answer to any question about what you've been reading? "Words, words, words."

But, man, Nelson Mandela's biography? That is incredibly lame of women to say they'd be hot for a man who gave that answer. And as for the men who say they'd be impressed by women who read song lyrics... that just goes to show one more time that women don't really have to impress men. Oh, but you say they said they'd be impressed by a woman who read Shakespeare? I'm willing to bet the men were just saying that so women would think they read Shakespeare.

By the way, guys, I read news websites. Impressed?

83 comments:

chuck b. said...

Song lyrics. That is too funny.

Bissage said...

Now he's telling her
Every little thing he's done
Once he glanced at the jackets of some paperbacks
Now he's read every one
He's such a drag
He's not insane
It's just that everybody
Has to feel his pain
There's gonna be no dancing when they get home

-- E. Costello

MadisonMan said...

I'm impressed by a woman who reads Newspapers and magazines. All of them.

Original George said...

When your baby is pleading for pleasure
Let her sample your 'Measure for Measure.'

Girls are also favorably impressed by lads who quote Cole Porter. Ask my wife.

Brush Up Your Shakespeare.

traditionalguy said...

Who reads plays much less plays in Shakespeare's English. Now going to see a top class Shakespeare performance is a pure delight. If you haven't been there you will be very happy with a 3-4 day trip to Stratford [Ontario] Festival Theater and seeing 3-4 plays. They have Shakespear and Greek and Broadway musicals and great European theater. The acting in the productions is superior to the NY City plays. So check it out and take the significant other on a great experience.

Paddy O. said...

I'm impressed by women who make Elf quotes during the Christmas season.

Smilin' Jack said...

"For all the talk of our superficial obsession with beauty, it looks like underneath it all we know that brains contribute to sex appeal too."

Yes--brains help us figure out which books to fake having read.

SteveR said...

All those years of thinking that studying things like math and science in order to get a good job would impress women and all along it should have been Shakespeare.

I guess it was not to be.

Mr. Smarterthanyou said...

I am impressed by women who realize that their feelings are not and should not be the prime mover for the universe and everyone that they come into contact with.

That and the ability to keep a straight face after a silent fart in an elevator...

rhhardin said...

Read ``The Solid Gold Cadillac'' to get an understanding of Sarah Palin.

veni vidi vici said...

Would prefer to read Winnie Mandela's memoir than Nelson's.

Because I always wanted to know what amount of gasoline and which tire-size would work best on one's political opponents.

Trooper York said...

This should be linked to the prior post about book clubs. The condescension and pretentiousness of these douches just drips off them like sweat when Patrick Ewing was at the foul line.

You see if you ask a guy would he rather date a woman who reads Jane Austen and dead Russian guys from the 19th century or a girl who only reads books with Fabio on the cover, you must know which one he would prefer.

The one with the biggest tits.

siyeh pass said...

hat's off to ya, MM

Meade said...

"By the way, guys, I read news websites. Impressed?"

Impressed isn't even the word for it. I can't believe how compatible we are! Don't tell me - you also like walking in the rain and snow when there's nowhere to go. Unbelievable! Wait, wait... kittens and puppy dogs - do you adore them? I knew it. What about double rainbows?

SteveR said...

The one with the biggest tits.

Impressive

AJ Lynch said...

Do you mean the William Shakespeare who played QB at Notre Dame?

Anthony said...

I feel compelled to relate this story. Seems a few years ago some guy worked out at the same gym as me. Despite a notable lack of any homosexual tendencies on my part, I have to admit that he was one attractive specimen. Not a male model type, but he had excellent proportions, muscular without being overly so, and what I would deem to be facial features that females would find alluring.

Being at least somewhat competitive, at least in theory as these things go, as an archaeology PhD and one who reads widely, I thought I at least had him on the intellectual bit.

Until I saw him in the locker room reading Kant or something similar.

God damn it.

Now cue to that scene from Roxanne where the tall, handsome, but not overly bright Chris (Rick Rossovich) is seen coming out of a bookstore with a copy of 'Being and Nothingness', which he was actually going in to get for an embarrassed (and dweeby) Andy.

SteveR said...

I feel like a part of me is dying.

Do you like pina coladas?

Ann Althouse said...

"Until I saw him in the locker room reading Kant or something similar."

Wasn't he lying about reading... to impress you?

Paddy O. said...

"They stayed for one night in a hotel on Sunset Boulevard which someone had told them they would enjoy being puzzled by.

Everyone there is either English or odd or both. They've got a swimming pool where you can go and watch English rock stars reading Language, Truth and Logic for the photographers.

It was true. There was one and that was exactly what he was doing."

~Douglas Adams, So Long & Thanks for All the Fish

Dogwood said...

The lameness does not surprise given the fact that more than half of the participants in the survey were teenagers.

MichAnnette said...

Who in the world did they survey?? The answers of those polled totally confuse me!! My wonderful husband and I are totally "reading incompatible"!

Meade said...

Alright, this is all very personal but since we've reached such a deep level of intimacy in such a short amount of time, I'm going to go all out and make a confession: I never lie about the books I've read or haven't read.

What I do do however, when picking up a date: as I'm walking from my car to her door, I sniff my armpits and then cup my hand under my mouth to see if I can detect any bad breath. If I fart on the way, I fan the back of my pants with an open hand. Then I lick my palm and try one final time to paste down that annoying cowlick.

Duscany said...

If women (girls?) like men who read Nelson Mandella's autobiography that can only be because they were assigned that in high school and told it was a great book.

I think more women are interested in looking at a man's bank statement than seeing what's on his literature shelf.

Real men make money. Everything else is nice but not required.

Ron said...

"Until I saw him in the locker room reading Kant or something similar."

Wasn't he lying about reading... to impress you?


Really, honest, no shit....Are synthetic a priori judgements possible? I gotsta know!

I'd be impressed if Althouse were to vlog reading news websites while listening to Helmet while doing tequila shots!

Darcy said...

LOL, Meade! Charming. :)

I don't care what a man reads. I care what he has to say.

Jeremy said...

Who the hell reads books (much less Kant) in a locker room? Get showered, get dressed and get out of there. It's not a lounge.

Darcy said...

Good call, Jeremy! Someone who wants to be seen reading Kant?

Meade said...

Hey, and Darcy - lucky you! - we have a lunch date coming up next August!

We are still on, right?

Chip Ahoy said...

No lame tag?

Darcy said...

You betcha, Meade!

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I lost 20 IQ points just by reading that article. No lie.

Beldar said...

It's much easier to form impressions from what someone writes than what they read, and in the case of bloggers (who show their work with hyperlinks), the writing shows both.

As for how impressive yours makes you, Professor Althouse, that I am a regular reader (proved so by not infrequent comments) probably speaks more tellingly than would my mere words, words, words.

Joan said...

I lost 20 IQ points just by reading that article. No lie.

Thanks for the warning, DBQ.

I think it's weird to lie about reading. Usually if a written piece (article, book, whatever) comes up in conversation, it's so you can continue to talk about it. If you lie, that will be revealed within a few exchanges, right? Seems a stupid thing to lie about. The context of the article seemed to be "choosing reading material to pretend to be reading when your date shows up," which is another head-scratcher. What do you say when your date recognizes what you're (fake)reading and asks you about it?

tjl said...

"Who the hell reads books (much less Kant) in a locker room? Get showered, get dressed and get out of there. It's not a lounge"

It all depends on the clientele. People do tend to linger in the locker room at my gym. Kant isn't usually the reason.

Joe M. said...

Nice title.

Matt Eckert said...

"Who the hell reads books (much less Kant) in a locker room? Get showered, get dressed and get out of there. It's not a lounge"

The reading was not what was impressive it was the way the guy turned the pages with his dick.

rhhardin said...

I know at least one babe that gets mad if you read Derrida.

Trooper York said...

See it's easy if you wonderful like Bissage.

Then it doesn't matter what books you read.

knox said...

That and the ability to keep a straight face after a silent fart in an elevator...

A silent fart.... yes, I could keep a straight face. Otherwise, no.

Nelson Mandela's biography? All due respect, who gives a flying...

Eric said...

I don't care, at all, what kind of literature a girl reads. If she keeps up on current events, that's enough. In truth I do make a Shakespeare joke every once in awhile, but she won't get all my jokes anyway.

Meade said...

Whew!

And knox, and Freeman, and Ron... Who else? Come on you introverts - stretch yourselves.

Wouldn't it be cool if Professor Eleanor Abigail Anna Banana Susie Zimmy Althouse were in the midst of one of her flying-sports-car-see-the-USA-in-about-one-day tours and she stopped in for lunch with us? She could live-blog it and we could leave comments critiquing her table manners.

Anonymously of course.

Darcy said...

Yes! That would be fun, Meade. I hope a bunch of people can come.

I have to look the dates up again, but there's plenty of time.

Trooper York said...

You don't want to do that man. She is a very messy eater. Stay with the illusion.

I remember when she flung that lobster roll at Palladian’s head. Ah, Good Times.

Glen said...

traditionalguy said...
Who reads plays much less plays in Shakespeare's English?

Shakespeare was also a poet. The sonnets alone might suffice eh? But who reads poetry?

Give me a girl who reads D. Thomas, C. McCarthy, M. McDonaugh, N. Stephenson or A. Althouse.

Now which of those are the lie?

Original George said...

Sonnet 135 works well on the willing, as will 29.

Meade said...

"I remember when she flung that lobster roll..."

She loves Palladian. She does.

That bastard.

Trooper York said...

I don't know man. I think Bissage has moved in there.

But of course he is wonderful.

Ron said...

Meade, Darcy, et al...let's rent a stretch limo, cruise to Madison for an Althouse-a-thon! Group blogging, much dining, (c'mon we get too many coffeehouses and not enough dining posts!) general cavorting...it'd be fun!

Then Althouse could return the favor next summer with the Drive-'n'-Blog summer VaCa, come to each of our towns and return the favor! Much mirth to be had!

ricpic said...

The Magic Words

If she's hot
A book lover she's not.
Except in a few select cases --
"Jean-Paul Sartre," you're off to the races!

AJ Lynch said...

Shakespeare the football player:

http://www.collegefootball.org/famersearch.php?id=30060

EDH said...

The trick is to photo/videographed in front of shelves lined with books, that way you give the impression of being well read and you don't even have to tell a lie.

knox said...

Meade,

I'm still planning on it. Hopefully we will actually be living in Ohio by then...

knox said...

...but no silent farts alowed!

knox said...

or allowed

Darcy said...

LOL, knox. I'll bring my pocket fan that I take to tennis.

Meade said...

I like it, Ron.

Troop, we'll give super special wonderful mapquest directions to Bissage. If we do it right, he'll wind up in wonderful Peoria. Zone 6a.

ricpic made me laugh.

Darcy, don't worry - my hand waving technique is level 4.5

Trooper York said...

Hey if you outlaw silent farts you take away half of Meade's repertoire.

He just stuck with sticking straws up his nose and doing walrus impressions

Meade said...

knox! you're moving to Ohio? Near me? or rh?

Darcy said...

ricpic made me laugh, too! Except it really wasn't so charming. :)

Meade said...

BTW, York, chicks happen to dig my walrus act. It's the one time I'm comfortable really letting the cowlick go wild.

Trooper York said...

Hey don't get me wrong, it's a great bit.

And when you swallow those fish whole that they throw at you, it just goes to show that a little fishy taste doesn't slow you down. Bodes well for the ladies ya know.

It's just a people pleaser.

Richard Fagin said...

Joan had to read Samuelson's calculus text and at least one physics text. I'm impressed. You can make stuff up about Shakespeare and get an A. Can't do that for calculus class.

Ron said...

Trooper, Meade, get a room already will ya! And take Althouse with you!

I promise no silence from me!
"Fart Proudly!" Ben Franklin wrote!

veni vidi vici said...

"People do tend to linger in the locker room at my gym. Kant isn't usually the reason."

Unless it's a co-ed locker room.

1jpb said...

Ha!

Our (announced) new HHS Secretary must be popular w/ the ladies.

He quoted Mandela's book at the end of a recent health care speech in Colorado where he was talking about the BHO health care plan. (His other quote was from Churchill.)

P.S.
There seems to be a lot of easy ridicule (including from Althouse) aimed at Mandela's book. I don't get that.

Have folks read and disliked his book?

Is it not elite enough for this crowd?

Have folks not read the book, but dislike it anyway?

I don't get the hostility.

Pogo said...

When looking for love, men should lie about what they read, if their usual fare is limited to comic books ("graphic novels") and porn.

Trooper York said...

It's simple really. That is the kind of politically correct tome that pretentious egghead’s professors use to impress college freshman so they can get laid.

No different than reading Carlos Castaneda or Siddhartha or the life of Gandhi in previous incantations. Something else to establish your Phil Donahue, Alan Alda, Keith Olberman, Daily Kos, Alpha Liberal uber-liberal intellectual street cred when what you really read is the TV guide on the toilet.

We are not mocking Mandela. We are mocking the pussies who think reading that makes them cool. Just sayn’

Pogo said...

I will surprise no one by admitting that I do not lie about what I read.

However, no one really gives a shit what I read, and I impress them not at all.

It would be really cool to make a fake bookcover for my books, like Nelson Mandela and Me: A Love Story, and Photoshop me into a picture with 'Nels'.
Heh.

Trooper York said...

Actually Nelson Mandela was a pretty cool guy for a commie. I mean he dumped the flaming tire bitch and was getting blow jobs from Naomi Campbell when he was about 90 freakin year’s old.

He should write a book about picking up chicks and how to screw supermodels. I’d read that.

Ann Althouse said...

Zimmy?

EDH said...

A Dylan reference?

peter hoh said...

Sometimes, I lie about.

Sometimes, when I'm lying about, I am also reading.

Sometimes I lie about how much I lie about, reading.

With the right book, I could lie about, reading about lying.

m00se said...

I read the news *on* websites.

Does that count?

Christy said...

So that's why no guys hit on me the summer I read Godel, Escher, and Bach at the beach! No hits either when I'd take The Sufi Way to the ballpark early enough to catch batting practice.

IRL the guys that I talk Shakespeare with are gay, so hotness isn't an issue. The guys who appreciate my collection of Gaiman are 30 years younger than I am. No way I'm reading Stephenson in public; there lies the way to thumb cramps.

Wouldn't lies about reading only work when neither are readers?

blake said...

I love Shakespeare.

But I don't actually read the guy. Sheesh.

Pogo said...

"So that's why no guys hit on me the summer I read Godel, Escher, and Bach at the beach!"

My theory?
A book being read by a woman in public is a shield from men.

A book being read by a man in public is a chastity belt.

ron st.amant said...

The woman could always ask the man to quote (at length) some Shakespeare. It wouldn't be absolute proof, but a fair indicator.
I wonder if there's a study that breaks down men and women by reading non-fiction and fiction.
My anectdotal evidence is that men tend to read more non-fiction that women, and women more fiction.

Darcy said...

My theory?
A book being read by a woman in public is a shield from men.


Dang it. I need to put down the books! :)

But seriously, yeah...If I'm reading a book in public, I don't want to be bothered. Makes sense.

Shanna said...

I'm impressed by women who make Elf quotes during the Christmas season.
If a man said “I like to whisper too” to me I would be puddy in his hands.

Joan said...

Joan had to read Samuelson's calculus text and at least one physics text.

!

If you're talking about me, it wasn't Samuelson, it was Thomas and Finney. (I'm old, remember.) I still have it around here somewhere. There's little wisdom in hanging on to textbooks in general, but I figured a calculus text wouldn't become obsolete.

These days, people impress me by being kind.

Christy said...

Pogo, A book being read by a woman in public is a shield from men. What can I say? Sharing a beach house, starting the party circuit at 4.... A girl needs some alone time.

PJ said...

They lie about politics, too.