October 15, 2009

What makes a good column about friendship?

Lindsay Beyerstein thinks the Double X friendship expert is a sociopath — but, interestingly, fails to denounce her as an anti-feminist, even though she thinks Double X is full of anti-feminists. She cites a particular item of advice — from Lucinda Rosenfeld — which essentially says toughen up and quit crying about how your friends aren't good enough friends. Plus, Rosenfeld has a background in unsentimental writing about friendship:
Before taking the gig at Double-X, Rosenfeld produced a substantial body of anti-friend literature, including a novel about friends who despise each other (the official website even lets you stick pins in a flash voodoo doll!). She's also the author of How to Dump a Friend (2001) and Our Mutual Friend: how to steal friends and influence people (2004).
But who would want to read a column that simply counseled people in the obvious? You should be a good and caring friend — which Beyerstein hastens to tell us she sure is. Beyerstein acknowledges that the advice she'd give the letter writer (whose friends abandoned her when she was in need) would be boring. So you'd have to find a different letter to write about, wouldn't you?

You have to come up with something surprising for the column to be readable. Here's the Rosenfeld column in question. Not that I'm interested in reading advice columns, but I do think female friendships are a fascinating subject for incisive analysis. It's a feminist topic, but I'd like some analysis that's scarily honest and unlubricated by feminist treacle.

113 comments:

sonicfrog said...

I just don't get the concept behind Double X. It's so much easier maintaining a friendship between guys. Here's how it works:

"Hey man, wanna go get a beer"?

"Sure, cool".

This is also why some guys are leary of the whole homosexual thing. It disturbs the simplicity of it all.

paul a'barge said...

Why are all of Magic-Thighs commenters men?

Fred4Pres said...

Guys can avoid talking to a friend for years and pick up as if there was no passage of time. Beer helps, but only because guys like beer. There is a beautiful simplicity to it all.

edutcher said...

My mother always told me, "Women don't like other women the way men like other men" (No, she didn't mean that, either). And that was before feminism came along.

As I watched the "feminist sisterhood" Alinskyize any woman who didn't see it their way, I understood what she meant. If two guys have a problem, they'll fight it out - unless, of course, one's a lefty and then he'll do the Alinsky thing and hide behind the courts.

knox said...

I think it's easy to have a girlfriend here and there. But in my experience, large groups of female friends don't work. The inevitable cattiness and jealousies always erupt.

In college I had 4 roomates who couldn't get along. The cleaning schedule was a big issue of contention. I tried to stay out of it, but not even that worked: they would just get mad at me for refusing to take sides. sigh. All of these girls were normal and smart, quite likable separately. But put them together and it eventually created tension.

I have some good girlfriends, but a gaggle of females who all get along is pretty rare. Again, in my experience.

The Crack Emcee said...

Damn it, sonicfrog, you're destroying the whole narrative. Sigh.

This topic made me think of my ex and her friends. They'd be discussing something - anything - and I'd catch a part of it as I was walking by and say, "No it ain't" or whatever, and go back to what I was doing, hearing them, then, feverishly discussing what an asshole I am.

Eventually though, I would hear the discussion continue, trying desperately to get around my objection, until one of those geniuses would say, "WAIT A MINUTE - HE'S RIGHT", and they'd figure out what they needed to do. The next time I'd walk by, that table of women would be staring at me like I had psychic powers or something.

I know it made them feel good to eventually, finally, best me through divorce.

That's all feminism, etc. means to me: A sucker punch applied to someone who didn't know he was in a fight. Like how post-Barack black kids are clocking unaware white people on the street. "It's all part of the whole."

The only thing special that I can see right now is the human capacity to delude oneself. And women excel at that. They've taught me more about the misfiring of the human mind than anything else on the planet. Write about that. That would make a ground-breaking column.

And, if you want to cloak it in talk about friendship, be my guest.

Andrea said...

There was a dream for a while that feminism would free women from the shackles of their own sentimentality, childishness, and pettiness -- that we would be able to live lives of emotional discipline, like men, and finally get some things done. But that was no fun -- especially giving up the "poor little me" victim status that so many women enjoy. So feminism just became another, if more politically and socially powerful, way of being silly and catty and envious. Thus we have more and more laws designed to protect the hurt feelings of women, children, and feminine and childlike men.

Fred4Pres said...

Okay. Group hug. {{{hug}}}

feel better?

Andrea said...

Oh God! I just took a look at "majikthise" on her website -- isn't her photo a parody of the standard Feminist Womyn? She's got the short "lesbian lite" haircut, the no makeup, the plain black t-shirt with the Real Man (in this case, Johnny Cash, whom I didn't realize was a feminist icon, with songs like "Delia" and all) image on it to show all those beta males out there what really makes a tingle run up a feminist leg...

Jeff with one 'f' said...

"It's a feminist topic, but I'd like some analysis that's scarily honest and unlubricated by feminist treacle."

i.e. an un-feminist analysis of a feminist topic. Or is it a feminist topic? Just by virtue of being a female topic does it become a feminist topic?

Skeptical said...

I am not a Beyerstein fan. But she's so obviously right here that I'm not sure why anyone would give her grief about it. If you treat your friends as just having instrumental value, then what you are is, in practice if not by nature, a sociopath.

rhhardin said...

I have lots of friends, mostly out of contact for over a decade.

Not much stroking is necessary.

Andrea said...

I must say, though...

Having read the "sociopathic" article in question (really, people shouldn't toss around psychiatric definitions like that as if they meant nothing), I am not so sure Beyerstein isn't correct in this instance, at least about the reply Rosenfeld gave to the letter writer. The default response should be, you go get your friend at the emergency room (and before that, the friends should not simply have left when the girl went to the bathroom and "never came back." They should have gone to the loo after her. I would have done it for someone I barely knew, back in my concert-going days, much less someone I'd known for ten years.

The thing is, both women are taking for granted the letter-writer has given them all the information, but I think she's left a lot out which could change the equation and end up with Rosenfeld being correct, at least about some things. (No, I don't think she's correct about women friends not having to take look out for each other like family and boyfriends should look after "their" women.) But the response of the friends is actually abnormal -- real women friends don't just accept that one of their bunch "must have gone home" when they say they are going to the bathrooom and then "don't come back." Their actions make me think that this girl has pulled stunts before -- like finding some guy and going off with him, leaving them frantic with worry until they finally find her the next day and she airily informs them of her night's activities. Or that she tends to booze and drug it up and need picking up hither and yon at all hours, and that this "my drink was spiked" incident was the straw on the camel's back. That seems more likely than the "I thought they were my trusted friends for ten years until for once I really needed them and they suddenly turned on me" scenario.

William said...

Don't make friends with anyone who seeks friendship advice from columnists.

Henry said...

I've read Rosenfeld's column and Beyerstein's critique.

My reaction is this. The candy fuchsia type on Double X is nauseating, but doesn't come close to the sociopathic disorder of the browser-rendered Palatino on Beyerstein's site.

I'm not sure why a feminist journal would pick purple-pink as its brand color. Is it irony? But spare me the effete design geek infatuation with the non-standard typeface.

Balfegor said...

Like how post-Barack black kids are clocking unaware white people on the street. "It's all part of the whole."

Uh, what? There are, I grant, aspects of the White Experience in America that are closed to me, but I haven't noticed this going on. Did we have Slap a White day and no one told me?

phosphorious said...

A sniipy Althouse post aimed a woman for not not being feminsist enough for Althouse's taste.

Typical catfight.

ricpic said...

Genuine friendship is only possible between two independent people: they come together, enjoy each others company, and then go their separate ways, expecting nothing more of each other.

former law student said...

It's a feminist topic, but I'd like some analysis that's scarily honest and unlubricated by feminist treacle.

Feminism is not the issue here; friendship is. Friends don't ditch friends at the bar, especially when everyone has a cell phone. Do friends respond to 4am phone calls from their incapacitated friends? My classmate who had been roofied and woke up in the strange apartment called one of her friends in the middle of the night. That friend (forget if it was male or female) drove over, picked her up, and, upon examination, decided to take her to the emergency room.

To me the difference is between acquaintances/drinking buddies on the one hand, and real friends on the other. Although in my youth, even acquaintances made sure I got home safely after a night of overindulgence.

I think Lindsey -- who is very reasonable in her feminism; the opposite of Shakespeare's Sisters or Feministe -- merely mentioned antifeminists to show Double X's contrary streak.

Synova said...

"But the response of the friends is actually abnormal -- real women friends don't just accept that one of their bunch "must have gone home" when they say they are going to the bathrooom and then "don't come back." Their actions make me think that this girl has pulled stunts before --"

Isn't that the thing now? You make a pact to check-in, to make sure that a friend knows where you are and who you are with... send a cell-phone photo of the guy and his license plate?

former law student said...

Did we have Slap a White day and no one told me?

Rambling Rush on September 15:

RUSH: Hey, look, folks, the white kid on that bus in Belleville, Illinois, he deserved to be beat up. You don't know about this story? Oh, there's video of this. The school bus filled with mostly black students beat up a white student a couple of times with all the black students cheering. Of course the white student on the bus deserved the beating. He was born a racist. That's what Newsweek magazine told us in its most recent cover. It's Obama's America, is it not? Obama's America, white kids getting beat up on school buses now. You put your kids on a school bus, you expect safety but in Obama's America the white kids now get beat up with the black kids cheering, "Yay, right on, right on, right on, right on," and, of course, everybody says the white kid deserved it, he was born a racist, he's white. Newsweek magazine told us this. We know that white students are destroying civility on buses, white students destroying civility in classrooms all over America, white congressmen destroying civility in the House of Representatives.

We can redistribute students while we redistribute their parents' wealth. We can redistribute everything. Just return the white students to their rightful place, their own bus with bars on the windows and armed guards. They're racists. They get what they deserve. Newsweek magazine told us this, post-racial America. I wonder if Obama is going to come to the defense the assailants the way he did his friend Skip Gates up there at Harvard. I mean the assailants are presumed innocent due to the white racism we all know runs rampant in America.

to summarize Rush's argument, Obama's presidency means blacks are free to beat up white kids on the bus, to compensate for white racism. Plus white kids' parents' money will be taken from them for redistribution, presumably to black people.

And Rush wonders why his statements on race made him too controversial for the NFL.

Paul Zrimsek said...

One of the things your girlfriends can do for you is warn you against trying to use treacle as a lubricant.

sonicfrog said...

Damn it, sonicfrog, you're destroying the whole narrative. Sigh.

Yeah. It's what I do.

PatCA said...

I have to agree with knox about groups of women. If there is no focus, like a book club, it gets, well, female.

As for the incident, I'd like to hear the other side of the story. This woman could have looked really drunk and did come back to her posse and then roamed off again or showed up with a guy. Does the ER say she was drugged? Girls go home with other people from clubs all the time! Who knows?

Balfegor said...

Re: FLS:

Even just reading this, it's clear Limbaugh is making fun of the "All Whites are racist" thing you hear from academic and media figures from time to time. And from Black race-baiters. I'm fairly certain he does not seriously think that White children deserve to be beaten for being innate racists. That's kind of a clue that the whole riff is a joke.

JohnAnnArbor said...

fls, it's happened more than once where faculty/administrator fear of being labeled "racist" has led to less discipline for whatever the local favored minority is in schools. I saw it firsthand in college several times. (One funny one was the white student whose black roomate constantly accused him of being racist while doing everything possible to make life annoying for the white kid. The roommate's parents once showed up when the roommate was out and were very nice, sheepishly apologizing for their son's behavior. Some people are just jerks and use race as an opportunity to further their jerkdom.)

I once read a fascinating article (mid-'90s) by a former Detroit public school student. He remembered that there was one white kid in the whole high school, who was beaten every single day, with teachers and other adults doing nothing to intervene. The article-writer wondered what that kid thought about (say) race relations after that experience.

ricpic said...

Uh FLS, those black kids weren't free to beat up a white kid, they did beat up a white kid... because he was white. But, what the hay, past traumas and all that.

The Crack Emcee said...

"Obama's presidency means blacks are free to beat up white kids on the bus, to compensate for white racism. Plus white kids' parents' money will be taken from them for redistribution, presumably to black people."

There have also been home invasions, with blacks breaking into white homes screaming "Obama", and "This is a black world now".

Rush ain't the problem. Players who would, without irony or any sense of hypocrisy, allow Michael Vick to be part of the National Felons League when people are using false claims to call Rush a racist (Come on, if he's a racist, there should be tons of real quotes out there to run with - not a bunch of shit that's made up and put on Wikipedia.).

JohnAnnArbor said...

Also, fls, "zero-tolerance" policies often start as a way for adminstrators to avoid looking racist if the numbers for discipline don't match up perfectly with the racial proportions in the school. If there's any discretion, the adminsitrators will inevitably be attacked if the numbers don't work out, never mind the facts of the cases in question. Remember, a six-on-one vicious beatdown in Louisiana turned into a civil-rights cause on behalf of the beaters recently!

traditionalguy said...

Feminist treacle seems to be losing popular supporteverywhere. The Henry Higgins philosophy is making a come back. Why can't a woman be more like a man... in strength but not looks. I think that I will watch these comments for the most intriguing feminine answer.

PatCA said...

Crack, do you have a source for the home invasion allegation?

traditionalguy said...

The Proverbs 27:6 verse says that "the wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses." Perhaps the modern feminist women need to quit believing all their "feminist sisters" are their real friends.

Scott M said...

Regarding women (womyn?) and friendship, I honestly didn’t understand the depths of the I-love-you/I-hate-you girlfriend thing until I got married. My wife has a handful of life-long girlfriends who, appropriately, became second chair after we got hitched. After ten years of marriage and hearing all of the stories, I’m amazed that women even have best friends (lol). Your side’s tolerance for head games, slights, and passive-aggressive taunts is truly remarkable.

From my own lengthy experience with my best friends (ie men), there was usually only that one thing you simply could not do…the one thing that would irreparably end a friendship and that was by breaking Man Law #1, never rub another man’s rhubarb. Sleep with a best friend’s women and it’s pretty much over. Short of that, there never seemed to be anything my friends and I did to each other that would damage or end a friendship. No backstabbing, no head games, etc. Since there was never any patience for such things on either side of a male friendship, it never really happened. Sure, crassness, depredations, and harassment in boatloads, but that was always part of the fun…

The difference twixt the two genders and their approaches to friendship may all stem from the singular fact that men never call their male friends (or, hell, their female friends) and ask “so…what are you thinking?”.

Scott M said...

@FLS 12:17pm

I think the best guideline is the oldest wisdom about friendship out there. Only keep the friends that show up to help you move.

Leather Daddy said...

I'm with you, Madame Ann. I've never found feminist treacle to be a very good lubricant either.

campy said...

A good friend will help you move. A really good friend will help you move a body.

AJ Lynch said...

Beyerstein? Is she part of the bear family?

Balfegor said...

Beyerstein? Is she part of the bear family?

That's the Berenstains.

k*thy said...

What Andrea said. I think there's some backstory drama that we're hearing about. Regardless, it's disappointing that someone didn't step up here.

The other funny thing going on here - the general feeling of the guys' interpretations - it reads like an anthropological study of some foreign tribe (which I suppose it is).

phosphorious said...

I guess I missed this on the first reading. . . but Ann find sit odd that Beyerstein fails to "denounce" Roesenfeld as a n "anti-feminist"?

Why?

Unless you assume that "feminists" only respond to women they disagree with by calling them "gender traitors".

So Ann is surprised because Beyerstein doesn't fit into the dumb-ass conservative stereotype of feminsits.

Beyerstein did not give a gender specific response to Rosenfeld.

That's good, right?

Synova said...

"Unless you assume that "feminists" only respond to women they disagree with by calling them "gender traitors"."

Enough so that you notice when they don't.

Freeman Hunt said...

My friendships with other women are wholly uncomplicated. I have more than one group of female friends who have never had any issues between them.

I found it all much more complicated when I was younger.

I would suggest the following friendship guidelines to young women:

(1) Be loyal to the core.
(2) Don't gossip. Even if it's true. If someone will gossip to you, she will also gossip about you.
(3) Be friends with people who bring out the best in you. If you don't like your own manner or mood whenever you're around a certain person, you should not be friends with that person.
(4) DO NOT form friendships with gossipy, drama-seeking, or jealous women. End friendships with such people. (Not formally, that would make you a drama-seeker yourself!)
(5) Do not be cliquish or be friends with the cliquish. You can often judge exactly how petty abd catty someone is by how cliquish she is.
(6) If you are in a fight with someone you respect, assume misunderstanding until that assumption is proven false. Fights between good people are almost always the result of misunderstanding.

I offer that for what it's worth from me, a woman who had a terrible time with female friends when she was younger but now has many many wonderful female friendships.

And Rosenfeld is right that it sounds like this woman's friends thought she was lying or thought she was a huge drama queen.

Freeman Hunt said...

Oh, and don't feel like you *have* to be friends with anyone. If someone is rotten to you, you're a fool to be friends with that person. Look at everyone you encounter on a typical day. You could be friends with any of those people. Potential friends are everywhere.

AJ Lynch said...

FLS:

You do know Rush was riffing on and referring to that week's Newsweek Magazine which had a dumbass story that claimed white babies were born racist?

Just to be clear, did you already know this before you wrote your comment?

Shanna said...

The difference twixt the two genders and their approaches to friendship may all stem from the singular fact that men never call their male friends (or, hell, their female friends) and ask “so…what are you thinking?”.

Heh. Back in college, some of our guy friends went out to have guys night (I think they went to a museum or something). Apparently, they talked about all of us, and one of my friends pestered one guy until he told her what they thought of her. Then she got upset about that! I’m like, why did you ask?

The other funny thing going on here - the general feeling of the guys' interpretations - it reads like an anthropological study of some foreign tribe (which I suppose it is).

I agree, it’s pretty funny (even if it’s somewhat old territory).
I will say that it is SO much easier to live with a guy than a girl. You never have fights over, say, MILK when you live with a guy.

The Crack Emcee said...

"Crack, do you have a source for the home invasion allegation?"

Of course. My pleasure. There's others, too, it's kinda become a thing.

Shanna said...

I like your list, Freeman.

phosphorious said...

"Enough so that you notice when they don't."

Fine. 90% of women think and act alike. Fine.

But then what's the problem with Beyerstein's article. She explicitly doesn't do that.

Or is it simply the usual formula: "A liberal said something. . . BAD!"

Synova said...

That's a great list, Freeman.

The only thing I'd add is...

1a. Don't misunderstand what loyalty *is* or what it requires of you.

A whole lot of the drama is over the notion that loyalty means instant hatred for whomever your friend is mad at today.

Synova said...

Phos...

No doubt that you think I'm predictable. I certainly think that you're predictable. And women who's identity is heavily invested in being a Feminist are also predictable.

It's not shocking.

Alex said...

Crack - where is your link to "The Macho Response"?

phosphorious said...

Synova,

But the point is that Beyerstein wasn't "predictable". She didn't use the strategy that conservatives are always accusing feminists of. She called Rosenfeld a "sociopath" not an "anti-feminists."

She didn't attack her for "betraying the cause", but for completely misunderstanding the nature of friendship.

But the Althousiacs piled on as if she had.

Very bizarre, that.

Predicatble, but bizarre.

The Crack Emcee said...

Freeman Hunt,

I like your list, especially number 6, but I take issue with number 3:

"Be friends with people who bring out the best in you. If you don't like your own manner or mood whenever you're around a certain person, you should not be friends with that person."

To me, that's part of what's wrong with people today: they must be "happy" all the time, can't accept criticism gladly, and expect everyone to kow-tow to their feelings.

Right now I'm being trained by a friend, and he makes me feel like shit while doing so, but he's also doing it to make me good - the best - and that's as it should be. That's what friends are for. That's what parents and teachers used to be for. All this NewAge shit about feelings are worthless. I need to know my friends have something to offer, not something to hide, and whether or not they're conventionally "nice" is so far down on my list of priorities as to be worthless.

I'm going to the movies tonight with one of my oldest friends, a guy I've known since Jr. High. He's a rude, crude sexist racist nowadays, who seems to know a bit about everything - especially regarding getting girls in bed. They all claim to hate what he espouses but he still gets 'em every time.*

And, really, that's all anybody needs to know about women. Once you understand that, you can act to protect yourself accordingly.

*Me? Since my divorce, and subsequent introduction to the life-affirming tenets of NewAge, I have much more interest in death today than I'll ever have in any woman ever again. I've seen what they're trying to achieve and I'll pass. I've been laid before. Probably got my first piece before anyone else on this blog. Everything that appeals to most people is old to me.

I just want it all to stop now.

Synova said...

"Right now I'm being trained by a friend, and he makes me feel like shit while doing so, but he's also doing it to make me good - the best - and that's as it should be."

Well, then. He's bringing out the best in you.

The Crack Emcee said...

Alex,

The Macho Response

Freeman Hunt said...

Well, then. He's bringing out the best in you.

Yes.

I should have been clearer. More bluntly, I meant that if you find yourself acting like a bitch in the company of certain people, you need to not be around those people.

And yes, as Synova pointed out, number one requires an understanding of what loyalty really is.

Shanna said...

I just want it all to stop now.

I feel like I should be asking you suicide questions right now.

In the last two weeks, how often have you felt depressed or hopeless?

a. None of the days.
b. A few of the days
c. More than half days
d. Most days.

former law student said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
former law student said...

FLS:

You do know Rush was riffing on and referring to that week's Newsweek Magazine which had a dumbass story that claimed white babies were born racist?

Just to be clear, did you already know this before you wrote your comment?


1. All I know about what Rush said that day is what appears on the transcript under "...Kanye West..." for September 15. You'll note my Rush quote included some of his observations on the Newsweek article.

2. The Newsweek story did not say that white babies were born racist. It said how even very young children could tell the difference between people with skin their color and people with skin of another color, and that they tended to separate humanity into "skin my color" and "skin another color." Even in the absence of parents teaching them about different races.

3. Rush misrepresented the article, because he claimed that Newsweek said that the white kid was born a racist. Did you know about Rush's misrepresentation before you posted your comment?

4. Do you ever check for yourself the accuracy of the statements that Rush makes on his show? Does Rush habitually lie about the contents of magazine and newspaper articles?

(fixed serious typeo)

Freeman Hunt said...

I'm sorry, did I miss something? Does Rush have an opinion on female friendship?

Boy In A Balloon said...

Help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Balfegor said...

Re: FLS:

I think this is probably why Limbaugh felt free to riff about the article saying babies are racist. And no, I don't think that "Is your baby racist?" title on the cover is a photoshop. The fact that the article itself doesn't outright conclude that yes, on balance, babies are racist doesn't change the fact that "babies = racist" is clearly the story Newsweek was pushing with it.

JAL said...

I see the thread has been jacked by Rush's opposition?

You know there is another definition of "discrimination."

As in "one of these things is not like the other..."

The deal with the "Is Your Baby Racist" inflammatory cover is that that is ALL the LEFT can think about. It is unfortunate that the cover continues the problem.

True discrimination -- i.e. 'seeing' the differences - subtle and overt - is NOT a sin, moral failing, or illegal. Discrimination (negative definition) is the demeaning of a person because of the differences (perceived or real).

Balfegor said...

Discrimination (negative definition) is the demeaning of a person because of the differences (perceived or real).

The Newsweek article, as it happens, is all about tiny children doing exactly that.

former law student said...

freeman: "It's all part of the whole," per the crack emcee.

crack mc posted

That's all feminism, etc. means to me: A sucker punch applied to someone who didn't know he was in a fight. Like how post-Barack black kids are clocking unaware white people on the street. "It's all part of the whole."

To which Balfegor wondered about a "slap Whitey" day.

And I recalled Rush's disquisition on race in Obama's America, in which it was OK for blacks to beat up white kids on the bus to school.

Balfegor said...

And I recalled Rush's disquisition on race in Obama's America, in which it was OK for blacks to beat up white kids on the bus to school.

Not Charles Barron?

In August 2002, Barron was in Washington, D.C., speaking at a rally in support of a slavery reparations bill sponsored by Michigan Democrat John Conyers Jr., when he told the audience that he often got tired of discussing the need for reparations with white people. "I want to go up to the closest white person and say, ‘You can’t understand this, it’s a black thing’ and then slap him, just for my mental health," he said.

I'm sort of amused that you'd jump from slap Whitey to Limbaugh's little monologue, given that there's a moderately famous remark talking specifically about slapping White people.

Scott M said...

It appears the Rush did misrepresent the article, inasmuch as he failed to point out that minority 6-month-olds are just as "racist" as the white baby.

If being racist is showing a preference for a given skin color and 6-month-olds seperate stacks of photos in statistically significant piles of skin color preferences, that would seem to validate the statement, however it was used on-air, that babies innately (ie born with) show skin-color preferences. Do with that what you will.

What the article DOES point out is what most common-sense people have always known. Raising your kids to be "color-blind" and "diverse", at least the way it's been rammed home the past 30 years, is a load of horseshit because it has zero to do with reality.

It also took an obtuse jab in the eye at desegregation programs over the past 30 years.

AJ Lynch said...

FLS:

The magazine cover provided by Balfegor speaks for itself.

Based on that "dumbass" cover, I see no need to read the article. The cover substantiates Rush's riff IMO.

The Crack Emcee said...

"In the last two weeks, how often have you felt depressed or hopeless?

d. Most days."


It's the only way to be. And look, before you start acting like I'm weird, I was given up by my parents and my wife left me after 20 years to fuck a guy who killed her mother and then, together, they killed two others while everyone still goes on like normal but acts like I'm the one with the strange outlook.

Sorry but, to me, it's the world this NewAge world that's insane now. We all see the lies and shit flying around now - Rush is a racist, Oprah's guy killed two people in a sweat lodge, whatever - but nothing's happening to set the world to right. You guys accept it. You laugh about it. You're part of it.

So dying's attractive now.

Balfegor said...

Oprah's guy killed two people in a sweat lodge, whatever . . .

Wait, what?

JAL said...

As for women friends. I am not sure what the feminist aspect is. Are women who are not "feminists" supposed to be better friends? Weird.

My mother never had really close friends. She was of the generation (and upbringing) that didn't do real personal stuff with much of anyone.

I have friendships with women which are based on common interests and values.

I observe that there are women who have very complicated friendships and get mad at their friends and don't talk with their friends and love their friends and make alliances with and against other women yada yada yada ...

Tires me out to consider it.

That being said a couple things struck me about the 'advice' and the Beyerstein response:

If I were with someone (especially female) at a bar and they disappeared, I wouldn't go home without doing some serious inquiries. (Call her?) And serious answers. (These people apparently are out drinking when they could be home watching Law & Order or CSI or taking self defense of shooting classes. Watch for this storyline to make it to SVU!.)

Who drugged this chickie and for why? Was she raped? (Missing detail, there.)

If a friend called from an ER for help, I would go or find someone closer to the friend who would go.

I would pick a friend up from the ER or help her find someone who could pick her up.

These people are not friends, and yes, Freeman, she should get some new ones. Unfortunately most women seem to be afraid of being alone, or not having "friends."

One might think in this case, no "friends" would be better.

But then, if the writer is a drama queen / irresponsible jerk, maybe the "friends" need not to hang out with her is she is a drain on their resources.

Responsible friends may be boring, but they tend to be long term.

And yeah -- there is something not quite right with Rosenfeld the Advice Giver.

JAL said...

Balfegor -
Discrimination (negative definition) is the demeaning of a person because of the differences (perceived or real).

The Newsweek article, as it happens, is all about tiny children doing exactly that.

The Christians are right.

People are born with Original Sin.

Glad Newsweek sorted that out for us.

Henry said...

Newsweek and its media peers rely on photos to sell their pablum. You can go parsing the articles to find out the story, but that's like dragging a stick through a oil slick looking for carp. The cover is the story. The story is cover.

JAL said...

Rosenfeld thinks since "only nuns make it out of youth without a few ambulance rides" it's okay for someone you go drinking with who ends up in the ER from a mickey to have to come to and then find their way home without any support from her drinking buddies.

OK.

I have a news flash for Rosenfeld and some of the other blue state touters on board.

"only nuns make it out of youth without a few ambulance rides" is simply not true.

4 kids -- oldest 39, youngest 19. Not one single ambulance ride.

Ever.

Some people's lives are way too complicated and devoid of good sense.

Shanna said...

And look, before you start acting like I'm weird

I’m not trying to act like you’re weird, but I work in mental health (not a clinician, so not trying to get medical advice) and “hopelessness” is kind of a red flag. You may be depressed. It sounds like your wife was not a nice person, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to give up.

Oprah's guy killed two people in a sweat lodge
Wait, what?


I’ll add my “huh” in there too.

Shanna said...

Rosenfeld thinks since "only nuns make it out of youth without a few ambulance rides

I've never been in an ambulance either. I did have a friend who I think was roofied and we took her to ihop and got her some food and she slept on my couch. It's not that complicated. That column was idiotic.

The Crack Emcee said...

Yea, Oprah's guy. And Larry King's guy. And The Today Show's guy.

I'm fucking surrounded with no escape.

ethan said...

Hey C. Ankles Outhouse,

Is your slavering faux-devotion to drug-addicted racist sex tourist Rush Limbaugh affected at all by the fact that even scummy NFL owners want nothing to do with him?

Probably not. Right.

Keep playing your game, Outhouse.

Drive that traffic!

That's what matters!

The Crack Emcee said...

“Hopelessness” is sane in certain situations. As Frank Zappa said:

"If it's man vs. the world, bet on the world."

Thanks to the '60s generation, the world's gone crazy and refuses to entertain the idea.

And I'm just one man.

I lose.

Freeman Hunt said...

Devotion both "slavering" AND "faux." I guess it's complicated.

Freeman Hunt said...

Crack Emcee, not everyone is into Oprah and her ilk, so all is not lost.

Shanna said...

Oh, The SECRET guy. That totally makes sense, as that thing sounded idiotic.

Devotion both "slavering" AND "faux."

Indeed. It doesn't have to make sense, or be relevant to the post. Just as long as it's insulting in some fashion. And possibly mentions that our host might be drinking wine! Heavens to betsy!

Eli Blake said...

Meanwhile, a nine year old asked a question to President Obama today at New Orleans University:

"Why do people hate you?"

Shanna said...

“Hopelessness” is sane in certain situations.

Hopelessness might be sane in some situations, and pertaining to certain things. I prefer resignation to certain things, myself. Far less depressing. But even with resignation, there lies hope. The pendulum swings, and people come to their senses. Sure, there are always going to be idiots who don't, but you just can't expect perfection from everyone.

Alex said...

Resignation means acknowledging reality and trudging through your responsibilities.

Hopelessness is just giving up, lying down in depression.

The Crack Emcee said...

I'm going for hopelessness. Believe me, dying is attractive under these circumstances. Living in a society with nothing more important to shoot for than attempting to be "happy" is depressing in itself - especially when it leads to other people being killed and the "happy" folks walking away scot free.

I mean, come on, do you really think a friend of Oprah's is going to be found guilty? Really? When he was just trying to bring spiritual happiness, at $10,000 a pop, into people's lives? I don't.

But then, I've been paying attention. Hell, I can't even convince y'all there's a good out of abandoning Whole Foods and any and all other cult marketing outfits (Ann will keep going there for the "posh" decor alone) because, nowadays, that's the kind of logic that will trump right and wrong every time nowadays.

Sorry but I've got no room in my life for it - especially as you whine and moan about the silly and terrible results of your own actions.

traditionalguy said...

The line that "having nothing means having nothing left to lose" comes to mind for the people who have lost things. But the loss of close people relationships starts a mourning disease process that lasts six months to a year. Once the barrier we raised to loving again without fear of another loss goes down, then life usually resumes. Whatever happens,never try to live without God's love from his kind people and the written words from God, which are contained in the best selling book in world publishing history.

Alex said...

tradguy - you can't just make a blanket statement that everyone grieves 6-12 months. Some people don't grieve at all, and some grieve to the point of suicide. There is a huge spectrum of grieving.

The Crack Emcee said...

TG,

Buddy, you know I love ya, but you're talking to the wrong guy. God made this happen. That's my "religious" take on it. All these killers I follow are "spiritual" and/or "religious" people. It's stopping with these beliefs systems that no one will entertain. I'd be a fool to run from cults only to end up in the arms of Jesus, just as I'd be a fool to repeat the relationship fiasco. It's over for me.

I'm glad at least.

Alex said...

Crack Emcee - just make sure it's "the macho response". Make sure to include beer & hot dogs with that.

traditionalguy said...

Alex...Sorry for the blanket statement. All people are different. I just want the confused and shut down survivors to hear the news that time does heal things...along with love from those True Friends, and counseling.

Synova said...

"- but nothing's happening to set the world to right"

It seems to me that attempts to set the world to right generally result in making things much much worse, mostly because it usually involves making choices for other people.

I tend to be optimistic, (though I've had depression it wasn't related to anything external to myself), not because people are good, but because they're not good and the world works anyway.

I make jokes about being Lutheran and how we like to be miserable... but it's not true. What is true, though, is that I believe and agree that happiness as a goal causes misery. I mean... I remember listening to a sermon (might have been on the radio) and the guy is all... if you don't wake up in the morning in a happy, go-get-em mood you're sinning. That's bullsh*t. Worse, it's downright harmful to those who are struggling.

In any case, I'm not happy. I *am* optimistic and I feel that's a product of my intellect and reason rather than emotions. I don't *feel* optimistic. I am. Because I see people around me bumbling along and somehow they persevere. I wonder, sometimes, how some people even function daily, and yet they *do*. The evidence isn't in what I feel ought to be the outcome of the stupid people tricks I see, but the objective observation that ordinary people do muddle through and make it, in spite of everything.

It's sort of a weird paradox. Life itself is unforgiving and brutal and yet it is unaccountably forgiving as well.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Skipping to the end of the comments.

I also think there probably was something else going on with the female friends not searching for the 'lost' friend. She probably disappeared frequently before and they thought it not that unusual.

However, that's no excuse for not coming to the hospital to pick her up, unless this also is a regular pattern.

I don't have female friends at all. Never really did. I have some female acquaintances that I can get along with but we don't do girly things, gossip, go to the show together or much of anything else.

I can't stand to work with women and most women drive me nuts. The only women now that I count as sort of friends are a retired civil engineer, former FAA head maintenance engineer team leader for NASA, a software engineer and a woman who has a CPA firm.

Friendships with girls/women are just too high maintenance. Too hard to try to figure out what they are really thinking and how to avoid the pitfalls where you get embroiled in some stupid drama that you have no clue what it is or even care one bit about.

MadisonMan said...

Freeman, I like your list too.

Freeman Hunt said...

Hell, I can't even convince y'all there's a good out of abandoning Whole Foods and any and all other cult marketing outfit

Actually there was some post of yours that completely reoriented my outlook on purchasing electronics, so you've convinced at least one person of something.

Freeman Hunt said...

Too hard to try to figure out what they are really thinking and how to avoid the pitfalls where you get embroiled in some stupid drama that you have no clue what it is or even care one bit about.

Then don't try, and that will weed out the ones that are too high maintenance automatically.

Pogo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pogo said...

Crack, sounds like some Marcus Aurelius is in order. It has ever been thus.

Me? I can't afford to die.

Freeman, stellar list.

bagoh20 said...

"I'm sorry, did I miss something? Does Rush have an opinion on female friendship?"

Yea, but it's racist of course.
=====

I have very few men friends. They just don't interest me. I prefer women as friends, but except for my lesbian friends, it seems impossible to have a friendship with a woman without sex. I just want to be friends sometimes. Is that possible?

Good list Freeman.

Penny said...

Crack, I'm sorry you walked along a very rocky road, but I have to tell you what I see about you that has me thinking you have a whole helluva lot of walking in front of you.

You communicate!

It doesn't matter that most of your communications are about disappointments and disillusion. It matters most that you are still choosing to bitch and moan and whine and....EDUCATE too!

Flick that damn shadow off your shoulder and give the sun and the moon a chance to shine some light on you, my friend.

It's a wonderful world, even if all things are not wonderful in your, and even our collective, world right now. Somebody else out there is having one heck of a time, and tomorrow, that someone just might be YOU!

Even Atlas shrugged, for cripes sake.

Kirk Parker said...

100 comments? I don't get it. What was there to add after comment #1 (or, for those who need a bit of reinforcement, comment #3?)

:-)

William said...

I enjoyed reading this thread. Go deep, gang....My thoughts: it's all a sequence of random events. If the random events are in your favor, you tend to believe in the existence of a benign God and the value of your own virtues and judgement. If the random events are jagged and painful, you think you are a miserable person who is in some way deserving of misfortune, or you try, with all the strength and dexterity at your disposal, to throw the blame on someone else. Me? I've done tours as Job and fortune's favorite. I'd like to think that my good fortune was in some way secondary to my virtues and that my hard times were brought about by my fecklessness or the malignancy of others. With such a philosophy, I would be in control of the universe. But no such luck. It's all just random--the crap and the daffodils.....Maybe you hear a melody and even feature yourself as high notes or chords of blue. To me it all just static. That's my philosophy tonight, and I'm sticking to it.

Kirk Parker said...

Crack,

"I'm fucking surrounded with no escape."

You aren't in the Puget Sound area, I don't suppose?

Freeman,

"Actually there was some post of yours that completely reoriented my outlook on purchasing electronics"

Hey, I'd love to see a link to that, if your or C-MC can find it.

wv - 'molorse' : remorse that makes you sad.

Trog said...

"Not that I'm interested in reading advice columns, but I do think female friendships are a fascinating subject for incisive analysis. It's a feminist topic, but I'd like some analysis that's scarily honest and unlubricated by feminist treacle." AA

Respectfully asking...Why do advice columns and female friendships offer up an urgent need for scarily honest, incisive analysis unlubricated by feminist treacle?

And what the hell is "feminist treacle"?

JAL said...

DBQ, I told you were had the same grandmother.

wv trace
There is more than a trace of concern for C-MC today on this thread. The arms of Jesus are not a bad place to be.

JAL said...

wv obbera
Yogi's African grandfather?

Sorry. It's late.

MamaM said...

Crack: I went to Macho Response but couldn't find an email connect, so I'm going to leave the comment here.

I'm not a professional, and I am too old to be a feminist, or a new-ager, but I am familiar with trauma and what can happen to a human who encounters intense, outside the norm experiences such as abandonment, betrayal, and killings within a family. Especially when those kinds of experiences occur early in life, or follow in a series.

There is an amazing healing technique being used with soldiers and others who experience the despair and hopelessness that often follows trauma, and it's called EMDR.

It might sound wacky to you, but it's worth looking into. It's a form of right-left brain processing that is quite effective in the processing (re-processing) of trauma. If death is the next step, what have you got to lose?

I've experienced EMDR myself with tremendous benefit, and have recently walked with a young friend through his treatment. The results were beyond what I'd hoped. (He'd witnessed firsthand the deaths of two friends shot at short range).

It's somewhat controversial, but not among the people I know who've received it and experienced it's benefit. It's not new age and it doesn't require a lot of digging or psycho-babble to be effective. It doesn't even require a lot of time in the chair, but receiving it would mean submitting to the care of a trained therapist for several sessions.

If the time comes when you get so low you don't want to take another step, it's worth considering.

the web-link is www.emdr.com/

Penny said...

"To me it is all just static."

Time to press the "OFF" button?

Goodnight, William.

Crack? That was REAL static. The "OFF" button? Satire!

Crack?

Crack?

Dammit man...

ricpic said...

...it's all a sequence of random events...

Maybe yes, maybe no. Either way, it helps to have money.

blake said...

Crack makes a tiny box to live in, then complains of being cramped.

Though, in fairness, I suppose we all do.

To rephrase Synova, the solving of problems always leads to bigger problems. (The Bhagavad Gita?)

I too would like to see the electronics post.

blake said...

I'm curious what Crack Emcee's end-game is.

You've pursued your philosophy and it's led to despair. I tend to mistrust people who blame their misery on their enlightenment. I notice also you go from the very active "I see things" to the very passive "Nothings changed."

What's more, if you wish to sway others, don't you have to, you know, evangelize your way of thinking to groups of people—and of course, you'll probably need to charge money for it.

At which point, the only thing that separates you from them is that you're right, correct?

Freeman Hunt said...

My guess is that Crack doesn't know what his endgame is right now. He's seen through New Ageism, and he's seen through consumerism, and he's gone through a hell of a time personally.

I'd say, stick around. See what happens. I bet it gets better. A whole lot better.

In fact, I bet he meets someone (friend, romantic interest, professional peer, whatever) who blows his whole take on life wide open.

Who knows? He might decide that not all beliefs are created equal, and maybe even find some of that old time religion.

I don't know. To be continued...

As for the electronics post, Crack, do you know what I'm talking about? I don't know how to find it. You wrote about Reynolds buying some expensive bit of electronics and you asked if people bought things to own them or to produce something with them. You mentioned that you worked on some half-broken thing because it functioned for your purposes. But you put it much better than I just did.

Sort of a function over form argument. I thought it was very good.

Freeman Hunt said...

Actually right as I hit Publish on that I realized that I shouldn't have said it was an argument. It was more of a wake up call than an argument.